tv Open Phones with General J.R. Jack Dailey CSPAN July 4, 2016 8:00pm-8:33pm EDT
>> thank you again for coming, ladies and gentlemen. again, please remain seated until the panel leaves the stage. i do enjoy seeing the fabf i am a history buff. i do enjoy seeing the fabric of our country and how things -- just how they work and how they're made. >> i love american history tv, the presidency, american artifacts, they're fantastic shows. >> i had no idea they did history. that's probably something i'd really enjoy. >> and with american history tv it gives you that perspective. >> i'm a c-span fan.
this past friday, american history tv was at the smithsonian national air and space museum in washington as it celebrated its 40th anniversary. next, we'll show you all three hours of our coverage. you'll hear from the museum's director general jack daley as well as air and space historians as we tour one-of-a-kind artifacts in the museum's collection. and you can watch the museum's signature event celebrating the anniversary. this is american history tv only on c-span 3. you're looking at live pictures inside the smithsonian national air and space museum located on the washington mall on washington, d.c. today july 1 marking 40 years since president gerald ford was on hand back in 1976 to dedicate this museum, since then, more than 320 million visitors have come here and to the museum's second location just outside of
washington, d.c. near dulles airport. together, more than eight million visitors come here combined, making these two museums the most popular in the u.s. we'll be live during the next two and a half hours leading up to our coverage of the museum's 40th anniversary celebration. we'll look at the one-of-a-kind artifacts located here and a chance for you to call in and share your comments with the curators, the people who acquire and manage the collection. in fact, here are the phone numbers if you live in the eastern or central time zones. 202-748-8900. for those in mountain and pacific, 202-748-8901. send us a tweet @cspan history or join us on facebook at facebook.com/c-span. first we are joined here by general jack daley. he is the man in charge of this museum. you've been here 17 years. this is a big night for you. >> this is a very big night and one we've been looking to for quite a while. >> as we stand here in this
iconic space, so many people have come here over the years, 320 million since it opened in 1976. give us the history. why was this designed and developed in the first place? >> well, the smithsonian has the largest and most diverse collection of air and space artifacts in the world. smoen the collection was put together by dr. paul garber after world war ii. we had them on the arts and industry building and on the tin shed on the mall but this museum had been approved in 1947 and it then became a real reality in 1976. there was a concern that a museum that dealt with only air
and space artifacts would be of interest to the public. that concern was alleviated quickly because we got the first million visitors within the first month of the opening and ten million in that first year. we've averaged about nine million since then. >> president gerald ford called this a state yard building. it was built back then at a cost of $41 million. and now you have embarked on a massive renovation campaign. let's look at the numbers, according to the "washington post," $726 million for the construction and storage. this would be federal government taxpayer dollars, another $25 million in private funding. so basically close to a billion dollars to refurbish this facility. >> that's correct. it's a situation where we have discovered some things from an engineering standpoint as we did the analysis to get ready for the renovation that has added to essentially we're going to have to replace everything in the building. all of the air conditioning, plumbing, electricity.
