Skip to main content

tv   The Presidency Presidents Reflect  CSPAN  April 3, 2021 12:00pm-1:31pm EDT

12:00 pm
here i would like to share some
12:01 pm
things about my life. that you might not know. but for eight and a half years. i was commander in chief. of the continental army and then the army of the united states of america eight and a half years. i was so glad to get back to my my beloved mount vernon and then
12:02 pm
they came and asked me to be president of the constitutional convention. 1787 for four months in very hot humid, philadelphia i chaired the constitutional convention. and on september the 27th of 1787 it was over. and now they come to mount vernon. and they say general you have been unanimously elected president of the united states all 69 electoral votes. we would like you to come to new york or the inauguration. that was in april 14th 1789 two
12:03 pm
days later. i left mount vernon. i wrote to henry knox my good friend. and i said i am like a culprit. heading for the place of execution. the last thing i want to do. is to leave my peaceful abode. and go into an ocean of difficulties. believe me i knew it would be an ocean of difficulties. but martha was very upset. she said if you're going to be president. you go on. but i have to get the kids ready. and it's going to take a few months for me to get to new york. well, i arrived by myself. in new york on april the 24th.
12:04 pm
i was to be inaugurated. april the 30th well i had a lot of lot of fanfare and a lot of good things happening do you know that in new york city almost every window? had a silhouette. of me with a candle behind it. almost every window in the entire city. night before the inauguration the night of the inauguration when april the 30th came i didn't was not inaugurated in this uniform. however, i use this uniform many times. during the presidency. we were about to come out to the podium the federal hall. and justice livingston the
12:05 pm
highest ranking judicial person in america at the time was going to administer the oath of office. when i realized there was no bible. immediately i told them. find a bible. to go over to the masonic temple, which was right next door. and to get the bible that i need to take an oath. on the sacred word well, the oath was very short, of course. but when i got to the end i said that i will do everything in my power to preserve and protect and defend the constitution. of the united states i added the
12:06 pm
words. so help me god. and in the ritual of the masonic order, which i was a very high person i stooped. and kissed the bible. now the day before congress made a resolution that following the oath of office. all of congress and the supreme court will join the president and vice president special services at saint paul's chapel five blocks away the reason it was that saint paul's chapel. is in 1789. it was the only public building. still standing that was not
12:07 pm
destroyed during the invasion of new york by the british we had carriages prepared. to convey all of congress down to saint paul's. however, the press of the crowd was so great more than 10,000 people. we could not get the carriages through. so people stood aside. and i in congress walked. the five blocks for two hours we prayed. in that place. i told reverend provost. i want no sermons this. is a petitioning. service a time of prayer for this new government and this wonderful the united states of america. and we prayed for lands beyond
12:08 pm
the rivers that we know not. do you know? that i understand. that just 20 years ago. another invasion manhattan brought back about almost equal destruction where thousands of lives were taken. one block from saint paul's chapel yet not. stained glass window in that chapel was destroyed the important thing is that that sacred ground is still sacred. and so it's the united states of america. that many people and many forces that want to destroy our constitution and our way of
12:09 pm
life. we cannot allow that ever to happen. thank you for joining me on president's day. i hope you've enjoyed some of the experiences that i had being the first president because i walked on untrodden paths. you too. are walking into the future? many of you an trodden paths how do my name is abraham lincoln. i am your 16th president of these great united states. i am standing before you to proclaim that as the president. i have taken the solomo to
12:10 pm
uphold our constitution our bill of rights and our declaration of independence of which i was sworn to do. i believe that in contemplation of universal law and of this constitution the union of these states is perpetual. it is my duty to preserve protect and defend this country against all aggressors foreign. and domestic my intent is a free and prosperous people in a free and prosperous land. now these are my standards. these are the rules that i govern by as president of the united states. but they have been challenged recently. though it is not the first time. since our founding fathers there have been disagreements on how this country should be run. and we've up to this time pretty much come up with. compromises according to or
12:11 pm
because of henry clay we have had the missouri compromise of 1820 we have the tariff compromise of 1833. now the compromise of 1850. and pretty much we have been able to have this balance of government. between the north and the south but now that little giant steven douglas has proposed the kansas-nebraska act? with that popular sovereignty will decide if a territory becoming a state will be free or slave? this has boiled over into the presidency. i am honored to be. the candidate for the newly formed republican party for the presidency.
12:12 pm
but with my nomination the south has said we are done even though many times as i spoke before them. i stressed that i will not change any of their ways of life any of their peculiar institutions. in fact, it is not in my power to do so. when i was nominated and elected in november the south said they had had enough. and within the time of the four months between being elected and being in office. starting with south carolina seven states decided to succeed from the union. can they do that? can they just get up and walk out? in my opinion, they can't do that. but with president buchanan still in office. i have to wait. even though mr. buchanan is a southern sympathizer.
12:13 pm
he agrees that secession is wrong, but he feels that he is powerless to do anything about it. and while i wait in springfield, illinois having to entertain all kinds of well-wishers. all kinds of office seekers and returning hundreds and hundreds of letters. i am also receiving many death threats. these come in letter form and they stressed that if i were to enter washington, it will be my last days. i cannot let this bother me. if i were to live in fear every day. how could i get any work done? so i've bundled them up in a string and just tucked them away. so here i wait. there are threats of me being on the train going into washington as i pass through baltimore that my life is threatened when leaving one train entering another train. do i listen to them?
