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tv   Early 20th Century Women Explorers  CSPAN  April 10, 2021 7:14pm-8:01pm EDT

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that a war had been declared over. by an anchorman but what really happened that night? we know that johnson did not see the program when it aired. we know that public opinion had began shifting against the war in vietnam. well before cronkite's program. we know that stalemate. to characterize the warrants in vietnam as a stalemate was hardly a novel or original characterization in 1968. and we also know that version variability. which can be a marker of media myths. imbues the supposed reaction of the president watch the full program tonight at eight eastern 5pm pacific here on american history tv. next on american history tv jayne zanglein talks about her book the girl explorers the
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untold story of the globetrotting women who trekked flu and fought their way around the world. we hear the story of the early members of the society of women geographers. they founded the group after women were banned from male-dominated geography and explorer clubs the national archives foundation hosted this and provided the video. welcome to the national archives webinar on the girl explorers. i'm caroline also known as sophie torkildsen. i'm the president in 2021 of the society women's geographers, which is a great honor. and a little bit just about me is i'm a geographer cartographer. i have a gis background. i'm a dark sky proponent interested in astronomy. and i worked for several government agencies included in mostly natural resources, including the epa and the forest service and the peace corps and
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at two science museums. so i've interested in museums as well and i'm found out about any pack while i was working on my thesis in master when i was working on my master's degree and she was one of the members of the society women's geographers and so after i wrote my thesis i started writing a book about her and i'm following the footsteps of her kind of a travel log plus following her footsteps. so that's kind of my connection and now let me introduce jayne zanglein. she is an author who is passionate about publishing publicizing that accomplishments of women that have been ignored in history and chronicling the challenges that women face today. so her book is called it's a brand new book. it's called the girl explorers and it features women explorers from the 1920s and the early days of the society women geographers and then documents the history up until today and
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she has a fabulous website about her book too and about all these women explorers and what's going on today? and jane has a background in law. she's a emeritus professor at the western carolina university and she is also she did a dispute and resolution and negotiation in china in 2019, and she traveled to 58 countries. so let me now begin our question answers jane. how did you find out about the society of women geographers? okay. so um, i didn't know about them before i started writing the book i discovered them while i was researching the author of blair niles. she was one of the founders of the society and i was very intrigued with her. i wanted to write a book about women explorers and i found out that in 1910 she traveled around the world with her husband
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william beebe. he worked for the bronx zoo and they traveled 50,000 miles in two years looking for every species of pheasants in asia. so i researched her by going to a lot of archives. i went to the virginia historical society princeton university's rare book manuscript division the howard gottlieb library of austin university the harry ransom center, which is where this picture is from. it's a picture of blair and a prisoner on devil's island. i love the shadow in the background that looks like he's gonna kill her or something, but it was from the harry ransom center, which is at the university of texas and also the wildlife conservation society, which is at the bronx zoo. so i discovered that that's an
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expedition took a toll on her marriage and when they returned to the united states, she and her husband she actually kind of arranged to to have a she arranged to have their new home be next to this guy that she really liked. and then she had an affair with them. and then she traveled to reno to get a divorce and once she had that divorce. she was free to travel and do the things that she wanted to do, which was not pheasants and wasn't asia. it was latin america. and so i was reading about her and then i discovered that. in 1925 she met with a friend who was margaret harrison and margaret harrison, they had lunch together. margaret had recently returned from this filming of this movie
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called grass and this is a photograph from that that movie she and her filmmaker and the director traveled for seven weeks. through persia, which is now iran they accompanied. 50,000 back tre nomads as they guided their livestock which were a half million cows horses goat sheep across the hot persian desert and across six mountain ranges to their wooden winter path to their winter pastures. well when they met they talked about a lot of things like the fact that the media always. ask women explorers things like do you wear makeup? what kind of clothes do you wear? do you have any love interests?
