tv American History TV CSPAN July 18, 2015 4:00pm-5:33pm EDT
>> that is basically the history of the white house we see today. now i will give all of you a peek into the lives of the presidents of the lives i have served. i served the nixon administration as a member of the secret service, until his resignation in 1974. during that time, i was assigned to different posts throughout the white house, getting to know the people who worked there and their responsibilities. after the litigation surrounding --, i was one of six officers to have control over the presidential papers and tapes. after the court had appointed
the secret service as conservatives -- conservators. soft kind and gentle are not often words attached to president nexen, but his highness was known to those who knew him. one individual was a white house doorman by the name of freddy mayfield. he worked the evening shift in film and night and was an added crash an ardent fan of the local baseball team. freddy and president nexen had long conversations about baseball. the president was also a great fan and he loved their talks. after returning to the executive residency one spring afternoon, following his trip to the
baseball game, the president got in the elevator, he was throwing his ace ball up and -- baseball up and down. freddy asked if he could look at it. after becoming close to freddy the president tossed the ball to him and said, keep this, it will be a memory of our baseball discussions. on president nixon's last day in office, i was working at the police center. members and demonstrators in the vicinity of the white house where a constant concern for the secret service security and for the white house staff. the president had been working in his old office building office which was across the street from the west wing and some time in the early afternoon was going to return to the executive residence. word was passed to us that the
president did not want to see anybody on his last trip from the executive office building to the residency and he did not want to go through the west wing , which would be his normal route. we were directed to have the officer in the press briefing room, adjacent to the president's path draw the shape shot and lock the door that led out onto the driveway. at the prescribed time, the notice was given, the windows were covered. since i was working in the police control center, we began to receive telephone calls from reporters, their network chiefs and the fire department complaining about the way that the press where being treated and can find -- confined, that was unsafe and they were fire code violations. within 15 minutes, the president returned, the door was unlocked,
the shades were opened and the world crisis passed. upon president nexen's departure, the burden of the past few years was removed from the white house. the fords entered. they were two of the most nice people you could ever want to meet. i was made aware of a position made in the ushers office. i had worked for years with those people in that office. i was attracted immediately to the opportunity as i admired the work in that office and the wonderful people who worked in the executive residence. i applied and was chosen to work there. my first three months of service in that office was as an understudy to the ushers learning the ways of the first
family and the executive residence. the assistant ushers worked on a rotating schedule. one shift began before the president awoke, and the transfer took place around 2:00 p.m. it ended around the time that the first lady and president retired for the evening. my first introduction to president ford was made by the chief usher. it took place at the conclusion of my first state dinner. this happened at the elevator. he was waiting or mrs. ward who was -- mrs. ford. she was a dancer. she was always the last to leave the floor. the week following my introduction to the fords i was placed in rotation. it was a quiet sunday morning. at about 8:00 a.m., the telephone rang and i answered.
the ushers office, may i help you? the other voice at the other end was president forward. i immediately thought that i should stand, but my knees hit the desk. i listened as the president said, good morning, gary. could he make a note to have someone check my shower? i don't have hot water. after i recovered from the fact that the president did not have hot water, i realize that i was never called by my first name by a president before. knowing that the engineers were available to check out the problem, the first family was scheduled to go to church within an hour, i said certainly. i will have the engineers check the shower as soon as you depart for church. his answer stunned me. he said, oh, don't bother. it is sunday, there is really no
hurry. it has been that way for a couple of days and i forgot to tell people. [laughter] anyway, i have been using that he's -- betty's shower. needless to say, when they left for church we fixed the problem. that was the case with the fords, growing close to the family. each evening freddy mayfield was jokingly asked the president when he was going to invite him for a swim at the swimming pool. president ford would laugh and say, one of these days, when we both have a little more time. late one afternoon, the president called and said gary,
freddy has asked about a swim with the president and i think this could be a good time. we ask him to meet me in the cabana and 15 minutes? tell him not to worry about a swim suits, we can get an extra that we keep. his voice was light and mischievous as the temperature that november evening was 30 degrees, with the wind chill in the teens. i informed freddy of the president's invitation and told him he better watch what he asks for in the future. he did go to the cabana where they had a very nice swim. both returned to the residence lasting. -- laughing. freddy never forgot his presidential swim. he also never asked about another joint swim with the president. later he confided in me that he
nearly froze getting into and out of the swimming pool. the inauguration of president jimmy carter in 1977 brought three families to the white house. not only did daughter amy move in and occupy bedrooms on the second floor, they also had two sons, and their wives occupying suites on the third floor. in fact, karen gave birth to a son, james earl carter the fourth, giving the white house its first and fit president in many decades -- infant resident in many decades. the president wanted the air set no higher than 65 degrees. there was a very small office
that was a problem. it was on the first floor of the executive resident -- residents, just off the entry hall. the office was shared by three people, the chief usher, his assistant, and the duty usher, who sits in front of a single pane, double hung window that is 14 feet in height. it is a typical window throughout the residence. despite efforts to seal these window frames to prevent air gaps, the prevailing cold wind from the north fell directly on the duty usher for hours at a time. this is difficult at night, when the cold air coming in was almost unbearable for anyone sitting in front of that window. with no immediate solutions, we
enlisted the services of the engineers to keep our thermostat set at a comfortable level. we removed the visible thermometer from the thermostat and painted it read -- red at the 65 degree mark. so anyone looking casually at the thermometer was see that it was 65 degrees. [laughter] please don't tell president carter. the president was not a fan of the billiards table in the private quarters and asked if it could be replaced by a ping-pong table as he enjoyed playing with his sons. on a number of occasions, the president invited me for a match. the first time i played, i wondered what the protocol was. should i lose? or play hard and try to win? after a couple of minutes, i
understood that he was pretty good and i played to my best. after losing the election to ronald reagan, the president and mrs. carter wanted to share appreciation to the resident staff for their service. they invited everyone on the staff to the presidential retreat in the mountains, at camp david. there was a luncheon for the staff and then the president and mrs. carter took everyone around on a personal tour of the entire camp. the camp became the site of his most important presidential success, camp david accords between the president of egypt and the premise or of israel -- prime minister of israel. the result of the camp david meetings was the signing of a peace treaty, signed on the north grounds.