that was all planned. but it was not planned to have to replace the stone on the outside. it's been determined it is not reusable. >> i noticed coming in very thin stone and a lot of the it is cracking. >> it is. that was exactly the problem. it was thinner than it should have been. people didn't know that back in those days but it's an inch and a quarter. the national gallery across the mall with the same stone is three inches in width and theirs is all reusable. so it was a low-cost alternative back in those days. >> what is going to happen this evening? what can we expect? >> we're going to open the boeing milestones of flight hall which has been completely redone. essentially that gallery has been here since 1976. some of this -- because it contains the icons of our collection it hasn't changed in terms of the content as much but the displays have been
completely revised in terms of the way we deal with the visitors. >> that not only a museum but a research facility. off team that is looking at artifact, combing through the material. what's their mission? >> well, actually, the collection is the foundation of all of our research. so we are the world's experts on our collection and as part of that, there are so many stories and so much inspiration that comes just from the information associated with it that we use it as the foundation for our educational programs where we try to inspire young folks to try things that they think they can't do and when we point out the way aviation has been a series of people who didn't know how to do what they were going to to try yet they had the determination, the persistence to stay with it. we say we commemorate, educate and inspire and if we can inspire people to want to know more and that's one of the important parts of what we're doing with our new approach to
dealing with the visitors is we want to create a relationship where we can stay in touch with them after we leave and for people who will never come here to get in touch with us and have a dialogue with us. >> a retired marine corps pilot, you spent time at nasa, you've been here 17 years. are you still as excited today as you were when you came a decade and a half ago? >> i have the best job in the world. i certainly am. >> you say that with a smile. >> and i mean it. i have lots of people watching me to see when i'm going to croak so they can apply for this job. >> we had a tweet from david who says "where are the moon rocks?" >> the moon rocks, there's only one and it's in the main gallery, the milestones of flight hall and it's right adjacent to the moon lander. so -- and that was moved because it used to be next to the front door coming from the north entrance. >> give us a sense of where we're located here at the museum. >> we're in the eastern end of
the museum in what's called the space race. we call it the space hall. this has many of the u.s. and russian space artifacts that were used in the space race. we have the "apollo" soyuz right behind us, the hubble is right behind you. so these are major 22,000 pounds, by the way. so it's a -- when you think about the fact that these things were put into space, in orbit in a case -- this is not the actual hubble. our plan was to recover it and bring it back and display it here. this is the engineering backup for the hubble mission. so the -- it's kind of amazing that everything in here is either the real thing or and authentic engineering and was going to be the backup vehicle. so spacecraft that don't come back, of course, we can't display but we do have -- they're not replica, they were engineering models developed at the same time as the one that's
on orbit. >> i'm going to have you turn around because i'm old enough to remember when these splashed down in the pacific ocean. what is this and how did it return to earth? >> this is the "columbia" command module piloted by general michael collins, the first director of this museum. >> and he's still alive. >> yes, and he was just here last month. the interesting thing about that is it has not been opened since 1970 and we found graffiti inside where he had written on the side of it and so had becaubuzz aldrin and neil armstrong. but the first time it was ever recorded so he talked about it and the experiences that he had. but this is from "apollo" 11. this was the base camp, so to speak, for the folks that went to the moon. >> what's amazing is how small it is. >> yes, for three people. >> cramped quarters. >> yes. fortunately, they weren't gone
that long and two of them were out on vacation for part of the trip. >> do you have a favorite exhibit? a favorite spot here at the museum? >> well, i do, yes. we have an airplane down in the gallery called the boeing f-4 b-4. and my father flew that exact airplane the year i was born so it has special meaning to me. >> we are inside the national air and space museum. we'll get to your phone calls. peter is joining us from california. peter, good evening. peter, are you there? we can't hear the call from peter. >> caller: hello? >> go ahead, peter we can hear you. >> caller: i wanted to know if the museum would introduce any articles from the nuclear rocket
