All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

The Contenders: William Jennings Bryan

Lincoln, Nebraska
Sunday, June 17, 2012

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history.

This week, we go back to the election of 1896 and explore the life, times, and political legacy of the three time Democratic Party nominee for President – William Jennings Bryan – a former Congressman from Nebraska, Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, and one of the best orators of his time.

Helping us understand the election, Bryan’s relevancy today, and his long career in politics, are:

  • Michael Kazin: Georgetown University History Professor and Author of “A Godly Hero: The Life and Times of William Jennings Bryan”  
  • William G. Thomas, III: University of Nebraska-Lincoln History Department Chair and Author of “The Iron Way: Railroads, the Civil War, and the Making of Modern America”
  • Bob Puschendorf: Nebraska State Historical Society Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
  • We’ll also listen to portions of some of Bryan’s oratory, most notably his “Cross of Gold” speech from the 1896 campaign.

    For more information on the series and our Contenders, go to www.c-span.org/thecontenders - where you’ll find videos, biographical information, election results, helpful links, and more on each of the 14 featured in the series.

Updated: Monday, June 11, 2012 at 3:02pm (ET)

Related Events

The Contenders: James G. Blaine
Sunday, June 10, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history.

The Contenders: Henry Clay
Sunday, June 3, 2012     

Historians discuss the role of Henry Clay (1777-1852) in American politics. Known as the "Great Compromiser" but also as "The Dictator," he ran five unsuccessful presidential campaigns. Perhaps the most powerful politician of his time, he served as speaker of the House, U.S. senator, and secretary of state. This is the first of our 14-week series called "The Contenders: They Ran & Lost but Changed Political History."

The Contenders: Charles Evans Hughes
Sunday, July 1, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the election of 1916 and explore the life, legacy, and relevance today of Charles Evans Hughes, the Republican Party nominee in 1916, who served two terms on the Supreme Court, the second time as Chief Justice, two terms as Republican Governor of New York, and Secretary of State in the Harding and Coolidge administrations.

The Contenders: Eugene Debs
Sunday, June 24, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history.

The Contenders: Hubert Humphrey
Sunday, August 12, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the life and career of Hubert H. Humphrey.

Victory Over Japan Day Commemoration
Today     

George Prescott Bush marks the 70th anniversary of the day his grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush, was shot down while serving as a Navy fighter pilot in 1944. He spoke at a ceremony commemorating Victory Over Japan Day at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

Presidential Vacations
Monday     

American History TV interviewed Lawrence Knutson, author of “Away from the White House: Presidential Escapes, Retreats, and Vacations” about the history and politics of presidential getaways. We feature archival footage released by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library of President Kennedy summering in Cape Cod. 

Causes of the Vietnam War
Monday     

A panel of Vietnam veterans and scholars reflect on the events leading up to the Vietnam War and whether it was a necessary conflict for America. The speakers also discuss what it was like being in the war, both from the American and Vietnamese points of view. The Vietnam Veterans for Factual History organized this event.

Senator Sam Ervin and Watergate
Sunday     

We hear about Senator Sam Ervin’s time as chair of the Senate Watergate Committee from his former aide Rufus Edmisten and his grandson, Judge Sam Ervin IV. They recall Ervin’s character and how the self-proclaimed country lawyer relied on his knowledge of the law and personal convictions to guide the Senate Watergate Committee.  

The Presidency: Bush v. Gore & the 2000 Election
Sunday     

A conversation about the 2000 presidential election and the resulting Supreme Court case, Bush v. Gore. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush – and against his Democratic challenger, Vice President Al Gore. At issue was the tabulation of Florida’s votes. Panelists include lawyers from both sides of the case, as well as the Palm Beach County elections supervisor who oversaw the recount in that area. The St. Thomas University Ethics Center and the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust hosted this event.

Share This Event Via Social Media

Related Resources

Photo Gallery

Book TV (late 2012)