tv Award Ceremony for Hamilton CSPAN January 1, 2016 1:50pm-3:11pm EST
history for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. the george washington book prize is awarded annually to a which advances public understanding of george washington and america's founding era. this year's prize went to lin-manuel miranda for his broadway musical "hamilton" which is based on the life ofha. next the award ceremony. and we'll see a performance from the play. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. if eveningood evening. thank you. it is my pleasure and privilege
to welcome you. barbara lucas, and the vice regents of george washington mt. vernon, also president sheila ba bair, adam goodhart and the board of washington college. and the co-founders and co-chairs and all the trustees of the institute. founded in 2005, the $50,000 george washington prize is sponsored by our three organizations and is awarded each year to the best work about the founding era. this is the first type the
washington prize has ever been warded to a play. and i would add no one anywhere will be surprised that tonight it will be presented to lin-manuel miranda for his astonishing "hamilton." we will hear from lin miranda a bit later, bifirst firsbut firs recognize some of our distinguished guests. among them, former premiere of bermuda, former u.s. senator bill bradley, the former u.s. ambassador to the czech republic
and then ambassador to france, craig staple ton and his partner in diplomacy debbie stapleton. we also have the former undersecretary for domestic finance and acting secretary of the treasury mary miller. from here in new york,rd of the new york historical society, louise mirra. and i know in the room also is the former director of the star center at washington college and co-founder of this washington prize, ted whitmer. also here tonight, as there are many important people in the
room, is the pulled litzer priz winning robert chernow, and in a wonderful sort of circuitry that comes to fruition, ron cherthousand was the original winner of the washington prize back in 2005 for his alexandria hamilton. wonderful, ron. also here is the producer of "hamilton" and the driving force behind the educational outreach which in partnership with the rockefeller foundation which will bring 20,000 school kids to see the play, jeffrey seller. there are three people in front of me who must be the proudest family members in the world just
now, lin's wife, vanessa and his parents, along with the rest of their family right here. from the cast of the show steflstefl itself, we have with us the alternate alexander hamilton who has performed brilliantly in the lead many types already, javier munoz. also, the unforgettable her could y hercules mulligan and james madigan, both parts. thank you for coming. the understudy to aaron burr and
to george washington, who also performs in the ensemble every night, sydney harcourt. and the indispensable man george washington himself, chris jackson.harcourt. and the indispensable man george washington himself, chris jackson.arharcourt. and the indispensable man george washington himself, chris jackson. court. and the indispensable man george washington himself, chris jackson.court. and the indispensable man george washington himself, chris jackson. of course i didn't mean to leave out that one other member of the cast is here, the writer, composer and lead actor, alex n alexander hamilton, lin-manuel miranda. earlier this month, having just seen hamilton for the third time, "new york times" writer ben brantley wrote, "i shivered the first time i saw "hamilton." the second time i grinned throughout, partly with relief that i hadn't overstatemented
it. this time i blush to admit i cried pretty much from beginning to end. when a hardened "new york times" theater critic writes that way about a show, you know we are in the midst of something special. even transformative. but i suspect many of us, including lin miranda himself care less about the krcritics, than the schools who went to see the show last weekend and met members of the cast afterwards and who are the vanguard of the 20,000 new york city high school students who will see the show over the next 12 months. i won't call out all their names, but could i ask all ten of those students to stand and be recognized, please.
during the speaker values tonight, i hope you will get a chance to talk to some of these young people, all top student, full of talent and aspiration. and also elected members of the advisory council. early in the show, addressing his pals and drinking buddies, the young hamilton says, don't be shocked when your history book mentions me. i will lay down my life if it sets us free. eventually you'll see my as send denies city. there are many america he mark hamilton's as send denies city. denies city. there are many markers of hamilton's as send denies city. for a fuller account of
hamilton's historical as send denies city, it is my pleasure now to turn to the co-founder and co-chair of the institute, businessman civic leader and historian in his own right, lewis lehrman. >> dear friends of mt. vernon, of washington college, we are gathered here to celebrate the life of a great man, a great american. alexander hamilton.
it was the remarkable chancellor kent of new york, the american blackstone, who thought hamilton was without peer among the founders, the most famous chief justice of the supreme court john marshall held alexander hamilton after gone washington to be decisively the first man of the revolutionary and constitutional era. while serving as de facto chief of staff to general washington, colonel hamilton would even anticipate president lincoln. st it was hamilton who proposed with his friend henry lawrence to raise black battalions to fight the british and to give the former slaves their freedom with their muskets. hamilton would later become a founder of the new york anti-slavery society.
