tv Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution CSPAN July 28, 2016 7:05pm-8:01pm EDT
not proper, that it was suggestively disloyal if you had pictures of other presidents in your office. and succeeded. i was kind of skeptical of the story. and then there's the document that butterfield wrote directly to the president. and the subject was sanitization of the executive office building. sanitization, as if there was some disease because staff people had pictures of another president. and think about it. what do you think lincoln's response would have been if he discovered that there were staff people in the white house or the government who had portraits of george washington or thomas jefferson? i think it is unthinkable and this inability -- and if you trace the nixon story, you see
that he's not accommodated to the idea of who he is, the opposite of lincoln. when gerald ford became president, the next year, one of the things he said, again, contradicting nixon, he said "none of our problems today are as severe as those facing lincoln." he quoted one of the things lincoln said in one of ford's kind of natural spontaneous statements of humility. he said, oh, lincoln -- ford's in a dispute with congress. he said, well, lincoln said the following.
"we of the congress in this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves." ford also said, of lincoln, that his compassion, lincoln's compassion for others came from an understanding of himself. i think the kind of merging somewhat of the pragmatism and the strategic sense of what the country needs, excellent example of this is gerald ford. i remember it was september 1974. ford had been president about one month. and he went on television. some of you may remember this.
and gave -- said he was giving nixon a full pardon for watergate. and any other crimes he may have committed. now, ford, of course, went on television early on a sunday morning, hoping no one noticed. but it was widely noticed, but not by me. i was asleep and my colleague, carl bernstein, called me up and said, have you heard? and i said i haven't heard a thing. i was asleep. and carl, who then and still has the ability to say what occurred with the most drama in the fewest words said, "the son of a bitch pardoned the son of a bitch." [ laughter ] and i was even able to figure out what had occurred. at the time, i thought, perfect.
nixon goes free. the only one to get a watergate pardon. it is the ultimate corruption. you look at the polling at the time and the suspicions about the pardon, that was a widely held view. and you can argue and i think the historians of the '76 election, when ford lost to jimmy carter, that the pardon had an aroma that there was a deal, that something really untoward had occurred. and i believe this. i have real strong convictions that this was, in a sense, the
perfect corruption of watergate. and then 25 years later, i undertook one of my projects, which became a book called "shadow" about the legacy of watergate in the presidencies of ford through clinton. and i called gerald ford up. i had never met him. i had never interviewed him. i asked to talk to him about the pardon. and he said sure, come on up. he was in new york at a board meeting. and i had the luxury of time, two full-time assistants. we looked at all the contemporary coverage of the pardon, got all the memoirs, got the legal memos from the ford library. i kept going back to interview ford. and to try to piece together
what happened. i interviewed him in colorado a number of times, where he had a home, and many times at his main home at rancho mirage, california. i remember the last interview asking him, why did you pardon nixon? he said, you keep asking that question. i said, but i don't think you've answered it. and then he said, astonishingly, ok, i'm going to tell you. and he then said what happened is that al haig, nixon's chief of staff, came and offered me a deal. he said, if you guarantee that
the president will get a pardon, he will resign and you get the presidency. and ford said, however, i rejected that deal. i knew i was going to become president. nixon was finished. so there's no way he could work that deal in the way haig described. and passionately, ford said, look, let me tell you what happened. at that time, he -- ford had a letter from the watergate prosecutors saying that nixon is going to be investigated as a citizen. likely will be indicted, tried, probably be convicted and go to jail. so ford said we're going to have two more years of watergate. the country could not stand it. and there was this plaintive tone that he had of i needed my own presidency. the cold war was still going on. the economy was in great danger.
and then he said he acted preemptively to get nixon off the front page and out of our lives. and i remember writing "shadow" and this part about the pardon and realizing ford was right. what he did was quite gutsy. and this is in the book. after the book came out, caroline kennedy, the daughter of john f. kennedy, called me up and said, you know, i've read your book. my uncle teddy kennedy has read it. we agree and we're going to give gerald ford the profiles in courage award that's given out by the kennedy library once a year. and it is not going to be an award for being president or for being gerald ford. it's going to be for the single act of pardoning richard nixon. and she said the tradition of her late father's book, about
politicians who do things that are contrary to their own interest in the national interest. and i did not go to the ceremony, but i watched it and it was a cold shower for me. because teddy kennedy got up and said, look, at the time of the pardon, i denounced it almost as a criminal act. and now, 25 or so years later, you look at it and you realize it was exactly in the tradition of my brother's book "profiles in courage." and then gerald ford got up and talked about partial vindication. i remember watching this and
thinking here i was convinced it was an act of maximum corruption, that the pardon was. and then it is examined many years later, dispassionately. and what looked like corruption actually is an act of courage. and that is sobering for somebody in my business. you can say, oh, yeah, this is -- the following -- this war made no sense. this was a good war and so forth.
