Speeches, orations, and addresses hold a special and central place in American political culture, and we’ve studied and discussed some of the best. In keeping with the limits of a Top 10, we had to make some cuts, but we think we’ve assembled a diverse and compelling selection. This collection of content-rich resources will help you and your students to meet some the greatest minds in our nation’s past, thinking alongside of them as they grapple with the urgent questions of their own time.
Our webinars are a conversation about critical questions between two scholars and a moderator, with questions from the live audience. The discussion is rooted in a set of primary documents published on this site in advance of each program. Many teachers around the country have used these to provide historical background students can access at home. They’ve used these webinars in “flipped” classroom formats and to help students who missed lessons due to absence.
If you’d like to learn from other members of the Teaching American History community of practice about how they have used our webinars in their online classrooms (or share your own ideas!), we invite you to connect with us on Facebook.
Below is a list of webinars on great American speeches from our archives. These can be accessed without any form of registration. Each link gives you access to the documents discussed during the webinar, a video of the webinar on our YouTube channel, and our podcast archive of each episode.
- Documents in Detail: George Washington’s Farewell Address
- Documents in Detail: Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address
- Documents in Detail: Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Seneca Falls Address
- Documents in Detail: Speech on the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise
- Documents in Detail: Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
- Documents in Detail: Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
- Documents in Detail: TR’s “New Nationalism” Speech
- Documents in Detail: FDR’s Commonwealth Club Address
- Documents in Detail: MLK’s “I Have a Dream” Speech
- Documents in Detail: Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” Speech
If you’d like to be part of the conversation at our next live webinars, please join us for one (or more) of our upcoming live webinars in May.