Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    June 17, 2012 12:00pm-12:30pm EDT

12:00 pm
understanding that from petersburg. but he prods early to do something. so what happens, of course, is that on the advice of some of his generals who climb up and look down in the camp and cedar creek was essentially the campsite for the army of the shennendoah. they find that the flank is vulnerable. they convince early. and the reason they do that is john gordon more or less said, i'll take responsibility if it doesn't succeed. i will tell you -- and bob craig alluded to that. gordon's memoirs -- all i can say about gordon's memoirs are they were written by a united states senator. you should keep that in mind when i when he wrote it. anyhow, what happens is the confederates pull off one of the most brilliant attack of the war. they sweep the 19th core.
12:01 pm
you're well familiar with it. they sweep them north of middle town. they got caught into a cemetery and they drained away. what sheridan does is obviously says, you know, we've got to start to retreat. when sheridan says to them retreat? he rides along the line. by the way, one of his staff sergeants says general, take your hat off so they'll see you head. so they'll know it's you, you know? and, of course, they sweep to victory. jubal early will write
12:02 pm
subsequently after cedar creek that the defeat there in the valley and his feelings were beyond measure. no, the 1864 campaign is not beyond measure. that drum roll of union victories, that burning and destruction of the fierlths valley assured lincoln's re-election. and with the re-election of lincoln, only time was left until apamatick. thank you. [ applause ] >> announcer: next week, we'll be back at the virginia military institute for the final session from this conference organized by the virginia civil war sesquicentennial commission. historian gary gallagher will talk about the importance of studying military history. the civil war airs here every saturday at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
12:03 pm
and sundays at 11:00 a.m. eastern time. you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. next, on american history tv, a group of former capitol pages talk about their time spent in washington. they reflect on the various assignments and duties they carried out for members of congress and discuss the benefits of the congressional page experience. the u.s. capitol historical society hosted this one-hour event. >> hello. we're just waving. >> good afternoon, everyone. my name is jerry papazian. i was a house page in 1971-'72. and i am currently the president
12:04 pm
of the u.s. capitol page alumni association. the alumni association was formed in 2009 as a nonprofit organize sairgs of former members -- former pages of the u.s. house, u.s. senate and u.s. supreme court. this afternoon is a kickoff of the first-ever all-class homecoming reunion all classes of former pages. we have pages represented here today and through the weekend that served from 1940s to the prent. now, we're here today cosponsoring this event with the u.s. capital historical society. we have two parts. we have a panel of firsts who you'll hear from very soon. our second group panel is the
12:05 pm
panel of the house and senate historians who are going to give a visual presentation. of the history of the page program.of the history of the p program.of the history of the page program. of history of the page program. now, it gives me great pleasure to introduce don cannon, the vice president of the u.s. capital historical society for scholarship and education. don is a third-year veteran. and we appreciate working with the society and putting on the events this weekend. don? >> well, thank you very much, jerry. and thanks to you and to chris cobey and to everyone with the capitol page alumni association who has put this event together. as jerry mentioned, i've been doing this kind of thing for almost 30 years. i know how difficult this can be. actually, i'm only 33 years old. you wouldn't know it to look at me. i know how these things can age you. thank you, jerry, so much. i'm going to put on briefly this
12:06 pm
ball cap of the association that jerry was kind enough to give me. i feel a little bit like carol hardy now because you're probably expecting to see cokie roberts up here to moderate the panel discussion. unfortunately, a family illness has made it impossible for her to be here. earlier, jerry had asked me if i would be willing to pinch-hit for her. feeling that that would never occur, i said sure. so i feel like carol hardy. now, some of you may recognize that name. if you're a boston red sox fan, you should recognize that name. carol hardy was the only baseball player who ever pinch-hit for the great ted williams. on september 3rd, 1960, williams was at bat and found the ball off his foot. bood badly injured.
12:07 pm
he couldn't continue.lnd the ba off his foot. bood badly injured. he couldn't continue.end the ba off his foot. bood badly injured. he couldn't continue.d the ball off his foot. bood badly injured. he couldn't continue. the manager called on gerald hardy to go up at bat. hopefully, i won't have the same results. i'll try to do better. but we'll carry on and fortunately, like the boston red sox in the 1960s, day finished 32 games behind the new york yankees. i don't have to worry about winning because i have a better team here to carry on. it's my pleasure to represent the u.s. capital historical society at this event, which we are proud to cosponsor during our 50th anniversary year. our anniversary theme is your capitol, our mission. 50 years promoting informed citizenship. so it is very appropriate that we take a look in this program at some of the historic firsts and the history of democracy's messengers, the capitol pages who have served congress.