12:14 pm
do i listen to pinkerton when he tells me that it is inevitable? i must say though. i did travel the night before. my schedule and i did sneak into washington. i regret it now. but i felt it was the right thing to do at the time. so here we are. the day of my inauguration there are sharpshooters at the tops of the buildings. there are artillery down at the base. are we expecting an assassination? of rebellion. i certainly hope not. well the day has gone well. and we are on to our first weeks. has president of the united states? but i pretty much had to walk into, washington. at a trot the south has seceded seven states with many more ready to succeed.
12:15 pm
i have been asked by the north to send troops down. i profess that i will not be the aggressor. i will not fire the first shot. but the south has taken over nearly 100 forts armaments. supplies do we let this go on? this has to stop somewhere. well in the middle of charleston bay in south carolina. fort sumner stands at the ready to protect this great country. we still occupy that fort with general anderson. he is running out of supplies. he is asking for support. do i send in a ship? do i let them surrender? to me. this is the point of no return. we are standing our ground here. but sadly on april 12th, 4:30 in the morning. the cannons started firing on fort sumner at 7:30 general
12:16 pm
anderson returned fire this was the beginning of the war? i had asked for 75,000 militia from the individual states. to squelch this rebellion i hope that it doesn't last much longer than the month. but the war has come. it good afternoon. i am delighted to be here with you on president's day as is my good friend here ollie. i know there's quite a bit to see out here in the gardens isn't there? well, ladies and gentlemen one
12:17 pm
of the most important topics. i'd like to speak to you today about is environmentalism and conservation, of course many of the presidents of our wonderful united states have been concerned about our footprint on the environment, but no greater ally has existed in the oval office than myself theodore roosevelt. you see as president. i had a strong take when it came to preserving the resources that our country greatly utilizes as a young man. in the north dakota badlands, i realized there was a strong decimation a bison elk big horn sheep. we have to protect these animals protect the wonderful glorious heritage that we've been given in this country. isn't that right ollie? well as president i founded the united states forest service and utilized by power in the
12:18 pm
executive position to save over 230 million acres of public land. i also established 51 federal bird reserves. isn't that right ollie? well, of course conservation is not only about preserving. it's also about discovery. discovery, of course in my time had to be done in the field. that's why you'll find when learning about myself. there are quite a few expeditions that i was famous for. of course my african hunting trip partnered with the smithsonian and our 1913 expedition to the south american amazon rainforest, of course where several specimen were brought back had quite an adventure was undertaken. this is my good friend amelia. she is a red tail boa one of the very many snakes we documented in the amazon during the 1913 1914 expedition now amelia isn't the largest snake we documented of course. the largest was the green
12:19 pm
anaconda the one we encountered of course was 16 feet long and over 240 pounds. amelia is not quite that big. ah now the roosevelt wrong dawn expedition that i spoke about of course was one of the many attempts to try and understand how not only species like amelia, but as well as man interact with ecosystems undocumented to man if we reduce our footprint we can preserve specimens like amelia, and of course the ecosystems that she resides in we want to leave the world a greater place than we found it for those that follow after us. now remember keep your feet on the ground and your head in the stars you'll go far.
12:20 pm
president calvin coolidge here at your disposal i was president of the united states from 1923 until 1929. i inherited the office from warren g hardin who died suddenly in california of a heart attack. we believe where it wasn't a brain hemorrhage. we'll find out later from the autopsy reports. now the budget was very much part of my administration. i had entered office with a larger budget than when i had left. it was much smaller when i had gone in 1929. i had also. increased the spending of the average american had gone up. 30% production and went up 70% in the 1920s under my administration. and 98% of everyone who was working paid absolutely no
12:21 pm
income tax whatsoever by the time of 1927 had rolled around many things that happened at that time as you know, lindbergh had flown across the atlantic. for the first time some now, we were one world as it were. however, getting back to the economy i would like to say that. i had actually lowered taxes on the rich from 50% to 30% and increase the revenue at the same time. three times over what it was before. how did i do this? well production had gone up 70% remember? there were many accomplishments i had done. and during my tenure in office one of them was the kellogg breon pact which we tried to reduce. of the battleships were very very important at this time, and
12:22 pm
we wanted to limit the power of the battleships were five nations. so that war would not be as quite as eminent as it was but the kellogg briand packed. said that we will not. use war as an instrument of national policy ever again. however, this was a good principle to lay down at this time and hopefully in the future it will be a good principle. no, i want to go to an interesting anecdote in 1924. i had signed the indian citizenship act which stated that. indians were going to be citizens of the united states. no, you probably may not have known that. but they were considered members of sovereign nations within the boundaries of the united states meaning of course that now under the citizenship act they could
12:23 pm
be citizens and vote. and have all the rights and privileges of american citizens. however many of the states do not follow suits and that is an ongoing struggle as you know. so as a gesture. of goodwill 1927 i went to the lakota nation and there i was awarded an indian. feather bonnets which is placed upon my head by the daughter. of a yellow robe. was a great chief at that time. lakota nations and i'd spent the whole summer there in the lakota nation. worth my family and vacation there and i must say i was very well rewarded. many quotations of mine have not necessarily been documented as well as you know, i may have you
12:24 pm
may have heard rather that i had said that the business of america is business, which i did say, but i would also like to add. that i also added that the idea of the my american people is idealism. so there was one thing that i like to emphasize. that you cannot minimize evil unless you have overcome it with good. and that the natural rights of the american citizen must be implemented with the institutions of laws. i have also said that one person with law is a majority. so i'd like to leave you with this one thought. that as american citizens the idea of government is for the betterment of the american people? and to secure their natural
12:25 pm
rights and also to minimize the influence of the wealthy class and perhaps to minimize them to the extreme. well, let's just say that. we want to do as much as we can for those who are less fortunate than we are. thank you. i remain calvin coolidge. here a few weeks ago we created a nationwide organization to find a cure for polio. named the march of dimes i have asked all americans especially children to whom this dreaded disease strikes the hottest. to send their loose change to the white house. i'm happy to report that thousands you have mailed cards and letters each containing a
12:26 pm
dime to the white house here in washington. during the past few days bags of male hadn't coming and yesterday between 40 and 50,000 letters came to the mail room of the white house today even a greater number. i cannot tell you for we can only estimate the actual count by counting the mail bags themselves. in all the envelopes are dimes and quarters and even dollar bills. from grown ups and children mostly from children who want to help other children get well. it is glorious to be associated with a work like this. i know with your support. we will find a cure for this dreaded disease. god bless you for all your help. hello there. i'd like to tell you the story of how the mod should dimes
12:27 pm
which eventually conquered polio came about for the first half of the 20th century parents dreaded the arrival of summer. those were the war months when polio would strike without warning. most of its victims were children young children many would recover but those who did not could face temporary or permanent paralysis or even death. i was one of those rare cases i was strickened with polio when i was 39. and after a long and painful illness i was told that i would never walk unassisted again. months of therapy followed i was fitted with leg braces and i was able to stand with the aid of crutches. and a cane but when i was in private i had to rely on a small wheelchair that i designed using an old kitchen chair and bicycle wheels so allowed me to navigate around the narrow doorways of my home.