so we must ask ourselves, what caused hamilton's fall from the pantheon of the founders to be obscured by his nemesis, thomas jefferson? in the 20th century, in the 20 isiah thomth century, how could jefferson, a notorious swllave plaster, stan in the light of the bold alexander hamilton and it i slavery from the beginning?mpla in the light of the bold alexander hamilton and it i slavery from the beginning?last in the light of the bold alexander hamilton and it i slavery from the beginning?asten the light of the bold alexander hamilton and it i slavery from the beginning? it was combined, you may be surprised, by the powerful sponsorship of franklin delanor roosevelt and the democratic party. now, happily, this is not the
end of our story. as the 20th century waxed toward its end, cleo, the muse of history, gave us two celebrated biographies of alexander hamilton. one by rick brookheiser, and scholarly works. but above all, there came the monumental new york historical society exhibit of 20004, the first major hamilton exhibit in generations. this exhibit burst upon new york city to loud outcries of protests from the jeffersonians. a protest registered you may
remember on the front pages of the "new york times." and so tonight we must congratulate those pioneers who mounted this path breaking hamiltonian exhibit. cure tore a chief of the exit, james bassiter, the biography, the script writer, the entire exhibit preside over by the president of the new york historical society, louise mirra. now, with these initiatives, the jefferson bear market began in earnest. jefferson's shares fell precipitously on the market for intellectual exchanges. they are still falling.
and then came off broadway, an obscure rap musical called simply "hamilton." we now know the musical was a tour de force. lin-manuel miles per horanda haa magnificent production to choreograph the life of our noble immigrant from the ker caribbe caribbean. ed in the rockefeller foundation has now partnered with the institute to bring 20,000 new york city school students in to the orbit of the on-rushing "hamilton" bull market. my dear friends, this "hamilton" bull market is, i believe, a
long duration bull market. by, and hold your chairs, now, i do believe all of you might remember that alex ander hamiltn died in 1804, but we can now say confidently long live alexander hamilton. thank you very much. >> i feel like i should tire off a pistol or something but i won't. i'm adam goodhart. and it's a pleasure to welcome all of you on behalf of our institution, one of the three
co-sponsors of the washington prize. now, i have now seen hamilton twice. i loved it. i got the cast album as soon as it came out and i've been sinking it ging in the car, in shower, in the kitchen, just about anywhere you can sing. and that was not me loudly singing songs from it with some of my friend and former students rather late last night on our way home at the corner of 42nd street and 10th avenue. it wasn't us. but washington college is proud of not just sponsoring the washington prize, but also of our college's founding name sake. you may know almost uniquely george washington never went to college or university largely for reasons of financial hardship after his father died. he wasn't lucky enough like alexander hamilton to receive in effect a scholarship. and in fact rop turnow in his
great biography of washington has written that possibly this was a reason that george washington patronized washington college so much that he was trying to erase this stigma that followed him. you would think founding the nation of the united states would erase any stigma that was there, but, ron, i won't question your scholarship. so washington was among the largest donors to our school when it opened to 1782 as the first college chartered in the independent united states. and he also served as one of our original trustees. several of his present-day suck secretary sores are here with us this evening and i would like to recognize them. would all of the current and former member os of the board please rise to be recognized.wo former members of the board please rise to be recognized.
founding idea was an innovative one. it was that they would take this ancient tradition of the liberal arts and adapt to the values and necessities of the young american republic teaching not just classical literature and philosophy, but american history. you may wonder what american history there was to teach in 1782, but we'll let that go. and also modern languages, political sciences, things not the taught widely at the time. today faculty and students continue to be inspired and i'd like to recognize those here with us this evening. please stand and show yourselves. and there is someone else that i'd like to recognize among us, a guest who happens to be a
direct descendant of alexander hamilton. ooh. steve clemens is editor-at-large of the atlantic and tremendous friend of washington college and he's also hamilton's, and i had to call him today, he was on amtrak, steve, exactly how many greats are you. he said let me call you right back. he called me back and he said great, great, great, great fwrand so grandson. steve, where are you? and a great grandson indeed. before welcoming our college's president i president, i'd like to mention it's been a tradition with all recipients to visit with us and meet our washington college 1250u679 students and faculty. mr. miles per horandmiranda, i
calendar is full, but we hope we can welcome you to washington college in chester town. i nut a word with lin earlier tonight in light of all the singing and i have been doing, i said when jop jonathan gruff starts to get tired of george the iii, right here. spend 45 minutes with me in the hotel bar with me afterwards -- you think i'm kidding. i'm do it. right here. no, i won't. earlier this fall, washington college inaugurated our 28th president, sheila bair. president bair joined us from a distinguished career in guy narngs government and education, that notably included five years of chair of the fdic beginning in 2006. not a great time to become chair of the fdic for five years. she did, however, receive
widespread recognition for sounding early warnings about the last great financial crisis and helping to guide the u.s. economy through the storm that followed, including being recognized with a john f. kennedy profile and courage award. and "forbes magazine" twice named her the second most you powerful woman in the world, although sheila likes to point out that she was unseeded the following year by lady gaga. and now i ask you to join in welcoming sheila bair. >> thank you adam. it's wonderful being here tonight. you know, i really have a special affinity for the play "hamilton" and alexander hamilton in general for a number of reasons. one of which is that we share a
space on the $10 bill. so you can -- he's here. you can see him. and then my office, i used to be the assistant secretary for financial institutions of the treasury department in the early 2000s and my office is right there. so i will have to -- even though, again, i respect hamilton and what he accomplished, i have to admit i was always kind of a john adams person. and then i saw hamilton. and, you know, it so inspired me and reminded me of the wonderful things that he accomplished given the background and tremendous odds he had to cko confront. when jack lew first said he was thinking of replacing him on the $10 with a woman, i said let's put abigail on there, but not any more. keep him on the ten. okay.