12:08 pm
i had a fantastic introduction planned for cokie roberts. i just want to share a little bit of it. cokie is a member of the board of trustees of the u.s. capitol historical societies. and i know if she could have at all made it possible to be here, she would have been. but i was looking forward to introducing her so i could embarrass her. you know, over the years, i've introduced hundreds of people. historians, scholars, authors, current and former members of congress, some of whom probably thought in their own eyes that they were legends. but cokie roberts is an authentic, official living legend. in 2008, the library of congress gave her that designation and award as a living legend. i've never, ever had the honor of introducing a real living
12:09 pm
legend. the embarrassing thing i would have said is that among the list of living legends so designated by the library of congress is big bird of sesame street. but, anyway, on with the show. i'm going to make a brief introduction of the four panelists and then we will throw it open to them to make brief opening stants. and i'm sure that will lead to an exciting and informative discussion of their careers as capitol pages. following that, as time permits,
12:10 pm
we welcome your input. there are three microphones here. and as we come to that point of time, just come and line up and make your observations, we'd appreciate that. let me introduce our panelists in alphabetical order. first, ellen of lakeman. ellen, please just raise your hand. ellen grew up in dundee, illinois and was the first female page nominee. she earned her bachelor of science degree from the university of illinois. she worked for a relations agency in chicago. her boys both played golf. one professionally and one for the university of dayton. daryl j. gonzalez, daryl. daryl gonzalez, ph.d. is th, is
12:11 pm
author of the definitive history of the page program entitled the children who ran for congress. a history of congressional pages. published in 2010. a former teacher of the house page school, dr. gonzalez has worked in education for more than 20 years. he earned his ph.d. from the ma his degree from alfred university and frost he lives in maryland with his wife and four children. acelld.luper was appointed to the first female page to the u.s. house of representatives i albert, speaker of the house. she graduated with his degree from the university on oklahoma in 1973 and obtained a masters
12:12 pm
degrees from the george washington university. after living for 2 1/2 years in paris, france, felda made her home here in washington, d.c. where she still resides. felda has had a multifaceted career and presently is a business management process improvement and quality assurance consultant and perhaps she'll explain to us what that actually means. felda has a daughter, chelsea, in the d.c. area and immediate family in the tulsa area. she is working on a book about her page experience, life as it changes, feminism as the important of embracing and planning for change. frank mitchell was raised in springfield, illinois, and was selected to become the first avenue can american page to serve in the u.s. house of representatives in the 20th century. with the consent of then
12:13 pm
minority leader gerald ford of michigan, congressman paul finley of illinois chose mitchell for this historic assignment in 1965. as a page in the republican cloak room, he witnessed many historic moment of the civil rights movement, including the floor debates for the voting rights act of 1965. mitchell was later employed as a writer and editor for northwestern bell and is deputy director of communications for the illinois attorney general's office. mitchell also started his own public relations firm and served as the executive director for illinois fatherhood initiative, a nonprofit organization. so now, let me turn the program over to the panelists and we'll proceed.
12:14 pm
and since we're here in the capital by seniority. therefore, frank, we'll lelt you begin by making a statement. anything you'd like to share with us?t you begin by making a statement. anything you'd like to share with us? nothing like seniority to make you feel young. my experience in becoming the first african american page was totally unexpected. as as you may or may not realize, i was just tubinh along as an average 15-year-old playing basketball, seeing my girlfriend when i could, you know. and my mother got this call that they wanted to consider making me a page. i was kind of a geeky guy who i read the newspapers and watched the news and things like that. i wrote my congressman when i was 10 years old. because they were talking about pay television.