and the decades go by and it may look quite differently. jimmy carter, as somebody using lincoln in december 1979, as he was gearing up to run for re-lection, in one of his speeches, carter said, at the height of the civil war, lincoln said, "i have but one task and that is to save the union." then carter went on to compare his responsibility in getting the 50 iranian hostages out as the same problem. he said he would devote his concerted efforts to that. and you look again at the histories of this and jimmy carter became obsessed with 50 americans. and to compare it to lincoln's effort in the civil war to save the union doesn't quite parse. but at the same time, in 1978, carter is president, any of you
remember what he did at camp david when he invited menachem bacon and the egyptian president to the united states. took them up to camp david for a couple of weeks. and they reached an agreement, a kind of peace treaty. it did not solve the problems in the middle east, but it was a big step forward. i remember i was amazed at what carter did and the persistence of doing this. and i asked one of carter's aides, well, how did he pull this off? and the aide who was very close to carter said, look, if you had been locked away at camp david with jimmy carter for 13 days, you, too, would have signed anything. [ laughter ] persistence can sometimes
achieve great things. ronald reagan, what's interesting about reagan and lincoln is -- that reagan used lincoln politically. but in an interesting way also, reagan understood abraham lincoln. july 17th, 1980 at the republican convention, reagan accepts the nomination. and he quotes lincoln. said, so president lincoln said "no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." quoting lincoln. then reagan said, "if mr. lincoln could see what's happened in this country in the last three and a half years, he
might hedge on that statement." in other words, the carter years. reagan also said in his inaugural, in 1981, "whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of america will find it in the life of abraham lincoln." true. true. and i think he got it. in 1984, when reagan was running for reelection, he said, i want to quote president lincoln. lincoln said, "we must disenthrall ourselves from the past and then we will save our country." and reagan went on to say, "well, four years ago, that's what we did. we saved the country."
reagan had -- he said that he shared many points of philosophy with lincoln. a couple of times, called him father abraham. president george bush sr., in some of his comments about lincoln, seemed to understand the duality of lincoln. he said, if you look at some of the paintings of lincoln, you see his "agony and his greatness." and he equates the two. and he then also says, bush sr., lincoln was at once a hard and gentle person, a man of grief and yet of humor. president clinton used lincoln to argue that -- and said
lincoln saw that the clear duty was to revive the american dream and then clinton said now the responsibility is to revive the american economy. one thing my assistant found in the research, in january 1998 president clinton was here at the university of illinois talking about the land-grant colleges. and it was not a particularly memorable speech. but at one point, and it's hard to believe this happened, but it did. clinton said, oh, i think lincoln would have liked the pep band. [ laughter ] i did a little checking and
someone said he spotted someone he liked in the pep band. [ laughter ] we'll never know. george w. bush, as president, talked about lincoln quite a bit. i did four books on george w. bush's wars in afghanistan and iraq. and in one interview in the oval office with bush, he's trying to explain what his plan was after 9/11. and he said the following. "i am product of the vietnam era. i remember presidents trying to wage wars that were very unpopular and the nation split." he then, sitting there, and he points to a portrait of abraham
lincoln that hung in the oval office. he said, "he is on the wall because the job of the president is to unite the nation. that's the job of the president." president obama on lincoln, a month after obama's inaugural, he just said -- he said, "lincoln made my own story possible." and that's exactly true. i remember interviewing
president obama about the afghan war for a book i did called "obama's wars" in 2010 about the decisions obama made. and in a case like this -- i had sent him a 15-page memo saying this is what i would like to ask about obama. because every president now lives in an environment where there are two questions. there are the press conferences, the shouted questions and there is a kind of gotcha environment. so when you send a long memo saying i've worked for a year on this and i would really like to talk to you and here are the questions, presidents tend to respond. so when i'm interviewing him about afghanistan and what his
decisions were, you may recall in his first year he sent -- ordered 30,000 more american troops to the afghan war. but at the end -- and i wanted to try to ascertain how he looked at war. because i am convinced it's very important that presidents be tough in their articulation of what the united states will do and what it will do to preserve its interests. so at the end of the interview, i handed president obama a quote from a book called "day of battle" from a former colleague at the "washington post" rick atkinson. in the middle of the book, rick pulls back and says i'm going to tell you about war. and this is the quote that i handed obama which was typed out. it said essentially that war corrupts everyone. that no heart leaves war