12:28 pm
it was then that i decided to dedicate myself to finding new treatments in a cure for polio. it was then that i heard about a rundown resort in warm springs, georgia. whose therapeutic mineral waters? could aid victims of polio and spinal injuries at warm springs? my therapist taught me that by locking my leg braces. i could take short steps. i could by swiveling my torso and grasping a strong person with my left hand. i holding the cane with my right could walk but warm springs needed assistance and so in 1926, i purchased it. my former law partner basil o'connor and a few like-minded friends created the georgia warm springs foundation and for many years warm springs was the only such facility devoted to polio patients, and then i returned to public life first as a two-term governor of new york and then in
12:29 pm
1932 has of united states. warm springs foundation continued to raise money and then in 1938 it became the march of dimes and we asked american citizens to send their dimes to president roosevelt at the white house and it was a smashing success that first year. we raised 1.8 million dollars. i'd like to read you a short excerpt from the new york times about the history of the march of dimes. the organization focused on the rehabilitation of victims of polio and supported the work of jonah salk and others who led to the development of polio vaccines. regrettably. i did not live to see a vaccine but on april 12th 1955. the 10th anniversary to the day of my passing. the march of dimes announced the
12:30 pm
successful research of dr. salk's vaccine. millions of people would be vaccinated and polio were virtually disappear from the earth. now many of you are probably wondering how a man of my day who was handicapped would ever become president. in my day handicapped people were shunned. they were an object to pity to be embarrassed or locked away in sanitarians or darkened back bedrooms. and of course there were no access or accommodations for those with disabilities and that would not come until 70 years. later. with the passage of the americans with disability act, which was signed. i might add by a republican president. when i was president. i did not want to be pitted. i wanted to be known as the president who happened to have a disability and not the disabled president. and so i went to great lengths to show that i should be
12:31 pm
identified as an individual and not by my disability. of course, i went to certain links to to convince the people that i was capable and so i would not allow myself to be shown in a wheelchair or helped in and out of automobiles and when i spoke the four large crowds special ramps were built to me to walk assisted. to the lectern i never once publicly acknowledged my disability with one exception. and that was my final state of the union address in 1945, which i gave seated. and i said to the congress at the time. i hope you will pardon my my posture of sitting. but i think you all realize it is not easy for me to carry around 10 pounds of steel around the bottom of my legs. i was your president. for 12 long years time of great
12:32 pm
national crisis the great depression and the second world war and i think i can say that i'm pretty pleased with how things turned out. but i must confess that it was the march of dimes which gave me the greatest personal satisfaction. oh and one more thing. after my passing the congress honored me by pacing my image on the dime. not so much has a reminder of me, but a reminder the millions of americans who sent their dimes to president roosevelt at the white house to help end polio. and i can think of no greater example of the true generosity and that unique american spirit. god bless you all.
12:33 pm
good morning. my name is maureen nunn and it's an honor and a privilege for me to be here today to portray a lifetime a long time friend first lady pat nixon. i was fortunate to know her my entire life. my mother helene drown and pat ryan. that was her last name maiden name met and taught at whittier high school in whittier, california, and then as you know, pat married a wonderful handsome young attorney from yorba linda and became pat nixon. my mother helene and pat remained the closest of friends until they both died in the year 1993. so again, i was so fortunate to have known her. and pat and -- as i called him and the two daughters tricia and julie were just wonderful. we enjoyed so many great times with him outside of the public eye.
12:34 pm
pat nixon said about herself. i'm an ordinary woman and i've had extraordinary circumstances and opportunities, but you know what? she was really really humble because she was as comfortable as meeting people that you read about in history books as she was about engaging in a conversation at a grocery store. so it's just an honor and a privilege for me to portray her and very fitting today to portray mrs. nixon and to be among our five most notable presidents of the united states. thank you so much for being here today president, washington president lincoln president theodore roosevelt president, calvin, coolidge and president franklin roosevelt. i have been pinch me moments of sitting here. is this really true? and thank you so so much for being here today. so i'd like to go first of all welcome president washington. thank you. it's an honor and a privilege to meet you nothing. so the first question i have for you is as the first president of
12:35 pm
our nation, i would like to ask you why did you decide to elect a president instead of naming a king? well i said one king. george is enough. and i frankly didn't even want to be president the last thing i ever wanted to be was king. might interest you to know that before i was inaugurated. the senate passed a resolution my title should be his highness george washington president of the united states in defender people ah, i finally put an end to that said it's mr. president. okay. as most of us are aware the president takes the oath of office. during his inauguration. so where did the first inauguration take place? well.
