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tv   Eisenhower Grandchildren  CSPAN  October 14, 2015 11:15pm-12:51am EDT

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one way of looking at this is that eisenhower deluded what could have been a strong statement of support for his mentor. in so doing, he could have made and taken the opportunity to position his presidency against such irresponsible statements. even if they were true. >> yes. >> right? >> like he doesn't do that. he either, he does one of two things for certain. he either amends the speech himself, or he allows his speechwriters, john hughes, to cut this out at his bequest. what does that say about eisenhower? that says that either eisenhower wants to try to keep peace in the valley with mccarthy, and he sees mccarthy as being too big to take on on the national stage right here, or he needs to win
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wisconsin. i minean, wisconsin's a lot of electoral votes now. you don't throw those away. >> must have take and page out of fdr's book then. >> that's an interesting point. that's a good point. i know you. >> so, dr. greene, bob, thank you very much for another excellent program. [ applause ] if the library can find a way to get you back for a fifth program in five years, i'll certainly be here. >> thank you, henry. thank you all very, very much. [ applause ] american history tv airs every weekend on c-span 3 and on prime time on week night when is
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congress is in recess. we cover a wide variety of topics. you can watch all of our programs, find our tv schedule, see youtube clips of upcoming shows and connect with us on twitter and facebook. this is american history tv only on c-span 3. join american history tv on saturday, november 7th for tours and live interviews from the national world war ii museum in new orleans. we'll explore the uss tang experience and take your questions. world war ii, 70 years later. live from the national world war ii museum, saturday, november 7, beginning at 11:00 eastern here on american history tv on c-span 3. on saturday evening, american history tv was at
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gettysburg college for a conversation with dwight d. eisenhower's grandchildren. they talked about his military and political career, his relevance for us today, his legacy and about the grandfather they remember. this discussion was part of the eisenhower institute's ike 125 celebration, commemorating the 125th anniversary of his birth. it's about two hours. ♪ oh, say can you see ♪ by the dawn's early light ♪ what so proudly we hailed ♪ at the twilight's last gleaming ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ through the perilous fight ♪o o'er the ramparts we watched
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were soie gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ and the rocket's red glare ♪, the bombs bursting in air ♪ gave proof through the night ♪ that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ and the home of the brave ♪ [applause ]
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tonight continues a wonderful weekend, and for that matter yearlong of programming and activities that the eisenhower institute is celebrating the 125th birthday of eisenhower. we've been honored to have members of the eisenhower administration. we are grateful to all of them. in short, at gettysburg college, we still like ike. and i'd like at this point to turn the program over to steve scully who will be monitoring our town hall forum. >> before i begin, i want to recognize some of the brave men who served under dwight eisenhower. we are pleased, honored and thrilled to have you here tonight. i think you all deserve a round of applause.
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[ applause ] >> you all do, as tom brokaw put it, represent the greatest generation. i want to take a wonderful unique and rare opportunity to have the grandchildren of dwight eisenhower. let me very briefly introduce the three grandchildren. a anne eisenhower was born in new york and is a world class designer. her works are on display at tiffanys. she's been written about in many of the leading newspapers around the world. she is a trustee of the eisenhower foundation, on the board of the new york school for interior design and also her
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involvement with breast cancer research foundation and for more than a quarter century she has contributed to the work and thank you for being with us. [ applause ] mary jean eisenhower spent most of her time devoted to humanitarian work. she is the past president and ceo of the people to people foundation. think about this. it was founded on september 11th, 1956. dwight eisenhower create the exchange program because he seen enough war. and his feeling was it's time to end the bloodshed and begin some diplomacy. so from the earthquake victims in india and hate haiti, thank
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for being with us. and susan eisenhower is the chairman and ceo of the eisenhower group, a consulting company, a fortune 500 company, in asia and western europe. she has served our government in a number of capacities. a number of three blue ribbon commissions. her work with the national academy of sciences and nasa advisory council. she has authored and co-authored a number of books. and her op eds are seen frequently in leading publication around the country. susan, let me begin with you. because, clearly, the great accomplishments at the end of world war ii under presidents roosevelt and truman and the great promise of john f.
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kennedy, now historians are being looking at the great achievements of your grandfather's presidency, eight years, a remarkable eight years. what should we know that we didn't know when he left office? >> there's a wonderful expression, the future's bright but the past is unpredictable? this is an old soviet joke. but i sometimes feel like this is the way it is in this country, too. we're beginning to discover more and more about our history, and dwight eisenhower is an interesting figure because he had a different leadership style. he sometimes dialed back the rhetoric in favor of doing things behind the scenes, and my sister will probably confirm that his chief deathbed wish was that his archives be opened as quickly as possible. and ever since that process started people are learning more and more about how utterly engaged he was in all of these issues, and i think this is one of these reasons for the last 20 years of an intense interest
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developed over this period of time, this very dynamic period of time, the 1940s and '50s. >> i'm going to weave in the more famous quotes by dwight eisenhower, but anne, you remember him as the oldest grandchild. what are your thoughts? >> oldest granddaughter. >> granddaughter. david's not here. >> david's much older. i'm sorry, what did you say? >> what do you remember about him? >> where do you start? he was very much a part of our lives. we often lived near him and things that come to mind are things like him reading my report card as sitting president. with david's report card right next to it. anne, why did you get an a minus when david got an a. he was very much a grandfather to us. and so it was a very sort of
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unusual yupbringing in that sense, living around him as a normal person and yet you'd see him in the crowds and you'd wonder what was going on. >> mary, one of the quotes from your grandfather, you don't lead by hitting people over the head. that is assault, not leadership. in terms of what we're seeing today in the republican party primary, what do you think about this? [ laughter ] >> well. >> i just read the quote. >> i didn't think i was going to get any loaded questions. i think we need to stop hitting each other on the head, you know. it's a completely different dynamic than it was, of course, when he was around, because, you know, both houses were democratic and he got along famously with everybody. and so, and got lots through, and there wasn't this party line. i think once the elections were over people became americans as
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opposed to democrat or republican. and he actually, maybe i'll divert and tell a little story, but when i was in school here in gettysburg, yay, i heard two rumors about him. in school that i was sure were absolutely wrong, and of course i was young, so the intensity was just terrible. and i went straight from school to the, you know, to his house. we lived right on the edge of the farm. and he was in his nap room at that time of the day, and i went straight up to his nap room, and he was reading a book. and i said granddad, i heard two things about you today that i just can't believe. and he said what? you know, he put his book down, took his glasses off and looked at me. and i said, is it true that your name's really david dwight and not dwight david? he said well, there were so many davids in the family, i got
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tired of being called bud. and i heard you were raised a democrat. [ laughter ] and he said oh, yeah, but i didn't claim a party while i was in the army because back then i doesn't kn don't know if it's true or not, but the officers didn't kus marry vote for their commander in chief. and i said oh, what made you decide to become a republican? and he got this look on his face and i was beginning to regret the conversation. he said he was concerned about the front runner, taft, being an isolationist. and he said, this is a two-party country. and the democrats have been in power long enough. and i said, but granddad, what if you lost? and he said, well, how's your weight coming along? >> susan, it's remarkable, because both parties in 1952
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wanted him to be their nominee. >> this is true. it's sort of hard to imagine that now, isn't it? it's impossible to imagine. they had i think probably because they came out of military circles, they had a very, i wouldn't say bipartisan way of thinking about themselves, but a non-partisan way. as a matter of fact, our grandmother, mamie eisenhower made it a rule. she'd tell her staff, i don't want to know anything about what party people are from when they come to the white house, when they come to the white house they're, you know, a gist of the president and first lady, and they're in america's home. so it was often perceived that she didn't know that much about politics. she knew plenty about politics. she just didn't want any part of it at the white house, and it goes to show how much time has gone by, wouldn't you say? >> and i had read from the book by gene edward smith that he would have easily gone to the u.s. naval academy but was accepted at west point because of the age limit.