unstained because it is the business even in a necessary cause of killing other people. and obama said i'm sympathetic to this. and he said go read my nobel prize acceptance speech. well, i had seen the nobel prize acceptance speech. i'd read it. ever seen something and read it and not understood it? well, it happens to me too often. so i went home and got out the speech. and there, in plain english, obama says, yeah, war is sometimes necessary, but then he said it is always an expression
and manifestation of human folly. and i realized at that point he just does not like war. and the problem is, when you are involved in a war as commander in chief, you've got to really be tough. a couple of years ago, i was having breakfast with a world leader, head of government of one of our closest allies. and i asked about obama. and he said, obama is so smart and i like him. but then he said, but no one is afraid of him. and my heart sank because i realized that the distaste, the disgust for war looms so large with obama that he has not conveyed the message of fear. which is what a leader must do. what is interesting is lincoln
was the master of this. lincoln was the one who knew that general sherman's march through georgia was necessary to win the war. the other interesting thing about lincoln is that he was a fatalist. this idea that events are inevitable and kind of predetermined. there was a kind of mystique about it. it was 2005. i was giving a talk like this in washington. and hillary clinton, then senator from new york, was there and also giving a speech. and after the speeches, we chatted and she said, oh, i quote from one of your books on bush so often that i think i
should pay you royalties. i stupidly said, no, rather than how much? [ laughter ] i said, what do you quote. said it's the end of "plan of attack" about george w. bush's decision to invade iraq. it's the last line of the book. i sent questions to bush. we had done hours of specific interviews. and he was standing in the oval office with his hands in his pockets and i just asked -- i'm not quite sure how the question came to mind because it was not on the list of questions i had. and it was, how do you think
history will judge your iraq war? and bush, as only -- i think the mention of history caused him to think about those exams in history at yale that he did not do that well on. [ laughter ] he kind of flinched. but he takes his hands out of his pockets and says history? we won't know. we'll all be dead. [ laughter ] a less than comforting thought. [ laughter ] but if you think about it, it's true. the point about gerald ford. it looks one way and then, in history, it may look the opposite. so i asked senator clinton, why
do you quote that? and she said, oh, well, you can't think and talk like that and be president of the united states. i said, what do you mean? she said, you just can't. you've got to take charge. you got to do things. you can't leave it to the historians. and i thought if she ever became president and made a big decision and someone was in the the oval office asking how history might look at it. her answer will be i'll write it. she said, you just cannot think and talk like that. she got quite exercised. i was pushing back a little bit. she said, you just can't. you can't give yourself over to those events. and to make her point she said, george washington would never talk like that. and, you know, really pounded her fist again, said, you know, jefferson would never talk like that, and bill would never talk
like that, and i envisioned the new mount rushmore. [ laughter ] washington, jefferson, bill and maybe hillary. [ laughter ] and i was going to say something, and -- but i caught myself and thought, we won't know. we'll all be dead. [ laughter ] i am going to stop there. thank you so much. you did me a big favor by inviting me. thank you. [ applause ] >> that was terrific, bob.
on behalf of the college of law and this great university of which it's a part, i want to thank you for that elegant and profound essay. we have a small gift that you may remember your visit here this evening. and before we depart, i just also want to thank a lot of people who worked very hard to make this very worthwhile event come off so smoothly. the communications and event folks in the college of law. especially dean carrie turner put in a lot of time. she worked closely with all the people on this great campus. i want to thank everybody and wish you a wonderful night. [ applause ] coming up this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, saturday night at 8:00 eastern on lectures in history virginia commonwealth university
professor karen raider on student instructional films during the cold war. on sunday morning at 10:00 on road to the white house rewind 1952 and 1948 national conventions. in 1952 dwight eisenhower accepted the republican nomination and adelaide stevenson accepted the democratic nomination. in 1948 the first televised conventions where president harry truman accepted his party's nomination. >> the failure to do anything about high prices and failure to do anything about housing, my duty as president requires that i use every means within my power to get the laws people need in matters of such urgency. >> at 6:00 on american artifacts we'll take a look at the new smithsonian museum of african-american history and culture with its director. it opens in september of this year.
