Tough campaign? Much worse in 1800

On the eve of the elections, popular author and historian David McCullough guides Morley Safer on an American historical journey

As the mud starts to fly in the last days of Campaign 2012, historian and author David McCullough tells Morley Safer that the current name-calling pales in comparison to the days of old. Recounting how Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams in 1800, McCullough says Jefferson paid a journalist to write that his opponent was a mentally unbalanced hermaphrodite. Adams spread the word that a Jefferson victory would mean murder, rape, and robbery in the streets. But the two candidates never got along apparently.

Philadelphia's historic Carpenter's Hall is a backdrop for this "60 Minutes" story that looks at elections and the country's current state through the prism of history.

Safer's story will be broadcast on "60 Minutes" Sunday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7:00 p.m. PT.