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you had to be 19. he was 20 when he went to west point. he graduated 61st in a class of 164. so this is open ended to any one of you. what made him such a unique leader when he would be the first to admit during his high school and college years he was a pretty average student? >> this is what made getting an a minus very difficult. [ laughter ] >> now we know the rest of the story. >> i do know he attended the general staff command college at leavenworth and graduated first in his class on that one. and he said that was what really, it was his paradigm shift to make the army and leadership his career as, you know, prior to that, of course, we all know that he applied to annapolis first. and it was for the free education, because they came from very humble beginnings. and then he was too old, because he worked to put his brother through school. and anaplenapolis turned him do.
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he wasn't sure what direction he wanted his career to go until he went to leavenworth. >> i would add an intriguing factoid here. if you look at america's great generals, very, very few of them graduated at the top of their class. i've done a little study of this. most of them come right out of the middle of the class. that includes civil war generals as well as generals during world war ii. other than there are some extraordinary exceptions, of course, douglas mcarthur being one of them. but the reason i mention that is that was never, graduating in the middle of the class said something about, perhaps, your, actually some of them had rather lackluster disciplinary records, too? ike was one of them. way, way at the bottom on discipline, and, you know, strangely, the army tries to train people to follow orders,
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but they also like people who ask questions. and so it's kind of ironic. i just throw that out there. but certainly rns by the time it got to command and general staff school he was expecting of himself a whole lot more than what he probably produced at various times at west point. >> but it was written that he was known for his pranks from time to time. >> oh, yes. there's a famous moment where he turns up in i think it's called dress jacket. and apparently he was only wearing the jacket. and i think that got him a few walks around the, you know, around the guard duty there maybe. for a long time, yeah. >> anne eisenhower, when you went to see your grandfather, of course you can't talk about dwight eisenhower without talking about mamie. what was she like? mamie was really quite wonderful. >> by the way, what did you call her? >> mimi. we called her mimi. and she was quite wonderful.
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she was very opinionated. didn't like you talking back to -- not talking back, but didn't like you having a big difference of opinion, but she was the most loving person and always on your side. she was absolutely amazing, and she was a character. she just was wonderful. >> do each of you have a favorite mamie eisenhower story? >> well, i know mary's got lots of mamie eisenhower stories, but i've got to tell you just to anne's point there. she had these extraordinary china blue eyes, and they positively sparkled. she had the most magnificent eyes and glorious skin. and i had the courage to counter her on something and i said mimi, you make me so mad. and without missing a beat, angry, darling, mad means you've lost your mind. [ laughter ]
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>> if i may tell a story which is a mary story, she was going to school in pennsylvania and had a teacher that was giving her a really hard time, and mimi came over. she was going to go to some conce concert or something. somehow this teacher wanted to meet mimi. well, he was toast by the time she finished with him. she always flirted with her eyes, and she had this man eating out of her hand. i don't think mary ever had a problem again after that. >> yeah, he was, i was in a play, "fiddler on the roof", and, you know, it was my night, and she was coming to, of course support me. and he, he was, we're going to stop in the middle of intermission and give her a dozen roses and do this and do that, and she sought look on my face when i was telling her about t and show said i'm not going. but she had him over to my
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parents' house for iced tea. and anne's right, she very diplomatically and sweetly pulverized the man. [ laughter ] >> can i add one thing about this? she had an extraordinary ability to serve this role diplomatically and in other ways. and it was, she could charm the socks off anybody. she, many of you know eisenhowers occasionally strained relations with field martial law during world war ii. >> we heard about that. >> she thought he was adorable. and she made it her business to think he was adorable. and she told me once, of all of her houseguests he was her favorite. and so somehow she managed to tease out of this man some bit of humor. so apparently, field marshal montgomery came to visit the
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white house, and he looked around and said, well, it's not buckingham palace, to which mamie batted those spectacular blue eyes and said, well, thank goodness for that. >> well, while we're talking about gettysburg and i do want to talk about d-day and his leadership and presidency. but we're here in gettysburg, pennsylvania. why did he decide to come here after he left the white house? >> i think he, he was stationed here early on in his career, and they liked the town. and i believe that they wanted the farm, really, because of his roots in kansas. >> this is a great story that i read from your brother david eisenhower. the book is called "going home to glory". imagine this, on january 20, 1961, a bitter cold day in which john f. kennedy was sworn in, dwight eisenhower and his wife mamie hopped into a 1955
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chrysler, drove up route 115. came to the farm, the secret service agent honked the horn, made a u-turn, they pulled into the house and the retirement began. it seems so different from 1961 until today. >> and it was my father who did the driving because ike didn't have his driver's license yet. he was expected to go get his driver's license, which he did, since having a driver since the beginning of the war. ike was really a country boy and loved the outdoors, and my grandmother, our grandmother, came from denver, colorado and was a bit of a deb taunt, and she didn't like the outdoors vetch, although she thought there was some romance to this two up and two down farmhouse they bought. she used to say that she had one massage a week, and that's all the exercise she needed. but in any case, they had some great friends named george and mary allen on emmettsburg road.
