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tv   Five Presidents  CSPAN  November 12, 2016 7:30am-8:16am EST

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with his stigma. one benefit of it around that problem, that is why you start the auction procedure. that was built up front. >> one thing about paul. you give them advanced protection, you want to barrel them out. >> we have a problem. >> occasionally -- completely agree. they are paying for the right to have protection, paying taxpayers for this and it is not free any longer. they are political issues but we could get around them. >> we got the sense the panel that you raised serious deep
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problems in the book which need addressing and thank you for coming to present it. if you have more questions we will all be at the reception and the informal setting, thanks to the panel. [applause] >> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. [inaudible conversations]
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>> welcome to the 21st annual texas book festival. thank you for coming out today in support of our authors. the festival is celebrating great literature. the texas book festival is a nonprofit organization that works year-round to strengthen literacy in texas by awarding library grants and sending nationally recognized authors and illustrators to title i schools and donating books to those students. by being here today and buying books, you are funding these initiatives. please silence your cell phones, both clint hill and i will be signing the book and we will be signing in the main author tend around the corner here. do you want to say something?
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>> hello, austin. [applause] >> great to be back in the old country where i spent a great deal of time. >> great deal of time with lbj. we will have a glimpse that our book "5 presidents: my extraordinary journey with eisenhower, kennedy, johnson, nixon, and ford" as much as we can in 35 minutes and open up for questions and answers. i have to figure out how to make this work. >> takes a minute. clint hill was born in 1932 in the middle of the great depression and his mother realized she couldn't care for him. she had him baptized and dropped him off at the north dakota children's home in fargo, north dakota. when he was 3 months old he was adopted by a wonderful family. chris and jenny hill and their daughter janet, grew up in this
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home in north dakota, population 912. clint growing up in that tiny home in north dakota, did you always want to be a secret service agent? how did that come about? >> not at all. my intention when i was in college was to become a history teacher and coach athletics. the korean war interceded and i had to go into the military. i went through basic training in the us army and they send the to the army intelligence center where they me as a special agent in counterintelligence which i did that for a number of years. it was time to get out i looked around at what i wanted to do the rest of my life and i wanted to continue the same type of activity. an extremely small organization and a great history of
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investigation so i applied. there are only 269 agents in the entire organization at that time worldwide. almost impossible to get in unless somebody died or retired. in my case the gentleman retired and that is how i became a secret service agent. >> that was in 1958, dwight d eisenhower was president. within a year of entering the secret service he was promoted to the elite white house detail. what was it like working for president eisenhower? what kind of man was he? >> wonderful, personable individual, spent his entire life in the military and brought that bearing with him into the oval office including some members of the former staff of his who were military officers. he was one of those individuals who if we told him to leave at 9:30 in the morning, he was in the car ready to go. we never had to worry about a
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schedule with eisenhower. he referred to us mostly as his troops. he didn't call us by name. he would say hey, agent, and we would respond with one nice thing about it is he loved to play golf. that gave us a chance to be on the golf course with him. we would be paralleling him. i would be alongside the fairway carrying my bag with three golf clubs in it and 30 caliber rifle and down the fairway we would go but we had the opportunity to see the best golf players in the world including arnold palmer who got to be a friend. he was a joy to watch. it went down 200 yards three feet off the ground and zoomed skyward and right on the green almost every time. it was a pleasure to work with president eisenhower. >> in december 1959 you got to
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go on a fantastic journey with president eisenhower visiting 11 countries in 19 days. >> yes. the air force acquired three commercial 707s making them available to the white house. president eisenhower took advantage of it and we flew to rome, went to ankara from there to karachi, to kabul to new delhi, sidetrip to the taj mahal and then flew to meet with the shah and see the king, got on board a big ship in the mediterranean, the uss des moines and took that over to tunis and tunisia, we got back on the ship to go to france, got on an express plane to paris, went to madrid to see franco and casablanca to meet with the king
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and then came home. >> that was your first trip outside the us. >> yes. >> not bad for a kid from north dakota. >> pretty special. >> the crowd sits around president eisenhower, tremendously popular around the world and you were also involved in the election of 1916 during the campaign. >> yes. president eisenhower hadn't too much to replace president nixon in the election of 1960 and finally decided he would and went to new york. he went outside new york to long island, and my job was to secure the parade route through what we call the canyons of new york city to harrell square.