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and so blair was really excited to be talking to another explorer about these type of questions and the difficulties they face when they were traveling and so they they both kind of sign the painlessly agreed that there was need for the society of women geographers. blair said men have organizations were explorers can meet and receive help and inspiration from each other women need such a society so they started the society and within seven years. they had 200 members all around the world. and when i was researching those members, i went to the library of congress because that's where the societies. records are kept. so i researched the society in the 1920s and 30s and 40s and you've got a better grasp on them today. so when i was researching them
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one of them primary objectives was to women a place to network that was really important to them with other women when they returned from expedition. so, how does the society of women geographers meet that? objective today and especially during a pandemic. so there's many things that we do so just getting right into the the pandemic now we have zoom sessions for members where which are all around the world and so people can just there's ones where you just kind of chat and enjoy things and other ones where they're more focused and have topics so people can get to know each other. and also webinars when people come back from flag expeditions or whatever or there may be doing some research and they want to just to present it.
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they'll do webinars and webinars are available to the public as well off website. they're always recorded. we have a facebook site that's open to the public. we have a newsletter that has all the activities that everybody's been working on and updates. and of course old well now it's old-fashioned, but email people. i'm also email back and forth. and there are local groups. there's chapters. so there's like a new york chapter a dc chapter one in florida one in chicago and so even during this time they can do a little bit of social distancing and go for walks and things like that. and then every three years we have what's called a triennial which moves around the country. and so everybody can attend those but of course right now we can't do that because of the the pandemic and also there's there was used to be a yearly meeting also in paris for the people that are in europe. so hopefully those will come back and then this fall we're going to have a an award
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ceremony for some people that in our organization that are going to receive awards. and and then we have also, you know people doing fellowships right now and so we're still giving money out for fellowships. and so these women are also being connected with all of the members and then hopefully a lot of them have become members or will become members after they do their research. that's great. i went to the eventual a couple of the webinars. i went to the one today on covid. it was 32 years. very good. like i want to travel when we travel exactly. yeah. okay, so i have a question for you, and i'd probably know the answer. but what early member is your favorite and why okay, i gotta say blair obg player niles
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blair. blair. yeah. okay, right. yeah. um i became fascinated with her and the reason that it became fascinated with her is that she was a southern belle. she was born and raised on a plantation and yet she became an advocate for black people and i thought that was remarkable in the 1920s and 30s and and really it became kind of obsessed. like why did she do this? um she wrote books this this picture is from her book black haiti. black haiti. the subtitle is something like america's eldest daughter and it talks about the haitian revolution, which was the biggest. black revolution in the world and and how that happened and how people were faring and haiti under the american occupation.
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that that lives in the mid-1920s and really a very remarkable subject i thought and and also several other members of the society of women geographer zone you barber who was a geologist. she also worked in in haiti doing a report for the world peace organization maybe for on how people were faring in in hd the the next next book she wrote was columbia land of miracles and blair actually came up with this new style of travel writing and she viewed travel writing as a biography and she wrote a lot of biography and fictional biography, but she wanted to to explain drama with out. she wanted to explain the
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history. about a country in a dramatic fashion not like drama what that we think of today but in a way that is was very engaging and so should you do she'd come up with these? questions she had and the question for this book was about this patron saint of slaves that stand pedro claver. he's a patron saint of of slaves and he baptized 300,000 slaves in 1600. we'll do. the the question she had is like why would you baptize them? why wouldn't you just fight to get them to be free? and so that was the premise of her book, you know, like why why would he do that?
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and so it's so it's pretty pretty engaging book. and then the next book that she wrote that i thought was remarkable good considering that she grew up on implantation with with freed slaves, you know was east by day, which was about that amistad mutiny and that that she chronicled. the mutiny as it was occurring and then she enter she had her main character have sort of this love interest with one of the attorneys who was you know working on the case. and so then she she talked about the supreme court's decision that that slaves were not property. so my my question in doing my research, i guess it kind of paralleled what blair was doing? i was trying to figure out what motivated her to do this.
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and i found out that her grandfather. was roger atkinson pryor and he was a representative in the house of representatives? and he represented, virginia. um and he was the person in congress who came up with the phrase that we know today, which is irreconcilable conflict that that it's irreconcilable conflict that congress has with respect to the issue of slavery will never resolve it. and so he it when when lincoln was elected president, they actually had he threatened to kill lincoln and they they had the the newspapers wrote poems about him, you know. killing lincoln with the sword because he had such a bad reputation as being a person
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with a temper and actually threatening people with duels so they kind of made fun of them but after the election he traveled down to south carolina and in south carolina, he gave this speech that was a pivotal speech according to the new york times. it it was a speech that asked, you know, why did that that ask would south carolina please succeed from the nation because virginia is very old and she's very slow. but if you secede we will succeed as well that word of that got back to the confederate president jefferson davis and then he declared war. and then roger atkinson prior was actually given the opportunity. it was called the honor.
