tv 1960 Presidential Candidates Debate CSPAN October 29, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm EDT
it encompasses san antonio and another region. senator menendez was a key leader in securing $25 million from the legislature from this massive plan, $5 million for the overdue structural work including the present alamo facilities. and he was the senate sponsor of a bill that laid the groundwork for the agreement we talk about today. also, we have george p bush, a public school teacher in miami and u.s. naval reserve, serving in afghanistan. a businessman, oilman, attorney. since january of 2015, -- [indiscernible] a volunteer group had operated the site.
commissioner bush took care of the board of directors and alamo and the mayor. is that correct? >> it is really complicated. >> and phil collins. he is phil collins. [laughter] >> you are too kind. >> in the program he is described as a musician and alamo in busiest. most underwhelming description. phil is one of the great musical icons of our age, former lead singer of genesis and solo artist sold 200 million records , probably more. >> [indiscernible]
>> seven grammys. i know the reason you are probably here is because of him but the reason he is here is because he is the world leading private collector of alamo artifacts. i had the opportunity to hang out with him and see his collection. it was amazing. just to give you an idea of the kind of stuff that is in it, you probably know the famous february 25 letter, victory or death, we will never surrender. there is a postscript in the letter that says ps, the lord is on our side.
phil has the receipt for those cattle that travis bought from a guy named ignatius -- ignatio perez. and he has given it to the state of texas for the museum. [applause] >> so, we will talk about this master plan, sometime in late november. the design partnership joined for the first draft of a master plan, their recommendations for the physical building of the alamo. it will not be an easy task. they have been saying, remember the alamo, since 1836. but exactly what we are supposed to be remembering has long been a subject of confusion.
that extends to the alamo itself, beginning with the idea that this is the alamo. this is merely the church of the alamo, a mission compound. it looks much different back in the days of 1836. this is the painting done by an american officer in the war in 1847. as you can see the alamo did not have that taco bell for sod -- taco bell facade back then. and in this painting -- didn't he do some illustrations for you? this is what the alamo complex looked like in 1836 during the battle. this is the church right here, which is what we saw in the earlier photos.
these are the long barracks, which still exist. everything else is gone. these walls on the west side of the alamo, i will show you. this is the alamo church, this is the convent, the long barracks. this used to be the western wall. this area here in present day. these are a few pictures i took a week or so ago. this is a what used to be the west wall of the alamo. various businesses, and these buildings in themselves are
historic buildings, built in the 20th century. as you can see, it is not exactly the sort of historical interpretation that we might need to be talking about. so i just wanted to give you a little bit of grounding in that. and before we talk about the project underway, i'm going to get rid of that. i would like to ask beginning with you, senator menendez, a most personal question. which is, what the alamo means to you. you grew up, mexican-american, it might be a complicated place to be you. what does it mean? >> absolutely, my mom was from mexico. most of her family stayed in
northern mexico. they would give me a hard time about how we lost in the alamo. it was the oddest thing, growing up in school, whether people know what your ancestry is or not, you are a mexican. but when you visit your cousins in mexico, you are an englander, because you do not speak every word perfectly. they ride you about the u.s. taking texas. but i think, growing up i always held onto the notion that what is beautiful about the alamo is that that is where the strengthening of the movement
for independence as what ended up becoming the nation for a while. and i love the story, people from all walks of life. people of mexican and indian dissent. people from all walks of life in that alamo site. but they were given a choice. they could have left. but they chose to do it. such a wonderful sentiment of this courage and perseverance and determination. obviously, there are mixed emotions. not necessarily mixed loyalties. but how intertwined our history is with mexico.