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and this was a huge plus, because not only could ike come back to gettysburg, but mamie had her palmieri allen down the road. >> and i think the proximity to washington. they were in the country but still accessible to washington. if i may add one story, barbara walters interviewed my grandparents, i believe it was the 50th anniversary. and barbara walters turned to my grandfather and said, does mamie enjoy the outdoors in the summer. and he sort of chuckled and he said she certainly does. she sits on the air conditioned glass porch and looks out and enjoys every bit of it. [ laughter ] >> did he ever talk to you about d-day? >> well, i can tell you, i used to, we were at kiefer elementary
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school, and occasionally i would walk from keefe halfer to his office. and occasionally he'd give me a ride home. on one occasion i went into the office, and in an anteroom at the back he had a huge map of one of the most famous of the d-day pictures with all of the, with all the ships and the balloons and, it's a famous, iconic picture, and i asked him about it. and if you opened it up, there were these maps you could pull down, and i got a little bit of a primer on this. i was way too young, of course, but i think my sisters will absolutely agree that we saw the documentary, "crusade in europe", based on his memoir. how many times have we seen that? >> three, four, maybe five times. so certainly, by the time we became adults we were well
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familiarized with this story. >> what does hess leis leadershl you about that period in american history? >> interestingly, in 1990, when he would have been 100, we had a series of events. and there's a famous picture of him with the troops the night before. and he's looking at number 23 was how i knew him, because he had that picture on his desk, and daddy had the picture on his desk too. and i always wondered who number 23 was. anyway, i met number 23 aboard the uss eisenhower. and his name was wally. and i said, all my life i've seen this picture, because granddad looks very intense. i think they even made a postage stamp out of it and somehow made granddad taller than wally. and anyway, i said what was granddad saying to you? he was trying to make everybody
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comfortable. and he said, well, he might have been asking me about the fishing in saginaw. and this, that's what this intense look is with his hand like this. >> it's fly-fishing. >> yeah, it's fly-fishing so everybody else thinks -- >> to answer your earlier question, once upon a time, now as a grown-up, i saw my brother on tv giving an interview. and the question was, did your father and your grandfather talk a lot about world war ii in front of you. and he said oh, no, never. i picked up the phone. immediately called my father and said we need a reality check here. my memory is that he talked about it all the time. and he laughed. and he said, anne, you have to understand, david didn't get enough. we talked about it once in a while. and because david really loved the subject he wanted to hear more. he said you didn't want to hear anything, so the one time you heard us, it probably was too much. [ laughter ] >> but it's fascinating.
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my own father was part of the second wave of the d-day invasion. he didn't talk about it, though, but as richard norton smith, a historian who has studied your grandfather so often said that dwight eisenhower had a ready-made political base in 1952 because 12 million men whom he had led, most of them were going do support dwight eisenhower in 1952. >> i had the edmor muss privilege of taking my salt group to normandy this year. we studied the grand strategy of world war ii and the operational strategy, and we talked about, we studied leadership and followership and all of those things, and at the cemetery, the thing that is really, really striking is that it is, you know, the famous cemetery, it's a cemetery of kids. they're kids in that cemetery. and i have to tell you, this trip was so moving for me, and how proud i was that our provost came with our group, but there
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wasn't, really for the first time in my whole life, i think i realized what my grandfather's burden had been. i can't tell you. i just, we'd heard all about it. we'd heard about the operations of it. maybe i never got enough and anne was happy that we didn't cover it quite so much, but i think that's when i first understood the burden. he'd lost a child. he and my grandparents lost a child at the age of 3. this is a cemetery of kids. and that's how tough war is. and aren't we honored to have people who work -- yes, that's right. supreme headquarters, allied expeditionary course. >> motivation, and this is for you, anne eisenhower, motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. >> brilliant. >> did you want to respond to that too? >> well, i think he was right,
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and i think that was part of the whole people to people movement. you know, i think the personal diplomacy and that kind of thing, you know. >> and don't you find it ironic that it was created on september 11, 1956? >> i did. we discovered that, i guess it had been forgotten within the organization. it was about seven years after i was working there, and oh, i know what it was, it was the 50th anniversary of people to people. and we looked at the record, and of course there's a great footage of his speech when he was launching, and it was september 11th, 1956. and the ironic part about it for those who don't know, people to people was a way to peaceably combat the cold war, so we found it almost eerie. but, yeah. >> steve, could i add something there? >> sure. >> don't you think that's exactly what we need today? i mean, you heroically sit and interview people in washington,
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and we were talking about the political situation earlier. wouldn't it be extraordinary if somebody thought their job in leadership was to make the other side feel like they wanted to do this for the country? and that kind of, this is where you see a very, very different leadership style between then and now and especially dwight eisenhower's brand of leadership. [ applause ] >> well, and let answer different, a very, very different republican party. >> a very different republican party of. >> did he enjoy the presidency? >> did he what? >> did he enjoy the presidency? the eight years in washington? >> i don't think enjoyment would be the word. i think you enjoyed being president nowadays much more than you did back then. >> why? >> because now there's perks like the rock stars stop by and things like that. but i think he saw it as not as a job whether or not he enjoyed it or not but as it was his
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duty. he was elected president, and his job was to achieve certain goals, and he worked at it, concentrated on it. i don't think there was ever any -- he was not the type of man to sit back and say, do i like what i'm doing today? just wasn't the type. >> let me go through some of the highlights of your grandfather's presidency. the creation of the interstate highway system, the development of nasa. placed the arkansas national guard under national control in little rock, arkansas. won the praise of martin luther king for be being res lieutenant, pre-1960s. he made five appointments to the u.s. supreme court. we went from 48 to 50 states. alaska and hawaii were added to the union. >> he modernized our infrastructure and balanced the budget three times in eight years. which is really an extraordinary part of that record. balanced budgets and left office
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with a budget surplus for his successor. >> and if i could jump in there, there's kind of a fun story. that same trip when he would have been 100 years old. a lot of his, well, about five or six of people who were in the government at the time he was president were along. and one of them was the assistant secretary of the treasury. and my dad went to bed early one night, and the rest of us just kind of hung out, and they were really telling stories on granddad, like i had no idea. >> well, do tell. >> well, i'm about -- one of the stories was great. it was the assistant secretary. he said that he got this phone call at 2:00 notice morning and apparently granddad had been up since like 11:30 pacing, and he said inflation was .5% last month, what are you going to do
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about it? and he said, well, we'll talk about this in the morning, can you go to bed, mr. president? to me it was just amazing that he got worked up about a half percent. >> the issue of civil rights comes up a lot. and my grandfather was very active in that area. not the way it maybe was later on, but he desegregated washington. he desegregated the military. but a fact which i find very interesting, excuse me, which it has never been talked about, and maybe doesn't deserve to be is that he was the only, he is the only president who has had an african-american pallbearer. sergeant john mooney, who was with him during the war till his death. and that says a lot. >> your grandfather spent 16 years as a major in the army, and he changed the policy in the military. you're up for two promotions. you're up or you're out. and i also had read that up
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until 1953, the president would shake hands at the military academies for the top 10% of the class and then sit down. and he said if i'm going to direct these, they were all men at the time and later women in the military, i'm going to shake hands with each and every one of them. so talk about that. >> i think that would be absolutely typical of the style he brought to his leadership during the war. many of these men can tell you that he spent an edmor muss and the of time out meeting with as many troops as he could before they were deployed. as a matter of fact, i wish i had the figure in front of me. it's an extraordinary number. and this was british troops, american troops. and you know, other allies that, that fought with us. and i think he saw it as a way to motivate people, to remind people that they were all part of the same cause, the same team. >> he said about war the following. he said in preparing for battle, i've always found that plans are useless, but planning is
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indispensable. susan? >> seems logical to me. the reason you go through these plans is so you know exactly what the elements of the strategy are. for instance, if you go to national deecfense university, you'll see the plans for operation neptune. this is the amphibious landing on d-day are about this thick. everything down to what kind of knocklation should be given to the local population after the landing in normandy. and the reason you go through all that detail is you have some idea of what has to be thought through. and then, of course, once you hit the beach, or once you actually engage in battle, then much changes. >> and it changes very quickly. but at least you know what the general plan is, and may i just say one other thing on this, which is extremely important. this agility, this compass its of every tighting man to
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understand what we were trying to accomplish is the reason we won that war. because the other side was ruled by a dictator. what went on in the dictator's head is what was going to happen, and nobody really knew what they were trying to accomplish on any given occasion, and so that kind of planning has been indispensable, but you have to be flexible to get beyond that. >> first real global president. he traveled because the jet age was moving into the 1950s and is the first president to have lived on three continents. how did that shape his world view? >> i don't know how it shaped his, but it certainly shaped mine. when i went to high school, when i was studying languages in high school, we moved, at one point, and the only language that was offered was french. and he said, no, no, no, that can't happen. we have an entire continent below us. you have to learn spanish. so he cut a deal with the school that i could go to the local university to learn spanish.
