tv [untitled] February 19, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EST
clothes from sweat shops. so her politics also came into her clothing. >> what is the oldest gown? >> the oldest gown in the collection is actually martha washington's. it's not on display right now. it has been on display for a long, sustained amount of time. so it's -- it's having a rest right now. in this gallery when we round the corner, the oldest dress will be dolly madison's. >> fast-forward to today. michelle obama. she donated hers personally? >> actually, mrs. obama came and presented the dress jewelry. and the shoes. but they were actually donated, and she -- oh, it's interesting. thdesigners donate. and mrs. obama had them donate these pieces. so jason wu and jimmy choo and lori rodkin actually donated the pieces. they are donated when you see the label they'll be donated by jason wu in honor of the first lady michelle obama. and mrs. obama came to present the pieces to the museum.
>> so what goes into deciding which dress to wear? and are they thinking about the influence that will have on their husband's administration? >> i think -- i think we like it to maybe be a little more political than it probably is. when we did -- there's a video playing in this exhibition. we were lucky enough to interview rosalint carter and laura bush about the dresses that they chose thinking maybe there was a symbolism. and mrs. carter in reality for sentimental reasons wore a dress again that she had worn when her husband was made governor of georgia. and mrs. bush just remembers collaborating with the designer, michael faircloth. and wanted a pretty party dress. the first lady wants it to be beautiful. she wants it to be comfortable. she wants it to be appropriate. i think appropriate is the word when first ladies are dealing
with clothes. they want to be appropriate for the occasion, appropriate for their age, appropriate for the circumstance, and think appropriate as a symbol of the united states because we still do look at the first ladies representing women in the united states, even when she's not functioning in duty hours, she represents the united states. all day monday, american history tv is featuring american's first ladies. who do you think was our most influential first lady? vote and join the conversation with us on facebook at facebook.com/c-span. each week on american artifacts we visit the center for education and leadership
across the street from ford's theater where john wilks booth shot president lincoln as he enjoyed the play "our american cousin." the center is the newest addition to the ford's theater campus on tenth street in washington where visitors can learn about the life, death and legacy of abraham lincoln. ford's theater society director paul tatro talks about the center's purpose and goals. curator tracy avan walks us through the exhibits. we are in the center of education and leadership directly across the street from ford's theater on tenth street in washington, d.c. behind me is the tower of books which is a concept that really started about five years ago to visualize and showcase the unending quest to learn more about abraham lincoln. and so this tower of books represents, as we all know, that abraham lincoln is the most
written about figure in world history next to jesus christ. >> during the past couple years we've been working with ford's theater society on developing the new exhibits here at the ford's theater center for education and leadership. public space in the lobby, it has to be fireproof. so all these books are actually made out of aluminum for weight and flammability purposes. we've got a structure that goes on to this column. then we're building up with perforated aluminum shelving and attaching the books up to those as we go. eventually work our way up to 35 feet. a lot of fasteners. high temperature silicone. some minor cuts to make sure everything wraps well around this column. a lot of notches here that won't be visible in the piece's finish. it will look like complete books all the way around this column. we left spaces in here.
we've got 200 unique titles. we've worked with over 50 publishers to get permission to use these books. we anticipate a lot of people coming forward after the piece is done and general rapts a lot of excitement where they'll want their book added. we've left spaces throughout the sculpture to add five to eight books a year of new titles and even books that aren't written yet. >> this is pretty unique. we do a lot of different projects. natural history museums to cultural institutions like ford's theater. this is really a unique public art piece. >> we believe this will become an iconic image in washington where people, especially young people, i think will come here and be able to see, wow, there really were a lot of books written about that guy. and that in and of itself is not so interesting. but that will spark them to say, why? who was he?
i want to know more about it. and so this is really the -- as it stands at our entry point here, something to really spark especially young people. their imagination. say, do i need to read some of those books? i need to know more about this guy. this building will be the extension of the understanding of who lincoln is today, lincoln's legacy. >> my name is tracy avant. i'm the curator of exhibitions here at ford's theater society. and we are now standing in the entryway of the center for education and leadership, which is the fourth act of our four-act drama that we've set up for our entire campus. our first act is our museum across the street underneath the theater. that looks at president lincoln's time here in washington. our second act is in the theater itself and is the assassination of lincoln. and our third act is the peterson house where lincoln's body was taken and where he did die. so those three acts have been in place since 2009. now we're just getting ready to
open our center for education and leadership which looks at our fourth act. and the fourth act looks at two elements. it looks at the aftermath of lincoln's assassination and that includes the -- his death and the funeral train journey home to illinois. and the man hunt for john wilks booth and the conspirators. the second part of the akd looks at the memorialization and the legacy of abraham lincoln and why he's still so relevant and important to us today. so why don't you follow me and we'll take a look at what we've got. we're on our mez zeen at the center for education and leadership. this is actually where visitors to the site will enter the center and take the elevator to the fourth floor to experience the first exhibit. so people will come through the peterson house, across the back porch into this area. and this way it's a continuous flow from that third act to that fourth act. people will come here, and they'll learn a little bit about what the center is.
