At the beginning of 1965, the U.S. seemed on the cusp of a golden age. Although Americans had been shocked by the assassination in 1963 of President Kennedy, they exuded a sense of consensus and optimism that showed no signs of abating. Indeed, political liberalism and interracial civil rights activism made it appear as if 1965 would find America more progressive and unified than it had ever been before. In January 1965, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed that the country had “no irreconcilable conflicts.”
Bestselling author, Tracy Chevalier, is celebrated for her rich, beautiful novels spun around captivating European historical figures such as Johannes Vermeer, the Dutch painter featured in Chevalier’s tour-de-force blockbuster Girl with a Pearl Earring.
A consummate photojournalist, Stanley Tretick was sent by United Press International to follow the Kennedy campaign of 1960. The photographer soon befriended the candidate and took many of JFK's best pictures during this time. When Kennedy took office, Tretick was given extensive access to the White House, and the picture magazine Look hired him to cover the president and his family. Tretick is best known today for the photographs he took of President Kennedy relaxing with his children.
Underground Railroad: Escape to Freedom is a book + audio + boardgame for children. The book and audio were researched and recorded on location following routes of the UGRR.
With action and adventure as key elements, the experiential boardgame uses UGRR lore, nature signs, survival skills, and African-American spirituals (now known to be secret codes) to engage children in history, foster understanding, and sharpen critical thinking skills.
Chris Matthews is anchor of MSNBC's Hardball as well as the NBC-syndicated The Chris Matthews Show. He is an author of American; Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think; and Kennedy and Nixon. He joins us to speak about his latest book, Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero.
Amy S. Greenberg is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Women's Studies at Penn State University. She is a leading scholar of Manifest Destiny and has held fellowships from the Huntington Library, the New-York Historical Society, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society.
According to our next guest, men and women 150 years ago grappled with information overload by making scrapbooks - the ancestors of Google and blogging. From Abraham Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony, African American janitors to farm-women, abolitionists to Confederates, people cut out and pasted down their reading.