12:36 pm
washington dc was then known as the federal city and the seed of government was new york and when i became president i had to borrow. $600 because i was land-rich cash poor to to go to new york. to be inaugurated on the 30th of march. in 1789 martha was so upset that i was giving more time to this country. she said you go. i will come with the children when i'm ready and have them ready. she came in june i went in march that is really interesting. i had no knowledge of this at all. okay, so historically over a dozen of our nations presidents have served during times of
12:37 pm
military conflict at home or abroad and general washington served as acting commander in chief of the continental army, but not all of us are aware president theodore roosevelt service overseas. so president roosevelt, what was your president roosevelt, what was your involvement in the spanish-american war? well, the spanish-american war is what we consider one of america's tiny wars. you see during the spanish-american war i volunteered and coordinated the first volunteer cavalry what became to be known as roosevelt's rough riders. it was a rag-tag mix of new york socialites harvard graduates and western cowboys, and i had met during my time in the west in the dakota badlands and further into arizona what we participated in the assault on the santiago heights as well as san juan hill and kettle hill.
12:38 pm
which was quite the undertaking. now i served as a lieutenant colonel and i was made a bona fide colonel before the assault on the san juan heights. it was a war that many historians would consider to be an act of american aggression or imperialism. but like president washington said during his term the only way to preserve the peace is to be ready for war. so while both president theodore roosevelt and president george washington served in instances of combat, both president lincoln and president franklin delano roosevelt navigated conflict at home and abroad as president. big tasks, so president lincoln before we discuss your role in the war between the states. can you define for us what it means when a state secedes from the union? and in your opinion, when did
12:39 pm
the civil war actually start? oh my the word succeed is an interesting word. i am a strong constitutionalist. let's i'm sure everyone here is also and the word secede is not in our constitution. so to me, this was a insurrection, this was rebellion. these states in my opinion. we're still part of the union. and it was my duty. to bring them back to the union. so i would not say that they seceded. i wouldn't say necessarily that they win as far as treasonous. because they really didn't want to take over the whole united states. you just wanted to be left alone. but according to my constitution our constitution, i could not allow that to happen. and what was the second question you'd asked. when did the the civil war actually start? there is even some controversy about that.
12:40 pm
before i became president seven states had decided to secede from the union. and i was sitting in springfield and i really couldn't do much about it. buchanan was still president. when i was sworn in and in march. all of this. hit me at once. in this time period between december and march the southern states that seceded were taking over forts armaments depots and we were pretty much just letting them walk in and chase our soldiers out. well, it had to come to a head somewhere. i did not want to be the aggressor. because i felt that that was not our position. we were to defend the united states not. you know not conquer them. and as the newly elected president when the issue of fort sumpter came up it was in the charleston bay in south carolina. they had even petitioned me to
12:41 pm
turn it over to them and i could not allow this to happen. that wouldn't be a very strong president right off the bat and in southern carolina and the confederacy if they were to back down that would make them weak. so we pretty much came to a head there. so sadly on. april 12th around 4:30 in the morning general beauregard of the confederate states and decided that he had had enough. so he fired on the fort. our general anderson, who was there at the fort? held back till about 7:30. and i believe as soon as he fired that first shot. it was no longer a rebellion. it was a civil war so i would say at 7:30 in the morning on april 12th. was the beginning of the civil war?
12:42 pm
thank you so much. thank you. so president franklin delano roosevelt welcome and you served as the commander in chief during world war ii and what's considered the largest military conflict globally. can you talk about your relationships with foreign leaders united under a common cause yes, and thank you for having us here today. my relationship with the foreign leaders was in many ways much like my relationship with the congress. it was political. we had to find common ground. we were unified in fighting against fascism and both europe and in the far east. but my allies which were great britain and the soviet union. and the united states we all had different ideas of how to run different governments so that took a bit of tricky navigation now of course my relationship with winston churchill was very good. we i often thought of him as a brother in some cases. we had a common background and as a matter of fact we found out
12:43 pm
later that we were eighth cousins several times removed. oh my goodness, winston's mother was an american yes. general stalin or marshall stalin was he was a bit of a cipher he was paranoid. he was convinced that we were going to sign a separate piece with germany. and so that was a bit of tricky business. so we did have differences we had differences with great britain. they wanted to keep their empire. and as you know america was a british colony at one time and we were not interested in imperialism. that being said the main issue was to fight fascism. and to come out with a peaceful world and a good and lasting. peace. thank you. thank you for working so hard to do this. yes, president, washington. yes. so while the people of the nation would have asked more of you. why did you choose to only serve two terms as president?
12:44 pm
i wrote to my good friend henry knox. when i was heading for new york i said i'm like a convict. going to his execution. i'm leaving the serenity of mount vernon. to an ocean of difficulties and i didn't even want the first. and then i had the second. and the only reason i gave in for the second administration. the second term was because of the french revolution. i was really concerned about what was going on in europe and wanted to keep america out of entanglements. with europe, so i i allowed myself be re-elected again.
12:45 pm
knew that i was the cincinnatus. i was the one that was like the great roman. general who after winning great battles went home to his farm, cincinnati? and so this is what i wanted to do. go back home. i did not want any more part. of government and you held true i held true. yes. okay, go back home. yeah. all right, president, coolidge. yes. good morning, and welcome you were giving credit for a booming economy at home and no visible crises at all abroad in 1924. would you say that the state of the union's economy after only a year and a half of your administration was a reason that you were reelected?