propulsion type thing in the 1960s and if you have anything from some of the other programs. >> i think he's on a cell phone so we heard part of it. i think he was talking about nuclear weapons propulsions from the 1960s. >> yes, we do have launch vehicles. both the russian and the u.s. in the milestones of flight gallery. they're part of the original collection and we were provided by those during the period where we were securing those launch vehicles, both russia and here. >> we have another call from steve in new york. steve, go ahead, please. >> caller: hello, general. is anybody on the other end there? >> yes, we are. we can hear you, go ahead, steve. >> caller: you know, when columbus sailed for america he didn't know it at the time but
queen isabella funded his expedition and they were looking for known treasure. a short try the othway to the t spices. and we know for a certainty on the moon and mars there's not a blade of grass, there's not a glass of water, there's not a breath of fresh fair. so you know you risk i life and limb to go to a better place. but we have that right here on earth. why would we want to go there? moon or mars? can someone explain that to me? >> thank you for the call. >> caller: well, you mentioned that columbus did not go to where he thought he was going. so he was unsuccessful in his originally planned trip but look at the side benefits that came
from that exploration. and that's essentially what we're doing in space because we don't know what's there or necessarily what the benefits might be, although there are many of these planets and asteroids and other -- are rich with minerals and things that we need. and so they could be mined eventually once we get the techniques. but exploration brings with it the unexpected. but it's necessary because we'll never know what's going on in these other places unless we actually adventure to them. so, yes, that's always an argument, why do we spend this money to do that? and things like going to the moon are important because that's a stepping-off point to go to other places if we can ever get the support to the do such things so exploration is part of the american spirit. >> this is an obvious kwu beas you look around here and see the spacesuits that the astronauts
war and you can see how the technology changed and evolved from the 1950s to the 1990s and today. what is your takeaway as you see the technological changes. >> people come in here and say what are the benefits we get from space and they're standing there with their digital phone, their digital watch, they've got a gps that got them here. we've seen tremendous progress but there's some interesting facts about this in that our moon suits, for example, were made for short term very rough wear and they're not holding up very well on the long term. so we've had to do some serious conservation on them and one of the things we had recently was a kickstarter success program where we got funding to redo not only neil armstrong's suit but also alan shepherd. >> let's talk numbers but let's get the numbers on the screen aga again. we're here with general jack
dailey inside the air and space museum, the most popular museum, part of the smithsonian in washington, d.c., busy week wednesday the july 4 holiday. let's talk about your numbers. how many people work here? what is your operating budget? >> we have 242 part time, what we call the explainers. colleagues and high school students who work here and are funded by general electric aviation but the important thing is we have 650 volunteers. and they really are the ones that make this place operate. it's a fantastic experience to just -- their enthusiasm and knowledge they bring to this place is the key to our success. the numbers we work on are about $32 million a year in operational costs and we raise about half of that ourselves. after that we get from the federal government pays for the
federal employees' salaries, there is no money in there for operations so any program that we have here we have to get sponsorship from the outside. >> and some of the sounds people might here, the i max theater is right next to us. one of the changes from 1976. but if you were here in 1976 when gerald ford dedicated this museum and now here today, has it changed significantly or is it quite similar? >> it's very similar, the building hasn't changed but the -- and the artifacts haven't changed that much. there have been additions, shubl a good example and the "columbia" capsule. but many of these galleries have been here since our open and that's why we're calling it transformation of the galleries, that's the $250 million that will be raised privately. we'll use that money to transform these galleries into a new approach to telling the same story. >> the work will begin when? it will be concluded at what
point and will part of the museum stay open? >> i'd like to start with that last part. we'll stay open the entire time. that's a very important point because when we start this construction it's going to look like we're being completely demolished because of the cladding coming off the sides and so forth but we are going to stay open because people have made plans to come here for years and we don't want to disappoint them. we'll keep the major icons of the collection available so they can see it when they come in and we're under way now. we're at a 35% design on the building revitalization and it will take about six and a half years once we get into full operation. >> we're also joined by our radio listeners on c-span radio and we're talking to general jack dailey inside the national air and space museum. we have a call from dean in arkansas. thanks for being with us, you're on c-span 3's american history tv. go ahead.