many things have been said about president reagan, but i can tell you from my own experience what you saw was what he was although portrayed in the press as only an actor, he was never on stage as a president. he was the same person behind the scenes that he stand -- that you saw on television. he was firm in his beliefs. he always had a smile on his face and a good word for everyone he passed. for state dinners, this was a procedure that was established by reagan, whereby the chefs and butler's would serve the food about two weeks before the actual dinner was to take place. on these occasions, the meal would be presented exactly as it
would be for the state dinner. there were four courses for each meal, including dessert. platters for 10 persons, that is how many that would be at each table. the president and mrs. reagan served themselves from the platters. this conflict a number of things, they could visually inspect the presentation, see if they would be difficulty serving themselves, determine if there was sufficient food on the platters to accommodate guests, and taste the food. at the conclusion of the meal, mrs. reagan would come in to the kitchen and discuss options and give suggestions to the chefs making minor changes or sometimes making major changes in the menu. in 1985, the then chief usher
announced his retirement and recommended that i follow him. i was appointed the seventh chief usher on january 5, 1986. one of my most memorable experiences in the white house came in december 1987. president reagan invited mr. gorbachev to the white house. following their stork meetings -- his stork meetings -- historic meetings, the nuclear arms talks with the soviets, this was after he was calling the ussr the evil empire. there was a great deal of apprehension and tension surrounding this meeting at the white house. even though it was designed around the dismantling of
nuclear arms at 1:45 p.m. on december 8, 1987, the president and general secretary came together in a white house. there was a short ceremony that ended with the signing of the treaty. it was followed by statements broadcast to the world from the state dining room, calling for the government to work together and pledging new cooperation between two superpowers. a podium was placed in front of the fireplace where there was a famous portrait of abraham lincoln looming as the backdrop. for the first time in my years at the white house, we lighted a fire in the fireplace, it warmed the room. it was truly surreal. there were few people in the room and i was lucky enough to be one of them. as the speeches progressed, i could feel the falling of the
cold war and the end of the evil empire. whenever president reagan traveled to camp david, he never forgot to collect acorns for the squirrels that lived in the white house rose gardens. he would put nuts in his pockets , take them to the office on monday morning and scatter them outside the office for the squirrels. one weekend when he did not go to camp, obviously he did not collect acorns. the following monday, an important meeting with the staff was disrupted by the squirrels. became -- they came to the door of the oval office and were on their hind legs scratching at the glass, looking for acorns. [laughter] after that, the executive grounds superintendent who
worked at the white house since the 1950's had his grandson collect acorns every weekend and they left them on president's desk each monday morning so that the squirrels could be fed properly. in fact, the day before the president left office, and his eyes george bush became president, president reagan wrote a note on white house stationery and placed it in a planter box adjacent to the oval office door. the note was to his friends the squirrels, warning them about the bush's dog he was moving in the next day. [laughter] whenever anyone discovers that i worked at the white house, their question is, what president did you like the most? my answer is always the same every president whom i had the privilege to serve was very kind
to me and my family. that being said i will say without a doubt, there will never be a nicer family to work for man -- than the bush family, especially george and barbara bush. president bush known to us now as 41, distinguishing him from his son, was probably the most qualified man to ever be president. his father was a united states senator, he had been a successful businessman, and ambassador to the united nations, director of the cia and a two-term vice president. he was a consummate diplomat and gentlemen. barbara bush had one of the quickest wits i have ever known. she was a grandmotherly figure and the last first lady of the 1950's mold.
her family was foremost in her life. mrs. bush had a constant companion, her dog millie, also an author by the way millie, not mrs. bush. when i inquired about millie's arrival, she coming up worry. millie was off with their friends in kentucky where she was getting married. [laughter] i tried to look serious, but i soon learned that explanation. in march, millie had delivered six puppies in the parlor. with mrs. bush there by her side. in fact, i took a mattress from a room and gave it to mrs. bush for her comfort during the delivery.