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to become the person who? who fired the first? gun of the civil war and he said no, he said no and later on he when when blair was in college. he actually regretted all his decisions and he became a judge in new york. but i think as a result of that blair's niles mother was extremely liberal. she was extremely liberal. she actually had a a school she had in her house for the former slaves and the neighborhood kids because there was no school for them back then so, you know i was interested in why? blair became an advocate for the marginalized in oppressed and i think that was the reason her family history. she had to atone for it in some way and she also believed it was so wrong that she she didn't do
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that. i also intended to like the really brazen outspoken women and anna taylor was one of them. i went down to the south caroliniana library and read her diaries. she's a real trip, but she was the a leader in the charleston renaissance art mute movement, and she actually she actually worked with layers ex-husband in british guiana as a scientific artist. another favorite is ellen lamont. who was a gay nurse and she tended? wounded soldiers in france, and she wrote unflinchingly about the horrors of war so unflinchingly that her book the backwash of war got censored. and and it without for a few
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months and then it was censored because they didn't want to hear any bad things about the war later on. it it came back to be republished. she what she met gertrude stein and gertrude kind of had a crush on her and and and they talked about her book. she gave a copy of her book to gertrude who then gave it to ernest hemingway. and told him that he should write like like ellen and and so, you know just really spare powerful writing and the last person there are so many more but i'll stop here as annie pack who was mountaineer that you have followed so i'll kind of turn it over to you because annie annie peck, she was a she
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was a real outspoken woman. up, what were your experience? and how has has your perception of annie changed now that you're following in the footsteps of her? we're going in through south america. i just thought about tenacious she was. so she was she and how she kept changing her life. her she started out as archaeologist. and she went to school in greece. so i went to visit the school in greece where she went to school which is still there, and she was one of sheep. she was the first woman in the school, but the school had really been just created a few years before she arrived there in the 1890s. and she got her degree there because she really wanted to do what her brother did she wanted to go and and teach greek in a prop at a level at the university, but this was not really very possible for her at the time. so then she started lecturing
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and then she moved on to doing mountaineering. she just saw the matterhorn and fell in love with it and decided she wanted to climb no matterhorn, so i went to see the matterhorn and i went to the library there to interview the fellow that runs the the museum there there and learned a little bit about the history of her there. and so that and that was really amazing to see the matterhorn. i'm not a climber but i went up partway so i am a hiker so i could at least see kind of what she was experiencing and then i went to where the hut was that she stayed at that had just been torn down and just just redone it so, but just just thinking about you know, how how strong she had to be in this arrow when women were supposedly supposed to be at home and she was doing this all as a single woman too and her family didn't approve of all this but she did it anyway, and she was determined to go her own way and then she switched
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over and she decided she wanted to do something really exciting and go climb a big mountain. so she climbed in mexico and then she climbed in south america hoping to find the highest peak that there was there and at the time she first attempted mount serrata then realized maybe mount was gone would be taller so that became her obsession and it took her six times and to climb it mostly because she had companions that didn't appreciate having a female leader and she had no money. so it was always a challenge for her, but she did it and in 1908 she came out west grand and now and she's been quite you know, she's older she's in her 50s and so before that though when she was going on her way to mount surata. she climb up. el misty and so i thought well i can climb that i can do that. so i did i went and i climbed oh misty. so i was just thinking about like how in her era how they took donkeys part way up and you know people aren't really using donkeys so much today and she