the best you can say is to be honest about it. >> speaking of being intertwined, you have a mexican mother and a texas-born father. what is your experience of the alamo? is it as complex as the senators? >> from a historic perspective i have been an admirer of history, i love the unique feature of the textiles of texas. i love military history. when you look at the alamo, the battle of 1836 provides an incredible and compelling experience. the opportunity for this reimagining of the alamo master plan is for us to take that to another level, to speak to who we are as a people, as texans. as the senator points out, the alamo can be a center point for
taking on controversial issues of the past. whether it is slavery, mexican control of mexican texas spanish ground control. as a student of history, i find that to be intriguing. and being the land commissioner in day-to-day manager -- i think it is important and an incredible educational opportunity. >> phil you are the automatic out because you grew up in england. >> thank you. >> -- >> in england, when i was five or six years old we had a black and white television in the corner of the room. one day we turned it on and the wild frontier was on. there is something about the
character in the jacket. when he went to this place which was the alamo, and the impression i got, memories of that time, is that this group of people were going and they knew they were going to die, but they went. there was something very noble and romantic, in a way. i was just a five or six-year-old. in that moment, i was obsessed. i used to draw the star, cowboys and indians, mexicans and texans. [laughter]
>> and as i have gotten older, i have started to come of the last 25 years, read every book i can. i found out a lot more, that it was not just black and white, or as it was betrayed by hollywood or disney. there were over romanticized films, beautiful as they were -- i have learned it was not quite as black and white. and that is one of the things i think would be good in this day and age to refer to. we have to put it in context. there were brave men on both sides of the war. the gray bits makeup the story.
that is what i am hoping this master plan will do, because there are a lot of prejudices and in this day and age it needs to be much more addressed. it is a wonderful place, and i am totally obsessed by it. i am still collecting things from the alamo. >> i remember you told me once, the first time you saw the alamo was like meeting the beatles. >> it was. i first came here in 1974. it was me and peter gabriel and we had a day off each. three or four days off and i
said come i have to go to the alamo. you could turn right into the driveway, the alamo was on my left. it was a wonderful experience. and it still is. i go there quite often and i still go to visit. i still walk the grounds, and think about what happened there. i am in love with it. >> i would like to invite you to a ceremony that happens once a year. back in the mid-1990's, they found some bones and they looked in their rosters and saw native american families. the descendents of those native americans, once a year, have a sunrise ceremony in the alamo.
and the want to thank the commissioner. they honor their descendents and it is a moving experience. >> the descendents? >> the descendents of the native americans. many of them dressed in the traditional, and they go for a run. it is a very moving experience. it is unlike anything. >> that is the kind of thing -- [indiscernible] there is history that must not be ignored. i know we discussed the endowment, there are ceremonies.
there were burial grounds, a lot of history. >> can you walk us through the history of this project? how it began and how you got involved? >> very briefly, a management agreement signed by my predecessor was scheduled to retire -- the then attorney general greg abbott was managing the alamo. a scathing report resulted in
legislature in 2011 to make a tough decision. i made the decision we needed to go in. i put together a board. it is composed of nine texans. we have a former chair of regents. i am not sure we have any board members here this morning. we also have a business titan among others. we are excited about the philanthropic capacity of the board. but one of the first things he wanted to commission was conducting a global search to reimagine the experience. and he comes to us from
philadelphia and other projects we conducted a very exhaustive search. if you have any questions, we will have follow-up on the master plan. we are in the second stage master plan where we will be open to the public on a transparent basis. we will have options for that original footprint on one of your slides. that is one of our goals, to bring authenticity to the visitor experience, restore credibility, and questions that take place. george will be commissioning those designs in november. you should check out reimaginethealamo.org.
we have all the social media platforms there. >> there are three buildings on the west side of the plaza. there is the crockett building near the ripley's believe it or not museum. >> we're the landlords of that beautiful plaza. we do want our contract to be fairly long-term and unbreakable. in that instance, we are very open and honest about the conversations with the merchants. i happen to be a small businessman myself. even business owners in the area recognize the historic difference to the battlefield sites. for those of you who may have visited gettysburg here in the
u.s., you'll notice there is an immediate difference. >> my understanding is that the businesses in the area, if somehow, i do not want to add responsibility to anybody, but if somehow a solution was there and relocation were able to come up we might be willing to be a party to a different contract. >> that is our understanding that they want to be more than flexible, they want to be part of the process. we are optimistic. >> what was the process like? is there bipartisan agreement? >> it is interesting, you gave me a lot of credit. he should be listed as my joint author on the bill.
