C-SPAN US History

  • Patrick Henry

    Patrick HenryHarlow Unger recounts the life of Patrick Henry, known for his declaration, "give me liberty or give me death."Patrick Henry was an early advocate of the the decision to declare war against the British and a critical voice against the size of the American government following the Revolution. Mr. Unger examines the political career of the four-term Governor of Virginia, who declined several positions in the national government, including as a Senator, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, andSecret
  • Thomas Jefferson

    JeffersonThe Thomas Jefferson Foundation recently hosted Professor Woody Holton, who discussed Jefferson's motivations for writing the Declaration of Independence and the unlikely groups that influenced him.
  • George Mason

    Founding FatherJeff Broadwater talked about his biography, George Mason, Forgotten Founder, published by The University of North Carolina Press. He chronicled the life and public career of Founding Father George Mason (1725-1792), known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights." George Mason wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the model for the Bill of Rights, refusing to sign the U.S. Constitution when it did not include the Bill of Rights. Mr. Broadwater described Mason's roles in the Stamp Act Crisis, the
  • Marquis de Lafayette

    LafayetteIn 1777, at the age of twenty, the Marquis de Lafayette traveled from France to the American colonies to volunteer his services with George Washington's Continental Army. He later worked to secure France's support for the American cause and in the process became a hero of the revolution. Author and historian Marc Leepson talks about the Marquis de Lafayette and the impact he had on the American fight for independence.
  • Betsy Ross

    Betsy RossMarla Miller, director of the Public History program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, recounts the life of Betsy Ross. Long-fabled in American history, the author examines the flag seamstresses work for the American Revolution, which provides insight into an artisan's life in Philadelphia during the 18th century. The author also recalls Ross' personal life, she died in 1836 at the age eighty-four, had been married three times, and had seven children
  • Hamilton vs Jefferson

    Hamiltonianism vs JeffersonianismDuring a discussion on the founding fathers and the aristocracy moderated by Carol Berkin, Baruch College American History professor, Gordon Wood, Brown University History professor, explains the difference between the views of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson on the nature of government and human nature
  • George Washington's Slaves

    George WashingtonAuthor and lecturer Peter Henriques speaks at Gadsby's Tavern Museum in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, about the documented experiences of George Washington's slaves.
  • Ratification of the Constitution

    RatificationAmerican History Professor Pauline Maier presents a history of the ratification process of the U.S. Constitution. Ms. Maier recounts the year-long debates that took place throughout the country following the 1787 Constitutional Convention as the newly released document was pored over by the citizenry. Pauline Maier discussed the debate over the Constitution in the four key states of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York for the noon lecture series at the National Archives in Washin
  • US Constitution

    ConstitutionA short documentary on the history, meaning, and provisions of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the operation of government within the parameters set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Video footage highlights the operation of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government by providing footage of several recent events and activities such as presidential inaugurals, impeachment proceedings, legislative events, and Supreme Court oral arguments. Chief Justice Roberts also talked about
  • Creating the Bill of Rights

    Bill of RightsAuthor and political strategist Chris DeRose and author Mark Skousen (in character as Benjamin Franklin) discuss the creation of the Bill of Rights and the election that enabled it.
  • James Madison

    Bill of RightsConstitutional scholar Linda Monk discussed the achievement of the First Congress in passing the Bill of Rights. She examined Representative James Madison's fight to have the legislation pass to provide a bulwark for American liberties. “Congress Shall Make No Law…” Rep. James Madison and the Passage of the Bill of Rights was a program of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.
  • President Washington

    George WashingtonA short biographical vignette on the life of George Washington, 1st President of the United States.
  • John Adams

    AdamsA short vignette on the life and political achievements of John Adams, including portraits from his early life through his time in office
  • Election of 1800

    Election of 1800Professor Ed Larson teaches a class on American legal history at Pepperdine University in Malibu. In today's class he looks at the 1800 election contest between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and the lasting constitutional impact of that election.
  • Fur Trade

    Fur TradeIn the early nineteenth century, multi-millionaire businessman John Jacob Astor developed an expansive fur trade network across the United States. This trade system led to the founding of many pacific coastal cities like Astoria, Oregon. The Oregon Historical Society hosts historian Rex Ziak for a look at the life and legacy of John Jacob Astor and the history of the fur trade in the United States.
  • American Slave Trade