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in an open car. and looking out windows, hanging out windows, a dangerous situation. >> john f. kennedy won the election and there was a transition from 70-year-old general to this young man from massachusetts was what was the transition like for you? >> from a grandfather to a father, three years old. and was only 31. was pregnant at the time. it was a real different activity level once they moved into the white house. >> you weren't assigned to president kennedy as you thought you were going to be. >> i was on the golf course with the election of 1960. and to get on the first plane
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back to washington to talk to me. was met there by the deputy chief, two inspectors and they began to interrogate me, and they already had the answers to. and went to a corner and conferred and said we made a decision, you are assigned to mrs. john f. kennedy. >> how did you feel about that? >> i was devastated, angered, i didn't want that job. i knew what the agents did with truman and eisenhower, there were two parties, that was about it. >> you didn't want any part of that. >> no. >> as it turned out, clint hill
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protected jacqueline kennedy. one thing you found immediately was she was so popular the people surrounded her all the time wanting to get close to her. >> one of our biggest problems with crowd control because everybody wanted to see them get an autograph with something, became a difficult situation. >> you spent a lot of time with them in hyannisport. what was that like? >> they had a regular schedule. they would go back on thanksgiving and christmas, new year's and easter they spent at palm beach, they spent almost all their time on the water. the president would come up there on friday from the white house, and get in helicopter and fly to the kennedy compound. and they would get into golf carts and that was the signal
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from nephews to come running, get on the golf court, to the ice cream store and foot the bill. >> people think he is on vacation but a president is -- there is no such thing as a presidential vacation. there is not. this photo is indicative, mrs. kennedy, children and their jobs, back in the corner on the telephone that went on constantly. the president is on the phone being briefed by an aide, material that had to be acted on immediately or having to solve some problem in a foreign country that developed, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
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>> because you were assigned to this is kennedy you went on that trip to texas. >> yes. mrs. kennedy came to me and told me she was going to make this trip to texas in 1963. she said in 1960 she was not able as much as she should have to help president kennedy got elected because she was pregnant at the time. she said we would do everything possible to help him get reelected. >> this is a photo of clint hill with president and mrs. kennedy. >> the clip began on the 21st. the president making a speech, they flew over houston for a meeting with a group of hispanic people to pay tribute, the space center there, we went to fort worth to spend the night.
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and we went out to air force one and flew over fort worth to dallas. that sounds kind of ridiculous to everybody in this audience, you don't fly from dallas to fort worth or fort worth to dallas. we would have preferred driving but political people want to photograph, president and mrs. kennedy in dallas and that is what they got. >> tell us about this photo. >> this is love field after we got everyone in the car, got the motorcade going, the president is going to make a speech so we started in love field and went through the town of dallas toward main street. we went to main street, the
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driver of the car, on the left-hand side of the street to get the president, that put mrs. kennedy next to the crowd on the left-hand side of the street. i would get on the back of the car periodically to be as close to her as i could so nothing could happen. we got to main street and turn right on houston in order to get to elm street and get under the triple underpass to get on the freeway toward the trademark. we made a left turn on elm, 150 feet down elm street. i was scanning the area to the left, this grassy area in the plaza area and the trademark of the triple underpass in front of us, all of a sudden i heard this explosive noise over my right shoulder, came from the rear so i started to turn toward that
