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AIR DATE: Saturday, February 9, 2013
History of the State of the Union Address (24 min.)
Senate Historian Donald Ritchie talked about the history of the State of the Union from George Washington to the present.
KEYWORDS: Washington Politics, Executive Branch, State of the Union Address

Timely Teachable Videos


C-SPAN’s new series, Landmark Cases: Historic Supreme Court Decisions, continues this week with discussion on the Scott v. Sandford (1857) case from 9:00-10:30pm ET on C-SPAN.

Our program will tell the story of Dred Scott (and his wife Harriet) in their journey as enslaved people trying to sue for their freedom in pre-Civil War America. Traveling and living in both slave and free states and territories, they took their case all the way to the Supreme Court. In a 7-2 ruling authored by Chief Justice Roger Taney, the Scotts lost their case in 1857. We’ll explore Dred and Harriett’s lives before and after the Supreme Court’s ruling, the career and views of Taney, and the impact the case had in the Court’s and the nation’s history.


After the program has aired, visit C-SPAN Classroom for the full program, as well as Bell Ringers on specific aspects of the case. Teachers also have a chance to win a copy of our companion book, Landmark Cases: Historic Supreme Court Decisions, written by veteran Supreme Court journalist Tony Mauro.

To be eligible for a prize, in a short typed paragraph (3-5 sentences) explain the most creative way you teach your students about the Scott v. Sandford case to ensure students understand its significance.

Email your response and your preferred postal address to Two winners will be selected and notified by next Monday, October 19, with books being mailed that same day.

Have your students started work on their video submissions for this year's StudentCam competition?

With $100,000 in cash prizes for students and teachers, this national contest invites all middle school students (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) to create a 5-7 minute documentary, based on the theme:


"Road to the White House"

What’s the issue YOU most want candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential campaign? 


Competition requirements include:


  • Students may compete individually, or in teams of either 2 or 3 members.
  • Documentaries must contain a small amount of supporting C-SPAN footage.
  • Entries must show varying sides of the issue.
  • Students must submit their entry form and video by January 20, 2016.


For full competition rules, teacher tips, and suggestions on how to get started, visit:

Connect with C-SPAN