    Slave Trade History professor Marcus Rediker teaches a course on Colonial America at the University of Pittsburgh. Today’s lecture focuses on the origins of the slave trade to the Americas between 1640 and the early 1800s
  • James Madison

    MadisonRichard Brookhiser -- author of "Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington" -- has turned his attention to James Madison and is working on a biography of the founder best remembered as "The Father of the Constitution." In a talk at Hillsdale College, Mr. Brookhiser makes the case that Madison should also be recalled as "The Father of American Politics."
  • James Madison in 1811

    James MadisonFounding Father James Madison was President of the United States from 1809 to 1817. John Douglas Hall portrays President James Madison as though the year was 1811 rather than 2011. He discusses current events from 200 years ago including events that would lead to the war of 1812, shipping and trade conflicts with France and England, problems with the National Bank and cabinet appointments
  • Alexis de Tocqueville

    de TocquevilleLeo Damrosch talked about his book Tocqueville's Discovery of America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). He followed Alexis de Tocqueville's nine-month travels throughout the United States from 1831-1832 and examined de Tocqueville's subsequent book, Democracy in America. De Tocqueville's writings on Jacksonian America presented a changing social and political landscape where the French visitor applauded much of American culture but was critical of slavery and materialism. In his book Professor
  • Second Seminole War

    Florida WarHistorian Frank Laumer speaks at a 175th anniversary commemoration of the Dade massacre that led to the outbreak of the Second Seminole War. The Second Seminole War, also known as the Florida War, took place in central Florida from 1835 to 1842 and was the first American war fought partially over the issue of slavery. The event was hosted by the Tampa Bay History Center.
  • President Van Buren

    Martin Van BurenA short vignette about President Martin Van Buren's accomplishments and life history.
  • President Polk

    James K PolkA short vignette detailing the life and political achievements of James K. Polk, including portraits of his early life through his time in office.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher StoweActress Jan Turnquist, introduced by Ms. Jill Sanderson, portrayed the author Harriet Beecher Stowe. She talked about her life and the influences behind her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • President Pierce

    Franklin Pierce
    A short vignette on the life and political achievements of America's 14th President Franklin Pierce, including images of his early life and time in office.
  • Charles Sumner

    SumnerSenator Charles Sumner was a political figure from Massachusetts who became a prominent abolitionist and supporter of human rights. Despite having served in the Senate for twenty-three years, he is remembered today by the beating he suffered at the hands of Representative Preston Brooks on the Senate floor in 1856. The Massachusetts Historical Society presented a program based on letters from Sumner at various stages in his life.
  • Dred Scott Case

    ScottIn April, Pepperdine University Law School hosted a symposium, exploring the most maligned United States Supreme Court Decisions. Among the cases discussed was Dred Scott v. Sandford. The decision stated that people of African descent are not and were never intended to be citizens, so they are not and cannot be protected under the U.S. Constitution. The decision also stated that slaves are the private property of their owners, and like other property, could not be taken from the owner without
  • Right Makes Might

    LincolnA performance commemorated the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's "Right Makes Might" speech on the stage where it was originally delivered on February 27, 1860. In the speech, Lincoln elaborated his views on slavery, affirming that he did not wish it to be expanded into the western territories and giving evidence that the Founding Fathers would agree with this position. The speech is credited with helping him secure the nomination for president. Harold Holzer introduced the program of orati
  • Emancipation and the Union

    Emancipation On American History TV's The Civil War: Historian Gary Gallagher argues that the primary motive of the North during the War was to preserve the "Union"—not to emancipate the slaves. However, Union forces "should" be credited with moving emancipation forward. He presented the keynote address at a symposium on "Emancipation during the Civil War" with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.
  • South Carolina Secedes

    South Carolina SecedesOne-hundred-fifty years ago, Southern states began to secede from the Union over the issues of state's rights and the institution of slavery. South Carolina was first to secede in December, 1860. The Fort Sumter - Fort Moultrie Historical Trust held a symposium at the Citadel recently
  • Lincoln Inaugural Address

    LincolnActor Sam Waterston recites Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address to mark the 150th anniversary of his swearing-in as president of the United States on March 4, 1861. The oath of office was re-enacted and Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer delivered remarks. As was the sequence in 1861, the swearing-in follows the reading of the inaugural address.
  • International Response to Civil War