>> we were able to get an amazing collection of movie posters, such as the one behind you. that's an early movie poster from the 1920s and this is part of our job to tell people, help them relearn history. that movie poster is from spencer williams. he's known for playing "amos and andy." one of the most important black film makers in the '30s and '40s. >> on "the presidency," they talk about the process of writing a presidential biography. for our complete schedule go to c-span.org. this sunday night on q&a, joshua kendall discusses his book "first dads, parents and politics, from george washington to barack obama." >> looking at fathering, a way into character and we tend to
think that this is a bad guy or a good guy. but to see that a lot of these men who had been president had different parts. they were come part meant thattized. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific. president obama obama awards charles kettle a medal of honor. receiving the highest achievement for saving the lives of 40 of his soldiers. the ceremony took place in the east room of the white house earlier this month.
in gratitude, for this opportunity to recognize and honor your gifts of courage and selfless service. witnessed to us in these heroic acts of lieutenant colonel charles kettles. let his courage remind us today and tomorrow of the great human dignity that possesses an indomitable spirit to serve and protect those most in need. we ask now that lieutenant colonel kettles actions we honor provide hope and inspiration for those who face the perils of terror and danger as they serve their brothers and sisters. lord, bless this ceremony, the acts we honor, that they may strengthen the values that we hold dear in this nation, in our military, and our families, and
our way of life. we ask all this in your holy name, amen. >> good morning, everybody. please have a seat. welcome to the white house. of all the privileges of this office, none is greater than serving as the commander in chief of the finest military that the world has ever known. and of all the military decorations that our nation can bestow, we have none higher than the medal of honor. as many who know him have said, nobody deserves it more than charles kettles, of ypsilanti, michigan. many believe that, except for chuck. as he says, this seems like a hell of a fuss over something
that happened 50 years ago. even now, all these years later, chuck is still defined by the humility that shaped him as a soldier. at 86 years old, he still looks sharp as a tack in that uniform. i pointed out he obviously has not gained any weight. and his life is as american as they come. he's the son of an immigrant. his father signed up to fly for the united states the day after pearl harbor, and filled his five boys with a deep sense of duty to their country. for a time, he even served in the army reserves. for a time, even as he served in the army reserve, chuck ran a ford dealership with his brother. and to families who drove a new car off that lot, he's the
salesman who helped put an american icon in their driveway. to the aviation students at michigan university, chuck is the professor who taught them about the wonder of flight in the country that invented it. to the constituents he served as a rare republican in his home town's mostly democratic city council, he's the public servant who made sure their voices were heard. and to ann, his beautiful bride, who grew up literally as the girl next door, chuck is a devoted husband. next march, they will celebrate their 40th anniversary. happy early anniversary. so in a lot of ways, chuck kettles is america. and to the dozens of american soldiers he saved in vietnam half a century ago, chuck is the reason they lived and came home
and had children and grandchildren. entire family trees made possible by the actions of this one man. we are honored to be joined not only by ann, but also eight of chuck and ann's ten children, and three of their grandchildren. it's the kettles family reunion here in the white house. we're also honored to be joined by chuck's brothers in arms from vietnam. and some of chuck's newest comrades, members of the medals of honor society. may 15th, 1967, started as a hot monday morning. soldiers from the 101st airborne were battled hundreds of heavily armed north vietnamese in a rural riverbed. our men were outnumbered. they needed support fast. helicopters to get the wounded out and bring more soldiers into the fight.
chuck kettles was a hero pilot. and just as he volunteered for active duty, on this morning, he volunteered his hueys, even though he knew the danger. they call this place chump valley for a reason. above the riverbed rose a 1500oot-tall hill, and an energy had dug in a series of tunnels and bunkers. the ideal spot for an ambush. chuck jumped into the cockpit and took off. around 9:00 a.m., his company approached the landing zone and looked down. they should have seen a stand of green trees. instead, they saw a solid wall of green enemy tracers coming right at them. none of them had ever seen fire that intense. soldiers in the helos were hit and killed before they could even leap off, but under withering fire, chuck landed his
chopper and kept it there exposed so the wounded could get on and so he could fly them back to base. a second time, chuck went back into the valley. he dropped off more soldiers and supplies. picked up more wounded. once more, machine gun bullets and mortar rounds came screaming after them. as he took off a second time, rounds pierced the arm and leg of chuck's door gunner, rowland shank. chuck's huey was hit. fuel was pouring out as he flew away. but chuck had wounded men aboard and decided to take his chances. he landed, found another helicopter, and flew rowland to the field hospital. by now, it was near evening. back in the riverbed, 44 american soldiers were still pinned down. the air was thick with gun powder, smells of burning metal, and then they heard a faint sound. as the sun started to set, they saw something rise over the horizon. six american helicopters, as one of them said, as beautiful as could be.