then people will load on to the elevator and take the elevator to the fourth floor, which is what we're going to do right now. >> going up. >> we like to think of our elevator as time travel. as the elevator doors open, we step out on to the washington streets of april 15th, 1865. visitors get an opportunity to hear the street sounds of horses and carriages traveling along, tolling bells mourning lincoln's loss. we also hear the telegraph sending out confirmation of abraham lincoln's death. >> president lincoln died at 22 minutes after 7:00. j. wilks booth was the assassin. >> visitors have the opportunity to learn a little bit about what the newspapers were saying. and also just the general state of affairs here in washington, d.c. and that takes us to our next stage of the exhibition where we step on to a train platform and
into the funeral car which is a replica of the funeral car that carried abraham lincoln to springfield, illinois, to be buried. we learn a little bit about the funeral and the staging of the funeral in washington and at the white house. and here we have items on display from the national park service. some items in this case have actually never been on display before. and the items range from things that were related to the funeral train itself, a handle to the coffin, to mourning ribbons, a ticket to the funeral at the white house. and even things like the tools that were used to seal abraham lincoln's coffin for the final time before he was buried in springfield, illinois. the people who rode in the funeral car were security guards, actually. and they did disinter the body
of his son willie. so willie and lincoln's coffins were in this particular car. now, the funeral train itself was many cars long and all sorts of dignitaries and other people related to the train and the funeral train, there were morticians, president lincoln was the first president ever to be embalmed, which is what really made the funeral train journey possible. because he was embalmed and so they did have an open casket over this 14-day journey in all of the cities. and these two gentlemen rode along to touch him up along the way. robert lincoln rode on the train from washington to baltimore. then he returned to washington to be with his mother. and he then later came out to springfield for the funeral. mary never rode the train and she did not attend his funeral. she was just too distraught with grief to be a part of the ceremonies. the flag is interesting in that it only has 34 stars.
even though there were 36 states in the union by the time of abraham lincoln's death. so we think that this -- obviously it was an older flag. but we think it probably came from a fort somewhere or a garrison. and it was one of many flags that draped his coffin along the way. as we step out of the train, we're stepping back on to our train platform where we come to our first interactive, which is a really great opportunity for visitors to look in depth at this funeral train journey. and to try to get a better understanding of why something like this, nothing like this had ever happened. of course, the president had never been assassinated before. but a mourning train journey like this had never happened. and a lot of historians posit that the reason that the whole united states took such an interest in this was not only because of this unusual circumstances of the assassination of abraham lincoln, but also because it was a way for them to mourn the tremendous losses that had taken place in the civil war. so many people never saw their
loved ones again. bodies were not necessarily returned from the battlefield. and this was a way that they could come to terms with that grief openly in a period where that wasn't always necessarily the case. what is interesting about this is you -- you get to look at some of the major cities along the route, and there are cards that talk briefly about -- about what happened in each city and how each city might have mourned lincoln's passing. it talks a little bitoualong th the train did not stop in cities. there were still crowds of hundreds of people along the tracks at all hours of night with bonfires, with bands, wanting the opportunity to see the president's funeral train pass. and one thing that our interactive gives which i think is really interesting is it gives the date and the population of the cities. but it also gives you the number of the people that attended the funeral.
and the farther away you get from the east coast and the closer you get to the land of lincoln, the greater the crowds are compared to the numbers. so you have a small town like cleveland where the population was only 43,000 people, roughly. but 150,000 people came to view lincoln's coffin and remains. so it was a tremendous outpouring that people experienced. and they had to set up special pavilions in cities just to accommodate the crowds. the rest of our gallery is dedicated to the hunt for john wilks booth and the capture and trial of our conspirators. both sides deal with that. we start with john wilks booth here and learn a little bit about him. we come to our second object case. in this case we have two items that were actually on booth's body when he was captured. a set of keys and a map that he was carrying with him which was a travel map very much like the maps that we carry today. and folded up in this nice little book.