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would have gone by sea to to erikipa where i flew and later in life. she flew in small airplanes. to the same root, but 20,000 miles around south america exactly. she was the first tourist she wanted to show how easy it is to travel around south america because now in well as she was mountaineering she discovered she just loved latin america, and so she tried to promote relations between the two continents north america and south america and promote geographic education and try to to connect us better. and so this was one and she wrote a guidebook on south america and also more of a industrial commercial kind of book too for businessmen. so then i went up to the area where mount was going on is to see the mountain and i tricked up a bit. i didn't climb it, but i can look up and i could kind of see through the clouds all these huge glaciers, and so just thinking about how she did this. i mean on this trip i was with my husband. so i'm traveling with a man. i'm traveling in this era where
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it's more acceptable of course for women to travel i can wear pants and be comfortable. she was traveling in long dresses as a single woman trying to find your way. in a country, that was not i mean today it's not as you know exploration back then. it was really a true adventure for her. and so she would come by sea and now she came over the black mountains. so i took a bus at the top to the the ridge of the black mountains in height and tracked down where she would have tricked over from the sea using donkeys which she did and and walking along so, you know, see those differences. and then just thinking but thinking the landscape is probably very similar and you know, maybe even you know, some of the indigenous people it's a very similar scene to when she was there you and then and then i i also want to see your grave in providence and i went to see the last apartment complex that she lived in in new york city
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too. so and then in but i also talked about in my in my story. it's a travelogue too some of places i went that she did not but might have liked to go to like i climb kilimanjaro. i thought that would have been exciting thing for her. she wanted to climb mount everest. i mean she had grand goals. i mean no women back then we're even thinking this but she was so and i went to nepal and did some trekking so i was thinking about her there how she would have really enjoyed that too. so i kind of interweaved the story with her. but yeah, she was amazing because she never married she did this all in her own always struggling financially. and then she died at about age 85. yeah, right right before she died. she wanted to go back and see the grease because it was so important to her. so she went back and then she but she didn't continue around the world she wanted to see the whole world because she was feeling ill and then moved i went back to the east coast. soon after that died, but blair
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niles was one of her friends and was there when she almost on her deathbed when she was sick and she writes about that in her peruvian pageant book that blair niles wrote which has a couple of really interesting pieces in there about annie peck who was a good friend to hers. yeah, i remember the 83rd birthday party with 83 candles. i'm the on the cake and and blair of course was a master of publicity. so she had the newspaper cameraman there to snap a picture and annie was one of the she was the oldest member of swg because this was kind of hurt the end of her era and the new the new one when we're, you know, creating all this exploration group. they didn't have that in her era. so she was the oldest member. so yeah, he called her miss peck. oh and courtesy respect.
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well, what what early members of the society would you like to know more about besides annie? well, there's so many i mean just from your book i learned about a whole many more that i did not know about but i would say dorothy bennett would be one. um, she's from minnesota as i am and she got a degree in english and then she studied astronomy and anthropology and one of my interests is also astronomy and she wrote the golden guide books. to all the different topics and the astronomy one when i was a child. that's what got my interest in astronomy. and she was a curator at the hayden planetarium and then she was also a curator at the berkeley museum of anthropology. and so i'm very fascinated by her. and another one is catherine barrett who she traveled in the himalaya with her husband robert barrett. who was a geographer and in patagonia and then she wrote but
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first before that she wrote books for children and and then the two of them, i mean she had beautiful writer which i guess that's one reason. i liked her but they went her and her husband went to tenerife and they stayed in a canvas tent for a few months while they wrote this book about traveling in the himalayas. wow. that's she's fascinating and then what one of the late another lady i learned about from your book is at least boastemen who has beautiful paintings under the sea, and i would really like to learn more more about her too. i would too i would too. i just read that her great great grandson a bunch of her diary of oh, yeah. she i love the fact that she brought she did these spectacular pictures, especially of bioluminesce and fish. yeah. she was amazing. i would see she's at the top of my list.
