tv The Civil War CSPAN September 12, 2015 10:00pm-11:41pm EDT
hamilton will be here if you have any questions. but please enjoy this space. make sure you take in the program at 12:30 on the second floor conference room upstairs. thank you and have a nice day. [applause] >> to join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-span history. >> now a roundtable of public talkrians and authors about the successes of the civil war more than 150 years later and how it compared to earlier anniversary celebrations. they describe the changes in how parks have interpreted the civil war era over the years and challenges in engaging younger
generations and minority groups. the emerging civil war blog hosted this event. it is about an hour and a half. >> we have a number of speakers tomorrow to speak about those specific legacies. tonight it's a night for you to ask your questions. what did the war mean? how do we still remember it? how is it still with us? i'm going to toss out a couple of questions to our panel, let them answer, and then we will start taking questions from you in the audience to feed off some of the comments. let me introduce our panelists tonight. starting on the left of the table, chris white, a former historian with the national battlefield, a licensed battlefield guide at gettysburg. you can probably drop him on any field and he will tell you this regiment was right here and the shoe size of the colonel.
[laughter] >> chris is also the emeritus editor of the "emerging civil war" book series. please welcome chris white. to the right of him is a man that needs no introduction because i've introduced him once already tonight, dana shoaf, the editor of "civil war times" magazine. he has been here 16 years. one of the most fabulous and gracious editors anyone in this business could work with. thank you for agreeing to be on our panel tonight. [applause] >> next to dana is matt atkinson. matt is a little difficult to explain. [laughter] >> matt joins us from the gettysburg park where he is an
historical interpreter and ranger. he has worked at pittsburgh and petersburg. he is a native of mississippi. we have asked them to be on the panel tonight because he has the coolest accent of anyone in the room. [laughter] [applause] >> [indiscernible] >> all you have to do is speak. [laughter] >> next is emmanuel dabney. he has an appendix in our latest series where he talks about events at wilson's wharf. he is a talented young man who has spent much time bringing attention to the colored troops, the freedmen's bureau, and most importantly the energy that attracts people to a story that
is 150 years old. [applause] >> rob is the historic site supervisor for prince william county. he is in charge of a number of their various historic sites. he serves on the board of directors for the virginia association of museums, the board of director for the civil war trails, and newly elected to the board of the mosby heritage area, a place where as a young man he fell in love with the civil war many years ago. [applause] >> and finally, the foremost authority on cavalry in the civil war. he joins us tonight from columbus, ohio. he has a list of publications as long as your lanyards. many of them are upstairs. please feel free to take a look at eric's books.
one of the things that is most impressive about eric's last year he served as our keynote speaker, and he said he is at a point in his career where he wants to work with younger historians to help mentor them and provide them the same guidance so many people provided him as he has been growing up in his career. we are very pleased to have eric joining us tonight. [applause] >> i'm going to start us off with a slow, underhanded softball pitch. i will ask chris to stand at the plate to start. the sesquicentennial is behind us, but the civil war is still very much with us as indicated over the last few months. with the sesquicentennial fresh in our minds, what is the takeaway for us? chris: thanks for having me. that is an interesting question
posed to a panel last week in new york. we were there for the 154th new york regiment family reunion where they have come together, descendents have come together, for the last 30 years to meet. it was an interesting mixture of people. it reminded me of the postwar coming together of the soldiers on the battlefield. it was an eye-opening experience. as we sat up there last week and i answered the same question, what came to mind to me, and i would be very interested to hear what they say to this. i would not have said this a few months ago. i thought the sesquicentennial turned out to be more of a failure than it could have been with the shootings in charleston
illuminated we failed to reach a certain point of an audience maybe it is because of the confederate flag issue and other underlying issues that people had not tackled the sesquicentennial to the extent i thought they would have. i volunteered at many events. we would see a lot of enthusiastic folks like yourself. we would go to the next battlefield, the next anniversary, and see the same 400 people that came to the last event. we would see a sprinkling of new faces. it was interesting to see how there was a core group that kept coming out. our blog has reached a new audience. we do see a younger audience coming in. we also see older folks come in and engage with us. i thought that was one takeaway. in may, i would have had a different answer. i was shocked to see the reactions on social media.
maybe we failed to reach a portion of the audience. it could be because of lack of funding. it could be the recession. it could be that people are arguing world war ii has become more of a hot button issue to talk about. that is something i took away from it. maybe we failed to engage a certain part of the community to bring them in and get new blood into it. it was interesting to hear what dana had to say about that. dana: i let some other folks talk and can gladly talk later. matt? matt: it is called the hot potato. [laughter] i don't know how to compare the 150th because i was not hear from the left for the 100th or 125th. i can tell you now that we were having a discussion today about
lower visitations at the various battlefield parks. i don't know if the country will suffer from a hangover from too much civil war. i hope to see the younger crowd getting into it. social media is going for us. does this translate to people coming into the parks and continued interest going forward? that is what concerns me. in larger civil war parks that you would think would be full, i am not saying they are ghost towns but there has been a dramatic drop off in visitations. the 150th? i don't know. if you think about trying to plan an event for each park or to make everything special and differentiate between each park, how would you do that?
how do you make your own site unique? i think if you judge -- you're going to make me say it -- the sesquicentennial -- by its merits, i think you would have to go park by park. it was a chance, to me, being in a larger civil war park, it was a chance for me to see the smaller civil war parks shine, such as petersburg which does not have the visitation i have. the spotlight in 2014 was upon them or appomattox in 2015. i thought that was the great thing that came out from the sesquicentennial going forward. emmanuel: i hate that the 150th was a failure. [laughter]
>> how can we possibly take offense? >> we have pistols. emmanuel: i say that only because i missed the 100th because i wasn't even thought about. 125th, i was around but a little kid more interested in superheroes than being a civil war curator at a national park. but my mom was a young adult, almost i guess, she was graduating from high school in 1965, a segregated high school in a little county south of petersburg. she had no engagement whatsoever with the civil war, zero.
she missed part of the 150th. growing up, i realized i would not become a superhero, so i guess i needed a real job. i ended up at the civil war battlefield. it was my interest that sparked her to read and study and go with me, carry me, no child can drive. with the 150th, it brought the civil war to a little community in vermont who had a series of articles in their local newspaper. in virginia, many of you are familiar with the history mobile that crossed the state, went out of the state for antietam, gettysburg, north carolina for some little event down there.
