Friday, June 18, 2021


JUNE 19-25, 2021



C-SPAN3's American History TV — All Weekend. Every Weekend.



Explore Our Nation's Past
Discover the people and events that document the American story.


Early Atlantic Exploration on Lectures in History®

Watch it: 8 pm and midnight ET Saturday


Watch a preview.


Northeastern University professor William Fowler teaches a class about early Atlantic exploration, Christopher Columbus, and the discovery of the Caribbean and the Americas by Europeans. He describes the oceanic ventures of the Vikings, Portuguese and Spanish, as well as the navigation assumptions of the period. 



“Here (in a painting), you see the Santa Maria and, in the misty background, the Nina and the Pinta. This is a very romantic view, obviously, of the departure of Christopher Columbus. Whether it was as ceremonial as this, who knows — it might have been just ‘Get on board and get out.’ But this indicates some great ceremony at which this admiral of the ocean sea with his three vessels is bound for the Indies.”




“Who's Out There?” (1975) on Reel America®

Watch it: 10 pm ET Saturday and 4 pm ET Sunday


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Hosted by film and theater director Orson Welles, "Who's Out There?" is a 1975 NASA film. It begins with the story of Welles' famous 1938 radio adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel "The War of the Worlds," a broadcast that panicked many listeners who thought that Martians were invading the United States. The documentary then uses scientists, including Carl Sagan, to explore the possibility of extraterrestrial life and communication with intelligent civilizations in the universe. 


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French & German World War I Soldiers
on American Artifacts

Watch it: 6 pm and 10 pm ET Sunday

Most years, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, hosts a living history event featuring several hundred reenactors from all eras of American history. We visited a mock World War I trench in 2018 to hear from two U.S. Army veterans portraying French soldiers, then talked with reenactors interpreting German soldiers. We also went underground to see a reconstructed German bunker. 


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First Ladies & White House Preservation
on The Presidency

Watch it: 8 pm and midnight ET Sunday 

Over the last few weeks, American History TV has featured discussions on first ladies from a symposium co-hosted by the White House Historical Association and American University's First Ladies Initiative. In this panel, we hear how Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson and Pat Nixon worked to preserve the historic nature of the White House — and how that work reflected Cold War politics, a focus on American art and the needs of the disabled. 


📚 WHAT'S NEW ON BOOKNOTES+Dan Glickman, author of Laughing at Myself, joins Brian Lamb to talk about his long political career, political relationships in Washington, D.C., the entertainment industry and the importance of humor in his life. Mr. Glickman (D-KS) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and was chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America. Click here to listen or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


American History TV in Prime Time

Join American History TV in prime time next week. Tune in each night starting at 8 pm ET.

Monday — Free Speech
The National Archives hosts Jonathan Zimmerman and Signe Wilkinson to talk about their book Free Speech: And Why You Should Give a Damn. The book explores the history and controversies over free speech through political cartoons. 

Tuesday — John F. Kennedy
Go to Germany: A Nation Welcomes President John F. Kennedy is a colorful, hour-long West German documentary from the Cold War era that covers President Kennedy's June 1963 visit to several cities, culminating in the historic "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech near the Berlin wall. The film was produced by Deutsche — formerly a state-run news service — and is shown courtesy of the German Federal Archives, whose collections include newsreels of the German Federal Republic from 1945 to the 1970s.

Wednesday Ronald Reagan
In May 1985, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chris Wallace interviewed President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan at Camp David for a planned special report. White House Television also recorded this session, capturing their informal interactions. The Reagans talk about their marriage, Nancy Reagan's influence on her husband's politics and policies, and their joint decision to get into politics. This is courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Thursday First Ladies Symposium
The White House Historical Association and American University's First Ladies Initiative recently co-hosted a symposium on first ladies. On this night, we'll show some of the sessions from that gathering, starting with a conversation focusing on changing ideas about gender, and how first ladies exercised power even before women had the vote. We hear, in particular, about Martha Washington's management of her slaves, Abigail Adams' political interests and the messages that first lady portraits conveyed long before photographs and television. The program begins with introductory remarks, including an appearance by first lady Jill Biden. 
Friday — First Ladies Symposium
We'll re-air our weekend program on Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson and Pat Nixon's work to preserve the history of the White House.




About American History TV

Every weekend, American History TV features people and events that document the American story. Hear from eyewitnesses to history. Come along with our cameras to museums and historic sites. Watch archival speeches from former presidents and other national leaders. We'll take you to the classrooms of leading history professors and to lectures and symposiums featuring prominent historians.


Listen on the go: Download our free app to listen to C-SPAN Radio and C-SPAN podcasts — including American History TV's Lectures in History — anywhere, anytime.