12:15 pm
if they only knew about cable bills today. and he wrote back. but, anyway, that they brought myself and four other boys down toe mr. finley's office, paul finley in springfield, illinois, and interviewed us. later that evening, they called me and said that i had been sleblthed selected and that on weapons, i would be flying to washington, d.c. so that meant i had about, i don't know, 54 hours to get ready, to pack, to buy a suit or to say good-bye to my girlfriend and my buddies. and jay david jones escorted me to washington. we had lunch and then we went to meet mr. finley, gerald ford and les aarons. who was the -- gerald ford was
12:16 pm
mee house minority whip at the and les -- i'm sorry, les aarons was the house minority whip and gerald fold the leader. and then, after a few minutes discussing some things with them, we went into an antiroom and cameras still, video were there, probably, i don't know, able to eight of ten of them and other reporters asking questions. it was quite the whirlwind experience. i want to emphasize this was 1965. frank mitchell became the first negro ever to represent. it was a clipping from my hometown newspaper. an it was replayed from tulsa to tampa to spokane. and it was in the middle of the
12:17 pm
civil rights movement. it was three weeks after martin luther king had been turned back. on the march to selma. it was two months after malcolm x has been assassinated. my mother let me go. she let me come to washington, d.c. i'm still amazed. we didn't know where i was going to stay. most of the kids -- i was 15 and most of the other pages, the boy, the caucasian boy pages, most of them were 16, 17 and 18. and a lot of them were from the district area from maryland and virginia. so on the weekends, they could go home, they could take their laundry, that kind of thing. they had to find me a place to stay. which, fortunately, i had a cousin, about an eighth cousin, but he agreed that i could stay with him. and i did with -- he had a
12:18 pm
2-year-old, fairly newly married and another son on the way. it was tight in the two-bedroom apartment. believe me, the second baby came about a month after i arrived. and the older baby thought i was the new baby that mom and dad had been talking about. i'm sure we'll get into it, but there were lots of interesting experiences i had. but i want to be clear i never felt unwelcome, which is probably a testament to gerald ford, paul finley and les aarons for setting the stage. i don't know who is -- >> yeah, i'm the next oldest. i was nominated in january '71 by senator percy about a month
12:19 pm
afternoon paulette was nominated by jacob javasol of new york. my story today is about the period of time between january and may when paulette and i were actually sworn in. i would characterize it with a true life experience with the adage that you have all heard. two things to never watch being made. laws and sausages. unlike paulette, who lived with her family in alexandria, i packed my bags and moved to washington. i moved into a women's dorm on capitol hill across from the parking lot from the new senate office building. it was liej a college dorm. most of the other residents were f.b.i. secretaries. at the time, under the wise ed leadership of j. edgar hoover, secretaries had to live in approved housing and this was one of them. imagine that today. my family and i spent a couple days meeting with percy's staff,
12:20 pm
tried to do some sight seeing. and on the appointed day, my parents and i were marched down to sergeant dunphy's office along with the paperwork from mark tryce that certified i was qualified to be sworn in as a page. we were accompanied by percy's top aide and said here we are. dunphy shook my hand and said which was like shaking hands with a bluegill. and he said in a very soft voice that he could not, would not swear me in. and it was kind of like a relationship that breaks up before it even starts. it felt like, ellen, we can't date. but don't worry about it. it's not you, it's me. the percy's aide seemed genuinely surprised. my parents and i were dumbstruck to the point where we didn't think to ask was this a political miscalculation?
12:21 pm
some sometime later, maybe weeks, percy told a reporter that the strategy was confrontational. and the thinking was, since there was no explicit rule expressly prohibiting girl pages, that they opted to force his hand. we went back to the office. the staff to a member felt that this was, at worst, a temporary setback, something that would be resolved in days. so the decision was made that i would stay in washington. i was already unpacked, moved into the dorm. they put me on the payroll and i would work in his office until this got resolved. well, days turned into weeks. but i don't regret this time because i now know that few senate pages ever get the opportunity to work in their sponsor's office. here i was shoulder to shoulder with the press secretary, the foreign relations guy, the domestic relations guy, the guy who opened the mail, the caseworkers who helped constituents deal with problems
12:22 pm
with social security, veterans benefits, etcetera. even then, the lady who was in charge of the softball team. the percy -- cution, just so you know. mr. dunphy, just so you know, even though as a minor certified senate employee, i was entitled to go to page school. mr. dunphy managed to see to it that i was managed to enroll. while this was all happening, the legislative issue is lurching along. as a historic note, seven of the nine senators supported the e.r.a. it kind of makes you scratch your head and wonder why this is an issue. the rules committee created an ad hoc subcommittee to investigate girl pages. now, the nicest thing i think i can say about this group of gentlemen, three in number, is that they worshipped at the
12:23 pm
church of the status quo. given an opportunity to move society forward or the senate forward, their first instinct was to ignore it. and their second instinct, in case the first one didn't work out, was to delay it as long as possible. now, this was disheartening. but, like frank, i have to say that at the grassroots level, the support of the boy pages was incredible. there's a -- in the first a.p. story announcing paulette's nomination by senator javis, there's a quote from a page named greg king who said, don't worry, paulette, it's not that hard. there was another page who scoured the senate rule to discover rule 282, which should have enentitled me to attend page school. senator percy showed our pictures to all of the boy pages and that fast had more than a dozen volunteers to escort us anywhere we wanted to go on
12:24 pm
capitol hill. from the dorm to school to work, back to the dorm, to the movies, for ice cream. all of this time, i expected to any day to start school so i was trying to keep up with the classes. and another boy page would meet me in the hall way, kind of like deep throat, and give me the spanish homework. in early march, the subcommittee held hearings. paulette and i were both there. we were very excited but nervous because the committee chairman announced the school of the committee's work. and it was his intent to evaluate the entire page program. i thought the more you broaden this, the more complicated it gets and the more you could derail girl pages. well, senators javetz and percy testified, took qs and a's.
