tv Award Ceremony for Hamilton CSPAN January 3, 2016 10:45pm-12:02am EST
prize is awarded annually to a work that advances understanding of george washington and america's founding era. this year's prize went to lin-manuel miranda for his broadway musical, "hamilton." next, the award ceremony held in new york city where we will hear from mr. miranda, as well as the author of the 2005 hamilton biography on which the musical is based. we will see a performance from the play. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> good evening, thank you. my name is jim basker and i am the president of the gilder lehrman institue of american history. it's my pleasure and privilege to welcome you to the 11th presentation of george washington prize on behalf of the three cohosts of tonight's event. regent, barbara lucas, also
president sheila bair, adam goodhart. and the board of visitors and governors of washington college. [applause] and the cofounders and cochairs richard gilder and lewis , lehrman. and all the trustees of the institute. [applause] 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 time the washington prize has ever been awarded to a play. [applause] i would add that no one in this
room, no one anywhere, would be surprised that tonight it will be presented to lin-manuel miranda for his astonishing "hamilton." [applause] from mr. miranda a bit later. i want to recognize our first, distinguished guests and special friends. among them the former premier of , bermuda, pamela gordon banks. former u.s. senator bill bradley. [applause] the former u.s. ambassador to the czech republic and ambassador to france greg stapleton and debbie stapleton. [applause]
have the former undersecretary for domestic finance and former acting undersecretary of the treasury mary miller. in new york, the president of the new york historical society, our good friend louise mirrer. i know also in the room is the former director of the star center at washington college, and a cofounder of the washington prize, ted witmer. also here tonight, as there are many important people in the room, the pulitzer prize-winning goodell -- ron chernow. in a wonderful circuitry that
comes to fruition. ron was the original winner of the washington prize in 2005 for his "alexander hamilton." [applause] also here, is the producer of "hamilton" and the driving force behind the educational outreach in partnership with the rockefeller foundation will bring 20,000 new york schoolkids to see the play. jeffrey seller. [applause] there are three people in front of me who must be the proudest family members in the world. lin's wife vanessa and his parents, along with the rest of their family. right here. [applause]
from the cast of the show, we have with us the ultimate alexander hamilton, who for many audiences is the only alexander hamilton because he has performed willingly in the lead many times already javier munoz. , [applause] also, the unforgettable hercules mulligan and james madison, both parts. oak, thank you for coming. the understudy to ehrenberg and george washington, sydney harcourt. [applause] and the indispensable man,
george washington himself, chris jackson. [applause] i did not mean to leave out one other member of the cast, the writer, the composer, lead miranda.n-manuel [applause] earlier this month, having just seen "hamilton" for the third times" writerk ben bradley wrote i shivered the hamilton ie i saw enjoyed it. this time, i cried from beginning to end. theater critic writes that way about a show you
, know you are in the midst of something special, even transformative. i suspect many of us, including lynn randy himself, care less about the critics reaction that the impact of the show on a special group of guests tonight, students who represent schools from queens, harlem, the bronx, who went to see the show last weekend and met members of the cast afterwards. they are the vanguards of the 20,000 new york city high school students who will see the show over the next 12 months. i will not call out all other names. but could i ask all 10 of those students to stand and be recognized, please? [applause] during the intervals in our program tonight, i hope you will get a chance to talk to some of these young people. all of them are top students in
their schools and elected members of the advisory council. early in the show, addressing pals, the young hamilton says -- do not be shocked when your history book mentions me, i will lay down my life if it sets us free. eventually, you will see my ascendancy. there are many markers of hamilton's ascendancy. the hamilton panel exhibition you saw during the party has been traveling the united states for the past 10 years and has visited 85 different cities. for a fuller account of hamilton's historical ascendancy, it is my pleasure to turn to the cofounder and cochair of the gilder lehrman businessmen, civic
leader, and historian in his own right, lewis lehrman. [applause] >> dear friends of the gilder lehrman institue of american history, of mount vernon, of washington college. we are gathered to celebrate the life of a great man, the 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 george washington to be the first man of the revolutionary and constitutional era. while serving as chief of staff to general washington, colonel hamilton would anticipate president lincoln. it was hamilton who proposed with his friend henry lawrence to raise black battalions to fight the british and give the former slaves their freedom. hamilton would later become a founder of the new york antislavery society. we must ask ourselves, what caused hamilton's fall from the pantheon of the founders to be of scared for most of the 20th century by his nemesis, thomas jefferson?