so these two items were on his body and the national park service was able to loan those to us. and as we move forward, we come to a map that traces that escape from washington that john wilkes booth and david herald made. by pushing this little light-up button we get to find -- follow the pathway that booth took and his stops at the sirot tavern to pick up weapons. his stop at dr. mud's house where his leg was set. and we'll be able to follow all the way down to their crossing of the potomac river, they're first attempt at crossing the potomac river where they were lost, their second attempt where they crossed. eventually ended up at the garrett farm where john wilkes booth and herald were caught and captured. john wilkes booth was ultimately
killed there. because he was captured in a ta tobacco barn, our final exhibit -- we have a recreated tobacco barn which has light and sound and moving image. visitors will be able to look into the barn and hear a sound track where union soldiers come to capture booth and booth refuses to surrender. they'll get to see the barn lit on fire. and then boston corbet shooting john wilkes booth and john wilkes booth's final words to his mother. >> let me have a moment. if you'll take your men 50 yards from the door, i'll come out and fight you. give me a chance for my life.
>> we did not come here to fight you. we came to make you a prisoner. >> well, my brave boys, prepare a stretcher for me. [ horses whinnying ] [ gunshot ] >> mother, i died for my country. >> so it's just kind of an interactive way like our street scene to take people into 1865 and give them sort of an emotional connection with all of this material. on this display case here, we have items that are related to the trial and capture an imprisonment of the conspirators and some of the items in this case have never been on display
including this wheel of the montauk where several of the conspirators were held and imprisoned until they went to trial. we have the military passes to visit the prisoners and for the trial itself, and we have keys to the jail cells of mary surratt and dr. mudd along with some shackles that he wore on his journey to the dry tor tu gas where he was imprisoned before he was pardoned by president andrew johnson. the rest of our gallery finishes up just look ageing at the triad looking at how the trial was conducted as a military tri bun. a little bit about why it was conducted that way. and the outcomes that might have been different if it had been -- gone to a normal court. as well as looking at where they were imprisoned and giving you a little montage here at the end of the president and one of the hoods that all of the conspirators, except for mary surratt and dr. mutd, has to wear at some point in time.
between lincoln's funeral train and the hunt for john wilkes booth, it was high entertainment in some ways. people were riveted by what was happening in the newspapers and by the reports of this chase and what was going to happen to him. so it was sensational. and as soon as it was realized that he was the person that was responsible, all sorts of information started coming out that this wasn't an isolated incident, that it was a conspiracy. i think it was hard for people to sort of understand why he had done this, and it was such a drastic act, nothing like this had really happened in the history of the united states yet. the fact that he was killed and not brought to trial was, i think, a disappoint for the federal government. they wanted to make sure that -- they wanted to make an example of him like they did with the other conspirators so that nothing like this would happen again. so as we step out into the
atrium, we have sort of our final scene for the hunt for the con -- and trial of the conspirators. and that's the mural of the conspirators prior to their hanging. it was almost -- i think it was 3 1/2 years before those bodies were released to their respective families and allowed to be buried in their private cemeteries. edwin stanton did not want these people to be made martyrs of. confederacy had just fallen. d.c. was a southern city and so close to virginia. he was worried if the bodies were returned to their families they would become martyrs and the graves would become these sites of tribute. he did not want that to happen. he wanted this to be over. he wanted an example to be made of them. and he wanted the country to move on. so that sort of wraps up this level. and, of course, mary surratt was the first woman to ever be executed by the federal government. and to this day, there's a lot of controversy over how guilty or innocent she was. so after the assassination of
abraham lincoln, mary had a long and difficult journey before she finally made it to springfield, illinois, where she lived with her sister until her death. initially she stayed in the white house, actually longer than she should have. she just wasn't ready to move. and andrew johnson was very understanding and forgiving of this and just waited until she was ready to move out of the white house. she was very worried about not having enough money to live on and so she tried to sell some of her dresses, which led to a lot of public criticism. and it was a while before the money that was due to her from lincoln's presidency as a leader was given to her. but eventually she lived in chicago for a while. she and tad went to europe shortly after she sort of moved out of the white house. they went to europe for a while and spent several years over there. unfortunately, it was a period of time where she really didn't recover from her grieving and
robert actually had her committed to an asylum for about 12 weeks. but eventually she did manage to move to springfield where she did retire from public life and lived with her sister until her death. so as we make our way to the third floor, we look at reconstruction and the challenges of reconstruction without abraham lincoln. so we look at how reconstruction happened without andrew johnson and the downfalls of that. things still happened like the passing of the 13th amendment but there was a lot of backsliding that happened because he was in charge and didn't have the same philosophy that abraham lincoln did. as we move through reconstruction, we walk through our third floor gallery which is about the memorialization and
legacy that abraham lincoln has left us. so our exhibit starts really looking at how lincoln's image changed very quickly after his assassination. he was a president that was loved by a lot of people, but he was also despiced by a lot of people. even people who were faithful to the union were very frustrated with abraham lincoln at times during his presidency. but as soon as he was assassinated, he suddenly became a martyr. and you started seeing images like this. this combination of lincoln and washington. washington made our country and lincoln saved our country. even images like we have an apotheosis of lincoln. so abraham lincoln is being welcomed into heaven by washington. so just days before his assassination, some of these things never would have been put together, but because of his assassination and the effect it had on the country, all of his misgivings, at least for a short time, were forgotten. and the memorialization of abraham lincoln really started with this martyrdom.
