December 25, 2014 03:41 UTC

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


10:45 PM - 11:00 PM December 18, 2014

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


7:14 PM - 7:18 PM December 17, 2014

The Civil War Ends


3:06 PM - 3:11 PM December 17, 2014

Actor Shoots Lincoln, Calls Him a Tyrant


10:45 PM - 11:00 PM December 11, 2014

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


7:10 PM - 7:16 PM December 11, 2014

Southern General Robert E. Lee Surrenders at Appomattox


5:50 PM - 5:56 PM December 10, 2014

Continue or Stop the War? Voters Choose in Election of 1864


10:45 PM - 11:00 PM December 04, 2014

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


3:26 PM - 3:32 PM December 03, 2014

Sherman Burns Atlanta in March to the Sea


10:45 PM - 11:00 PM November 27, 2014

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


2:08 PM - 2:14 PM November 24, 2014

Strong Defense at Cold Harbor Gives Lee His Last Major Victory


10:45 PM - 11:00 PM November 20, 2014

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


8:31 PM - 8:38 PM November 17, 2014

Over 150 Years Later, Lincoln's Words at Gettysburg Still Have Meaning


10:45 PM - 11:00 PM November 13, 2014

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


8:59 PM - 9:05 PM November 07, 2014

Battle of Gettysburg Ends South's Hopes for Independence


10:45 PM - 11:00 PM November 06, 2014

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


4:47 PM - 4:53 PM November 05, 2014

Lincoln Says He Will Free Most Slaves in the South


10:45 PM - 11:00 PM October 30, 2014

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


5:45 PM - 5:50 PM October 30, 2014


10:45 PM - 11:00 PM October 23, 2014

The Making of a Nation

The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.


4:58 PM - 5:04 PM October 22, 2014

    Audio Actor Shoots Lincoln, Calls Him a Tyrant

    ​On Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was enjoying a play at the Ford's Theater when a man came from behind and shot him. To millions of Americans, Abraham Lincoln's death was a personal loss. They had come to think of him as more than the President of the United States. He was a trusted friend.

    Audio Southern General Robert E. Lee Surrenders at Appomattox

    General Robert E. Lee’s military skill and intelligence helped extend the war between the states. But even his skill could not save the South from the industrial power of the North and its mighty armies -- armies that were better-fed and better-equipped. On Sunday, August 9, Lee surrendered.

    Audio Continue or Stop the War? Voters Choose in Election of 1864

    Lincoln hated the Civil War. But he would not end it until military victory ended slavery and guaranteed political union. When Union troops captured Atlanta, the last remaining industrial cities of the South.The people of the North began to understand their side was winning the war.

    Audio Sherman Burns Atlanta in March to the Sea

    In late 1864, Union General William Sherman brought a form of total warfare to the American South. He aimed to limit the South’s ability to fight and wanted to show the people of the Confederacy that their government could not protect them. His victory damaged the spirit of the South.

    Audio Strong Defense at Cold Harbor Gives Lee His Last Major Victory

    After Northern forces defeated Southern troops at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Vicksburg, Mississippi, General Ulysses Grant decided to hit the Confederates with the full force of the Union armies. The fight did not go as he expected. But General Grant was resolved to defeat the Confederates.

    Audio Lincoln's Words at Gettysburg Still Have Meaning

    On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln said no one would remember his speech at a battlefield cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address remains one of the most important speeches in U.S. history. | The Making of a Nation

    Audio Battle of Gettysburg Ends the South’s Hopes

    In the summer of 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee led his troops into northern territory. He faced the army of Union General George Meade in central Pennsylvania. The Battle of Gettsyburg was one of the most important fights in the war. Historians believe the battle ended the South's hopes.

    Audio  Lincoln Says He Will Free Most Slaves in the South

    By the summer of 1862, President Lincoln was losing support for the nation’s bloody civil war. People in the north were tired of fighting to save the Union. In time, however, Lincoln recognized another reason to fight: to free slaves in the South. This changed the very nature of the Civil War.

    Audio South Defeats North Again at Manassas

    Lincoln named George Pope to lead the Army of Virginia. He wanted to join Pope’s forces with the Army of the Potomac and break through Confederate defenses around Richmond. But General Robert E. Lee decided to hit Pope first. Lee then decided to carry the war to the North.

    Audio Iron Ships Clash at Sea

    The American Civil War was fought not only on land, but at sea. In 1862, Confederate and Union forces fought a new kind of navy battle in waters off Hampton Roads, Virginia. It was the first battle between iron ships. On the Confederate side was a ship called the Virginia. | The Making of a Nation

    Audio McClellan Approaches Richmond ... And Waits

    The North and South clashed in a series of battles called the Seven Days Campaign. The struggle saved the Confederacy but came at a terrible price. But victory came at a terrible price. Twenty thousand Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded. The Civil War was becoming more costly.

    Audio Grant Leads Union Troops to Victory at Shiloh, but With a Cost

    Ulysses Grant won the greatest Union victory since the start of the Civil War. At first the North celebrated the news of its victory. But the public quickly became angry when they learned of the heavy losses. People blamed General Grant. They demanded President Abraham Lincoln dismiss him.

