C-SPAN Videos

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  • Former State Department and CIA intelligence analyst Mark Stout discusses the birth of modern American espionage during World War I, from aerial reconnaissance and battlefield code-breaking to the search for spies and saboteurs back home in the States.
    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    The vast U.S. intelligence operations of today have their roots in World War I, when the Army flew aerial photography missions and cracked German codes and the State Department carried out its own daring espionage missions. Back home, the military and Justice Department worked to secure the nation against spies and saboteurs – real and imaginary.

    Mark Stout, who worked for 13 years as an intelligence analyst with the State Department and CIA, examines this little-known period in American history and its lasting impact.

    Stout currently is director of Johns Hopkins University’s Global Security master’s program. He spent three years as historian at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

  •  In a discussion of his book, The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford, historian John Robert Greene examines Ford’s struggle to restore the prestige of the office amid a host of challenges – starting with the lingering distaste of Richard Nixon’s resignation.
    Thursday, August 7, 2014

    Thrust into the nation’s highest office following Richard Nixon’s resignation, Gerald R. Ford faced the impossible task of achieving much in little time and in the face of great adversity.

    Historian John Robert Greene examines the 38th president’s struggle to restore the prestige of the office — after Nixon’s misdeeds, during an ignominious departure from Vietnam, and amid Congress’ intentions to scale back presidential power — in a discussion of his book, The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford.

  • Celebrate what would have been the 102nd birthday of Nobel Prize-winner Milton Friedman as Mark Skousen relates stories from his long friendship with his fellow economist and libertarian icon.
    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    Celebrate what would have been the 102nd birthday of Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman as Mark Skousen relates stories from his long friendship with the economist and libertarian icon.

    Friedman was the intellectual architect of the free market reforms of the post-World War II era who today is recognized as the father of the Chicago school of economics and libertarian philosophy. His book, Capitalism and Freedom, has sold well over half a million copies in English and been translated into 18 languages.

    Skousen, a former CIA economist, has taught at Columbia Business School, Barnard College, and Columbia University and written for Forbes magazine. He is editor in chief of the Forecasts & Strategies newsletter.

  • Thomas W. Devine discusses his book about the presidential candidate who was ahead of his time on many issues – including civil rights and universal government health insurance – but was branded a Communist dupe.
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    Progressive Henry Wallace ran for president in 1948 on a platform that advocated an end to the Cold War (he thought domestic fascism was more dangerous than any threat from the USSR), a stop to racial segregation, full voting rights for blacks, and universal government health insurance. On many issues, he was decades ahead of his time.

    Yet Wallace could not shake his label as a Communist dupe. As Thomas W. Devine points out in a discussion of his book — winner of the Harry S. Truman Book Award — this was an issue that would trouble progressive and liberal politicians for decades to come.

  • Fifty years to the day after Barry Goldwater accepted the Republican nomination for president, environmental historian Brian Drake examines the seeming contradictions that led this icon of anti-government conservatism to embrace a lifelong commitment to environmental protection.
    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Half a century after Barry Goldwater ran for president as the 1964 Republican candidate, the late five-term U.S. Senator from Arizona remains an icon of American conservatism – and emblematic of the right’s deep mistrust of activist government and liberal-leaning reform movements.

    But “Mr. Conservative” also had a lifelong interest in and commitment to environmental protection.

    Fifty years to the day that Goldwater accepted his party’s presidential nomination, environmental historian Brian Allen Drake discusses Goldwater’s latent green streak and how it influenced all aspects of his life. Drake’s presentation recalls a time when environmental issues could cross partisan borders and attract the seemingly unlikeliest of champions, and suggests that today's deep political divisions need not be impassable ones.

  • World War II veteran Dick Cole joins Park University professor Dennis Okerstrom for a discussion of the 1st Air Commando Group, a forerunner to modern special operations units. Cole was a member of the team.
    Monday, June 9, 2014

    World War II veteran Dick Cole, 98, joins Park University professor Dennis Okerstrom for a discussion of the 1st Air Commando Group, a forerunner to modern special operations units such as SEAL Team Six and Delta Force.

    Cole and Okerstrom will discuss the first air commando raid as well as Cole’s other World War II experiences, including serving as Jimmy Doolittle co-pilot during the Tokyo Raid.

    The 1st Air Commando Group, whose ranks included former child actor Jackie Coogan, grew out of a top-secret project to invade Japanese-occupied Burma by glider.

    Okerstrom is the author of Project 9: The Birth of the Air Commandos in World War II.

  • The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s Louis DiMarco explains how the Battle of Yellow Tavern in May 1864 changed the role of cavalry in the Civil War from one of reconnaissance to active participation in battle.
    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    For most of the Civil War, the role of cavalry was limited to reconnaissance and screening infantry movements. But at the Battle of Yellow Tavern (Virginia) on May 11, 1864, a mounted federal force defeated the legendary rebel cavalry of J.E.B. Stuart, who was mortally wounded and died a day later. The North realized that cavalry could be an essential offensive tool.

    Observing the 150th anniversary of the battle, Louis DiMarco of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth examines the role of mounted combat in the Civil War.

  • Seventy-five years ago, on April 30, 1939, amid the billowing clouds of lingering economic depression and imminent war, the New York World’s Fair heralded “The Dawn of a New Day.” Historian Robert Rydell discusses that landmark event.
    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

    Seventy-five years ago, on April 30, 1939, amidst the billowing clouds of lingering economic depression and imminent war, the New York World’s Fair, with its sleek modernist designs, heralded “The Dawn of a New Day” and promised a better “World of Tomorrow.”

    Why, with the American economy still in the doldrums and the rest of the world seemingly hell-bent on going to war, did millions of Americans flock to, of all things, a world’s fair?

    Robert Rydell, professor of history at Montana State University and a leading scholar on the history of world’s fairs, explains why it is important to remember the New York World’s Fair, most especially for understanding how it shaped our world of today.

  • Before and after it made military history, becoming the first submarine to sink an enemy warship, the Confederate-flagged H.L. Hunley was beset by tragedy. Historian James L. Speicher tells her story.
    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    What was termed the last Confederate funeral took place exactly 10 years ago — the burial of eight crew members of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley. The 25-foot underwater craft was raised from the sea floor outside Charleston, South Carolina, a little more than 136 years after becoming the first sub to sink an enemy warship and then mysteriously going down itself.

    The Hunley had exacted a heavy toll before that, seeing 13 crew members perish during training exercises and acquiring the nickname the Peripatetic Coffin.

    Historian James L. Speicher, formerly a military science professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, recounts the alternately fascinating and tragic stories of the historic vessel and the lost souls who served her.

  • Historian Jerome Greene explores the 1890 massacre of Sioux Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the complex events preceding the tragedy, and its troubled legacy.
    Sunday, April 6, 2014

    On a cold day in December 1890, near a creek called Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry opened fire on an encampment of Sioux Indians. The ensuing massacre claimed more than 250 lives, including many Native women and children.

    In a discussion of his new book, Jerome Greene, a retired research historian for the National Park Service, explores the complex events preceding the tragedy, the killings, their troubled legacy, and the episode’s connection to the Kansas City region.