tv American History TV CSPAN July 19, 2015 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT
ther the president or first lady have mentioned in casual conversation and i know the information is out there. as i get further away from when i retired, i have a number of historians that have asked me, you ought to put this down. some of the stories ought to be told. i had an incredible opportunity to see an incredible amount of history. i owe a thank you to the president to kept me there. behind you? >> i wonder what your typical day was like as far as how many hours you worked and if you have children, did they get to interact with any of the family members? gary: yes. my typical day was not very typical. i usually got to work at about 6:15 in the morning to establish the routine for the day, pick up
folks that came in overnight. i never knew what time i was going to go home. depending on the schedule, what activities were going on certainly if there is a world situation that occurs, i have spent five days there at a time. i really cannot say there was a typical day. they were all memorable. i cannot say they were all enjoyable. the staff was the same way. i knew that i could count on them. they had regular hours. they were there from such time to such time. i said, look, something just happened in the middle east. the president is going to have a news conference. i need you seven people to stay here. you cannot go home at 3:30. you need to stay here and be prepared.
they knew that was their responsibility. there was never any question. that is what they were there for. we serve the president. i hope that answers your question. >> i have a daughter. my wife could tell you many stories about birth meals -- burnt meals and not getting there in time. the we have a wonderful collection of photographs. my daughter, the presidents and first ladies were very kind. they invited us in for a personal christmas party and always took photographs. i have photographs of my daughter from the time she was born until the time she went to college. in fact, when she was in college , she called and said, will i be invited to the christmas party this year? any other questions?
i made a couple of notes. in keeping with the first ladies seem, -- theme there are some things i need to say about what they meant to the white house in the years i was there. mrs. nixon brought a significant amount of original white house antique american furniture to the white house. mrs. kennedy in 1961, did a tremendous job, as we heard earlier. mrs. nixon, 10 years later working with a curator, did a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work, gaining original white house items and antique furnishings. mrs. ford, a great promoter of women's rights. breast cancer, drug and alcohol
awareness. she was very involved in white house tours. she opened up the white house gardens. made that a formal thing that occurs at the white house every spring. mrs. carter, her efforts to broaden mental health awareness and her expansion of the major american paintings collection at the white house, not many people know about that. mrs. reagan raised private funds for redecoration 10 years later. 1961 1971, 1981. there seemed to be a 10 year theme on redecorating. the funds she raised for the white house china service that she was criticized for. they had not had a china service for so many years we did not have enough pieces of china for one service at a state dinner. in fact, her first question to
chief usher wrecks skelton is, what does the white house need the most? he told her, a china service for 200 people. mrs. barbara bush, promotion of childhood literacy and literacy for adults. increased support for the preservation of the white house and establishing the white house endowment fund, a $25 billion fund so private funds are available to keep the public rooms of the white house the way you see them when you visit. certainly, mrs. clinton was a major supporter of that effort and closed out that effort, the $25 billion endowment handled by the historical association. mrs. clinton expanded on that
idea. now there is a white house major acquisitions trust so the major paintings or furniture, people can give money for a specific purpose. tremendous effort on behalf of the white house. laura bush, her activities on literacy and the major renovation of the white house on a 10 year cycle and major renovation of the truman bedroom -- lincoln bedroom, which had not been done since the truman administration. she allowed c-span to do a tour of that room. those are the first ladies i served and what they did for the white house and for all of us. [applause] >> thank you, mr. walters.
thank you all for being here. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> with live coverage of the house on c-span and c-span2, we complement that coverage by showing you the most relevant congressional hearings. on weekends, c-span3 is home to american history tv, including six unique series, the civil wars 150th anniversary. history bookshelf, the best known american history writers. the presidency, looking at the policy and legacies of commanders in chief. legends in history, and real america, featuring archival government and educational films from the 1930's through the
1970's. c-span3 -- wanted by your local cable and satellite provider. like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. american history tv was at the organization of american historians meeting. we spoke with authors and graduate students about their research. >> treva lindsey, you are the assistant professor of women gender and sexuality studies at ohio state university. the title of your panel here in st. louis organization of historians meeting, women behaving badly. what does that mean? prof. lindsey: it is a nice play on words. we are looking at women who challenged the norm at the time. whether that was gender norms or what women should be doing or activism they should be involved in, what role they should have in the public sphere.
