The year 2016 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of Firing Line, the legendary public affairs television show on which William F. Buckley Jr. hosted many of the twentieth century’s most influential political and cultural figures. The Hoover Library & Archives, which holds the most complete archival collection of original recordings and materials from the show, is marking the anniversary with an exhibition titled Civil Discourse: William F. Buckley Jr.’s Firing Line, 1966–1999.

We invite you to join us in commemorating this anniversary by exploring some of the most remarkable moments from Firing Line’s thirty-three years on the air.

Firing Line: A Retrospective

This booklet catalogs the Library & Archives’ Civil Discourse exhibition and highlights Firing Line’s impact on the worlds of broadcast and ideas. Click on screen shots of the show to view short clips from featured episodes.  


The Hoover Library & Archives has made many of the fifteen hundred Firing Line episodes available online. Five-minute clips of these digitized episodes can be viewed on YouTube; full episodes can be streamed or purchased on DVD at or by special order through Hoover.  

Featured Videos


A variety of online resources are available for exploring Hoover’s Firing Line collection and for seeing how the Hoover Library & Archives preserves significant historical materials.


Hoover’s Firing Line exhibition, Civil Discourse: William F. Buckley Jr.’s Firing Line, 1966–1999, is currently on display at the Herbert Hoover Memorial Pavilion at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. The exhibition is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm through August 2016.

Learn more about visiting the exhibition.

overlay image