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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)

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