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tv   Reel America The 25th Year - 1983  CSPAN  April 10, 2021 10:59pm-12:01am EDT

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announcer: the national aeronautics and space administration was founded on october 1, 1928, nasa, the 25th year with the 1983 film celebrating its achievements, just as the space shuttle program was beginning to carry payloads into space. ♪
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narrator: it was cold the national advisory committee for aeronautics, a new, independent agency created by president woodrow wilson. its job, make the united states a world leader in the field of aeronautics. in less than three decades, these early pioneers in aviation and those who followed would be called upon to think of problems a 1,000,000 miles away with the boldness and vision. by the mid-1950's, it had modern wind tunnels and was moving into
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rocket and satellite research. ♪ [beeping] on october 7, 1957, the u.s. and the rest of the world were greeted by the sounds of sputnik one, the soviet union had placed the first artificial satellite into orbit. it would not be until early the following year that america satellite, explorer one, successfully orbited the earth and discovered a dense belt of radiation surrounding our planet. who would have believed at this early stage that we would one day move up from the thin ribbon of earth's atmosphere to the very edge of our solar system, and beyond? ♪ project mercury, the country's first manned space flight program was given the go-ahead just one week after nasa was
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formed on october 1, 1958. seven test pilots were selected to become astronauts. donald -- alan shepherd. walter -- virgil gus grisham. john glenn. leroy gordon cooper. and malcolm scott carpenter. ♪ the seven new astronauts spent months and months undergoing rigorous testing and training.
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♪ several monkeys took rides in the murky spacecraft while they were being trained. ♪
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[engines firing] ♪ meanwhile, the orbiting of unmanned satellites became more and more commonplace, and weather watchers found a permanent place in our daily lives by improving weather forecasting capabilities. ♪ on august 12 1960 president eisenhower took part in the first transmission of the echo one communication satellite. >> this is president eisenhower speaking. it is a great personal satisfaction to participate in this first experiment in communication involving the use
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of the satellite balloon known as echo. narrator: on may 5, 1961, astronaut alan shepherd made america's first sub orbital flight, project mercury was underway. >> 3, 2, 1. >> roger, liftoff, and the clock has started. yes, sir, reading you loud and clear. freedom seven. it is go. 14 psi. oxygen is go. cabin pressure is holding, 5.5. ♪ narrator: soon after freedom seven landed, president john kennedy gave nasa an ambitious new space goal. president kennedy: we choose to go to the moon and other things,
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not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win. [applause] ♪ narrator: after alan shepherd and guss grisham's flight, four other astronauts, john glenn and others. >> you are go.
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water systems, go. mercury capsule, go. all lights are correct. eject mercury umbilical. >> mercury umbilical clear. >> how recorder is fast. t -18 seconds accounting. engine start. >> 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. narrator: as nasa geared up to respond to the lunar commitment, it became clear that new management techniques for handling far-flung systems manufacturer and final integration would have to be developed. there was also the fact that state-of-the-art electronics and computers would be pushed to the limit. unknowns about the moon were
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numerous such things as whether an astronaut would sink into dust over his head were a real concern. ♪ lunar impact studies like these were carried out in attempt to learn. researchers fired projectile's, simulating meteors hitting the moon, and then measured how much material was thrown out by the impact. ♪ this animation shows how scientists believed the huge crater was formed on the moon, a crater 54 miles wide. a series of picture taking ranger spacecraft slammed into the moon.
