C-SPAN through the years...

  • 1979
  • March 19
    C‑SPAN begins cablecasting the U.S. House of Representatives live to 3.5 million households.
  • 1980
  • October 7
    C‑SPAN adds LIVE Viewer Call-ins to program schedule, providing viewers with direct access to public policy makers.
  • 1981
  • January 6
    C‑SPAN adds gavel-to-gavel coverage of congressional hearings to program schedule.
  • April 1
    C‑SPAN cablecasts daily, eight-hours-a-day.
  • 1982
  • February 1
    C‑SPAN cablecasts daily, 16-hours-a-day.
  • September 14
    C‑SPAN begins 24-hour-a-day programming.
  • 1983
  • July 1
    C‑SPAN begins occasional coverage of the Canadian House of Commons.
  • 1984
  • February 20
    C‑SPAN cablecasts an Iowa caucus live and uninterrupted for the first time.
  • July/August
    C‑SPAN cablecasts live, uninterrupted coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions for the first time.
  • 1985
  • November
    C‑SPAN cablecasts first live coverage of the Canadian House of Commons.
  • 1986
  • June 2
    C‑SPAN2 cablecasts live proceedings of the U.S. Senate during television test period.
  • July 29
    Senate votes in favor of permanent televised coverage of its proceedings.
  • 1987
  • January 5
    C‑SPAN2 begins 24-hour cablecasting.
  • July 27
  • September 15
    C‑SPAN Video Library beings digitally archiving network programming.
  • 1988
  • November 9
    USIA transmits C‑SPAN to 90 countries via World Net, the first global satellite television network.
  • November 22
    C‑SPAN inaugurates international coverage with Queen Elizabeth II's speech to the State opening of Parliament.
  • December 1
    C‑SPAN publishes 'America's Town Hall - What Links Frank Zappa, Ronald Reagan and Kay Cutcher,...and You?'
  • 1989
  • March 19
    C‑SPAN marks its 10th anniversary.
  • April
    C‑SPAN launches Booknotes. C‑SPAN's signature author-interview program runs for 16 years, until 2004.
  • September 5
    C‑SPAN launches Audio Networks, featuring BBC World Service. The Audio Networks are full time, permanent services.
  • November 21
    C‑SPAN begins regular coverage of the British House of Commons.
  • 1990
  • June 18
    C‑SPAN adds its 50 millionth household.
  • August 2
    C‑SPAN airs 1,124 hours of first-run comprehensive public affairs coverage of the Persian Gulf conflict.
  • 1991
  • January 10-12
    C‑SPAN2 Senate coverage of Persian Gulf - reaches 32.3 million subscribers.
  • February 19
    C‑SPAN begins televising close captioning live proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • June 2
    C‑SPAN2 marks its 5th anniversary.
  • October 11-16
    C‑SPAN covers 128 hours of hearings to nominate Judge Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • November 18
    C‑SPAN begins televising close captioning live proceedings of the U.S. Senate.
  • December 22
    C‑SPAN cablecasts exclusive interview with President George Bush at the White House.
  • 1992
  • January
    C‑SPAN offers more than 1200 hours of election coverage from January 1992 to November 1992.
  • 1993
  • January
    C‑SPAN wins the 8th Annual Golden Cable ACE award, the industry's highest annual honor, for its comprehensive coverage of the presidential election.
  • May
    C‑SPAN receives the 1992 Peabody Award for overall excellence by an institution.
  • November 1
    National launch of the C‑SPAN School Bus in Washington, D.C.
  • December
    C‑SPAN adds its 60 millionth household.
  • 1994
  • May 26
    C‑SPAN School Bus ends its first (1993-1994) tour.
  • June
    C‑SPAN and C‑SPAN2 launch on DirecTV.
  • August-October
    C‑SPAN covers re-enactments of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in seven Illinois towns.
  • 1995
  • January
    The three-hour Washington Journal (7 to 10 am ET) replaces the network's earlier call-in incarnations as the network's flagship viewer call-in program.
  • C‑SPAN won the 10th Annual Golden Cable ACE award, the industry's highest annual honor, for the C‑SPAN School Bus.
  • March
    C‑SPAN won the Golden Beacon Award for the C‑SPAN School Bus, as well as a second Beacon for its customer relations efforts using the Bus.
  • 1996
  • January 1
    National Launch of the second C‑SPAN School Bus in Washington, D.C.
  • May 18
    C‑SPAN2 launches About Books, a 5-hour weekend programming block devoted to books, authors, and the publishing industry.