in the 20th century, how could jefferson, a notorious slave master, stand in the light of ,he bold alexander hamilton antislavery from the beginning? hamilton's obscurity was in part caused by the dominant historians of the time, combined the less you may be surprised -- you may be surprised -- by the powerful sponsorship of franklin roosevelt and the democratic party. it was f.d.r. who inspired the building of the jefferson memorial in the title basin. not far from the lincoln honor thebuilt to great emancipator. now happily, this is not the end of our story. as the 20th century waxed cleo gave usnd,
two celebrated biographies of alexander hamilton. jim mentioned them. works by professor joseph ellis and the magisterial professors the toppled jefferson from his pedestal. but above all, there came the monumental new york historical society exhibit of 2004. the first major hamilton exhibit in generations. this exhibit burst upon hamilton's very own new york city. two loud outcries of protest from the jeffersonians. a protest registered you may remember, on the front pages of so "new york times." and tonight, we must congratulate the pioneers who mounted this pathbreaking hamiltonian exhibit.
interior chief of the exhibit, , the massacre -- vasker hamilton biographer, the scriptwriter, the entire exhibit itself presided over by the president of the new york the struggle society louise , mirrer. with these initiatives, the jefferson bear market began in earnest. [laughter] [applause] jefferson shares fell precipitously on the market for intellectual exchanges. they are still falling. then came the capstone. off-broadway, of an obscure rap musical called simply "hamilton." we now know the musical was a tour de force.
do as the quarter grunt -- mirandagras. lin-manuel has crated a magnificent theatrical production to choreograph the life of our noble emigrant from the caribbean. the rockefeller foundation has partnered with the gilder lehrman institue to bring 20,000 students into the orbit of the hamilton bull market. [applause] my dear friends, this hamilton bull market, is i believe, a long duration bull market. buy and hold your shares. [laughter]
i do believe all of you might remember alexander hamilton died in 1804. but we can say confidently, long live alexander hamilton. thank you very much. [applause] >> i feel like i should fire off a pistol or something of your, but i won't do that. i'm adam goodhart. it's a pleasure to welcome all of you on behalf of our institution, one of the three cosponsors of the washington prize. you, i got the cast
album as soon as it came out and i've been singing it in the car, schaumburg, in the kitchen, just about anywhere you can saying. late last night on our way home, at the corner of 42nd street and 10th avenue. that was not us. washington college is proud of not just sponsoring the washington prize, but all of -- also our college's founding namesake. almost uniquely among the founding fathers, george washington never went to college or university for reasons of financial hardship after his father died. he was not lucky like alexander hamilton to receive a scholarship. ron, in his great biography, has written that possibly this was a reason that george washington patronized washing college so much.
he tried to erase the stigma that followed him his whole life. you would think that founding the nation of the united states would erase any stigma that was there. ron, i will not question your scholarship. washington was among the largest donors to the school when it opened in 1782, as it first college chartered in the independent united states. he was one of our original trustees. several of his successors are here this evening and i would like to recognize them. [applause] the founding idea of washington college was an innovative one in 1782. they would take this ancient tradition of liberal arts and
adapt it to the values and necessities of the young american republic. teaching not just classical literature, philosophy, but american history. also, modern language, political science, things that were not taught very widely up at the time. our faculties and students continue to be inspired by these historic origins. i would like to recognize the faculty and students who are with us this evening. please stand and show yourselves. [applause] we are very proud of you. there is some miles of like to recognize among us. i guess to happens to be a direct descendent of alexander hamilton. steve clemons is editor in large of the atlantic.