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then, five lunar orbiters photographed over 90% of the moon's surface, including the never before seen backside. we saw a glimpse of our own planet from lunar distance, but most important of all, it made possible the selection of landing sites. ♪ six surveyor spacecraft made soft landings on the moon over a two-year period. a robot arm dug a trench, lunar soil was like wet sand, men and equipment could safely land there. panoramic views like these were
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assembled from hundreds of individual photographs. communications via satellite exploded into a whole new industry. the first live intercontinental transmission by telstar one which is the start. ♪ narrator: relay, designed to transmit television, telephone, and high-speed data, coverage from tokyo for the olympics, and other followed lawns to previous research and development. >> 43, 2, 1. >> because of the following special one-hour broadcast, programs previously scheduled at this time will not be seen. narrator: since rendezvous, docking at ash months working
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outside of the spacecraft, it was critical to lunar missions, nasa began project gemini, using the mercury capsule as a model, the gemini spacecraft was a large double date two-man crew. gemini would provide design answers for the upcoming project to follow. and who could ever forget that spectacular first walk in space made by astronaut ed white? ♪
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10 times astronauts flew into orbit. jim blazed the trail for apollo, the spacecraft that would carry astronauts to the moon. -- gemini blazed the trail for apollo, the spacecraft that would carry astronauts to the moon. ♪ more than eight years were put into designing, building, testing, and preparing astronauts, rockets, and spacecraft for the first lunar landing.
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here is a visual look back at some of that preparation. ♪
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[rocket engine firing] ♪ narrator: in 1967, tragedy struck. the nation mourned the loss of the group that would have flown the apollo spacecraft on its maiden voyage. astronauts ed white and gus grissom died in a fire as they were conducting pre-flight test on the launchpad. the flight schedule was delayed 18 months as the command module underwent redesign. ♪ while these changes were being made, the parts and pieces
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needed to assemble the giant saturn five moon rocket came together at the kennedy space center, florida. everything associated with the saturn five was huge. the rocket itself, the building where it was assembled, and the crawler transport that carried it to the launchpad. the fully loaded apollo saturn five was 363 feet tall. its main engines alone generated 160 million horsepower, and its fuel pumps pushed fuel to the engines with the force of 30 diesel locomotives. as a saturn five lifted off launch complex 39 for the first time, it weighed more than 2800 tons.
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[rocket engines firing] ♪ narrator: the pace quickened, starting with apollo eight, every saturn five launched had a three-man crew. ♪ [rocket engines firing] ♪
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two days before christmas in 1968, three astronauts became the first humans to pass out of the earth's gravitational control and into the moon. the hardware had worked well, and landing sites looks good. ♪ our earth seemed small and fragile, hanging in the vastness of space. this view of ourselves from lunar distance would change the way we think about earth for all time and raised profound questions, especially those associated with the earth's finite and limited resources. the next flights would continue dress rehearsals for the first lunar landing. all systems were, indeed, ready. ♪
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neil armstrong, edwin aldrin, and michael collins would make the historic journey. next stop, tranquility base. >> 2, 1, 0. we have liftoff on apollo 11. [rocket engines firing] tower clear. >> neil armstrong reporting the roll and pitch putting apollo 11 on a proper heading. ♪ >> houston, apollo 11 is in high gain. how do you read, over? >> roger, clear on high gain. five minutes. >> we are now in the approach
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phase. everything looking good. altitude, 4200. >> you are good for landing come over. >> picking up some dust. shadow, forward, drifting to the right. 30 seconds. [beeping] contact right. tranquility base, the eagle has landed. that is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ [applause] narrator: across the country and around the world, the apollo 11 crew were welcome back -- welcomed back as heroes. ♪ [applause] [cheers] ♪ ♪
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narrator: meanwhile, more than 100 scientists from here and abroad began intensive studies of the lunar samples. ♪ before project apollo ended, six additional flights to the moon were made, and all but one were highly successful. [rocket engines firing] ♪ narrator: skylab was the next command spaceflight. launch first was a two-story orbital workshop.
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then, the first of three three-man crews departed to live, join the orbiting laboratory, staying 28, 59, and 84 days respectively. one of the major objectives was to find out if astronauts could physically withstand extended stays in space and continue to do useful work there. the answer was a resounding yes. ♪ experiments in astronomy, earth resources observations, materials processing, and crystal growth, all proved highly successful. ♪ then, astp, a joint endeavor
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between the soviet union and the united states. the mission calm for a mutual docking and crew exchange to develop the necessary equipment for international space rescues. ♪ before, during, and after, apollo, skylab, and the project, nasa's unmanned planetary programs were giving scientists exciting new glimpses into the history of the solar system, early explorers, to the infrared astronomy satellite. seven mariner spacecraft flew by mars, venus, mercury, sending back a stream of pictures and data. ♪ 10 pioneer spacecraft did likewise, including jupiter
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flybys and probes through the atmosphere of venus. ♪ pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave the solar system. ♪ atmosphere physics, astronomy, meteorology, and geodesy, these are just a few of the scientific discipline studied by dozens of explore class orbiters through the years. ♪ hundreds of rockets have probed the atmosphere above where balloons are effective, but below the area where satellites fly.