  • June
    C‑SPAN receives award for programming by the National Education Association.
  • 1997
  • January
    C‑SPAN offers Live video web coverage of the House and Senate on the Internet.
  • May
    C‑SPAN Launches The Alexis de Tocqueville Tour, a nine-month series retracing the steps of the French aristocrat and author of Democracy in America.
  • June
    The C‑SPAN School Bus travels to Hawaii, marking the 50th state the Bus has visited since its launch in November of 1993.
  • September 15
    C‑SPAN Extra, the network's third television network, debuts with a focus on live coverage of public affairs events.
  • October 9
    C‑SPAN Radio 90, a 24-hour public affairs radio station serving the Washington-Baltimore market, goes on the air.
  • 1998
  • C‑SPAN publishes 'Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing, and the Power of Ideas.'
  • C‑SPAN publishes 'C‑SPAN'S Traveling Tocqueville's America'.
  • February
    C‑SPAN Radio begins airing the LBJ White House tapes of phone conversations President Johnson had from the Oval Office from Nov. '63 - Dec. '64
  • September 12
    Book TV on C‑SPAN2, the network's 48-hour programming block dedicated to nonfiction books, launches.
  • December 19
    C‑SPAN provides live coverage of House impeachment vote of President Clinton.
  • 1999
  • C‑SPAN publishes 'Gavel to Gavel: A C‑SPAN Guide to Congress'.
  • C‑SPAN publishes 'Booknotes: Life Stories'
  • January 31
    500th episode of Booknotes airs; guests are Peter Kan and Frances Fitzgerald featured in the book Reporting Vietnam.
  • January 7 - February 12
    C‑SPAN2 provides live coverage of Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton.
  • March
    Booknotes: Life Stories, the second collection of essays from the Sunday night Booknotes interview program, is published by Times Books.
  • March 19
    C‑SPAN marks 20th Anniversary.
  • March - December
    C‑SPAN'S Peabody-Award winning television series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
  • September
    C‑SPAN'S American Presidents: Life Portraits exhibit includes portraits of all U.S. Presidents by artist Chas Fagan opens its nationwide tour at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
  • 2000
  • C‑SPAN publishes 'Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?'
  • February 6
    C‑SPAN2 Book TV launches the signature author interview program, In Depth from 12 noon - 3 p.m. ET Live with historian John Lukacs discussing his life and career and taking viewer calls.
  • March - November
    C‑SPAN provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Democrat and Republican National Conventions, as well as presidential and vice-presidential debates, campaign speeches and other national and local campaign events.
  • November - January
    C‑SPAN Election 2000 coverage of Florida Recount and ensuing Supreme Court decision.
  • December
    The U.S. Supreme Court grans the same-day release of oral arguments in Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board as a result of C‑SPAN's request to televise the proceedings, marking a court first.
  • 2001
  • C‑SPAN publishes 'Booknotes: Stories from American History'.
  • January 20
    'Washington Journal' goes from two hours to three hours on Saturday and Sunday.
  • January 22
    C‑SPAN3 is launched as a national digital cable network, offering live coverage of national events on weekdays and long-form history programming overnights and weekends.
  • February
    C‑SPAN adds its 80 millionth household.
  • March 19 - September 10
    C‑SPAN launches the history series, American Writers: A Journey Through History, a look at the lives and works of selected authors who have chronicled, reflected upon, or influenced the course of our nation. Featured authors include: William Bradford, Thomas Paine
  • September 11
    C‑SPAN brings in New York City and Washington D.C. local news feeds of the attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon as well as international news from around the world. C‑SPAN offers multiple hours of open phones segments for viewer reaction.
  • November 7
    Booknotes: Stories From American History, the third book related to the Booknotes series, is published by PublicAffairs.
  • November 12
    C‑SPAN Radio reaches national audience with the advent of satellite radio.
  • December
    C‑SPAN airs the first of over 50 Enron bankruptcy-related congressional hearings, many of which aired live on C‑SPAN3.
  • 2002
  • March
    The C‑SPAN in the Classroom American Writers Web Site receives a 2002 Beacon Award.
  • March 31 - July 7
    C‑SPAN launches the history series, American Writers II: The 20th Century, a live two-hour program from a history site exploring a writer's significance in the twentieth century. Featured authors include: Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, H.L. Mencken, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Ayn Rand, Ernie Pyle, Jack Kerouac and James Baldwin.
  • August 15
    C‑SPAN airs the first of over 100 Senate, House and Gubernatorial debates for the 2002 midterm election.