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noise but only god as far as the back of the presidential vehicle because i saw what happened and how the president responded. i saw the president grabbed at his throat like this and started to fall to his left. i realized then this had been a gunshot and i jumped from my position on the car immediately behind the president's car and started to run towards the presidential vehicle, getting on the back to form a barrier or shield to protect the president and mrs. kennedy. when i jumped i had to get between a motorcycle officer on the left-hand side and the car i was riding on, both for making considerable noise, engine noise, told me there was a shot that came during the running time of mine. i didn't even hear that. as i approached the presidential vehicle, i heard and felt a
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third shot. his head down to his leg. the shot hit the president in the back of the head and exited above the right here. took with it the scalp, the skull, and flapped forward. out of the wound, blood and brain matter, bone fragments all over mrs. kennedy and all over myself. as i got up in the back of the car, came to grab that material that came out of the president's head and she did get to hold some of it. i got her and put it in the back seat, when i got her in the back seat the president's body fell with his head in her lap but i could see his eyes were fixed. there was a hole in the skull. i could see there wasn't any more brain material in that entire area so i assumed it was
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a fatal wound. i turned and screamed at the driver to get us to a hospital. we raced down being led by chief curry from dallas. >> on the back of the car for four minutes racing to park the land hospital. what was going through your mind at that time can we get there fast enough to do any good? to be sure the wind was fatal. i couldn't see how he could survive. it was a matter of getting there. >> you can see the position on the back of the car, going 80 miles an hour. there were only three shots fired that day but he didn't know only three shots were coming, fully expected more and was in position to protect the occupant of the car. you were then there when the transition took place to the new
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president aboard air force one. >> i was on board air force one, vice president johnson took the oath of office, mrs. kennedy standing beside him as she did so and she willingly did that. important that people see there was an orderly transfer of government and she refused to clean up or change clothes because she wanted people to see what had been done. so we took off from the field and flew directly to andrews air force base in maryland and transferred the body to bethesda naval hospital where an autopsy was performed. >> you were assigned to stay with mrs. kennedy for one more year. >> they decided they should have somebody, whether they asked her who she wanted and she asked the agents to stay with the children and if i could stay with her for
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that year. >> this was taken in october 1964, a photo we found that was not published before the latest book came out. what was going on that day? >> johnson was running for the presidency for the first time, it was 1964. bobby kennedy was running for the senate seat in new york. mrs. kennedy moved to new york. i was living there myself in the carlisle hotel. wanted to see mrs. kennedy when he was campaigning in new york. he came to her residence at 1045th avenue and that is what you see, mrs. kennedy, robert kennedy and myself. >> in november of 1964 clint was transferred to the white house under president johnson. what was that like going from jacqueline kennedy to lbj? >> it was a point of transition
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going from the banks of cape cod -- from clam chowder to chili, but it was one of those things, part of the job. >> from what you told me president johnson was not as predictable as president eisenhower had been. >> he was not predictable at all. he had the opinion if he didn't say what his plans were no one could do him harm and that included us. often times we would be on post and see the valet come out of the kitchen door with a satchel and a hangup bag. we knew the valet wasn't going anywhere but the president was. we didn't know where, hid in a golf court and headed for the parking zone where we had jet
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star and helicopter and cars so he had one choice out of three. he was going to fly to st. louis or detroit or houston, take a helicopter into austin or get in a car and go to a neighboring ranch. we didn't know, we had to quickly respond and react and let everybody know. >> he loved that ranch and you spend a lot of time there and the president would bring all kinds of people there. >> brought heads of state, members of congress and the cabinet. this photograph is a group of the joint chiefs of staff, secretary of defense sitting on the front line of the lbj ranch, deciding the budget for the defense department in vietnam. >> you were there for the inauguration of 1964. >> yes i was. i was succeeded in the stands.