as the name entails -- what i love about the alamo and san antonio, and people say it in many speeches, when we are whelping -- when we are welcoming people, they feel so welcome. but for anyone with anything to do with texas history and government, everyone feels the alamo is where our honest ernest definition of our independence started. bill came to the capital last session, and he was gracious enough to take lots of selfies.
[laughter] >> and hang out at lunch with a lot of elected officials. after they heard the story like we did a few minutes ago it is unfortunate. sometimes when something is in your own backyard you do not pay attention to it as much. we refocused that for a lot of people. it was not as hard as anybody might think. we were able to agree we needed the $5 million for the foundation. we needed an emergency amount of money and the commissioner had all the bids to get the place up and running. but some of the leadership was very clear with me. we will entrust trust you with
this, we agree. but do not go out and get -- [indiscernible] george having been a publicly renowned restorer of public places, that is what we need. we toured the city, the district, the alamo was one of our stops. is that it? it was a feeling that they got out of the bus, fought traffic, we literally had to stop traffic. it did not have the feeling of an independent hall or a gettysburg. and we have to find a way, regardless of where you come from with reference to the
alamo, i do not care what originates your feeling of concern and care for that piece of history. what i want to have happen is that every child has an opportunity to really get the importance of what this place was. it is almost like getting to watch the birthplace. i would love to see it given that respect. >> one of the elements of that -- the master plan has yet to be unveiled or presented in a draft form. do you have a sense of how you would like your stuff to be shown? [laughter] >> i hope this does not upset anybody, as an englishman
[indiscernible] i started to think about what was going to happen. my accountant said, what will you do at the alamo site? we should go to the museum. my youngest child, matthew, was a little upset. he could name all the people involved in the alamo. so i went to the first couple museums. i went into one of them, it was very pristine, lots of glass.
it did not seem to be what i wanted or imagined. they did have some exhibits, which were in the dirt. i think that is what i would like to see. we have met a few times over the last couple days and we are agreed on getting that kind of feel. i have collected a lot of things and lots of small things. i would think it would be nice to show those things in the museum.
that was one of my stipulations. otherwise, i would keep it at home. there is no point keeping the stuff in boxes. yes, i would like it all to be displayed and be displayed in context. i think that is probably what will happen. believe me, from being a five-year-old or six-year-old who loved the whole story, the only story i knew at that time was the story we were fed by hollywood. and now with these gentlemen and
yourself we know the story well. to be talking about something that involves this place that i loved since i was five years old or six years old, is extraordinary to me. i am proud to be here in my collection in the proud to be here in my collection in the hands of the citizens here. it was all in my basement in museum cases i had built. now, people will be able to come and see it, and i think that is a great thing. people will be able to enjoy it. [applause] >> i think the alamo is somewhat unique. i am sure you understand this idea. the alamo was given to the
daughters of the republic in 19 know five -- 1905 as a shrine. deep at the base of the alamo story is a myth, the noble self-sacrifice. even today, it is regarded as a shrine. there was a sign on the front of the alamo church building asking gentlemen to remove their hats. they are really serious, you leave your hat off and you enter the alamo. i would like to ask you this question, i do not know where it would go, but is there a tension between the idea of the alamo as a sacred space, and cannot be bridged by this plan we are talking about? >> i think that tension means
people care. i like that and i think the alamo is enough of an important place -- and i think the chapel is a place where religious ceremonies, where burials or weddings or important rituals, i think that should be sacred. i think we have more on the grounds to be able to expand. i think the chapel should be recognized for what it was and then as we do the master plan, we have opportunities to layout the pieces. it may be an opportunity however it goes forward, maybe for pieces where a soldier had a rifle or gun laid out and maybe