it went to peanut festivals and barbecue events and political events. where the civil war may not have happened in the sense of gettysburg with its thousands of people every day of the week, people engaged with the civil war in different ways. maybe they did not come to the battlefield, but they read about it in the newspaper. so i think because we did not have half a million people at each event is not the way to judge whether it was successful or not. rob: you have to figure out how you will quantify success.
i say to look at how strong the civil war trust has gotten in the last five years. i see it as a success because of the fact so much land has been preserved. maybe if some people today do not find interest in it, that land is there so the stories can be told. i see it as a land preservation success, which i think public historians are using as a goal for their research and telling stories. >> i have a different perspective because i spent five years as a member of the governor's sesquicentennial commission. we were sent into a fight with both hands tied behind our backs. the museum of ohio appropriated us a grand total of $50,000 for five years.
we had $10,000 a year to spend. obviously, we did not get much done. it was frustrating. it eventually reached the point where i stopped going to the meetings because it was a waste of time. we couldn't do anything. it was not a valuable use of my time. i went off and did my own thing, as i often do. i ended up attending a bunch of different sesquicentennial events. it ran the gamut from about 40 , the day of the commemoration at five forks, of course it snowed that day, that may have had something to do with it, to 30,000 at bentonville this past march. it shocked me how many people were there. i had no expectation of anything close to that big of a crowd at a state park battlefield. they had 30,000 people on one saturday.
another 25,000 on sunday. it was spectacular. i ran out of books to sell midafternoon on saturday. i ended up volunteering at the reenactment to have something to do. it was remarkable to see the size of the crowd that went to watch this reenactment. i think it is hard to say it has been a failure. it is also hard to say it has been a complete success. i think you have to look at things on a case-by-case basis. in ohio, it was a spectacular failure because we got no support from anybody. in other places like bentonville, it was a spectacular success. how do you quantify that? >> lots of different levels or lack of support. if we are looking at different metrics of success, eric talked about selling out of books, readership, you are plugged into the publishing industry. what do you see as far as
readership trends? dana: i'm sorry to say we did not see a massive uptick in subscriptions. i almost want to divorce that from the sesquicentennial because the publishing industry is facing a lot of challenges. i have had to take the philosophical approach. look at the increase in the number of blogs over the past five years, and high-quality blogs getting traffic. i look at them and see comments on them as well. although we did not experience this massive uptick i was hoping for, we stayed stable which is good. beyond that, i was with the magazine at two outreach events,
the 150th commemoration at gettysburg and appomattox. at those events, i was thrilled with the outpouring of the public that came to them. i was at bentonville as well. it was also, as eric said, very well attended. there were some events really well attended. i think for some of us, the feeling of disappointment, i was born during the centennial. i kind of grew up in the afterglow of it. i was not part of that, but i remember reading about it, finding stuff in "life" magazines and things of that nature and looking at these massive crowds. the allowed reenactments on the national parks at the time. i felt this was not as big as the centennial, but it is a different era. when you parse it down further, the centennial was very simplistic.
blue versus gray, let's fight the battle. i thought the sesquicentennial -- i said that pretty well -- was pretty sophisticated in the programming offered. i found it impressive the depth of presentation offered at state park sites drilling down into the social experience, the united states colored troops experience. there was a breadth to it that did not exist during the centennial. maybe if you look at quality over quantity, we can gauge it as a success. purely in dollars and cents terms, there is a lot more pull for the entertainment dollar now than there was in the 1960's. people have a lot more options to amuse themselves. we could go down the rabbit hole and say, how is high school history treating them people and
is a capturing their emotions and making them want to study history and go to things like this? but i am afraid you would have to have an entire symposium devoted to that. i know we don't want to do that, so i will pass it back over to chris. >> if we agree there are many different ways to look at the success or lack of success with the sesquicentennial, that was still a good excuse to focus on the civil war. now we don't have that excuse. why should we keep looking at the civil war? >> what has happened recently in the united states, it is an unhealed country. reconstruction was clearly a failure. a lot of us can agree with that. these are deep-seated issues. it is not just the confederate flag. there are a lot of deep-seated issues they go beyond a flag on
a flagpole. there are a lot of people that still feel disenfranchised going back to the roots of the civil war and reconstruction. i think it is very interesting. looking even in the state of pennsylvania a few years ago, we were having problems with what was being perceived as a poll tax or voters being bullied because voters had to get an i.d. card of some sort to be registered to vote. you have this show some sort of photographic i.d.
a large part of the population in pittsburgh and pennsylvania did not have those identification cards. it was like a form of voter intimidation you would see in the days following the civil war. we definitely still have those issues floating out there. that is one way of looking at it. we can go beyond the battlefield and tackle some of those issues. there is definitely fertile ground that needs to be tilled there in academia and public history. eric: when i am not writing history, i am a lawyer. that is how adults get paid. unfortunately, history does not pay the bills. but i digress. one of the things that fascinates me is we are revisiting legal issues that occurred in the century prior to -- a half century prior to the civil war. they are rearing their ugly heads again. nullification. how much discussion do you hear of people who are disgruntled with the fact there is someone in office who does not share their philosophy? they say we don't like that so we will nullify the laws. how did that work out the last time? not real well.
yet here we are 150 years later having the same conversations. george was right when he said those who do not learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat them. emmanuel: i wanted to piggyback on the law end of that, we get some amendments in the aftermath of the civil war. that is the legacy that continues to pop up in legal cases. some of them dealt with in the last cycle in the supreme court where you cannot ignore the constitution is dramatically different by 1875 than it had been in 1855, when all of these wonderful changes are happening in how we kill each other. there had been no change in how we treated some people.
if we are going to continue, and i do think we are, someone asked me at work one day, you are young, do you think we will ever be done with race in america? no, i just don't. on one level, that is ok. on another level, it is not ok because we seem to continue to kill each other instead of talking about what is exciting about being diverse. these things are going to continue to pop up and swirl around in large part because a lot of people in certain classes of the economic system live a much more diverse world than a lot of other people in this country. we think i know someone who is asian, poor, rich, or better off than i am. i am middle-class. i have a car, a job.