12:25 pm
senator fred the subcommittee members had many questions. pay, accommodations, what the girls would wear, supervision, safety. they spent a long time talking about whether they should just kick the can down the road and not do anything until the dorm was built, which we all know is time measured in decades, not days. they wondered if the job was too physically strenuous. paulette had a nice comeback to this issue. she was asked by a reporter, can you run as fast as the boys? she said no. but i'm a very fast walker. the senators wondered if the gender barriers all over the hill should break down. elevator operators, capitol police, post office workers, janitors, plumbers. it was unbelievable. and at some point, the rules that percy had developed for me
12:26 pm
were read into the record. curfew, don't walk around alone at night, make sure someone knows where you are. mr. dunphy testified and his opening remarks were, i feel like the villain in this piece, which resonated with me. here's a report from the hearing. a transcript of everything that was said. and someone, i don't know who it is, helpfully decided to append a map of capitol hill. and here it is. and it notes the locations of all of the page residences and also the locations where crimes were committed. so i guess that was a nice touch. now, you might think once a hearing was held and a report was issued, something would happen. you would be wrong.
12:27 pm
on april 27th, which by my reckoning is about six weeks after the hearing with no activity in sight, our senators, along with others, introduced legislation on behalf of girl pages. it was reported out of the rules committee on may 7th. there was a voice vote on the senate floor. and paulette and i were sworn in on may 14th. julie, shortly thereafter. and so that's the story about making laws. let's move onto sausages. [ laughter ] >> well, i guess it's my turn now. i had a little bit different experience with getting to the start of being page. i came to washington with my parents in the summer of 1970. we drove in a 1968 lincoln continental. and it seemed like a long way. anyway, we finally got here and we did the whole tour thing. dad dragged us through every, you know, possible thing that
12:28 pm
you're supposed to see as a child when yoi come here. and one day, the four of us came up to the capitol building and mr. albert, we went into his office up here in the capital building. and we happened to run into him and he invited us to lunch. when we were at lunch, he was asking my sister and i what we thought about what we'd seen. i don't remember what my sister said. she probability said something very sweet and nice. and i said, well, why aren't there any girl pages? and he looks at me and says well, felda, i guess it's just an unspoken rule. and i said it's not fair and i would like to be a page. he goes, well, we'll look into it and see what we can do. so i went back home and started writing letters, 1970, 1971, 1982, you know, writing letters.
12:29 pm
and the first letter i got back was so exciting. all of this beautiful franking and it looks so important. and it was one of those lovely letters, thank you, but no thank you. we'll keep trying. don't call us, we'll call you kind of stuff. but i did keep writing. and as the time neared for me to go to the university of oklahoma, my belief in it started to wane. i didn't begin to think it was really going to happen. and then i got a call from charlie ward in early mid may in '73 asking me if i wanted to be the first woman page. i said, well, you have to ask my parents. he said, it's all right. we've already spoken to your parents. it's going to be okay. it wasn't about being the first girl page. it was never about that. it was being able to come here and do what the boys were able to do. it wasn't my desire to be the first, it just happened that way. and i was dogged about my determination to do this. and it was a little bit easier in some ways for you and the way it happened to you,

59 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on