for a third time, chuck and his unit headed into that hell on earth. death or injury was all but certain. a fellow pilot said later, and a lesser person would not return. once again, the enemy unloaded everything they had on chuck as he landed. small arms, automatic weapons, rocket propelled grenades. soldiers ran to the helicopters. when chuck was told all were accounted for, he took off. and then, midair, his radio told him something else. eight men had not made it aboard. they had been providing cover for the others. those eight soldiers had run for the choppers but could only watch as they floated away. we all figured we were done for, they said. chuck came to the same conclusion. if we left them for ten minutes,
he said, they would be p.o.w.s or dead. a soldier woo was there said that day major kettles became our john wayne. with all due respect to john wayne. he couldn't do what chuck kettles did. he broke off from formation, took a steep, sharp, descending turn back toward the valley. this time, with no aerial or artillery support. a lone helicopter heading back in. chuck's huey was the only target for the enemy to attack, and they did. tracers lit up the sky once more. chuck became -- chuck came in so hot that his chopper bounced for
several hundred feet before coming to a stop. as soon as he landed, a mortar round shattered his windshield. another hit the main rotor blade. shrapnel tore through the cockpit and chuck's chair. and still, those eight soldiers started to sprint to the huey, running through the firestorm, chased by bullets. chuck's helo, now badly damaged, was carrying 13 souls and was 600 pounds over limit. it felt, he said, like flying a 2.5 ton truck. he couldn't hover long enough to take off, but cool customer that he is, he says he saw his shattered windshield and thought, that's pretty good air conditioning. the cabin filled with black smoke as chuck hopped and skipped the helo across the ground to pick up enough speed to take off. like a jack rabbit, he said, bouncing across the riverbed. the instant he got airborne, another mortar ripped into the tail, the huey fishtailed violently, and a soldier was thrown out of the helicopter, hanging on to a skid as chuck flew them to safety.
couldn't make this up. this is like a bad rambo movie. right? you're listening to this, you can't believe it. so the army's warrior ethos is paced on a simple truth. a soldier never leaved his comrades behind. chuck kettles honored that creed. not with a single act of heroism, but over and over and over. and because of that heroism, 44 american soldiers made it out that day. 44. we are honored today to be joined by some of them. chuck's door gunner, who was hit, rowland shank. the soldier chuck rescued that day, the one who figured he was done for, dewy smith. and a number of soldiers or vietnam veterans who fought in that battle. gentlemen, i would ask you to either stand if you can or wave so we can thank you for your service. [ applause ]
>> now, chuck's heroism was recognized at the time by the army's second highest award for gallantry. the distinguished service cross. but bill velano decided chuck deserved an upgrade. bill is a retired social worker who went to chuck's house to interview him for a veterans history project sponsored by the local rotary club. ann overheard the interview from the other room and reminded chuck to tell the story i just told all of you. this is something chuck and i
have in common. we do what our wives tell us to do. chuck told the story, and with his trademark humility, finished it by saying it was a piece of cake. bill, hearing the story, knew it was something more. he started a five-year mission along with chuck's son mike, a retired navy pilot, to award chuck the medal of honor. bill and mike are here, as is congresswoman debbie dingell, who along with her legendary husband don dingell went above and beyond to pass a law to make sure even all these years later we could still fully recognize chuck kettles' heroism today. so we thank them for their outstanding efforts. that's one more reason this story is quintessentially american. looking out for one another. the belief nobody should be left behind. this shouldn't just be a creed for our soldiers.
