Created with Sketch.
The American Story
6 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
The Anti-slavery Constitution [3 of 3]
Among the many challenges to the statesmanship of the framers of the Constitution, none was more fundamental or intractable than the problem of slavery. On August 21 the Constitutional Convention, meeting in Independence Hall in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, officially took up a provision that forbade the Congress they were designing forever to tax or prohibit the importation of slaves anywhere in the United States. Heated discussion erupted immediately.
6 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
Anti-slavery Declaration [2 of 3]
Jefferson drafted the Declaration, a committee reviewed it, corrections were made, and on July 2-4, Congress—in the midst of much other pressing business of fighting a war—edited it into the final form. They made important changes, including deletion of a passage denouncing the king of Great Britain for imposing the slave trade on America. This deleted passage sheds light on the meaning of America’s central idea, that “all men are created equal.”
7 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Anti-slavery Revolution [1 of 3]
Slavery has been around since the beginning of human history. It was practiced among the native peoples of north America before and after Europeans arrived, and it was legal in every American colony in the years prior to the American Revolution. Then a great historic change began, a revolution in the hearts and minds of the British colonists that would eventually make them Americans. This revolution was at its heart an anti-slavery movement.
6 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams celebrate their last Fourth of July.
7 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
Our Finest Hour
America’s greatest enemy is not the Chinese or the Russians, or some other foreign tyranny—though they might indeed kill us if we continue so fecklessly to defend ourselves. But what will they kill? The body of a country that has lost its soul, unless we do something about it. Our greatest enemy is the bad ideas that have miseducated Americans so thoroughly for so long that many of us have forgotten what it means to be a free people.
8 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Why We Fight
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army General George Marshall asked film director Frank Capra to create films for the 8 million men, many of whom had never seen a gun, who were being uprooted from civilian life, thrown into army camps, and sent to war. Marshall wanted Capra to make “a series of documented, factual-information films – the first in our history – that will explain to our boys in the army why we are fighting and the principles for which we are fighting.”
7 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Epic of the Eternal Frontier
The Hollywood Western was a great achievement of American popular art—an epic of the eternal frontier, where trouble is always brewing and everything is at stake: the law is out of town, and if a hero doesn’t ride into your valley, you’re going to lose the things you hold most dear. On the eternal frontier, we are always faced with the problem of establishing and securing justice and peace. Because establishing justice and peace is a pressing and permanent human problem, the classic Western is eternally interesting.
7 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Ride the High Country
The classic Western novel Shane opens in a valley in Wyoming Territory in 1889. Trouble is brewing. The local big cattleman is finding the homesteaders a nuisance. He wants the whole range for his own uses and is bent on driving them out, whatever it takes. The land is theirs by right of settlement and guaranteed by the government, but the nearest marshal is a hundred miles away. Then a lone rider, Shane, rides into the valley.
7 minutes | May 25, 2021
Known But to God
More than 4 million visitors come to Arlington National Cemetery every year from across America and around the world and, unless they have their own personal visit to make, the thing they most want to do is to climb the hill to the high ground of the Memorial Amphitheater and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
8 minutes | May 18, 2021
God’s in His Heaven
Twenty-Twenty seems to have spread like a virus into 2021. A third of the way through the year and still across the country citizens bludgeoned into isolation, locked in their homes by the latest mandate, huddled around computer screens and cell phones hour by hour awaiting announcement of the next tribulation. It was too much to take in; disorienting to the soul. We fled in desperation to the free state of Florida.
9 minutes | May 11, 2021
A Rose on Lincoln’s Grave
Sports fairly practiced—especially individual sports—are a great meritocracy revealing, for all the world to see, the beauty of excellence. In American history, sports have also been an arena for the working out of the great American principle of “liberty to all.” Only by living up to this principle, which is the measure of America, is it possible for sports or any other pursuit to take a just measure of human greatness. Enter boxing great Joe Louis. This episode is in memory of Patrick J. Garrity.
6 minutes | May 4, 2021
I Kiss the Ground
One of America’s greatest and most beloved film directors, Frank Capra, was just six years old when he arrived in New York on a steamer from Sicily with his poor Italian immigrant parents in 1903. Growing up, he worked hard, excelled in school, and fell in love with American freedom and the American common man giving us such films as “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
8 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Miracle on Ice
It is somehow always the best of times and the worst of times; but the winter of 1980 in America felt like it had more than its share of the worst. Unemployment was high; inflation was raging. An energy crisis produced gas rationing. Iran was holding 50 Americans hostage. President Carter said the nation seemed to be in a “moral and spiritual crisis.” Then, from a most unexpected place, America and the free world received a bit of good cheer. It came in the form of a young hockey team.
7 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
The Great Author of America
Why “the finest Shakespeare collection in the world” is in Washington, D.C.
6 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
We Are All Americans
Ely Parker was born in 1828 to Elizabeth and William Parker of the Tonawanda Seneca tribe of the Iroquois confederacy in western New York. Parker became a leader in his tribe at a very young age, trained as a civil engineer, and earned himself a reputation in that field. In 1857, when he was 29 years old, he moved to Galena, Illinois as a civil engineer working for the treasury department, and there his life took a fateful turn. He became friends with a fellow named Ulysses S. Grant.
6 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Purple Mountain Majesties
This story is about a teacher from a college in the East who was inspired by her travels West, especially by her experience summiting Pikes Peak, to write a poem that became an American anthem.
7 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
A Decent Respect
The “real American Revolution,” as John Adams said, took place in the minds and hearts of the American people in the years leading up to 1776. This Revolution of thought gave birth to a Revolution of words and deeds; and Revolutionary thought, word, and deed together became the American Founding, a “human event” unsurpassed in the history of the world. This Founding remains eternally the earthly source of all America’s blessings of liberty. It is also America’s eternal earthly measure of itself.
9 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Michael Patrick Murphy
This episode is about an American warrior and the warship that carries on his name. The ship and her crew operate in more than 48 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The area is more than 14 times the size of the continental United States; it includes 36 maritime countries, 50% of the world’s population, and the world’s 5 largest foreign armed forces.
7 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Field Photo Farm
Late in 1939, the eminent Hollywood movie director John Ford, who happened also to be an officer in the Naval Reserve, began organizing and training what became the Eleventh Naval District Motion Picture and Still Photographic Group. Their mission would be to record on film the history of the war that was coming. From Pearl Harbor to VJ-Day, Ford and his crews traveled the world, from Midway, to North Africa, to Normandy, documenting the great battles of the war, often heroically.
6 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
Battle Hymn of the Republic
It’s not every day that a poet sits down and writes a poem that becomes a national hymn. But that’s what happened to Julia Ward Howe in November 1861. The country was a year and a half into the Civil War when she and her husband visited Union Army camps with a friend, passing time in the carriage singing army marching songs, including the popular “John Brown’s Body.” The friend suggested that Mrs. Howe consider writing her own, more elevated, lyrics to the song. And she did.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021