    BritainAuthor Amanda Foreman -- appearing before an Abraham Lincoln symposium audience -- focuses her talk on the international response to the Civil War, particularly by Great Britain. Her new book is "A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided."
  • Ft Sumter Re-enactment

    Ft SumterUnion Civil War re-enactors commemorated the 150th anniversary of the first shots of the Civil War at Fort Sumter.
  • President Jefferson & the Civil War

    JeffersonPeter Onuf talked about President Thomas Jefferson and how his career, thoughts, and actions relate to the origins of the Confederacy and the coming of the Civil War. The unresolved disagreements about the status of slavery and the nature of the federal union created situations that presaged the dissolution of the union in 1861 since its founding. Professor Onuf talked about President Jefferson's soci-political philosophy of nationhood and contrasted it with the Southern philosophy. He responded
  • Women in the Civil War

    Women in Civil WarPurdue University professor Caroline Janney teaches a history course on American women in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today's lecture focuses on the role of women during the Civil War. Janney argues that women provided invaluable services to the soldiers while maintaining the home front.
  • Transcontinental Railroad

    Transcontinental RR
    Walter Borneman talks about the creation of the transcontinental railroad.
  • Lincoln Assassination

    Lincoln On April 14, 1865, actor John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln as the president sat in the State Box in Ford's Theatre during a performance of a play entitled "Our American Cousin." Historian Anthony Pitch conducted a tour of a number of sites around Washington, DC associated with the assassination, including the White House, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Home of Major Rathb
  • John Wilkes Booth

    John Wilkes BoothNora Titone recounts John Wilkes Booth's family background and specifically examines the relationship between John and his older brother, Edwin Booth. Born to British actor, Junius Brutus Booth, the siblings aspired to become actors as well. Edwin succeeded and was one of the stars of his day while John struggled in the craft. Ms. Titone explores the rivalry between the Booth brothers and the possible role it played in John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Thea
  • South Carolina in the Civil War

    South CarolinaCommercial photographer Rick Rhodes gave American History TV a guided tour of his Charleston photo exhibit. The images were taken near the end of the Civil War by photographers working for the United States department of the South. The images are part of the Library of Congress collections. To learn about the wet plate negative process used during the civil war era
  • Civil War Generals

    Civil War GeneralsA panel discussion focused on Civil War generals. The participants examined how each man ascended to the military rank and what separated each from their peers. The panel was moderated by General Wesley Clark (Retired), editor of Palgrave's Great General Series and each panelist authored a book in the series: Noah Andre Trudeau, Robert E. Lee; Donald Davis, Stonewall Jackson; Steven Woodworth, Sherman; John Mosier, Grant; and Duane Schultz, to be released the next week, Custer. The panelists als
  • Disputed of Election of 1876

    Election 1876Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes won the 1876 presidential election over Governor Samuel J. Tilden of New York by a single electoral vote in one of the most disputed American presidential elections ever. Their contest produced the highest voter turnout in U.S. history -- 81.8 percent of males over 21 cast a ballot. Just what was the dispute about? Michael Holt -- a University of Virginia history professor -- addresses that question.
  • Samuel Gompers

    Samuel GompersHistorian Richard Norton Smith talks about the life and career of Samuel Gompers, founder of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and the Washington, DC memorial to Gompers by sculptor Robert Ingersoll Aitken.
  • Electoral College

    ClevelandThe 1888 incumbent Democratic President, Grover Cleveland, ran against his Republican challenger, Senator Benjamin Harrison. President Cleveland won the popular vote, but Senator Harrison won the presidency with the most electoral votes.
  • President Roosevelt

    Teddy Roosevelt A short vignette detailing the life and political achievements of Theodore Roosevelt, including images of his early life and video from his time in office
  • Roosevelt & Progressives

    ProgressivesProfessor Mitch Lerner with Ohio State University at Newark teaches various American History courses, including political and diplomatic history. Today's class focuses on the 19th century roots of the progressive movement and Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Prohibition

    18th AmendmentDan Okrent talked about his book Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (Scribner, 2010). He discussed the politics of how the 18th Amendment was pushed through and divided the country, permanently changing the politics and nature of urban life. Topics included how the speakeasy changed America's drinking habits and how Prohibition led to organized crime and created a fight that still exists across liberal and conservative lines.
  • 19th Amendment