the next day, she presented each child with a puppy and two of them are given to close friends. one of the puppies ranger, was given to the president and became his dog. each day i was a chief usher, i would present myself to the president as they were on their way to the oval office. i presented myself principally for their convenience, in case they had something to tell me or i had information to pass along to them. frequently, president bush would invite me to walk with him while the dogs walked in the gardens doing what dogs do in the morning. it was on one of these walks that i learned how deeply that the president and mrs. bush were terminated -- tormented by the death of military men and women
come up from desert storm. i also learned that he called each family to offer condolences. george bush did not hide his emotions well, often times he had to stop and wipe tears from his eyes. when year, -- on president bush was searchinge year, -- one year, president bush was searching for an idea for his wife's birthday, some comfortable shoes as she was getting older. these shoes were made of canvas. as a joke, he decided to get one of each color. after he presented her with a
gift, she began to wear the shoes everywhere, turning it around on him. but that was not good enough for mrs. bush. she went a step further. she would wear a different color on each foot, giving her an endless combination of choices. [laughter] on a trip to asia in 1992, the president got sick with a stomach virus in japan, but attempted to keep his busy schedule. much to his embarrassment, he regurgitated at the table of the prime minister at a formal dinner. it was captured on film by the news and repeatedly shown. give the president -- to give the president a welcome home you would never forget and put an end to the embarrassment, i assembled 20 members of the resident staff in the reception
room, it was here that the president would enter the white house out of the view of the press and other staff. i procured a desk mats -- desk mask -- dust mask for each person. barbara bush put on one of the masks. then she said, george bush is going to fire each and every one of you. the president had lagged behind, making a short statement to the press. he took one look at us and laughed. then he proceeded to have the photographer take pictures. mrs. bush told us later that it was just what the president needed to get over his embarrassment. like i said, we had a unique bond with the first family. the clintons moved in to the
white house in 1993. during one of my early conversations with mrs. clinton after the election, she asked what we could do to occupy chelsea and some of her friends on inaugural night while the adults were at the ball. mrs. clinton was interested in having some food and some fun for the youngsters. working with the curators, we developed a plan for a sophisticated to party. -- pizza party. and a scavenger hunt. the curators developed an extensive list of facts about the white house that required each group to travel all the levels and rooms of the white house. chelsea and her guests had to answer certain questions, find things like a hidden staircase,
and obtain food items to bring to the kitchen. teams of 3-4 were chosen and for the next hours, the youngsters roamed the white house. one of the most difficult problems for families the white house is feeling comfortable enough to gather friends for conversation and fun. on the occasion of mrs. bush's birthday on october 26, 1993. her staff wanted to have an old-fashioned costume party. given the proximity to halloween of course. there were to be about 150 guests for a buffet and dancing. everyone was to be dressed in costume. in keeping with the theme, i and
i am not a cat lover, but we obtained a large device that could be screwed into the ground and we attached a rope to it. the other end was attached to a shoulder harness and socks. for months the sort, but then -- this worked, but then i received a call from a police officer on the southbound -- south ground . he said that socks needed an assistant. i could see socks in a tree.
evidently, he had chased a squirrel up the tree, and literally to the end of his rope and was hanging by his harness in midair and definitely in distress. [laughter] i had someone responded with a ladder. socks was saved. from that time forward, socks was kept a safe distance from squirrels and trees. president clinton was one of the great conversationalists of our time. when he talks to you, nothing else intervenes. not his schedule or other activities. you had his full attention. he required -- he acquired a reputation for chronically being late to events.
when a meeting friends and acquaintances he had not seen for years, he could remember their names and their interactions. this is confirmed when he hosted the georgetown 25th anniversary of his class in 1993, for over 600 couples. he stood in a receiving line for more than three hours, greeting guests by name and asking about their families, also by name. on november 9, 2000, on the 200th anniversary of the first president's moved into the white house, there was a dinner held
in the east room. it was the only dinner i attended. this was three days after that is the -- this was three days after the disputed election between al gore and george bush. needless to say this complicated the move of the bush family into the white house. fortunately, the bush's were familiar with the white house and the staff. it was accomplished with that order. and on real day of 2001, brought me some discovered that i'd never experienced. important was this day and it was compliant on a schedule. it was mandated that the new president take office at noon.
president clinton, as i mentioned, was known for being late. the president-elect who was standing across the street was known for being extremely cultural. the schedule called for a greeting of the bushes at the north portico by the president at 10:30 a.m. as time drew near, the president was not in place to greet the president-elect. at 10:20 a.m., i was told that the president-elect was moving toward his limo. i told his aides in no and certain -- no uncertain terms to stop him at the door. i immediately looked for the eighth of president clinton and none were to be found. -- aidses of president clinton and none were to be found.
after searching, i learned that the president was in the oval office. i told her the president he needed to come immediately to the north portico as the president-elect was on his way and it would be embarrassing for him not to be there. it could not believe that i was issuing orders to a president and an incoming president. the president hurried to the north portico and the greeting took place on time. the president and mrs. bush were playful with each other. they affectionately called each other names. spot, one of the puppies of millie, was the president's dog and companion.
