tv American History TV CSPAN September 20, 2014 10:50am-12:02pm EDT
>> you can watch this and other "american artifacts programs anytime by visiting our website, c-span.org/history. tv, a trip tory fort mchenry in baltimore for a ceremony commemorating the 200th anniversary of the star-spangled banner with remarks from former secretary of state colin powell, and a flag-raising at the exact time to hundred years ago that francis got key -- francis scott key saw the writing of the american flag. moment, september 14, 1814, inspired key to compose what later became the national anthem and the american victory became a turning point in the war of 1812.
>> we are very honored here to have such a representation of our armed forces. the handstitched american flag, united states army old guard, and practically every service branch represented here today. the united states navy, the united states army, the united states a ring core, as well as our guest from canada and the united kingdom. [applause] taking the field is the fort mchenry guard, specially trained volunteers that represent the184
garrison of fort mccarron. when the uniform of the regular united states army, representing the core of artillery that was the regular army garrison of fort mchenry. what we will do right now -- they noticed it army old guard, -- the united states army old guard along with naval detachment from the united states ship constitution, we will now on role the large flag. -- unroll the large flag. old, and you will see what they mean when they say " broad stripes and bright stars."
unrolled, iag is will speak to the project that brought this flag that we are going to hoist today. last year the maryland historical society launch the stitching history project. individuals, bert and kristin spearheaded the project. the first thought was to heirloom uighurs because what they did -- weavers because what they did was they research from the smithsonian institution the accurate weave of the material.
there are very few places that can do that. it was a custom job. weavers didhurs -- that. pennsylvania, so the material did, indeed, come from the united states. [applause] the stripes and the blue canton are made out of wool bunting. the stars are made out of cotton . so, they have the authentic material, but the second step was to have it authentically stitched. no sewing machines were used in
the making of this flag. stitchers from0 across the state of maryland --re recruited, spending were recruited, spending long hours to hand-stitch the flag, and a number of them are here today. let's have one more round of applause for those cheers here chers herers -- stit today. [applause] hoisting a flag this large is a willnuanced affair, so we rotate this flag counterclockwise. the lines are being set. just as good leadership mchenry,d with fort
and as we are honored to have a number of permanent military today, so, too, did the stitching process have leaders and i would like to identify -- recognize mimi and shelby. they are actually called -- one was in charge of the blue canton of stars. the other was in charge of stripes. so, they got the nickname "stars" and the other was nicknamed "stripes." we do have a bit of time before the flag is hoisted, but one point of historical accuracy, and you will see this -- when you sing the "star-spangled banner," and as part of this we
will here and have read all four versus. there will be one verse where you will hear "it shines in the stream." we used to think that what they meant was the reflection of the flag in the patapsco river, but that is not what francis got key -- francis scott key that -- meant. it was a light weave, it is almost translucent. you'll see the beams of light actually shining through the flag. it is the exact effect that this i would 200 years ago thank the maryland historical society for loaning the manuscript, which is currently on display in the visitors center in this part.
you can see francis scott key's original cross outs, and that fragile manuscript represents the fragility our young republic had at that time. a young nation, slightly over 30 years old. against every prediction that the country would fail in a war that was going poorly at the time, out of nowhere came a miraculous victory. while the casualties were fairly light on both sides, the point was a stand had been made, and the tide had been turned. well, thank you for asking me that question. when you are a park ranger, you thrive on questions from visitors. you do. the weathern asked to hundred years ago, and that is probably one of the most pertinent questions we will receive today because the
weather, 200 years ago, was yesterdayke it was and today to the key. it was almost surreal. we know what the weather was like because that reports say it. the british lawbooks were meticulously kept, and they wrote the leather in every -- whether in every one of those log books. the weather was intermittent showers, blustery, heavy showers, intermittent rain. ago,arge flag, 200 years was made in baltimore city by mary young actors guild. -- mary young paper skilled. she, her 13-year-old daughter, servant,n-american they hand-stitched that large flag, putting in 12- 14-our
days each month, but they ordered a second flag, a smaller one measuring 17 by 25 feet. we are currently flying that on the pole right now. this is why this moment is so important. going back to the weather, the 13th was raining. the evening hours and continue to rain, clearing up slightly with the front moving back in at nighttime. showers up until approximately 3:00 in the morning on the 14th of september. then, the gradual clearing by dawn's early by dawn's early light, the cloud had dissipated. the rain was gone, so as you stand here on this original parade ground, you can look on to the gravel path and see the moisture that yesterday's day rain brought forth. that's exactly as it would have been.
the sun is out exactly as it would have been. we can't control the weather, we all know that. even the weather report stated that it was unseasonably cold on that particular day in september, just like it is now. this is a special moment, we'll never see this moment again in our life. this is a once in a lifetime moment to be here on this ground. the drums would come in to play yankee doodle, after it was hoisted and we can hear them coming. the united states army old guard presidential salute battery will conduct a battery exercise that is symbolic of the battle.
