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tv   Harry Trumans Education  CSPAN  November 21, 2021 7:10am-7:41am EST

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wars between 1750 and 1951. they imagine a nation -sized republic. they could imagine the separation of church and state, creation of a secular society from the point of view government authority. that had ever happened before either and find political scientists think it is crucial and an invention of the creation ofthe founding . the tenets of wasn't meaning there's no single source of sovereignty in the american republic. which everyone from there for one thoughtyou had to have . all those were great triumphs and amidst the triumphs there were two enormous tragedies. one is the failure to reach a just accommodation with the
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native americans and the other is the failure to end slavery. >> watched the full program and thousands more c-span >> thank you for joining us for our next trip down the track . i'm kathy mccarthy director of strategic initiative and host for our journey through the permanent exhibition of the truman presidential library and museum after he spent $29 million rent renovation. the series will provide you with access to all the gfascinatinggalleries, artifacts, films and stories inside . before i give the all important to give a quick to our whistles series author. we're going to travel to missouri at the turn-of-the-century to explore truman's formative years. after watching truman's ascension to the presidency
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which was brilliantly detailed in the first episode in our whistles series by aj banks available for viewing on the truman library institute website, we will stop in the next gallery about politics to explore the origins of the 33rd president and discover the things in truman's paththat prepared him for the presidency . artifacts, documents and hands-on accidents in the first realm of politics. in the first room of politics gallery will guide you through the construction of f the strong foundation truman laid on to succeed in the presidency. his midwestern background, small values and close personal relationships. this includes the lasting impressions clause where you can get a lasting impression on truman. for today's journey we have a special conductor.
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it's me. in addition to hosting whistles stops for the truman library institute i was project lead for the nationally recognized truman library permanent exhibition and i am honored to be your conductor today. i'll take your tickets and we will be's locomotive rolling. although truman was the last non-us presidents to not have a college degree and the only one in the 20th century he was far from uneducated but in an early age truman was an avid reader wand would be proper rest ofhis life on the bible to the history to fiction and poetry . truman himself was a great student of history which was extremely important to understand as if one wants to understand him . in the gallery many photos of young truman you'll see his classes like this one him at age 13 .
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by the time truman's eyesight limited his abilities he was enjoying many outdoor activities s. instead truman fill his time with reading and playingthe piano . in the galleries when you walk by it will you will see several pieces truman enjoyed playing. thisis one of them . truman's story of piano playing is the whole story by itself so we'll leave thatfor another day . for this one we will focus on thereading . this is a photograph of truman with his brother vivian and in this picture he is too. there he is later in 1894 with diphtheria. before there was a vaccine. the area was a serious bacterial infection that could be deadly inchildren . truman was temporarily paralyzed in the arms and legs. remembering this period his
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sister said that's when truman started reading so much. else so n't do much he lie on the floor and put the books down on the floor in front of him and he would read that way. for his 10th birthday his wamother gave him a four volume set of charles as corn, great men and famous women. a series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of 200 of the most prominent people in history. before the four volumes were sold in stages, workmen and heroes and artists and authors. the set of books in the exhibit are not the original ones truman read but they are from the same trend. truman would later recount the receipt of these books, his favorite of which as one of the turning pointin his life . not to be outdone by his wife truman's father john gifted him the noble grecians and romans.
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between the two books truman gathered a list of heroes he strove to emulate, characters he held dear lessons you carry into the presidency. a few of these heroes are detailed in the gallery. today we will look in depth at not only some of what truman read and what away but how the received the present but first we should see his biographies as noble individuals work forward. mary ellen and john truman wanted a house full of books for their family. you see the grandview farm which they filled with as many books as they could . they had a complete set of william shakespeare which truman consumed. truman also read poetry and in the songs and poems of robert burns leslie hall he first copied longhand as a senior and carry copy in his
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walletfor the rest of his life . a listing eating 42: capture aptruman's idealism and vision of a peaceful world. i'm going to read a stanza of it right now. until the war drums rob no longer and the parliament of man, the federation of the world. their common sense shall hold the realm in law and kindly earth shall slumber locked in universal law. a schoolmate remembers seeing truman take two or three books on every weekend saying by monday he read them all which might have been the case . truman claims he read the bible twice by age 12. by age 14 he says he had read every volume at least 2000 books 3 to 4000 by some estimation in the independent library which is seen here. in his later years in 1962 truman wrote to his friend
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and former secretary of state dean atchison about and you can see what you wrote on the right-hand side i will read for you now. he said believe it or not i read them all including the disciples. maybe i was a damn full but well when my trial came. not surprisingly truman's classmates seen in their senior class photo and truman is in the back row on the left. in a 1960s oral history archives of the truman library one of truman's classmates called truman a great historian. as he remembered a particular instance in which truman helped straighten out the boys during a lively conversation about the dalton gang, a group of outlaws that robbed banks in oklahoma and kansas in 1892. the boys were debating which
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brother had started the group and the attempted bank robbery in kansas that led to the dalton gang's demise and of course trumanhad the answer . henry called and wanted to call him a sissy but they didn't because they had a lot of respect for . the boys might not have called him a sissy but truman called himself a sissy when he recalled those years . looking back truman said reading history to look to me was far more than a romantic adventure. it was solemn instruction and wise teaching which i've felt i needed. i can see history at an extremely valuable lesson to d me. i learned from it and a leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don't want to do and like it. two of truman's high school compilations are in the collection of the truman t library. the writing is about people and moral ideas that truman
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gathered from his reading and from them we can conclude the following about truman's belief . current patriotism was important. shame was the test of all. on courage truman wrote the virtue i call courage is not in facing a foe but taking care of those at home.a true heart, strong mind and a great deal of courageand i think a man will get through the world . after world war ii courage and a strong mind got truman through his stewardship of a democratic order but that's a gallery down the track. after reading the merchant of venice which can be seen here , truman wrote about what he believed was the ideal man. he should be in the first place brave, then your god, must not be cold hardy or supportable but must have a warm heart and love someone.
