All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

American Artifacts: National Building Museum & Inaugural Balls

President McKinley's Inaugural Ball in the Pension Building

President McKinley's Inaugural Ball in the Pension Building

Washington, DC
Saturday, January 19, 2013

The first Inaugural Ball held in the National Building Museum was Grover Cleveland’s in 1885, when it was known as the Pension Building and was still under construction.  Composed of over 15 million red bricks, the Pension Building contains a Great Hall that is 316 feet long and 159 feet high. American History TV visited to learn about the 19th century Inaugural tradition that continues in the 21st century, including President Obama's Commander-in-Chief Ball held there in January of 2009.

Updated: Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 11:01pm (ET)

Related Events

American Artifacts: Treasury Building Restoration
Sunday, April 17, 2011     

Treasury Department Curator Richard Cote takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Cash Room, the Salmon Chase Suite, and the President Andrew Johnson Suite. Each of these rooms has recently been restored as part of an ongoing renovation effort funded by the Treasury Historical Association. This is the first half of a two part program.

American Artifacts: U.S. Department of Treasury Building Part 2
Sunday, May 15, 2011     

Curator Richard Cote leads us on a tour of the Treasury building to learn about a long-term restoration project begun in 1986. In the second half of a two-part program, we see Secretary Timothy Geithner's office, a suite of rooms that has served Treasury Secretaries since 1910. We also learn about the restoration of the ornate West Dome and the gold gilding that had once been painted over and forgotten.

The Presidency: Ronald Reagan's Legacy
Sunday     

Former President Ronald Reagan died at 93 in June 2004. To commemorate the 10th anniversary, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library hosted a discussion about the 40th president’s legacy. Panelists included Reagan biographer Lou Cannon and Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan.   

Reel America: "Oil Across Arabia" - 1950
Sunday     

This Bechtel Corporation film documents the 1947 to 1950 development of a Saudi Arabian oil pipeline constructed by American companies in cooperation with Saudi Arabia.  The 1,000 mile pipeline by-passed the need for a 3,000 mile oil tanker journey around Saudio Arabia to the Suez Canal. This pipeline ceased all operations in 1990.

Star-Spangled Banner 200th Anniversary
Sunday     

In this program, we take you to Fort McHenry in Baltimore for a ceremony commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner. The event includes remarks by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Also, a flag-raising at the exact time 200 years ago that Francis Scott Key saw a large American flag hoisted above the fort, signaling the garrison had survived an all-night bombardment by the British Navy. That moment on September 14, 1814, inspired Key to compose what would later become our National Anthem, and the American victory became a turning point in the War of 1812. 

American Artifacts: Birth of the Star-Spangled Banner
Sunday     

In this "American Artifacts" program, we visit Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine in Baltimore to learn about the birth of the Star-Spangled Banner. The year 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the British naval bombardment of the fort during the War of 1812. The raising of the garrison flag over the fort on the morning after the barrage inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that later became our national anthem. 

Espionage During World War I
Saturday     

Former intelligence analyst for both the State Department and the CIA, Mark Stout, explores the history of espionage during World War I. He focuses on four American agencies that participated in spying; the Navy Department, the War Department, the State Department, and the Expeditionary forces abroad, including the U.S. Army. The Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute co-hosted this event.

Lectures in History: Korean War POWs
Saturday     

U.S. Naval Academy history professor Lori Bogle teaches a class on the American soldiers taken prisoner during the Korean War, including the effects of captivity and attempts at political indoctrination. 

The Civil War: Battle of Trevilian Station
Saturday     

Author and historian Eric Wittenberg discusses the Battle of Trevilian Station, which took place in Virginia June 11-12, 1864. He describes the decisions Union Gen. Philip Sheridan and his Confederate counterpart Wade Hampton made and how those choices led to the decisive Confederate victory. This talk was part of symposium hosted by the “Emerging Civil War” blog. 

American Navy’s Role in the Revolutionary War
Saturday     

Author Tim McGrath explains how the Continental Congress established the Navy at the dawn of the Revolutionary War.

Share This Event Via Social Media

Related Resources

Sundays at Eight - New Book