[drum roll] >> keep in my mind, there were probably 40,000 people of baltimore looking towards it as well. for mary, in a way it was her flag and you know she was auto looking from her rooftop, hoping to see the large flag. a young united states marine said they were looking down toward the fort hoping to see the flag. >> and now in the distance, we can hear the fort mchenry core dressed as musicians, they
[applause] one of the lead drummers who helped put the unit together has recently enlisted in the united states arms and in the reserved officer training corps program as we speak. [applause] >> standing in front of the flag, as a noted researcher, park ranger, and great personal friend james c. bailey. james c. bailey is the exact build, has similar facial features and ironically the exact same age as major armstead who commanded the fort 200 years ago. he wears a replica of the one that armstead wore on this momentous occasion.
for those who are interested when the flag is hoisted yankee doodle is what will be played. the star-spangled banner will be played later, but historically on that september morning. the fifes and drums of the garrison played yankee doodle. it was really used like a national anthem before the "star-spangled banner" was adopted. the united states had two pieces of music that it used alternately "yankee doodle" and "hail columbia". with the adoption of the "star-spangled banner," "yankee doodle" is heard now more in historic performances.
>> the gentleman had a question, he said the dawn's early light and yet, 9:00, it is not exactly dawn, it has been dawn for a while. one could simply laugh it off, however, francis scott key was asking that question. he asked the question, o say can you see by the dawn's early light. language was so important to francis scott key. some visitors were irate when they saw a question mark on an exhibit text panel that we put on. o say does that star-spangled
banner yet wave for the land of the free and the home of the brave, question mark? he poses that question, o, say can you see. he's very accurate in his four verses of the "star-spangled banner." the answer is presented in the second verse where key acknowledges that he saw the flag, which would have occurred at about 9:00 in the morning. >> if you look at your program. look at the back of the program, you will find all four verses of the star-spangled banner of the national anthem. we all know verse number one,
some of us know verse number four. almost no one knows the second and third verses and they all do different things, as vinny has already implied. the first one is a statement, beginning actually with a question, o say can you see, and it is very specific about what occurred that day. the second verse is all about the flag. it addresses the flag. the third verse is the most war-like of all, and that really discusses the difficulty we faced at that time and how we had to fight our way out of those difficulties, and the fourth one is really a statement of faith. a lot of what happened in the early days of this republic, when we were still in our adolescence and trying to survive, had to do with our faith.
faith in ourselves. faith in our ability to sustain what we had created here, and it is that faith, really, that carry the defenders of fort mchenry and others involved in that conflict through to a point where suddenly when it was all over, when this battle ended, when the word went out, the world was suddenly aware that there was a new player on the global stage and it was here to stay. >> at 8:56, we'll hear the barrage, again, representing symbolically the bombardment of this fort. as we wait and i think it is important to wait in silence,
but as we reflect, think of the power of place, this is not a rebuilt fort, it is not the mock-up fort, this is the fort that was there. sure, our maintenance team maintains it, the national park service as stewards of these treasures keep it in good repair and the united states army itself throughout 100 years maintain the fort replacing wood here and there. but the fort's core shape is the original. with this assembly, this fort is not a static museum object under a glass case. this is a living fort. this is one of those other milestones in the fort's history, in which the fort again, as old as it is, is again, making history, as we see the men and women of our modern military here today. we see yet again, 200 years
the fort mchenry guard and fort mchenry drum corps. [applause] >> gentlemen, thank you for playing "yankee doodle". just as that exact moment 200 years ago. i would like to thank the maryland defense force band, for their musical rendition of the "star-spangled banner." ms. cruz for our her beautiful singing of our national anthem and the salute battery of the old guard for symbolically replicating the defense of fort mchenry and the participants of the stitching history project for the american historical society for hand stitching the
replicated flag that we hoisted today. [applause] this morning represents the culminating moment of the week-long bicentennial collaboration of the battle at baltimore and the writing of the national anthem. the events that occurred 200 years ago are the reason that we're here today. being here on this ground, on this morning, in this year, enables us to connect to a place, a moment in time, and a historical event. the simple act of raising a
flag, francis scott key's emotions about that flag put forth on a simple humble document would transform the way americans viewed this nation for the next 200 years. before the war of 1812 began, the young united states saw itself as an emerging country, seeking its own identity and status in the world. the conflict forged a new identity in a heat so intense that even 35 miles away the flames of the burning federal building could be seen. the outcome of the war, the future of the nation was in doubt.