i have people down the street who have adopted kids of different cultures and ethnic groups. that is not how most people are living in large pockets of this country. for them, that sort of world that this chris was mentioning is not so foreign. it is every day since 150 years ago and in the 100 years maybe before that. >> that is pretty heavy to follow. [laughter] rob: when you look at the visitors who come to our site and battlefields, one thing we all have in common is storytelling. if you have an interpreter or guide who tells a good story, you are going to pull in someone who does not fight an interest
in the civil war. i will pick on my wife because she is not here. when we go places, she can pick up a good storyteller. if a person on the civil war tour can capture her, that is a good interpreter. i think americans in general love to hear good stories. it is entertainment. a graduate professor the first day of school said, why do we study history? he said we study history to entertain people and tell good stories of what happened. the other deeper meanings come from that. i think the interest in the civil war will always be there because it is here. you can visit these places. world war ii is interesting and important, but it can be hard for us to pay for the plane ticket to fly to france or germany. you can see the stories and where they happened here. dana is right about education.
we could take a couple of days to talk about why high schools do not teach american history. that is something good teachers are working on. if the sites tell good stories, people will come because they will want to hear the stories. >> matt? matt: i get the final word, fantastic. i don't know why the civil war still has meaning. coming from mississippi, i think i can say with certainty there never been a republican elected locally since reconstructed. they are elected nationally but not locally. you're wasting your time to run republican. in pennsylvania, you might as well not run democratic because you're wasting your time doing that. that is the legacy of the civil war that directly comes out of that. i think part of the mentality -- i don't see it so much with the
north. maybe gettysburg has more people from all over the country. in the south, in mississippi, it is kind of static. it is obviously more conservative. it goes back to those roots. you can still see in some pockets like when we were driving down here today, you can still see despite the traffic some of old virginia stuck in between these highways. you can see what it was 50 years ago or something like that. in mississippi, people are not sitting around worrying about the civil war. they are the same as ohio, indiana, or anywhere else in the country. they don't sit around all day and get their paycheck and go down to the bar and say i hate the yankees.
[laughter] >> they might hate the baseball team. [laughter] matt: but when they do focus upon it, i was at vicksburg one time. i don't mean to overplay this. but the unique thing about it to me was that when people got focused on the civil war, mostly southerners and locals, they would drive three or four hours to come to vicksburg. during that time in that car ride, they have figured out somebody had mistreated their ancestors. by the time they got to vicksburg, that somebody would be the federal government. [laughter] matt: so despite myself having plenty of confederate ancestors, i became the representative of that. so they would tee off on me about the transgressions of 150 years ago, 140 years ago. it was quite unique to see it.
one of the kids down in the deep south, these are civil war hats, and that we sold 10 to one confederate to union caps. in the north, i bet it is completely reversed. that is a legacy of the civil war because people come to these historic sites, and they are basing their interpretation upon their ancestry. like you were talking about fredericksburg and so forth. you were proud of that. the further we get away it from, it's going to be harder and harder to stay in touch with it, but on the other hand, it is still alive and it will always be with us, because there's always going to be questions that are just not going to be answered. there's never going to be that definitive answer to just pick your choice right there.
>> talk about angry letters, i've heard you talk about angry visitors, things that are said. as someone who's worked the battlefields myself, i've had people who are still living the war in some way, even if they're not going down to the bar on friday night. what's been your experience, what do you do with people who might be carrying the war with them in some way? >> i'll take care of that. i had some guy leave a review of one of my books on amazon, gave it one star and absolutely blasted it. why? because i didn't portray the confederacy and its soldiers as being evil nazi-like creeps who were out to be nothing but evil and do evil. and that just floored me. the historian's job isn't to pass judgment.
the historian's job is to interpret. i don't pass judgments. but he blasted my book because i didn't paint the confederates as these evil nazi-like reaches just staggered me and made me say what in the world is wrong with this guy in a much more colorful language. [laughter] >> if you run a million people through a building, you're going to get some angry people. it might not even be about the civil war. sometimes you get some couples in there been in the car too long. [laughter]
just see it coming right there. you know, you just never know what you're going to get. i had a european one time walk up to the desk and he meant well. he had the american flag draped around him like a cape, like superman and he walked away from the desk and i turned to my co-worker and i said he'll never make it out of the front door dressed like that. on sure enough, somebody complained about that, because they didn't feel he should be wearing the flag. that's another story. when i first started, i would engage. i guess i've gotten punch drunk to it over time. when i hear angry -- and i -- you know, from lincoln being the greatest president of all time to a tyrant to robert e. lee to as a traitor to the greatest thing of the south. once you hear all the spectrum or the broad range of opinions, you eventually get like muhammad ali, you remember when he was older what his strategy is. it was called the rope-a-dope. what do you do? you just let them punch themselves out.
once they tire themselves out, maybe then you can communicate with them. most of the time otherwise, they've their point to make and you've just got to let them go. because why? the customer is still king. [laughter] >> anybody have any questions -- the gentlemen? >> ok. i'm going to start my question basically as a statement, because i was involved with spotsylvania county for four years or so on the tourism and special events commission. and the county, as the sesqui-centennial arrived took great pride in being the first county in the commonwealth to have a sesqui-centennial commission and it was also, unfortunately, i think one of
the first to drop it due to so-called budgetary constraints. but just saying that, and going through the past four years of what spotsylvania county did to celebrate the sesquicentennial is hold fireworks displays, as far as they're concerned, big bang for the buck. they passed on a lot of the history. but the one thing they did do was to assist the commemoration of the first black regiment to fire on the army of northern virginia, the 23rd usct's. they helped facilitate a commemorative march where they
proceeded from the ruins to an intersection called ross' cavalry. with that in mind, that's the most important i think has come out of the sesquicentennial. number one, the african-american community which was completely dismissed during the previous event 50 years ago, the centennial, was more engaged and having heard for years that african-americans don't visit battlefields, i was very pleasantly pleased that over the years i have seen an increase, not only here in spotsylvania but manassas and gettysburg. i think the african-american community has had an engagement now with the legacy of the civil war and they're embracing it, knowing primarily the fact that the individuals who i put together with the 23rd usct were locals who had no idea that this
was what occurred with their ancestors and, you know, these are former slaves from fredericksburg and surrounding counties, actually came to this county and fired the first shots against the south. i think this is encouraging. unfortunately, we have the incident in charleston by a little coward who kind of diminished everything that we had gained. we had just got through 150 years and i think we were about to hang our hat up with some pride on this. but upon that, the engagement of the african-american community, i hand it to you all. what do you think of that? that is the most important thing, i believe. >> i'll start off real quick with that.