sometimes during the day he would take a short break from the oval office and hit a tennis ball that the dog would chase and return. spot, born at the white house also died there a few years later. her health deteriorated rapidly in her few months. on the night before spot died, the president carried her to the southbound where they had played so much ball. he lay beside her on the ground wrapping him self around her, so gently and stroking herself -- stroking her on her head. those of us who watched were drawn to tears. minix morning, he could not take her to the doctor's office to be euthanized. he said that he had set his
goodbyes. i asked mrs. bush if she wanted us to take spot. she said no, i will do it. the president was an athlete of extraordinary skills, this was supported when his doctors measured his resting heartbeat at 50 beats per minute, which matched that of lance armstrong. he did not jog, he ran. especially on the hottest days. within a few years of moving into the white house he was distraught at hurting his legs and hips. he looks for in other exercise routine. he did not find anything that he liked and allowed him to be outside. he was introduced to off-road
biking by some staff and he took to it with vengeance. he loved the aerobic exercise. he even broke a track bike that the designer said cannot be broken. they ended up redesigning that line of bikes. certainly my most terrifying day at the white house was september 11, 2001. what most people do not remember about that day, that evening in particular, that mr. -- that the president was to host a picnic at the white house for the united states congress, the cabinet, the vice president and other high officials. if the terrorists had attacked the white house just eight hours later, most of the government would have been assembled on the
south lawn. to this day, it is my firm belief that united flight 93, that crashed into the ground in pennsylvania, was heading to the white house, not the capital. those who fought back on that airplane, i believe they saved my life. i was fortunate enough to later attend their memorial service. when i decided to return in 2007, the president and mrs. bush surprise me with a large reception, inviting individuals from every administration i had served. at a small ceremony before the reception, he presented me with an award. on a number of occasions i talk about the relationships between the resident staff and the first family. the resident staff is a unique group both in their dedication to the presidency and their
talents. we develop a strong relationship with each family and that is not only a bond of respect for the presidency, but also a fondness of shared experience. at the end of each administration, just before the president reaches the north portico, we share one last emotional goodbye. the resident staff gathers in the state dining room and present the president with the flag that flew over the white house that was there the day he took over the white house and to the five that was there -- the flag that was there when they leave. it is one of the saddest moments of each of the lives of the people in that room. that sadness is not quickly forgotten. or erased from memory. we must put aside and quickly
get ready for a new family that will be moving into the white house in a few short hours. i understand there is an opportunity for questions and i would be glad to answer anything. if i do not want to answer it i will just say no, and i learned that from mrs. reagan. [laughter] [applause] any questions? >> if you were writing a job description for your job as a sure -- usher, what would you write? >> common sense would be at the top of the list. i would compare this job to that of a general manager of a hotel.
the responsibility is to safeguard the first family. the resume would not necessarily be long, but it would require a lot of common sense and trying to be able to serve the presidency. >> >> serving all the different presidents, did you avoid politics? >> i did. i was lucky enough to serve both republicans and democrats and the great thing about the job i had and all the resident staff had, is that we got to know the families as families. we were there to try to take the drudgery out of their day. they had enough to do. the first ladies as you have learned, they had their own responsibilities.
they can not worry about some of the small things, like you will fix the plumbing the cooking of the dinner, that is what the resident staff is therefore. -- there for. and the resident staff is there to serve the presidency, not the president. >> during the nixon years, you were there and we had john dean here two years ago during this symposium. he was there as a major part of the watergate issue. how does the residency staff deal with that comment as that turmoil and tempest is going
around and bringing in that situation, to make it more difficult, or do they carry on as normal? >> we tried to make it as normal as possible for the family. certainly every administration that i worked for had it major obstacles placed in front of them. it was our responsibility to take care of the everyday things. we wanted to see if we could not take some of that burden. but i do not want to downplay, we get close to the families. when there is a death in the family, a mother or father, it is taken hard by the staff and we understand that. as well as some of the other problems that occur as we are in office. the staff gets very close to the family. one of the things that most people do not know is that the secret service goes to a certain
point, and then they stopped and behind those doors is where the executive staff is. >> another question back here. >> what is the hardest part of the first lady and her children adjusting to living in the white house? >> it is tremendously difficult for families to live there and just be a normal family. children going to school in a car by the secret service and having people set out by their door, maybe that is fun for an eight-year-old, but by 13 years old, that is not as fun. especially if they want to go on a date. it is not easy living in the white house, that is why the staff tried to provide privacy for the first family. there is a point at which nobody goes without permission.
and that point is determined by the first family. >> was it anything like downton abbey? >> no. the resident -- residence is not as formal as some of those in european houses, although the name chief usher comes from the old british term meaning head of the household. there are customs that remain at the white house, the staff still is very responded to be in service to the president, but it would be a far reach to say it is anything like downton abbey. >> mr. walters, i have a simple question. during your tenure, who was your favorite social secretary that
you worked with? >> somehow, i have that would come up. of course it was mrs. marshall. -- patricia marshall. [applause] [applause] we spent probably more time with each other than we did with our spouses, working. >> absolutely working. >> this is a lighthearted question, but i noticed when you are talking about the ping-pong you didn't say if he won. >> that is right, i didn't. [laughter] >> you mentioned at one time there was a suggestion during mr. truman's administration that they tear down the white house and start over.