he fell against the wall. you could put them out in a way where as you come, it doesn't take the 8-10 minutes the average visitor spends. you can experience what it was like. you have stories. you have this very important battle, and so many people have written to me worried that we are trying to rewrite history. we want history plus. therefore there is an opportunity to say, and this is where agriculture took place and this is where other things happened. i think in the collection and other things we will find will tell a broader color -- a broader story. >> when i started, my view was
just to get things raised, and slowly i became aware of what led to it and what came from it so it grew. this is like a little umbrella under a huge umbrella. that is where i started. two things. there was talk from gary foreman about almost like, rebuilding. i think that is going to end up like a movie set. but people come here, people come to see the alamo because of what they know. the thing is, being in a band
the song set, you cannot just play a bunch of new things. people like what they know. you have to play things they know. you gain their enthusiasm and trust and then you go back and play something new. you have to think about it. it is the way you end up winning an audience and i think that is a similar kind of thing we have to do. if you layout a hole 50 -- a whole 50-100 years of history, i think -- that is the way will
work best. >> is there a wrong way to do this? we're talking about bridging the gap. i guess another question is what kind of pushback you get from people. the senator manchin there were people who were saying you are going to ruin it. there is a kind of mom and pop to the alamo as it is. how do you incorporate all of these constituencies, these nostalgic constituencies? >> i agree with the senator, i believe that is what makes history special, the tension. our group had a chance to travel. how do you tell the story of
slave quarters in the vicinity where 100 years before, the drafters were working on important documents for the constitution? how do you square that? i can't think of anything more difficult and complicated than that in storytelling. for those of you who may of had a chance to visit, there is a difference for great things in the documents drafted, but there's also a story with respect to the postcolonial era. that is what we are tempting to do. i just want to make clear this is not about the three of us onstage. we are fully engaging the public opinion, but with eyes wide open knowing that we have to prioritize what brings people. it is similar to the experience
of our coo when he ran the 9/11 memorial. when he brought horse -- tourists into the memorial, he noticed that everybody has their own interpretation and connection to the memorial. i fully recognize it will be the biggest challenge. one final point. the contractual agreement the state of texas has is that we have to have substantial completion or a permanent demonstration of this collection. we are now on your six -- year six. this will be a challenge and that is why we welcome the public engagement, your thoughts
and feedback. >> we need to have the timeline to keep a little pressure on. one thing that is important to say, former city councilman worked very hard in renewing the l-- alamo space. he is remained very active and vigilant. i have to give him a shout out because he is worked hard at city council and is now a state representative and is fully engaged. >> the $31 million -- $31.5 million, that is not the cost of this thing. that is the beginning, the
startup. we're going to have to raise a lot of money. george: in my appropriate if request i have gone big. it was historical appropriation and we recognize it will be a more difficult task, but we're also informing legislatures that the private sector will be part of it. if you include phil's collection , the city's contribution, in addition to the state's contribution, we are looking at a nine digit number to make this happen. i think most people recognize we have to do this. one other, and you touched on this before, in 2024 we will
reach the 300 anniversary of the construction of the church. that is a deadline that we are all concerned with. host: we have times for questions from the audience. i don't know their microphones, but go ahead. is that you bob? it is hard to see with the lights. there are microphones. >> good morning. congressman doggett put language in the appropriations bill --