francis scott key's questioning, o say does that star-spangled banner banner yet wave, highlights the fear that the americans felt about losing the war and the young democracy, the battle fought here was not a large one in terms of casualties, but its effect on the nation was profound. key's word capture the importance of the day. this moment when a seemingly invincible navy had been turned back and americans proved steadfast in defending their country. francis scott key did not desire fame for the song he wrote, as a matter of fact, he did not even write his name to it. let fame not to me be given but
rather for the inspirers of the song he wrote years later, he deflected all praise away from himself and urged people to remember those who defended the fort. two men who deserved to be remembered this morning represent that cross-section of america that came together behind these walls. lieutenant levi clagget, a citizen soldier of a unit called the baltimore fencibles was killed when a piece of iron went through his body. he was a member of baltimore's upper class, a wealthy merchant and today his name is embossed on the battle monument. a monument which still stand in downtown baltimore and has become a symbol of the city itself.
the other defender was private william williams. born enslaved in prince george's county under the name frederick hall, he escaped from slavery and changed his name to william williams and joined the united states army. he, too, was mortally wounded here. this morning, like 200 years ago, a cross-section of america stands in this fort represented by all of you and by those who will read all four verses of key's song. the words paint a picture of what it was like to be with key on that september morning in 1814. it is my privilege and honor to
introduce the following individuals who will read each a verse of the "star-spangled banner." caroline christensen, student, fort mchenry volunteer, representing the youth and future of our nation. ms. cruz, american international boxing champion, singer and aspiring olympian. general colin powell, a statesman, and iconic american and mr. vernacke who endured the loss of his brother of the tragic events on september 11th, 2001. >> ms. caroline.
>> o say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, o o er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming, and the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, oh, say does the star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. [applause] >> on the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes. what is that which the breeze,
oer the towering steep, as it fitfully blows half conceals, half discloses? now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, in full glory reflected now shines in the stream, tis the star-spangled banner! oh long may it waveoaer the land of the free and the home of the brave! [applause] >> and where is that brand who so vauntingly swore, that havoc of war and battle's confusion, a home and a country should leave us no more. their blood was washed out their foul foot steps pollution. the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave over the land of the free and the home of the
brave. [applause] >> oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand, between their loved home and war's des sow lation, blest the victory and peace may the heaven rescued land, praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our motto in god is our trust and the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! [applause]
>> for over 50 years, general colin powell has devoted his life to public service. his deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world. the son of jamaican immigrants, powell was born in harlem. he attended the city college of new york where he earned a bachelor of science degree in geology. it was not until he joined the army r.o.t.c. program at city college of new york that he discovered his calling and launched his military career. he received a commission as an army second lieutenant upon
graduation in 1958 and went on to serve in the united states army for 35 years rising to the rank of four star general. from 1987, to 1989, powell served as president ronald reagan's national security advisor. he served as a chairman of the joint chief of staffs for both presidents george h.w. bush and for president bill clinton and was not only the youngest officer and first r.o.t.c. graduate to ever serve in the position, but also the first african american to do so. he oversaw 28 crises to include the panama intervention of 1989 and operation desert storm and the persian gulf war. under bush, he was the 56th
secretary of state and unanimously confirmed by the united states senate. as secretary of state he led the state department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civil conflicts in the middle east, sudan, congo and liberia, in the balkins, cypress, haiti, northern ireland, afghanistan and iraq and elsewhere. in all areas he used the power of diplomacy to build trust and forge alliances and help transform these unstable regions into areas where societies and cultures have the potential to prosper. he also worked at the forefront of american efforts to advanced economic and social development worldwide. among the many u.s. military award and decorations powell has received are the defense distinguished service medal.
the army distinguished service medal. defense superior service medal. soldier's medal. bronze star medal and the purple heart. his civil award include two presidential medals of freedom, the president's citizens medals. the congressional gold medal and the secretary of energy distinguished service medal. in addition, he's also received award from over two dozen countries to include a french legion of honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by her majesty, queen elizabeth ii of great britain. it is my esteemed honor to introduce to you general colin powell. [applause] >> thank you very much and good morning.
thank you very much. good morning, my fellow citizens and those from other countries. we celebrate the 200th anniversary of our star-spangled banner. a piece of cloth that i have loved all of my life and served under for over 40 years. let me take you back to september 13th, 1814, the war had been going on for two years. it was rather inconclusive as to who might win. a few weeks before the battle that took place here, the british had burned washington, the white house, the capitol,
and most of the important buildings in washington, d.c. and now they turned their attention to baltimore. because at that time, baltimore is more important than washington, some might say that's still the case 200 years later. governor o'malley, i share that with you. but baltimore was the economic prize, it was a major port on the bay. so this was the next logical target for the british forces. they tried with ground forces to overwhelm the maryland defenders, but that didn't work, they knew they had to try then with their fleet. because if baltimore fell, then they could move on up to philadelphia and then on up to new york and that would probably end the war in the favor of the united kingdom. on the morning of september 13th. admirable cockburn began at fort mchenry.