i wonder have they ever been serious about recommendations if the president and his family lived separate from his office? some studies have shown it would be good to have a chance to get out of one's residency and work apart from it, rather than having it all in one building. >> i'm sure that every president and first lady feels that way, that they could leave the white house behind and go elsewhere. that is one reason why the -- y camp david is such a blessing. they can drive to camp david take the helicopter there, and spend the weekend there. there are some people on the staff who do not want to hear me
say it, but the white house staff is much more reluctant to call the president or the first lady at camp david, then they are if they are just next-door in the white house. i think there have been considerations, but having the benefit of the white house home and office so close at hand, with everything that goes along with it, i think it is important to the presidency and there will not probably be a change. >> i was curious about the personal expenses which you said that the first lady and president pay themselves, like toothpaste and personal items, they pay all that themselves and i didn't realize if they are entertaining, if they are entertaining anything to do with the presidency i'm sure that that is picked up, but i'm assuming that any personal friends that come in, they would
pay for the meals, can you detail that? >> any item that they use personally or their guests use personally so it is not an official guest not a state dinner, because those are reimbursed. the state department, political events are reimbursed by the political entity that is response over the event. but any personal items that the president and the family and personal guests use are paid for by the president, bottled water and in the accounting that i talked about, if we get a crate of eggs for the kitchen and two eggs go to the president's breakfast in the morning, those two eggs are accounted for. if three dozen eggs go to the
dinner for the state department, that is accounted for. if three eggs go to a lunch, a gust of the family, that is charged along with the eggs in the morning. we keep track of everything. we keep track of the broken eggs too. they pay for all personal expenses. >> first of all, thank you for the might mean -- enlightening session. can you share with us the most outrageous or memorable request that was ever made? >> i have never had an outrageous request to the president of the united states. [laughter] at least none that i'll share. [laughter] >> your remarks are incredible because they humanize the people in the white house. you plan to write your memoirs
for people to read? >> at this time, no. i was able to get -- probably the only person that spoke to both president and the first lady on a daily basis, and i believe that their privacy is more important than my telling that part of the story. most things are related to you today are things that the president and first lady have mentioned in a casual conversation and i know that that information is out there. it is their history not mine. as i get further away from when i retired and the second bush administration, i have had people ask me, you have to put this down, some of these stories should be told. i had an incredible opportunity to see history and i/o thanks to the presidents who kept me
there. >> behind you. >> and wonder what your typical day was like as far as how many hours a day you worked and if you had children, did they get to interact with the family members? >> yes, my typical day was not very typical. i usually got to work at 6:15 a.m. in in the morning to establish the routine for the day, pick up things that came overnight. and i never knew what time i would go home. it was dependent on the first lady and president's schedule what activities were going on. certainly if there was a situation that occurred, i would spend 5-6 days there at a time. i cannot say that there was a typical day. they were all memorable. can't say that they were all enjoyable, it could be very
tiring. the staff was the same. i knew that i could count on them. they had regular hours. they were there from such and such time to such and such time. but if i said, look something happened in the middle east and its president will have a news conference at night about p.m. i need you people to stay here, you cannot go home readily. you have to prepare for that. they knew that that was their responsibility and there was never any question. that is what we were there for. i hope that answers your question. >> i have a daughter and my wife could tell you many stories about yelling at me for not getting their in time for meals. we do have a wonderful collection of photographs with my daughter with the presidents and first ladies.
each christmas, they invited the staff to personal christmas parties and they always took photographs. i have photographs of my daughter from the time she was born until the time that she went to college, in fact when she was in college, she called and said, dad i will not be invited to the christmas party this year. any other questions? >> i will add one thing. i made some notes. in keeping with the first lady pops -- first ladies'theme, i want to say what they meant to the white house as a related to the years i was there. mrs. nexen -- nixon, she brought original white house antique furniture. mrs. kennedy in 1961 did a
tremendous job as we heard earlier, but mrs. nexen about 10 years later -- nixon, about 10 years later, did a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work, gaining those original items and antique furnishings. mrs. ford, a great promoter of women pass -- women's rights, as well as alcohol awareness. she was very involved in white house source. she loved opening up the white house gardens and making it a formal thing that occurs now every spring and fall. mrs. carter, her efforts to broaden mental health awareness and her expansion of the major american paintings collection at the white house. mrs. reagan, raised private
funds for redecorating. again, this is 10 years later. it is a 10 year theme on redecorating the white house. the money that she raised for the redecoration and to the white house china service that she was criticized so terribly for. we had not had a china service for so many years, that we do not have enough china pieces to serve one state dinner. her first question to the chief usher at that time, was what does the white house need the most and he had told her a white house china service. and that is what she went about doing. and mrs. barbara bush, her promotion of childhood literacy and also literacy for adults, that increased support for the preservation and the redecoration efforts.
she established the white house endowment fund, a $25 million fund so that private funds are available to keep the public wings of the white house in the way that you see them when you go to visit. and it certainly mrs. clinton was a supporter of that effort and closed out that effort, the $25 million endowment, which is handled by the white house historic association. and mrs. clinton expanded on that idea, people who wanted to give money for specific purposes , now there is a major acquisitions trust, for major paintings or pieces of furniture, people can give money for specific efforts. and laura bush, her activities on literacy and the major renovation of the white house once again on a tenure -- 10 year cycle. and a renovation of the lincoln
>> that concludes our live coverage today at ohio state university and the warren g. harding symposium. we will air all of today's events tomorrow. you are watching american history tv on c-span3, find more programming on our website, at c-span.org. american history tv is featuring the original series, first ladies, influence and image at 8:00 p.m. on sunday nights at the rest of this year. c-span produced the series in cooperation with the white house. this is conversations with
experts, video tors of historic sites, and we tell the stories of america's 45 first ladies. you are watching american history tv, a weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to mark the 60th anniversary of the newspaper "roll call," we are talking to reporters. >> when it went to press for the june 6, 1968 edition, they didn't yet know what would be the fate of bobby kennedy. they knew he had they knew that he had been shot, and they knew he had been rushed to a hospital in los angeles but they went to press not knowing exactly what the outcome
would be. so the editorial staff at the time and the founder actually went ahead with a run page editorial -- front-page editorial in which they addressed the broader issues of the day regarding violence, and particularly as it became related to guns but also more generally, which was a topic of concern throughout the 1960's. in those days, the newspaper ran a regular series of editorial features and had an editorial column in in -- in each week possibly edition -- in each week's edition, and one of the topics was the more general violence of the year. that included riots that were going on in the city. so when rfk was shot, it became an obvious time to once again return to that topic. as it was happening, it turned out that the next edition would
not be for another week, so they had a situation where they did not actually happen an opportunity to report the news of the funeral itself or of, in fact, even bobby kennedy's death in print. when "roll call" went to print a week after bobby kennedy was assassinated, it was back to its coverage of the way it has covered washington really since its inception, and that meant there were two lead stories on the subject related to the death of rfk, one of which was the speculation about whom would be appointed to fill out the unexpired term of his senate seat in new york. that was a situation where the newspaper correctly speculated that the best candidate on paper was charles goodell, a
congressman from upstate. viewers will know that he was the father of the current commissioner of the national football league, roger goodell and he did not serve very long in the senate, but was the republican governors appointee -- governor's appointee after there had been some speculation that the mayor of new york city might have been appointed. the other story that "roll call" explored goes back to the newspaper's traditional focus on the capitol hill community and the campus life for those who are around the hill. there were new security concerns, obviously, following the assassination of someone who had been a united states senator. he was running for president but was at the time a united states senator. there was an action taken to introduce legislation designed to make it a federal crime or to
ensure that it was a federal crime when a member of congress or an executive branch official was assassinated and that that was not something that needed to be handled at the state level that the federal government could indeed step in. the other thing that was a matter of concern was how exactly to contact the folks in the capital police in the event of a sort of security threat on the hill, so "roll call" once again focused, as we have throughout our history, on police matters and the way that members of congress can get a hold of the law enforcement personnel on the hill. >> each week we take you to historic museums and places. next, we travel to philadelphia to learn about the museum of the revolution located two blocks from independence hall. it is scheduled to open in early 2017.
