tv The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City CSPAN December 18, 2016 10:00pm-10:46pm EST
will be having a conversation with margaret then reid will open to members of the audience thinks for being here. [applause] >> hello to betty that is your i am so glad that you wrote this book because it makes history really come alive. many people here know better if you talk about the pan-american exposition with the eighth largest city in the united states was very prosperous. when the historic fiction of that time period really
years was the first full-length book of the history of the gravy baird to -- great event. when it is the london case but above one of us city's ever to host the world's fair. and has not happened since the war lance does anybody know the next world fair in? 2017 it is then, sixth on and united states will but even participate. but this is really a big deal for buffalo margaret so tell me about that what did it mean at that time to host the world's fair correct.
be even bigger than in chicago 1893. >> buffalo can you talk about what they wanted formal look like with that 400 ft tall tower? >> that was one of the signature buildings of the exposition. the fare was electrifying and as it celebrated the command over by a niagara falls and to free any electric current and it was
the elimination that to a place set dark every night and people were and all. they would stand near the bridge, there will work their way close to see initially little pinpricks of light that would blossom into an orange glow that would bring poll fairgrounds alive. one of the biggest hits of the fair civic the choice of colors that are used as a story. >> the fare was all about pride of western civilization and the directors wanted to convey a message of the united states had moved from opposition from the apex of civilization so they
translated into the colors of the affair if you entered the periphery it would be places where the buildings were tinted red and orange and yellow and if you move toward the electric tower. and at signature of pretty yellows and white. to understand the allegory. >> the same way that color was used people of color were portrayed in amazingly disturbing ways as there were signs of conquest with
the effort the exhibit -- africa at exhibit the way indians were portrayed like geronimo. so to read these stories now is shocking. >> give is distressing to us now and the era of jim crow with these segregation and lynching it should not be surprising house of the officials put this together with race supremacy with their notions of exhibits like the old plantation to bring in old african-american performers to enact those good old days
and these were performers that would pet caught in. >> business for decades after the civil war? >> that's right post reconstruction between the white south and north to put them in a position of struggle. >> something else that if they read your book has to do with animal welfare. it was very shocking and with that beloved animal and the second concern that
people would pay extra us tickets to witness this. >> start with the dog is is one of the more shocking things that i came across in of buffalo shelters poodles, terrier, then rounded up and brought to the fair where they were killed then the native people of of fair eight mcdonald's. the humane society in buffalo was very progressive and they were very distressed by this but at the same time wanted to a knowledge the cultural
traditions of the native performers like geronimo so did not want to interfere. so was the offense that revealed the cultural tensions and challenges. >> there were some positive aspects particularly of presentation from the pan-american and exposition. but in the previous world fair and the way they invite latin american and to be part of the exposition to give them a platform of which to speak can talk back
to the united states. fighting a war in cuba and the dignitaries cave to buffalo the we prefer they give us our freedom. so with that a. exhibit space to show off their accomplishments but it gave them away to talk back. >> there is many fascinating characters. but the of one person who's is the anarchist the
assassin of mckinley. quite unusual. >> but the of way i framed the story is to talk a little bit about the desire to be an anarchist. but also to talk about his mental illness. and also to give a short little speech to be motivated and have access to health care. now he did terrible things but he brought up issues
so as a black man who shot of president when history is turned on its head that has unfortunately fax on mr. parker's life. he helped to tackle the assassin and immediately was recognized as one of the heroes of the moment from fiery a third round and for a while he was seen as the hero who might have saved mckinley's life but a funny thing happened he certainly got the secret service and other individuals to guard the president to say research in the did our job he was not there at all then
at the trial with him is testimony was never called on and he disappeared and erased from the memory of the event and went around the country for the rest of his life meeting people in various churches talking about the role but he had played and eventually died in philadelphia industry destitute. >> mary e. tragic. >> the person you write about only 2-foot tall? >> chiquita is one of my favorite characters, and they're all nonfiction they
are real people but she was born in guadalajara and was 26 inches tall and was discovered when she was living in new york and was brought to the affair as a highlight of the midway and named it that mascot of the exposition. that is interesting because and redefined her as a cuba instead of mexican and the fact that he was a mascot as the relationship with cuba. of this low-lying intimation but was not treated very
well by her manager and she left very suddenly i don't want to ruin the story but a dramatic departure. >> the first one to go over niagara falls in a barrel and survived. she capitalize a bad experience but paul r. and neatly and there was destitute. and decided she would make money for her later in life to be the first person. again not to spoil things but common she makes it and
becomes an incredible celebrity the last day of the fair. but something doesn't seem quite right. and describes himself as a dancing teacher i am not a sure he doesn't look that number. and she did this amazing thing. and they could not convince people she did not fit the part. she was not young and beautiful.
