tv American History TV CSPAN July 25, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm EDT
last was legislation. but that changed. events forced the change. >> is there any evidence that a film like "selma," although flawed in the way you presented, does impact people's interest in voting given the abysmal numbers of people who vote in this country? is there any way to measure that? or to measure any public response to an impact such as that? >> -- mr. may: the question is, is the anyway to impact the measure of "selma" on voter activism? that is a tough question. i do not know if social science has done -- i have not seen any
polling that specifically asked does "selma" change their mind about working to a new voting rights act and are you going to get involved? the people are already involved. "selma" did modestly well at the box office. i think i have the figures here. at home, a made $52 million and that is gross. the budget was $20 million. foreign was not good. only $14 million. we really do not know, but now it is on dvd and it is available on netflix, apple tv, your phone
, maybe we will have an answer to that question eventually. maybe this version of "selma" will have an impact. >> has the criticisms of the film from historians been mostly on your side of the camp or has there been a counterbalance from other historians who are backing up the director's approach? mr. may: the question is, are there any historians totally supportive of the film? not that i am aware of. what i did see, the night that i saw the film in november 2014, there was a journalist of their who had actually covered bloody
sunday and other events and he stood up and he said to ava, you got it right. i actually -- i will not mention his name but i written about him in "bending toward justice," and i was shocked that he would say that. because the things he was talking about just wasn't so. >> i moved to alabama in 1963 and i was surprised that local television stations might not carry the segments of the news that the other parts of the country was saying. i wondered if you had looked into this -- we called it living behind the magnolia curtains. as great 1974 in mississippi
you cannot find "new york times" in a bookstore. a local affiliate might not be. what is happening down the road, so many of us were left out of the national news. have you looked at this at all? mr. may: the question is -- was it true that local press coverage of the voting act -- voting rights movement and what was going on in birmingham in 19 to suit they might not have been covered by the alabama press -- in 1963 might not have the covered by the alabama press a local television? my impression is that it was very, very limited and certainly in the press, more in the press. not covered at all. i am thinking of the mississippi clarion ledger that was the most
racist newspaper in mississippi for years. ironically, it was later taken over by a member of the family that owned the paper originally and turned everything around. that paper now has become a force, particularly for investigating the civil rights cold cases reporter named jerry mitchell has been doing fabulous work for the last 10 years. yeah, you were living behind the magnolia curtains. >> would you talk about the impact that you hope your book will have on the current discussion on both civil -- on the supreme court level and the congressional level on the need for a renewal for the civil
rights act? how would you say your history and reporting on it contributes to that debate today? mr. may: the question is -- will my book have an impact on the congress, the courts and help the passage of the new act? it would be wonderful obviously, if it did. sales of the book were not good. now in paperback and they don't seem to be flying off the shelves. in fact, i probably should not say this publicly, but -- oh well -- the publisher of the
original hardcover edition declined to bring it out in paperback, so they sold it off to duke university press which did a lovely job and allowed me to update because my book came out -- the hardcover came out in april of 2013, 2 months before the supreme court decision. people attending. when the paperback -- people were left hanging, so in the paperback i updated. i was pleased that john paul stevens reviewed the book in the "new york" review of books and paste it and used it as an opportunity to attack his former colleagues on the supreme court in the shelby decision. of course, he is retired and it was kind of preaching to the converted in a way. people do not read books.