12:46 pm
well, as i was a first president on their warranty harding who had died suddenly in august. from 1923 the economy was starting to improve slightly. however, my policies really did not begin to be affected. until much later in my after i was elected that is in 1924. after of course assuming the office however, i believe that my policies were at a time when america was eager for great prosperity and the purchasing of great commodities and goods were available electricity and airplanes automobiles and radio. these are all very new technologies and people were eager for a new age. some say the jazz age and such.
12:47 pm
and i was quite flattered to be featured on many newsreel films at the time in theaters. so i would say that country was eager and for lowering of taxes and lowering of spending at the same time. so i would say that that contributed to the great prosperity that we had. you so much lowering taxes. yes. so president franklin roosevelt you were elected to four consecutive terms as president. so how were you allowed to do so and then a follow-up question aren't there term limits to the president's tenure. thank you. in 1939, which was one year before the presidential election of 1940. germany invaded poland in the second world war began in europe we were in the process of
12:48 pm
building up our defenses. and frankly, i was not looking forward to a third time. i was going to take a leaf from general washington's book and one of the return to my home and hyde park. yes, and so i left that up to the democratic national convention. said to them. if you want to draft me i'll run but i'd rather go hope well, they drafted me so i accepted. i might add that in 1944. i came up to run for my fourth term and i think the american people in their wisdom realized it's never a good idea to change a horse in midstream. now as far as prohibitions at the time i was present there were no constitutional prohibitions against serving more than two times. that was a tradition begin by general washington. there were attempts in 1880. ulysses' grant thought about running for third term as president, although he did not receive the nomination that went to james garfield.
12:49 pm
and my cousin theodore. took four years off and attempted to run for a third term in 1912. unsuccessfully i might have that all changed in 1947 when congress decided that two terms should be codified in the constitution and after that process going through the state ratification in 1951. it became the 22nd amendment. presidents are now limited to only two times. thank you. so over the course of nearly 250 years several attempts on the president lives have been made some successful and some not. had these attacks successfully prevailed or failed this nation could have seen history and fold a little differently than it did. so president lincoln you had you survived the attack at forge theater and you were allowed to carry on your plans for weekends
12:50 pm
before we construction. how would have healed the nation? during the war and now a year and a half before it actually ended we are already thinking of reconstruction. we had come up with the proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction and the high points of that. was that the we would have full pardon to those who were in rebellion. the states that wanted to come back to the union had to sign an oath of allegiance to the united states. and that they would also have to start plans to deal with the former enslaved peoples to bring them back into society or to bring them into society. so those are the plans that we had started way before the end of the war.
12:51 pm
you said something about ford's theater? something i should know. you talk that would be hard to talk about since something happened to you that night. stay away from the theater. okay. i'll have to ask mary about. that she's very strong-willed. to go he wanted to go you don't say no to mary general grant. what invited? will find out. interesting. she did not go. to the ford theater that night and you would ask her to go. general grant general grant did not go general granted not go. yes, why are we bringing up imports theater bringing up these? okay. let's shift. thank you. my dear the president the door
12:52 pm
roosevelt just four years after you left the white house in 1909 as a third party candidate under the progressive bull moose party, and i want to repeat that because i don't think we hear very much of that the progressive bull moose party you were attacked in milwaukee, wisconsin on october the 14th 1912. can you please tell us about that event? sure while i was campaigning in milwaukee for my what would be my third administration my third term as president. i was shot within a five-foot distance. i was standing in an automobile outside of a hotel that i was leaving preparing for a speech that i was going to give it 8 pm john shrank who was a 36 year old resident of milwaukee had actually been following my movements in the city. he was known to be mental patient the schizophrenic and he had decided that progressivism was something that this country
12:53 pm
didn't need. he'd like to be more literal take of the democrats and the republicans. and so while i gave a few remarks to the crowd shrank walked up to the automobile and fired. luckily i of course was carrying my glasses case. oh my god now glasses cases are a little different these days. this one's made of steel. now the glasses case that i was wearing or had on. my person stopped the bullet almost entirely from piercing the skin. now it lodged itself in one of my ribs, but i was not taken to the hospital. i stood and gave the speech that i was going to give that evening from the automobile 60 pages. 60 60 pages, of course. those were the times where speeches were long-winded. shrank was arrested. and i of course sought medical treatment the day after where doctors advised me at this point. it was a little late to remove the bullet.
12:54 pm
so i spent the rest of the time with fragments of the bullet in my chest, but the glasses case of course is something that has been displayed since my presidency at sagamore hill my place of residence and like i said, then i'll say today it takes more than that to kill a bull moose. that's right. that's wonderful. thank you very much. okay, president franklin roosevelt one could say that you suffered from an attack on your of a different kind. can you elaborate as to how your paralysis caused by polio limited your presidency? and what was your relationship with the press that it was just such a heavily guarded secret. nobody knew about it. well, i'd like to think they didn't limit me at all. i could not walk unassisted. i needed a cane i needed to hold somebody's arm and when in private i used a wheelchair to
12:55 pm
get around, but i did not allow that to limit me and what i wanted to do. i think it's rather interesting that when i was depicted in cartoons and newspapers including several republican ones. i was shown chopping wood. jumping over fences and in one broadway play i was even depicted tap dance, which i think is rather ironic. my disability polio was not a huge secret. i had just run for vice president in 1920 when i could come down with polio in august of 1921 and my slow recovery was covered by all the major newspapers of the day. i was a public figure. i think a lot of people didn't realize the extent of my disability and when i decided to run for president, i wanted to be a president who happened to have a disability and not a disabled president and so disabilities in those days made people uncomfortable. they were people felt pity for
12:56 pm
the disabled or in some would sometimes even scorn and so i did not want people to pity me. and so i went to considerable links not to show my disability. i wouldn't be allowed to i wouldn't allow myself to be photographed in wheelchair and when i spoke and i had to walk to a lectin i had special ramps built so i could walk assisted to those. i want to point out that 100 years ago when i was strict with polio. it was a completely different world. and now i am delighted that the changes have made specially about 30 years ago with the passage of the americans for disabilities act which is made access for disabled people so much easier, and i just to point out. that the governor of texas greg abbott has been in a wheelchair since 1984. tammy duckworth who was an iraqi war veteran who lost both her legs in that conflict is now the
12:57 pm
senator from, illinois. and so just goes to show that if you are determined you can accomplish anything. thank you. beautifully said, thank you so much and going back to you. too our shot metal glass case, but the show goes on 60 pages. you didn't let anything deter you. no, i mean i can see the resilience for all of you the show goes on literally so great president washington back to you again. can you recall any instances of interaction between the native tribes and the newly formed united states early on in our nation's history. oh, yes. oh, yes if you if you have the privilege of reading the state of the union addresses. that i gave all the first one i did not mention the native americans, but all the rest of them within the first five minutes of the state of the union.