he is -- i had to call him today, i called him on his cell phone. he said let me call you back. he called me back and said great, great, great, great grandson. steve, where are you? [applause] a great grandson indeed. before walking -- welcoming our college's president i would like to mention is a tradition for all of the recipients to visit us and meet our washington college students and faculty. mr. manuel miranda i know that your schedule is full, but when it eases up, we would like to welcome you into washington college.
i put in a word with lin tonight. when jonathan starts to get tired of the role of george the third, right here. if you would spend 45 minutes with me downstairs, i have a little -- you think i am kidding. i will do it. earlier this fall washed in college and i graded are 28th president sheila bair. she spent five years as the chair of the fdic, beginning in 2006. not a great time -- not a great time to be chairman of the fdic. she received widespread recognition to founding early warnings about the financial crisis and hoping to -- helping to guide the u.s. economy through the storm that followed.
she was recognized with a john f. kennedy -- kennedy courage award. forbes magazine twice named her the second most powerful woman in the world. she likes to point out she was unseated the following year by lady gaga. and now i ask you to join in welcoming sheila bair. [applause] >> thank you adam, it is wonderful being here tonight. i have a special affinity for the play hamilton. alexander hamilton in general, for a number of reasons. we share our face on the $10 bill.
each year you can see him. my office, i used to be the assistant secretary for financial institutions at the secretary determined. my office was right there. i respect hamilton and what he accomplished. i have to admit, i was a john adams person. then i saw hamilton. he so inspired me, and remind me of the wonderful things he accomplished. i tweeted this but and legal and put abigail adams on the $10 bill. i say not anymore, let's keep him on the $10 bill. [applause] the building i used to work and was not constructive until 30 years after hamilton's death. you might say he was the u.s. treasury architect. the man who built our country's
entire system of public finance. you might say all of us live in a house that hamilton built. a mighty economic empire. of industries and immigrants. the next time you pull a $10 bill out of your pocket, ticket -- take a close look at his portrait. unlike the guys from the other denominations, he turns away from the viewer, gazing towards a distant future. given my long career, i admire that hamilton, as he founding father of our financial system. as we sat in 2008, 1929, the financial system has not always work as well as it should. overall it has been a tremendous driver of the economic rise of this great nation. i find myself thinking more about the teenager we meet in the first scene of the musical hamilton. lin manuel miranda's words, 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 adolescent hamilton. he probably looked like a student i see every day at washington college, eager for knowledge, ready to change the world. some of our students, not many, have come to us from poverty and deprivation. our money hamiltonian economy often does not take good care of young hamiltons of today. the inner-city kids, the immigrants, hungry for learning and achievement. we hear talk of higher education, the value of the liberal arts, how they can teach young people to live lives rich in passion. it is true, but the harsh caicos of dollar and cents makes it difficult for children who need it the most.
couple of months ago i pledged to make washington college a place for today's teenage hamiltons no matter their economic background. we want to give them the best form of education our culture has to offer. [applause] that was before i saw the broadway show. and like to take this opportunity to honor lin manuel miranda's brilliant work of theater. not just dynamic storytelling, the unforgettable music, how the story and music inspire us to pay attention to young, scrappy, and hungry kids of today. it is my privilege to introduce another great narrator of the hamilton story, the man whose book inspired the musical, after mr. miranda happened to pick it up. ron chernow is one of our great biographers.