    Women's SuffrageIn commemoration of the 90th anniversary of women gaining their Constitutional right to vote by the passage of the 19th Amendment, scholars talked about the women's suffrage movement and its impact on race and gender in the U.S. Ida Jones moderated. The panel discussion titled "Ain’t I a Woman: A Complicated Story of Women’s Suffrage in Black and White" was held at the National Archives. The co-sponsors were the Sewell-Belmont House and Museum and the National Park Service’s Mary McLeod Bethune
  • President Harding

    Warren HardingA short vignette on the life and political achievements of Warren G. Harding, including photos from his early life and video from his time in office.
  • Louis Armstrong

    Louie ArmstrongTerry Teachout talked about his biography of Louis Armstrong called Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). Louis Armstrong was a jazz musician who influenced the music and culture of the 20th century. Mr. Teachout talked about Louie Armstrong's public life, including his experiences with segregation while touring and his overseas tours. Topics included his disagreement with President Eisenhower over race, calling the president "two faced" and having "no guts" while fe
  • Calvin Coolidge

    CoolidgeDavid Pietrusza, author of 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents, profiles America's 30th President, Calvin Coolidge. Mr. Pietrusza presents a collection of President Coolidge's speeches, examples of his political thinking, and photos, editorial cartoons and campaign memorabilia that spanned his political career. David Pietrusza discusses President Calvin Coolidge at the William K. Sanford Library in Loudonville, New York.
  • Calvin Coolidge

    CoolidgeMichael Dukakis, 1988 Democratic nominee for President and a native son of Massachusetts, shares his thoughts on the "master politician", Calvin Coolidge of Vermont. Hosted by the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, Mr. Dukakis looks at how the future President evolved into a popular political figure in the Bay State.
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    New Deal

    New Deal A panel discussion was held on the historical impact of the infrastructure programs of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Rural Electrification Administration, (REA). Topics included current efforts to document and preserve New Deal projects, and the lessons that can be learned from these programs. After presentations were made, the panelists responded to questions from members of the audience in the room and on the Internet.
  • FDR

    FDR History Professor Alan Brinkley, former provost of Columbia University, recounts the life of the thirty-second president from his privileged childhood in upstate New York, to his education at Harvard, his brief law career, and his ascendancy to the presidency. Professor Brinkley recalls the three terms that President Roosevelt served in office and the many obstacles his administration faced, in
  • Eleanor Roosevelt & the Media

    Eleanor RooseveltC-SPAN visited the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project at George Washington University to learn about the longest serving First Lady. Mrs. Roosevelt used newspaper columns, radio, speaking tours, books, and television to communicate her ideas.
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  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor AttackArchive footage from a 1941 newsreel report on the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy's Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Axis Sally

    Axis SallyMildred Gillars, known by her nickname "Axis Sally", was an American radio broadcaster employed by the Nazis during World War II. After the war she was deported to America and then tried and convicted of treason for her involvement in the creation and disbursement of Nazi propaganda. Historian Richard Lucas takes a look at the life of Mildred Gillars and examines what factors led her to become "Axis Sally."
  • Navajo Code Talkers

    NavajoNavajo Code Talkers were honored for serving their country despite the injustices they suffered from their own government, including being unable to vote. Native speakers of Navajo served in all six Marine Divisions from 1942 to 1945, passing communications in an unbreakable code. Three code talkers shared their stories and then responded to questions from members of the audience. This event was held by The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation on Monday evening, April 26, 2010, at the
  • WWII Interview

    Veteran InterviewLeon Schafer was interviewed at his home in Raleigh, North Carolina, about his life and his service in the Navy during World War II. He talked about the D-Day landing in Normandy. This is the first of two parts. The National World War II Museum in New Orleans conducted oral histories to record the experiences of World War II veterans and those Americans living and working on the home front. The date of the interview is not known. Presumably in November 2008
  • D-Day

    D-DAYAn archival film produced by the Army Pictorial Center on the planning, execution and aftermath of the June 6th, 1944 World War Two invasion, or D-Day.
  • George Patton

    General PattonThis archival film about World War II General George S. Patton was produced by the Department of the Army and the Army Pictorial Center. The film, titled "The General George S. Patton Story" is a biographical film about the American General whose exploits and victories with his Third Army helped win World War II. Ronald Reagan narrates the film
  • Iwo Jima