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and that, that happened. i later got married and moved to south america, so i really could have used the frerpgs. but he was really very global thinking. as you say, he did live in three continents a good portion of his hive was outside of the country, and he could, he could see that the world was rapidly changing. and certainly, as grandchildren, he tried to prepare us for it. >> he taught a lot about integrity. this is another quote. he said that the supreme quality for leadership unquestionably is integrity. without it, there'd be no real success possible, no matter whether it's on the football field, in the army or in office. >> and he drove that home to us, too. you know, he had a major hand in raising us. and he could, he could almost -- not really, but he could almost tolerate you sassing. but do not lie to him.
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i mean, if he found out, that was the wrath. i mean, he was emphatic about integrity, even within the family. >> a great eisenhower quote from the presidency, a society that values its privileges over its principles soon loses both. >> yeah. that's a good one. >> his vice president was richard nixon. what was the relationship like between these two men? >> business. >> that was it? >> yeah. >> that famous quote, in 1960, if you give me a week, i'll think about it. >> a little unfair. >> can you explain the back story? >> the reason it's unfair is he had a weekly press conference. see, that's already such, there's an exclamation point behind that sense we don't have weekly press conferences any more, but the question, as i understand it, was the last question asked as he was walking out of the room. and he was suggesting that he
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would take up the question the next week. now the thing is, is to be reading a relationship by various things, said at various times, really probably isn't fair. i think i would just say two things, and probably you've got some other impressions. richard nixon was quite a young man. he was a young vice president. so, and also, our grandparents didn't really mix business and pleasure. you didn't see a lot of his associates around at dinner or going to the white house movies or anything like that. so i think that's another indication. but i think, you know, it is fair to say that nixon was, was used a lot as a vfice president especially overseas in latin america and in the soviet union, but the fact that they didn't have a relationship outside of business, i don't think is the way we'd have to examine that subject. >> you're both shaking your
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heads. go ahead. >> i want to emphasize, too, that that did change later, especially when my brother got involved with nixon's daughter. they were instant family. and when granddad had passed away, the nixons were very, very good to my grandmother and took really, she said almost embarrassingly good care of her. they, so they really did become family, eventually, but during the presidency is what i was saying, it was just strictly business. >> i'm going to broach one very touchy subject, so please bear with me. it's camp david. >> sore subject. >> i have an explanation for that. grand dad was very fair. and if one of us got something the others got something, right? so i'm the youngest, right? well, camp david was named for my brother. and then a large presidential yacht was named,
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>> the largest one. >> barbara anne, and a large one. but a little more modest than the barbara anne was the susan elaine. >> the seuusie e. >> and the motorboat was the. >> they all line up with all of us on the back, obviously we couldn't put camp david there. but the names -- >> on the barbara anne and we'd still have the barbara anne, you see. but they were, they were -- >> they were changed. the barbara anne became the honey fit. i don't know what happened to the suzy e and the motor boat, of course. >> oh, decommissioned. >> i might have had the motorboat, but i caught more fish. reluck taptsly, too, because i was afraid of them. >> but sore subject aside, it was known as shank shank ra law.
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>> he did change the barbara anne, but kennedy didn't change camp david. and once there were the camp david accords, i doubt anybody will ever change it. >> i think the answer to anne's question, is the spirit of camp david, cruise chof. if he hadn't gone there, the name wouldn't have been changed. >> there is a hn iconic photograph. what is what the relationship like between these two presidents? >> i think kennedy had a lot of respect for granddad. he consulted with him a lot, particularly about cuba, and i'm sure it was mutual, because granddad always engaged him. >> i think you have to look at
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it, again, as the role of ex-presidents, then, it was to leave office and go off and do the, you know, live the next chapter of your life, unless you're called upon. so to underscore mary's point, he did get called upon, but it wasn't like they were talking all the time or that they even had a relationship before. they didn't know each other particularly before that inauguration. >> just sort of a funny aside. someone gave me a picture when, later on in life meaning oh, maybe 20 years later, 20 years ago, which is a picture, you know the famous picture of john john in the knee hole of the desk in the oval office. this picture is granddad standing with kennedy as a senator. and we're playing around the knee hole of the desk. sort of funny. >> is it true that president
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kennedy had complained that the golf cleats had damaged the floor in the overrule offial of? >> i think he did, but i think he was mistake e emistaken. >> i'm going to find out if this is an urban myth. >> if you have questions, be sure to write them down. sherman adams. how important was he to the eisenhower presidency, and the creation, also, of this new position, a military-like position, the white house chief of staff. >> i think it's well underestimated how much eisenhower brought his own management touch to the white house. putting sherman, adam, the apparatus ended with the kennedy administration.