that building i used to work in wasn't constructed until more than 30 years after hamilton's death, but you still might say he was the architect, the man who built our country's entire system of public finance. in fact you you might say all of us live in a house that hamilton built. a mighty economic empire of banks and stock markets, of industries and immigrants. next time you pull a $10 bill out of your pocket, take a close look at his portrait. a unlike the other denominations, hamilton turns away from the viewer, gazing a screenly toward a distant future. so given my long career in public gfinance, and as we saw n 2008 and 2009, that financial system has not always worked as well as it should, but overall has been a tremendous driver of
the economic nation. now that i become a college president, i position more about the teen age that we meet in the first seen of the musical "hamilton." and just like his country, young, scrappy and hungry, the scholarship kid on his way to college and a new life. there is no surviving portrait of that young hamilton, but he's like the ones i see, eager for knowledge, ready to change the world. and some of our students but not many have there cost from ba backgrounds like his. our economy doesn't often take very good care today of the young hamiltons of today. the inner city kids, the immigrant, hungry to learning and chiachievement. we hear a lot of talk and higher education with the value of liberal arts, how they can teach young people to live will lives
rich in purpose and passion. but then a harsh calculus of dollars and cents makes that experience unattainable for so many kids who need it the most. at my inauguration, i pledged to make washington college a place where today's teenage hamiltons no matter their economic backgrounds can get the best form of education that our culture has to offer. yes. yes. and that was even before the you saw the broadway show. so i'd like to take this moment to honor miranda's theater, not just for its story tell, not just for its unforgettable music, but also for how that story and music inspire us to pay attention to the young scrappy hungry kids today. and now my privilege to
introduce the man who inspired the musical after mr. miranda happened to pick it up. ron cher now is one of our great biographe biographers. not only has he been the recipient of many award, but a decade ago, his biography won the first george washington book prize. tonight he joins us in honoring the latest recipient of that award. please join me in welcoming him. thank you, sheila. i guess i should mention that i not only have an honorary doctorate from washington college, but from hamilton college, as well. i guess the fix was in.
and sheila has left me $10. it's wonderful to be here tonight with friends of hal ton t hamilton the book and more importantly the man and most importantly friends of "hamilton" the musical. i know that you're all expecting me to stand up here and tap snapping me fingers and breaking into rhyme. although i'm afraid i'm going to disappointing but b poippoint y. but i'm afraid one side of me does want do it. and i'm photograph igoing to do. ♪ no, i'm not going there.tdo it. and i'm going to do it. ♪ no, i'm not going there.o do it. and i'm going to do it. ♪ no, i'm not going there. ♪ someone save me.
i've had this fantasy of going on a stage and i'd like to just do the opening number and then they can pull me off with a hook afterwards. but lin has decided not to draw on my unique theatrical talents. kbts figu can't figure it out. but i was absolutely overjoyed to find out lin would be be the current recipient. i think it's an outstanding choice for the creator of this magnificent groundbreaking unforgettable musical. people have analyzed this masterpiece from every conceivable angle, but i want it give you my thoughts on what lin has accomplished for the appreciation of american history in this country. back when the show was at the public theater, i took my god son, theo, no was 11 and came in
all the way from london to see the show. i have to say, i have never seen this boy so animatedw no was 11 in all the way from london to see the show. i have to say, i have never seen this boy so animatedho no was 1 came in all the way from london to see the show. i have to say, i have never seen this boy so animatedno was 11 ae in all the way from london to see the show. i have to say, i have never seen this boy so animatedo was 11 an in all the way from london to see the show. i have to say, i have never seen this boy so animated was 11 and in all the way from london to see the show. i have to say, i have never seen this boy so animated and sxwited as he was in that theater. at the intermission, he raced to the bathroom and then raced back to the seat, he was terrified that he would miss even a single moment of the second act. afterwards i took theo back stage and lin asked little theo what he thought of the show. theo looked up at lin and said the best diss i've ever heard in my life. well, what more powerful tribute to the show. and so compactly expressed. it confirmed what leslie herman, executive director, told me at the public theater. i happened to catch leslie as she was coming out of the newman theater and i said what did you think of the show. and she said, ron, this is the single greatest opportunity in
our lifetime to introduce students to american history and i wholeheartedly agree. and i'm so excited that they will be preparing the curricula materials and supervising the program for the 20,000 students that will start coming in april. you know, years ago i remember hearing an interview and he said american history was short, but it was so dramatic and so colorful that you have to work very, very hard to make it boring. and yet i peer that is exactly what some of our schools have done. and i must say, whenever broadway or hollywoodfpeer that what some of our schools have done. and i must say, whenever broadway or hollywoodeapeer tha exactly what some of our schools have done. and i must say, whenever broadway or hollywoodeer that iy what some of our schools have done. and i must say, whenever broadway or hollywoodr that is what some of our schools have done. and i must say, whenever broadway or hollywoodr that is what some of our schools have done. and i must say, whenever broadway or hollywood has dealt with american history, they start out with an almost unconscious assumption that it's pretty boring stuff. they feel that they have to spice it up with sex or nudity or profanity.