    Iwo JimaA ceremony was held to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima. Fought from February 19 to March 26, 1945, the battle was the first American attack of World War II on the Japanese home islands. Retired Marine Lieutenant General Lawrence Snowden, a captain at Iwo Jima, presented Marine Commandant General Conway with his copy of the 23rd Marine Regiment's battle plan for Iwo Jima. Retired Marine Colonel Barnum, a Medal of Honor recipient who fought in Vietnam, talked about the i
  • FDR's Funeral

    FDRFDR died on April 12, 1945. C-SPAN's American History TV posted this film from the Franklin Roosevelt library/National Archives.
  • End of WWII

    WWIIA newsreel commemorating the ending of World War II ending in Europe, including an address from President Truman.
  • Women in Journalism

    Mary GarberMary Garber went to work as a society editor at North Carolina's Winston-Salem Journal in 1940, then transferred to sports in 1946 and never looked back. Her life-long career as a sports reporter is chronicled in this oral history for the Washington Press Club Foundation's "Women in Journalism" project. She recalls her love of sports reporting, the discrimination she faced as a woman, and her determination to cover black high school athletes in the segregated South. This program is the first hal
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    Cold War

    CIA, KGBPeter Earnest, retired CIA senior intelligence officer, and Oleg Kalugin, retired major general in the Soviet KGB, shared stories from the Cold War. After each had made remarks, they responded to questions submitted by members of the audience. Mr. Kratsas moderated. Peter Earnest was a career CIA operations officer for thirty years, which included twenty years in Clandestine Service, before he retired in 1994. Oleg Kalugin was the KGB chief of counterintelligence. The program "Inside the Cold
  • Korean War

    Korean WarA film showed the beginning of the Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950, when communist North Korean forces advanced into South Korea. Strategic graphics illustrated combat footage and clips of soldiers. Film shown included U.S. Ambassador Warren Austin speaking in support of Korea in the United Nations. The footage was framed with Sergeant Queen interviewing war correspondent Jim Lucas at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
  • Black listed

    Red ScareM. Stanton Evans talked about his book, Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies, published by Crown Forum. The author argued that Senator Joseph McCarthy does not deserve the bad reputation he has been assigned by historians, and that Senator McCarthy was correct in his assessment of the threat posed by Communists in the United States during the so-called "Red Scare" and that his detractors knowingly cover up the extent of this thr
  • Truman and MacArthur

    Truman and MacArthurKen Hechler, former White House assistant to President Truman, was interviewed by Robert Watson about President Truman's relationship with General Douglas MacArthur. General MacArthur led the United Nations command during the Korean Conflict until he was relieved of his command by Harry S. Truman in April 1951 after MacArthur continued to contradict the administration over the expansion of war
  • President Eisenhower

    EisenhowerRetired Army lieutenant colonel and military historian Carlo D'Este receives the Andrew J. Goodpaster prize for contributions to military scholarship and presents the prize's annual lecture. Carlo D'Este is the author of several books, including Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1847-1945 and biographies of General George Patton and President Dwight Eisenhower
  • Brown v Board of Ed

    Brown v Board of Ed Background and history of the Brown v. Board of Education decision and its move through the courts; current concerns of citizens.
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Rosa ParksJulian Bond lectured to a history class on Rosa Parks and the origins of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott. An active participant and leader from the early days of the Civil Rights movement, Professor Bond brings a unique perspective to the classroom
  • Henry Kissinger Interview

    Kissinger InterviewHenry Kissinger, associate director of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, talked to Mike Wallace about the United States' foreign and military policies, the concept of limited war, how to prevent a nuclear war, the Soviet Union, Algeria, the Middle East, and Republicans, including then Vice President Richard Nixon. This is a kinescope of the nationally televised prime-time program, "The Mike Wallace Interview."
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    World Views of Vietnam

    VietnamMajor Sean Sculley of U.S. Military Academy--West Point teaches a course on American history from the late 19th century to the present. In this week's class, he focuses on the conflicting worldviews during the Vietnam War era. Professor Sculley was recently deployed to Iraq and returned to West Point this past spring to resume his teaching duties.
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    Pres. Kennedy and the Press

    KennedyAs the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, a panel recently convened at the U.S. Department of State -- the scene of most Kennedy press conferences -- to consider JFK's relationship with the press. The program opens with a historical overview of White House and press relations and is moderated by former Clinton White House press secretary Mike McCurry.
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    60s