>> caller: how y'all doing? >> we're fine, dean, thank you. >> caller: listen, i have a commemorative coin from the tuskegee airmen. i befriend add gentleman by the name of -- i'm sorry, it's a chicago dodo chapter and i've got a picture that he sent me with a letter from him and i'm just trying to figure out where i can put it that would honor him him. >> thanks for the call and for that or anyone that has artifact what is advice to you give them? >> well, of course, we are interested in any artifacts people may have but we also have a storage sensitivity because we're -- we have more than we can display. we have about -- the smithsonian has 136 million artifacts. and less than 10% of those are
on display. so that's a factor. a coin is not a major consideration in terms of space but it may be something that we already have and we don't take duplicates but in your case we do have a tuskegee airmen display here but on the 24th of september the smithsonian national museum of african-american history and culture will open and they will have -- we just hung a steerman flown by the tuskegee airmen which we've been holding for them. so those are two locations you might want to consider in terms of getting maximum exposure for your coin. >> no room for a space shuttle here which is one of the reasons why you have to national air and space museum at the dulles airport. how did that come about? >> well, only 10% of our collection would fit in this building. we had another 10% on loan around the world but 80% in storage. of course we did have the
"enterprise" but that was not until the search started as to where to put the annex to this building. so when the shuttle "enterprise" was delivered to dulles, that kind of set the stage for the future for us. >> nick is joining us from california. go ahead, please. >> caller: yes, general. i have gone to the air force museum in pensacola and my favorite deal at pensacola was the two rooms where they recovered the sbd and the f-4 out of lake michigan. do you have any plans of having a display similar to that at your museum? >> we have a restoration hangar at the the center at dulles where we restore aircraft. right now we have flak bait, a, be 26, that flew more missions than any other bomber in world war ii. but the marine corps museum just
we stored their sbd in our restoration hangar sand on display at the marine corps museum in quantico. so we won't be putting out a display of an arkd neircraft ne restoration because we're ongoing restorations where people can watch the process. >> i want to go back to something you said earlier. it opened in july 1976, the first month a million visitors. at the dedication ceremony president ford called americans a willingness and even an eagerness to reach for the unknown. why are we so fascinated with flight? >> with flight or -- >> with aviation, with this museum, with space? >> i think it's exploration. it's the frontier and it still is. it's -- there's always been a -- if you look through our history, one of our new exhibits in this building is going to be called speed and it shows our obsession with going faster in all modes of transportation.
if you think about the wright flyer in 1903, maybe maximum speed of 90 or 100 knots and then 66 years later walking on the moon. >> and that's when president ford made that reference, that in the lifetime of president ford and people in that time they had seen the full span, the full arc. >> but if you think of any other occupation or industry or endeavor that has a learning and performance curve that can match that, you can't find one. it's absolutely amazing and the benefits -- look at the world travel, for example. we can fly across country in a couple hours where it used to take three months to start back in the old days. even took two or three days when we first started doing it by air because they flew by day and took the train at night then flew by day and took the train.
so the range/speed payload and safety -- safety is really a major portion of this entire program. >> we are going to keep you here for a few more minutes then show the audience some of the artifacts and exhibits but let me get a call from branch joining us from oregon. go ahead, branch, you're on the air. >> caller: awesome. very nice to meet you, general. my question for you is a two-part question. one, how about exhibits are on display and what is your favorite exhibit? >>. >> well, we have 22 galleries and the -- probably -- i'm not going to give you a number, but i'll say it's more than 160 actual artifacts. large artifacts. if we count the metals and patches and some other smaller things it gets into the thousands, actually. so -- i mentioned earlier we
have a boeing my father flew in 1934. the exact airport we have on displa display. >> look up there and tell me what that is. >> that's a b-1 buzz bomb. the one that was used to bomb london and other places. and, of course, the b-2 is next to it. so we're showing the evolution of rocket-powered devices and that was a pulse jet. they tacalled it a buzz bomb because they were on off on off. they ran out of gas and dropped wherever they happened to be. >> state-of-the-art back then in the 1940s? >> not only that, if you look at the develop ment of american rocket engines they didn't deviate in our beginnings.