this should be a creed for all of us. this is a country that's never finished in its mission to improve, to do better, to learn from our history. to work to form a more perfect union. and at a time when, let's face it, we had a couple tough weeks, for us to remember that goodness and decency of the american people and the way that we can all look out for each other, even when times are tough, even when the odds are against us, what a wonderful inspiration. what a great gift for us to be able to celebrate something like this. it might take time, but having failed to give our veterans who fought in vietnam the full measure of thanks and respect they had earned.
we acknowledge that our failure to do so was a shame. we resolve that it will never happen again. it can take time, but old adversaries can find peace thanks to the leadership of so many vietnam vets, i was able to go to vietnam recently and see a people as enthusiastic about america as probably any place in the world. crowds lining the streets. and we were able to say that on a whole lot of issues, vietnam and the united states are now partners. here at home, it might take time, but we have to remember everyone on our team, just like chuck kettles. sometimes we have to turn around and head back and help those who need a lift. chuck said the most gratifying part of this whole story is dewy's name and rowland's name
and the name of 42 other americans he saved are not etched in the solemn granite wall not far from here that memorializes the fallen from the vietnam war. instead, it will be chuck kettles' name forever etched on the walls that communities have built from southern california to south carolina, in honor of those who have earned the medal of honor. of course, chuck says all this attention is a lot of hubbub, but i'll survive. chuck, you survived much worse than this ceremony. and on behalf of the american people, let me say that this hubbub is richly and roundly deserved. as a military agent prepared to read the citation, please join me in saluting this proud american soldier and veteran who reminds us all of the true meaning of service. lieutenant colonel chuck kettles. [ applause ]
>> the president of the united states of america authorized by act of congress, march 3rd, 1863, has awarded in the name of congress, the medal of honor to major charles s. kettles, united states army. major charles s. kettles has has distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry while serving as flight commander 176th aviation company, air mobile light. 14th combat aviation battalion, americal division near the republic of vietnam.
on 15 may, 1967, major kettles, upon learning an airborne infantry unit had suffered casualties during an intense firefight with the enemy immediately volunteered to lead a flight of six uh-1 delta helicopters to carry reinforcements to the embattled force and to evacuate wounded personnel. enemy small arms, automatic weapons and mortar fire raked the landing zone, inflicting heavy damage to the helicopters. however, major kettles refused to depart until all helicopters were loaded to capacity. he then returned to the battlefield with full knowledge of the intense enemy fire awaiting his arrival. upon departing major kettles was advised by another helicopter crew he had fuel streaming out of his aircraft. despite the risk posed by the leaking fuel, he nursed the damaged aircraft back to base. later than day, the commander
requested immediate emergency extraction of the remaining 40 troops, including four members of major kettles' unit whose that were stranded when their helicopter was destroyed by enemy fire. with only one helicopter remaining, major kettles volunteered to return to the deadly landing zone for a third time, leading a flight of six evacuation helicopters, five from the 161st aviation company. during the ekz extraction major kettles was inform eed the last helicopter that all personnel were onboard and departed the landing zone accordingly. army gun ships supporting the evacuation also deported the area. once airborne, major kettles was advised eight troops were unable to reach the helicopters. due to the intense enemy fire. with complete disregard for his own safety, major kettles passed the lead to another helicopter and returned to the landing zone to rescue the remaining troops. without gunship, artillery, or tactical air support, the enemy concentrated all firepower on his lone aircraft, which was
immediately damaged bay mortar round that damaged both front windshields and the chin bubble and was further raked by small machine gunfire. despite the intense enemy fire, major kettles maintained control of the aircraft and the situation, allowing time for the eight soldiers to board the aircraft. in spite of the severe damage to the helicopter, he once more guided his aircraft to safety. without his courageous actions and the superior flying skills, the last group of soldiers and his crew would never have made it off the battlefield. major kettles' selfless acts are keeping in the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the united states army.
>> let us go forward with joyful hearts, with these words. be not afraid for i have redeemed you. i have called you by name. you are mine. when you pass through waters, i will be with you. through rivers, you shall not be swept away. when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned nor will flames consume you. let us now go forth into the world in peace. dedicated to your service, amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the ceremony, but we have a reception. i hear the food here is pretty good.
up next on american history tv, historian jason silverman talks about his book describing abraham lincoln's encounters with immigrants including haitians, germans and cubans. mr. silverman concludes that these encounters boosted america's economy. the lincoln group of district of columbia hosted this event. it's about an hour. >> and now for our speaker this evening. jason h. silverman is the professor of history at winthrop university. where he has taught for 31 years.