lin has done the impoimpossible. he's made american history hip and cool all at once. instead of talking down to his a audience, lin has shown if you have true talent, you can lift the audience up to a higher level of intelligence without in any way sacrificing the entertainment value. during the nearly six wonderful years that i've known lin and worked with him will, i always knew that he knew that the life of alexander hamilton was so outrageously dramatic that the best vaestrategy was to stick ce to the fact. and will that's what he's done. i fear way too many americans are strangers to their own history. american history has laid a banquet table of riches for them.
and these poor fools are starving. i think american history is hundred i didn hungry for patriotism, but patriotism that is real. they want real people, rich complex characters, compounds of good and evening, and this is exact any what lin has given them in the most extraordinary fashion. hamilton and the other founded der, they were all philosopher kings. this is not a debunking show. mine was not a debunking book. but they were will opinionated, argumentative and some feroci s ferociously difficult all at the same time. so the "hamilton" musical has two distinct moods. the first act is inspirational, it's about the winning of the american revolution, the audience finds themselves wanting to stand up and cheer and scream. and so do i every time i've seen
it and i've seen it 40 times now. i'm addicted, i need a 12 step program. but the second act which i think is the more important act is a tragic act, it's about what happened after the revolution when the founders began to argue about the meaning of that revolution. and here we see them as tough, shrewd and sometimes even ruthless politicians, asthma asthma lish issues and partisan as anything we know today. this is not an escape into imaginary paths. but far from tdetracting from their greatness, lin has enhanced it by showing these men in all of their complexities false included by presenting them as real and fallible human beings just like us. hamilton is american history for grownups. it in short, lin-manuel miranda
has captured history whole, he's came p chured it with great urgency and complexity and vividness and immediacy. he's shown us both the best and sometimes the worst in our national character. ed but he's done it with the most extraordinary insight and sensitivity. lin, i'm so happy i have the chance tonight to pay tribute to in you public. it's been one of the great experiences of my life working but you.you in public. it's been one of the great experiences of my life working but you. you're a the most extraordinary creative talent who has come along in decades. may be there be many more shows in your future.
and now on a more mundane note, i'm supposed to tell you that the hain courmain course is abo served. >> thank you all for being here. i'm the president of george washington's mt. vernon. i too am glad to be here with our partners from washington college and institute of american history to award the george washington prize to lin-manuel miranda. i want to just make a couple of introductions. in a few minutes you will hear from barbara lucas, she is the regent or board chair of the mount vernon ladies association. she's the 21st regent and she'll be speaking with you in a minute.
also here this evening is another of our board members, meg nicol, vice regent for the state of maine. i don't see meg out there, but i know she is here. over there. she's over there. okay. there are also two members of our advisory committee here, we're glad to have them here. and there are a few people here from mt. vernon, director of the george washington library over there. you will also get a chance tonight to meet mark santangelo, our libraryian and chief archivist. and so i'm glad to have them all here.ian and chief archivist. and so i'm glad to have them all here.
all due read to ron chernot. in may of 2015, he was at mount vernon lecturing for an event that we were having there.wt. in may of 2015, he was at mount vernon lecturing for an event that we were having there.. in may of 2015, he was at mount vernon lecturing for an event that we were having there. he buttoned holed me on the east lawn which if you're going to get stuck somewhere, it's a pretty nice place to be. and we had a rather lengthy conversation about "hamilton." which at that moment was sort of beginning to finish its successful run at the public theater. and ron described to me in great detail doggedly just what "hamilton" meant for all the people seeing it and indeed for the american public. now, i'll beiacknowledge i coule 25067 of a washington loyalist, but i didn't -- thank you. chris, thanks.
but i will say ron's admonition caused knme to leap into action. first thing i did was contact the vice president of the public theater board who was a colleague of mine at time warner and i said can i jump the queue to get tickets. and this was literally two week before it was going to end its run. and she sent me an e ha-mail ba on a saturday morning and she said, kurt, george clooney is on the wait list. so it did not happen. second thing that happened was i was immediately in touch with my colleagues on the board of the washington prize with the idea of giving this award off cycle to handle ton oig. i try to spend a lot of my waking hours understanding how to make the message of the
founding and these men relevant, topical, engaging to the next generation of americans. as ron said, american history is either not being taught or it's not being taught well. and so if you think about the charter of the washington prize, it's really around works of great scholarship that speak to the american public. and so what better work to have that happen. so that having been said, we are delighted as george washington mt. vernon to be here this evening to welcome you all. we have a short video that we'd like to play here. and then i'll be back to you in just a few minutes. thank you very much.