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with all this reading truman was probably an excellent student, right ? not exactly. we only have truman's grade report card on the exhibit. none of his high school report cards survived the fire but based on oral history we know truman was a good student but not an exceptional one. especially next to his friend and future press secretary charlie rapp who as a latin and mathematics teacher called brilliant. nonetheless it was clear truman had a special something and later miss palmer admitted although perhaps her memory had changed with the benefit of time, i knew harry would amount to something but i never thought he would be president and that's the first lady. after high school truman had ambitions to study law and finance but it was his dim finances and truman's duty to his family that led him through numerous careers, first in the campaign mailroom, through the
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railroad and lastly working at banks in downtown kansas city including the commerce bank twhere we have his employment. he was a good employee. before being called back to the family farm. now, we know how the correspondents change with time and his diaries that he continued to read including some latin just for fun. if you're familiar with the truman story he leaves the family farm to serve, previews there. the next leaves the family farm to serve in world war i. truman impressed his unit with his knowledge of french history. on the city of orleans he insisted they visit the city's cathedral and a bronze statue of joan of arc. the history lessons that truman learned and books you read are evident in his 30 years of public service. reading provided truman
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ethical guidance. he got the tools to make decisions, looking to thepast whenever an issue arose . he went back on the truman balcony after the renovation of the white house looked to history for insight into civil rights, recognition of israel, fighting communism, postwar policy and even whether or not we should run for another term. truman didn't only usehistory . of course he surrounded a with experts before making a decision by the experts he had taken away from his favorite books as a young boy were never far from his mind . as a presiding judge of jackson county truman wrote in his autobiographical manuscripts which he entitled the military career of a missourian that in reading the lives of great men i found the first victory they won was over themselves and theirurges . tdiscipline was all of them in first.
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you'll probably notice he is referring to great men and famous women he found men, the roman general cincinnatus, the general animal , version leader and george washington among others. hannibal was a general and military strategist who later went into politics. it was his ability to judge individual strengths and weaknesses and doing so in fact with only one i truman would reflect that there is not a history so wonderful example of what he may achieveagainst tremendous odds . cincinnatus and washington, we will get back to them in a little bit . truman and his formal education did not match that of his fellow senators and he worked hard for it. assigned to a new commerce
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subcommittee charged with investigating railroad finances truman gathered 50 volumes of railroad management, history and more on the library of congress and in later years he would remark how surprisedand disappointed he was with how few of his congressmen ever utilize the library . so i have staff sitting in the oval office truman said if a man is acquainted with what other people have experienced, it will be easier for him to go through a similar experience. it is ignorant the consequence of mistakes, obstinate to american history at least so staff saw truman's wealth of knowledge is one of his greatest strength and went truman said he would like to have been a history teacher claire clippard asked him rather teach it then make it? truman responded yes, i think so. it would be not nearly so much trouble.
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from years of reading truman was aware of the threat posed by demagogues and bigotry g. among these he included the ku klux klan. despite the inclinations of a missourian and veterans truman new that as president he could not sit idly by any longer and do nothing in the face of the glaring injustices occurring in the south. their response to defense at home icwas to make easy on civil rights truman responded the main difficulty with the south is that they are living 80 years behind the times and thesooner they come out of it the better it will be for the country and for themselves . as wwe will learn in a future with. , truman was allowed to desegregate from the military and federalworkforce . while history informed truman about our great republic he was also steep in knowledge of the challenge toour democracy . on june 16 he told reporters
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inquiring about the red scare read your history through jefferson's administration. the company didn't go to hell is going to now . truman was not ambivalent about communism and its threat to democracy. he assessed the situation and it was the same with thoseold birds in the realm as it was now . the only thing new in the world is the history you don't know. speaking of things we know how we don't truman read the bible? resume ugly the family bible seen here twice over the age of 12. well, because he said so. once writing i/o a great deal of familiarity to the bible and to the fact that i read it through twice before i was 12 years old. after joining the masonic
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lodge truman eventually became a 33 degree mason, i asked were attainedby a us president . truman's may sonic lot including his 33rd degree rain which he wore without the presidency are on exhibit in the college gallery as well as a bible given to him in the service of a mason. in the bible truman found the core of american government which he described in a 1952 address . he quotes president truman so were going to let him tellyou himself . >> the fundamental basis of this nation's high ideals were given to moses on not sign i . the fundamental basis of the bill of rights for our constitution comes from the teachings we get from exodus and matthew in st. paul.