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>> 1965. how many use the same car? >> the car that was used in dallas, the secret service car 100 x, the car president kennedy was assassinated in. it was specially fabricated prior to that event but was not armored, did not have any armor on it at all, had a plastic top, immediately after the assassination the car was taken by ford motor company and reconfigured from cleveland's, completely enclosed and completely armored. when the inauguration took place for president johnson, that is me in the right rear as we went down pennsylvania avenue in the inaugural parade. >> same car, same position in 1963. now you have an armored car,
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president johnson found ways around that. >> he stopped the motorcade, got out of the car, got up high enough so everybody could see him, a wonderful target if anyone wanted to take a shot. >> you had a hard time with protesters, that entire administration. >> no matter where we went they were there protesting. >> outside the north portion of the white house. around the reflecting pool. at the pentagon, they were everywhere no matter where we went. we had to contend with large
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demonstrations, antiwar, anti-johnson. >> and >> it was strange, he spotted me, he called my supervisor and said he didn't want me there because he didn't think he could trust me, didn't think i could be loyal. they made me the agent in charge. it was quite a transformation. >> this was during an impromptu round the world trip after this assignment, tell us what happened. >> it was december 1967. he wanted to go to the funeral
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because they became pretty good friends. he flew to australia to attend the funeral thinking immediately upon completion of the funeral we would return to washington but when we talk off we didn't head to washington, we headed for thailand. we were going from herat air force base to vietnam. he wanted to be with the troops. you see me right behind him among the troops. we flew over to karachi, pakistan. from there we flew to italy to meet with the president of italy and pop in on the pope. now we get him back on the airplane, in washington. it was christmas eve 1967. johnson gets on the plane, and
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sound asleep. the pilot realized nobody on the airplane had a chance to buy anything for their family for christmas. he radioed ahead to their commanding officer to keep the px open so people on the plane could buy something for their family members so we arrived in the azores and people started getting off the plane and i told them you guys go on. he is sound asleep, don't worry. i am walking back and forth by the foot of the ramp and turn around and i hear hey, clint, where the hell is everybody? i turn around, mister president, they have all gone to the post to change. it is christmas eve. they want to do some christmas shopping, never had a chance to do that which he said i haven't had a chance to do it either, let's go. he is standing there in his
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pajamas at the top of the ramp, reaches in a closet, pulls on a trenchcoat, puts it on, down the stairs he comes, i grab an air force car, put him in the back seat, go to the exchange, open the door, he walks in and the place -- nobody could believe the commander in chief, the leader of the free world was walking around in his pajamas in the middle of the night. [applause] >> the press had taken a different route so there was no one there to take a photo of that which now we go to 1968. that was quite a year. >> kind of a bad year.
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it started out wrong. on march 31, 1968, president johnson decided he was going to address the people of the country and talk about the vietnam war. i was sitting at home like everybody else, i had gone home -- i was watching television. i knew what he was going to say. he said i will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president. i just about passed out. almost fell off the chair. couldn't believe this man who had been a leader in the senate, vice president of the united states, now obtained that high office of president and he was going to give it all up. what people didn't realize was vietnam had taken its toll. usually about 2:00 in the morning he would get up from his
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bedroom, walked down the hall, go to the lincoln bedroom and pick up a phone. he called the situation room. he wanted to know what is the casualty figure for that day and they would tell him how many were killed, how many were wounded. .. or he'd call us, and we'd take him down to a little church down off of maine avenue in washington, d.c. where he would sit down with some priests and talk and release some of that emotional baggage knowing they would never say anything. it was really taking an emotion old toll on president johnson, and he just decided he couldn't resolve the situation, and so he let the presidency go. >> so that was march 31st. then four days later martin luther king was assassinated, and then, clint, you were with him at the memorial service the very next morning. and then just a few months after that, bobby kennedy was assassinated.