i've definitely seen more book signings, more round tables, definite larger engagement. when i was at the parks service, the first week of training, they came in to do one of our training sessions and said you'll be able to count on one hand how many african-americans come through the door. i think one of the important things is getting out and gauging that community and the longest time it was figure out just how to do it. and i've seen some very good shots at it and i've seen some very, very, very poor shots at it just down the road here at the cell phone wall jackson shrine. i can think of an incidents involving one of my colleagues. we can see it through our blog and facebook pages along those lines. not sure how that translated out on to the battlefield so i'll pass it down this way. >> i can't really speak to the battlefield because that's not my work environment where i
spend a lot of my time, although i've made notes to my colleagues, in the past few years when i've been out of on battlefields, which i do quite frequently, i've seen more african-american presence than i've seen in the previous sesqui-centennial. and i do find that heartening. i can't remember exactly the day, but i think about three or four years ago we ran a cover on "civil war times" with the united states troops on the cover. i was told not to do that because it wouldn't sell well. and it didn't sell well, unfortunately. a few years later we tried it again. and someone will have to help me because i'm drawing a blank on the names. the famous picture of the african-american holding the bowie knife with the -- >> chandler. >> the chandler image. we ran the chandler cover and
didn't include andrew. that ran very well. it was a story about black troops, slaves in the confederate army. i apologize. i'm again drawing a blank. this sometimes happens, but we ran most recently a cover image of the african-american slave, the arlington woman that they found -- >> selena gray. >> selena gray, thank you. they found her image in england. and i was told, do you really want to do this? it's female, which is a risk. it is, to some extent, and an african-american. we went ahead and ran it and that cover was a strong seller. sold quite well. not even a military topic. ok.
so from my yard stick, my ability to measure what john was talking about african-american engagement, i just through what i can view -- i'm not saying all african-americans are buying those but the interest in that story is definitely increasing and i've seen, i know, tangible evidence through my work and intangible when i'm out just observing. so i think it's a positive thing. >> that's my girl, selena gray. yeah. there's definitely been a change, a pleasant change in the interest in the experience of black people during the civil
war. from soldiers to slaves to free blacks. in some ways, i guess i'm going to say -- i disagreed earlier but i somewhat agree now. 150th missed the free black experience in this country. it was slaves and soldiers and we missed this group of people which i care about because my family were free blacks, most of them, during the civil war. but, anyway, where we did engage, whatever status people had, free, enslaved, in between, contraband status, and the soldier or naval experiences, there has certainly within more interest. i just gave a tour last weekend in petersburg about the experiences of free blacks and slaves before and during the civil war, had a good turnout. i stuck around another 30 minutes after the tour ended answering questions.
arranging for other dates people could have me come talk to their church and their school and their family and blah, blah, blah. in that way we certainly have moved beyond where we were 50 years ago when black people were struggling to vote and eat at a lunch counter and walk through the front door of a store and purchase something. we had a -- when i say we, i didn't experience it. but we this nation had a set of different priorities 50 years ago than maybe we thought we did in 2010-2015, perhaps now we've realized we have not crossed into the world of the so-called post racial america. and to get to that point i think
now the n.p.s. has started to move beyond just black and white. this country is composed of many different people. if you don't know, someone published a book about hispanics during the civil war, one about asians during the civil war, and one on american indians during the civil war and it was great for me. i got to work on some of those publications and i'm getting stories, can you comment on this asian soldier at your battlefield? i'm like, wait a minute, there's an asian soldier in here? and it's -- and it's like there wasn't just one. there was this one and this one. so it's making those of us who have worked in this world for a
while reanalyze what we think we know. >> real quick. i think and we've talked about this a lot. it's not just a civil war site issue. it's a museum issue. a lot of surveys have been done. a lot of it's about distrust about what the story the museums are telling. i actually think civil war museums tell a better story than others. when you start telling the stories of the usct free blacks and slaves who have an interest are going to start coming out and learning their histories. you're right, we did miss a lot of stories but i think it was better than the. -- i think it was better than stories of the 125th was. but it's a problem that all museums are having. i operate many historic sites and it's a problem we have trying to get the african-american community out
to our sites and a lot of it is dialoguing, but it does work, especially civil war sites. i think we do a better job than other museums do. >> giving a different perspective on this, but as the member of the state of ohio's sesquicentennial commission, i was one of 24 people on the commission. three were african-american, one of whom was an african-american woman. we went out of our way to make sure that there was a significant presence on the commission to represent the viewpoint. and we also really went out of our way to make sure that the little bit of programming that we were able to afford to do included things like focusing on ohio's role as a major waypoint in the underground railroad and focusing on the fact that african-americans play a major role in the union winning the war and looking at these issues. so while wed ha no budget to -- so while we had no budget to work with, which was a shame, we at least had the resource
available to do the best we could with it. and we made a conscious decision to be as inclusive of that segment of the community as we could for the simple reason that it hadn't been represented previously and it needed to be. >> one of the questions i get is you can't understand modern race relations in america unless you've looked at the civil war and the aftermath of the civil war. it seems like race remains the great unspoken conversation in america. and for better or worse, one of the strongest legacies of the war. what do you guides think about that? are we able to talk about race as a country? are we having conversations that we need to? >> let me follow up on the last question a little bit. you jumped the gun on me.
just looking at what dana and emanuel and eric were saying, our readership, we can always see what our top posts are. we have analytics, we can see this. i always found it interesting. we can post gettysburg and that's always well read. we can post something that's about mud and blood. two of our greatest articles, about women's roles as nurses out in virginia is always in our top five almost on a daily basis. as well as another article done by stewart henderson which is simply about african-americans in the american civil war. we don't -- we can't tell if this is school kids using this maybe for a project. we can't tell if it's someone who's just trying to get interested in the african-american experience. it was always interesting to those of us who every year when we look at our top 10 are usually within the top five, if not one or two.