he is a receiver of a guilt surprise and honorary doctorate from washed in college. a decade ago his biography included alexander, he won the first george washington book prize. please join me in welcoming him. [applause] [applause] >> thank you. i not only have an honorary doctorate, but from hamilton college as well. sheila has left me $10. it is wonderful to be here tonight with friends of hamilton
the book, and friends of hamilton demand. most important link, all friends of hamilton the musical. i know you are expecting me to stand up here and start snapping my fingers, breaking into rhyme and couplet. i'm going to disappoint you. one side of me is dying to do that. i will do it. ♪ i'm not going there -- [applause] to be a hero and a scholar somebody save me. [laughter] i have this fantasy about going on the stage. but the like to go on and do the opening number.
for some mysterious reason lin decided not to draw on my unique theatrical talent. i was overjoyed as the first winner of the george washington prize to find out that lin was going to be the recipient for the musical hamilton. it is an outstanding choice for the greater of this magnificent, groundbreaking, unforgettable musical. people have analyzed this masterpiece from every angle. i want to give you my thoughts on what he has accomplished with the appreciation of american history in this country. when the show was at the public theater, my godson video, who was 11 years old came all the way from london to see the show. i have never seen this boy so animated and excited as he was in that theater. he raced to the bathroom and back to his seat.
he was terrified he would miss a single moment of the second act. i took him backstage and lin asked theo what he thought of the show. he looked up at lin and said this is the best business i have ever heard in my life. what more powerful tribute to the show? it confirmed what leslie herman told me at the run at the public theater. i caught her as she was coming out of the theater, i asked her what she thought of the show. she said this is the single greatest opportunity in our lifetime to interest students in american history. i wholeheartedly agree. [applause] i'm delighted that leslie and gilder lehrman institue of
american history will be dividing the materials and supervising the program to the 20,000 students that will start coming in april. gore vidal said that american history was short but it was so dramatic, so colorful, that you have to work hard to make it boring. i fear that is what some of our schools have done. whenever broadway or hollywood delves into american history, they start out with an unspoken assumption that it is pretty boring. they feel they have to spice it up with sex or violence, or nudity, and profanity to disguise an underlying tedium. lin manuel miranda has done the impossible, made american history hip, cool at once. instead of talking down to his audience, he shows that if you
have true talent you can lift the audience up to a higher level of intelligence without sacrificing entertainment value. in the six years that i have known lin and worked with him, i knew that he knew the life of alexander hamilton was so dramatic -- that the best strategy for the show was to stick closely to the facts. capture the reality rather than circumvent it. that is what he has done. too americans are stranger to their own history. american history has laid a banquet of riches, and these poor fools are starving. the american public is hungry for history, hungry for patriotism.
patriotism of the real, not of the saccharine variety. they do not want plaster saints with storybook endings. they want real people, complex characters, compounds of good and evil. this is what lin has given them. hamilton and the other founders were all philosopher kings. this is not a debunking show and mine was not a debunking book. these men were opinionated, argumentative, and some of them difficult. the hamilton musical has two distinct moves. the first is inspirational, about the winning of the american revolution, the audience finds it so thrilling the want to stand up and cheer. so do i, every time i see it. i am addicted, i need help, i need a 12 step program. the second act, which is arguably the more important act is tragic.
it is about what happened after the revolution when they begin to argue about leading a revolution. we see them as tough, shrewd, and sometimes ruthless politicians. malicious as anything we know today. this is not an escape into an imaginary past. far from detracting from their greatness, lin has enhanced it by showing these men in their complexity, everything included. they are real, fallible human beings, just like us. hamilton's american history for grown-ups. lin manuel miranda has captured history whole, with great urgency, complexes -- complexity, and immediacy.