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what did it feel like as all of that was going on? >> well, it just, it got more tense as time went by. it was very hard to predict any of this from happening. things were just kind of gone awry, and we just had to do the best we could with the limited number of people that we had. and that was one of our biggest problems. there were only 40 of us at the white house at that time. three of the agents were with the two children with the kennedys, and two of us were with mrs. kennedy. when the johnsons came in, it was almost exactly the same with the girls, two girls and with so it was extremely limited as to the number of people we had, and and it made it very difficult for us during that in august president johnson invited him and his staff down to the ranch and clinton yorp
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there that day when they all came down. >> yes, he decided of o him down at the ranch to brief them on the presidency. and so they came down, there you see, in this particular photo vice president agnu director of cia dick helms, nixon press secretary, nixon johnson, assistant secretary cyrus vance, bob one of nixon's top staff. jim jones tom johnson, and secretary state dean russ.ean they were there to confer about the presidency. >> kind of like if you can imagine president obama inviting donald trump over to have a little chat to brief him incase he won the presidency.y. so they've spent some time together. but i want you to notice what president johnson is wearing. those were his ranch clothes right, clint? >> that's what we call them his ranch clothes. [laughter] that morning -- as i came to work went into
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security trail earl, the agents on duty said that hey, clint there's a package there for you from the president. so i took the package into the back room and i opened it up and it was -- a set of ranch clothes like his. so i put them back in the and i went back to the security trailer and pretty so long the phone rang and it was president johnson he wanted me to put on those ranch clothes, come out by the swimming pool where he was at swimming, baa because he wanted me to show him they fits an model them for him. so i did. as you see here -- you'll notice there in the yellow shirt laughing at me. >> i understand you have those ranch clothes still. >> i still have them. they're a memory of the 1960s
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with the johnsons. here down at lbj ranch, they don't -- i couldn't get into them it. i wanted to. but i still have them. you were not assignedded to the president. >> came to me after the election in 1968 and said clint, we have a problem. you know, nixon has won the presidency. he didn't like johnson and heke didn't like kennedy, and you were with both of them and he knows it.nk you a we don't think you and he are are going to get along. i said you probably got that right. [laughter] so he said we'd like to make a switch welcome make a change. we'll make you the special agent in charge of vice presidential protection, and remove bob taylor into the fic president so they made some promises to me about personnel staffing andnd equipment an if i agreed and so
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that change was made. >> you were there witnessing yet another presidency transition and once again in inaugural parade you were with that same car. >> but this time we were using the same car ssx100x and used for the vice president but this tile in the right front seat and other agency see there because of their position -- they're ducking things that have been throwing at the motorcade from the crowd on the inaugural day. rocks, bottles, and cans. >> so what kind of pet was richard nixon what kind of manpr was he from your perpght eve? perspective?d >> he changed when he came into the presidency much more of ane introvert so much so that he had the l oval office like everybody else and that's where everybody really wanted to go, but he
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established a separate office over in the executive office building where he spent a considerable amount of his time, alone requesting poem to come there on occasion. but he was really much more of a introvert than most people realize.f the ni and then came a phone call. >> in my bed a direct line to the white house and it rang. and it was intelligence division telling me there had been a break-in at the headquartersmo someone had broken into larry -- o'brien's office. so i said what's that got to do with the secret service?ic he said we're not so sure but let me give you name of the five men that have been arrested aena so they listed the five guys and one, two, three, four and they got to the fifth name and james mccord i thought i recognized it. i wasn't sure.
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so i wrote them down i said well i better call my boss. he's really in together with the nixon staff is.him i told them what happen haded and i got down to jim's name and all inked hear on the other end of the phone was a bunch of swearing. boy, i knew i had really struck accord. and then i realize and recked i did know jim mccord.en he was retired cia agent. he was a specialist inal eavesdropping, bugging, listening devices and that's what he was doing that democratic national committee head quarters. but he also at the time was employed by an organization that we call, creep. the committee to reelect the president. president nick so we knew there was a direct line between what happened at the democratic national committee headquarters and the white house staff. >> so at the same time as
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"watergate" was unfolding there was an investigation into vice president agnu and vice president agnu ended up resigning. >> yes, he did he resign agents took him over to baltimore and he gave up the office of vice president. >> and so nixon had to appoint a vice president he appointed gerald ford who was sworn in then in december of 1973. fnlings which was a big surprise to not only gerald ford but to his wife betty and their four children. because they had planned to retire in 1976 and go back to it shall where he was going to practice law and all that had been interrupted. >> just a few months later nixon resigned and gerald porld became president becoming the fifth president clinton had worked for in less than 17 years. and you were there when nixon redesigned.