they go back and forth with that. with the race relations as you're asking, clearly it's a hot button issue with everything that's going on with facebook. i've seen a lot more civil war stories than are out there than i ever expected. a lot more experts than i found out -- i've learned a lot about the civil war. really, i need to go get my money back from my two colleges, because i've learned a lot more in the last two weeks -- >> and they're lawyers, too, right? >> that's right. they're all lawyers. >> they all think they're lawyers. >> billable hours. but i think there's a lot that can be said with the race relations. i think that's a topic that doesn't get talked a lot about on battlefields, obviously you're looking at a context. you have a feature in front of you. you have a battlefield. the battle of fredericksburg took place in the city and the city actually went through a number of union occupations, and
to see the reactions of the confederates and the union people at the time, the confederate people here interacting with the union folks who had come down and seeing the slaves actually self-emancipating themselves and going across the river is all about respecting. we have people complaining about these yankees coming down here and talking about their villainy, where at the same time there's a diary that talks about this is my freedom and i can get away from here. so race relations, i think, especially nowadays, it's all about the context. the things on facebook by the mobs, i don't think is getting us anymore. you want to insult one another from your computer, that's perfectly fine. i don't think it's instructive in any way, shape, or form. it needs to go into other areas,
if it be taking down a confederate flag, if that's what that state wants to do, i think you need to have a debate about what's going on in the country, not screaming matches and people who know nothing acting like no-it-alls, going out and attacking each other. >> well, yeah, but the question is race relations in the civil war? i don't know. i think the recent -- i know the recent vandalism of confederate monuments hurt me very deeply. i don't know how else to put it. i didn't think that was necessary by any stretch of the imagination. i think i have my come-to moment encounter when i was in -- north of atlanta and i was with a group that was looking at civil war fortifications, and we were looking at these various forts.
they were never even involved in combat. they were called shoupades named after general shoup. i couldn't even take you there today. but they took us to the backside of a neighborhood and in the back of it there was the remains of this little fort. it's like the only remaining five of -- this fort in the front of it was trash. i mean bags. i'm not talking about something sitting down there drinking cold beer. i'm talking about somebody dumping bag loads of trash in there. i turned to the tour leader and said why do people do this? do they not know the history? this is the only thing on this side of the river. and we looked at me and he said this is not their history.
so i think that moment to me and going back to -- i don't know if it applies to race relations. i guess it does to a certain extent. but going forward, i think how do you make history relevant to people who it is not quote unquote, their history. when you come to gettysburg you have 160,000 white guys and it's going to be very hard to change that fact right there. how do you make it relevant to the rest of the nation? that's the challenge, i think, going forward as we become more diverse. >> i talk about race every time that i'm working with visitors at my battlefield in petersburg because we, one, the city in 1816, 3,200 free blacks enslaved people, and a little over 9,000 white people, so the city is almost half black.
and then during the war years, especially once the military events of june 1864 to april 1865 are happening, they're the largest concentrated use of black soldiers in any civil war campaign. so most of our visitors know us. if they know us, they know us from the battle of the crater, an event that has direct your -- has direct dramatic use, not in the sense of numbers. it's 4,300 u.s. colored troops in the battlefield, but the level of anger that they have against the confederate soldiers, the confederate soldiers have against then and the union groups realized to get out of this, we better start taking out some of these black soldiers, in an effort that was
they admit, to preserve white men's lives. the focus of -- i'm not going to say in the present anyway, -- anymore, but our military parks were focused on at 9:00 a.m. who shot who. at 9:05, who left and marched two miles. two hours later, so and so -- we've been operating at a very macro level and we're just now in the last, say, 30 years moving toward a micro level historically, you know, books being published. the nps has maybe only in the last 15 years or so they've made that same move. and so we don't know enough too often about the larger context beyond the battlefield.
why are black troops fighting in the civil war? for a variety of reasons, but one may be that they're not even considered citizens and that there was no pathway, not to get into a modern political conversation, but there's no pathway to citizenship according to the supreme court in 1857. if you don't know about dread scott, you can't understand the civil war. you can't understand why some black people not that i'm advocating this. -- i've in fact made it very clear online that i don't support tagging monuments -- but there has been a long history of black people feeling they're not positioned for power. when you don't feel that way, you will find some power, maybe not in the most productive way. >> one of the things that i find particularly concerning is the rise of neo confederate
sentiment. one of the corner stones of neoconfederate sentiment is slavely wasn't so bad, and the war wasn't about slavery. all of which is intended to cast the abomination of human bondage in a much more favorable light so that the confederacy is viewed as a wonderful thing. and that in turn leads to the deification of people like nathan bedford forest. my thoughts on him are well known and i won't bore you with it. but what concerns me most about forest is this guy was the grand wizard of the ku klux klan. yet he is viewed as this neoconfederate idol. but this whole group that's trying to paint slavery as benign is something that concerns me more than i can say.
and i don't know how we combat that other than to continue to try and educate people, but it is a very scary and very concerning trend. and as this anger at the government among a certain portion of society seems to spread and this type of rhetoric spreads, it really worries me because i'm seeing a lot of things being said that were said in the 1850's. we have to learn from our mistakes, or we will repeat them. >> we have another question over here. >> i want to look at the
sesqui-centennial in terms of the public history perspective. we're coming up on two very important anniversaries that are going to generate lots of national conversations. the 50th anniversary of vietnam. where i am at the mcarthur memorial, question i would have -- by the way, that touches petersburg and gettysburg both. the question that i would have, looking back through the civil war, looking ahead to these two commemorations that are starting, is there any advice you'd give people who are engaged in this, any best practices that can be carried forward or any other sort of perspective, you know, kind of best lessons learned out of the civil war sesqui-centennial that can let us discuss these very important anniversaries coming up? >> [inaudible] funding.
[laughter] sorry. that was just an easy answer. anybody want -- >> practically, do not prepare mayonnaise food in an event in july when it's 105 degrees. at a site in northern virginia. so vietnam, that is a tough issue. i don't know. i feel like we were talking about this earlier in the second world war, there's still lots of vietnam war, but a lot of people who experienced that event. i think that the takeaway from what this country did not do is we need to make effort every -- every effort that we can to interview people who experienced the vietnam era.
i think we don't need to make the mistake we're doing is only interviewing soldiers or sailors or marines or whatever. we need to interview family members and people who didn't have anyone to go. people who were at tests. the support, the nya. we all know that we missed a lot from the civil war, because we didn't interview these people and parties are hard to interview when you don't have a recording device. then by the time we got around to that side of it, most of those folks were gone. so i think this is time to make good use of our oral history skills if you don't have them, find someone who does and certainly the first world war is to find ways like ron was saying earlier, it's hard to go to france and see the battlefields, but to find a way that we can connect what happened during that war to where we were.