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this is the idea that the nsc would serve as a coordinating role to make sure what was decided at the cabinet level and in policy was actually implemented by those who are set to carry out the decisions. today, nobody's really sure, whenever i hear somebody say, oh, you know how washington works. i always want to say, do you know how washington works? well,you know how washington works, i always want to say, do you know how washington works? you can probably trace how that period worked with gray areas than you can today. >> you also talked about news conferences. john kennedy the first to have live televised news conferences, but in the 1950s, we saw the explosion of network television from the early 50s until the end of his presidency, so how did he use television during his presidency? >> well, he was the first
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television president really. in the sense it didn't explode in the same way after kennedy came onto the scene, but much of his -- much of the great moments were televised in the 1950s. i don't know. it's hard to know what impact television had, but he had such a magnetic way about him. his west point yearbook described him as big as life and twice as natural, and he really was. as a kid you knew that. it came through on television and it came through in crowds. >> he spoke at my high school graduation. >> mine too. >> it was rather upsetting for me because a lot of the girls did not want him to speak because they felt he would take away from their day. they really made my life quite
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miserable. going into graduation, i was very upset. he gave a speech and i zeroed out. he made a statement. he said, if you've heard nothing of what i've said today, always remember one thing. ankles will always be needed, but knees will always be knobby. the room collapsed. the girls who had the mini skirts up to here, the ones who criticized him for coming to the school were wrapped around his finger. it was the first time i had ever been in sort of a public situation and realized how important he was. to see it firsthand was absolutely amazing. >> mary and i were at a school called west town. he came to speak at our school
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as well. it was in the middle of the vietnam war, and west town school was a quaker school. most of the students there were conscientious objectors. you can imagine this great military figure comes to a gathering like this. he got vicious questions from our fellow students, and then the big man on campus, the big soccer star, because they don't play football at west point, raised his hand and said i gather you were sidelined from his football career. what was that like? he lit up. he took up smoking. he had the whole school eating out of his hand. back to your question, i'm sure that that kind of emotional intelligence with crowds, it
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worked on television as well. >> and to add to that that specific day, i was in the sixth grade and susie was a junior or a senior. >> sophomore. >> i can't do the math. >> can't do the math right. >> my class was allowed to peake questions. this guy danny -- and if he is watching, i apologize. he raised his hand and said what was it like to be president? i thought shoot me now. he took that to be as important as the last question he just asked and he gave him a complete description and set it's everything from meeting with
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other heads of state to the boy scouts. description, said it's everything from meeting with other heads of states to the boy scouts. >> the boy scouts. that's right. that's exactly what he said. >> he made danny feel very important and like he'd real asked an important question. and it went through my mind thao i thought that was just as important as the rest of the stuff to him. >> did he have a sense of humoro >> no. >> wait, wait. >> he had a sense of humor in a kind of ironic way. my fa one of my favorite stories . really takes place at penn state, and i was just recently at penn state to help mark the 50th anniversary -- sorry, the 60 of their nuclear research reactor. and it was at penn state he went up to give the commencement address and also was there when the nuclear reactor went critical.
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and this was an exciting time as the first university research s reactor in the united anyway, it was rain iing off ant on all day. his brother was president of out penn state. and the president was going to give the commencement address, and he was extremely worried. milton was very worried about the weather, whether it would have to be moved inside or whether it would be outside where they could accommodate many other people. w so he calls up ike on the sai telephone, what are we going tov do about this?rried should we move the crowd in? stay outside? i said, listen, milton, i haven't worried about the weather since june 6, 1944. >> you laughed when i asked the question so is there a story behind that, his sense of humor? >> well, i think, like susie said, i think it was more of a subtle sense of humor. i'm reminded of when he taught me how to ride.
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i think i was about 5 and we were at the farm in gettysburg. he had six horses, right?hetic and he put me on the biggest nao stable. it was kind of pathetic because i was so small that they had to double the stirrups to get my feet into them. and it was english so there was nothing to hang on to. so he gives me all these e saidn instructions. he says, you hold the reins this way to turn left and to turn right. never let the horse make, you know, think you're afraid.did yo grip withu your knees and turn your toes in, and he just gave me thesa whole gamut. did you understand that? i said,d yeah. he said, repeat it back. so i did. b said, good, right on the horse's back end. and i ended up on the horse's neck but not the ground, so i was very proud of myself. >> a couple of good questions and we'll get questions from all of you.what' where does the name eisenhower
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come from? what's the genealogy of the name? >> german. >> how did he get ike? >> it was a family nickname. there were lots of ikes in the eisenhowers. and he's the only one that carried it through to adulthood and kept it. >> was he a religious man? >> he was a spiritual man. >> you'd appreciate this, steve. he, as far as i know, is the only president elected without declaring what his religion was. he became a presbyterian after he was elected president of thes united states. >> when he made a decision, ' whatever the decision happened to be, did he second-guess himself? >> i don't think so. >> it boils down to the how's your weight question? never he never entertained that he would lose if he was running. he never second-guessed himself, i don't think. >> i'll tell you ho this.
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our father, john eisenhower, the person aside from mamie who was closest to granddad than anybody else said one of his real genius in a lot of ways he learned from his mistakes but he didn't replay the tape. you have to keep moving on. finding yourself in a continuous cycle of self-doubt. dow >> neither a wise man nor a n: brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. >> wow. i haven't heard that one before. that's a good one. l >> i haven't heardet it either.h i'm glad i didn't hear it. >> one of the most famous speeches he ever delivered, january 17, 1961. and this is a question from a
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participant talking about the industrial complex. what would he think about it today? and how significant was that speech? and why are we still talking abouy-tin it today? >> there are two things about that speech. one is the military industrial complex and, also, the other is the last paragraph. it's very interesting. i think in terms of to date, the world is so different today. it's hard to say what he would think. a i know that he called the military and the technology awesome and he didn't mean it like awesome. he meant it like awesome. >> biblical accepts of the worda >> that's right. and that last paragraph is a te prayer. the very last line was that theo
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world be brought together by the finding force of love. i think he was showing his, you know, kind of what he had learned throughout his military confrontations and the things oe that kind of haunted the he f really wanted everybody tor come i always called him the first at this pointy. >> you know, i think it's an er. extraordinarily important i think it will continue tono be talked about a reread, not just military industrial complex but where he warns the nation about mortgaging the assets of future generations. and he calls on the country to avoid taking the easy way out, o basically, to paraphrase it, to squander the resources of future generations. the militaryt industrial compl, i'll just be direct with you, wh it's alive and well. and it was an important speech because here was a military man who had the compaapacity to exa
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the situation and without disrespect to his colleagues to acknowledge that the unwarranted influence of a permanent military establishment, which he acknowledged was going to be required during the cold war.tef was something that could threaten our democracy if not for an alert and knowledgeable citizenry. and this is what we're trying to do here through the eisenhower n institute is toow bring about a capacity to understand how important being alert and more t knowledgeable is in a democracy. one of our great challenges today. >> of course he, more than anyone, as you just indicated, f in a very unique position to tiw talk about theit military, he h a lot of frustrations with the army, despite his leadership role.mbrose if any w of you want to talk abt that, stephen ambrose writes about it. mary jean smith writes about his
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own angst when he was moving up the ranks. >> you can tell i'm a hings washingtonian here. i just was, you know, probably one of the greatest things in my life was to have an office next to general goodpastor for every bit of five years. maybe longer than that. he was granddad's day-to-day security person during the white house years. he also worked for george marshall, by the way, too. but he told me once that he was standing in the oval office and the defense appropriations bill was put on the president's desk. and he's look iing through this y what trough it line by line. as only a five-star general whuld. he knew exactly what they were talking about, what the requests were. he looked up, said god help thio country when someone is the president who doesn't know the military as well as i do.