and to steal the beryl put somebody else to play the part and then she was left to sell postcards. >> so buffaloed is the of ruling class with half a million dollars even a lot more money they and it is today. but not was not the straight? but to get a big return financially but and that seems to be like a lot of people but there is constant pressure and then to fall
short to make those who made investment into the affair. >> to be extraordinarily optimistic they fuelled the optimism. if this is bigger than chicago. the best fare even held in the united states because people ourselves out of recession and the hit of the century and to say over confident with the shortfall
the weather was bad that people say it was a bit off but there was speculation on latin america for those who wanted to see that exhibit and they were not clear as to what to expect. so they were concerned that they had in answer to this to bring president mckinley in september. >> and vendor to turn things around. absolutely. >> so makemie -- mckinley
and some feel that there is a lot of controversy about that. that of poland was left in his back and then might have been pulled out maybe that did the trick. or maybe there was not enough sterilization going on or perhaps they did not close things properly. but to talk to some of the trauma surgeons today to ask them to take a look at the case but to say with imaging and antibiotics it would
have been tough and his pancreas was blown apart to and spilled some poisonous enzymes. there was the moment that buffalo believed it was miraculous. not solely a sense of relief that it was the temporary nation's capital. but is this amazing moment of exhilaration all within a few hours and now you cannot
eat the toast. day poll everything out. everything that they possibly can and in digest does not work. >> has that continued to cast a dark spell in buffalo will? >> i taught a course on the boston red sox. id cave very familiar with the curse but possibly some of my view are but a and what they had done differently and to felt that
he would recover but i cannot find any fault. but buffalo paid the price for the 20th-century. back when i was growing up. so buffalo is on the of swaying their time is about to come of. [laughter] and i don't think we can let back at mckinley. [laughter] >> just a short distance from the pan-american exposition that you never
knew much about the history if you want to research the pan-american exposition correct. >> wanted to make up the story how i wandered around with the day's long ago. that was a toll live. i majored in english. a number of years ago from 19th century america, l2 talk about this amazing effort that was so magnificent and influential at that point i was looking
for evidence story to tell headachy to meet so i came back to buffalo and i began to dig around and they help me to discover the eccentric characters per whiff of public of the miseries and the distraction and also the themes of the fair resisted or opposed crawford a rebuttal to supremacy at domination.
>> your research is mostly from the newspaper accounts with medical records and it had to be extremely intelligent. and it was so well done i can only imagines to translate for the average person to make it entertaining. >> i was so happy when i turned on my computer to discover all the pan-american scrapbooks were digitized i was flabbergasted and made it so much easier. and it was challenging.
accomplishment. but we can also point to the events i write about that speaks to the resistancspeakto the rese for social justice for the fair treatment of animals, racial progress and equality that really they didn't get started but buffaloes affair window gave them an opportunity to be discussed and challenged and it went on and continue to this d day. >> last question. >> the expedition occurred at a time when we were not a globally energy connected world and it was one of the great ways for
the world to know what other cultures in society were doing. is there still the role for the affairs and should they be in kazakhstan in 2017? >> why not? i have done some looking up why we don't have world affairs and talk to people about the world affairs or disney world takes the place certainly of the midway for instance if they also say you've got the world wide web effectively that functions and globalized communications and gives everybody an opportunity to visit other places and to experience and explore. so in a sense i guess there are
many reasons we don't have these events. they are very risky for the business enterprises and for the investors obviously. but it would be great if we did and if buffalo did this again. we have seen such wonderful enterprise and optimism that if it were to do something again, it would be a great opportunity explaining to the country and to the world was buffalo is and what buffalo has become and the resilience of the city which never ceases to impress me. >> if anybody wants to start a petition again. are there any questions anybody would like to ask?