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okay, so what's the prices did you in your research? yeah, i found a lot of trivia. i could do a whole little book on trivia about society of women geographers. i learned that. helen candy who studied tapestries? she was on the titanic when it sank and she lived to tell that story. in fact the story she wrote about it. became the the love story and the movie titanic, you know when they're hanging off the bow of the boat that she actually did that and and wrote about it and that's where they got it from. so helen candy. i loved all the women who worked with william beebe. this is a picture of gloria hollister. who was the marine biologists
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and and jocelyn crane who studied crabs and then in the center is william beebe whose players ex-husband i found out that a lot of women. from the society would go down and visit them at his the research stations. i that they were kind of fun places to go vacation and hang out with other members of the society of women geographers. um, delia ackley loved her because it should kind of has a sad story she and her husband carl ackley who is famous big game hunter who did, you know all the the elephants in the museum of natural history and she found this this monkey on one of their expeditions and she
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fell in love with this monkey. i mean so much that her her husband would write her note. oh dear. could you please love me more than the monkey, you know, and she brought him home to their manhattan penthouse apartment. and here the monkey was a terror and and carl couldn't deal with it anymore. so finally he he divorced her. i i thought it was interesting that so many of the women geographers got divorced. by the time when it was scandalous no. yeah. so delia though then was one of the she was a very good game hunter and and and so after her divorce. it surprisingly and to their credit the brooklyn museum asked her to go on expeditions and and
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get more specimens for them. so she managed to to do very well despite the fact that she was divorced and no longer attached to her husband's identity. gloria hollister you who could not love a woman who walks on the bottom of the ocean with that big copper helmet on their head and she was the first woman to go down in the bath. that's fear around. submersible that got lifted in into the ocean like by a winch and i i have to say to their credit the national archives supported the preservation of her papers at the wildlife conservation society, which might be one of the reasons that have this photograph. marguerite harrison is she was
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became a newspaper reporter because she wanted to go to europe during the world war i and then she found out that the baltimore sun was sent her. so she approached the government and they sent her there as a spy and she was captured. and spent about a year in the lubianca prison. um a lot of the women members of the society of women geographers had good relationships with the president that might be in part because theodore roosevelt, you know was was an explorer but a lot of them visited the white house it also helped that eleanor roosevelt became a member and she became friends with teyana who was a chickasee chickasaw interpretive dancer and storyteller.
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and she invited teyada to the white house to perform for british dignitaries to show them. what american culture was about? and then francis perkins and francis oldham kelsey. i think this is kind of strange. they almost look like like sisters, don't they a little bit when? roosevelt became president blair pressured eleanor to convince fdr to hire the first female cabinet member and he hired francis perkins for the department of labor. um, and then francis oldham kelsey was also a member who was worked for the fda and she is the person who refused to approve the drug thalidomide. so those some of the trivia that
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i found out while i was doing the research. okay, so do you think the society women geographers is still relevant today since the explorers club now accepts women. yes, absolutely. there's a place for women. there's a place there there needs to be a place where women can network with other women explorers and scientists and artists outside the presidency of men. i think that the society allows gives women a place to support each other and that's very important. the you know, the our picture is it's kind of covering that that photo that newspaper article, but it says don't take a woman with you when you go exploring, which was what the president of the explorers club roy chapman and andrews who's pictured there
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said when he was the president and in 1932 in 1981 carl sagan wrote a letter to all the members of the society because women were still not allowed. to join so he said when our organization was formed in 1905 men were preventing women from voting and pursuing many occupations for which they are clearly suited in the popular mind exclamation was not what women did even so women have played a significant but unheralded role in the history of exploration and then he went on to say that that's that's covered that today women are making extraordinary contributions in in areas that are fundamental importance to our organization and he pointed
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out and i'm going to mention these from left to right mary leakey archaeologist. the middle is jane goodall and then at the right is kathryn sullivan and you mentioned that all those women were important and should be members of the society. and then what so he he convinced the directors to actually hold the vote on it and the directors and the the president had no expectation whatsoever that the the members would vote to to include women, but they did and and shocking to the president. and so they invited a bunch of women including kathryn sullivan astronaut to join and i thought
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what was remarkable was that first she joined the society of women geography. kind of sad, but the los angeles adventurers club still does not admit women. and and i think that the importance of the society of the women geographers, is that as long as there's discrimination against women explorer scientists artists people who travel and study countries um, and it's so rife in areas remote areas like the arctic and antarctica where where men can do horrendous thing to women and really them their career. there's always going to be a meat need for the society of women geographers until male bastions are crushed. so yes, i agree.
