C-SPAN Videos

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).

  • Closing the Civil War Sesquicentennial series, historians Terry L. Beckenbaugh and Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth assess how the North prevailed and why the Civil War remains so compelling today.
    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    After four of the bloodiest years of warfare in its history, peace finally had come to the United States in May 1865. For two glorious days, Washington, D.C., residents watched as the mighty Union armies that had compelled the surrender of the Confederacy’s main forces marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in triumph. “The rebels,” Ulysses S. Grant proclaimed a few weeks earlier, “are our countrymen again.”

    Historians Terry L. Beckenbaugh and Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth close the Library’s Civil War Sesquicentennial series with a discussion of how the North prevailed and the South lay broken and defeated, what the four years of fighting left unresolved, and why the Civil War remains so compelling 150 years after the final shots were fired.

  • Parkville, Missouri, author Tom Rafiner discusses the long, dark, post-Civil War shadow cast by the 1863 edict known as “Order No. 11,” which mandated the evacuation of non-rural residents in three western Missouri counties. Healing in its aftermath took decades.
    Sunday, May 17, 2015

    By the time of Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the land and people of western Missouri had suffered as much as any during the Civil War. The 1863 edict known as “Order No. 11”—forcing the evacuation of all non-rural residents of three western counties including Jackson—and the Federal army that carried it out had depopulated those counties, devastated homes and farms, and left deep scars.

    Focusing on families and communities, Parkville, Missouri, author Tom Rafiner examines the scene that greeted returning residents after the Civil War on the Western Border ended. The “burnt district” took decades to heal, casting a long, dark shadow on postwar Missouri.

  • University of Kansas historian Theodore A. Wilson examines the impact of service in World War II on a succession of presidents – from Truman to George H.W. Bush – and what a lack of wartime experience might mean for 21st-century commanders-in-chief.
    Tuesday, May 5, 2015

    Among our “greatest generation” was a succession of U.S. presidents who were informed and defined by World War II. Harry Truman, who oversaw the end of the war, credited his combat experience in World War I for his success in the Oval Office. Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush all served in World War II.

    Theodore A. Wilson, emeritus professor of history at the University of Kansas, examines the impact of their experiences and the fact that, today, the connection between wartime service and the presidency is severed. If it is within the crucible of combat that great leaders are made, will 21st-century commanders-in-chief have the “right stuff?”

  • Launching a new series, War Stories: World War II Remembered, Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle interviews three of Kansas City’s most recognizable veterans of the six-year conflict: civic giants Henry Bloch, Edward T. Matheny Jr., and Bill Dunn Sr.
    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    For the Greatest Generation, memories of World War II replay as vividly as motion picture newsreels. Whether they parachuted into France or joined an assembly line, virtually every American—every Kansas Citian—went to war.

    Launching a new series, War Stories: World War II Remembered, Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle interviews three of the city’s most recognizable veterans of the six-year conflict. Civic giants Henry Bloch, Edward T. Matheny Jr., and Bill Dunn Sr. were barely out of their teens when they rallied to the cry of “Remember Pearl Harbor." Now, 70 years after the war's end, they share their personal stories and reflect on the leadership of President Harry S. Truman, their hometown commander-in-chief.

  • National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet unveils a reproduction of its latest addition, a 1945 portrait of Harry S. Truman purchased with support from the William T. Kemper Foundation. The gallery’s senior historian, David C. Ward, discusses portraiture’s value as both art and a window into history.
    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has a unique mission among U.S. museums: to reveal biography and history through the portraits of the men and women who have had a decisive impact on American society from the country’s origins to the present day. From grand manner-style oil paintings to the latest video installation, Senior Historian David C. Ward gives a virtual tour of the Portrait Gallery’s collection, discussing the ways portraiture works both as an artistic statement and as a visual portal into past times and lives.

    Additionally, National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet outlines plans for the museum as it approaches its 50th anniversary and announces the latest addition to the America’s Presidents exhibition: a portrait of Harry S. Truman purchased with support from the William T. Kemper Foundation. A reproduction of the portrait, which will hang permanently in the Truman Forum, will be unveiled as part of the evening’s program.

  • Award-winning author Ann Bausum tells a true story of a terrier that wandered onto an Army training field, befriending Pvt. James Robert Conroy and accompanying him into the trenches of World War I and onto the pages of history.  Appropriate for kindergartners and up.
    Friday, October 3, 2014

    Award-winning author Ann Bausum tells a true story of a terrier that wandered onto an Army training field, befriending Pvt. James Robert Conroy and accompanying him into the trenches of World War I and onto the pages of history. Appropriate for kindergartners and up.

  • 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

    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.

  • Historian Petra DeWitt examines the suspicions and hostilities faced by Missouri’s sizable German American population during World War I, including questions about loyalty and an effort to ban the German language in the state.
    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    Historian Petra DeWitt examines the suspicions and hostilities faced by Missouri’s sizable German American population during World War I, including questions about loyalty and an effort to ban the German language in the state.

  •  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.

  • The Library launches a series of programs commemorating the centennial of the start of World War I with military historian D.M. Giangreco’s look at 34-year-old Army National Guard Capt. Harry S. Truman.
    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    The Library launches a series of programs commemorating the centennial of the start of World War I with military historian D.M. Giangreco’s look at 34-year-old Army National Guard Capt. Harry S. Truman.