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tv   The Story of Hoover Dam  CSPAN  September 2, 2014 11:36am-12:06pm EDT

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we fought a war. we fought a war and kept the west bank of the river free of slavery forever. but we left the old south impoverished and stricken. doubly stricken because besides the tragedy of war already the frenzied cotton cultivation of a quarter century had taken toll of the land. we mined the soil for cotton until it would yield no more. and then moved west. we fought a war. but there was a double tragedy. the tragedy of land twice impoverished. ♪
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black spruce and norway pine. douglas fir and red cedar. scarlet oak and shagbark hickory. hemlock and aspen. there was lumber in the north. the railroads killed the steam boats but there was lumber in the north. head's up, lumber on the upper river. head's up. lumber enough to cover all europe. ♪ down from minnesota and wisconsin, down to st. paul, down to st. louis and st. joe. lumber for the new continent of the west. lumber for the new mills.
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there was lumber in the north and coal in the hills. iron and coal. down to pittsburgh, down to wheeling. iron and coal to the steel mill for the railroads driving west and south for the new sitters of the great valley. ♪
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we build new machinery and cleared new land in the west. 10 million bales down the to gulf. 15 million bales down to the gulf. cotton if for spools of italy and germany. ♪
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we built 100 cities in 1,000 towns. st. paul and mississippi. cincinnati and st. louis. omaha and kansas city. across the rockies down to the minnesota, 2,500 miles to new orleans. we built a new continent.
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black spruce and norway pine, douglas fir and red cedar. scarlet oak and hickory. we built 100 cities and a thousand towns, but at what a cost? we cut the top off the alleghenies and sent it down the river. we cut the top off minnesota and sent it down the river. we cut the top off wisconsin and sent it down the river. we left the mountains and the hills slashed and burned and moved on.
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the water comes downhill spring and fall. down from the mountains, from the plowed-off slopes. from as far west as idaho and far east as pennsylvania. down every brook and grill, rivulet and creek. carrying every drop of water that flows down 2/3 of the
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continent. 1903, 1907, 1913, 1916, 1922, 1936, 1937. down from pennsylvania and ohio, kentucky and west virginia, missouri and illinois. down from north carolina and tennessee, down the grand, the osage, the rough, the soil, the black in minnesota, down the allegheny, the miami, the wabash, the green, the white, the wolf, the cash and the black, down the corn and the red and yazoo. the cumberland, kentucky, the tennessee, down the ohio 1,000
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miles from pittsburgh. down the arkansas 1,000 miles from texas. down to the mississippi. new orleans to baton rouge to naches to vicksburg to memphis to cairo.
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1,000 miles down the levee. river rising. memphis. river rising. cairo. river rising.,/ñs61&fbajtj to g. 1,000 miles of levee to hold. coast guard patrols needed at paducah. post guard patrols needed at paducah. 200 boats. 200 boats wanted to take them. levee patrol. 2,000 men wanted at cairo.
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100,000 men to fight the river. to fight a ballot on a 2,000-mile front. the army and navy, coast guard and marine corps, ccc and wpa, red cross and the health service fought night and day to hold the old river off the valley. food and water needed at louisville. 500 dead, 5,000 ill. food and water needed at cincinnati. food and medicine needed at laurenville. 35,000 homeless in evansville.
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food and medicine needed in aurora. food and medicine and shelter and clothing. 750,000 down in the valley. last time we held the levy but the mississippi claimed the valley. she backed into tennessee, arkansas, illinois and missouri. she spread her arms over thousands of acres of land and left farms ruined, houses torn loose. 1903, 1907, 1913, 1916, 1922, 1937, we built 100 cities and a thousand towns but at what a cost?
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♪ ♪ >> 1937 the entire nation sent help to the stricken people of the valley. congress appropriated millions to aid the flooded cities and villages and to rehabilitate the flood victims. but spring and fall, the water comes down and for years, the old river has taken a toll from the valley more serious than ever she does in flood time. year in, year out the water comes down. down from a thousand hill sides, washing the top off of the valley. for 50 years we dug for cotton and moved west when the land gave out. for 50 years we plowed for corn
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and moved on when the land gave out. we planted and plowed with no regard for the future and 400 regard for the future and 400 million tons of top soil, 400 million tons of our most valuable resource have been washed into the gulf of mexico every year. >> and poor land makes poor people.
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poor people make poor land. for a quarter of a century, we have been forcing more and more farmers into tenants. 10% are shared croppers down on their knees in the valley. a share of the crop their only security, no home, no land of their own, aimless, foot loose and impoverished. unable to eat even from the land because their cash crop is their only livelihood. credit at the store their only reserve.