so we thought of them as behaving badly or outside of the boundaries. i looked at a woman named lucy diggs slowe and how she really challenged howard to become a more progressive space, a place more inclusive for the women attending there, and preparing women for careers outside of the home. in the second panel, we looked at the president of bennett college. we looked at the sit in's. how she was involved. in the last, a person who married an inmate on death row as a political act. she felt he was innocent and a lot of people wanted to create a political cachet around this political call and relationship. there was a lot of anti-poverty work and anti-prison work, interesting figures across the
20th century that went beyond what was expected of them in terms of their roles as women in public society. >> what was it like to be a black woman in washington dc in the early 1900s. prof. lindsey: an interesting range of opportunities and challenges. people think of it in terms of the great migration in the late 19th century to cities like new york and chicago. a major migration of women happened in washington around the civil war. 1865 to 1900, you have so many women coming to d.c. i liken d.c. to this urban upper south. a gateway city, in many ways. a lot of people have connections to washington, d.c. there are a number of institutions that employ black women. there is an opportunity to work as a teacher. a number of junior high schools and high schools.
you have howard university, one of the most prestigious institutions at the time. and you have parts of the federal government that is already desegregated. so you have a white collar economy that black women can go into. there is domestic work available there and a long-established black community that has been there since the late 18th century. so there were already churches and businesses and doctors and all kinds of services. so even though the city is largely segregated, there were spaces that created affluent communities and new migrants and settlers were looking for those kinds of opportunities. >> were the women coming from deeper south? prof. lindsey: a lot of women were coming from the midsouth, north carolina, south carolina virginia. you have some coming from georgia. but predominantly you will find this carolina-based culture. even my parents migrated from
north carolina after they graduated from college. so there is this interesting train of connection you will see even as early as the late 19th century of the black community moving from north carolina farther north but not quite all the way to the north. still below the mason-dixon line. still some resonance of southern culture, but also new opportunities that may be available but still very much the jim crow south. race riots affect washington dc in 1919. there is still stark segregation. you can see that residentially. but you do have an established insular black community with an interracial opportunity. >> how does howard university fit into the picture? prof. lindsey: it was founded in 1870 as a freeman school. so, from its inception, it is a school that can admit anyone
regardless of race, national origin or gender. so is supposed to be this inclusive space on the hilltop up the hill going on to georgia avenue in washington, d.c. the first graduating class was all children of the trustees. there were five white students. an interesting note. it is known as a black institution but that largely becomes the case in the early 20th century. you see a large number of faculty and well-known people. kelly miller, a lot of heavy hitters we associate with intellectual renaissance. a lot of the work is foundational in d.c.. a lot of the work is made possible by the work happening at howard university. so it is locally celebrated as a
prestigious institution on the hill but gains a national reputation as a school for african-americans in the united states. so lucy diggs slowe graduates from a colored high school in baltimore and she is valedictorian. and she's the first female student from the school to go to howard and one of the first to receive a full academic scholarship to go to howard. she goes to howard. she is involved in everything. she is a tennis player, a singer, a student leader. she is taking incredible courses and graduates as valedictorian of her class at howard. she goes on to graduate school. she specializes in student personnel. she wants to come back into education in very particular ways. she first becomes a principal at
shaw junior high school and turns into the dean of women a matron increasing the value of girls, and intellectual leader for them. she is building up an amazing reputation in washington among black washingtonians. she is very well respected. she is approached later by the president of howard university to become the dean of women, a position just created at howard university. so she is the first dean of women at howard university. she demands all issues pertaining to women go through her. she asks for $3200 salary, which was big-time at the time. also a professorship within the english department. she etches out from the
beginning of the negotiation that says i am not just going to be here. i want them to be leaders intellectually on this campus. >> how does that go over at howard? prof. lindsey: she is met with some challenges. she is challenging students and faculty and staff to think about the roles that women can play. she becomes the first president of the national college association of women. a national organization for african american women in higher education across different levels to advocate for equal pay for faculty and staff. she is advocating that women take the same course plan that men do, which at that time was different. women were often guided in a particular course strain. it was often less rigorous. she advocates for students being involved in things happening in d.c. and around the country. she is supportive of that.