  • October 9
    C‑SPAN Radio marks its 5th anniversary.
  • 2003
  • April - May
    C‑SPAN and Comcast present Students and Leaders - and educational experience for students at 40 DC-area schools during which national journalists and leaders discussed leadership and their commitment to public ervice.
  • May
    C‑SPAN's Students and Leaders launches in Washington, D.C. Education program brings local leaders to high school classrooms to discuss leadership and public service, and airs to a national audience on the C‑SPAN networks. Subsequent Students and Leaders held in New York City, Los Angeles and Sand Diego.
  • September 12
    Book TV celebrates its fifth anniversary.
  • 2004
  • C‑SPAN publishes 'Booknotes: On American Character'
  • March
    C‑SPAN celebrates 25th anniversary. Among the anniversary celebrations were a dinner for all 1,000 former and current C‑SPAN staff; a viewer essay contest with 25 price winners, a dinner for all current and former C‑SPAN directors, and a multi-media ad campaign.
  • August
    Debut of C‑SPAN's Campaign Cam student video documentary contest, coinciding with the presidential election. With more than 700 entries in the first year, annual StudentCam competitions are introduced in 2006.
  • December
    801st and final Booknotes program airs on C‑SPAN, concluding a 15-year run. Launch of weekly Sunday night interview series, Q&A, on C‑SPAN.
  • 2005
  • January
    Book TV on C‑SPAN2 premiers After Words; program pairs new, nonfiction authors with guest hosts who have a connection to the book's content. 52 hours of original AfterWords programming is produced each year.
  • September
    Book TV Bus unveiled at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. before embarking on first nationwide tour of libraries, book festivals and bookstores.
  • C‑SPAN Classroom debuts new Web site for middle and high school teachers at http://www.c-spanclassroom.org/; includes free video content and resources tied to state teaching standards.
  • October
    C‑SPAN marks 25th anniversary of view call-in program with 25-hour marathon program and viewer essay contest.
  • 2006
  • March
    C‑SPAN debuts The Communicators, a weekly half-hour interview with people who shape telecommunications policy.
  • May
    C‑SPAN presents The Capitol, a 3-part, 9 hour, rare look at the art, history and architecture of the U.S. Capitol building. Complementing the series premier is The Capitol Oral History Project on C‑SPAN Radio, and an extensive web site at http://www.the-capitol.org/.
  • 2007
  • January
    New Campaign 2008 Bus kicks-ff 'Road to the White House' tour from Des Moines, Iowa.
  • March
    C‑SPAN introduces new copyright policy and expanded Capitol Hearings website making video of Congressional hearings, White House and other Federal events more widely available to the Online community.
  • C‑SPAN wins Beacon Award for 'The Capitol,' the network's first series recorded in high-definition.
  • August
    C‑SPAN unveils the 'C‑SPAN Video Library', a website that serves as a 'frontend' to the C‑SPAN Archives in West Lafayette, IN. The website provides streaming video, along with tools for searching the archives. In 2008, an embeddable player is added to the site.
  • 2008
  • C‑SPAN publishes 'Abraham Lincoln - Great American Historians On Our Sixteenth President'
  • January - November
    C‑SPAN expands its Campaign 2008 television coverage to include Convention Hub and Debate Hub; interactive web sites tracking the conventions and debates through blogs, Twitter, and video. Total C‑SPAN Campaign 2008 programming: 4190 hours.
  • July 17
    First C‑SPAN interview on Skype. On Washington Journal from Netroots Nation in Austin, TX, via the Campaign 2008 Bus: http://www.c-span.org/video/?206197-6/open-phones&start=1080
  • December
    C‑SPAN premieres White House Week: seven days and 15 hours of programming focused on the White House, including the feature-length documentary The White House: Inside America's Most Famous Home. The most extensive portrait of the White House on video is also available in HD.
  • 2009
  • January
    C‑SPAN debuts the C‑SPAN Civics Bus at Barack Obama's inauguration in Washington, D.C. With 1.7 million people attending Barack Obama's inauguration in Washington, D.C., C‑SPAN staff sleep on cots to cover the seventh presidential inauguration since our founding.
  • March 5
    'Washington Journal' first solicits audience questions and comments via Twitter.
  • March 10
    The 75 winners in the fifth annual StudentCam national video documentary competition are announced. Middle school and high school students submitted short documentaries focused on the topic: 'A message to the new president: what is the most urgent issue for the new president to address after taking office, and why?'