-- began bombarding fort mchenry. and francis key was a lawyer under flag of truce he sent by president madison to get some of the hostages that the british had captured and get them freed under a flag of truce. we happened to be as the bombardment took place all of the day of the 13th and into the evening. he watched all through the day and all through the night. >> the next morning, when it was over, when it had become quiet. he began to write the "star-spangled banner." he wrote down what he saw and felt and as you listen to the
first stanza, you can see he was speaking to others to shared his experience, he was speaking to the citizens of baltimore who were watching just as he was. and he asks questions, as you go through the star-spangled banner. o say can you see by the dawn's early light. he was asking a question of those who were watching along with him. the thousands of citizens who were looking at the fort and waiting to see what was going to happen. dawn was breaking, the bombardment had stopped. can you see the fort? can you see the flag? is it still flying? have we survived? is it still flying as it is it last night when so proudly we hailed it at the twilight's last gleaming, when darkness was falling and we would not be able to see anything after darkness had fell.
remember how those broad stripes and bright stars were gallantly streaming as we watched over the ramparts, during the perilous fight. the rocket's red glare bombing bursting in air, so you could see if the flag was still there and it was. the illumination gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. the bombardment ended and the night was dark. what would we see in the morning? the british had taken the fort. the troops that were here not have succeeded in the mission. with the morning light, we saw that it was not just the smaller tattered flag, the storm flag, but instead, it was this, the magnificent flag that had been raised over the fort. we had prevailed and we had prevailed with glory. armistead and his 100 men went into the history books as heroes. -- 1,000 men went into the
history books as heroes. francis scott key with a question, it was not a question to the citizens to baltimores. it was a question addressed to the future. it was a question addressed to all of us here today. o say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the brave and the home of the free. there have been many challenges, we have fought civil wars, other wars, we have been in world wars, we have gone through depressions and we have gone through all sorts of tragic incidents. a cold war and other challenges, but challenges that the resilience of our people that we have always been able to prevail over.
so we have a resounding answer to the question that francis scott key raised. please tell me does that star-spangled banner still wave o'er the home of the brave and the free. as long as we remember the sacrifice made by these men over 200 years ago and by americans over the course of our history. it will wave now and forever in the future with god's blessing and with our determination and our courage. god bless our nation, and god bless this flag and thank you all for being a part of this memorable day. god bless you all. [applause]
>> ♪ oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight oer the ram parts we watched were so gallantly streaming. and the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land
of the free and the home of the brave. on the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, what is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, as it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses. now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, in full glory reflected now shines in the stream, tis the star-spangled banner! oh long
may it wave oer the land of the free and the home of the brave! and where is that brand who so vauntingly swore, that the havoc of war and the battle's confusion, a home and a country should leave us no more, their blood was washed out their foul footsteps' pollution. no refuge could save the hireling and slave, from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.
and the star-spangled banner is triumph doth wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! oh! thus be it ever, where freemen shall stand, between their loved home, and the war's desolation! blest the victory and peace, may the heaven rescued land praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. then conquer we must, when our
>> hey, vince, how about three cheers for old glory. >> hip hip hooray. hip hip hooray. hip hip hooray. [applause] right now, the for the mchenry guard, drum corps, will proceed, francis scott key was on a ship on the river, the pride of baltimore ii, baltimore's own war of 1812 ship, will signal the arrival of pride ii is representing the american ship
president, the ship that was bearing francis scott key and dr. william beane. i invited you to follow the drum corps down to see that. there will be a procession of sail as other saluting ships come in and the presidential salute battery will fire a 21-gun salute in honor of the national anthem and old glory. [applause] [drum roll]
to join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-spanhistory. commission onnt's the assassination of president kennedy, also known as the warren commission, was established by lyndon b. johnson, and chaired by earl warren. the commission issued its report in september, 1964, 50 years ago this month. the report concluded that lee harvey oswald acted alone when president kennedy and jack ruby acted alone when he killed lee harvey oswald. next five people that serve as consular staff described the investigation. they detailed their interactions with oswald's family, russian and cuban officials, and various intelligence agencies. the form was held at southern methodist university in dallas last fall. it is a little three hours.