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American Perspectives


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  • American University Commencement Address
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    American University Commencement Address

    President John F. Kennedy made the commencement speech at American University on June 10, 1963. This speech marked the start of detente with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The…

  • Senator Robert Byrd on the History of the Senate
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    Senate Leader Lecture - Robert Byrd

    Senator Byrd (D-WV) spoke about the history of the Senate and its role in American society. He specifically discussed the powers and responsibilities bestowed on senators by the Constitution,…

  • Writing the State of the Union Address
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    Writing the State of the Union Address

    Former presidential speechwriters talked about writing the State of the Union address. Topics included the process and various stages of writing the speech, number of drafts, Presidential…

  • The Bush Administration and September 11
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    The Bush Administration and September 11

    Former Defense Department Undersecretary Douglas Feith and former Bush administration officials Andrew Card, Michael Chertoff, and Ari Fleischer recounted their experiences in the events surrounding September 11,…

  • Civil Rights and the Presidency
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    Civil Rights and the Presidency

    Professors participated in a panel discussion on recent presidents and the civil rights movement, chaired by Professor Johns. Richard Pacelle focused on the Reagan administration and the Office of the Solicitor General.…

  • Congressional Celebration of Lincolns 200th Birthday
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    Congressional Celebration of Lincoln's 200th Birthday

    President Obama and congressional leaders gathered in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for a ceremony marking the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. in his remarks, President Obama said he felt…

  • Kennedy Assassination 40th Anniversary
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    Kennedy Assassination 40th Anniversary

    November 22, 2003, marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. The following oral history interviews provided by the 6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza were shown to…

  • emThe National Parks Americas Best Ideaem
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    The National Parks: America's Best Idea

    Ken Burns talked about next film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, which would premier on PBS in the fall of 2009. He discussed the people, ideas, circumstances, and events that led…

  • Ronald Walters on Civil Rights
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    Ronald Walters on Civil Rights

    Ronald Walters talked about the role of the Civil Rights Movement on the election of Barack Obama for president. He talked about the implications of voting in a presidential election, racial identity…

  • The Art of the Interview
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    The Art of the Interview

    Ken Auletta interviewed Barbara Walters and Steve Kroft about the art of television interviewing. Topics included how to get interviews, preparation, and establishing credibility and trust. They…

  • Dishonors Award Ceremony
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    Dishonors Award Ceremony

    The Media Research Center held its annual gala at the Grand Hyatt Washington to roast media they feel show liberal bias with “DisHonor Awards,” mock “acceptance” speeches, and video compilations. The 2009…

  • The Enduring Lincoln
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    The Enduring Lincoln

    “Lincoln in His Time and Ours: A Public Symposium” was held by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the American Studies Program and History Department of Columbia University to observe the…

  • AfricanAmerican Heroes
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    African-American Heroes

    Mr. Franklin talked about some African Americans who had had an influence on him.

  • Politics and the Press
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    Politics and the Press

    Leonard Downie, who was executive editor of the Washington Post for seventeen years, talked about the future of newspapers in an event called “Politics and Press: Navigating the Waters.” He…

  • The Conservative Movement and Civil Rights During the Reagan Years
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    The Conservative Movement and Civil Rights During the Reagan Years

    Civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry talked about the history of civil rights and changes in American views on race in light of the election of President Obama. Professor Berry served on the U.S. Commission on Civil…

  • Future of the Internet
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    Future of the Internet

    Evan Williams talked about Twitter, a free social networking and micro-blogging service that had an unexpected influence during the 2008 presidential election. He speculated on its future impact in…

  • Global Financial Crisis
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    Global Financial Crisis

    Jack Welch was interviewed by former Secretary Shalala and spoke about running large corporations, contemporary business practices, as well as the politics surrounding the current climate on Wall…

  • Abraham Lincoln Association Annual Banquet
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    Abraham Lincoln Association Annual Banquet

    President Obama spoke at the Abraham Lincoln Association’s 102nd annual birthday banquet on the occasion of President Lincoln’s 200th birthday. In his remarks he spoke about President…

  • Lincoln Memorial 200th Birthday Ceremony
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    Lincoln Memorial 200th Birthday Ceremony

    A ceremony “Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of President Abraham Lincoln” was held by the National Park Service and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission on the plaza…

  • Global Connectivity
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    Global Connectivity

    Jim Skinner talked about globalization and his company’s role in harnessing enhanced global connectivity to benefit business and humankind. This was a portion of the closing plenary session of the…

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