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let's see we we have we we're gonna speed it up a little. okay. all right time. yeah, okay, so you want to ask the question? yeah. yeah. so what's the status of the society of women geographers today and who are their prominent members? well today the organization is going strong. there's about 400 members of all sorts of amazing women. i would have to say all of them are. just wonderful, and they all are so accomplished. and in many fields from science to the environment to art, but i would mention a few here that are very prominent. of course. i don't know if this picture is sylvia earl, but he she's gonna mention and of course she's known for her underwater
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exploration and her mission blue to help preserve the oceans and she was the first female chief of noah as part of her career too. and you mentioned kathryn sullivan. she was the first woman to walk in space and also the first woman to go to challenger deep, which was just last year, so she's had two amazing first. and jane goodall and of course, we all know who she is, but she's still going strong in conservation and trying to help the the world. and arlene blum, she is a mountaineer. she was one on a couple of the first all-female expeditions to annapurna 1 and to denali. and so these are i would say like some of the more prominent ones, but of course we're doing plague expeditions. there's one starting out in pretty soon and there's one out there right now, but i don't need to i won't go into all that if you time here, but okay, so
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we're gonna skip my questions about the fun part. it was all fun anyway, and and wrap it up. so i'd like to thank you carolyn sippy for joining me on this on this webinar. and thank you so much jane. yeah, this was this was wonderful and thank everybody for attending and hopefully everyone enjoys this and thanks to the national archives, too. yes. thank you very much. it's customary for a newly elected president to address a joint session of congress early in his term president. biden has not yet scheduled his sunday will feature speeches from two of his predecessors on the presidency. here's a preview. our nation also needs a clear strategy to confront the threats of the 21st century. threats that are more widespread. and less certain they range from
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terrorists to threatened with bombs to tyrants and rogue nations intent upon developing weapons of mass destruction. protect our own people our allies and friends we must develop and we must deploy effective missile defenses. and as we transform our military we can discard cold war relics. and reduce our own nuclear forces to reflect today's needs. a strong america is the world's best hope for peace and freedom? yet the cause of freedom rests on more than our ability to
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defend ourselves and our allies. freedom has exported every day as we ship goods and products that improve the lives of millions of people. free trade brings greater political and personal freedom each of the previous five presidents has had the ability to negotiate far-reaching trade agreements. tonight i ask you to give me the strong hand of presidential trade promotion authority and to do so quickly. watch the full program sunday at 8pm eastern five pacific here on american history tv. this week we're looking back to this date in history. vietnam is far away from this quad campus we have no territory there. or do we seek any? the war is dirty. and brutal and difficult and
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some 400 young men. born into an america that's bursting with opportunity and promise. have ended their lives on vietnam's steaming soil. why must we take this painful road? why must this needs nation? hazard its ease and it's interest. and its power for the sake of a people so far away. we fight. because we must fight. if we're to live in the world. where every country can shape its own destiny. and only and such a world will our own freedom be finally secure. follow us on social media at c-span history for more this day in history clips and posts.
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american history tv on c-span 3 every weekend documenting america's story funding comes from these television companies and more including charter communications. broadband is a force for empowerment. that's why charter has invested billions building infrastructure upgrading technology empowering opportunity in communities big and small charter is connecting us charter communications along with these television companies supports american history tv on c-span, 3 as a public service. on february 27th. 1968 cbs news. anchor walter cronkite closed a special report on vietnam with a pessimistic assessment of the us war effort mr. cronkites remarks are often cited as a turning point in american public opinion against the war and credited with playing a role in president. lyndon johnson surprise decision a month later not to run for a
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second term, but american university professor joseph campbell who teaches a class about what's known as the cronkite moment argues that the impact of mr. cronkite's comments has been vastly overstated in his merely a media myth. that's next on lectures in history. and coming up in an hour five minutes author, candice millard and institute of museum and library services director crosby kemper iii. talk about winston churchill's 1946 iron curtain speech with washington post columnist. david von drehle. and in two hours on reel america three programs to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the space shuttle. greetings everyone today. we'll take up the mythical case of the cronkite moment the cronkite moment of 1968 and its supposedly profound implications for us policy. the term cronkite moment is used to describe. the purported and pow

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