12:58 pm
i shared the situation as it was on the frontier. i shared situation as it was with with treaties that i could make but congress. did not follow through. now we had several several things. i love the native americans. they were my guides. they saved my life during the french and indian war. i tried to get colonel braddock to to use only indian guides on our it's battle, but he didn't he said i will i am an englishman i will not. take the advice of savages that was his words. i love the native americans and when i became president, i said that. that we want to do everything we
12:59 pm
can to make. inhabitant of this great country secure and dwell in peace and that is also and i added for the native americans. now we had two major problems on the frontier one. well, the native americans who did not want to abide by the sovereign nation. and the others the other was the the english speaking who did not want to abide and so in 1794. in august there were two great events on the frontier. one i had to reconstitute the army. put anthony wayne general with 3500 troops to put down.
1:00 pm
and indian uprising which he did? but in the same month i secured a militia of 22,000 from four states. and i dress up in my uniform. that hangs in the smithsonian today. and i wrote out to look at the troops. they saw commander in chief coming there was not one shot fired. that was the whiskey rebellion you might have heard of the whiskey rebellion because they refused to pay taxes on whiskey. we put down both rebellions. in the same month of the same year the second administration. so yes, i had i had some problems.
1:01 pm
but we tried to resolve them the best way we could. it sounds like you work very hard to do this. oh, there's always on my mind always. thank you very much president coolidge speaking of relationships. you had unprecedented relationships with a native americans across the american frontier and how would you say that the individual states reacted to your relationships with the native native americans and you're helping them achieve citizenship for indigenous populations. well, that is a very complicated question because it has often been a situation between the states and the federal government which was actually written into the constitution as a system of checks and balances as some have seen it and at the time of the 14th amendment was ratified by congress and 1865. the native americans were called
1:02 pm
indians and those days were specifically. determined to be not citizens because they were living on reservations or sovereign nations as we recognize them and if they did not pay taxes, they were not citizens. well, the indian citizenship act of 1924 had rectified that situation and stipulated that all native americans or indians would become united states citizens. however, we have a tenth amendment to the constitution which states that the states do have certain leeway to interpret federal laws, which has always been a problem when we're the other so it wasn't until about 30 years later that finally the federal courts determined that the seven and then finally three.
1:03 pm
states remaining which was denying the voting rights to a native americans would known be enforced that is they would become citizens after i believe 1957 after my time, of course. thank you. thank you. thank you so much to all of you. i have learned so much myself that i had no idea of so, i just really appreciate your sharing. i have some personal questions though. just right for me. not in a book. not any place else right for me. president lincoln, let me start with you. why did you decide to grow a beard? that is rather interesting. while i was nominated or as president in november, and i had to wait out until i was sworn in in march a young lady a 12 years. no 11 years old from westfield, new york had sent me a letter.
1:04 pm
she had seen a photograph of me or it was probably a drawing that her father had brought home and it was clean shaven and she looked at the picture and she said hmm. he's got kind of a long thin. :-( i bet you if he were to grow whiskers. all the ladies would like it they would bug their husbands. to vote for me because women couldn't vote at the time and that i would be president united states. well, she sent me that letter. oh my goodness and suggested it. and i had also returned a letter back to her and i had thanked her for the suggestion. she'd also asked if i had any daughters because she had four brothers and they could be a pain sometimes and because she wanted a pen pal and i said sadly i have only sons no daughters and i thought and i wrote i said do you think maybe that at this late part of my running for office that if i
1:05 pm
would have changed course that people would think this was a silly section for something to just get me to win the vote. so i told i would think about it. well, obviously i was elected. and after i was elected i wanted to take the train into washington, and i wanted to go through some of the towns that had voted for me and to thank them for their votes. well, we stopped at westfield, new york. and i walked out the bag the back of the caboose and i said his grace bedell in the audience and they were all astounded. they were surprised grace bedell. why would he want to talk to this young lady? well, she was in the crowd. she came up. i stepped down i gave i won't do it to you, but i gave her a kiss on the cheek. and i said see grace, i grew these whiskers for you. what a great story. i was the first president to have whiskers in washington. and i like the kind of say that because of her she changed the
1:06 pm
face of washington. tell me her name again. grace grace bedell bedell. oh my goodness, and the fact that you took the time to read her letter to correspond back to her and then to ask if she were in the audience. oh my goodness. what a great story. thank you for that. and going on to president coolidge, so you are often we're often referred to as silent cow c-a-l. how did you get that nickname? what's the story behind that silent? well, yes, there is a story behind that. i ironically i gave 163 speeches. which at that time was an all-time record for 20 years? yet i am regarded as silent cow because there was a dinner at the white house when i was seated next to a dorothy parker and she made a wager that she could make me say more than five
1:07 pm
words. and i turned to her and i said you lose my mouse. how do you feel about that silent? well as president of the united states so he was my duty to inform into coordinate with congress and the people the united states. and i specifically regard natural rights as being immortalized if you were is it were in the constitution and that the ultimate goal of the constitution was to minimize. the the rights. i mean to the rights of the ruling class. which i did the state and one occasion and to exemplify rights of the people.