>> so when you contact about having a continuener december, they only have a certain number of dates. and it's only fitting that tonight we celebrate the 216th anniversary of george washington's death. so before i joined mt. vernon three years ago, i knew very little of the story i'm about to tell you, but in the early 1850s, only about 60 years after his death, the house was falling
apart. and his great grand nephew was trying desperately to sell the house to either the federal government or the commonwealth of virginia. neither of whom wanted any part of it. and a woman called ann cunningham was induced to take up the cause and in 1853, she formed the mt. vernon ladies association of the union. and she did it really at the behest of her mother who said if the men of america complaian't the home of the father of our country, then the women shall. so rewind then to 1853, she formed the mount vernon ladies association. it's an interesting fact to know that the very first vice remember gept from the state of this morning was mary morris hamilton the granddaughter of
alexander hamilton. she had a daunting task. she had to raise $200,000 to buy the home and more importantly, she had to convince him that she was serious in in selling her the home. and she managed to that. the ladies took over the home in 1859.home. and she managed to that. the ladies took over the home in 1859. and since then we've welcomed 80 million visitors to mt. vernon. we have more than a million people a year come to moupt. vernon. this year loop, we've had two royal visits by the prince of whales and duchess of cornwall, and just last month, we had benjamin netanyahu the prime minister of israel who in his spare time and with his wife sarah decided to come to mt. vernon. so that was great.
the amazing part of this story is that the ladies have done that since 1859 without taking a nickle of government money. so it's all been done thank to the generosity of americans as they tell the story of george washington. it is for me really it's a story of preservation, of steadfast devotion cause, in keeping the flame alive for more than 160 years. and in certain respects it intertwines nicely with the story of george washington and really what he meant to this country. the person i'm going to introduce this evening is the 21st regents of the mount vernon ladies association. barbara lucas. she continues a line of dead
indica dedicated strong women who are trying to keep this message alive and be able to tell to everybody in the united states and the world. and so for us, it's been an amazing run and we expect to continue. and it's important because there is a lot being lost, a lot being mistold and for us at mt. vernon, it's important that we're able to tell the story of the founding of these men and really take them off their pedestal and tell the stories of them as human beings as lin does in the play because that is the essence of what happened at the founding and what america is all about. so i invite barbara lucas to come on up. thank you.
>> let's give it up for the ladies. if you're a member of mount vernon, you think you're one of the ladies. but there were only 22 set aat time and only 27 today. it's always been a small group. each one represents her state and just works. and when we tell the story to people or others who haven't heard it before, they smile and they feel proud and they say, that is so american. and they love that. the ladies said we want to buy this, we want to keep it up, preserve it. people come here to see where george washington lived and died and we will show them. and that was in its way revolutionary at the time. so we're very proud to be continuing that and we can't
thank hamilton and this whole movement for helping it along. i don't sing or rap, but i'm trying to figure out how the ladies could get in to this. and perhaps we could be the greek chorus if that ever comes along. but at any rate, getting back to business, it really is such a thrill to be here tonight to celebrate this evening and to celebrate "hamilton" and lin-manuel miranda. what he has achieved with "hamilton" is stunning and yet it's tonigdeeply universal .at ir rev haven't, and respectful, sharp witted, heartfelt. "hamilton" shine as new light on the larger plan life founders and that light banishes all the shadows. it captures their follies, the youthfulness, the hope, the risks, the courage, the raw excitement of the era, and the
road blocks and clashes of ambition that propelled ideas into freedoms. ultimately expressed by the u.s. constitution. according to mr. miranda, the constitution, and i quote, the constitution is not the relate of something written down on stone and handed down. it was the work of compromise and hard work and fights. they were all human, fundamentally flawed ed and th relationships were fraught and complicated. in "hamilton," he tackles the messiness of human relations and the struggles and paradoxes of the american narrative with astoundi ining virtuosity. he has created a master piece that captures the imagination of all generations, challenging us, defying us, delighting us and
reawakening to us the miracle that came to be known as the united states of america. the george washington book prize was established to honor seminal works focused on washington and the founding era. and as ron chernow received the inaugural washington book prize for his own masterful hamilton, we come full circle tonight to celebrate a similar thing in a vastly different genre. in honoring the new "hamilton," we acknowledge that truly distinguished works are alike, regardless of their form. in their power to enrich and i will illuminate the human condition intellectually and emotionally. linnehan well miranda's achievements are proceed nound as they are numerous. they reveal a man who with
youth, vigor and passion, akin to alexander hamilton's own, embodies the he isessence of amn in-know vags and creativity. mr. miranda is composer and lear are a cysts of a play which earned two tony awards with mr. miranda receiving a tony for best score, as well as nomination for best leading actor in a musical. in the heights also took home a 2009 grammy award for its original broadway cast album and was recognized as a finalist for the 2009 pulitzer prize in drama. he's also co-composer of broadway's bring it on the musical which received tony award and drama nominations in 2013. in 2007, mr. miranda won both the theater world award for
