Skip to content Skip to navigation
Norman Shumway and Ed Harrison spoke to the media after the first adult heart transplant in US, 1968

Program Recordings

Many of the Society's past programs are now available on Apple podcasts, the Stanford Digital Repository, and the SHS YouTube Channel. They address important topics including Stanford’s relationship with the Silicon Valley, the Stanford peace movement, the Stanford Prison Experiment, and the history of women at Stanford. Program recordings will be made available continuously. Our programs are mainly funded by membership dues. As you enjoy the recordings, we hope you would consider becoming a member or making a donation to support our programming.

April 6, 2021 | Video
In April 1971, a seemingly innocuous ad appeared in the classifieds of the Palo Alto Times: Male college students needed for psychological study of prison life. $15 per day for 1-2 weeks. In no time, more than 70 students volunteered, and 24 were chosen. Thus began the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE), conducted inside Jordan Hall on the Stanford campus. Originally scheduled to last two weeks, it was ended early over concerns regarding the behavior of both “prisoners” and “guards.” Still today, the SPE spikes enormous interest. Movies and documentaries have been made, books published, and...
January 26, 2021 | Video
Speaker: Elena Danielson, Hoover Institution Archivist, Emerita
While very aware of the obstacles she faced as a woman, Lou Henry succeeded in four careers beyond that of “First Lady”: writer, geologist, architect, and philanthropist. She adroitly used her management skills to promote and expand the Girl Scouts, a non-controversial fit as "First Lady" but with a lasting national impact on the welfare of women.
December 1, 2020 | Video
The historical juncture of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the women’s suffrage amendment, the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the turbulent presidential election calls for a thoughtful exploration of the suffrage campaign and its relationship to other social justice movements in U.S. history. Recent scholarship highlights the ways that race and class influenced the fight for, and the effects of, enfranchisement. This panel, moderated by Stanford history professor Estelle B. Freedman, explores the contours and the complexity of the woman suffrage campaign...
Oral history interviewees collage
October 29, 2020 | Video
Why is oral history special? What can we learn about the history of Stanford that the documents in the archives don’t always tell us? This listening tour of the Stanford oral history collections provides a compelling demonstration of the power of this most personal of historical methodologies.
Stanford Historical Society oral history program manager and Stanford alum Natalie Marine-Street describes the history of Stanford’s unique volunteer-driven oral history program. Through a series of specially curated audio-visual clips, Al Camarillo, a professor emeritus of history who is widely...
May 19, 2020 | Video
Speaker: Paul V. Turner, Wattis Professor of Art, Emeritus, Stanford University
This video is about John Carl Warnecke, class of 1941, a Stanford football tackle who went on to become one of the most successful architects in America from the 1960s to the 1980s. Turner explained the importance of Warnecke’s work, especially his pioneering role in the development of “Contextualism” in architecture—as seen, for example, in his work in Washington, D.C., for John F. Kennedy. Warnecke was the president’s favorite architect, and his friendship with JFK was examined—as well as his remarkable...
April 15, 2020 | Video
Author Roland De Wolk speaks about his new book, American Disruptor: The Scandalous Life of Leland Stanford.
From the publisher:
American Disruptor is the untold story of Leland Stanford – from his birth in a backwoods bar to the founding of the world-class university that became and remains the nucleus of Silicon Valley. The life of this robber baron, politician, and historic influencer is the astonishing tale of how one supremely ambitious man became this country's original "disruptor" – reshaping industry and engineering one of the greatest raids on the public treasury for America’s...
February 18, 2020 | Video
Speaker: William D. Nix, Lee Otterson Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, Stanford University
Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering celebrated its centennial in the fall of 2019, having been founded as the Department of Mining and Metallurgy in 1919. Today, the department is at the forefront of nano-sciences and biosciences, with a special interest in environmental and medical applications.
In this talk, Professor Nix discusses the ever-changing needs of industry and society, scientific developments, as well as the evolving nature of the University itself and the...
January 30, 2020 | Audio
Speaker: Gavin Jones, Rehmus Family Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University
John Steinbeck attended Stanford University, off and on, from the Fall of 1919 to the Spring of 1925, when he left without completing his degree. According to an article in Stanford magazine, the relationship between Stanford and Steinbeck is “puzzling, mutually unappreciative, even debilitating.” In his talk, Professor Gavin Jones argues that nothing could be farther from the truth. It was at Stanford that Steinbeck honed his craft in creative writing classes, learned to fuse the arts and sciences in...
November 18, 2019 | Video
David M. Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, Stanford University
The 150th anniversary of the driving of the fabled Golden Spike at Promontory, Utah marks an opportune moment to reflect on the history of the great western region. Professor David Kennedy, founding Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, will recollect the saga of the railroad and reflect on the development of the American West over the last century and half.
The building of the Transcontinental Railroad in the late 1860s was a transformational event in the history of the United States....
October 30, 2019 | Video
Ray Purpur, Deputy Director of Athletics, Stanford University
In this program, Ray Purpur will take us through the important history of Stanford athletics after the Great World War.
Stanford University dropped football amidst the national football crisis of 1905 and the game did not return to the Farm until 1919, following World War I and the flu outbreak of 1918. Much had changed about football since then.
The first student body team to compete after the war was varsity rugby, followed by other sports including basketball, baseball, rowing, and track and field. Although women’s sports were...
October 16, 2019 | Audio
Speaker: Steve Staiger, Palo Alto City Historian
It is one of the oldest businesses on the Peninsula, established in 1852, the year Leland Stanford first arrived in California. More than 165 years later, the Alpine Inn in Portola Valley continues to attract customers to the roadhouse/beer garden on the banks of Los Trancos Creek. Following its most recent change in ownership and a major renovation, the Stanford Historical Society will examine the history of an institution whose relationship with Stanford University has been difficult from the viewpoint of the university’s administration, but...
September 26, 2019 | Audio
Christopher Wasney, ’80, Founder, Cody Anderson Wasney Architects, Inc. and Lecturer, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
Mike Ryan, Director of Operations, Frost Amphitheater
Since it opened in 1937, Frost Amphitheater has played a key role not just in Stanford student life but also in the greater performing arts community of the Bay Area, from theater productions and graduation ceremonies to symphony and rock concerts. Frost has hosted such diverse talent as the San Francisco Symphony, the Boston Pops, and the Grateful Dead (who played there 14 times in the 1980s)....