C-SPAN Videos

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

C-SPAN, the cable television network, has visited the Library to record events for Book TV and other series. Click the icon to go to the C-SPAN Video Library to watch these events (requires Adobe Flash Player).

  • Drawing from his book Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Harding’s Scandalous Legacy, historian Phillip G. Payne examines what is widely regarded as the most corrupt presidency in American history.
    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    If George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are the saints in America’s civil religion, then the 29th president, Warren G. Harding, is our sinner, consistently judged a failure and ranked dead last among his peers.

  • Author Carol Wallace examines the American heiresses who early in the last century traveled to England where they swapped their fortunes for titles by marrying into the nobility. Her book To Marry an English Lord was an inspiration for the hit PBS series Downton Abbey.
    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    From the Gilded Age until 1914, more than 100 American heiresses invaded Britannia and swapped dollars for titles. In this they were just like the fictional Cora Crawley, a wealthy American who through marriage became Countess of Grantham in the Downton Abbey television series.

    Author Carol Wallace discusses her book To Marry an English Lord, a tour through the vivid personalities, gossipy anecdotes, and grand houses of the period which inspired Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes to create the hit series.

  • Historian Lewis L. Gould argues that Kansas City Star publisher William Rockhill Nelson played a major role in the political fortunes of former President Theodore Roosevelt.
    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Theodore Roosevelt was one of the major figures in America’s Progressive movement in the early 20th century. But key to his influence was the support of Kansas City Star publisher William Rockhill Nelson. Historian Lewis L. Gould maintains that Nelson played a larger role in Roosevelt’s political fortunes than has been realized.

    Gould is visiting distinguished professor of history at Monmouth College. Among his books are Theodore Roosevelt, The William Howard Taft Presidency, and The Modern American Presidency.

  • Political scientist Carolyn N. Long examines the Warren Court decision that decided evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment could not be used in state criminal law prosecutions.
    Thursday, August 29, 2013

    When police in Ohio raided Dollree Mapp’s home looking for evidence in a bombing, all they found were some “lascivious books.” Mapp appealed her pornography conviction, leading the Supreme Court under Earl Warren to address not only the search-and-seizure question but also the “exclusionary rule” concerning the use of evidence not specified in a search warrant.

    Carolyn N. Long is associate professor of political science at Washington State University – Vancouver.

  • On the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, historian Tony R. Mullis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth examines the notorious massacre and the years of back-and-forth atrocities that led up to it.
    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    On the 150th anniversary of William Clarke Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Tony R. Mullis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, examines the notorious massacre and the years of back-and-forth atrocities by Confederate bushwackers and pro-Union Jayhawkers that led up to it.

    Mullis is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force and the author of Peacekeeping on the Plains: Army Operations in Bleeding Kansas.

  • Lawyer and author James P. Muehlberger digs into the 1869 killing of a bank cashier by the James brothers - long thought to be part of their first robbery - and finds it was actually an assassination attempt meant to avenge the death of Confederate guerrilla “Bloody Bill” Anderson.
    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    The 1869 killing of a bank cashier in Gallatin, Missouri, has long been considered the first in a long line of robberies by Jesse and Frank James. But in a discussion of his new book, lawyer and author James P. Muehlberger maintains that it wasn’t a robbery attempt at all. Rather, as documents that Muehlberger discovered show, it was a carefully planned execution meant to avenge the death of Confederate guerrilla leader “Bloody Bill” Anderson during the Civil War.

  • Historian Rachel St. John shows how the U.S.-Mexico border has gone from a line on a map to a clearly marked and heavily regulated divide between two nations.
    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Following the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the border between the two countries remained in flux, a flexible barrier that restricted the movement of some people, goods, and animals without impeding others. In a discussion of her new book, historian Rachel St. John shows how government officials, Native American raiders, ranchers, railroad builders, miners, investors, immigrants, and smugglers contributed to the rise of state power along the border and developed strategies to navigate the increasingly regulated landscape.

  • Seton Hall’s Williamjames Hull Hoffer examines the repercussions of the controversial 1896 Supreme Court decision that legitimized the segregation of Jim Crow America and ushered in a half-century of “separate but equal.”
    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    Homer Plessy—a man of seven-eighths Caucasian descent and one-eighth African descent who was nevertheless considered black under Louisiana law—boarded a train car reserved for whites and was promptly arrested. Hearing the appeal of his conviction, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896 upheld the Louisiana statute, thus ushering in a half-century of legally sanctioned segregation under the "separate but equal" doctrine.

    Williamjames Hull Hoffer examines that controversial decision and its repercussions in a discussion of his book about the landmark case. Hoffer is associate professor of history at Seton Hall University.

  • Rutgers University Distinguished Professor of Law Earl M. Maltz examines the controversial 1856 Supreme Court decision that found blacks were not citizens of the United States.
    Wednesday, June 26, 2013

    The slave Dred Scott claimed that his residence in a free state transformed him into a free man. When the Court decided otherwise, the ruling sent shock waves through the nation and helped lead to the Civil War.

    Earl M. Maltz discusses his book Dred Scott and the Politics of Slavery and argues that the case revealed a political climate that had grown so threatening to the South that overturning the Missouri Compromise was considered essential.

  • Historian Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy looks at the British leaders who lost the American colonies and finds not incompetence but able and even brilliant men undone by political complexities at home and the fervency of their American opponents.
    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    The loss of America was an unexpected defeat for the powerful British Empire. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders were to blame.

    But Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy argues in his book The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire that British troops were led ably and even brilliantly. The effort was undone by political complexities at home and the fervency of their American opponents.