he has done us the best and worst in our natural -- national character. yes done it with extraordinary insight and sensitivity. this is been one of the great expanses of my life, working with you. you are the most extraordinary creative talent who has come along in american theater in decades. you more than deserve to stand alongside these eminent historians who have previously won the george washington prize. [applause] [applause] on a more mundane note, i'm supposed to tell you that the main course is about to be served. [applause]
>> thank you for being here. i am the president of the george washington mount vernon. i'm glad to be here with our partners from washington college and the gilder lehrman institue of american history to award the george washington prize to lin manuel miranda. i want to make a couple of introductions. you'll hear from barbara lucas, the regent or board chair of the mount burden german association. -- ladies association. she is a 21st regent and she will be speaking with you in a minute. another board member the vice regent for the state of maine. i don't see her out in the
ether, but i know she is here. she is over there. there are two members of the advisory committee here, we are glad to have them. there are a few people -- there are a few people for mount vernon, doug bradburn, the director of the george washington library. you'll get a chance to meet the library and and chief archivist and susan mcgill who manages our efforts. i'm glad to have them here. [applause] all the credit tonight to ron chernow. he was mount vernon lecturing. he buttonholed me on the east lawn.
if you get stuck there is a nice place to be. we had a lengthy conversation about hamilton. ron described to me in great detail what hamilton meant. i will ignore knowledge i could be too much of a washington loyalist. i think chris jackson. a cause me to leap into action. i contacted the vice president of the public theater board was
a colleague of mine at time warner. i said can i jump the queue to get tickets? this is gilder lehrman institue of american history weeks before the show would end its run. i said george clooney is on the waiting list. it did not happen. the second thing that happened was i was in touch with my colleagues on the board for the washington prize with the idea of giving this award of cycle to lin manuel miranda. my day job is running mount vernon. i try to spend a lot of my waking hours understanding how
to make the message of the founding and these men topical and engaging to the next generation of americans. i'm american history is not being taught well. if you think about that charter of the washington prize, it is around works of great fellowship that speak to the american public. what better work to have that happen. we are delighted to be here this evening to -- with a short video we would like to play and i will be back to you in a few minutes. thank you very much. [applause] i want to be in the room where it happens, the room where it happens i want to be in the room where it happens i want to be in the room
[applause] >> when you contacted us of a having a dinner in december, they only have a certain number of dates. it is only fitting that tonight we celebrate that unit 16th anniversary of george washington's death. december 14, 1799. before i joined mount vernon three i knew very little about the story on about to tell you. in the early 1850's, six years after his death, the house was falling apart. his great grand nephew was trying to sell the house to his beloved mount vernon, or the
commonwealth of virginia, night -- neither of whom wanted a part of it. one woman was induced to take up the cause. in 1853 she formed the mount vernon ladies association. she did at the behest of her mother who said that if the men of america who cannot save the home of the father of our country, the women shall. [applause] if the go back to 1853, she formed the mount vernon ladies association. it's an interesting fact to know that the first vice regent from the state of new york was mary morris hamilton, the granddaughter of alexander hamilton. she had an incredibly daunting task over five years. she had to raise $200,000 to buy
the home and more importantly, she yet to convince them she was serious and selling her own. she managed to do that. the ladies took over the home in 1859 and since then we have welcomed 80 million visitors to mount vernon. [applause] we have more than one looking at the -- more than one million people year come to mount vernon. we have had gilder lehrman institue of american history role visits. just last month we had benjamin netanyahu, and with his wife sarah. that was great. the amazing part of the story is that the ladies have done this since 1859 without taking a nickel. it has been done thanks to the
generosity of americans as they tried to preserve the legacy and tell the story of george washington. it is really the story of preservation of steadfast devotion to a cause, keeping the flame alive for more than 160 years. it is an incredible story of philanthropy and service. it intertwines nicely with the story of george washington and what he meant to this country here it -- to this country. the 21st regent of the membrane ladies association, barbara lucas, she is from the state of maryland. she continues the line of dedicated, strong women, who are trying to keep the message alive. to be what to tell it to everybody in the united states and the world. it is an amazing run and we
expect it to continue. it is important because there is a lot being lost. for us at mount vernon it is an important thing that we are able to tell the story of the pounding of these men and take them off of their pedestals. and tell the story of them as human beings. because that is the essence of what happened at the founding. it is what america is all about. i invite barbara lucas to, not. -- to come on up. thank you. [applause] >> let's get it out for the ladies. [applause] barbara: i should mention that in fact, it is a small group. if you are a member you think you are one of the ladies, but there were only 22 at a time.