    60sJanuary 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's inauguration. To commemorate the anniversary, the Kennedy Presidential Library hosted a conversation with Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley as they discuss the culture of the 1960s, the legacy of the Kennedy family and its impact on politics and culture today
  • Underground Newspapers

    Underground NewspapersHistorian John McMillian recounts the underground newspapers of the 1960s and their affect on the political movements of their time. The author profiles many of the publications, including the Los Angeles Free Press, Berkeley Barb, East Village Other, and Rag (Austin, Texas) and recalls the reportage that marked each paper. According to Mr. McMillian the Federal Bureau of Investigation began monitoring underground newspapers in 1968 and placed many obstacles in the way of their continued publica
  • President Kennedy on Religion

    Religion The late Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA) delivered a speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in Houston, TX during the 1960 presidential campaign where he addressed the role of religion in American politics and the presidency.
  • Kennedy v Nixon Debate

    Kennedy v NixonOn September 26th 1960, presidential candidates Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon participated in the first-ever televised presidential candidates’ debate. Several people who were directly involved, including Don Hewitt, Howard K. Smith, Ted Sorensen and Herbert Klein, describe the historic debate. This discussion was held in the same location, Studio 1 of WBBM TV-Chicago, as the Kennedy-Nixon debate.
  • Bay of Pigs

    Bay of PigsOn April 17, 2011 -- 50 years to the day since the Bay of Pigs Invasion -- the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library hosted a conversation looking back at the failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro's government and the invasion's legacy for Kennedy's presidency. Lingering invasion myths are discussed as well as the larger context of U.S. and Soviet Union relations. And we hear from Alfredo Duran -- who was part of the invasion force of a half century ago.
  • Freedom Riders

    Freedom RidersOn May 4, 1961, 13 men and women – black and white – boarded two buses in Washington, D.C., for New Orleans. Their goal was to deliberately integrate Southern bus stops by ignoring colored- and white-only signs. These "Freedom Riders" were met with attacks and fire bombs along their journey. As word spread, hundreds would join in, boarding buses throughout the South in solidarity. Fifty years later, in a gathering of original Freedom Riders, Congressmen John Lewis (D-GA) and Bob Filner (D-CA) le
  • Kennedy's New Fronter

    KennedyOn "The Presidency": the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs marked the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's 1961 inauguration with a look back at his presidency. This program focuses on how JFK's rhetoric helped shape the New Frontier
  • Johnson Presidency

    JohnsonCharles Peters talked about the tenure of the 36th U.S. president, Lyndon B. Johnson. Mr. Peters, who worked in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations from 1961-1968, presented a first-hand account of President Johnson's legislative record, including his passage of the Voting Rights Act and his decisions on Vietnam.
  • Kennedy Detail

    Secret ServiceGerald Blaine and Clint Hill, two former Secret Service agents, spoke about the day that President Kennedy was assassinated. They also talked about the assassination’s conspiracy theories and their lives after retirement from the Secret Service.. Gerald Blaine is author of the new book, “The Kennedy Detail: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence.” Clint Hill wrote the prologue for the book as well as cooperating in interviews for the book’s content. Gerald Blaine worked for the Secret S
  • Truman on Stalin

    TrumanFormer President Harry Truman talked about his relationship with the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a series of outtakes from his television documentary series “Decision: The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman.” The Screen Gems, Inc., production crew began work at the Truman Library in May 1963. The 26 episodes were broadcast beginning in November 1964.
  • LBJ & MLK Jr

    LBJ & MLK JrThe Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia hosted a discussion about the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his relationship with President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was Johnson -- just after President Kennedy's assassination -- who assured King that he intended to be a "Civil Rights President."
  • Civil Rights Legacy

    Civil RightsRepresentative Conyers spoke about the legacy of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy forty years after their assassinations. This was the keynote speech at the Annual Civil Rights Luncheon of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
  • Vietnam and the Home Front

    VietnamThe State Department Office of the Historian recently hosted a symposium on the American Experience in Southeast Asia. The following discussion focuses on the impact of the Vietnam War on the home front in the United States
  • MLK Jr Assassinated

    Martin Luther King JrAuthor Hampton Sides recounts the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and profiles his assassin, James Earl Ray. The author details Ray's escape from the MissouriState Penitentiary in 1967, his travelsthroughout the South, Mexico, and Los Angeles underthe assumed name EricGalt, and his assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis on April 4,1968. Following the assassination the FBI conducted a sixty-five day manhunt.
  • Election of 1968