outstanding debut performance and the actors equity foundations clarence derwin award. so you you fulfilled your promise, i see. he is also the recipient of the ascap foundation richard rogers nor horizons award and national arts club medal of honor. in 2009, he was awarded a doctor of humane letters degree become the youngest precrecipient of s an honor in their 123 year history. he contributed spanish translations for the 2009 he revival of west side story and has performed for president obama and the first family at the white house during its first ever evening of poetry and spoken word. he is a council member of the
dramaus guild and of new york city's theater sub district and serve on the board of young applywri playwrites inc. further he has distinction of being a fellow of the john macarthur foundation. and having a noonfew nanosecond compare, he is co-founder of free style love supreme. not well-known to me, i must say, but a popular hip hop improve group that performs regularly here in new york city. this man defies all the findings of sleep deprivation studies. but we are very glad. you probably know that all the 46 -- that the off broadway
production of "hamilton" has already received overwhelming recognition. many more awards are undoubtedly in store for the broadway production. but now to the honor at hand. would lin-manuel miranda, lou larri larriman and larry culp please join me at the podium. it is with enormous respect and pleasure that we award the george washington book prize this evening to lin-manuel
miranda. mr. miranda. lin. on behalf of the institute, wag college and the mt. vernon ladies association, we would like to present you first with this medal, george washington. in addition with thanks we would like to present this beautifully framed fact facsimile of a letter from alexander hamilton to his wife, elizabeth skylar.
we've done the b.e.t. hip hop words and ron rapped on c-span. hi, c-span. there are as many histories of new york as there are in this room. i woke up this morning to about 50 tweets from high schoolers and kids and grownups all over the country saying did you know this is the anniversary of george washington's death. still more tweets from high schoolers with the handled john lawrence or, you know, madison is my boss saying did you know this is the 250th anniversary of alexander and eliza's wedding. which is also true. could i never have anticipated being school order hr hied
could i never have anticipated being school order h on history random high schoolers legacies . quite frankly, my job, and i saided this before, is to fall in love for a living. musicals take a really long time. i read this book in 2008. what i knew about hamilton is probably what most people know. i knew he was on the 10. i knew he died in a dual. i picked up ron's group. it had great reviews. and so i said this will have a good ending. perfect beach reading. i didn't know my life would change when i cracked open that book. and ron's version of "hamilton" is what made me fall in love. the first two chapters of ron's book out-dickens dickens in terms of the hardship hamilton faces and the incredible odds he
overcame to come to this country and helped shape it. and it's been an incredible journey working with ron and learning about this history. and i think the secret sauce of the show is i'm learning this stuff just a chapter ahead of you. i'm falling in love with these characters and i'm falling in love with the fact that they're not the people i grew up learning about in a.p. u.s. history. they're flawed and messy. burr came alive to me when i realized he was dating theodoa when she was still married to that guy who was a general. and i said this is a guy who waits for what he wants. and that unlocked burr for me. george washington, you know, the name of your prize -- yes. an enormous help was ron's incredible pulitzer prize
winning book about washington himself. and i think the greatness of ron's strength as a writer is hamilton's a totolgtta totally character in the washington book than he is in "hamilton" and that shows ron embodies his subject and gives them a proceed pu proceed pull sif narrative of their own. and it's funny, washington kept getting written between off broadway and broadway. and i'll tell you the moment that unlocked it for me, my director was really a large -- really the overwhelmingly the reason we're all standing here. he grew up in virginia in the had t shadow of mt. vernon. and we were talking and he says there is something about washington's vine and figu tree thing. and i go what are you talking about? he said vine and fig tree, vine
an fig tree, there is a bible quote that george washington used more than any other bible quote. he used it over 50 times. discourse. it says everyone shall live under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid. and i think about that. and, first of all, that unlocked washington for me. because as you see when you open the newspaper, the notion of keeping us safe and keeping us feeling safe as a country is something that has robbed the sleep of every president from the first president to the current one. it made him very real to me in a very tangible way. second of all, i thought, oh, man, giving chris jackson scripture to sing, we're going to be home free! but i think the reason people have latched on to this musical is one of the things that is a
recurring theme in the show is that there's not a definitive version of history. i learned this my sophomore year in college when i took an amazing gospels in christianity class. the professor's name was ron cameron and we began by reading a bunch of books that were not in the bible but were written around the same time. grew up catholic. wait a minute, how are there jesus stories from jesus' time they're not in this book. and i read the gospel of mary which were the amazing jesus superboy stories. jesus kills a bird and he brings it back. how did this not make it into the original version of the bible? that's great. that's great stuff! but the notion that the person who tells the story is just as instrumental as what we learn as the teller is something that reverberates throughout the show. we see the courtship of eliza