    Columbus Discovers America

    Generations of schoolchildren have been taught that Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. In fact, the second Monday in October is celebrated as a national holiday, Columbus Day, to honor the European explorer.

    Audio Manassas Ends Hope for a Short War

    Many northerners wanted Union forces to seize the new Confederate capital and quickly end the rebellion. Pro-Union newspapers urged, "On to Richmond!" But the North soon learned it needed a better trained army to fight the Confederacy.

    Audio Lincoln Struggles to Keep Kentucky, Missouri in the Union

    Lincoln famously wrote in September 1861, "I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game."

    Audio Virginia Leaves Union, Lincoln Puts Maryland Under Military Rule

    President Abraham Lincoln asked the states for 75,000 soldiers to stop the South's rebellion. But border states -- those between the North and South -- refused to send any troops. And some prepared to leave the Union and join the Confederacy.

    Audio First Shots of the Civil War Fired at Fort Sumter

    On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces in South Carolina shelled a Union base that President Abraham Lincoln refused to surrender.

    Audio Southern States Form a New Nation

    The Confederate States of America wrote a constitution that gave more power to the states and protected slavery.

    Audio Lincoln Wins 1860 Election, Loses Southern States

    Abraham Lincoln entered office facing the most serious crisis in American history.

    Audio Lincoln-Douglas Debates Set the Stage for the 1860 Election

    Democrat Stephen Douglas was seeking re-election as a U.S. senator from Illinois. His opponent was a lawyer from the new Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln. | The Making of a Nation

Learn with The News

  • Video Christian or Not, Most Americans Celebrate Christmas

    Christmas is the most widely celebrated religious holiday in the United States. In Christianity, the day honors the birth of Jesus. Peace and harmony is the spiritual message of Christmas. But many Americans will celebrate Christmas as an important, but non-religious, holiday. More

  • People walk past a sale advertisement in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nov. 7, 2014.

    Audio Some Surprises Among Economic Stories in 2014

    Oil prices are falling; Russian economy is shrinking while US economy is recovering; China is buying landmark hotel; and Uber's problems are among the stories on our list for this year. But we also want to hear from you. More

  • Dentist Lance Knight examines a patient for photographers.

    Video Robots Go To Work For Dentists and Patients

    For years, robots have helped doctors perform operations with greater safety, speed and exactness than by using hand-controlled instruments. Now, one such machine reduces the time it takes to make dental crowns. This procedure can repair a damaged tooth in just about two hours. More

  • VOA's Anne Ball records "A Visit from St. Nicholas"

    Video VOA Staff Presents 'A Visit From St. Nicholas'

    ​The American idea of Santa Claus largely comes from a poem called "A Visit from St. Nicholas". Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem in 1822, but he did not put his name on it. Some call it the most famous poem ever written by an American. The poem was "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." More

  • FILE -  health workers wearing Ebola protective gear remove the body of a man they suspect died from the Ebola virus, at a USAID, American aid Ebola treatment center on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Nov. 28, 2014.

    Video Ebola Is Top Health Story for 2014

    The Ebola outbreak that began in 2014 is very different than all that came before.This time, Ebola is sickening thousands of people in West Africa. It crossed into cities and over national borders. The world reacted with shock and fear. And Ebola continues to kill. More

Featured Stories

  • A large poster offering reward for the capture of the murderer of President Abraham Lincoln is held to view by Gwendolyn Plate, an employee of Parke-Bernet Galleries in New York, February 15, 1952, where the $250,000 Lincoln collection of the late Oliver

    Audio Actor Shoots Lincoln, Calls Him a Tyrant

    ​On Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was enjoying a play at the Ford's Theater when a man came from behind and shot him. To millions of Americans, Abraham Lincoln's death was a personal loss. They had come to think of him as more than the President of the United States. He was a trusted friend. More

  • dark chocolate

    Chocolate Improves Memory and Heart Health

    Researchers are realizing what chocolate-lovers have known for a long time -- that chocolate is good for you. Their study found that large amounts of flavanols, substances found in cocoa, tea and some vegetables, may help to reverse age-related memory failure and can help prevent strokes. More

  • Nuclear fusion display at the Weiss Energy Hall, Houston Museum of Natural Science

    Audio Is a Fusion Nuclear Reactor Coming Soon?

    The United States technological organization Lockheed Martin says it will produce a working fusion nuclear reactor within five years. Lockheed Martin says it may have an operating prototype by 2017, and a version for sale by 2022. Fusion involves forcing together atomic nuclei. More

  • Obama National Christmas Tree

    Audio The History of Christmas in America

    In the first half of the 19th century, Christmas was a very different kind of holiday than it is today. People did not have a set way of celebrating. Christmas was not even an official holiday yet. More

  • Video Music Shows in Private Homes Gain Popularity

    Attending a live musical performance, be it in a huge arena or a small cafe, is an exciting experience. But here in the U.S., a very different kind of performance is gaining popularity: house concerts. “There's just a totally unique experience as opposed to playing like a coffee shop or a bar." More

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