side note, we're working on it at petersburg. >> just quickly to concur with what he was saying, particularly with the vietnam war. there is tremendous opportunity to interview veterans and involve them in the anniversary commemoration. so that's something, of course, couldn't be done with the civil war, but i realize you can't draw exact parallels, and reading and looking back, when there were civil war veterans around, the commemorations were remarkably several, and there's a lot of debate about the addition of african-americans at that time, but i think that because of the controversy when
a lot of vietnam veterans came home -- and i do remember that. i was too young to serve but i remember seeing the war on tv. it's just stunning to me that we're approaching this anniversary. i'm actually interested in that, and it would be a great mistake in the history of the world not to take advantage of that. i don't really know, there's some great stories you could tell related to world war i but it's not something -- i'd have to think about that a little bit, to be honest. >> any questions? yes. >> [inaudible] take on popular culture on the sesquicentennial. i was talking -- i run a staff of about 60 employees. the day-to-day conversation is
that they saw the movie "lincoln" during the sesquicentennial, or that "12 years a slave" won the best picture. i never saw an article about this, but my super bowl is the academy awards. the 75th anniversary of the wizard of oz and there was a big production number on the wizard of oz and gone with the wind was never even mentioned the whole time. we've got copperhead coming out at the same time. there seems to be different statements being made to the general public in popular culture regarding the buying against the federal government in copper head involving the younger generations fight and the two massive emancipation movies. what's your take on popular
culture's impact on sesqui-centennial? >> that's a great question. >> yeah. >> that's a question that people would not have asked in 1939 about the impact of movies, gone with the wind, on people connecting with the civil war. so, yeah, i mean, i saw some of those films. i can't say working at a site that lincoln, the real guy, twice during the 9.5 month campaign and spent the last part of his life in and around that area, i can't say we saw a massive uptick in visitation due to the movie. but there definitely was, obviously, a connection in the ways that steven spielberg made a lot more money than any of our civil war parks did. and so it did help when people
came to the park to kind of connect people to some -- oh, perhaps away from some of the tropes of the civil war or people of the civil war, and particularly on the lincoln issue about mary lincoln, she is often been this, you know, sort of flittering moron who was dependent, who couldn't do anything worth while and should be more or less ignored except by a few famous people, historians, famous, you know them, i guess. maybe they're not famous. holiday walk of fame. but i think that movie and sally field, in her portrayal in "help" i have visitors come in and ask about mrs. lincoln about how people see her as a person, not a buff afternoon.
buffoon. today we may provide some counseling to, but it's not that she was actively trying to be that way. and to touch on what eric was getting at a minute ago. 12 years a slave in the first five minutes of the movie where there is no talking at all and you're just moving through the river there in the deep south, and i just felt hot and sweaty and i don't want to be in this field picking any crop at all, and nothing needed to be said. it was just the way in which the scene was filmed. then, of course, as the actors came on and the interaction began, people started to see slavery very differently than mammy and prissy in gone with the wind.
and i think that helped to change conversations on my site -- i also intercept a plantation at my civil war site. was it the same, was it different? how do we know this information? were free blacks routinely stolen and brought into slavery? many of our visitors had never thought about this until the films came along. >> we debate this a lot in the history field when a movie comes out and you get a view visitors and they go where's buster mcgilveray? if you get a visitor from their house on to a historic site, even though i may be upset with the fact that it's not historically accurate, they're there. and if it takes a movie to get
them there, that's great. i was in high school when ken burns just came out. the anniversary of ken burns' war" is coming up and he's redoing it in high def. i can't wait until it comes out. that's probably the best example, at least of my time of the pop culture, naysayers of a movie coming out that drove a lot of people to visit civil war sites. i'm always happy when i see something in pop culture talk about civil war. it's my job to say, well, mary todd lincoln wasn't like that. she's like this. >> look at the events the last few weeks, with the release of harper lee's "go set a watchman." atticus finch, of course, is the most quintessential american ever written, ever filmed, but the release of this book shows that atticus finch was a real
human being and that he wasn't necessarily perfect, because he belonged to an organization in the new book that discriminated against african-americans. and the human cry that's gone up, because it's sullying the image of atticus finch. i think it's a necessary thing because i think anything that helps focus attention on these issues that lead to some dialogue about the role of race and racial relations in this country is a good thing, and even though a lot of people say the book shouldn't have been published because it's not very good -- and i haven't finished it yet. i'm actually in the middle of finishing "to kill a mockingbird" as a prelude to it. but the fact that it's created such a firestorm of controversy demonstrates very clearly that this is a topic that's still
very near the surface and it's something that needs to be addressed. >> it's hard to believe it's been 25 years since the ken burns movie came out. when that came on, it was like a slack-jawed idiot staring at the screen. i couldn't pull away. it inspired debates about the bias he put in it, the misuse of photographs, some of that stuff. but like rob, i said, listen, this is firing up interest all over the country in this period of history, and i think it's going to be interesting to see when this comes out in the fall and it's rereleased and pbs launches its civil war series called "mercy street," which is supposed to be a "downton abby"
series about nurses in a hospital, if matt is going to see an up tick in attendance. sometimes when we have programming, the popular culture is what really is going to reach the greatest audience whether we like it or not. and i think that the media that those stories are going to be presented, you know, you could sit there on your couch. you don't have to put the energy in driving to an n.p.s. program or lying about it. they've got the market that's going to bring it to you. i'm excited because hopefully it will bring more to the magazine in history, culture in general. guest: i think the timing is per with
the controversy we've been facing this summer over the battle flag in charleston and sort of reintroducing an objective look at least with burns, in my opinion, about the conflict. so that's mine general opinion. >> the one thing, though, that i think the civil war does lack is a movie that portrays combat. you know, you've got world war ii with "saving private ryan." somebody help me out with vietnam. "platoon," "full metal jacket." i could quote that drill sergeant all day long. >> please don't. >> we're on c-span. but we don't have a movie that portrays what that was like. civil war soldiers out of 365 days may have fought 14, maybe 10, 10 days outs of 365. i mean, can you imagine what they did in between right there? and then to have that shock.