and alexander, then we literally take two giant turntables, rewind the whole thing and we tell the same story from her sister's perspective and we see that angelica and hamilton are equally matched and they're kind of soul mates in a way. but angelica can't let herself love hamilton and she introduces him to her sister and suddenly "helpless" has a new meaning. it's a microcosm of what i think our show is about which is that every single one of you has a different story of new york and that's the history of new york according to you and the teller of the story is just as important as the story itself. by seeing a stage full of people of color who are perfectly cast in their parts, this show is accessible to people who never thought history was for them. they thought that's about old dead white guys on mountains. they didn't realize that these
guys are flawed and just like us and waiting for a husband to pass away or, you know, fighting to earn a scholarship in the caribbean or quoting a bible quote that he hopes he can embody to make people feel safe. and that's the secret sauce in the show, guys. it's not much more than that. they're just like us. and some people are disheartened when they hear, well, yeah, this story's totally different if you hear it from the perspective of one of george washington's slaves. this story's totally different if you hear it from sally hemens. this story is totally different if you hear it from one of hamilton's children. this story's different and it varies based on the teller, but that gives me hope. that means they're just like us and they're flawed. and this country is flawed but working as hard as it can because we're flawed and working
as hard as we can. and that gives me tremendous hope, and i am so honored to be here with you today. a few more things. the secret of my performance in the show is that i'm really playing my father luis miranda, who's sitting over there. he, too, grew up in a small town in the caribbean and said, i got to get out of here. i got to get to new york. and he got a scholarship to new york and he got out and that's then i realized, i know this guy and i can write him. and then the other thing, you know, i think people come to our show and they expect that it's going to be clever, hip-hop, founding fathers, all right, let's giggle. i don't think they expect to be moved. and they're moved because of the story of eliza hamilton and they're moved because eliza lived 50 years past hamilton. she raised funds for the washington monument. she met lincoln when he was a
senator at the foot stone of that monument. and i think we all hope that when we pass on the people who love us are going to keep our memory alive in some way. and this show's a love letter to my wife, vanessa, who is sitting here tonight. ha ha! who when i wrote the song "that would be enough" which is eliza's love song for hamilton, i played it for my wife, with tears streaming down my cheeks, goes, is that what you wish i would sing to you? thank you very much for this honor.
george washington song for you today. we've never performed this song outside the theater, so here's hoping we remember the farewell address without our costumes on. but i'll give you the setup for the song. we're in the middle of act two and george washington is deciding to step down, thus setting a precedent for the two-term presidency. and he's calling hamilton in his office. i'm joined by sidney harcourt and ian and chris jackson. come up here, guys. this song is called "one last time." >> mr. president, you asked to see me. ♪ i know you're busy >> what do you need, sir? sir? ♪ i want to give you a word of warning ♪ >> sir, i don't know what you heard, but whatever it is, jefferson started it. ♪ thomas jefferson resigned this
morning ♪ >> you're kidding. snopet ♪ i need a favor >> whatever you say, sir, jefferson will pay for this behavior. ♪ talk less ♪ you'll see what i can do to him ♪ ♪ i need you to draft an address ♪ >> yes, he resigned, you can finally speak your mind. >> no, he's stepping down so he can run for president. >> good look in defeating you. ♪ i'm stepping down i'm not running for president ♪ >> say what? ♪ one last time, relax have a drink with me ♪ ♪ one last time let's take a break tonight and then we'll teach him you on to say good-bye ♪ ♪ to say good-bye you and i >> no. sir, why? ♪ i want to talk about neutrality ♪ >> sir, with britain and france on the verge of war is this the best time? ♪ i was warned against partisan
fighting pick up a pen start writing ♪ ♪ i want to talk about what i have learned ♪ ♪ the hard-won wisdom i have earned ♪ >> as far as the people are concerned you have to serve. you could continue to serve. ♪ no one last time ♪ the people will hear from me one last time ♪ ♪ and if we get this right we're going to teach him how to say good-bye ♪ ♪ you and i >> mr. president, they will say you're weak. >> no, they will see we're strong. >> your position is so unique. ♪ ♪ i'll use it to move them along ♪ >> why do you have to say good-bye? ♪ if i say good-bye the nation learns to move on and outlives me when i'm gone ♪ ♪ like the scripture says
everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree ♪ ♪ and no one shall make them afraid ♪ ♪ they'll be safe in the nation we've made ♪ ♪ i want to sit under my own vine and fig tree ♪ ♪ a moment alone in the shade at home in this nation we've made ♪ ♪ one last time ♪ one last time >> though in review the incidents of my administration i am unconscious of intentional error i'm nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable but i may have committed many errors. i should also carry with me the hope that my country will view them with indulgence that after
45 years of my life dedicated to its service, the faults of abilities will be consigned to oblivion as i myself must soon be dimensions of rest. i anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which i promised myself to realize the sweet enjoyment of partaking in the midst of my fellow citizens, the benign influence of good laws and of free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart and the happy reward is the trust of our mutual cares. labors and dangers. ♪ one last time ♪ george washington's going home ♪ ♪ teach them how to say
good-bye ♪ ♪ george washington is going home ♪ ♪ george washington's going home ♪ ♪ going home ♪ george washington's going home history has its eyes on you yeah yeah ♪ ♪ we're going to teach them how to say good-bye teach them how to say good-bye to say good-bye say good-bye one last time ♪ ♪ >> chris jackson. sidney harcourt, ian weinberger. good night.