  • March 18
    A new survey finds that 20% of cable TV households, an estimated 39 million Americans, watch C‑SPAN regularly -- at least once or twice a week. The survey also illustrates an audience that is politically active, nearly equally liberal and conservative, and geographically diverse. Ninety percent of viewers say they voted in 2008.
  • April
    C‑SPAN's DebateHub -- a special interactive social-media focused website from the 2008 presidential election debates -- is nominated for a Webby Award for best politics website.
  • April 27
    President Obama congratulates the StudentCam Grand Prize winner with a videotaped message shown on Washington Journal.
  • May 22
    C‑SPAN interviews President Obama in the White House library, discussing, among other topics, health care, economics, and Supreme Court vacancy.
  • August
    During August congressional recess, C‑SPAN provides extensive coverage congressional townhall meetings focusing on health care reform policy changes and legislation.
  • C‑SPAN's ConventionHub -- a special interactive social-media focused website from the 2008 national political party conventions -- wins award from the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing.
  • October
    C‑SPAN debuts 'Supreme Court Week' with an 80-minute original feature documentary on the Supreme Court, described mostly through the commentary of the Justices who serve there, plus exclusive one-on-one interviews with nine current and retired Justices in their entirety-- the first time so many Justices have granted interviews for a television production.
  • December 8
    C‑SPAN Radio launches iPhone application.
  • 2010
  • C‑SPAN publishes 'The Supreme Court.'
  • March 17
    C‑SPAN's Online Video Library Now Open to the Public; Over 160,000 Hours of Searchable Digital Video.
  • June 8
  • June 22
  • June 28
    All three C‑SPAN channels deliver HD simultaneously for the first time.
  • July 22
    Frankfort Plant Board becomes first cable affiliate to switch on C‑SPAN and C‑SPAN 2 HD. http://series.c-span.org/pdf/C‑SPAN in 100 million homes.pdf
  • September 16
    C‑SPAN's Video Library wins Association of Cable Communicators 'Golden Beacon' Award.
  • October 20
  • November
    C‑SPAN's Local Content Vehicles complete their Campaign 2010 coverage. During the mid-term elections, the two LCV's covered 35 key House races in 18 states- with LCV staff interviewing candidates, local experts and reporters. The LCV's, both Ford Transit Connects, traveled a combined 21,000 miles from August through November 2010, getting 15 car washes and seven oil changes - with zero trips to the repair shop.
  • November 2
    C‑SPAN goes live at 7pm ET with Election Night coverage. During the mid-term elections, C‑SPAN showed 140 total primary & general election debates (58 Senate, 37 House, 45 governor).
  • November 9
    C‑SPAN sends a letter to incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) requesting that the House allow floor proceedings to also be covered by C‑SPAN cameras.
  • November 29
    Former President Jimmy Carter is interviewed on 'After Words' by historian Doug Brinkley. The weekly 'After Words' program debuted on BookTV on C‑SPAN2 in January 2005 (260 programs having been produced since).
  • 2011
  • January 5
    'Washington Journal' broadcasts for the first time in HD, remotely from the Canon House Office Building on the first day of the 112th Congress.
  • C‑SPAN provides live video feed from the House floor on its Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/CSPAN on the first day of the 112th Congress.
  • January 6
    C‑SPAN Launches American History TV.
  • February 4
    C‑SPAN reaction to Speaker Boehner's letter denying camera request.
  • February 27
    During Academy Awards telecast, a clip from C‑SPAN3 is shown during presentation for Best Documentary Oscar. The award went to 'Inside Job,' which used licensed C‑SPAN video.
  • February/March
    C‑SPAN broadcasts Al Jazeera coverage of events in the Middle East.
  • March 31
    The C‑SPAN Video Library wins Peabody Award 'for its contribution to history, scholarship and public life'. http://www.peabodyawards.com/award-profile/c-span-video-library
  • April 8
    C‑SPAN2 adds real-time tweets from Members of Congress during quorum calls.
  • May 6
    In under a week, C‑SPAN's YouTube video of President Obama's remarks at the White House Correspondents Association annual dinner became the most-viewed Obama YouTube video.
  • May 9
    C‑SPAN Launches 2011 'LCV Cities Tour': Eight featured southeastern cities; cable affiliates partner with C‑SPAN for week-long stops.
