Media Resources

Learn about President Obama’s maternal ancestors in Kansas and his family ties to Butler and Sedgwick counties through the following videos and books. Watch President Obama deliver several speeches.

Family Heritage

President Obama: From Kansas to the Capitol

Excellent 4-part series of reports from Susan Peters, KAKE-TV, ABC News, details President Obama’s maternal ancestors and their ties to Butler and Sedgwick counties in Kansas. Transcript available.
Length: 14:26
Source: KAKE-TV, ABC News
Original air dates: January 19, 20, 21, and 22, 2009

President Obama’s Kansas Heritage

Length: 9:56
Source: KTWU/Channel 11 Sunflower Journeys segment SJ#228, produced by Dave Kendall.

Barack Obama: The Story

David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Barack Obama: The Story, discusses his research trips to Kansas and other locations that impacted the life of President Obama.
Length: 8:40
Source: davidmaraniss YouTube channel


Barack Obama: The Story, by David Maraniss

A Singular Woman, Janny Scott
Published: Jun 2012
ISBN: 978-1439160404
Buy it at

From one of our preeminent journalists and modern historians comes the epic story of Barack Obama and the world that created him.
In Barack Obama: The Story, David Maraniss has written a deeply reported generational biography teeming with fresh insights and revealing information, a masterly narrative drawn from hundreds of interviews, including with President Obama in the Oval Office, and a trove of letters, journals, diaries, and other documents.

The book unfolds in the small towns of Kansas and the remote villages of western Kenya, following the personal struggles of Obama’s white and black ancestors through the swirl of the twentieth century. It is a roots story on a global scale, a saga of constant movement, frustration and accomplishment, strong women and weak men, hopes lost and deferred, people leaving and being left. Disparate family threads converge in the climactic chapters as Obama reaches adulthood and travels from Honolulu to Los Angeles to New York to Chicago, trying to make sense of his past, establish his own identity, and prepare for his political future.

Barack Obama: The Story chronicles as never before the forces that shaped the first black president of the United States and explains why he thinks and acts as he does. Much like the author’s classic study of Bill Clinton, First in His Class, this promises to become a seminal book that will redefine a president.

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A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother, by Janny Scott

A Singular Woman, Janny Scott
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 978-1594485596
Buy it at

The New York Times bestseller-an unprecedented look into the life and character of the woman who raised a president.

Barack Obama has written extensively about his father but credited his mother for “what is best in me.” Still, little is known about this fiercely independent, spirited woman who raised the man who became the first biracial president of the United States. This book is that story.

In A Singular Woman, award-winning New York Times reporter Janny Scott tells the story of this unique woman, Stanley Ann Dunham, who broke many of the rules of her time, and shows how her fierce example helped influence the future president-and can serve as an inspiration to us all.

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Surviving against the Odds, by S. Ann Dunham

A Singular Woman, Janny Scott
Published: Dec 2009
ISBN: 978-0822346876
Buy it at

President Barack Obama’s mother, S. Ann Dunham, was an economic anthropologist and rural development consultant who worked in several countries including Indonesia. Dunham received her doctorate in 1992. She died in 1995, at the age of 52, before having the opportunity to revise her dissertation for publication, as she had planned. Dunham’s dissertation adviser Alice G. Dewey and her fellow graduate student Nancy I. Cooper undertook the revisions at the request of Dunham’s daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng. The result is Surviving against the Odds, a book based on Dunham’s research over a period of fourteen years among the rural metalworkers of Java, the island home to nearly half Indonesia’s population. Surviving against the Odds reflects Dunham’s commitment to helping small-scale village industries survive; her pragmatic, non-ideological approach to research and problem solving; and her impressive command of history, economic data, and development policy. Along with photographs of Dunham, the book includes many pictures taken by her in Indonesia.

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President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address on Martin Luther King Day, January 21, 2013

Length: 21:21
Source: Whitehouse official YouTube channel
Transcript: Read the official transcript

Complete Coverage of 2013 Inauguration Ceremony

2013 Inauguration Ceremony (1:20:43), Source: Whitehouse official Youtube channel

President Obama visits Osawatomie, Kansas on December 6, 2011

President Obama in his remarks at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomie, Kansas said, this is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.

Length: 55:04
Source: Whitehouse official YouTube channel
Transcript: Read the official transcript

President Obama’s speaks at Butler Community College, El Dorado, Kansas on January 29, 2008

Watch President Obama’s “Reclaiming the American Dream” speech in its entirety delivered on the campus of Butler Community College in El Dorado, KS, on Kansas Day, January 29, 2008.

Length: 48:39
Source: Butler Community College
Transcript: (Not currently available)