we look briefly at just a few of the memorials and statutes that have been erected to abraham lincoln. and we also look at some of the celebrations like the first celebration of his birth in 1909. and we look at the positive and negative sides. we look at how many of the things that he set in motion with emancipation were unfortunately not fully realized by 1909 when celebrations were held. but african-americans were not allowed into these celebrations. and how those kinds of things spurred the birth of organizations like naacp. we look at how presidents throughout time and what we have is just a small example of how lincoln's words inspired them, how they turned to lincoln and his writings for inspiration in their own decisions. and even how presidents on opposite sides of political parties used the exact same quote to support arguments that were opposing arguments.
we have that on this side. and then on this side we have what we call our global lincoln. and this looks at two things. it looks at the world's response to the assassination of abraham lincoln and how they grieved and also sent their condolences to the united states. and then it also looks at how leaders and countries around the world have looked to lincoln for leadership and inspiration for revolutions. how leaders from democracies to communist leaders have used lincoln's words to inspire the masses and how everyday ordinary people have been inspired by lincoln to rise to great heights. this is an immigrant pageant, an american pageant. the lady playing lady liberty is golda mierre when she was just a young lady. it's a nice look that covers cultures and countries all over
the world. and that leads into one of our final sections, which is our look at abraham lincoln's sort of pop culture. abe somehow was used to sell things as diverse at smoking tobacco and emory brooks for polishing silver to syrup bottles that could be turned into banks. and, of course, iconic items like lincoln logs. items you can buy today. lincoln keds and jewelry. that was all bought online by our designers. there's something that people identify with him and i guess the honesty of abe to sell the products. our product is the best because abe supports it. so our final piece looks at why abraham lincoln is still relevant today through his own words. so all the words you hear in this piece are actually pieces of text that have been taken from his speeches and from his writings, and they're remixed.
and the idea behind this was to give visitors a last impression of how lincoln's words are so relevant today, how the ideals that he believed in are also still relevant and really to challenge the visitor with the idea that democracy is a work in progress and it's our duty as american citizens to think about how we can continue that legacy further. there's something about abraham lincoln and his words that allow people to connect with him and find some kind of meaning with him. lincoln is still here with us today, and there's a reason for that. and it has to do with the ideals that he believed in and the principles that he followed. >> we believe that ford's theater is the location in washington, d.c., to learn about lincoln and his legacy. it's one of the things that we
do better than anyone else. we are able to marry the concepts and the excellence that we bring to theatrical productions to the museum experience. we will teach our oratory programs as part of our education programs in this facility. we will use this facility to do our teacher training. all of those things are jumping off who lincoln was, such a brilliant leader. this center is what that is all about. for more information about the ford's theater education and leadership center, visit their website at fordstheater.org. you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. each year "time" magazine selects a person who had the most influence on events during the previous 12 months. if the same question were posed in 1862, who would "time" select
as the person of the year? american history tv will be live next saturday from richmond, virginia, as historians, including james mcfehrson and david blight ponder that question and present their candidates for person of the year 1862. the museum of the confederacy and the library of virginia host the all-day forum. and during the day we'll open our phone lines and take your tweets so you can question the historians about their nominations and propose your own candidates. live coverage begins at 9:00:30 a.m. eastern to 4:30 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span 3. >> join american history tv on monday for 24 hours of america's first ladies, including an interview with eleanor roosevelt at 4:45 p.m. eastern. >> i think, like everything else, that we started out expecting that the united nations would solve every
difficulty just by being the united nations. >> tour the white house private quarters with laura bush at 5:00. and ladybird johnson at 8:00. nancy reagan reminisces about her husband at 8:30. and at 11:30, the only first lady to run for president, now secretary of state hillary clinton, at her final campaign rally in 2008. american history tv monday. president's day. on c-span 3. >> who would be interested in what the first lady wears other than if you're just a fan of fashion? why do we care what the first lady wears? but we look to her clothes for clues about what she's like as a person, about what the administration might be like both in its style. is it formal? is it informal? is it extravagant? is it simple? and what -- possibly something about her politics or the administration's politics. is it american made? do you proudly say you only wear american designers and american made clothi