In 1803 - 20 years after the end of the Revolutionary War - Thomas Jefferson on behalf of the United States pays a total of $15 million dollars for French Lousiana Territory. 14 current U.S. states are comprised of the area purchased from Napoleon.
Kidnapped Africans caught in the slave trade during the 1840s seized their ship (Amistad) travelling near Cuba. The ship drifted into U.S. waters and was taken into custody. This resulted in an early Supreme Court case where the Africans, wanting their freedom, were defended by none other than former president John Quincy Adams.
President Herbert Hoover, one of the most unpopular presidents. On his watch was the great stock market crash of 1929.
His failures to pull the country out of the depression paved the way for the election of Franklin Roosevelt.
President Roosevelt and Congress changed the way government's interact with society with this 'New Deal' policy. The Social Security Act was created to help support a portion of society, specifically the elderly, from hopelessness during a time of great poverty and dispair.
Dramatizations of historic decisions from the courtroom of America's great Chief Justice, John Marshall. In this 1803 case the Supreme Court established its responsibility to review the constitutionality of acts of Congress. President John Adams appointed Federalist William Marbury as justice of the peace, but failed to deliver Marbury's official commission before President Jefferson & the Democratic-Republicans took over the administration. The Supreme Court held that it did not have jurisdiction é declared that the law permitting the Court to hear the case was unconstitutional.
President Roosevelt helped lead the U.S. out of the great depression and through most of World War II until his death in 1945, not long after his re-election to his 4th term.
A distant cousing to President Theodore Roosevelt, he was an ambitious and successful politician. He was able to conceal the effects of polio and his inability to walk under his own power.
After the death of Roosevelt, Truman was thrust into the presidency during the climax of World War II. He made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. He was president at the beginning of the Cold War.
In 1948, he desegrated the military enabling whites and blacks to server together.
Somewhat unpopular when he left office, his role and importance in history has been rethought and is now regarded as one or our better presidents.
President Woodrow Wilson served two terms. His first term concentrated on economic policy while his second term was engulfed with World War I.
He is probably best known for helping created the League of Nations and being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
This 1930 biography of Abraham Lincoln is one of the last movies made by early film great D.W. Griffith. It stars Walter Huston - father of John Huston, and grandfather of Angelica Huston - as Abraham Lincoln. It gives a good overview of his life from his early days through his presidency and assasination.
In 1791, the U.S. government put a tax on whiskey. The goals of the tax were to pay down the debt incurred during the war as well as establishing the power of the Federal Government.
The tax proved unpopular and over time led to a rebellion which ended in 1790s. Washington created and used militia to suppress the rebellion and jail offenders - most of which were pardoned.
In 1803, the tax was repealed because it was too difficult to enforce.
Calvin Coolidge became president after the death of President Harding. His was away from the White House and was sworn in as president by his father. After his term, he was elected to his own full term.
This film clip from 1924, is the first presidential film with sound recording. From the White House grounds, President Coolidge speaks about taxes and the cost of running government.
This is a short biography presenting the life of Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, focusing on his post-presidency.
It includes a tour of the president's home in New York, and rare audio from one of his speeches.
William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States. He was the first sitting president to be captured on motion picture film. He was the last president to have fought in the civil war.
This is the inauguration procession and was filmed on March 4, 1897. It follows the procession down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.
Thomas Jefferson was a multi-talented man. His list of accomplishments include president, author, statesman, inventor, architect, and more. This short film presents the legacy of James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson but mostly focuses on the architectural contributions of Thomas Jefferson - most notably, Monticello and the University of Virginia.
President Harding served only 2 years of his term until a heart attack cut his life and presidency short.
In 1920 at the end of World War I, he and his republican running-mate Calvin Coolidge, won in a landslide victory.
Harding signed the final peace treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary - officially ending World War I.
United States v. Aaron Burr. Dramatizations of historic decisions from the courtroom of America's great Chief Justice, John Marshall.
Dramatizes the trial of Aaron Burr, presided over by Chief Justice John Marshall. Strictly adhering to the Constitution, Marshall stepped between Burr and death, and the doors were closed against government abuse of the treason charge.