CSPAN, the national public affairs network sponsored by the cable televison industry, is best known for showing Congress at work (if that’s what you call a lot of sound and fury resulting in nothing). But since its creation in 1979, it has broadened its brief and now has a variety of offerings, even additional channels. Two of those, the book and history channels, may be of interest to Capital Region residents this weekend, as they focus on the literature and history of Albany.
CSPAN crews were in town for a week in early November and came up with some good stuff about New York’s capital city. One of the book channel segments, for instance, is a discussion with author William Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize winner and founder of the government-funded New York State Writers Insitute, which is also featured.
Other local authors are interviewed as well, such as Jack Casey, who wrote a book about the 17th century Mohawk Indian girl, and now saint, Kateri Tekakwitha; and Robert Cross, who wrote a book about destroyer escort ships fighting German U-boats in World War II. These include the USS Slater (the last ship of its type still afloat), which is moored on the Hudson River in Albany and will also be featured on CSPAN.
The history channel segments include tours of the beautiful State Capitol Building, the state archives, the 9/11 exhibit at the state museum, the Albany Shaker historic site, and the Dutch collection at the Albany Institute of History and Art.
These stories, places and people were all here, but you would have had to go seek them out one at a time before. CSPAN is providing a chance to see them all at once without leaving your home.
The book channel segments were already shown yesterday, but the history channel segments will air at 5 p.m. today. And for those who may have missed them, or want to watch again, they will all be archived on CSPAN’s Website. Have a look.