[indiscernible] with the possibility of a federal bill being turned over. obviously it is a beautiful historic building and a great place for phil collins'collection. this did not work out for the library. [indiscernible] why doesn't the state moved to purchase that library? phil: congressman doggett deserves a lot of credit for behind-the-scenes. particularly at the gsa. the alamo is zachary -- actually
within his district and he recognizes this is the most important historic landmark we have. he joined us last night and gave us an update. george: we're thankful for his support. >> can you tell people what the garcia building is? george: the federal post office building is where the original compound was located. regretfully, it is protected by it historic code and there's very little from my understanding for what we can do to redevelop the site or repurpose it. it is a building the federal government has invested quite a bit of capital into. there are federal tenants in
there. it can be utilized for exhibit space, potential administrative space, all options are on the table right now. but because of our partnerships at the federal level we are able to utilize that building potentially to contribute to the master plan. >> it is on the north wall? george: that is exactly right. it has wonderful mosaics on the inside, it is a beautiful building. there may be some possibilities for some of the federal tenants to be real us -- reorganized. we're constantly in
communication with the drt to look into any and all options. we feel confident that the collection is in good stead from a management perspective. we are not only opportunistic with respect to real estate in the vicinity of the alamo, but with respect to historic collection in the area. just to be clear, the litigation against the state was with respect to the contents, as you mentioned. that is an important point because people think it is about the day-to-day management of the alamo. now that we are out of litigation, we can focus on the bigger picture items. host: is there a microphone over there? go ahead. >> the first time i saw the
alamo, it was like you turned the corner downtown and there it is. can you address how it went from disregard and all that property being used for other purposes to today where it is hallowed ground? what happened historically were that area it was decided we could just put up a building. george: the buildings there are protected by historic code. if you look in more detail, you can see overhead imagery in the vicinity of the alamo, you can see it is very constrained but we hear from taurus -- tourists,
why is this in the middle of san antonio? this is the most historic site in texas. this is can be one of the problems we face. i think we're going to have to come together and reimagine that experience. there are complications i mentioned the lefties -- lessee s. >> if it is hollowed ground and it was a pivotal point in history between 1836 in the early 19th century, was it just another place? >> it helps sometimes to look at very old photographs. you will see some stables right
next to the chapel. you have to remember to, we lost. one of the things i find interesting is that not a lot of full -- places on or where they have had tragedy. typically honor your big victory. we have matured as a state and grown up to accept what happened as a turning point in our history. i think there was a time when of the city was growing and people were trying to go on with commerce and he was just the center of the city. we can't be responsible for the mistakes of the past, but i love that here we have a gentleman who has come from england to tell us a story about how this moved him as a child to collect for his entire adult life and it is so important that he is probably one of many examples. we need to try and in part that same type of reference -- reve
rence on the people in our own state so that they might be interested in what happened. his son probably knows more than most of our kids in our school here. that is a shame. that is why i'm so glad to have them working with us along with the rest of the partners in legislature. i think we need to understand our history so we can better understand ourselves and i think in doing so, we will live better. at the beginning, phil told about a lack of authenticity, a lack of eating genuine -- being genuine. the more we do that, the more we can get along with each other. phil: there are very few -- in the middle of the town.
