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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  January 2, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> hill: on this edition for sunday, january 2: lawmakers continue to investigate a violent mob's attempt to overturn president biden's election last january 6 as the one year mark nears. the history of attempted presidential reruns, and a look to the future. a new documentary examines democracy and how to preserve it. and newark new jersey engages its community to create a monument to one of america's most revered figures: underground railroad conductor harriet tubman. next on “pbs newshour weekend.” >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fund.
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the estate of worthington mayo-smi. leonard and norma klorfine. the rosalind p. walter foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group: retirement seices and investments. >> for 25 years, consur cellular has been offering no contract wireless plans designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can helfind a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private
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corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> hill: good evening and thank you for joining us. i'm miael hill, in for hari sreenivasan. as the first anniversary of the attack on the u.s. capitol approaches, the congressional panel investigating the failed january 6 insurrection plans to hold televised hearings and go public with its findings, according to the associated press. the committee's seven democrats and two republicans have spent the past six months collecting information and holding closed door hearings on the attack. the committee is focusing on any role that former president donald trump and his allies may have played in their failed attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. today, republican representative liz cheney, the january 6 committee's vice chair, warned her fellow republicans that the former president still poses a threat to democracy. >> we, as republicans, have a
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choiceo make. i am a conservative republican, i believe strongly in the policies of low taxes and limited government and a strong national defense. i think the country needs a strong republican party going forward, but our party has to choose. we can either be loyal to donald trump, or we can beoyal to the constitution, but we cannot be both. >> hill: also today, georgia republican congresswoman marjorie taylor greene was permanently suspended from twitter. the social media company says it made the decision after greene posted false information about covid-19 vaccines yesterday. twitter says this was the congresswoman's fifth strike in posting false or misleading information about the pandemic. the u.s. and countries worldwide are confronting the rapid spread of the omicron variant with different strategies as schools and businesses reopen after the holidays. in the u.s., health officials now say they may add a negative test requirement to follow the five-day isolation restrictions
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for asymptomatic people with covid. as schools prepare to reopen, some are returning to virtual classes, others are handing out test kits and requiring masks. new cases are surging, with hot ots in the northeast. according to "the new york times" data base, washington, d.c., reported an 800% increase over the past twweeks and new york city saw a 600% increase. so far, hospitalizations from the new variant are much lower than during last winter's surge from the delta variant. in colorado, officials now say several people are still missing after a wind-fueled wifire tore through suburban towns near denver. the blaze began on thursday and has destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and other buildings. at least seven residents have been hurt. snow and frigid temperures yesterday helped put out the fire, but the weather is causing new problems as residents begin the difficult process of assessing the damage.
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president biden approved a disaster declaration for the area, releasing federal aid to supplement state and local funds. authorities are still determining the cause of the devastating wildfire. for more national and international news, visit >> hill: this thursday will mark one year suince a violent mob of supporters of former president donald trump attacked the u.s. capitol and tried to stop the certification of the election of president joe biden. there is a vigil planned on the steps of the capitol, and president biden is said to address the nation this january 6. mrtrump, who is accused of inciting this attack, also says he will hold a newconference that day, a move that may be part of an attempt to return to office. newshour weekend special correspondent jeff greenfield joined us for more on presidential re-runs. >> well, michael, if donald trump truly means to run for
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office again, for some people that may seem like just another exame of how trump is different from everybody else. but, in fact, several ex- presidents have tried to get the job ba. several have tried, all have failed. all but one. wh president grover cleveland lost his reelection bid to benjamin harrison in 1888, his wife told the white house staff to keep everything in place, because they'd be back in four years. she was right. four years later, cleveland soundly defeat harrison, becoming the first, and still the only, ex-president who won the job again. but several others have tried, both before and after cleveland. martin van buren, ousted in 1840, came very close to winning his party's nomination four years later, but came up short. in 1848 he ran again, as the nominee of the free soil party-- and lost again. millard filmore, who became
