All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

Richard Byrd's Race to the North Pole

Richard Byrd (left) and co-pilot Floyd Bennet before their historic flight

Richard Byrd (left) and co-pilot Floyd Bennet before their historic flight

Washington, DC
Sunday, December 1, 2013

In 1926, American aviator Richard Byrd attempted to become the first man to fly over the North Pole. He returned from his flight a national hero, winning a Medal of Honor and launching a career as a famous pilot and explorer. However, over the years numerous experts have questioned the authenticity of Byrd’s flight, and produced evidence that casts doubt on Byrd’s legacy. In this program, author Sheldon Bart examines the life of Richard Byrd, both before and after his historic flight. He argues that Byrd did indeed make it all the way to the North Pole, and that his reputation as an explorer should not be tarnished by his detractors.

Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:05pm (ET)

Related Events

American Artifacts: U.S. Exploration Expedition
Saturday, July 9, 2011     

Part two of a two-part look at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum's objects collected by the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842. Some forty tons of specimens were the basis for the institution, founded in 1846.

To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers
Saturday, September 4, 2010     

Author Glenn Tobin speaks about his book, “To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight.” This biography of Orville and Wilbur Wright, the brothers who invented the airplane, also tells the story of Glenn Curtiss, their main competitor, and other figures who played a role in the history of flight.

Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
Saturday, August 18, 2012     

Seventy-five years ago on July 2, 1937, aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan went missing over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to circumnavigate the globe. Dr. White Wallenborn has spent more than 50 years researching Amelia Earhart, and in this program he shares his updated findings on her life and disappearance. The Fauquier Heritage Institute hosted this event.

American Artifacts: Amelia Earhart
Monday, December 24, 2012     

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is commemorating the 75th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance on an around-the-world flight. She was called “Lady Lindy” after pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, and the mystery surrounding her loss continues to fascinate Americans. We visited the exhibit “One Life: Amelia Earhart,” which chronicles her much-photographed life and exploits. (Amelia Earhart image courtesy of Seligman Family Foundation.)

Watergate & President Nixon’s Fall From Power
Wednesday     

To mark the 40th anniversary of President Nixon's August 9, 1974 resignation, the Washington Post hosted a discussion on Watergate, secret White House tapes and the 37th president's fall from power. 

Watergate 40 Years Later: Nixon House Impeachment Hearings - July 1974 Article II Debate
Sunday     

Forty years ago, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings to consider articles of impeachment against President Nixon. We see the committee's evening session debate over Article II, which charged the president with abuse of power. First, Timothy Naftali, former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, explains why Article II was at the heart of the impeachment proceedings, and how the committee's vote continues to shape our understanding of presidential power.

Life & Career of Senator Alben Barkley
Sunday     

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks about the life of fellow Kentuckian Senator Alben Barkley, who was majority leader of the U.S. Senate between 1937 and 1947; and was Minority Leader from 1947 to 1949. A Democrat, Alben Barkley was the 35th Vice President of the United States, elected with Harry Truman in 1949. This program is part of a series of talks by Mitch McConnell about former U.S. Senators from Kentucky.    

Reel America: "Your National Archives" - 1953
Sunday     

An 18 minute documentary explaining the activities of the National Archives, including how the "Charters of Freedom" are stored & displayed, how documents are cleaned, how records are organized, and what kinds of records are stored there.  The film was produced for the Archives by the U.S. Air Force.

Reel America: "The Washington Parade: The Archives" - 1940
Sunday     

Columbia Pictures short subject documentary detailing the activities of the National Archives only a few years after the building on Pennsylvania Avenue was completed and opened.

War Crimes Trial of Henry Wirz
Saturday     

Swiss-born Confederate Captain Henry Wirz was in charge of the Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp, where some 13,000 of approximately 45,000 Union prisoners died while being held there. Author and law professor Paul Finkelman discusses the military trial and execution of Henry Wirz and the concept of war crimes that were established as a result of the trial. This talk is a portion of the 2014 Civil War Symposium hosted by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

Share This Event Via Social Media

Related Resources

C-SPAN's Video Library
Questions? Comments? Email us at AmericanHistoryTV@c-span.org