i know the town grew up around it. the only other one i can think of is london, where you still have the walls from medieval the earliest, and london has grown up around that without actually encroaching on area. most of these battle sites are out of town. you go to visit and it is a different thing. here you have traffic. you can't really halt the system. it is how you modify it to entertain the idea of what it is trying to achieve. >> my question is related. [indiscernible]
>> i don't know what side you are putting me on, but go ahead. [laughter] >> the land value, that is the controversy with the master plan. i live in san antonio. all of the missions have been declared a world historic site and all of a sudden the land is prime development property around it. hotels have developed naturally. how do we protect the neighborhoods on the south side? and make sure that development is in keeping with the close-knit communities on the south side? george: i can't really speak to
the other development plans, to be candid. with regards to our plan, we're constantly engaging local entrepreneurs and business owners, all of the asset owners. just this week we were visiting in galveston looking for ways to work together. we can do this in a collaborative way where everyone wins. i think one of the best feedbacks we heard, our executive director who is on ground every day, is that a lot of business owners are impressed that we engage them. we're going to do this in a sensible way and awaited the community benefits and the community is more engaged than ever, at least with respect to the mission. jose: -- george: -- phil: i'm interested
why you said we did not lose. >> i have friends who are hispanic who take their children to the alamo and remind them that they did not lose the alamo. >> this is what i love about texas, no matter where you go in the world, if they are from texas, the first thing they say is that they are texan. [applause] jose: me and my cousins got into a lot of regiments of the -- arguments over this. i am proud of our history. there are blemishes on every society. you talked about slavery and i think that is a big one, the
biggest we have had. the issue for me is that i just want us to be honest. i tell my children the same thing i feel. my parents were immigrants, my mother from mexico and my father from cuba. i am proud of my dissent -- dec ent. the fact of the matter is that i'm american and texan and i want to view history through that. i want everyone to have room at the table. host: i think we have time for one more question. >> i was going to ask a question to fill -- phil. with your love of alamo history and your past as a historic -- recording artist, how much
impact has the alamo had on you as a recording artist, and as far as your collection, what do you think is the piece you really want to see get a good location to be displayed? phil: i don't think -- i have left writing songs about the alamo in texas to other people, they seem to have done a better than i could. i think that one of the things that appeal to me, as i mentioned before, relating to the gentleman before, about winning and losing and who is right and wrong, when i was five or six, i was fed who was the good guys and bad guys by hollywood. but it was the romance of the
thing and i guess in my songwriting, that feeling comes over was a lot of my music. on one of my albums, there is a song and i put a couple of lines , and one of those was to always do the right thing, and i think that is one of the things i remember thinking. these guys were at this place and they were doing what they thought was right. but in terms of the collection there are so many things and on any given day i could go down when i was seeing it every day in my house, i would just go down to look and grabbed a book or -- each day there would be something. i would think, that is amazing.
whether it is the boeing eyes -- bowie knife, we have a few of those. there are all kinds of stories and on any given day it changes. a receipt was given to me for john w smith's saddle. i had a constant fascination with him because there are no images of him. his wife has a photograph, she is a fearsome looking woman. [laughter] phil: there are no images of
john w smith. i had that piece, that receipt for his saddle. how many miles did that saddle go taking messages and out of the alamo? that was a fascinating piece for me. sometimes just little scraps of paper. there is so much story behind them. it is going to be great that people can see the stuff. i am excited thinking about it. host: we all are. we're out of time, but thank you for coming here. [applause] >> watch the entire program at
7:00 p.m. eastern tonight. american history tv, only on c-span3. >> each week leading up to the 2016 election, wrote to the white house we wind brings you archival coverage of white house races. next, the debate in the 1960 presidential campaign between richard nixon and john f. kennedy. the debates took place in different studios. topics include chinese communism, federal spending, u.s. economic growth versus the soviet union and civility in political discourse. senator kennedy defeated nixon in the election by less than 1% of the popular vote. this is just under one hour.
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tribune. as you probably noticed the four reporters included a newspaper man and a magazine reporter. these were selected by the press secretaries of the candidates among the reporters traveling with the candidates. broadcasting representatives were chosen by their company. the rules of an agreed upon by the representatives of the radio television networks. there will be no opening statements by the candidates or closing summation. the entire hour will be devoted to answering questions from the reporters. each will have an opportunity from comment -- for, from the other. each response will be limited to 2.5 minutes and comment to 1.5 minutes. reporters can ask any question they choose on any subject.
neither candidate knows what questions will be asked. time alone determines who will be asked the final question. the first question is for senator kennedy. >> yesterday used the words trigger-happy to describe president nixon. you said the next president would come face-to-face with a serious crisis in berlin. would you take military action to defend berlin. kennedy: we have a contractual right to be in berlin. that has been reinforced by the president of the united states and other nations under nato. i have stated on many occasions that we must meet