>> the idea of the museum goes back a century when descendents of george washington's family put up for sale the tent that housed him in every campaign of the revolution. it was acquired by a minister in the valley origin era, and that launched a century of collecting. it also launched the idea of a museum to tell the entire story of a revolution. the collections of the museum are incomparable. they really have no. we have objects related to washington, which truly are unique. they bring to light his leadership, his incredible role in keeping the continental army together and never wavering from his goal of success. at the same time, we have objects that represent the common footsoldier, objects that reflect the role of not just american soldiers but british and french and native americans.
our story will represent the entire story of the revolution to all who come to philadelphia. got stevenson -- scott stephenson is the ideal person to oversee the creation of these exhibits. he is a phd historian in the american revolution and at the same time has been a screenwriter for historical productions. he's deeply experienced not just in the meaning of the revolution but the culture and equipment used to bring about the equipment. mr. stephenson: i want to give you some of the highlights and give you a certain indication of the big storyline we are telling now.
the gallery takes visitors back to the end of the french and indian war about 1763. there's a new british monarch, the first british-born monarch in the 18th century, george iii. he's young, vibrant, considers himself to be a real patriot king. americans of the future revolutionary generation are extremely patriotic. they had just participated in one of the most dramatic victories in modern history and are now part of, really, the richest, most expensive empire since the classical age. the first object i want to show you is an engraved soldiers powderhorn. this is a cow horn, one of a pair, that was carved in 1763 to reflect that great victory. you can see a crown and "g.r."
for the latin for georgus rex or king george. it is engraved with a theme of the city of havana in cuba. images of some of the fortifications around havana. british ships in the harbor. the british and american forces had taken havana from the spanish in 1762, and this horn was to commemorate the embarkation of those troops after the piece of paris -- the peace of paris. the city was illuminated after the embark nation of british troops. -- after the embarkation of british troops. this is marking a moment where british and colonial british americans were reveling in being part of this magnificent empire.
we expected to reap the fruits of that victory. they had defeated the spanish defeated the french, and their allies, so britain was left with a vastly expanded empire, not just in north america, but in india, in africa. one of the last actions of the war took laced when the british took manila in the philippines -- took place when the british took manila in the philippines. so this horn is a great embodiment of the optimism that colonial americans had at that point in their history, but, of course, shortly after the riotous celebrations settled down, someone has to pay the bill, of course. this, as often, is when reality sets in. the story we will tell begins just after this great victorious moment when british policymakers had gotten to face up to the cost of victory, the price of
victory. now that you have something like 80,000 catholic french inhabitants, former french colonists in north america, tens of thousands of native americans, who formerly had been part of the french empire of north america, they are all now subject of king george iii. armies have to be stationed in north america. fleets have got to be stationed not just in america, but south america, really policing this new british empire. so this is the roots of the odious stamp act, which many people, of course, view as the beginning of the revolutionary story. of course, it takes another 10 years for their actually to be shooting that starts here in north america, but that is really the roots of the revolutionary story. britain has to raise revenue try to cover these costs. it's a common fallacy that the
stamp act was to pay for the cost of that war. that price had actually been born by british taxpayers who had been squeezed, just like we often say today -- can't afford any more taxes. they were looking at the americans and saying they are fairly lightly taxed people and maybe they can bear the cost of their defense. so a lot of the next decade -- and that's where we move in. we have an image of what the gallery where we are going to tell the story will be located under the lives of -- lombs -- limbs of a re-created of boston's liberty tree. we will talk about that decade where americans talk about their views of first, their english liberties being infringed by these at and taxes -- these acts and taxes on the part of the british. this is a chinese porcelain punch bowl. this was used to serve alcoholic
punches in taverns and homes in britain and america. this was actually produced in china but for the export trade to britain and america. it has the figure of john wilkes, who was a british opposition politician against -- sort of rallied support in britain against the administration of lord bute, and he became a very popular figure for the american sons of liberty . they would often use his image in their propaganda. when they were protesting for american liberty. also in the 1760's and 1770's. it's a wonderful, evocative piece. as american colonists begin shouting very loudly and increasingly loud about their
rights as englishmen and their feeling that there is a conspiracy to enslave them under way, then the british parliament -- the whole issue of slavery, of chattel slavery -- increasing the contradiction of these calls for liberty with the presence of slavery, particularly in america -- of course, it existed in britain at the time, but it was particularly widespread in america -- becomes louder and louder. this next item is an incredibly rare and important work. this is a volume of poems published in london in 1773 by a young woman named phyllis wheatley, who is the first published african-american poet in american history. phyllis wheatley had been enslaved in the west coast of africa, probably in gambia or senegal, and brought to the new world in the 1750's, as a young
girl, maybe eight years old. she eventually was sold to a family by the name of wheatley in massachusetts, and the daughter in the family taught her to read and write, and she had a real natural talent for writing verse. of course, at the time, this was an extraordinarily -- extraordinary development so much so that there were those -- she began publishing pieces in the newspaper, and they began to be circulated. there was actually a trial held in boston where people like john hancock and other significant figures in the community were brought together to basically put her on trial, ask her questions to try to determine if it was possible that this african-american woman could have written poetry like this. of course she passed and they actually wrote a testimonial saying that they believed she in fact had been the talented writer who produced this poetry.