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[rocket engines firing] ♪ bio satellite was sent aloft to answer basic biological questions, will cells divide normally? would radiation be a hazard on vault-duration spaceflights? everything from plants to primates were orbited on bio satellite to find out. ♪ there were the orbiting geophysical observatories that blossomed out like giant dragonflies in space. orbiting solar observatories studied our sun and its influence on earth. in the last 25 years, our orbiting
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observatories have changed their view of the universe, now dynamic of quasars, black holes, and other extraordinary objects, cataclysmic forces causing the birth and death of stars, of billions of galaxies in the immensity of space. ♪ we look back at planet earth, remote-sensing satellites, crops, forests, pollution, all can be photographed in great detail to help us better manage our earth's resources. ♪ the viking program was a systematic effort to investigate the planet mars. two separately launched viking spacecraft made up of a pair of orbiters that would photograph from above the planet, and twin lenders built to descend to the martian surface, spent 11 months and 420 million miles traveled
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to the mysterious red planet. the lander's robot arm conducted chemical and biological tests on the soil in a search for life forms. martian weather and seismic reports were also sent back routinely. cameras began returning pictures , thousands of pictures. ♪ color photographs showed a surface littered with rocks, fine dust, red or yellow ground could be seen everywhere. we even had a chance to view the two moons of mars, phobos and demos. viking's complex science and technology were considered to be a triumph equal to the landings on the moon. ♪ two unmanned voyager spacecraft carried a record with the sights and sounds of earth, just in
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case they encounter a cosmic neighbor along the way. the interplanetary journey was designed to take him past jupiter and saturn, and eventually won voyager would pass close to neptune. the sensors recorded jupiter's weather patterns and detected massive lightning bolts in its cloud tops. it took 40 minutes or a signal from voyager to be received at the jet propulsion laboratory, other spacecraft had to essentially be automatic. voyager also took a good look at jupiter's largest moons. there is io with its volcanoes europa, the largest moon, a mixture of rock and ice, and callisto, probably the oldest of the four.
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♪ the voyager's next assignment was to flybys saturn and its moons. the vast rings are made up of particles that orbit the planet in patterns, and atmosphere buffeted by a strong jetstream eastward at 1200 miles per hour, the hottest gases ever observed in the solar system, up to one billion degrees fahrenheit.
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as of now, two thirds of the planets in our solar system have been explored, and by the end of this decade, we will have explored most of the rest, including neptune. ♪ through the years, the single most constant at nasa has been, is now, and continues to be its aeronautical research. it is a common thread that is woven throughout the agency that has influenced everything that flies, both on earth and in space. there is little doubt why this country has been the world leader in things aeronautical. ♪ here are some of the goals of the program, make aircraft more energy-efficient. fly higher, faster, and farther on less fuel. lower pollution, systematic improvement of engine components, reduced weight
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through strong composite materials. study problems associated with tornado patterns of air behind aircraft causing problems for airplanes following. airplanes are america's leading industrial export, thanks to nasa's research in developing programs. ♪ since there are some 200,000 general aviation aircraft in this country, nasa research is also improving this class of airplanes, crashworthiness, and stall/spin studies are good examples. ♪
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the problem of potentially crippling ice formation is also being worked on. the heart of this research is a unique refrigerated test tunnel, capable of simulating the conditions in aircraft is likely to encounter. once a test has been run, newly developed computer codes are used to evaluate the results. ♪ during the early days of manned spaceflight, consideration was given to using something to return astronauts in spacecraft to earth. while this method was ultimately discarded, it did produce a rather interesting new sport. ♪
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there has been extensive work done on airplanes that take off and land vertically. ♪ and, ones that need very short runways. ♪
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hybrids that are combinations of airplane and helicopter. and oblique-wing aircraft that reduce drag by pivoting the wings at an angle to the fuselage. ♪ the expertise used to make airplane propellers better. has also been applied to powerful wind turbine electric
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generators, including some of the largest in the world. ♪ nasa's aeronautical research was the seed from which the space program would grow, a prime example was the lifting body project that began in the early 1960's, the combination of wind tunnel tests and actual flight led to the design of the reusable space shuttle. ♪
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>> [indiscernible] narrator: when the design and wind tunnel work was complete, a series of approach and landing tests were scheduled. since the orbiter has no power for landing, its ability to land easily with only one tribe was critical -- try was critical. >> -- coming. down. 20 v. 10 feet. five feet. four feet. two feet. one foot. down. narrator: the near perfect landing of the enterprise gave final proof that the shuttle orbiter was a flyable, lendable aircraft. -- landable aircraft.