>> [inaudible] >> the question was on social justice can you say a word about why men? >> it offered a vision of pretty much everyone in the dead included women and i'm going to speak particularly of white women at this point. it had a whirlwind of managers and women's building that was pretty much used by elite middle-class women and college graduates and so forth.
they were cultivated individuals, gracious hostesses and so forth. one of the stories that i tell is about the way that she disrupts the narrative and she is a wise old woman across the continent eight times. there she is with her barrel headed down the river so there is a story and what i don't discuss enough that i would love if somebody pursued this is a story of african-american women that were working at the fair or who wanted to visit but didn't have enough resources to do so, so more stories could be told.
>> it was the negro exhibit is that right? >> mary talbert was one of the individuals that was a very accomplished african-american activist who took a great defense that it would be represented by the old plantation so she helped to bring this exhibit, and it was in the manufacturers building and exhibited as the accomplishment since emancipation. the problem was that it received very little press in the national papers, local papers.
it was around the time of the centennial where there was so much research people have decided so she had done terrific work, but it didn't get the attention it deserved. >> can you talk about the architectural legacy of the buildings? >> i'm not sure that i can do that. others that have explored the art and architecture in that remarkable books have spoken between the architecture of this affair that would consider the
spanish renaissance as opposed to the architecture of the chicago's. they talk about the decision to put it in a much more sensible rainbow colored city. but in terms of the legacy, there is a lot said about chicago and its world affairs and its launching in the planning and so forth. one of the ironies is that they are honoring the spanish style architecture when of course the united states was doing it best from the western hemisphere but
-- [inaudible] >> the activity was the racial insensitivity was troubling. was this viewed [inaudible] >> absolutely. there is the notion ther is a celebration that they've been able to contain nativ native ams on this continent and now were directing filipinos and becoming more civilized. it was an obligation on the part of people to educate and reform to eliminate as well.
>> [inaudible] >> i think i can paraphrase what you just asked. they were seen on midway that were not actually part of the position per se. is that correct? they were happening on the midway. maybe you can explain the difference between the midway and the rest. >> it was a mile-long stretch that was the concessions range
from exhibits to train the wild animal shows and restaurants in all sorts of different shows and the spectacular sights. but i wouldn't go so far as to say all the commentary i think the midway it goes very much. it's talking about the civilization of the same way and they make some of the same remarks. also we have to remember that
people love to go see the midway. they would go see various major exhibit halls. we need to look hard at that particular part of the affair. [applause] thank you for putting up for this tonight. i forgot to say margaret is the one that gave me my style back in the article in 2012. thank you. moscow thank you for coming out.
>> many publications are offering their picks for the best of the year. here are some of the books selected. the cnn legal analyst in new york staff writer recalls the kidnapping of patty hearst by the liberation army in 1974. emory university studies professor carol anderson argues throughout history the advancement of african americans has been followed by the legal and legislative backlash. and eleanor roosevelt the war years and afterwards it concludes a three volume biography of the first lady's life. the book reviews notable books in 2016 also includes atlantic magazine science writers
examination of the microbes in i contain multitudes and the historian heather and thompson recalls the uprising of 1971 in her national book award nominated title blood in the water in the inner cities across the nation particularly new york city, buffalo, rochester was filled with 2400 men overwhelmingly black and puerto rican but also white men.
it's s said that they were not only dieting but they were disfigured from the lack of care. this is the context that they start talking about civil rights in the prison, human rights in the present. many of them have also come from streets that had been very active, particularly in 64 and rochester in 64 and they began to ask for help initially through the system writing letters to their state senators and banking the commissioner to do something. what was done is a great deal of repression and anyone caught with a letter asking for help with mean you were throwing your soul for indefinite periods of time and it is in that context