and she is also challenging female students in particular always becoming teachers. that was one of the most noted and respected professions you found women going into. even somewhere like howard, if somebody went into those positions and got married, they were considered to have resigned their positions automatically. so this idea that we want to have new positions, new opportunities, new majors for these women to be pursuing so they can filter into these other jobs and the -- be leaders in numerous fields, even though she never discouraged anyone from becoming a teacher, knowing how important that was in the community and how many prestigious schools there were in washington specifically. she establishes a women's campus where women can live on campus. you said we need to cultivate leadership on an ongoing basis
so let's get more women faculty and staff hired. in 1927, a new president, the first black president of howard university, mordecai johnson an ordained black baptist minister, arrives and he has different ideas of what opportunities should be afforded women on campus. that is kind of where it ended. he was serious about teachers becoming -- women becoming teachers possibly, but going back to being mothers and wives after that. . >> did she lose ground or did she push back? prof. lindsey: she did lose ground. the women's program was dismantled. it was set to be dismantled because of budgetary reasons. she was not given raises when all the other deans were given raises. she was publicly scolded in various ways for raising charges
of sexual harassment. there was considerable pushback. she had a lot of allies in the city in general, but the university did eventually become a hostile space for her. >> did she have any connections with other like-minded women in washington or other african-american intellectuals? prof. lindsey: she did. a playwright, a woman she shared her home with for most of her life, mary burrell, who was also in community with langston hughes and a number of the writers associated with the harlem renaissance. they would meet on saturday nights in washington, d.c., and write and plan and think together. it was a very elite black artistic space that was created, and she was a part of that.
there were people that backed her up and people that knew her as an educator in the junior high school in d.c. so there was community behind her, but there were gender norms and even in the community at large. >> she had a role in founding an african-american sorority. prof. lindsey: she was the first president of health cap alpha in 1908. she is not a technical founding member, but she is in the first cohort of women. it was another way to create space for black women's leadership and be on the front lines of cultivating something vary particular, a particular space for black women. >> did she continue to be an advocate for women's education? prof. lindsey: absolutely. she is connected to the nacw
until 1937. she is pushing for the community to give back. she is still mentoring howard students, mentoring students who may come to howard at some point. so she is a lifelong advocate for women on campus. specifically african-american women in education. she also has a community of -- an interracial community of white women involved in personnel at this time who are trying to reshape the role of women at colleges and universities. people she met at columbia. they were very supportive and wrote letters on her behalf. when she was meeting contentious dialogue at howard. >> how do you see her legacy connecting to the larger women's movement as well as the larger civil rights movement? prof. lindsey: she has a tremendous legacy. there is now a biography of her. it just came out in 2013. a few of us writing about her now. there is a dorm named after her at howard university. she is absolutely a pioneer when
it comes to activism around women and higher education. she has one of the most known documents addressing sexual harassment in higher education that talks about race and gender. that intersection. i think she should be remembered in that light. i think she really advocated for the voices of women and for the voices of women being put to the forefront and being valued in certain spaces. she encouraged her students to think about suffrage, a hot political issue in the early 20th century. particularly for african american women, who sat in the intersection of race-based discrimination and also women being disenfranchised in the context of voting. so getting women involved in that cause and pushing beyond ratification of the suffrage amendment and saying we still have to be advocating for this and what it means to be a citizen in the modern world. >> your first book is titled