    1968The political and cultural turmoil during the election year of 1968; the multiple candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Pentagon Papers

    Pentagon PapersThe National Archives will release the full 47 volume "Pentagon Papers" at Noon eastern time on June 13. The documents were leaked 40 years ago by Daniel Ellsberg and portions were first printed in the New York Times on June 13, 1971. This interview was recorded by American History TV May 26th during the recording a tour of the new Watergate exhibit. That program will debut on June 19th.
  • Roe v Wade

    Roe v WadeOn December 13, 1971, Sarah Weddington, the attorney representing Jane Roe and Jay Floyd, Texas Assistant Attorney General, argued whether a Texas law that prohibited abortion violated the Constitution
  • Nixon visits China

    China visitAuthor Dr. Margaret MacMillan discusses President Richard Nixon’s 1972 historical visit to China. Dr. MacMillan explains the effect President Nixon’s trip had on trade relations between the U.S. and The Peoples Republic of China.
  • President Nixon

    NixonA short vignette detailing the life and political achievements of President Richard Milhous Nixon, including images of his early life and video from his time in office through to his impeachment.
  • The First Cell Phone

    Martin CooperMartin Cooper, who is credited for inventing the mobile cell phone, talked about the forces which lead to its creation and his thoughts on the current wireless industry.
  • Watergate

    WatergateThe director of the Nixon Library gave American History TV a tour of the new permanent gallery devoted to the "Watergate" scandal. Mr. Naftali explains how events beginning with the leak of the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago led to the resignation of President Nixon on August 9th, 1974.
  • Ford pardons Nixon

    Nixon pardonedFrom 1992, Ford on his decision to pardon Richard Nixon and its effect on the 1976 presidential election.
  • President Ford

    Gerald FordFormer President Ford's brother, Richard, and his son, Steven, shared their memories of youth and family life with the man who would become Vice President and President without having been elected to either position. The event was hosted by the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • Jimmy Carter

    Jimmy CarterWith gas prices reaching upwards of $4.00 per gallon, Boston University history professor Bruce Schulman teaches a course about another energy crisis nearly forty years ago. Then, during the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter struggled with a substantial petroleum shortage amidst rising demand. Students learn about events leading up to President Carter's "malaise" speech and the mood of the country at the time.
  • Camp David Accords

    Camp DavidJody Powell, a Carter administration press secretary, on how the Camp David Accords were reached. Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, facilitated by President Carter, negotiated the accords during twelve days at Camp David. The agreement was signed on September 17, 1978, at the White House.
  • Iran hostages

    Iran HostagesOn January 20th, 1981, 52 U.S. hostages were released by Iran after 444 days in captivity. The ordeal began on November 4th, 1979, when a group of Iranian students took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in a show of support for the Iranian revolution. Now, 30 years later, the American Foreign Service Association hosted a panel discussion with former hostages to discuss their experiences. This event took place at the State Department
  • America in the 80s

    1980sA panel discussion was held on 1980s and its definition as a historical period. The decade defined by the presidency of Ronald Reagan became a critical moment for both the political right and left. Daniel Rodgers talked aobut the transformation of social ideas in the last quarter of the 20th century and why the '80s was a critical moment for both the left and the right. Doug Rossinow talked about how Ronald Reagan’s role as president has been presented in recent history. Kimberly Phillips-Fein
  • Reagan's Foreign Policy

    Foreign PolicyColin Dueck teaches history in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University. The author of two books on the evolution of American foreign policy strategy, he leads this week's class discussion on President Reagan's foreign policy.
  • Geraldine Ferraro

    FerraroDemocratic and Republican women senators paid tribute to former House member Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate. She was the running mate to Democrat Walter Mondale in 1984. She died March 26, 2011, of blood cancer. She was 75.
  • Tear Down This Wall

    Reagan's SpeechRomesh Ratnesar talked about his book Tear Down This Wall: A City, a President, and the Speech That Ended the Cold War (Simon & Schuster; November 3, 2009). He recalls President Ronald Reagan's speech in West Berlin on June 12, 1987, where he pronounced to a crowd of 20,000 people, "Mr. Gobrachev, tear down this Wall!" Mr. Ratnesar explores the genesis of the speech, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall two years after President Reagan's pronouncement, and the partnership between Reagan and Soviet
  • Reagan and Gorbachev