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the sermon on the mount gives us a real life that someday man will understand it as their real way of life. the basis of all great codes is do unto others as you would have others do unto you . treat others as you would like to be treated. some of you may think sucha philosophy as that has no place in politics . but it is nthe only philosophy on which you can base a lasting government. government are built on a rock will not fail. >> one of truman's favorite songs was his own 37. gay we went when we remembered zion. this along with his upbringing and self-administered history education informed truman's reports of jewish state and it's also believe the bible story of cyrus allow them to
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return home influenced truman's views on the establishment of a jewish homeland. the idea of a jewish return to zion resonated with the president even though many in the politicalolmilitary establishment opposed the idea . on may 14, 1948 truman declared de facto recognition of the provisional government of the state of israel which is a fascinating story that we will cover in afuture whistle stop . earlier in truman's reading cincinnatus the military leader was famous for holding power no longer than necessary. like george washington truman admired the men's ability to know how and when to lay down their great power. truman and both in mind when he wrote in april 6, 1950 read memorandum stating he would not run for a third term. you can read both of them on
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the two pages but i will also read it for you . in my opinion eight years of a president is enough and sometimes too much for any man to serve in that capacity . there is a work in power. it can get caught in a man's blood just as gambling and lust for money have been known to this is a republic, the greatest in the history of this world. i want this country to continue as a republic. cincinnatus pointed the way. when we forget the examples of such i'men as washington, jefferson and andrew jackson all of them have had a continuation in office. then we will start down the road to dictatorship and growing. both men also inspired truman to embrace private life after the presidency. seen here e you got , reading with steps in their home on delaware street and independence missouri. when asked by an editor of
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his memoirs if you like to read himself to sleep atnight truman answered no young man, i like to read myself a . interested in following in truman's file footsteps, here's a list to get you started. with our clients, benjamin franklin's autobiography. given the decline and fall of the roman empire. misery struggle for statehood, plato's republic. the complete works of robert first. the completeworks of lord byron . edward shepard 15 decisive battles of the world. charles pearson's economic interpretation of the constitution and william shakespeare, all of his writings. overwhelmed yet? a little piece of advice. it's been a lifelong program for me and if you start out even on this incomplete list you will find it a lengthy study but well worthwhile. and it will keep you out of mischiefto .
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as we approached the station i am going to hand over the control david mccullough to give the final thoughts on truman's heart of literature as told to an audience in front of the truman library and honorable libraries 50th anniversary and 2007. >> apple nolan who was harry truman's cousin wrote very perceptive things about truman. she said among other things i don't know anybody in the world who ever read as much or as constantly as he did. he was what you would call a bookworm. history became a passion as he worked his way through the standard works on ancient egypt, greece and rome . he had a real feeling for history she wrote but it wasn't something in a book it was part of life. a section of life or a former time.
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it was an interest because it had to do with people. harry truman understood history is human. he understood that history is simple. that history of our country is insimple . he understood that in a way there's no such thing as the past. nothing ever happens in the e past. it's only happened in the presence. somebody else's presence, not ours. john adams, george washington, every truman. they didn't want in saying this is fascinating, living in the past. are we remarkable in our following. understood the english language. look at the famous speeches of the 1948 campaign, almost all delivered extemporaneously from the
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back of the trade. look at the quality of the language. the good clear english language. how proud his teachers must have been. if an all one syllable words and would suffice for a three syllable word, it would fall on harry truman to use the short word just as abraham lincoln did. and it had much to do with the fact that he had latin. he had a classical education which is exactly the kind of education john adams or thomas jefferson. and if you were george washington for henry knox work nathaniel greene and you only had a sixth grade education, and you read the classics in english translations.
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the classical education was what they understood the story to me in the founding times. there was no american history to read so they led classical history from classical history came their notions of honor, virtue, honesty and character. character is destiny, the greeks said and if you want to study that in a living model look at the story of harry truman common sense. common sense isn't common as voltaire observed truman understood that. the enormous value of common sense. >> truman's first real test of his common sense, character and leadership is the subject of our next top.
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on october 14 find out what happened after truman wrote home to beth, i wouldn't be less of the greatest history making epic the world has ever seen. you can find information about future installments of this series as well as other interesting programs by signing up for our email 3 3 % 3 3ò % 33%- 3 3 ö 3 3 3-%p--% ö3 %p
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