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and that's not to say that we shouldn't have a strong we should indeed but he had this capacity to do what was necessary to do the job and what was pork or unnecessary expenditures. >> and this is directed to you : as a world class interior designer. >> i went to a dinner in new york once upon a time. you d typical new york dinner where you're introduced to somebody and they don'tin hear your namew and you don't hear theirs either n. this particular case i happened to know who the woman was.emba i was younger and i just knew who she was. we got on the subject of embassies in the united states c and she said, well, i really don't think that the a. ambassador's wife should be the ed to decorate personal -- the public rooms. and i said, i totally h i just saw x, y, z embassy and
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you wouldn't have believed whate they did to th and she said, i would take it one step farther. i don't think the first lady should be allowed to decorate the public rooms of the white od house. she said look at what mamie eisenhower did. she called in bee altman. okay.rator another deep breath. they were actually honoring klemm that night, the curator of the white house. and i didn't say anything to her.en she did turn a little pale when i was asked to come up and cut the birthday cake.ken back afterwards i wrote and said, yos know, i was. taken aback by thi comment. i do not know the facts.have c can you fill me in? i said my understanding, she never would have called in bea altman. and of course this was very
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sticky because the kennedys, of course, used top decorators and everything was french. so this was an ego thing. you're right. your grandmother did not call in bea altman because bess truman called them in when they he startd the white i took this letter and sent it off to myho dear friend.g but it was interesting. he told me at the same time she started the antiques program in the white house. she had a big influence. she did what she because there was no budget. >> worth noting that mamie desperately wanted to get the bea altman furniture out of the white house but ike said we're e going to. balance this budget ad we're not going to do it by redecorating the white house. >> and this is with all due respect to bea altman.
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>> how did your grandmother get the name mamie? >> they all had nicknames. >> it was her given name.bout fm >> it was her given name. >> this is fun family stories. some great questions so thank you very much. >> could you talk about vacations growing up? >> christmas, thanksgiving, easter, all of the china and t-r silver would be put on the tables. we were probably the only 3, 5, and 8-year-olds that knew how to use finger bowls. >> it really came in handy. >> my grandmother really loved w to celebrate the they were very important to us. i think they continue to be for that reason. >> another one.this is can you share your most favorita birthday gift from your granddad? bill, thank you for the question. do you have a favorite and do you still have the present?s
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>> mine is a wooden and silver s dressing semirror, and i still have it. it's on my dresser to this day. i think i was 5, 6. it was in california. >> this wasn't a birthday gift -- well, two things real quick on -- well, i'll keep it to one, how is that? i won a little -- like mary, i had riding lessons, too. it actually stuck with me. i started participating in some horse shows. i was in a walk/trot class at ag horse show, and i actually won a trophy.i don' it was this big, about that high, and then it disappeared. and about, i don't know, i guess about a month later it reappeared, and granddad presenp
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it had to me. he had take then dinky little cup and put it on a pedestal. had it put on a top pedestal. so the pedestal was about this high and the dinky little cup it sitting right on top. so that i have dinky little cup and its pedestal at my house as a prized possession. >> do you have a favorite present? >> h me gave me a -- it looks liket ha a gold coin, but it has a little thing that you press and then up pops a watch and it was given tt him by the crew of the mayfloweo when they did the re-enactment. it's dedicated to president dwight d. eisenhower and such and such a date. and then underneath it he dedicates it to me, and the date. >> he liked to given out a lot of medals, did he not? pre-presidential award. >> i think this is a thing a lot of books, for instance, talk
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about his passionate nature and sometimes discuss his nature. the one missing piece in a lot e of this was this kind of sweetness we've just described. i'd like to tell you one other y thing that might surprise you but i only found out years latee because i was really the one who ended up being responsible for . these horses in his stables. he took up horse breeding actual ly at the end of his career as gentleman farmer. and two foals were produced. one named sassy sue.-- i hope that wasn't directed at me. and the other was named kainai s and was a lovely animal. one day later disappeared. years ago i found out what happened.ttys granddad had a secretary who
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unexpectedly died and he discovered the deceased secretary's daughter wanted very much to have a horse. and he gave her the horse. it's called the ike files, this book. after all those years i found out he gave that foal to another little girl my age.ev >> great story. between his army years and did e presidency served as president of columbia university. did he enjoy that time at columbia? >> i think he enjoyed columbia. i actually heard michael severn discuss this at one point, who was later president of columbia apparently columbia hired him knowing he was not going to be the typical president of columbia university.
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he took a leave of absence to go to nato so he was not there for the full time, and then when he came back, he ran for president. but, again, i'm not sure granddad looked at any job he did as enjoyment.n he i think he would take a job . based on whether or not it would be fulfilling to him and then he had a job to he did >> it was duty? >> yes, absolutely. >> susan, you talked about the smoking and there's a question . here. did your grandfather try to quit smoking? because that did contribute to his health. >> oh, it did actually. we know so much more about thise now. actually our honored guests here can confirm the fact that ike smoked a lot of cigarettes during world war ii. there are estimates between e three and four packs. you see pictures of him always t with a h cigarette in his hand
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pretty much. the and i think we can give him a pass for that if it helped him win the war.e went he got a bad case of bronchitis: and you ought to quit. he was having a hard time doing it and he did it. take he went cold turkey. >> he also said he might take it back up again but he'd never quit again because it was hell.n >> but when asked how he ended up giving up cold turkey, he said he gave himself an order i tried giving myself an order and it didn't work at all. >> on his birthday, 70th turned birthday, we were in the white house in the private dining room, and it was just us. he turned to my grandmother and he said don't you think after mu all these years ich could have e
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cigaret cigarette? she had such a conniption fit that he didn't have it. he was still wanting it that many years later. >> what wasanan it like to be a young girl at the white house with your grandparents? >> it was totally normal.t he became president when i was 4 years old. i didn't know anything different. it was safe, it was wonderful, granddad is handle the world. it was just great. >> so your favorite white house memory, do you all have one? >> i do. >> go ahead 67. he >> p christmas one year. it's kind of what do you give y the president of the united states for christmas? he has everything, right?my m >> and did you spend it at camp david or at the white house? >> no, at the white house. my mother decided to throw a christmas pageant for him. she was very clever. she cut sheets out and did cardboard angel wings and put garland on the neck and then foh
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halos she took coat hangers and put garland on the coat hangersw and putit them on our heads and strung them with lights and ey r attached them to a "d" battery with a button on the bottom that we could push and the halos would light up. one of my favorite things -- of course i was always in the reard because i was the youngest. she did it by height. i remember going through the third floor -- rather, the out second floor -- it goes ground, first, second. and with all the lights out, there was a huge corridor and we were singing "silent night" and we ta had our littled halos lit up ar all of that when the pageant was over he gave us a standing ovation, came running over and gave each of us a dollar. said it was much less expensive than the theater.bein
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>> i would like to follow this up. anne and i have a funny story between us about the white house being normal. w i must say we were so extraordinarily lucky to grow up here in gettysburg, pennsylvania, because our being classmates didn't think it wasf particularly strange or at least didn't raise it that we were being followed around by secret servicemen. and we had them, of course, until the end of his t the administration. anne and i laugh about the time in alexandria before we moved to gettysburg that we had decided to go running through the woods to one of our friend's houses and two large men -- took a shortcut. >> and these two large men were running along behind us. and one of the neighbors was not quite cottoned on to this called the cops. these two little girls are being pursued through the woods by two grown men and when the cops ann: arrive, all the badges are out.