    Cold WarMore than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, a panel convened by the New York Historical Society reflects on the critical relationship between the two great superpower leaders -- Ronald Reagan of the United States and Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union
  • President Reagan

    ReaganA biographical vignette of President Ronald Reagan. Video and pictures of his life were shown from the time he was a child, an actor, his presidential administration, and his battle with Alzheimer's during his retirement
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    ADATo mark the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Senator Tom Harkin, a chief sponsor of the act, moderated a discussion on the history of the disability rights movement. Speakers included current and former members of Congress who were instrumental in passing the legislation, along with disability advocates
  • Women in the Senate

    Female SenatorsFemale senators participated in a breakfast discussion moderated by Ms. Cokie Roberts. Topics included the number of female senators, support among the women, being working mothers, and career tracks for female politicians. "Remember the Ladies: How the Women Are Changing the Senate" was a program in observance of Women's History Month held by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, in 325 Russell Senate Office Building.
  • 9/11

    9/11From the Organization of American Historian's annual conference, a panel of historians look back at the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks
  • Pentagon Attacked

    PentagonA private remembrance ceremony for the family members of those lost in the terrorist attack was held at the Pentagon Memorial to honor the memory of those killed there in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. This was a private remembrance for the family members of those lost in the terrorist attack and was not open to the general public. The remembrance included a wreath laying, moment of silence, and playing of America the Beautiful.
  • Pre and Post 9/11 CIA

    CIAFormer CIA officer John Kiriakou talked about his life in the Agency, both before and after 9/11. Mr. Kiriakou played a key role in the capture of Al Qaeda associate Abu Zubaydah and also aided U.S. officials with the planning of the Iraq War. He was interviewed by Frederick Hitz, former Inspector General of the CIA and current senior fellow at the University of Virginia's Center for National Security Law.
  • George W. Bush

    Bush PresidencyAcademics discussed their findings on all aspects of the George W. Bush presidency, and compared it to the Clinton and Obama administrations. Among the topics they talked about were Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 financial crisis, tax cuts, and the economy
  • President Obama

    ObamaDouglas Brinkley, Presidential Historian and professor at Rice University, talked by video uplink from Boston, Massachusetts about the current administration and compared it to past presidents and their administrations. He also responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.
  • Osama bin Laden

    OsamaMichael Scheuer, former head of the Bin Laden unit at the CIA, talks about Osama bin Ladenand his war against the U.S. ten years after 9/11. Mr. Scheuer spoke about his book at the Philadelphia Free Library.
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion

    Bay of PigsHistoric Universal Studios newsreel clips were shown of the aftermath of a failed 1961 invasion of Cuba by exiles who had attempted to overthrow leader Fidel Castro.
  • Death of Osama bin Laden

    bin LadenPresident Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden is dead. He said that a U.S. attack killed Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda members. In his remarks, the President said that last August the U.S. received a possible lead about the location of Bin Laden and that "today, a small team of Americans found Bin Laden and after an exchange of fire, killed him and took custody of his body." Obama also said that no Americans were harmed. He added that this is "the most significant achievement to date" toward t
  • Endeavor Launched

    EndeavourSpace Shuttle Endeavour begins its mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission is Endeavour's final scheduled flight. The original time for the launch was late last month. It was scrubbed due to an electrical problem aboard Endeavour, an issue associated with the Auxiliary Power Unit 1 heaters. NASA says repairs have fixed the problem. On its STS-134 mission, Endeavour will deliver a $1.5 billion astrophysics experiment to the Internation
  • War of 1812

    War of 1812American History TV presents an extra segment from a recent American Artifacts program. This 8 minute clip details how two members of St. John's Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square near the White House church saved the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Lansdowne paitning of George Washington during the 1814 burning of the U.S. Capitol.
  • Underground Railroad

    Underground Railroad The Detroit Historical Society hosted descendants of the Underground Railroad for an evening of conversation and commemoration. Panelists talk about their slave ancestors who traveled the Underground Railroad to freedom in Michigan, the symbolism of their journey, and what they encountered along the way.
  • President Kennedy

    KennedyA short vignette on the life and political achievements of President John F. Kennedy, including images of his early life and video from his time in office through to his assassination.
  • 1976 Election

    President CarterFormer President Jimmy Carter discusses his campaign strategy during the 1976 presidential election, the issues he campaigned on, and the reasons why he feels he won.