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the research and development would be put to the test, the first flight into space with shuttle columbia with astronauts at the controls. the brand-new shuttle moved from its processing facility at the kennedy space center to the vehicle assembly building, where it would be mated with buckets and fuel tank and rolled out to the launch pad. never before had a new spacecraft been flown this way. previous mercury, gemini, and apollos meant that unmanned flights were flown before putting an astronaut on board. despite nagging problems with protective tiles, there was optimism. longtime space workers knew from past experience with the lunar landing program the design and engineering problems do get worked out. after one false start, two astronauts headed for the launchpad. ♪
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>> 30 seconds. it goes into the interior. narrator: columbia's maiden flight would be just 54.5 hours, 36 orbits, and return to earth, but it signaled the beginning of the reusable space transportation system. >> to ensure that everything is proper. >> -10, nine, eight, 7, 6, 5, 4 -- we have a main engine start. [rocket engines firing] ♪
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♪ >> apollo, houston, we are back with you. >> roger, columbia, you have your normal capcom. >> ok. the only bad part is we have to come down, joe. [helicopter] >> [indiscernible] 3, 2, 1. touchdown. [applause] [cheers]
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>> touchdown. ♪ >> [indiscernible] [national anthem plays] [ship horn sounds] ♪ >> [indiscernible] ♪ >> that is a good picture -- >> roger -- >> [indiscernible]
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[horn honking] narrator: 30 weeks later, after columbia had been returned to the kennedy space center, clean, refurbish, and rolled out to the pad, the astronauts flew into space again. while an imaging radar system mapped distant earth, the crew made a test of a canadian-developed mechanical arm that would later replace payloads into and out of orbit. >> we copy. >> it looks a little cloudy out here. and we can hear it cranked up on board. >> ok, standby. [beeping] >> ok, we see fan a on and we would like you to take -- [applause] [cheers] ♪ narrator: as columbia landed the second time, the circle was complete, a new generation of space travel had begun.
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♪ [applause] [cheers] ♪ >> beautiful. narrator: whitney space shuttle three left the launchpad, it carried an experiment prepared by 18-year-old todd nelson of minnesota to study the effects of weightlessness on insects and space. it is cold the shuttle student involvement project, includes national, the national science teachers association and industry sponsors to transform winning proposals into flight experiments. since this first flight, young people in high schools around the country have developed and flown a variety of experiments, ranging from medical projects to the study of zero gravity on an ant colony. they are setting an example for others who may be encouraged to pursue a career in science and
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engineering, something that ultimately can be translated into technological leadership for the u.s.. [rocket engines firing] 12 weeks past, then the astronauts piloted columbia on its fourth and final test flight. the spacecraft's performance made it possible to certify the space transportation system a fully operational carrier. ♪ as they landed on july 4, the crew was greeted by president and this is reagan. -- misses reagan. ♪ [rocket engines firing] space shuttle five, the first operational flight, two commercial communication satellites were put into orbit, one for satellite business systems, and one for, south of canada. it was a complete success. >> obviously -- narrator: space shuttle six was
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the second operational mission i'm in flight one for challenger come of the country's newest spacecraft. after launching a 5000-pound satellite from the payload bay, mission specialist astronauts became the first americans in nine years to walk in space. the practice was needed for satellite repair work. >> massive article -- >> go around and get it on the right side. >> yeah. >> it says tape on the left-hand door? >> yeah. narrator: mission seven carried a crew of five into space, including america's first woman asked not, sally ride. >> main engine start and the ignition and lived off, lived off of america's first woman astronaut, and the shuttle is clear the tower. [rocket engines firing] >> roger, challenger.