there are 27 today. it has only been a small group, each one represents her state. it just works. when we tell the story to people like you are others who have not heard it before, they smile, and they feel proud, and they say, that is so american. they love that. the ladies said, we want to buy this, we want to keep it up and preserve it. people come here to see where george washington lived and died, and we will shows them -- where he lived and died. and that was, in its way, revolutionary at the time. we are very proud to be continuing that and we cannot thank hamilton and this whole movement helping along. i don't thing, --sing, i'm
trying to figure out how the ladies can be a part of it. perhaps we can be the greek chorus. getting back to business, it is such a thrill to be here tonight, to celebrate this evening and celebrate "hamilton" and mr. miranda. what he has achieved with "hamilton" is stunning, and yet deeply universal. at once irreverent and respectful, sharp-witted, heartfelt. "hamilton" signs a bright new light on the country's larger-than-life founders, and that led banishes all the shadows. a captures their foibles and their follies, the usefulness, the hope, the risk, the courage,
the raw excitement of the era, and the roadblocks and clashes of ambition that propelled ideas into freedom. ultimately expressed by the u.s. constitution. according to mr. miranda, the constitution is not the result of something written down on stone and handed down. it was the work of compromise and hard work and sites. they were all human, fundamentally flawed, and their relationships were fraught and complicated. in "hamilton" he tackles the messiness of human relations. the struggles and paradoxes of the american narrative, with a standing virtuosity -- outstanding virtuosity. he has captured a matches -- he has crafted a masterpiece that
captures the imagination of all generations, challenging us, defining us, delighting us and reawakening to us that miracles 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, that are characterized by erudition and accessibility. as ron turnover received the inaugural book prize, 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 illuminate the human condition, both intellectually and emotionally. lin-manuel miranda's achievements are as profound as they are numerous. they reveal a man who with you, vigor, and tenacity, embodies the essence of american
innovation in creativity. mr. miranda is the composer in their system of broadway's "in the heights," a play which ironed for tony awards in 2008, with mr. miranda receiving the tony for best score as well as the nomination for best leading actor in a musical. it also took home a 2009 grammy award for its original broadway cast out of, and was recognized as a finalist for the 2009 pulitzer prize in drama. he is also the co-composer and code lyricist of broadway "bring it on: the musical" which received tony award and drama nominations in 2013. in 2007, mr. miranda one b outstanding debut performance -- and the actors equity foundation clarence darwin award for most promising male performance for his electrifying " in the
heights" performance. he's the recipient of the richard rogers horizons award and the national arts club medal of honor. in 2009 he was awarded a doctorate of humane letters degree, becoming the youngest recipient of such an honoring the university in 123 years. he contributed spanish translations to the 2009 broadway revival of "west side story" and has performed for president obama and the first family at the white house during his first-ever evening of poetry and spoken word. he is a councilmember of the drama guild and new york city's theater district, and serves on the board of young playwrights, inc. he has the proud distinction of
being a 2015 fellow of the john d and catherine t macarthur foundation. having a few nanoseconds to spare, he is a cofounder and member of the provocatively titled, freestyle love supreme. [applause] not well-known to me, i must say. a popular hip-hop improv group, that performs regularly here in new york city. this man defies all be findings of sleep deprivation studies. [laughter] we are very glad. you probably know that all of the off-broadway production of
"hamilton" has already received overwhelming recognition in the lucille or tired, outer critics circle, drama league, new york drama critics circle, theater world, clarence darwin, and obie awards. many more are undoubtedly in-store. now to the honor at hand. would mr. miranda, lou, and larry please join me at the podium? [applause] it is with enormous respect and pleasure, that we award the george washington book prize this evening to lin-manuel miranda. on behalf of the, institute washington college, and the mount vernon ladies association,
we would like to present you first with this medal of george washington. [applause] in addition, we would like to present this beautifully framed accidentally of a letter of alexander hamilton to his wife, elizabeth. [applause] and of course, we will cap that off with a cash award itself. you have already heard, this is