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>> anne, it's your turn. >> favorite memory of the white house -- there were many. because i was a bit older -- ale >> but not the oldest grandchild. >> not the oldest. watching the -- we were alloweds to. sit on the stairs and watch the progression of people into the state dining room on the state dinners when dignitaries would come. there were some ctriincredible e moments like that. fun memories, driving our sudd electric car in the basement and then all of a sudden all the tourists, all the people are going to do the tour of the white house are standing there and they're staring at us and we're sort of, you know, what do you do? >> and i never got a turn on that car, i might add. >> there were just lots of incredible experiences. one of the most enjoyable was -- and it's a great story, actually. my mother went out -- my parents went out one night and left us,
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you know,ers s at the white hou. and the butlers were supposed to take care of us, and they served us unbelievable things, great steak and ice cream and french d fries and just everything. given and so when my mother got home e she asked what they had given us for dinner. and he gave her the list of all? this horrible stuff. and she said, how could you do that?ade and he said mrs. eisenhower gavp us the order when she went out that the grandchildren were to be made happy. we had wonderful meals there. the staff was absolutely incredible. it was absolutely -- >> of that incredible staff, one was jean allen, the subject of t the movie "the butler." the movie "the butler" was inspired by be he had one of the greatest smiles i've ever seen a human being >> how often did you go back to
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the white house or have you been back since your grandfather left, and how has that felt to each of you? >> well, interior designers are not invited back very often. however, lady bird johnsoned wa the first person who decided that once you've lived in the house it becomes very personal to you. and she invited everybody who had ever livedth in the white house back for tea. and, oh, there are some ograph photographs that are absolutely amazing. that was the first time. i went back again because she s had -- ien don't know how it tw happened, but she invited my senior class for tea at the bact white house. i'm not sure who used my name, how they did it. susan it just happened.wh susan and i went when mrs. oba'e did a b mothers day lunch. i've been back actually very little. >> we all went back in '90 on
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granddad's centennial. >> i feel very fortunate because i'm a of washingtonian, you kno. i've had the opportunity to be there on a number of additional occasions, but it's funny. you asked what does it feel like? first of all, they still use the same floor wax because the immediate smell when you are cd goingn' downstairs is exactly t same. and the other thing there are small things that you couldn't o reallyf say to anybody else without sounding silly but we spent a lot of time on the third floor of the white house. and in the solarium we had a pa parakeet and a couple of canaries. and our grandmother was so incredibly sweet.e she let us have a ceremonial burial for pete the parakeet in what is today the jacqueline kennedyfo rose garden. but we're sorry that somehow the marker for pete is no longer
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there. and so you go in there and you're always looking for theser little things to a see whether r little headstone is still there for pete.k >> i do remember where all of the secret doors are to all the back staircases. >> a couple of other questions you may not be able to answer ln this you about you talked about montgomery. what about eisenhower's relationships with charles de al gaulle? >> there was a lotot of respect between the two and i've often heard it referred to that they were the only two on both sides that got alongcam famously. de gaulle came to the farm -- what was it, may of '58? >> '59. >> maybe that's why i remember it. i kind of -- i'm deviating. >> i think i should tell that story. because watching it from afar, do you mind? >> oh, no, no. he wo
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>> when he would take people here to gettysburg, he would bring them because he would want them to ousee, you know, life i america, in rural america, and he would also like to show us off as a normal family.minutes and so he would sometimes call unannounced and give us ten minutes' notice. i'm here sitting with charles de gaulle and i'll be down in five, ten minutes. so we learned to become experts to throw all the clothes under the beds. we could clean up a house in ten minutes flat. so one day he showed up with charles de gaulle and mary was very small. you must have been about 3 years old. >> i think i was more like -- ii remember it.he w >> 5? anyway, charles de gaulle is ge sitting in our little house on a sofa. he was so large, he could hardly get in the front door. >> he was like 6'5", correct? >> he was enormous, yes, he was. and he arrived. he sat down on one of the sofas
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and he always -- it was always through a translator because hei quote/unquote didn't speak english. mary is this little girl. she puts her arm on the sofa and stares at him. the reason i wanted to tell theh story -- the reason i wanted to tell the story is because you h can imagine you're there as a sister. you know you've gotar tori beha. you have to do this. but we see a wild card here. and mary is staring at him, staring at him, staring at him.. and finally it comes out.k she says why do you have such thick glasses?s and he turns to her in perfect english and says, i'm very blind. poor me. >> do you remember that? >> very much, yes. dry because i also engaged him in a conversation talking about the smocking of my dress and the pps lace and telling him why it was important and how it was done and all that and he completely ignored me and kept talking to
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granddad. >> the eisenhower name lives on at the eisenhower executive office building. they didn't have to change the' acronym because it was the old executive office building. what was that like to have your grandfather's name attached to that building, that iconic susa: building next to the white house? >> location, location, locatio'' yeah, no, it's thrilling. it's thrilling. it's now known as the eeob and there's something really moving and wonderful to see that when they announce press conferences it's at the eisenhower building. i think it's the best. >> your grandfather did face d criticism from the conservative wing of the republican party that he did not do enough to try to dismantle some of the programs that they didn't like as part of the new deal. you're shaking your head y.? >> i think he was absolutely correct. he had a brother named edgar and
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edgar, as we all remember, was quite a character and was much more conservative politically.rd if you want some great, steamy u reading, read the correspondence. >> share one if you could. >> they're it's a marvelous letter. he's writing his brother the president, obviously lobbying to get one of his colleagues named as a federal judge. i'm sure this goes on a lot, but ike didn't appreciate it and wrote back and he said how manyt times do i have to tell you i don't see federal judges as patronage. the fact you my brother would write me a letter like this want makes me so angry i want to do something. so he had to tell ed to lay off. i don't know how many times.on
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edgar was frequently lobbying te him about some very, very conservative things and i think on another occasion he writes him and says no party that tries to wind back things that the american public has worked for . will ever survive politically, something like that. i'm paraphrasing. but it's a very rich collection of letters.their and edgar was a great spirit, but they certainly had their political >> in edgar's defense, he's the reason he wound up at west you point. he was too old for annapolis. >> and the rest is history. >> edgar was responsible for alw of this. >> another family question. andh your own father, what was he like, and what was the relationship like between your father and his father, the as president? >> well, i'm not very objective, about this. my father was the best.