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rollover started. she and a mission specialist deployed communication satellites for canada and indonesia. roger that. shuttles one and two were in operation, with the discover added to the fleet, and dozens of astronauts in training at any given time, this new space transportation system would begin delivering in earnest, and with increasing frequency. ♪ opening a new era in science's space lab, where scientists from around the world work together in a unique international research center aboard nasa's space shuttle. built by the european space agency, space lab is creating exciting new opportunities for research in all the sciences,
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and making routine international cooperation a reality. ♪ looking farther ahead, there is the space telescope that will expand our vision almost to the edge of the universe. the shuttle gives the united states an unrivaled tool for the practical use in space. historically, the space program as proceeded in a building block fashion, and towards that end manasseh has begun looking at the next logical step, a possible future space station, a permanent presence in space. the station would serve as a scientific and technological laboratory, as well as an operations base from which satellites could be serviced, and large structures assembled. one of the highest priorities is to develop a clear understanding of a station's proper role in the total space program, so that if and when it is proposed for development, the station will be a truly significant national asset, one that would ensure continued american preeminence in space. ♪
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>> the space program in general and the shuttle program in particular have gone a long way to help our country recapture its spirit, vitality, and competence of the pioneer spirit still flourishes in america. in the future, as in the past, our freedom, independence, and national well-being will be tied to new achievements, new discoveries, and pushing back new frontiers. we must look aggressively to the future by demonstrating the potential of the shuttle and establishing a more permanent presence in space. ♪ narrator: the 25th anniversary of nasa. it is identified by spacecraft, airplanes, and wind tunnels, but it is the people behind it all who are really important. it is the people who think and
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dream and work to make these things possible. that is the true measure of nasa strength and its successes, and it is to the next generation of space pioneers, the youth of the world that this program is dedicated. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] ♪ announcer: you can watch the
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archival films on public affairs in their entirety on a weekly series reel america, saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern, here on american history tv. announcer: 60 years ago on april 17, 1961, a force of some 1500 cia-trained cuban exiles launched an invasion at the bay of pigs on the southern coast of cuba, their goal was the overthrow of the communist leader fidel castro, who had taken power only two years earlier in the cuban revolution. saturday at 9:00 a.m. eastern, american history tv in washington journal will look back at the failed invasion and its consequences. joining us is a former cia historian, who would take your calls and tweets. -- who will take the viewer calls and tweets. announcer: american history tv on c-span3 comics going the
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people and events that tell the american story every weekend. on sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on oral histories, a u.s. army veteran reflects on his time serving as a clerk during the vietnam war. sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on the presidency, a at newly elected president's first address to a joint session of congress, with president george w. bush in 2001, and president barack obama in 2009, exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. next, a tour of the japanese-american museum in little tokyo. our guide is a man who was born in little tokyo in 1930 and spent three years at a relocation center during world war ii. >> this is an actual remnant of
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world war ii, one third of an original barrick that was in wyoming. that was the camp i was incarcerated in. so we will go on the inside and see the structure. during world war ii, we had tent camps in the western states. they were all similar, but not the same. one camp had 7000, the largest around 19,000. i was incarcerated in wyoming, about 60 miles from yellowstone national park. i was 11 and came out at 14 years old so basically three years and three months. i will show you some illustrations. this is why estelle peck. she was married to a japanese
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person. she came into the camp. she wrote a book, and this was an illustration. here is a potbelly stove. we had coal fed into it. in california, they had oil. arkansas, they use wood as a fuel, that those are some of the differences in the camps. by the way, we use our military terminology, so we lived in barracks, and then we ate at the mess hall, so we were fed three meals a day. this is what really broke up our family unity. as a family, we sometimes ate breakfast together, but our lunch and dinnertime, forget it. we would regulated by a dinner gong. we heard it, lined up, ate, went out and played it, so we did not have a chance to discuss family matters at the dinner table because we did not eat together.