1:08 pm
for you rather than you lose? okay, president franklin roosevelt. you are famed for your incredible and informative radio broadcast to the american public. what was the goal behind your implementing these incredible and very unforgettable fireside chats? well in the beginning our first fireside chat occurred eight days into my first turn and the united states. facing economic collapse the banking system at all but failed. and so we put through a series of reforms with the congress to put banks on a holiday the shut them down for a few days why they were able to reorganize. and then to eventually add what is now known as fdic federal deposit insurance corporation to guarantee those. i thought it was important that the american public should know what was going on. and so i went on the radio on march 12th. ten o'clock eastern time on nbc
1:09 pm
and i started by saying. my friends tonight i wish to speak to you about banking. the next 17 minutes i spoke about how our banks worked. why people needed to keep their money in the banks? and apparently the speech was successful because within two weeks half of those people who had withdrawn their money had put them back in the bank and we were able to save the banking system. now contrary the popular belief in my 12 years as president. i only gave 30 or 31 fireside chats and i only addressed the nation directly when it was a something that was important. such as the recession in 1938 or our efforts to prepare our defenses before the beginning of the second world war. i think my favorite fireside chat. occurred, excuse me. on the night of d-day june 4th
1:10 pm
1944 which i led the nation in prayer. it was my way of connecting with the american public as individuals. and i've been told that people would gather around their radios at home and they felt as if i was speaking directly to them and i was that was my intent. i should mention i would be remiss that my wife eleanor. actually communicated probably more effectively with the american but she wrote a column called my day. six days a week from 1935 until 1962 and i've often felt that she was a much better communicator than i was. you both. thank you both for taking in touch with the american people and also to pray very very important. thank you for that. so president, washington, yes, if you don't mind a very personal question, can you tell us a little bit about your teeth? i've often wondered where they actually made out of wood.
1:11 pm
no, i had bad problem with teeth. there there are many mythical stories about my life and one of them was that i would crack walnuts with my teeth when i was young. i can't imagine doing that but people have written that i have. but i had have had problem with my teeth. when i was president, i had one tooth. and everything hooked on to that one molar on the left side of my mouth. and during my administration in 1796. that was pulled now. you've heard about wooden teeth. i have set some dentures that still are available.
1:12 pm
this is one of them. i thought you might want to see and maybe the general public would like to see it. it is. it has springs. it is very uncomfortable. it looks like but this is an actual one of my i have four now one set that i had was lid led and i didn't wear it often, but when i did people thought it looked like wood. in my mouth, that's where you get the wood. the only i see this again. yes, the only wooden the only wooden thing that i had was six years of age when i was given a wooden hatchet of which i barked a beautiful young english cherry tree that the original story in this book and actual. first edition of parson weems
1:13 pm
story of george, washington says that i barked the tree we don't even know if it's survived. that's the original story. but today you hear that. i chopped it down. i was six years of age. i had a toy hatchet. it was wooden not the team. should history be listening history should be listening. yes. these are great. thank you so much and president theodore roosevelt after the loss of 1912 election you undertook one of the most adventurous of your adventurous trips of your career the roosevelt rondon expedition. so what was the goal of the expedition and then a follow-up question would be can you tell us about the hardships endured along the way? well, it's a wonderful question. it was quite an expedition. like you said i partnered with
1:14 pm
the smithsonian who had interests in the species and habitats of south america and the south american government. wanted to put together a small party to chart an unknown extension of the amazon river. what we referred to as the river of doubt. now ron, don is the name of the south american colonel who led the expedition my co-equal if you will. now it was rather simple and a lot of people say i took off to the south american rainforest because i was disheartened by the defeat in the election. but 19 men put together four canoes. and trenched in to the amazon rainforest. the expedition took us about six months. we traveled over 630 miles. 16 of the 19 men that went on the expedition returned. i almost lost my life to jungle or tropical fever.