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he was precious. he was very complex because, you know, he was an introvert that e trained himself to be social, and he hadstoo -- he was probabs sympathetic as he was brave, ift that makes sense.sition he understood what it was like to be in awkward positions so is you ended upay in an awkward position of some kind, it didn't matter if it was family related or not, he always knew the right thingsnd to say.ip. and he absolutely adored his father. they had a tremendous relationship. and susie can probably, you know, you all can probably spear more to that because you were around longer. >> you have a favorite story between your father and grandfather, if there is one that you want to share. >> involving both of them? >> now that's very they were together so much and
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it was all -- i can't think of any specific one. >> it's remarkable, though. our father provided more moral support and help to his father. i know that's quite typical in a lot of these cases but when you think about it part of the reason we admired our dad so much is that, you know, he managed his situation being the son of a great man probably better than anybody else i've ed ever run across.he he carved out his own career. he wrote 16 books by the time he died, and the last one he finished at the age of 92 about a month before he passed away and it got published by a major publisher. so that was remarkable.even hav but i guess what i was going tog say is that he didn't even have his graduation to he graduated on june 6, 1944, oe d-day.d he got up to prepare for a
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commencement that morning and the news had already come in that d-day was under way. he managed that with a kind of grace. we were d privy to his frustrations about it but it was never -- it was never singularly described that tell he handled it with great grace and we miss him every day. >> i have to tell a story on him, too, that's kind of cute. tom selleck played him and in my day he was the idol. playing granddad and i thought,t well, you know, i thought he was a little bit young to play dad granddad and then i thought, i'm old enough to play granddad. so i told my dad, you know, who startlingly looked like his father. i told my dad the story.e ask me
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yeah, i'm old enough to play granddad. he said i can go one better.e] when people ask me what it's like to look like ike, he said looking like tom selleck. >> these are all great ones. did president eisenhower believe in some form of mandatory public service? >> not that i know of? >> good question. >> another question related to the current political climate, seeing this campaign unfold in this election, what would the n? candidates learn from your grandfather's attitudes, perspectives, methods and respec actions while in >> what can they learn? >> respect. >> well, i would add something to that. eisenhower said on any number of occasions that everything he die was designed to elicit cooperation from the people he u needed to cooperate with.
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and so he felt very, very strongly about not insulting e? people in public. in and not -- boy, can we start ino right r there? we see this in the debates. it's astonishing for me and, noy only that, but people say really insulting things to foreign leaders who are critically important for our own country's. national security. so i think i'd put that right at the top of the list. if you want to elicit somebody'a cooperation, yout might save yr strong feelings for behind-the-scenes moments and to at least speak respectfully in public so they have room to maneuver just as you wish that for yourself. >> i think the world changed a lot in my opinion when the show on tv "crossfire" came on. all of a sudden, before that, there had been discussions abou,
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politics. first time people started screaming at each other, interrupting. it actually was quite amusing. and certainly very stimulating but it really did change things. nowadays when you see the news at night they're often they have people on opposite sides of an issue and they're often yellings at each other, interrupting. there is no politeness anymore. and i think it's rather would counterproductive, quite 's frankly. >> would he be comfortable in today's republican party? >> i think the divisiveness that's going on would sorely disappoint him. >> susan?rategi >> actually, he was a great n ts strategist andpe he was, i thin also a great leader because he knew when to speak out publicly and when to do things behind the scenes.blican
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he had a small minority in the n republican party that created a lot of problems for his had a administration, too. think of mccarthy, for instance. the republicans only had a majority of one.mplica in thete president's own party.e so grappling with that was extremely complicated. i would say that i think he wouldn't understand using government shutdowns as a way for a minority to get its way. this really jeopardizes our eopz economy, which jeopardizes our standing in the world. it even jeopardizes our national security. and i think he would be extremely distressed about thata >> who are the golfers in this crowd? raise your hands. i'm trying to figure out who asked the question.? was your grandfather a good golfer, and did he give himself any mulligans? >> wasn't the whole game about mulligans? >> i,on unfortunately, was chos as the person to learn golf, tot
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be able to play with my brother, david, so when he grew up he could play golf with granddad. and it was not something that is wason talented at. i could actually -- i could probably give you a lesson on how to play golf, only i can't do it myself. so i think i was a big disappointment in that, but i ae know one of his favorite moments in life was when he got a hole in one. >> and he loved augusta national, did he not? >> he was 75 years old when he got that hole in one and said it was worth living his whole 75 years for. >> but i will tell you something, he almost got a sler second hole in one about a monto later. and he was heard as saying in a very loud voice, oh, please, noh no, no more holes in one. my office can't handle the mail. >> let's turn to a couple of aye final points a about your grandfather. he passed away at the age of 78 in 1969.
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president nixon said he was a citizen of the world. would he have considered himself that? >> i think so. that's kind of what the whole people to people thing was. yeah. >> what do you remember about his death? >> devastating. >> yeah, devastating. it truly was. >> i have to say because i, again, want to honor those of you who served in world war ii who are with us here this evening, and i have to tell youa that i have some sense of what it was like to have a ut his relationship with your supreme o commander. after we put his body on the train that went from washington out to abilene, kansas, and mary and anne can tell -- each tell their own story on this, the thing i remember most is that we stopped in every little town along the way and at about 2:00 in the morning, because, you ju know, we couldn't sleep at all.
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i looked out the window and just as we were passing there was a sole, solitary figure standing next to the train as the train went past. saluting. and i never forgot that.g the >> i never forgot during the day, even in the most barren of country sides, they were -- thee were just crowds on both sides of the tracks, and people were holding up signs saying we like ike, and i'll never forget thatl that and there was a political cartoon, too, and this one i'll take with me. but it was soldiers on the beach of normandy and the caption underneath is psst, pass the word along, it's ike.
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>> it was a very hard time - because not only losing him, he was so very important in our lives really, we had two sets of parents. he used to call us the kids. i always used to wonder what that made my parents. but to lose him was truly majora but ind think almost as bad was for my grandmother to lose him and us to watch her. their relationship was so close. and the whole idea of her continuing without him was just youawful. and to see the grief in her face when you go back and look at the photographs during the funeral and everything, so many people try to be stoic, et cetera, and she tried. the grief is just so etched on her face. and we were feeling that firsthand. so it made it even more
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difficult. >> final question for all of you and this is rather open ended st you can add your own thoughts. what would you think of this gathering here today? what would he think about the institute and what you all have been talking about? >> why don't you go first. >> h he probably would say we talked too much. he no, i thinkwo he'd be absolutele delighted. certainly thrilled that people who worked under him came back to the eisenhower -- gettysburgr college and intoday's events. he would be absolutely delighted with the gathering and, as i say, he probably would tell us we talked too >> i think he'd be very honored that we were celebrating his 125th -- he might be a little shocked by the number -- but, yeah, i'm with anne. i think he might say that we said too much.
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int he would say it in a knee slapping g way. >> and he'd be proud of all of you who are here, the best of wo the best from his generation. >> absolutely. >> susan, you get the last word. [ applause ] >> i don't deserve the last word here except to say that i feel honored to be associated with the eisenhower institute of gettysburg college and the college itself.ould b i think he'd be really thrilled. he was very interested in education, and i think he would be thrilled that so many of the students here at gettysburg college are engaged in the eisenhower institute and show, you know, enormous amount of promise. we are actually, i think, creating some excitement about public policy and political science and public policy and that's terrific. so here's the word, kids. he used to say, and, boy, did we ever hear this because he had al ow ymaxims that we heard all te
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time, drip-drip. w take your work seriously but never yourself. >> yeah, that's right. >> on what has been an important andek, ta historic week in wash, thank you for taking us back to another time, another era. anne eisenhower, mary jeanries eisenhower and susan eisenhower. for your insights, your stories and your good humor, thank you very much. [ applause ] to >> and our thanks to the eisenhower institute and gett gettysburg college. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] the civil war every saturday at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.


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