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>> grounds as he had talked to staff and many friends in the east room, and then he and his wife pat accompanied by then vice president and jerry ford and wife betty walked out of the sort port with julie and trish two nixon daughters and their husbands. nixons were boarding a helicopter to fly to aircraft to fly to california. and fated got on the helicopter and then nixon turned and walked the stems of the helicopter, but at the top he turned and he faced the audience of people that were his close friends, staff, allies, and they were mostly weeping. and he threw his arms forward in that victory sign like he used to do, i stood there saying to myself -- what the headline hell does he think he's won leaving in
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disgrace so it was kind of a mystery why he rebated the way he did. >> so clint was there when gerald ford took office. made pa famous speech to declare that national -- national nightmare -- >> nightmare is over, and for most intensive purposes it was, it was a relief to have someone there that most people trusted. most people liked. but it was a big change from what had been.>> and s so clint there for one year and then he retired in 1975 at the age of 43. clint has told us when you were a young boy growing up in north dakota that you always wanted to be a history teacher. well, i think you've turned out to be a very good history teacher . [applause]
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thank you, thank you very much. [applause] thank you, ladies and gentlemen. thank you. thank you. we want to give you a chance to ask some questions. just a few minutes for some questions anybody has some. a microphone there. good af good afternoons nice to meet you. my question is being that john f. kennedy spent so much time away from his children, can you tell me how did that had affect them and mrs. kennedy especially after the president's death. >> well, the children were extremely close to president kennedy. we've -- i can show you photographs of caroline sitting on his lap on a back of a yacht they used to go to hits out in the ocean to swim and then she'd dive off the boat
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into his arms and -- they were just really close and that's when he appear to be the happiest i had ever seen him around mrs. kennedy and the children.d she was very dedicated to children and to her husband. she is tried her best to give him some relaxing times in the evening she would have smallg dinner parties in the white house. but just friends. and so for maybe an hour and a half, or two hours he could get away from the oval office and so it was after the assassination, of course, mrs. kennedy went into state of depression john was a little bit too young to really realize what had happened although taking him it a park one day a photographer tried to take his picture and he said why are you taking my picture. my daddy's dead.e and so it was really difficult for the agents that worked withh them to try to bolster their
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spirits to keep them up. but it was a difficult time. >> mr. hill, based on your comments a while ootion about the day of the assassination in dallas, that in their memoir we hardly knew you dave powers ofny o'donnell said from the grassy knoll ahead of the motorcade you indicated you hard a shot or felt a shot from behind did you see anyone firing from grass you know that day? >> i did not see it because nobody did. >> there were only three shots fired all six kale from the texas school depository no other shots were fired, that's a fact. >> your film which will be released lbj have you had any input and get a chance to see them to feature -- around assassination time? >> i have not seen them but looking forward to seeing both of them.
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thank you. >> very clear. >> what would you say about the situation that gerald ford came into vice president then president getting ready to retire, did he -- get enough credit for coming in and doing what he had did such as it was no >> no, he's a good deal mark -- wonderful man placed incould. extremely difficult situation and he did the begs he could. >> one of the things you leak to point out about jerry ford iss chevy chase made a lot of fun about him -- >> at one point president ford stumbled coming down front steps of air force one .ce one. and "saturday night live" andd chevy chase grabbed that and ran with it and made him appear look a stumbling idiot. well jerry ford was captain of the michigan university football team.
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he was a really a good snow skier. he was a really great swimmer a life guard since he was just a kid. he was an eagle scout. he had a lot of grief from yale. he had practiced law.le he played tennis, he played golf. he was just exactly the opposite of what chevy chase and people on "saturday night live" tried toughs depict him as being. firsthand with seeing temperament needed for the job i was wondering if you had any thoughts on the -- outcoming election in the two option its that we're facings? >> i know where you're going with the question -- but -- if you think i'm going to answer it, you're crazy. [applause] [laughter] >> this is our last questions --


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