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a generation growing up with no new land in the west, no new continent to build. a generation whose people knew king's mountain and shilou. a generation whose people knew freemont and custer. but a generation facing a live of dirt and poverty, disease. growing up without proper food, medical care or schooling, ill
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clad, ill housed and ill fed and in the greatest river valley in the world. ♪ ♪ >> there is no such thing as an ideal river in nature but the mississippi river is out of joint. dust blowing in the west, floods raging in the east, we have seen these problems growing to
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alarming extremes. when we first found the great valley, it was 40% forested. today, for every 100 acres of forest we found, we have ten left. today 5% of the entire valley is ruined forever for agricultural use. 25% of the top soil has been shoved by the old river into the gulf of mexico. today two out of five farmers in the valley are tenant farmers. 10% of them share croppers and we are forcing 50,000 more into tenancy and cropping every year. flood control of the mississippi means control in the great delta:the old river can be control. we had the power to take the valley apart, we have the power to put it together again. in 1933 we started.
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down on the tennessee river when congress created the tennessee valley authority. an authority commissioned to develop navigation, flood control, agriculture and industry in the valley. a valley that carries more rainfall than any other in the country. the valley through which the tennessee used to roar in flood times with any water than any other tributary in ohio. first came the dams. up on the clinch at the head of the river we build norristown.
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a great barrier to hold water in flood times and release water for navigation in the water season. next came wheeler then guntiswheel, a series of great barriers who are eventually turn tennessee into a lake of fresh water pools, locked and dammed, regulated and controlled down 650 miles to paducka. >> you cannot plan for water unless you plan for land. the cut over mountains, the eroded hills, the gull yid fields, the ccc working with the forest service and agricultural experts have started to put the warm fields and hill sides back together. black walnut and pine, roots for
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the cut over and burned hill sides. roots to hold the water in the ground. black walnut and pine for the new forest reserves. soil conservation men that worked out crop systems with the farmers of the valley. crops to conserve and enrich the top soil so that the day a million acres of land in the tennessee valley are saying instead of speeding the water off the ground. but you cannot plan for water and land unless you plan for people. down in the valley, the farm security administration has built the model agricultural community living in homes they themselves built paying on long term rates, they will have a chance to share in the wealth of the valley. more important, the farm security administration has loaned thousands of dollars to farmers in the valley.
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farmers who were caught by years of depression and in need of only a stake to be self-sufficient. and where there's water, there's power. where there's water for flood control and water for navigation, there's water for power. >> the farmers of the valley cut >> the farmers of the valley cut off from years of the advantages of urban live.
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power to the cities and factories, west virginia and north carolina, tennessee and mississippi. georgia and alabama, power to make a new tennessee valley for a new generation. power enough to make the new river work. ♪ >> you can view this and all other reel america programs at
12:00 pm enter reel america in the search engine. while congress is on break we are showing programs normally seen weekends here on c-span 3. today we are featuring programs from reel america. starting shortly the flight of apollo 11, the eagle has landed, a nasa documentary. after that a 1955 interior department film explains the need to control and regulate the waters of the colorado river and the construction of the hoover dam. in about an hour nbc's a conversation with herbert hoover. in 1960 the nation's president discussed his childhood and life beyond the presidency, his time in china and involvement supplying food to civilians during world war i. a u.s. army film captured
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captain william johnston. each week americanhirhi8hstory reel america brings you archival films. 45 years ago on july 20, 1969 as millions around the world watched on live television, neil armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. next a half hour nasa documentary chronicling the apollo 11 mission from liftoff. >> we copy you down eagle. >> houston, the eagle has landed. >> roger tranquility we copy you on the ground. you got a bunch of guys that
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were about to turn blue. we're breathing again. >> we're getting a picture on the tv. there's a great deal of contrast. currently it's upside down but can he can make out a fair amount of detail. okay. neil we can see you coming down the latter now. >> sunday july 20th, 1969, around the world nearly a billion people watched this moment on television as the first man from earth prepared to set foot on the moon. >> the surface appears to be very, very fine grained as you get close to it. it's almost like a powder. it's very fine. i'm going to step off now.
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that's one small step for man, one giant leap for man kind. >> i believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. >> all that we have accomplished in space, all that we may have accomplish in days and years to come, we stand ready to share it for the benefit of all man kind. as we explore the reaches of space, let us go to the new worlds together. not as new worlds to be conquered but as a new adventure to be shared. >> since the earliest time, man has imagined this moment, the moment when his fellow man would make the first journey to the
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moon. now the time had come. in the 6th decade of the 20th century, the ancient dream was to become a reality. the flight of apollo 11 was the culmination of many years of planning, working, building and testing. thousands people had contributed toward this day of accomplishment. the great saturn 5 rocket and the complex apollo space craft had been assembled together and moved to the launchpad. the equipment and techniques and personnel had been proved in earlier missions and now they were ready. the astronauts chosen for this mission had flown it many times in simulatored. they had all been in space before and had trained carefully and well. now they too were ready.
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astronaut michael collins would pilot the command module. astronaut aldrin junior would pilot the lunar module. astronaut neil armstrong would serve as mission commander. armstrong would be the first man to step up on the moon. july 16th, the day had come. the moon awaited the men rose early, ate breakfast and dressed in their space suits. other astronauts that made this journey to the launchpad but


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