a $50,000 gift. remember that the pulitzer is 10. [laughter] [applause] i hope you all reward yourself somehow with that. mr. miranda: thank you. i can't let the moment go by before commemorating the fact that ron rapped on c-span, you guys. [applause] we have done the bt hip-hop awards, and he rapped on c-span. that was amazing. there are as many stories of new york -- 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 grown-ups all of the country, saying, did you know this is the anniversary of george washington's death? still more tweets from high schoolers with the handle, john lawrence or madison is my boss. saying, did you notice is the 250th anniversary of alexander and eliza's wedding? which is also true. i could never have anticipated being schooled on history from random high schoolers, being one of the legacies of this show. [applause] quite frankly, my job, and i have said 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 bill, i knew who died in a dual. i picked up ron's book and it had great reviews. i said, this will have a great ending. perfect each reading. -- beach reading. [laughter] i did not know my life would change when i cracked open the book. ron's version of hamilton is what made me fall in love. the first two chapters of the book, i was stuck by the terms of the hardship hamilton faced and the incredible odds he overcame to come to the country and help shape it. it has been an incredible journey working with ron, and
learning about his history. i think the secret sauce of the show is i am learning this stuff just a chapter ahead of you. i'm falling in love with the characters, and i'm falling in love with the fact that they are not the people i grew up learning about in ap history. they are flawed, and they are messy. burr came alive to me, when i realized he was dating the woman while she was dating a general. i said, this is a guy who waits for what he wants. -- that unlocked at number me.n burr for george washington, the name of your prize -- [applause] -- an enormous help with his book about washington himself. i think the greatness of ron's strength as a writer's hamilton is a totally different character in the washington book, then he is in hamilton. that shows that ron really an
body from subjects and gives him a propulsive fiction of their own, narrative of their own. washington's song keeps getting rewritten. i will tell you the moment that unlocked it for me. my director was really the overwhelming majority of the reason we are standing here. he grew up in virginia in the shadow of mount virgin -- mount vernon. we're talking about his big song. he said, there's something about washington's line entry thing. i said, what are you talking about? he said, you know, buying and did three -- vine and fig tree.
there's a quote that george washington always used from the bible. it says, everyone shall live under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid. and i think about that. that unlocked washington for me. 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 to the current. it made it very real to me, in a very tangible way. second of october i thought, -- second of all, i thought, we are going to be home free. but i think the reason people latched onto this musical is, one of the things that is a recurring team, is that there is not a definitive version of history. i learned this my sophomore year in college when i took an amazing gospels and christianity class.
we began by reading a bunch of books that were not in the bible, but written around the same time. i grew up catholic. i said wait a minute, how would their jesus stories that are not in the book? i read the gospel of mary, these amazing jesus superboy stories. jesus kills a guard, skills that, brings it back there it --. [laughter] it's great stuff. but the notion that the person who tells the story is just a -- as instrumental as the teller is something that reverberates throughout the show. we see the courtship of eliza and alexander. he begins with them meeting and ends with their wedding. and then we take giant turntables rewind holding, and tell the same story from her sister's perspective. we see that angelica and
hamilton are equally matched, and they are kind of sony know if, but angelica cannot -- they are kind of soulmates, but angelica cannot be with hamilton, so she introduces him to her sister. that is a microcosm of what our show is about. every single one of you has a different story of new york. that is the history of new york according to you, and the teller is just as important as the story. by seeing a stage full of people of color, who are perfectly cast in their part, this show is accessible to people who never thought history was for them. they thought, that is about old dead white guys on mountains. they did not realize that these guys were flawed, and just like
us, and waiting for husbands to pass away or fighting to earn a scholarship in the caribbean, or quoting a bible quote that he hopes he can invite make people feel safe -- and body to make people feel safe. that is the secret, it is not much more than that. they are just like us. some people are disheartened when they hear, this story is totally different if you hear it from the perspective of one of george washington's blades. -- slaves. it's totally different if you hear it from sally hemmings. it's totally different if you hear from one of hamilton's children. the story is different, and it varies, based on the teller. that gives me hope. that means they're just like us, and they are flawed. this country is flawed and working as hard as we can because we are flawed, and it gives me tremendous hope. i'm so honored to be with you here today.