i wish they did. basic books will not be coming from me again. [laughter] former next book. -- four my next book. the paperback is waiting for you. >> at this point, i would like to speak for the library of congress and encourage people to look for resources here but in other places. newspapers are indexed and available widely by subscription databases and libraries all of the country. if one wants to see what was occurring in newspapers in various parts of the country at different preriods of history, that can be done. but here at the library something that i thought programming this year in february, they ran some documentaries that are part of
our collection. as i looked at them, i had no idea that anything like this had ever appeared. at least one of them was an abc affiliate and i was reminded that there was no abc affiliate in alabama during that period of time. just to look at your library's especially the libra congress if you want to find outstanding unusual resources. mr. may: indeed, i hope c-span kicked it up. i will repeat it -- become your own historians! visit the library of congress and use their resources and you will get a lot of pleasure becoming a historian. that is the fun part. doing the research. >> additionally, you only need to be 15 years of age to get a reader's registration card and be a researcher at the library of congress. mr. may: and in people can
become a story is, too. as young as 15. [laughter] yes? >> i wanted to go back to historical fiction and historical representation which are taken up in the course of the hollywood film. that is interesting. the film will have a limited release but i think the most pernicious thing that happens is when history books in history textbooks start repeating lies which stay with young people even further. use of the people who come into your classroom. it is a reminder of the fact that in texas, the three major causes that are given for the civil war, at this particular date our state rights, economic rights, and slavery in passive. i would ask you to maybe think about what your colleagues are doing, if they are colleagues with the historians writing these post, but that seems to be even more damaging than a work
of historical fiction, if you will, that comes up. mr. may: he notes that the role played by textbooks in distorting history especially in places formerly covered by the voting rights act. >> t y -- thank you all for coming. [applause] as promised, dr. may is going to proceed to record outside to shake your hands and sign a copy of your books which are waiting for you. thank you all for coming to the program. we look forward to seeing you all again. there is one of august 5, the eating of the civil rights passage voting rights act. this will be off-campus. so make a robert hamilton will be giving a presentation and showing her documentary at --
one of the local heroes who was as ever a bit important as the dr. king's and anybody else in the civil rights era. on the sixth back at the library, -- emily crosby, a historian who works for the civil rights history project will be talking as dr. mae has been, teaching history from the bottom up with reference to elaborate congress collections. we look for to seeing you at all of those events. thank you again and give yourselves a hand. [applause] [indiscernible] >> considered underrated by many first lady historians, caroline harrison was an accomplished artist who took up china painting and carried that interest of the white house establishing the china collection. she was interested in women's issues and help to raise funds for john hopkins university on the condition that it admit
women. she was the first president general of the daughters of the american revolution until she died in the white house from tuberculosis. caroline harrison, this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series. "first ladies, influence and image: examining the public and private lives of the women who fill the positions of first ladies and the influence on the presidency." from michelle obama to washington. on "american history to be" on c-span3. >> each week, "american history's" tv tells the story of the 20th century. >> and annual wild pony roundup off the virginia coast descendents of spanish mustangs cast ashore in the 16th century, fiery and untamed, they run wild and great herds of the national wildlife refuge here. ♪
once a year, there are at the half-century event and they will be driven ashore to the auction. first, local youngsters get a chance. rumor has it if a fellow stays on, he can keep the pony but it is not put to the test this time. he climbs ashore for the stampede as the herd is driven across the water to the corrals. ♪ wild descendents of noble and ancient lineage, they are priced breeding stock. there will be a grand auction with wires traveling hundreds of miles for the wild horses. >> june 4 marks the 50th
anniversary of president lyndon johnson's commencement address at howard university. a historically african-american congress -- college in washington d.c. in the speech, president johnson discussed his concern for the plight of the african-american community and outlined his civil rights vision. up next on "american history tv become code that entire 40 minute speech. [applause]
>> lyndon b. johnson, we pay to the for you today for what you are, and when you have done for our country and for mankind and for you propose to do. on this occasion, we wish especially to express our gratitude which is also that of the nation's. concerning us in these uneven and simply changing times with the challenge of society. you have not only challenged us with this concept, this idea, but you are spending your days and nights to see that it is translated into law. through an act of congress one after another. you are bending your name to make this ideal the ideal of
every american man and woman. for you understand that this realization in the finality's rest on the dedication to it by the heart of the nation. you have called us to the idea of the great society. from what you are and from what you propose, we are assuming you have in mind also what some would call a good society. we know you desire with the acknowledgment and the physical material property to the poverty of the spirit. when you called for equal voting rights for all our citizens, you force an upsurge of moral responsibility across our land. when you demand fair housing you dream of the effect of characters i improved surroundings on the character of the parents and on the children for generations to come. you ask not simply for better
housing but for better homes. when you call for civil rights law in america, you see a transformation in american character. [indiscernible] rather whether judgment will be on the basis of our common heritage as children of the same father. we cannot sleep for pondering of dreams for which you have awakened us. from passion for the poor, the week, this fit -- that is inherited, and the land with another's welfare becomes as important to us as our own. a beautiful land long and beyond the highways in every corner of our great sovereign cities. you dream of a just, a free and humane society. lyndon b. johnson, for this and much more, we thank you. now the board of trustees of our generation is speaking to the entire university community. i hereby give the honorary
my favorite event -- my fellow americans, i'm delighted at the chance to speak at this important and this historic institution. howard has long been an outstanding center for the education of negro americans. it is students of every race and color and they come from many countries of the world. it is truly a working example of democratic excellence. [applause] our earth is the home of revolution. in every corner of every continent, men charged with help
