Civics 101 Ever wonder what a White House Chief of Staff actually does? How about a Press Secretary? And is gerrymandering still a thing in this country?The first 100 days of the Trump administration is the perfect time to bone up on civics you should have learned in school...but probably didn't. Civics 101 is your podcast guide to what you need to know, when it matters most.
Civics 101

Civics 101

From New Hampshire Public Radio

Ever wonder what a White House Chief of Staff actually does? How about a Press Secretary? And is gerrymandering still a thing in this country?The first 100 days of the Trump administration is the perfect time to bone up on civics you should have learned in school...but probably didn't. Civics 101 is your podcast guide to what you need to know, when it matters most.More from Civics 101 »

Most Recent Episodes

Episode 80: The National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration is the forever home of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, but what else do they keep in their vaults? Can just anybody do research at the Archives? And what role does NARA play in the national election? To find out, we spoke to Jessie Kratz, the historian at the National Archives.

Episode 79: The U.S. Flag Code

In this episode: What is the U.S. Flag Code? Who created it, and why? Is it enforceable? When did the American flag start getting used in advertising? What are the differences between the U.S. Flag Code and flag protection laws? Has the flag always been a symbol of patriotism? Our guest is Marc Leepson, author of Flag: An American Biography.

Episode 78: Congressional Committees

In a given week, Congress might vote on everything from international diplomacy to wildlife conservation to internet regulation. How do individual members of Congress become experts on each of these subjects? The answer is: they don't. Congress divides its work load among committees. This week, how does the committee system work, which committees wield the most influence, and how do members of Congress jockey for committee seats? We speak with Garrison Nelson, a professor of political science at the University of Vermont.

Episode 77: U.S. Postal Service

One of the founding institutions of America's government is also one of the most overlooked and surprising ones: the Postal Service. What role did it play in shaping the early, disparate colonies into a unified nation? How has it survived the digital age? And what's its future going forward? Our guest is Winifred Gallagher, writer and author of How the Post Office Created America.

IRL 1 - Free Speech in Schools

This is the first in a series called Civics 101 IRL; special episodes where we explore the historic moments connected to our regular podcast topics. Today we're digging into four incredibly important Supreme Court cases - four cases that have shaped how we interpret the meaning of free speech in public schools. Is political protest allowed in class? Is lewd speech covered by the First Amendment? Can school administrators determine what students can and can't say in the school newspaper? Listen in, and find out how students and schools have gone head to head over how First Amendment rights apply in a public school setting.

Episode 76: Native American Reservations

On this episode: What is a Native American reservation? What is a pueblo? What does it mean to be a sovereign nation? What is the relationship between reservations and the federal government? Can reservations pass laws that run up against state or federal statutes? How are, and were, reservations created? What does the Bureau of Indian Affairs actually do? Our guest is Maurice Crandall, assistant professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth, and a citizen of the Yavapai-Apache Nation of Camp Verde.

Episode 75: White House Staffers

In this episode: What do White House staffers actually do, what are the rules constraining them, and how have the day-to-day staffing demands of the White House changed over the years? Our guest is Karen Hult, Chair of the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech.

Episode 74: Unions

In this episode: What is a union? How are unions formed? What are the benefits and costs of labor unions, for both workers and business? What does the history of unions in America, and what might unions look like in the future? Our guest is David Zonderman, author of Uneasy Allies: Working For Labor Reform in Ninetheenth-Century Boston.

Episode 73: The Vice President

The vice president is said to be just a heartbeat away from Commander-in-Chief. But what does the VEEP actually do? How significant a role does the vice president play in the White House... and with the president? And what kind of effect can a running mate have on a presidential election? To find out, we talked to one of the foremost experts on the Vice Presidency, St. Louis University law professor Joel Goldstein.

Episode 72: The 2nd Amendment

On today's episode: The Second Amendment. For ages, the right to bear arms was among the least controversial amendments in the U.S. Constitution. Today, it's among the most divisive issues in American politics. What were the Founders hoping to achieve in ratifying The Second Amendment? When did the U.S. start regulating guns? What qualifies as an "arm"? We'll seek out constitutional consensus on a topic where common ground is hard to find. Our guest is Jeffrey Rosen, CEO and President of the National Constitution Center, and host of We the People.

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