Friday, May 3, 2024

On C-SPAN2: dot-dot-dot dash: Lincoln & the Telegraph



American History TV — Saturdays on C-SPAN2

May 4, 2024 

See Full Schedule

All Times EDT


American History TV: Notes from Our Nation's Past



Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”

Watch: 5:30 pm 


Watch a Preview


The historical legacy of jazz singer Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit," her lament about the lynching of African Americans, is considered in a conversation that includes the composer's son. In the program, Paul Alexander, author of "Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday's Last Year," states that despite efforts beginning in the 1930s, it has taken nearly a century for federal anti-lynching legislation to become law. The 2022-enacted Emmett Till Antilynching Act defines lynching as a federal hate crime.

Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York hosted this event.




Reconsidering Woodrow Wilson's Legacy

The Presidency

Watch: 9:30 am/pm


Watch a Preview


Atlantic staff writer David Frum — speaking from Woodrow Wilson's Washington, D.C., home — reconsiders the 28th president's legacy, including his efforts to persuade the United States to join the League of Nations and how he responded to the segregated federal government of his time. Frum makes the case that in 1948, and again in 1962, surveys of American historians rated Wilson fourth among American presidents, with the top spots going to Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.



NATO 1949 Founding 75th Anniversary

Watch: 9 am/pm & 1:03 pm



Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks in Brussels, Belgium, at a reception celebrating the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He is joined by U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. They honor NATO’s legacy and pay tribute to 64th Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and President Harry Truman for their contributions to the military alliance. NATO was established on April 4, 1949, amid the aftermath of World War II.



Tom Wheeler, “Mr. Lincoln's T‑Mails”

The Civil War

Watch: 2 pm



Author Tom Wheeler talks about how Abraham Lincoln used the new technology of the telegraph to communicate directly with his Union generals, helping to win the Civil War. In his book, "Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War," he highlights the 16th president's folksy writing style used in his wartime communiques. In 1816, English inventor Francis Ronalds built the first working electric telegraph based on electrostatic means.

The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg hosted this event.



Congress Investigates


This weekly series looks at historic congressional investigations that led to changes in policy and law.


Watch a Preview


1975 U.S. Intelligence Activities Hearings
(ep. 7)


Watch: 7 pm


In 1975, a Senate committee led by Sen. Frank Church (D-ID) examined alleged abuses within the U.S. intelligence community.





Coming up Sunday on C‑SPAN 



Q&A: Patrick Kennedy, “Profiles in Mental Health Courage”

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) talks about Americans who have struggled with mental illness and the stigma and silence that he says still surrounds it. He shares the stories of the people profiled in his book, "Profiles in Mental Health Courage," including himself and members of his own family.       

Tune in at 8 pm & 11 pm or enjoy Q&A as a podcast.




C-SPAN’s The WeeklyThe Senate Prays … for O.J. Simpson

“How are the mighty fallen. Eternal God, as David joined the nation, Israel, in mourning the fall of King Saul, so our Nation has been traumatized by the fall of a great hero.”
~Said by chaplain Richard Halverson opening the Senate in prayer on June 23, 1994. The passage he was citing: 2 Samuel 1:25.
And who was the great hero he compared to King Saul? Well, that was O.J. Simpson.

The recent death of O.J. Simpson reminds us of one of the most controversial episodes involving a prayer opening a session of Congress — and its aftermath.

In this week's episode of C‑SPAN’s The Weekly, you’ll hear the full Senate prayer for O.J. Simpson following his arrest — plus, the rare rebuke by a U.S. senator. And then, you’ll hear the surprise twist that happened next.
Listen to C‑SPAN’s The Weekly.




About American History TV

Explore our nation's past and discover the people and events that document the American story — Saturdays on C-SPAN2. Come along with American History TV to museums and historic sites. Watch archival speeches from former presidents and other national leaders. Visit classrooms, lectures and symposiums featuring professors and historians. 

Every Saturday on C-SPAN2 starting at 8 am ET
or online anytime at


Copyright © 2024 C-SPAN, All rights reserved.