Government

Theodore Roosevelt and the Western Experience

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Theodore Roosevelt and the Western Experience examines the 26th president of the United States. TR or Teddy as he has come to be known, balanced his identity of an intellectual from the East with the frontiersman of the West. His love of nature as a boy carried on throughout his life, influencing policy decisions as president that we still see today.  

Great States | Minnesota Government

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Learn more about the state and tribal governments of Minnesota, and how they came to be. 

David Broder on the First Congress | Ken Burns: The Congress

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David Broder talks about the importance of the First United States Congress. It was a miracle that they invented something that would stand the test of time.

David McCullough on Voting | Ken Burns: The Congress

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David McCullough talks about the real reason members vote for or against legislation.

Foreign Service Officers

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U.S. Department of State employees, with their skills, character and commitment to public service, are the backbone of America’s diplomacy. They represent the American people, advocate U.S. interests to the rest of the world and are America’s first line of defense in a complex and often dangerous world. This media gallery focuses on the five types of Foreign Service Officers, also known as U.S. Diplomats.

The White House: Inside Story | 9-11 at the White House

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For the people that worked there, the White House was always the safest place to be. However, that changed on September 11, 2001. After the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, many suspected the White House was the next target. A big Congressional Picnic was canceled, and everyone was given ten minutes to evacuate. The leadership, minus President Bush, moved to the Presidential Emergency Operation Center, a bunker under the White House. However, Chief Usher Gary Walters and a few of his staff stayed behind at the White House to remove benches and a stage in order to ensure that President Bush could come back and address the American people from the Oval Office.

Looking for Lincoln | Abraham Lincoln's Words

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In this video segment, from the PBS documentary Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. cites several of Lincoln's most famous lines of oratory from different points in his political career, noting the "seemingly simple but profoundly eloquent language" he used "to express and ennoble his cause."

The White House: Inside Story | The Early Years of the White House

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Although he would never have the chance to live there, President George Washington oversaw the design and construction of The President's House - The White House. From choosing the location, to overseeing a design competition, to laying the first cornerstone of the House in 1792, Washington insured that all future American Presidents and the United States would have an iconic symbol of shared history and heritage. That symbol was threated in 1814 when the British, during the War of 1812, invaded the Capital and set fire to the White House. Luckily, First Lady Dolley Madison had the foresight to direct the removal of a few important items from the house…including Washington’s famous portrait. Today, it is one of the few things that have been in the White House since its construction.

Looking for Lincoln | Was Lincoln a White Supremacist?

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr. deconstructs the traditional, legendary narrative of Abraham Lincoln in this segment from the PBS documentary Looking for Lincoln. Writer Lerone Bennett, Jr. recalls his disillusionment with "The Great Emancipator" who'd been his childhood hero, citing Lincoln's proposed "compromise" solution to slavery (which had involved the deportation of slaves to colonies in Panama and Liberia) and Lincoln's failure to contribute anything to the Abolitionist cause prior to the Civil War. Historian David Blight, however, reminds us that it is our own task to define "what is worth remembering" about Lincoln's story.

The White House: Inside Story | White House Renovations

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By the time Harry Truman and his family moved into the White House in 1945, the house had been home to many first families. Renovations and additions had been built haphazardly, and the upkeep of the house was not always the highest priority. After inspectors came in, Truman was told that the White House was standing up “from force of habit only.” It was under Truman that the most significant renovation of the House took place: the house was gutted and rebuilt with metal supports. When Jackie Kennedy moved in, she was disappointed to find very little interior decoration or historic furnishings. She undertook a vast renovation and brought back many historic items to the home. Today, the White House is not only a home and an office; it is also a museum that is a testament to both the Truman and Kennedy administrations.

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