  • May 13
    Foursquare Users Now Can Earn a Political Badge, the C‑SPAN Badge | Press Release
  • June 2
    C‑SPAN marks 25 years of live coverage of U.S. Senate floor on C‑SPAN2. On June 2, 1986, C‑SPAN2 launched in 6.7 million households. Today, C‑SPAN2 can be seen in over 89 million households. More information: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/blog/?p=834.
  • September 9
    C‑SPAN begins 14-part live on-site history series, “The Contenders” Press Release.
  • September 13
    “Washington Journal” begins broadcasting in HD Twitter.
  • September 21
    Dedication ceremony for C‑SPAN’s Booknotes collection and archives at George Mason University libraries. News Article
  • November 15
    'C‑SPAN letter to Chief Justice Roberts on TV camera coverage of health care case' Press Release
  • 2012
  • March 16
    Justice Roberts' response to C‑SPAN | Letter
  • March 19
    C‑SPAN Board Announces Executive Leadership Transition - Effective April 1, 2012: Rob Kennedy & Susan Swain Named Co-CEO’s | Letter
  • March 26-28
    C‑SPAN airs three days of Supreme Court same day auto on oral arguments for and against the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. | Visit
  • May 9
  • August 23
    C‑SPAN Convention Hub launched to augment gavel-to-gavel coverage with digital/video/social media augience engagement. http://mashable.com/2012/08/23/cspan-convention-hub/
  • 2013
  • January 18
    In a first-of-its-kind project for television, C‑SPAN teams up with the White House Historical Association for a new, two-season original series: “First Ladies: Influence and Image,” examining the private lives of the first ladies and their years in the White House. | Press Release
  • March 6-7
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) enters the record books with the ninth-longest Senate filibuster in modern era, coming in at 12 hours and 52 minutes. Of the top ten longest filibusters in the modern era, Sen. Paul’s of the nomination of CIA director candidate John Brennan is the third longest since C‑SPAN2 launched in 1986. The longest in the C‑SPAN era: Sen. Al D’Amato (R-NY), 23 hours, 30 minutes on October 16-17, 1986, filibustering a military spending bill, followed by Senator D’Amato on October 5-6 1992 for 15 hours, 14 minutes, filibustering a tax bill. In December 10, 2010, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) clocked in at 8 hours, 37 minutes, filibustering tax legislation. Full C‑SPAN video
  • May 30
    C‑SPAN's 'Washington Journal' program tapes from the DC newsroom of Yahoo! News- the first time the show goes remote to a non-print publication.
  • June 10
    C‑SPAN Video Library reaches 200,000 hours of programming, making it the largest accessible political collection in the world.
  • June 19
    Lee Lawrence, correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, is the first guest to join Washington Journal from C‑SPAN's new studio in New York City.
  • September 20
    BookTV broadcasts from inside the Bus at the 2013 National Book Festival, the first time the Bus has been used for programming since being refurbished.
  • September 27
    #cspanchat trends nationwide on Twitter for the first time during debate over a possible government shutdown. Earlier in the week, #cspan trended in Washington, DC during Ted Cruz's 21 hour speech, which was the fourth longest in Senate history and was shown in its entirety on C‑SPAN2. | PHOTO: Journalist watches Sen. Ted Cruz on C‑SPAN during his speech
  • October 8
    Cox Communications President Pat Esser is elected to chair the C‑SPAN Executive Committee.
  • 2014
  • March 14
    C‑SPAN releases music collection: 'In the Key of C‑SPAN'
  • August 27
  • September 2
    C‑SPAN launches robust TVEverywhere offering - in partnership with affiliates - providing the live streams of the three C‑SPAN TV networks to cable and satellite customers on any device, anywhere, at any time.
  • September 16
  • November 4
    By the mid-term Election Day, C‑SPAN aired 132 Senate, House, and governor debates.
  • 2015
  • April 19
    C‑SPAN publishes “First Ladies” book – a look inside the personal life of every first lady in American history, based on original interviews with major historians.
  • August 4
    C‑SPAN partners with New Hampshire Union Leader and regional newspapers in early primary and caucus states on Voters First forum, with 14 Republican presidential candidates participating
  • September 10
    C‑SPAN Announces New Special History Series: “Landmark Cases: Historic Supreme Court Decisions” Debuts Oct. 5
  • October 7
    National Press Club Marks 35th Anniversary of C‑SPAN First National Call-in Show -- press release and video.
  • 2016
  • April 6
  • June 2
  • June 22-23
    C‑SPAN covers Democrats' 25 hour sit-in in House Chamber using video shot by members of Congress and posted to social media sites Facebook and Periscope, unleashing a deluge of social and traditional media coverage