contend with ancient ways in the pursuit of justice. they reach for the newest of weapons to realize the oldest of dreams. that each may walk in freedom and pride, stretching his talents, enjoying the fruits of of the earth. our enemies may occasionally sees the day of change -- seize the day of but it is the banner of revolution and our own future is linked to this process of swift and turbulent change in many lands in the world. but not the in any country -- but nothing in any country touches us more profoundly, and nothing is more freighted with
meaning than our own destiny then the revolution of the negro american. in far too many ways, american negroes have been another nation. deprived of freedom, crippled by hatred, the doors of opportunity closed to hope. in our time, change has come to this nation too. the american negro acting with impressive restraint has peacefully protested and marched , entered the courtroom and the seats of government, demanding justice that has long been denied. the voice of the negro was the
call to action. it is a tribute to americans that once aroused, the courts and the congress, the president and most of the people have been the allies of properties -- of progress. thus, we have seen the high courts of the country declare that discrimination based on race was repugnant to the constitution and therefore for it. we have seen in 1957 -- and therefore void. we have seen in 1957, 19 sexy, 1960 four, the first civil rights legislation in this nation -- 1960, 1964, the first civil rights legislation in this nation. [applause]
as majority leader of the united states senate, i help to guide two of these bills through the senate. ask your president -- [applause] as your president, i was proud to sign the third. [applause] and now, very soon, we will have the fourth. [applause] a new law guaranteeing every american the right to vote. [applause] no act of my entire
administration will give me greater satisfaction than the day when my signature makes this bill too, the law of this land. [applause] the voting rights bill will be the latest and among the most important in a long series of victories. this victory as winston churchill said of another proud for freedom, is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. beginning his freedom -- that beginning is freedom, and the barriers to that freedom are tumbling down. [applause]
freedom is the right to share share fully and equally in american society. to vote, to hold a job to enter a public place -- to hold a job, to enter public space to go to school. it is the right to be treated in every part of our national life as a person equal in dignity and promise to all others [applause] . that freedom is not enough. you do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying now you are free to go where you want and do as you desire and choose the leaders you please.
you do not take a person who for years, has been hobbled by change and liberating. bringing up to the starting line of the race and say, you are free to compete with all the others and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. thus, it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. all our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates. this is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. we think not just freedom but opportunity. we seek not just legal equity but human ability.
not just equality has arrived and the theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result. [applause] for the task is to give 20 million negroes the same chance as every other american. to learn and grow, to work and share in society, to develop their abilities, physical mental, and spiritual, and to pursue their individual happiness. [applause] to this end equal
opportunity is essential but not enough. not enough. men and women of all races are born the same range of abilities. product of birth. ability is stretched or stunted by the family that you live with, and the neighborhood you live in--by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. it is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man. this graduating class at howard university is witness to the indomitable determination of the negro american to win his way in american life.
[applause] the number of negroes in schools of higher learning has almost doubled in 15 years. the number of nonwhite professional workers has more than doubled in 10 years. the median income of negro college women tonight exceeds that of white college women. and there are also the enormous accomplishments of distinguished individual negroes -- many of them graduates of this institution, and one of them the first lady ambassador in the history of the united states.
[applause] these are proud and impressive achievements. but they tell only the story of a growing middle class minority, steadily narrowing the gap between them and their white counterparts. but for the great majority of negro americans-the poor, the unemployed, the uprooted, and the dispossessed -- there is a much grimmer story. they still, as we meet here tonight, are another nation. despite the court orders and the laws, despite the legislative
victories and the speeches, for them the walls are rising and the gulf is widening. here are some of the facts of this american failure. thirty-five years ago the rate of unemployment for negroes and whites was about the same. tonight the negro rate is twice as high. in 1948, the 8% unemployment rate for negro teenage boys was actually less than that of whites. by last year that rate had grown to 23%, as against 13% for whites unemployed. between 1949 and 1959, the
income of negro men relative to white men declined in every section of this country. from 1952 to 1963 the median income of negro families compared to white actually dropped from 57% to 53%. in the years 1955 through 1957 22% of experienced negro workers were out of work at some time during the year. in 1961 through 1963 that proportion had soared to 29 %. since 1947 the number of white families living in poverty has decreased 27% while the number of poorer nonwhite families
decreased only 3%. the infant mortality of nonwhites in 1940 was 70 percent greater than whites. twenty-two years later it was 90 % greater. moreover, the isolation of negro from white communities is increasing, rather than decreasing as negroes crowd into the central cities and become a city within a city. of course negro americans as well as white americans have shared in our rising national abundance. but the harsh fact of the matter
is that in the battle for true equality, too many -- far too many -- are losing ground every day. we are not completely sure why this is. we know the causes are complex and subtle. but we do know the two broad basic reasons. and we do know that we have to act. first, negroes are trapped -- as many whites are trapped--in inherited, gateless poverty. they lack training and skills. they are shut in, in slums without decent medical care. private and public poverty combine to cripple their capacities. we are trying to attack these
evils through our poverty program, through our education program, through our medical care and our other health programs, and a dozen more of the great society programs that are aimed at the root causes of this poverty. we will increase, and we will accelerate, and we will broaden this attack in years to come until this most enduring of foes finally yields to our unyielding will. but there is a second cause -- much more difficult to explain more deeply grounded, more desperate in its force.