a few more goods. the secret of my performance in the show is that i'm really playing my other, the -- my father, luis miranda, who is sitting over there. [applause] he too, grew up in a small town in the caribbean and said, i have to get out of here. i have to get to new york. got a scholarship. that's when i realized, i noticed i and i can write him. the other thing, people come to the show and expect it is going to be clever, hip-hop and the founding fathers, let's giggle. but they are moved because of the story of eliza hamilton. there are 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 the monument. 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. this show is a love letter to my wife, vanessa, who is sitting here tonight. [applause] when i wrote the song, that would be enough -- which is eliza's love song to hamilton -- i played it for my wife with tears, and she said, is that what you wish i would sing to you? [laughter] mr. miranda: yes it is, but it is also what i would sing to you. thank you very much for this honor. [applause]
>> hello, hello. [applause] you did not think we would leave you without a song. [applause] i am privileged to be joined by members of my company today. is the george washington prize, we are going to sing a george washington's for you today. we have never performed outside of the theater, so here is hoping we remember the farewell address without our costumes.
one last time the people will hear for me one last time we will teach them how to say goodbye you and i ♪ ♪ i will use it to move them along if i say goodbye the nation learns to move on it outlives me when i'm gone like the scripture said everyone shall sit under their own fine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid
save in the nation we make i want to sit under mild vine and fig tree a moment alone in the shade at home in this nation leave made one last time one last time ♪ hamilton: though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, i am unconscious of intentional error, i am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that i may have committed many errors. i should also carry with me the hope that my country will view them with indulgence. and that after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as i myself must soon be to the
mansions of rest i anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which i promise myself to realize the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart and the happy reward, as i trust of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers. washington: one last time. hamilton: george washington's going home! ♪
>> thank you. i want to say a final word of thanks. i want to thank chris jackson and lin miranda, and music director ian weinberger. at one point in the show, which there has been references already, there is a line, history has its eyes on you. i think that is true also of this show. 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, to the million 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, lim-manuel miranda and all of those who are swept up in your genius. it is fantastic here it while of you in this room, thank you for your support of mount vernon, washington college, and of the institute. you help us tell the stories and continue the legacy that hamilton in 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 of washington, the other, the wedding anniversary of eliza and alexander hamilton, who were
married december 14, 1780. as he leaves tonight, you will be given a gift bag. it is not only your own copy of ron's wonderful " alexander hamilton," and gifts from mount vernon in washington college, but we will also include a keepsake of that simile reprint -- facsimile reprints, a love letter from alexander hamilton to eliza schuyler in the fall of 1780. it is the most exuberant, passionate letter you can imagine. i hope you will all read it and enjoy it. i hope also that you will join us again next year for the washington prize. thank you all for coming, have a
wonderful evening. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook, at c-span history. >> coming up next, historians and former legislators debate the question, coolidge v. reagan. which is a better model for gop candidates? they discussed the fire and the -- foreign policy legacy of both candidates as well as their commitment to small government and the economy. calvin coolidge presidential foundation and the new hampshire institute of politics at saint anselm college hosts this. it is about one hour 15 minutes. >> thank you very much, it is nice to be back in new hampshire again. some of you may be wondering, asking yourselves, why would they invite a guy like me to moderate this debate?