in 1773, she traveled to london, and this volume was published. it's also remarkable in that we have an engraved image presumably a good physical likeness of phillis wheatley. this volume, and i will turn the page to show you -- it would be wonderful even by itself but it is one of the few examples that have actually come down to us with phillis wheatley's signature on the volume. and it just does not get better than that. you know, trying to find the sort of tangible object that allow us to discuss the very important contributions of african americans to the founding period of our nation. it can be a real struggle as a curator to try to find this material, so we are incredibly blessed to have that volume
available to us and to share with our visitors once we are open. it will be in the same gallery located right next to the liberty tree, so our visitors can reflect upon the -- you know, the contradiction between these calls for liberty and the continued persistence of slavery. a couple of other items. these are later bindings of two 18th-century publications. at the end of this decade of increasing division between americans and britons over this issue of taxation and representation in the empire, it sort of comes to a head in the aftermath of the boston tea party and the coercive acts that are passed by parliament in 1774. delegates from all but one of the colonies come together in philadelphia at the first continental congress. those delegates meet in a small
building that still stands today, right across the street from the future museum of the american revolution, carpenters hall. this is often known as the first continental congress. this is a first printing of the journals of the proceedings of congress. in this case the first continental congress held in philadelphia, september 5, 1774. it was published just down the street from where the museum will be located at the london coffeehouse. this is at the corner of market and run street -- and front street in philadelphia. this wonderful emblem we have in the center, very symbolic. you can see there's the hands each one representing one of the colonies, with a pillar and a liberty cap at the top and the words "magna carta," still reminding us that these delegates, even on the eve of the revolutionary war, are still
appealing to their rights as in guzman and the founding documents of the english constitution to try to define their place in the empire and secret dress for these grievances -- seek redress for these grievances. not everyone felt this was the right way to go. this was by no means the consensus of all colonial americans that we should be pushing literally to the brink of war, to the point where the congress is calling for americans to form voluntary military associations and repair to fight britain in the fall of 1774. this was a piece of opposition literature published in new york . i think it's kind of funny to look now because it seems very contemporary in a sense. "what think ye of the congress now?" which we might say in 2015. or an inquiry -- how far americans are bound to abide and execute the decisions of
congress. this is sort of a loyalist track calling and questioned the legitimacy of that group of delegates here in philadelphia at the first continental congress. this is the beginnings of a divide that will split eventually into tories and patriots or loyalists and revolutionaries during the revolutionary -- during the revolution and resulted in tens of thousands of americans who chose to exile themselves as a result of the revolution and become founders of a nation. many people in canada, for instance, can trace ancestry to loyalist ancestors who left places like new york, boston and philadelphia in order to settle in canada after the war. another engraved powderhorn, this when dating to 1775. it's a wonderful object transitioning to prewar decades of americans appealing to the britons as shared in herod is --
inheritors of a tradition of british liberty and shared in making that decision to declare independence and go their separate way. this is a powderhorn that belonged to a man named william waller, a virginian, who lived in what would now be shepherdstown, west virginia, so not far from washington, d.c. it has a lot of the slogans we associate with the revolutionary movement. most recognizable -- liberty or death. these words reportedly spoken by virginian patrick henry at the beginning of the war. lift this carefully out of the mount. you can see "kill or be killed," which is fairly sobering, almost contemporary-sounding slogan. and "appeal to heaven," which is something that appeared on new england flags at the time and was also a popular slogan.