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president when zachary taylor died, lost the whig party nomination in 1852, and ran four yearlater as the candidate of the nativist american party, better known as the "know nothing party." he got 20% of the vote. ulysses grant honored the two- term tradition by not running in 1876, but four years later made a strongid to win the republican nomination. he fell just short after a 36 ballot marathon. just after his landslide election to a full term in 1904, theodore roosevelt announced he would not run again in four years. while he enthusiastically supported his successor, william howard taft, he came to regret his decision. by 1912 he sought to take the republican nomination away from taft. when he lost that fight, he ran as a progressive bull moose candidate, winning 27% of the vote and 88 electoral votes. his second place finish stands as the best third party result
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ever. and in 1980, gerald ford made it clear that he was interested in avenging his narrow 1976 loss, arguing that ronald reagan was too conservative to win. that didn't stop him from seriously considering becoming ronald reagan's running mate, a notion that ultimately did not happen, but would have been the most unusual post-presidential comeback ever. so, what of donald trump's prospects as a potential candidate? among republicans, he holds a huge lead in the polls. no one else comes close. righnow he runs even with or ahead of joe biden. and his position is made stronger by the fact that a large majority of repuicans support his baseless claim that the election was stolen from him. this, in turn, has complicated the position of other potentl candidates. none of th can openly oppose trump for fear of angering the base. >> hill: jeff, a number of influential republicans have some serious doubts about trump
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and his actions. for instance, he's backing divisive primary republicans. and couldn't that hurt republican prospects of regaining the majori in the house in the fall elections? >> republicans have painful memories of what happened back in 2010, an otherwise great year for republicans. and then again in 2012, when winnable senate seats were lost because the primary voters nominated candidates who were just unacceptable to the general election public. and we've already seen examples where some of trump's favorites have highly checkered pasts, involving everything from finances to domestic abuse. and so, yes, there is a concern that while trump can probably persuade a lot of republicans to vote for his candidates in a primary, that may limit not just what they could do in 2022, but might suggest that trump himself is weaker as a general election candidate in 2024. >> hill: there are clouds that overhang a possible trump 2024
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campaign, namely january 6 and the congressional committee investigating what happened. fellow republican liz cheney and others have raised the possibility of criminal conduct. would the committee's findings tarnish or even hurt trump? >> in the republican party probably not, because they've already, if i can put itn a way that his critics say, they've drunk the kool-aid. they are convinced that the whole january 6 episode, or congressional investigation rather, is a political event. but i think the charge of criminal conduct again is not how you would want to launch a campaign to regain the white house. i should also point out that there are prosecutors in manhattan, the new york state attorney general's office in georgia, looking at different questions of criminal conduct involving everything from trying to otruct the election count to financial mis-doings in trumbusinesses. so those, yeah, you would not want that on your resume if you're trying to get the white house again. >> hill: jeff, there are plenty of people who say, oh, no way,
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trump in 2024. how naive is that? >> uh, from 1-10, it's an 11. anybody who has seen the last six years of american politics and thinks, "well, this time it can't possibly happen," has not been watching american politics. it is simply a way of putting your hands over your eyes and saying, "i don't want to see this." if you're not taking donald trump seriously as a presidential candidate, in my view, you don't understand the political universe we live in today. >> hill: jeff greenfield, newshour weekend special correspondent. thank you, jeff. >> thank you. >> hill: this thursday, january 6, a new two-hour documentary tracing american democracy from the revolutionary war to the 2021 capitol riot and beyond will premiere on pbs stations. "preserving democracy: pursuing
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a more perfect union” explores the ideals and flaws of democracy and addresses political divides and threats to democracy around the world. >> a nation divided against itself. a republic under siege from within. has the united states ever truly been united? pbs presents "preserving democracy: pursuing a more perfect union,” a two hour documentary special. join us as we explore the evolving story of american democracy past, present, and future. >> hill: the program also looks at the recurring cycles of civil rights progress and backlash in the u.s., shifting voter rights and rules, and the role of teaching civics to foster engaged and informed citizens. here's an excerpt featuring one program that focuses on new generations of voters.