it is the devastating heritage of long years of slavery; and a century of oppression, hatred, and injustice. for negro poverty is not white poverty. many of its causes and many of its cures are the same. but there are differences-deep corrosive, obstinate differences -- radiating painful roots into the community, and into the family, and the nature of the individual. these differences are not racial differences. they are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice, and present prejudice.
they are anguishing to observe. for the negro they are a constant reminder of oppression. for the white they are a constant reminder of guilt. but they must be faced and they must be dealt with and they must be overcome, if we are ever to reach the time when the only difference between negroes and whites is the color of their skin.
nor can we find a complete answer in the experience of other american minorities. they made a valiant and a largely successful effort to emerge from poverty and prejudice. the negro, like these others will have to rely mostly upon his own efforts. but he just can not do it alone. for they did not have the heritage of centuries to overcome, and they did not have a cultural tradition which had been twisted and battered by endless years of hatred and hopelessness, nor were they excluded -- these others --
because of race or color, a feeling whose dark intensity is matched by no other prejudice in our society. nor can these differences be understood as isolated infirmities. they are a seamless web. they cause each other. they result from each other. they reinforce each other. much of the negro community is buried under a blanket of history and circumstance. it is not a lasting solution to lift just one corner of that blanket. we must stand on all sides and we must raise the entire cover if we are to liberate our fellow citizens. [applause]
one of the differences is the increased concentration of negroes in our cities. more than 73% of all negroes live in urban areas compared with less than 70% of the whites. most of these negroes live in slums. most of these negroes live together -- a separated people. men are shaped by their world. when it is a world of decay, ringed by an invisible wall, when escape is arduous and uncertain, and the saving pressures of a more hopeful society are unknown, it can cripple the youth and it can desolate the men.
there is also the burden that a dark skin can add to the search for a productive place in our society. unemployment strikes most swiftly and broadly at the negro, and this burden erodes hope. blighted hope breeds despair. despair brings indifferences to the learning which offers a way out. and despair, coupled with indifferences, is often the source of destructive rebellion against the fabric of society. there is also the lacerating hurt of early collision with white hatred or prejudice, distaste or condescension. other groups have felt similar
intolerance. but success and achievement could wipe it away. they do not change the color of a man's skin. i have seen this uncomprehending pain in the eyes of the little young mexican-american schoolchildren that i taught many years ago. but it can be overcome. but, for many, the wounds are always open. perhaps most important -- its influence radiating to every part of life -- is the breakdown of the negro family structure. for this, most of all, white america must accept responsibility.
it flows from centuries of oppression and persecution of the negro man. it flows from the long years of degradation and discrimination which have attacked his dignity and assaulted his ability to produce for his family. this, too, is not pleasant to look upon. but it must be faced by those whose serious intent is to improve the life of all americans. only a minority -- less than half of all negro children reach the age of 18 having lived all their lives with both of their parents.
at this moment, tonight, little less than two-thirds are at home with both of their parents. probably a majority of all negro children receive federally-aided public assistance sometime during their childhood. the family is the cornerstone of our society. more than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes the ambitions, and the values of the child. and when the family collapses it is the children that are usually damaged. when it happens on a massive scale the community itself is crippled. so, unless we work to strengthen the family, to create conditions
under which most parents will stay together -- all the rest: schools, and playgrounds, and public assistance, and private concern, will never be enough to cut completely the circle of despair and deprivation. there is no single easy answer to all of these problems. jobs are part of the answer. they bring the income which permits a man to provide for his family. decent homes in decent surroundings and a chance to
learn -- an equal chance to learn -- are part of the answer. welfare and social programs better designed to hold families together are part of the answer. care for the sick is part of the answer. an understanding heart by all americans is another big part of the answer. [applause] and to all of these fronts -- and a dozen more -- i will dedicate the expanding efforts of the johnson administration. [applause] [applause] but there are other answers that
are still to be found. nor do we fully understand even all of the problems. therefore, i want to announce tonight that this fall i intend to call a white house conference of scholars, and experts, and outstanding negro leaders -- men of both races -- and officials of government at every level. this white house conference's theme and title will be "to fulfill these rights." [applause] its object will be to help the american negro fulfill the rights which, after the long time of injustice, he is finally
about to secure. to move beyond opportunity to achievement. to shatter forever not only the barriers of law and public practice, but the walls which bound the condition of many by the color of his skin. [applause] to dissolve, as best we can, the antique enmities of the heart which diminish the holder, divide the great democracy, and do wrong -- great wrong -- to the children of god. and i pledge you tonight that this will be a chief goal of my administration, and of my program next year, and in the years to come.