colored no more. what is the book about? prof. lindsey: it is an early 20th century history of african american women in washington. i'm taking a few different venues to think about what life was like for african-american women in washington at this time. one focus is on howard. i use lucy diggs slowe as a way in to think about the larger community of women at howard. i look at beauty culture in d.c. because it is such a huge way in which black women create an artisan, almost a working-class economy, doing here in their homes, beauty schools being formed, techniques, books, a print culture around it. about 10,000 women identified as beauty culture lists in the 1920's. that is a huge number. i look at black activism around suffrage and the salon community
that she was involved with at howard. you see all of these writers and artists coming together and being politically, socially, and culturally connected to one another and making space for their voices in the world. it is a mosaic way of approaching what d.c. looks like for different african-american women. >> what kind of documents did you find in your research? prof. lindsey: i looked at a lot of advertisements and magazines. newspapers, the black press coming into fruition. this is still an era where people write letters. instead of tweets, you actually have people sending things to one another, corresponding. one of the sets of letters is a letter cento lucy diggs slowe about her partner when she
passed away. these were really beautiful acknowledging how important she was to washington, to howard, to african-american leadership. i also looked at organizational documents from their meetings to get a sense of what organizing was like, what community was like, what political activism meant to these women. >> what kind of projects are you working on now? prof. lindsey: i am interested in the idea of turn-of-the-century womanhood. i'm looking into the turn to the 21st century and thinking about the ways in which african-american women represent themselves. so still kind of a cultural history but a different type of representation and how women imagine themselves in this new modern world at the turn of the 21st century. >> treva lindsey, thank you very much. >> tonight, molly crabapple on q & a on the use of drawings to
tell a story. >> gang affiliation may mean drawing a story by a black panther. pelican bay is not alone in this. around the country, you can land in solitary for your beliefs, gender status, sexual orientation, or your friends. >> i go around with a sketchbook and draw to build rapport with people. very often, when you have a camera, it puts a distance between you and the person. you have a thing right in front of your face. they cannot see the image you are taking. it is kind of vampiric. whereas, when you draw, it is a vulnerable thing. they can see when you are doing. it is more of an interchange. most people are delighted to be drawn. a lot of times, i draw people because i like to. >> on q & a, tonight at 8:00
eastern and pacific. >> each week, american history tv's reel america brings archival films that tell the story of the 20th century. ♪ >> all the gardens are covered by rose leaves. all mountains have put on their holy dress. a thousand years ago, a poet sang the praises of spring. today, the people of iran still look to their mountains for water, precious water for the high arid plain on which most of
the people live. but too often, rivers flowing down from the snows disappear in the great central deserts of iran. east and west lie other muslim lands. turkey, iraq, saudi arabia pakistan, afghanistan. north, the soviet union lies beyond the olivers mountains. iran new greatness as persia. from this vast land, king darius ruled over the first great empire in history. the home of 100 columns, the harem for the many royal wives and the stone stairway were among the marvels here. the focus of the sculpture was the life-sized carving of darius himself receiving tribute from the peoples he ruled. from europe, africa, and asia came men bearing gifts.
in the procession was syria bringing gold and bowls, bracelets shaped like horseshoes, and small horses from what is today arabia. this was sort of tax day 25 centuries ago. there were sheep from turkey. vessels with exotic shapes filled with precious liquids. there were cattle from what is today india. all these part of the persian empire in its days of greatest glory. there was a chariot, like those of the pharaohs. even egypt was ruled by this persian king. there was a camel from afghanistan. the tax collectors were the men of his mighty army. here was inscribed, i am darius, king of kings. this is my kingdom. here in gold was outlined the empire that was handed to his son.
xerxes is the head of vast armies and extended persian rule to the limits of the known world. the persian armies met to defeat in greece at the battle of marathon. alexander the great strode in triumph. conquerors of a different kind came a thousand years later when from the arabian peninsula swept in men with flaming swords and a fiery new faith. as the faith islam grew and fellow, the followers of the great prophet mohammed built temples. shah abbas ruled doing the -- during the second persian golden age. the shah