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here is a pile of coal. that was one of my jobs, to make sure we had enough coal to keep us warm throughout the evening, but as you notice, anytime we had any wind we always had a dust storm because the camp was on dirt, and the bulldozer scrape away the sagebrush and tumbleweeds to build the barracks, and that is where we lived, so anytime we had wind, we had a dust storm. there was a partition here. this used to be the smallest room, 18 feet by 20 feet, for a family of two or three. this is where my family was incarcerated, my parents, brothers, sisters, myself, that there was seven of us, about the size of a two-car garage, and we only had one lightbulb. we had one potbelly stove to keep us warm, but no water. what did we need water for?
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well, to bathe, to cleanse ourselves, to drink, but we had no water here so we had to go to the public room or the latrines or go to the mess hall to get a drink of water or go to the latrines and do our business. way back in the 1960's, early 1970's, it started to deteriorate and they wanted to rebuild little tokyo, that this was just an alleyway. we had a chinese developer, even though this is cold japanese village closet, a chinese developer improved this place, about 50 shops are here, and also many of the shop owners are not japanese anymore. maybe we have some vietnamese or korean business people, so they all look asian, yet this is cold japanese village closet. right here we call this something, a little cultural
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learning. in america, if i go like this, what does that mean? that means come here, but in japan, i cooked this way, so there is a difference. in america, we cope like this, and japan, this way. so this cat is telling you to come in here. you see a gold piece. that cap is telling you to come in our shop and make money for us. i'm not sure why he has eightball eyes. the japanese community has many superstitious things. sometimes the right hand mean something, the left hand mean something else, whether it is a white cap, gold cap, or black cap, it means various things but i'm not sure. i can keep up with all the myths that goes with that cap. look at the rooftop, at the building behind me, what do you see there? you see the gold objects to ward
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off evil spirits. the fish spits water, so that is fire protection, so if you go to japan, the castle, you see the similar fish, to ward off evil spirits or for fire protection. right here is one of three remaining grocery stores in the little tokyo area, and the population in the 1930's and 40's, we had dozens of mom and pop stores, the population about 30,000. the population about 30,000 people, japanese ancestry, within a three-mile radius of little tokyo. today, this only remains commit three grocery stores in little tokyo with the residential population of about 1000. ♪ announcer: american history tv
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on c-span3, every weekend, documenting america's story. funding for american history tv comes from these companies, who support c-span3 as a public service. ♪ announcer: this week, we are looking back to the state in history. >> virtually every american is familiar with the tragic environmental disaster in alaskan waters. in more than 10 million gallons of oil have been spilled with deadly results for wildlife and hardship for local citizens. we all share the sorrow and concern that alaskans, and the determination to mount a sustained cleanup effort. our ultimate goal must be the complete restoration of the ecology and the economy of prince william sound, including all of its fish, marine mammals,
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birds, and other wildlife. the exxon corporation has acknowledged responsibility for this bill, and its liability for the damages. exxon should remain responsible for both damages and for employing civilian personnel necessary to control for the damage. however, exxon's efforts standing alone are not enough. and after consulting with the congressional delegation, senator ted stevens, senator michalski, congressman don young, i have determined to add additional federal resources to the cleanup effort. announcer: follow us on social media at c-span history for more of this day in history clips and posts. announcer: on february 27, 1960 eight, cbs news anchor walter cronkite closed a special report on vietnam on the pessimistic
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assessment of the u.s. war effort. mr. cronkite's 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 later to not run for a second term. >> the cronkite moment. argues that the impact of mr. cronkite's comments has been vastly overstated as merely a media myth. >> greetings, everyone. today we will take up the mythical case of the cronkite moment. the cronkite moment of 1968 and the profound implications for u.s. policy. the term cronkite moment is used to describe the purported and powerful effects of a single television report aired on the evening of february 27, 1968. a program in which


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