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Putin’s Nuclear Threats Evoke Cold War Tensions of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Russia’s recent nuclear threats have revived Cold War animosity with roots in the Cuban missile crisis. During a standoff in 1962, a tense confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union nearly resulted in a nuclear war.
Midterm Elections: 1966 Midterms Signal a Realignment, Shaping Today’s Parties
Southern voters, once loyal to the Democratic Party, elected Republican candidates in 1966 as the two parties began to sort themselves into distinctly partisan camps.
Holocaust Survivors Fleeing Ukraine Find New Home in Germany
In Ukraine, elderly Jewish citizens threatened by the war with Russia are being evacuated. As children, they escaped the Nazi invasion. Now some are finding refuge in a most unlikely place: Germany.
Midterm Elections: How 1994 Midterms Set Off an Era of Divisive Politics
Midterm elections, often a referendum on the sitting president’s agenda, can set the stage for future policy debates. Economic and social issues with roots in the 1994 midterms are still being debated today.
How Watergate and Citizens United Shaped Campaign Finance Law
The Watergate campaign finance scandals led to a landmark law designed to limit the influence of money in politics. Decades later, some say the scandal isn’t what’s illegal, it’s what’s legal.
Why Supreme Court Confirmations Have Become So Bitter
The defeat of Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 changed the way justices are confirmed today.
Presidents v. Press: How the Pentagon Papers Leak Set Up First Amendment Showdowns
Efforts to clamp down on White House leaks to the press follow a pattern that was set during the Nixon era after the publication of the Pentagon Papers.
Gerrymandering Tilts Political Power. Here’s How Redistricting Affects Democracy.
Both parties play the redistricting game, redrawing electoral boundaries to lock down power.
Are you a teacher? Check out our teaching resources for this video.
How the Military Response to 9/11 Led to Two Decades of War in Afghanistan
Officials who drove the decades-long war in Afghanistan look back on the strategic mistakes and misjudgments that led to a 20-year quagmire.
For teachers: This video is part of a collection of resources including four short films, each accompanied by a lesson plan and student activity.
Why the Cold War Race for Nuclear Weapons Is Still a Threat
Russian President Vladimir Putin controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, and his invasion of Ukraine is a reminder that Russia, the U.S. and many other countries have thousands of nuclear missiles, even as safeguards once in place have fallen away.
The Cold War on TV: Joseph McCarthy vs. Edward R. Murrow
In the heat of the Cold War, Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade became a media sensation.
How a Cold War Airlift Saved Berlin With Food, Medicine and Chocolate
A Soviet blockade around Berlin cut the divided city off from the West. But in 1948 U.S. and British pilots began to fly food, fuel and medicine to the Allied sectors.
Poll Watchers and the Long History of Voter Intimidation
President Trump has called on supporters, including law enforcement officers, to monitor election sites. Voter intimidation tactics have a long history.
Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press (Media Mistakes Excerpt)
In this Emmy Award-nominated film, top national political reporters admit mistakes in their reporting on the 2016 election campaign.
Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press (CNN's Missteps Excerpt)
In this Emmy Award-nominated film, CEO Jeff Zucker acknowledges missteps in CNN’s 2016 campaign coverage, when many media outlets covered Donald Trump’s campaign as a spectacle.
Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press (False Equivalency Excerpt)
This Emmy Award-nominated film looks at how the journalistic instinct for “balanced” reporting on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016 played out.
Bush v. Gore: How a Recount Dispute Affects Voting Today
The dramatic controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election led to sweeping voting reforms, but opened the door to a new set of problems that continue to affect elections today.
Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press (Historical Excerpt)
This Emmy Award-nominated film explores tensions between the press and presidents, charges of liberal media bias and the decline in public trust in journalism. Watch the documentary.
Political Debates: What the Unforgettable Moments Reveal
High-stakes debates put candidates in the hot seat. But are they helpful to voters?
How Black Women Fought Racism and Sexism for the Right to Vote
African American women played a significant and sometimes overlooked role in the struggle to gain the vote.
What the Bungled Response to HIV Can Teach Us About Dealing With Covid-19
Politics, public health and a pandemic. What we didn’t learn from HIV.
How Biden vs. Sanders Echoes a 1964 Republican Party Split
Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are the icons of an ideological split among today’s Democrats, echoing a similar split in the Republican party of 1964.
How Oscar Speeches Became So Political
Oscar night, long a showcase for Hollywood glamour, has also become a platform for film stars to pitch a rainbow of political causes.
Political Memes: The Rise of the Political Meme in Politics Today
Political memes are being deployed to share opinions, similar to how editorial cartoons were used in the past – but with one important difference.
Impeached: How Presidents Handled it -- Trump vs. Clinton.