1:15 pm
it was quite the undertaking but quite valuable as half of the species. we documented were unknown to man. americans had no idea what an anaconda was or a piranha one of the gentleman of course lost one of his toes. well bathing in the amazon river we lost several dogs tails to the piranha on the river. it's it was a remarkable journey that my son kermit was able to undertake with me successful journey, but many people would say that the effects of the fever and fatigue from the expedition. i was well over 200 pounds which was heavy for the time and was in my late 50s the oldest man in the expedition rather difficult undertaking. now i will say the most interesting part of the expedition was our encounter with the green anaconda. undocumented until this time the
1:16 pm
last time someone had written about it was an 1832 a french explorer that documented that it was a common small snake similar to what you'd find in the garden. well, that's not quite what we encountered big the snake. we encountered was 16 feet in size and weighed 440 pounds good. it's been documented since our expedition that those creatures the anaconda can travel up to 32 miles an hour on the water. goodness. we were going into unknown territory to discover all of what we could and bring back as much as we could. and you were gone for six months six months. we steamed into brazil and traveled by land across into paraguay and up the river. we went now the only reason we survived was we made contact with the tribe unknown to anyone in the region unknown to the world that were able to guide us down a small segment of the river river that were made up of
1:17 pm
rubber trees and luckily the local farmers maintaining and gathering crop if you will from the rubber trees understood who we were and what undertaking we just recovered from and we're able to get us back to civilization if you will. well, i want to thank you so much too because in the books that i've seen that you may have documented the piranha is a very small fish. correct me if i'm wrong. you're not incorrect. it relatively decides of a hand if not smaller and they're not carnivorous fish. they're not necessarily predators if you will when they attack it's only because they're in a panic. mouse can open hugely similar to yes their jaw can just about unhinge. but like your teeth like your teeth no springs on the piran. ha, but we found out towards the end of our expedition that we could bathe with them relatively nearby if our movement stayed calm and collected and you wouldn't lose a toe or you wouldn't lose a toe the
1:18 pm
unfortunately the gentleman that lost the toe was the one chaplin we brought with us. he was praying a little light footage evidently. so thank you so much and i just have one last question for each of you and i'll go chronologically what do you think is your most important lasting legacy as president? states what is your most important lasting legacy and i'll start with you president washington? it was uncharted territory. it was the beginning. i remember taking the oath of office and we had to borrow a bible from the panasonic lodge next door. being mason i at the end of my oath of office i stooped and kiss the bible and said so help me god. and that has been in the oath ever since.
1:19 pm
we didn't know about a cabinet we didn't know about the the army the banking system all had to be new. so we formed lots of things but i found the best people thomas jefferson and henry knox. james madison others to be in my cabinet to help me navigate these uncharted waters and god bless you, and thank you so much. thank you a million times president lincoln same question to you. what has been your lasting legacy as president of the united states. i think a lot of people would say ending or being part of ending the civil war. i don't think that was the main because if we would have ended the war the issue. that was underlying the whole civil war itself slavery could have. popped its ugly head out farther
1:20 pm
on down the road. so i believe it was pushing very hard to pass the 13th amendment to abolish slavery much of the world had already abolished slavery and to me it was a slap in the face to our declaration of independence. all men are created equal. yes, and it was discourage on our country and i feel that that had to be eliminated and thankfully congress did pass the 13th amendment so i consider that the the high point, thank you so much a million. thanks to you too. president roosevelt your lasting legacy that is a rather difficult question as many people would recall i was the environmental president, but i would say my lasting legacy was on the faith in the office and role of the president that i derived from mr. lincoln's presidency. you see is a young man six years
1:21 pm
old. i watched from my grandfather's new york mansion window mr. lincoln's funeral procession proceed by and even until my final days i was obsessed with the fact that abraham lincoln represented the people your private secretary john hay was assuming you were called was my secretary of state. now before my 1905 inauguration the evening before john hay presented me with a ring. that he wanted me to wear during my inauguration. that ring had three strands of hair collected from yourself the evening of the attack or the morning after. i wore that ring until the end of my days. now when i bring up mr. lincoln in regards to my greatest legacy would be the square deal a square deal for every man and woman in the nation. that all of us should act treat and respond is equals large
1:22 pm
business small business national or immigrant. we are all americans and it is the start the turn of the century where we started to believe and fight for equality amongst the population. oh it is i should take a moment just apply where i got into the as well. applied for all of you. so president coolidge, what would you say your lasting legacy? oh, well, that would be number of things but in following in my esteemed colleague here theodore roosevelt as a republican. i was in favor of women's rights women suffrage. as the new law had just passed i had spoken out against the lynchings in the south. and also had signed the indian citizenship act of 1924. but also the kellogg beyond
1:23 pm
packed between several nations, which had denounced a war. as an instrument of national policy and i believe that that have set the foundation future united nations. but my lasting legacy would be by 1927 98% of all workers in the united states paid. absolutely no income tax. since taxes from 50% to 30% and yet tripled revenue from that class as well. the time of great prosperity so i would say that the prosperity and income had risen by 30 all across the country. as well, that's a great prosper. just not enough. thanks to all of you. i mean just you really changed the course of history in the united states and added so much to it.
1:24 pm
so franklin roosevelt. yes. well i served. three times it was elected to a full tone. and every time there was a new crisis the first term in office was the great depression. and establishing a safety net for the american people such as social security. my second time was was knowing that we needed to prepare for a war that was going to happen. and my third term was fighting that war. and of course i had my own. personal issue with polio and helping to establish the march of dimes to fund treatments for polio and to find a cure and a vaccine for polio. but i think my greatest legacy and it's hard to imagine now 80 years later. but 80 years ago. the united states and great britain and other free loving countries was surrounded. by evil forces that wanted to destroy us. you know, it's a bit like star
1:25 pm
wars with the evil empire. and it's not science fiction. that was the war the world. we were facing in 1940 1941. to be able to come together with a coalition and use america's great industrial might. and the strong will of the american people as well as of all free loving people to defeat the powers of fascism and tyranny and to build upon that a united nations dedicated to peace. and prosperity i think that was my greatest legacy wonderful. they're not enough. thank yous. there are not enough. thank yous and there's not enough knowledge. i really just been so privileged to be here today and you have made just huge contributions to the history in the united states. it's very fitting here on president's day. so god bless you all and god bless america, and may we continue to also? learn the lessons of history
1:26 pm
that you have so incredibly work so hard. so again, god bless you all and thank you so much for being here today.
1:27 pm
1:28 pm
1:29 pm
1:30 pm
scott harris received his ba with honors in history and historic preservation from the university of mary, washington in 1983 and an ma in history and museum administration for the college of women mary in 1988. in january 2018. he was named executive director of the university of mary washington museums a position, which he currently holds. this follet six years is director of the james monroe


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on