i mean, if your best friend, if i'm planning along with him -- good plug for your magazine -- marching along shoulder to shoulder with. we've been chums since boyhood and all of a sudden, you know, he's dead, you can -- i don't know who's going to bring that forward. but ken burns, i thought, was the catalyst. going back to what rob said about movies bringing visitors to your park. obviously "gettysburg" was huge. and i was the guy in the mid mid-1990's who went to the 20th main monument and looked for buster kilray. i admit it readily. i thought so much of that movie. but still it being captured, as bad as it really was. >> this very quick comment of
the scripts that you're calling for has been written in "the red badge of courage." if anybody could do that book justice on the screen, that tells the story that you are -- that is lacking. >> that's very true. >> just a quick thing is that we shouldn't lose this opportunity with charleston. it's certainly a tragedy. it's sad. but this is a moment to rally around the larger conversation that we've been sort of talking about now for the last 15, 20 minutes, to what is the founding documents? what do they actually say? not as they've been revised but at the time, what the did they say at this time and how did they change at this time and how did that happen and then at this time and who made that happen, because we have -- i won't say what i was going to say, but we certainly have some pageantry in politics lately and we got to get people engaged with the systems, and they -- we have an
opportunity at our civil war battlefields to say, you know, perhaps -- it's been a way, this particular war, to make some changes to the american political landscape and to change people's lives. unfortunately, some people had to die and lots of them. but in the long run, we've had greater good come out of the changed nation as a result of the war. we don't know -- we haven't fully gotten to all of the stories yet. >> do you want to answer that question? >> a lady walked up to get her book signed last weekend. >> wow. >> it's interesting.
pop culture may or may not impact you. i like what rob and emanuel have said on this question, actually, and another question. we have friends who work with the park service when ken burns came out. it was like the greatest time. we got 900 visitors when we normally see 200 visitors. they talked about this big boom of visitors because of ken burns. it's great that got a lot of attention. "gods and generals" was such a poor movie in their estimation, that they poo-poo'd this other movie. to me, they were losing a golden opportunity. the person may not have come here, yes, without watching a poor movie but now it's your turn as the interpreter to make an impact and a positive impact on that person. maybe it won't change their views on stone wall jackson or the movie itself, but at least you have them through the door and you have an opportunity to expose them to what you have to say, what the movie has to say and the resources you have.
it's like "saving private ryan," i see all the time oh, lot of things wrong with the first 10 minutes of that movie. well, it got people like stephen spielberg and tom hanks to back those veterans and back veterans organizations and then go back to what emanuel said. they went out and did world histories. now, they did it simply with the soldiers themselves but at least they were getting their stories down like steven ambrose did. these are the ways in which it impacted pop culture. this is a whole different generation than it was during the centennial. the best way we can sometime see is how many youtube or facebook likes you have. those are the ways we may be able to see an impact on pop culture and, of course, with the shootings in charleston,
obviously, it's right in our face. >> did a research project that looked at attendance and how that correlated to various pop culture events and certainly attendance at national parks spiked when ken burns came out. we saw it with john adams when the book came out. everything related with john adams saw upticks in their attendance. other places that david mccullough wrote about, such as the johnstown flood, also upticks because of a core larry source. it becomes the historian's job
to set the story straight, if necessary. >> versus the titanic movie. >> very good example. the book, very good, so despite the -- >> how do we -- >> just a couple more questions here. everybody holding up ok? everybody doing all right? >> i've heard almost every single person up here and certainly the gentleman over there talk about children, and yet you haven't focused on children. i've heard you say, well, when i was 10 years old this happened to me, my mother, i wasn't able to drive the car, this happened to me. an 11-year-old brought his mother from australia, this happened to me. and then when the question was asked what can we do about world war i? what can we do about world war ii? what can we do about vietnam? you can not forget what happened to you to make you care about history. we need better books. we need versions of a cross five aprils, we need all of those kinds of things that make a kid
interested in what's going on, that spark their interest, that make them think about something beyond themselves. i thought about "war horse." i'm a seventh grade math teacher. but when war horse came out, we talked about that in my classroom. because it came from a broadway play and they had horses made out of letters and things like that, very mathematical horses that created movement like a horse. but then they all talked about warhorse. suddenly it flew out the window, math, and we started talking about world war i. i talked about the books my dad gave me about the dogs that ran across no-man's land, taking notes, and carrier pigeons and all those kinds of things. that made me care about world
war i. if you want to know how to fill up your parks, you teach those children. because that's where it started for each one of you. i heard you say it. >> absolutely. >> completely agree, the focus and media and everything else. i need we take it a step backwards. it doesn't start with the park. it starts with the parent. the park can't get the kid there. the parent has to get the kid there. i don't know what camera is on. but unless you get them into it, you know, we're not magicians. >> the n.p.s., we've done junior ranger, activity books, you
know, one of our sort of joyce -- joys is having kids come up and they've done 50 junior ranger books, you're the 51st. give me a pencil and they run off and they're doing it, but those are the kids that are already there. we were talking about we aren't quite getting all the kids. not even getting them exposed to the parks and the n.p.s. has done all sort of studies about, well, what kinds of kids aren't being exposed and typically it's minority children who can't afford the admission fee to your museum, historic site, national park, state park, whatever. they don't have transportation to the location, and there's nobody else in their network that can get them there and we don't know if that kid's out there and they don't know maybe that we're out there. so that, i'm not sure how we get to, though we're always trying. there's always a youth initiative in the n.p.s. to attract more people, more young people. the latest is the president announced that all fourth
graders would have a one-year free pass to get them and their families into a national park service sites, cultural, historical, natural, whatever. so the passes that we just got ours in my park, have started to be issued to the parks and we'll start to get them out to the kids. >> the parents, the people who get the kids through the door. it's interesting what you see walk through a door of a national park service visitor center.
especially working adjacent -- to 95, people come in and say i have 15 minutes to kill, what can i see? if the parents come in with that attitude, it's going to be tough to reach out to the kid. on the other hand, i've seen kids mimic exactly what the father, the mother, others have said. i had a child stand in the middle of the sunken road of fredercksburg, screaming if it would have burned down, a couple of expletives, we could have killed more yankees. he did it so much that the field trip leader had to pull him off the field trip and he told me this is what they experience with the parents. getting them through the door is the key. there are some people who never
come to a national park. it's not that they don't want to. they aren't exposed to certain museums around the country that may have fantastic children's programs but unfortunately children don't have are drivers license and it's hard to get them through the door. it's hard to reach out and touch them. i think that's a great way to try to get them in the park in some way, but you also have to reach out to the parents because you have you have to engage them to get them to a park. sometimes the kids will annoy them enough, if they get into it. i have a great kid in one of my public outreach programs i do, he's fantastic. he's always asking me questions about visiting places. and his dad is embracing the love he has for it. he had no interest in the civil war but he took him around. my dad was the same way. we ended up in gettysburg because it was close by a major car show. i fell in love with the battlefield. therefore, he fell in love with it, too. we have to get them in there. just figure out how.