[applause] and i hope, and i pray, and i believe, it will be a part of the program of all america. for what is justice? it is to fulfill the fair expectations of man. thus, american justice is a very special thing. for, from the first, this has been a land of towering expectations. it was to be a nation where each man could be ruled by the common consent of all -- enshrined in law, given life by institutions, guided by men themselves subject to its rule.
and all -- all of every station and origin -- would be touched equally in obligation and in liberty. beyond the law lay the land. it was a rich land, glowing with more abundant promise than man had ever seen. here, unlike any place yet known, all were to share the harvest. and beyond this was the dignity of man. each could become whatever his qualities of mind and spirit would permit -- to strive, to seek, and, if he could, to find his happiness.
this is american justice. we have pursued it faithfully to the edge of our imperfections, and we have failed to find it for the american negro. so, it is the glorious opportunity of this generation to end the one huge wrong of the american nation and, in so doing, to find america for ourselves, with the same immense thrill of discovery which gripped those who first began to realize that here, at last, was a home for freedom. [applause]
(202) 748-8000 all it will take is for all of us to understand what this country is and what this country must become. the scripture promises, "i shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart, which shall not be put out." together, and with millions more, we can light that candle of understanding in the heart of all america. and, once lit, it will never again go out. [applause]
>> they, here on american history tv, we look exit years to the passage of the 1965 voting rights act. we will go behind the scenes with white house telephone calls between resident lyndon johnson and his aides and civil rights leader, martin luther king jr. and members of congress as they strategize how to enact and enforce voting rights legislation. lbj's domestic policy the pfizer and -- domestic policy advisor
and a historian jonas for the conversation about the politics hide the law. following that discussion, we will hear lbj's capitol rotunda speech before he signs the voting rights bill on august 6 1965. that is sunday, august 2 here on c-span 3's american history tv. >> each week, american history tv's railamerica brings archival films that help tell the story of the 20th century. ♪ >> one of vengeful day and leningrad for vice president nixon and his party. the vice president about the good part of this tour to handshaking, accompanying news men. some of the russians were startled by u.s. campaigning tactics. in some places, both on the
streets and in the factories. most of the crowds proved big. russians got mr. nixon's message of goodwill. a high spot of the day and leningrad was an infection of the nuclear plant. at first the vice president was given only a superficial tour, but then they demanded to be shown just as much as they were allowed to see of our plants. the role was the first american to see the reactor. he spent two hours aboard while the present -- vice president mingled with the shipyard workers. mr. nixon told the crowd that the soviets and estate of
the state of alaska were only 40 miles apart. one of the most effective moments and mr. nixon's remarkable tour of russia. >> considered underrated by many first lady historians, caroline harrison was an accomplished artist that took up china painting and took the interest of the white house, establishing its china co collection. she was interested women's issues and helped raise funds for johns hopkins university on the condition that they admit women. caroline henderson, the sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's original series "first ladies: influence and image." from martha washington to
michelle obama. sundays at 8:00 eastern on american history tv on seas and three -- c-span 3. >> it is almost as if it was a matter of accident. >> twice as enough. >> almost always right. >> almost anything complicated confuses us. >> filmmakers robert gordon and neville talk about their documentaries on the debate between buckley and thevidal over politics and sex. >> today, i believe there is someone saying the numbers are dwindling. talk about hot topics hot topic number two, whereas then, i do
not think that was the norm in the tv of the time. i do not think these guys needed , as morgan said, they did not need that. >> howard k smith was the moderator, who i think was really embarrassed by this. he was moderating, but he disappears or sometimes five or more minutes at a time. today you wouldn't have a moderator not jumping every 30 seconds. i think really, everybody at abc just it back and let the fire burn. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern c-span's q&a. >> each week, american artifacts takes you to museums and historic places. up next in the second of the two-part look at the museum of the american revolution, we see highlights of the artifact collection. >> i am scott stevenson. i'm in charge of the team