the date, 1775. curiously, this crown. remember on the havana powderhorn, also a crown, in that case with "g.r. iii." sometimes people see this and ask why he would have a crown on his horn, but in 1775, these men are still writing to restore their rights as englishmen within the empire, so it is perfectly consistent with that the appeal to the king to see the king as a person who is going to intercede with parliament, that parliament is the group that is oppressing and trying to in slave americans. of course, all that changes between summer of 1775 and the summer of 1776 in which americans finally, when they hear that the king has refused to read a petition sent by the
second continental congress, the all of transportation -- the all of -- the olive branch petition, he has essentially declared them to be in rebellion. they are encouraged by an english emigrant by the name of thomas payne, who writes "common sense" and declares independence. this newspaper volume is a bound volume of all the publications of "the pennsylvania evening post" from 1776. i had turned her to the page on saturday, july 6 1776 -- i have turned it to the page on saturday, july 6 1776. this is the first newspaper printing of the declaration of independence. while many viewers have seen the large broadsides published by john dunlap and other printers that would have been posted up in public places, this is probably the way many colonial americans first read the words
of the declaration of independence -- published in newspapers. first in philadelphia, but then quickly scattering out through the other colonies and it eventually by august appearing in print in london itself. independence had actually already been declared on july second 1776 -- july 2 1776. we celebrate the fourth, when the final version was adopted and sent off and printed. tuesday, july 2, 1776. you can see general descriptions of activity going on in various cities around the world and around the nation. more news. what's going on in providence, in newport, in new haven, in philadelphia. literally, the news, we can imagine, must have arrived late
in the day because they were at the end of the news column just before the classified ads, and here, this day, the continental congress declared the united colonies free and independent states. that is the announcement of the birth of the united states. and then to be sold. and we move on to the classifieds. in some ways, i love showing people that volume is much as the declaration. that is really the birth of the united states. that is the day the declaration is being finally put into its final form and adopted by congress, but at the end of the first page, all of these lines are indictments against the king. congress explaining its decision to declare independence by citing all these grievances against the king. among those, he has abdicated government here by his declaring
us out of his protection, so that is saying basically, "my armies and navies are going to attack you." then it says, "he is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death desolation, and tyranny already begun." this cap here, this fragment of a cap originally belonged to one of those -- what americans referred to as those foreign mercenaries, the soldiers from one of several principalities in central europe, the german-speaking states of central europe. this is actually an archaeological fragment. it was recovered from the delaware river. if you have ever flowed into the philadelphia international airport, as your landing, -- as
you are landing, there are all the remnants, and at some point over the winter of 1777 to 1778, the boat got caught up on the river of structure's and got dumped into the river with all the baggage, and this cap was recovered during the first world war by some corps of engineer folks. this was actually a blast guilt. metal pieces, this would have had a wool liner in the back and been worn on the head of the fusilier. what have served in the campaign of 1776, driving washington's army through new jersey. could well has been worn in the actions right up to the crossing and battles of trenton and
princeton. this soldier may well have been part of the garrison of new york and then a reinforcement sent to philadelphia in that winter of 1777-1778. that same winter, the american army, george washington's army was in camp -- in camp -- encamped about 20 miles west of philadelphia. the british army had taken philadelphia and was hoping to split off philadelphia and the northern colonies from the southern colonies and end the rebellion. washington's army marches into valley forge, like i say, about 20 miles west, and this is actually a painting. it will be very recognizable to people. probably one of the most iconic images of the american revolution. it was painted after the civil war, so it's about a century later as a commemorative work, but very evocative of the date,
the cymer 19, 1777, as washington's army marches along the gulf road into its winter quarters at valley forge -- the date, december 19, 1777. a couple of objects i have here would have been witnesses to that encampment. the first is a pair of silver handcuffs. these past down through relatives of general washington who had this w engraved on them later. the legend camp cup owned and used by general washington during the revolution. these two are part of a set of 12. what's remarkable is the original receipt has survived, so we know this was made by a philadelphia silversmith who was working at the can market street -- second market street. washington paid for these cups just two days before he and the
continental army marched through philadelphia, write down chestnut street, literally passed the future front door of the museum of the american revolution. they passed congress, which was drawn up on the steps of revolution hall. john adams wrote to abigail adams describing the scene. said they were very spry as they marched, although not very instep, so they needed a little work to look as professional as he thought they should. they marched through philadelphia pretty much like the fellows in the painting are doing. of course, about a month later almost to the day the british army marches down that same street and occupies philadelphia. this was one of those many, many dark days of the american revolution. washington's army than marches into -- then marches into valley forge. this was one of the winters, as she did every winter through the
eight years of the war, that martha washington joined general washington. one of the rarest objects in the collection, in many ways, i will share with you now. this is a volume that was actually owned by martha washington. it is a -- see her signature? m. washington. it is an early addition printed in england -- early addition -- early edition printed in england known as a help and guide to christian families, published in london in 1752. quite likely a book that she may well you can imagine have taken along with her to spend that winter at valley forge. the top of the page is missing. almost certainly, it was clipped by an autograph collector in the 19th century. presumably, her name would have been written there as well, and it was probably clipped by a collector.
if any viewers have that in their collection, we would love to reunite the book and the autograph. but there is her signature -- martha washington. it is entirely possible to imagine that the book spent the winter at valley forge along with the general and his suffering soldiers. a few other objects. again, an object that quite likely was also used at valley forge. the soldiers canteen. it seems like a fairly monday an object, but there is really about half a dozen canteens that have survived from the revolution with this surcharge which tells us that this was the property of the continental army that was actually marked. there was an order that came out midway through the war because so much of the material -- they were having trouble keeping track.
soldiers who were discharged him having to take their gear home. personally -- perennially short on supplies. things like canteens that they could try to get a better handle on with all that material. >> one of the great treasures in our collection is a simple modest little flag, blue background that there's 13 stars. it was general washington's personal standard. it really signified his presence. when you saw that flag you knew general washington was in command. it is incredible that it has survived. so few flags from the revolution have. it came to us from the descendents of general washington's sister betty. her son was an officer in what is called the lifeguard. these were the men and officers that were personally assigned to
general washington and had the responsibility of ensuring his safety. so it is a wonderful object directly from the washington family that again reflect his command and leadership of the continental army during the revolution. to give up ownership of part of independence park just as this museum could be built then two blocks of independence hall. so every visitor who comes to discover the birthplace of america will now have an opportunity to learn the larger context of the story of the american revolution, and how that independence and liberty was achieved. at this point, construction is in full swing. our contractor has finished