>> you had how many missions in vietnam over the years? >> 450. >> what do you remember? >> remember? the -- well, you know, i was a professional marine and when vietnam started my duty was to go fight so it was, i consider myself fortunate to fly that many because not everybody got to stay in the squadron as long as i did. >> we have pat joining us from maryland. pat, go ahead please. >> caller: general dailey, it's a pleasure to speak with you, sir, i'm so impressed with the museum every time i visited. the wide array of exhibits, it's amazing and you cover everything. i'd like you to talk, sir, a little bit about the controversy. who was the first to fly in the
a aerodrum ae aerodrome is at the annex and we have the wright flier. who is the first to fly? >> the wright brothers were the first to fly. and we'd be willing to debate that with anyone. there are other claims that have been made -- by the way, all the others that have been made we have investigated thoroughly and the evidence is not there to substantiate those claims. we have two researchers here on our staff, dr. tom crouch and dr. peter jacob. they are the world's leading authorities on the wright brothers and but they are very contentious in trying to make sure we know the right answers, we are very care to feel make sure when we say something we can prove it. in this case we can. if i could just say one other thing because this is important. when the wright brothers were successful, they got a patent that essentially said if you fly
a manned powered controlled device then you have violated our patent. well, glen curtis did that very thing. very quickly after he had -- after they had flown successfully so they sued him. so late negotiation was a very early part of aviation and one of the things that came out of this was the smithsonian was also competing. dr. langley who was essentially the chief scientist of the united states, eight days friert right brother's success tried to fly his aerodrome off a houseboat in the potomac. it went right into the water and the press said it had the qualities of a handful of mortar. later after dr. langley died his deputy talked to glen curtis and said if we could get this airplane to fly we could declare dr. langley as the father of
aviation. so curtis had a lawsuit on him and thought that would clear him of that problem, he put 52 modifications on the airplane including a bigger motor which had 52 horsepower and he bounced it down the potomac on pontoons and said "hoar oray, doctor lany is the father of aviation." well that infuriated orville. he gave his wright flyer to the museum of science in london and it was not until 1937 or so when we formally apologized and said you're right, the wright brothers were the fathers of aviation, the war started and so our -- the icon of our collection spent the war in a tunnel outside of london and we didn't get it back until after the war. so it's kind of interesting to see how some of these things have come around but the wright flier was the first airplane to fly and we can prove it.
>> how significant was david mccullough's book on the wright brothers and identifying what they did and meant for america's and the world's flight? >> well, he's a fine writer and maybe the most important part of that is that his books are wildly sold and read and so the word gets out to the public through that means, he did a lot of research with dr. crouch and dr. jacob and references them freely in his book so, yes, that's one of the things about this whole place is getting the information to people to spark that interest where they want to know more. so this question is the one we welcome because if we can get -- okay, let's figure this out, let somebody try to prove something different on this. so it's -- we're anxious to hear from folks. >> it's clear this still excites you after all these years. >> it really does, yes. >> let's hear from wayne joining us from massachusetts with general jack dailey. >> caller: good evening,
general, and semper fi from a former marine, second marine, second recon battalion out of camp lejeune, north carolina, sir. >> hoorah. >> caller: [ laughter ] i have a question. last year the movie about gary powers being shot down in his u-2 spy plane was a big hit with tom hanks. i understand the remains of that spy plane is still in the former soviet union. what are the possibilities of getting that from the russians so that it can be implemented into the program there at the museum? >> wayne, thank you. >> of course, we have a u-2 on display in this building and -- but i'm not familiar with any efforts to recover the wreckage.
that would have been part of a state department negotiation afterwards and, of course, it was an embarrassment to the country because we denied we were overflying russia at that time. so i know of know plans and i'm not sure that -- by the way, we couldn't take it if we got it because we don't have room for it. >> let's go to bill, our last call from new york. go ahead, bill. >> caller: general, thank you for taking my call. i just want to ask you something. my dad used to work for grummans in the 60s and he was an engineer on the lem. do you have a lot of artifacts from the lem? and semper fi, general dailey. >> it's great to have all these marines on the line tonight. i'm not sure i understand, do we have additional artifacts from the lem? was that the question? >> exactly. >> the ones in s in s that went moon are still there. because the program was cut short it was the reason why we had this equipment available to
us. but this one we have on display is configured identically to the one that went with "apollo" 11. we have other artifacts associated with lems but everything we have on this is installed, in fact, this is the most complete display we've ever had on this particular artifact. it's been on display for 40 years but now an individual who was actually involved with the original configuration of the lem 4 came in and did the work on this so it's -- we're very pleased with this exhibit and its authenticity. >> if you could look ahead 40 years tonight, what will this facility look like? >> i tell you one thing, it will look better than it does today because it will have all new stone and exhibits and they would now be getting long in the tooth and we'd be looking for more noun redo the whole place. >> general jack