How can a president continue to govern with an impeachment trial looming? President Clinton and President Trump adopted very different strategies.
"No" on Impeachment Unites Today's GOP. In the 1950s, a Renegade Dared to Break Ranks
Breaking with party unity can be costly. In the 1950’s, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine faced backlash after she condemned Joseph McCarthy, a fellow Republican.
Do Whistleblower Protections Work? Ask This One.
A whistleblower case from 2010 reveals the peril faced by whistleblowers seeking to expose wrongdoing.
Israel Survived an Early Challenge With War Planes Smuggled by U.S. Vets
In 1948, World War II aviators risked their lives in a secret operation to smuggle weapons and planes to the Israeli military.
How Segregation Influenced Evangelical Political Activism
While abortion is often cited as the motivation behind evangelical Christians becoming politically active in the 1970s, there’s another little-known reason that involves the IRS and segregated schools.
The Roots of Evangelicals’ Political Fervor
White evangelical Christians are among President Trump’s most important supporters. But more than 40 years ago, they were on the margins of American politics.
She Derailed the Fight for Equal Rights for Women
Even in the #MeToo era, many people don’t know that the Equal Rights Amendment never passed…because of one woman. Her name is Phyllis Schlafly.
Why We Can't Have a Civil Conversation About Guns
In the 1980s, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and the shooting of his press secretary, Jim Brady, led to the Brady Bill. Decades later, are there lessons from that fight for the Parkland students?
Us vs. Them: From George Wallace to Donald Trump
Donald Trump has used populist politics to appeal to voters who are fed up with the status quo. We look at another politician who tapped into America’s divisions decades ago: George Wallace.
The Populist Politician and California's Property Tax Revolt
In 1978, voters passed Proposition 13, lowering taxes for millions of California homeowners. Decades later, what has it meant for California?
Has the government done enough to stop housing discrimination?
Upheaval at the 1860 Democratic Convention: What Happened When a Party Split
Some issues are too fundamental for a party to withstand, and the consequences can last for a generation.
Lessons from the 2004 Democratic Convention: Obama's Speech
Sometimes the most important speech at the convention isn’t delivered by the nominee.
Lessons from the 1924 Democratic Convention: An Immigration Debate's Impact
Immigration has been a defining issue in a campaign before, and the consequences transformed the Democratic Party.
Lessons from the 1912 Republican Convention: Birth of the Modern Primary
The animosity between William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt changed the primary process forever.
The Birth of the U.S. Political Convention in 1831
In 1831, a radical third party had a new idea for selecting a presidential candidate, and it’s still in use today: the national nominating convention.
Lessons From the 1964 Republican Convention: Declaring War on the Establishment
Donald Trump’s candidacy wasn’t the first time the Republican Party was split by an outsider declaring war on the establishment elite.
Lessons from the 1968 Democratic Convention: Under the Shadow of Protests
There are important lessons to be learned from the Democrats’ 1968 Chicago convention.
Lessons from the 1976 Republican Convention: Why Ronald Reagan Lost the Nomination|
In 1976, Ronald Reagan found owning the soul of a party isn’t the same as taking home its nomination.
Smoking Man: Political Ads That Shaped the Battle for the White House
In the 2012 Republican primary, Herman Cain’s campaign produced an unusual video featuring Cain’s chief of staff, Mark Block, giving a pep talk while smoking a cigarette.
The Rock: Political Ads That Shaped the Battle for the White House
In 2007, long-shot Democratic candidate Mike Gravel released one of the strangest ads in political history.
Willie Horton: Political Ads That Shaped the Battle for the White House
The infamous Willie Horton ad placed a nail in the coffin of Michael Dukakis’ 1988 presidential run.
Morning in America: Political Ads That Shaped the Battle for the White House
Future “warm and fuzzy” ads can trace their lineage to this one. For his reelection campaign, Ronald Reagan employed a team of advertising all-stars, resulting in one of the most famous catchphrases in American politics.
It's 3:00 a.m.: Political Ads That Shaped the Battle for the White House
After a string of critical losses in the 2008 Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton’s campaign put out a hard-hitting ad that questioned Barack Obama’s readiness for the White House.
Daisy: Political Ads That Shaped the Battle for the White House
Perhaps the most famous political ad of all time, this early television spot ran on air just once, but generated enough media coverage to become a real factor in the 1964 presidential election.
Hillary Clinton and the Superpredator
Wondering what the Hillary Clinton/superpredator brouhaha is all about? Here’s the cliff notes…
Being in the Bubble
The curious origin of a political metaphor.
Agent Orange: Last Chapter of the Vietnam War
The use of the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War continues to cast a dark shadow over both American veterans and Vietnamese citizens.