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>> nashua, new hampshire is an early stop for most presidential candidates. john f. kennedy launched his 1960 campaign here. on the outskirts of town, sits the gate center charter school. middle schools are showing it's never too early to create better american citizens. >> how do you learn how you're going to vote for? >> do research on the background, history, and something in the past, and might not have the idea, or found something that made a greater impact in a positive way. >> yeah, great. >> it's really important that they know about how the government works. how to becomactive in it, what are appropriate channels for, you know, tryinto change things. hopefully, that will i hope
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help things like january 6. >> the surveys on americans understanding of their democracy are grim. 56% of them know the three branches of government. only 1 in 4 could pass the national citizenship test. turning to an educaonal n-profit called i of course civics. >> it's the brain child of sandra day o'connor. she stepped down from the court in 2006, and felt compelled to do something to ensure every generation new how the systems of government worked. and finally was condensed by a child of one of her former clerks. that this was the way to reach students. >> i civics is bringing free non-partisan educational tools to 9 million students a year. hundreds of lesson plans for
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teachers to choose from, and 14 games that put students at the center of action. like cast your vote which helps explore candidates platformes. >> you could raise your hand if you want to the say something and ask a qstion. there were choices. >> like show us how. and because we think it's very important to have good doctors. >> and bring them into the voting booth. >> it feels like a holiday. you're voting for someone that's going to take care of the city or take care of you. >> and, do i have a right about our constitutional protections? >> well, it's a silly cartoon game, but it does teach you a lot about how justice and court systems work. >> now, a bipartisan alliance in congress is supporting the civics secureest democracy act to invest $5 billion in american civics and history
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education. >> this feels completely different now. there's a great deal of lamenting. civic education is a national imperative, because it's deeply related to national security issues. there are serious consequences to the nation, and we need to change that right now. >> hill: “preserving democracy: pursuing a more perfect union” premieres in prime time on thursday, january 6. check your local listings. >> hill: in the wake of the murder of george floyd in may, 2020, many communities around the country started to take a closer look at the mostly white men memorialized on public statues. monuments to confederate leaders were removed, and activis targeted statues of slave-owning founders and monuments to christopher columbus, the italian explorer who "discovered" america. in newark, new jersey, officials
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commissioned a new monument to replace a statue of columbus. it's dedicated to abolitionist harriet tubman, who was selected to be the first black person and woman depicted on u.s. currency: the $20 bill. tubman escaped slavery and then risked her life to lead other enslaved people to freedom using the underground railroad. she once said: "god's time is always near. he gave me my strength, and he set the north star in the heavens; he meant i should be free.” this is the community engagement that architect nina cooke john envisioned for the monument that she's been commissioned to create for newark's city center. >> both new jersey, as well as newark, played a really important role in the underground railroad. >> hill: at the newark museum of art, on a recent friday evening, community members were designing clay tiles after reflecting on what liberation means to the cooke john will permanently embed these tiles as part of a new monument to legendary underground railroad conductor harriet tubman. mayor ras baraka says the
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decision to highlight tubman was in line with five-year-old campaign to rethink who sits upon pedestals in this mostl black and brown city. >> we thought it wasn't enough to remove statues. we thought that we should be replacing them and building them and talking about the history itself. and so, harriet tubman obviously came to mind for us, because the underground railroad actually existed in newark in that downtown community. >> hill: according to legend, tubman led runaway slaves to newark's first presbyterian church, which still stands in downtown newark today, and its basement, a stop on the railroad for runaways to reach as far away as canada. tubman also worked as a maid in cape may in southernew jersey, using her wages to support the underground railroad. but for tubman to take her place in newark, columbus had to go. during the social justice protests in spring of 2020, mayor baraka decided to have the city remove the statue one night.
