tv American History TV CSPAN January 11, 2015 4:18pm-4:31pm EST
woven into the violet fabric of the present, bubbling from which the course of the future depends. notably, the challenge to tame the desert. and make its rich oil deposits work for the benefit of all the people instead of the relatively few who enjoy those rewards now. as it moves to meet these problems, the world feels the stirring as centuries ago, men felt the stir of great events in the desert lands were history began. ♪ >> this year c-span is touring cities across the country, exploring american history. next, he look at our recent visit to austin, texas. you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3.
>> the capitol has a commanding presence in austin. it is at the top of the hill. capitol square is over 22 acres of park-like grounds. it has this beautiful renaissance revival style with sunset red granite. it is easy to see from almost any vantage point in downtown austin. we have a round dome, not unlike the nation's capitol, topped by the goddess of liberty at the top of the capitol dome. texans are proud of the fact that the texas capitol is actually taller than the national capital. when the first capitol was completed in 1853, it was very small and was not popular. officials started to make plans for a grander, more fitting state capitol for texas. they realized they could not afford what they had in mind
and so they were able to set aside acres of land in the panhandle, and trade that so the texas capitol could be completed in 1888. it imparts to visitors the story of texas, the story of the land it took to build the capitol but also about the history of the state of texas, not only as a state, but when it was the republic of texas. to have all the beautiful paintings throughout the building, and our capital tour guides get an opportunity to show the building to all our visitors -- we have a great opportunity to talk about the capitol and impart all that information to our visitors. when visitors walk into the south entrance or another, they originally start to see the grandeur of the architecture. we have such beautiful large spaces that it almost cries to be shown off to the public.
we have a beautiful sculpture of sam houston and stephen f austin, done by a german artist working in texas, elizabet may. her statue is in display at the united states capitol. we have a monumental paintings -- the surrender of santa ana, and then david crockett -- both of which are massive in size, to do justice to a story larger-than-life, which is texas history. the battle of san jacinto was fought on april 1, 1836, 6 weeks -- april 21, 1836, 6 weeks after the loss of the alamo. mexican forces numbered about 1400, and the texians only 900. because the bridge had been destroyed, they were not able to receive reinforcements or to retreat. during an afternoon siesta, the texas forces attacked and were
able to defeat them in less than 20 minutes. texas was able to have its independence from mexico. and we celebrate san jacinto day every year in texas. it is a state holiday. inside the senate, there is a portrait that shows stephen f austin in one of the most iconic paintings of his, i think, tenure, painted by an unknown artist, possibly in new orleans. other paintings would include likenesses of lamarr. he was instrumental in making sure that the capitol remained in austin. at the time, it was named waterloo. he hoped this was where the capital of texas would remain.
we have more recent paintings, including barbara jordan, lyndon baines johnson, former president of the united states. the only textile in the capital historical artifact collection is the flag from the battle of san jacinto. it normally hangs on the dais behind the speakers rostrum. we only have it on display when the legislature is in session. it is very fragile, and we try to keep it protected under the red drapery. we usually have a replica hanging in its place. the legislature will gavel in, in january of 2015. we have the original on display. it is one of those, i think, iconic texas history artifacts that all of our school children who come to the capitol to learn about texas history and about how to be a good citizen -- they have an opportunity to see these kind of artifacts up close and personal.
the capitol welcomes more than a million visitors every year. we are thankful to be able to show them not only is wonderful historic lashings and interiors, but a number of monuments on the grounds to various causes. for example, on the south grounds, we have four of our most historic monuments. we have the texas rangers, the alamo monument, the confederate monument, and the volunteer firemen monument. in the early 1990's, the capitol underwent a massive restoration, exterior and interior. we were able to return 10 spaces to their turn-of-the-century appearance. one of these spaces is the supreme court room. when myers completed the capital in 1888, we were able to have all of state government within these walls. as you can imagine, state government has grown exponentially since then. at this point, the supreme court offices in another adjacent building.
but this room gives us an opportunity to talk about the supreme court and judicial branch of government. across the way, we have the appeals court room. our tour guides are able to tell the public about that branch of government, and really provide a great deal of information in terms of how texas government works today. we are very hopeful that you will have a chance to come visit the texas capitol personally. we love to see not only texans walk through our doors, what literally hundreds of thousands of people from not only all 50 states, but from foreign countries as well. come visit us so we can tell you about texas history, and hopefully we will be able to share our wonderful texas capital with you. >> find out where c-span's local content vehicles are going next
online at www.c-span.org/local content. you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> each week american history be's "reel america" radio public affairs films from the 20th century. "nine from little rock" is a film narrated by jefferson thomas, one of the nine african-american students who in 1957 enrolled in little rock, arkansas's all-white central high school. arkansas's governor prevented the students from attending classes until president eisenhower sent 1000 u.s. army troops and federalized the 10,000 strong arkansas national guard to restore order and enforce school disaggregation. in the film, mr. thomas and several other of the little rock nine reflect on their experience, life beyond high school, and hopes for the future. the film won an academy award in 1965 for a documentary short
subject. ♪ >> hatred is easier to organize an understanding. there was a minority in our state who founded to their advantage to bring hate to little rock in 1957. while we watched, the white children went to school and we stood outside. we had been taught in school that we were a nation under law and the law said segregation was wrong. now we waited to see if our laws had meaning, or were just words in a book or idle talk in a classroom.
on september 27, 1950 seven, president eisenhower sent 1000 men of the united states army to capture out the law -- carry out the law. the supreme court of the united states had said the entire strength of the nation may be used to end force in any part of the land the security of all rights interested by the constitution. that included my right and the rights of eight other negro americans who wanted to go to central high school in little rock, arkansas. we were terrence roberts thelma elizabeth eckford ernest green, melba pattillo minnie jean brown, and gloria ray. and we were going to school again.
>> tonight on q&a, and author talks about the groundbreaking 1915 film "the birth of a nation," its depiction of former slaves after the civil war and efforts by african-american civil rights advocate and newspaper publisher william munro trotter to prevent the movie's release. >> par two of the movie after the war, reconstruction, is really the heart of the protest in the sense that this is where the blacks are appalled by the betrayal of freed slaves. this is the scene showing what happens when you give former slaves the right to vote, the right to be elected, the right to govern. it is a scene in the south carolina legislature where there first and primary order of business is to pass a bill allowing for interracial marriage. in griffith's hands, black men
are solely interested in pursuing and having white ♪ >> author did glare on the controversial story behind birth of a nation. tonight on q&a. up next, a discussion about the 20th century birth control advocate market -- margaret sanger. we will hear from a panel of historians, activists, and her grandson. they discussed the impact of race class, and politics