>> i think we need more rob's. you've visited national parks an taken his son to many of them. >> the pictures are on facebook. >> and named the kid. >> it's interesting. you mentioned that about -- it's interesting you mentioned that about kids, because i consciously put stuff in the magazine like artifacts, artillery shells, muskets, uniforms. i didn't start getting that when i was 10. i looked at the pictures. for what it's worth, whether it has an impact or not, i think about that when we put every magazine together. recently one of the editors at my office was at some show and he had a mile of magazines.
we publish more than just the civil war title. he gave them to this family. he gave it to a kid and he said i love the civil war. so i got a picture and stuck it in a magazine, hoping other kids see it. i bet -- i have a strong guess everybody at this table is very conscious of that, because we want to see this history continue to be explored. >> i'm going to ask the same question as i ambushed dana with. but as you send people out tonight, what do you want people to leave with looking back at the civil war, the sesquicentennial. what's the takeaway? >> i think personally the american civil war shows two things. i gave this answer last week. i'm sort of cheating.
i think it is one of the greatest failures of the american experiment. i think it's also the second-greatest example of the american experiment overcoming some of the hardest issues, yet we still haven't yet overcome those issues. i think the greatest thing of the american experiment was the creation of this country. but the recreation of the united states after the civil war, we were able to get you have put it back together but we didn't do it perfectly. you need to understand that there are issues that have been festering since the 20's, 30's, 40's. even though there was a war and thousands of lives lost, it still impacts us today. it still impacts people who live in the inner city or folks who live in the countryside. it's impacting a larger amount of people because of social media. it's being thrown in their face. the 24-hour news cycle, it's being thrown in their story.
there's a lot more to the civil war than blood, guts, things like that. there are social issues that need to be explored and embraced and debated to this day. >> i already put my views forward, so i'll hand it to matt. >> well, i thought i had a few more minutes to think about this, but -- [laughter] >> sorry. a couple things coming out of the civil war -- and this could be history in general. you always have to go against judging people by the modern standards. you have to judge them by the time they lived in, whether it be the revolution or civil war. pick a time period. the other thing i would caution you about is the bias which i see on both sides going forward. if i ever had to present a controversial topic, which i
don't like to do because i like to be polite -- [laughter] >> i try to avoid that but i think i have done my job if i have made you angry at me at one point and happy at one point. like you were saying earlier, what does that tell you? it probably means you are right down the middle of the road if you are ticking off both sides. >> i would just say go for it and do history. talk about history. last year, 150 years, 400 years, we are all in situations. people in this room, out there out of the american landscape has some sort of interest in american history. make it a part of your daily
conversations with people, your friends, coworkers. and something useful in those conversations will emerge either to study or to at least think about. >> two things. one, kind of what not was saying about judging people. keep in mind who you study, love, who union your kids after, no one is perfect. you study people in history and no one is perfect. you have to look at it without a bias. no one in this room is perfect and no one who lived during the civil war was perfect. i work where we have a significant hispanic population and we started to get more of that population to visit our sites and they always ask me, it's amazing how this country fought a war for four years and
here we are sitting in this room together. where they come from countries that have been fighting a civil war for 50, 60, 75 years. it says a lot about this country. we have a lot of problems and issues but i think this country can hang its hat on the fact there are a lot of nations led not gotten over their civil war and are still fighting. as much as we like to think our visitors are still fighting, for the most part, americans are not. >> this fundamental issue in the issue of the u.s. with the conflict between states rights and federal rights. it goes back to be very earliest days of this republic and the debates over the constitution. you want to see an embodiment of it, look at the falling out between john adams and thomas jefferson. it took a trial by fire come it took the american civil war to
resolve that issue. it is there to say the american civil war is the defining moment in american history because it once and for all resolved that fundamental question -- are regarded to be a loose confederation of states that are state-centric and not much in the way of the federal government or are we going to be one country with a strong federal government and it took that trial by fire to make it happen. people don't understand that. take that away with you when you leave. remember that when you think about where we are today as a country, this would not have been possible but for the resolution of that issue. it's the defining moment in american history. >> i will leave you tonight by inviting you to think about where you are literally at this moment. we have gathered on this particular battlefield where men have fought and suffered and
sacrificed and died. as we spend the next couple days thinking about their stories and the legacies they have left for us, consider where able to be here because of what they did for us. let's always keep that in the back of our mind as we continue with our conversation this weekend. thank you so much for being with us tonight. [applause] >> the civil war airs here every saturday at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. eastern time. to watch more, visit our website. you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3.
>> each week, american history tv's "reel america" brings you archival films that tell the story of the 20th century. ♪ >> independence, missouri. home of former president truman, president johnson arrives despite heavy rain for a brief sentimental visit. mr. johnson came from a speaking engagement in kansas city to make the informal call on mr. truman, now 83. the two men chatted privately inside the truman hall for about 10 minutes. their discussion was not disclosed. president johnson left immediately. mr. truman waved to the crowd in high spirits. the university of florida at gainesville, scene of an important conference by the food
and agriculture association of the u.s. for several days, anti-castro cuban refugees picket the meeting. they say funds are used for political purposes. the protest is orderly but determined as the exiles voice strong objections. cape cod hippies conduct a paint in at the provincetown arts colony. notice the chain reaction of enthusiasm. the psychedelic murals address
-- dress up anybody's epidermis, but certain technical problems encountered when an artist is encountered by a ticklish situation. i have seen the one i want. just wrap it up. should look lovely in the den. ♪ a gallant fighting chip, the aircraft carrier gets a hero's welcome on her welcome from vietnam. thousands lined the docs, anxious for family reunions. a tragic fire took the lives of 134 of the crew while the gigantic carrier crews. off the coast of vietnam. the memories of that disaster fade momentarily for those greeted by families.
the forestall still bears the scars of her misfortune. sheets of flame engulfed men and aircraft. believed to have been set off by the hotstart of a jet plane, the fire was the worst in naval history and occurred as the ship was preparing to launch the aircraft for another strike against north vietnam. a heroic welcome for the men trying to erase the horrors they have known in the nightmare of fire at sea. ♪ >> lou and herbert hoover came to the white house as trained geologists and will travelers successful in private and public sectors.
months into his term, the financial market crashed. the first lady used her office to advocate volunteerism. but their term ended amidst overwhelming public frustration. lou hoover this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "first ladies." sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. >> on april 11, 1945, the army's 83rd infantry came across a sub camp of the concentration cap and liberated the surviving prisoners. next, the family of sergeant donald hall donates a flag to the holocaust memorial museum. the american flag was handmade