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♪ ♪ ♪ at the time, he said columbus's removal was “a statement against the barbarism, enslavement, and oppression that this explorer represents.” thiss all that's left of the christopher columbus statue. cooke john's monument to harriet tubman will replace this. it will include a two-and-a-half story tall structure, a figure for visitors literally to walk into. >> i envision, you know, you would stand here so you would stand within this space and you could feel like, you know, you are a part of her. you are part of this legacy that is harriet tubman. you know, you are harriet tubman. >> hill: a newark committee of historians, art experts and civic leaders selected cooke john's design, the center of which is a series of intertwined profiles of tubman. and where the profiles connect at the head, a north star, which will be lit up at night. the monument also includes a wall with historical facts, room
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for congregating, and an oversized figure of tubman's face at the street level. >> and what i'm hoping for is that for people to really connect with harriet tubman on a personal level and see her more as, as an everyday person who did heroic things. and so, by engaging with, i think, by bridging the connection to her through larger ideas of liberation, where they can walk around the monument, where they can touch her face, it will be something that they can feel more connected to. >> hill: hold on a second. you said, "touch her face." most architects, most artists would say, "don't touch that." >> no, we want them to touch her face. and so, the oversize face of harriet tubman that will be on one of the walls of the monument, i'm actually planning on making it up of many different pieces so that it's actually more textured and invites people to touch so that they're actually physically
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connected to her and not only connect it to her story. >> hill: are you trying to create an experience by people visiting this monument? >> absolutely. it should be an experience, and experience rooted in the harriet tubman story, but also an experience rooted in community. so, it also should be a place that you come and hang out in. it reay should be a space that activates the park, but also activates community engament. i think when people feel connected to physical things that represent their community, they're more engaged in larger community life and community political life. >> hill: which is where events such as this tile-making workshop come in, giving the community a sense of ownership in the monument. >> the tiles that you make in this workshop today, will represent the people of newark, and your struggles, your own liberation stories integrad with the liberation stories of
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harriet tubman. >> hill: cheryl forbes was etching a flag of her native jamaica, and crosses, her own north star. >> slaves when they were going through the trials and tribulations of their lives, prayer got them through, song got them through, and community with each other. so, this is like my linkage to my past. >> hill: donald wallace worked on an image of an african drum. >> i guess i wanted them to feel that connection that she had to africa and the drum in some ways symbolizes the ability to communicate over distance, and they were able to still overcome things and achieve things even in their adversity that they were suffering. >> hill: and a sense of permanence was also a draw for some participants. what do you think of your tile permanently becoming part of the harriet tubman monument? >> i think it's.. i'm really excited and i'd be really proud to show this to my kids someday.
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>> hill: darryl dwayne directs community engagement at the newark museum of art. he says choosing tubman to replace columbus resonates with the counity. is there a connection from harriet tubman to the present right now? >> oh, certainly. harriet tubman's legacy still lives on today. i mean, the fight for equality for people of color is an ongoing thing that, until it's lly leveraged, is going to be something that we're constantly fighting for. i feel that art has always been the doorway in, the doorway that grabs the attention of the public, and once you have their attention, you do something with it. so, hopefully, we hope this sculpture will do just that. >> hill: mayor ras baraka says his decision to remove columbus sparks controversy to this day. >> even in here in new jersey, i'm getting pushback saying that what we're doing is anti this group of anti this person and we are destroying history, but that's not the case. what we will be actually doing is telling history as it is. and we're including ourselves in it, you know, our story has not
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been told. so, we're including ourselves in history to make a full presentation of what actually took place. >> hill: architect nina cooke john says she hopes the monument is an immersive experience. she's also partnered with audio company audible, whose headquarters border the park, to capture and incorporate oral histories of local newarkers. the final monument will be unveiled here next summer, and the whole park will be renamed from washington square to harriet tubman square, replacing the name of the nation's slave- owning first president with that of the conductor of the underground railroad. >> hill: finally tonight, late word that sudan's civilian prime minister, abdalla hamdok, has resigned. in a televised address, hamdok said he is stepping down less than two months after being reinstated as part of a political agreement with the military.
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newshour will have more on this story online and tomorrow. that's all for this edition of“ pbs newshour weekend.” for the latest news updates visit i'm michael ll. thanks for watching. stayealthy and have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fund. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine. the rosalind p. walter foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities.
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barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group: retirement services and investments. additional support has been provided by: consumer cellular. and by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you're watching pbs.
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- [announcer] this program was made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. - my first production that i can remember was the best christmas pageant ever in nashville, tennessee. i had no lines, just a little chorus parts but that gave me a chance to look at every single person in the audience during the show and seeing them smile and laugh and have feelings and emotions and from that moment on, i said, "i'm going to do this for the rest of my life." (funky music) - hi, everyone. this is "beyond the canvas". from "pbs newshour", i'm amna nawaz. in this episode, we meet storytellers and performers who even in their darkest moments,


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