>> thank you. i want to just say a word -- final word of thanks. i want to thank chris jackson and lynn miranda and music director ian weinberger for that performance. at one point in the show, of course, there have been references already to the storytelling aspect. but there's the line history has its eyes on you, i think that's true also of this show, that history already has its eyes on this show, which is changing the history of everything it touches, the theater, music, education, our sense of the past
and our connection to it and above all through the millions of young people who will see the show in due course our collective sense of the future, what ideals we should pursue and what legacies we will leave for those who might one day tell our story. so, we want to thank you, lynn miranda and those who work with you and all those who are swept up in your genius. it's fantastic. and to all of you in this room, thank you for your support of mt. vernon, of washington college, and of the institute. you help us to tell the stories and continue the legacy that hamilton and washington and so many others have inspired us to emulate. tonight as you have heard, there are a couple of anniversaries, one of them deeply tragic and sad. death of washington. the other the wedding anniversary of eliza schuyler
and alexander hamilton. so, tonight as you leave, you'll be given a gift bag, and i'd love you to notice in it not only your own copy of ron chernow's wonderful "alexander hamilton" and gifts -- and gifts from mt. vernon and washington college, but in each gift bag will also be a keepsake, a facsimile reprint actually, lynn, of the letter that you've been presented here, it's a love letter from alexander hamilton to eliza schuyler in the fall of 1780. and it is the most exuberant, passionate letter that you can imagine, so i hope you'll all read it and enjoy it. and i hope also that you'll join us again next year for the washington prize. thank you all for coming. have a wonderful evening.
this new year's weekend american history tv on c-span3 has three days of featured programming beginning this afternoon at 3:10 eastern pamela smith hill editor of "pioneer girl the annotated autobiography" talks about laura ingals wilder. >> wilder chose to write about people, places and memories that were not only important to her personally but that would resonate with adult readers in the early 1930s. so, as reviewers and reporters have pointed out, "pioneer girl"
indeed contains stark scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk on whiskey. all of that is there. >> then on saturday evening at 6:00 author and historian james swanson compares the assassinations of presidents abraham lincoln and john f. kennedy highlighting the similarities and differences between both tragedies. and at 10:00, the 1965 nbc's "meet the press" interview with daniel p. moynihan who as assistant labor secretary authored a report. >> i believe what president johnson said about his howard university speech, you can't keep a man in chains for three centuries and take the chains off and say you can run the race of life like everybody else. people have to be given the opportunity to compete with effective resources and i believe that we should make a special effort. >> and sunday night at 9:30, a
visit to pershing park in washington, d.c., to hear about proposed designs for a new national world war i memorial, for its upcoming 100th anniversary. for our complete holiday schedule go to cspan.org. this sunday night on "q & a" cartoonist michael ramirez on his career and his recent book of satirical cartoons. >> i have this figure that's kind of a conglomeration of extremist israeli settlers and a palestinian figure if you notice he's on a prayer rug but he has his shoes on, so both these figures are sort of utilizing a false religion for a political purpose. so, it just proves once again i am an equal opportunity offender. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern
and pacific on c-span's "q & a." c-span has your best access to congress in 2016. the house and senate will reconvene on january 4th to mark the second session of the 114th congress. on tuesday, january 5th, the house is back from legislative work and first votes with paul ryan as speaker of the house. then on monday, january 11th, the senate returns at 2:00 p.m. eastern. be sure to follow c-span's capitol hill producer craig kaplan on twitter for daily congressional updates. c-span live coverage of congress on tv, on the radio, and online at cspan.org. up next on american history tv, pamela smith hill editor of "pioneer girl the annotated autobiography" discusses the lie
of laura ingalls wilder. she compares and contrasts the tv show and book series to the real life of laura ingalls wilder. the herbert hoover presidential library and museum hosted this event. it's a little over an hour. >> so some of you may be wondering why a presidential library devoted to herbert hoover is interested in laura ingalls wilder. like john f. kennedy's library that houses the papers of the writer ernest hemingway we are the only presidential library to howls the literary papers of a major writer. the laura ingalls wilder papers came to us through the estate of her daughter. she'd written an early campaign biography of