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tv   Reel America Home Front 1917-1919  CSPAN  July 3, 2017 3:55pm-4:16pm EDT

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narrated by actor robert ryan, this 1965 encyclopedia britannica film examines how the war was sold to the american public and how dissent was discouraged and even outlawed. the documentary also shows how the war effort expanded the federal government and led to a booming industrial economy. this is about 20 minutes. ♪ ♪ on the eve of grave
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decisions on april 2, 1917, an anxious president woodrow wilson voices his fore bodying, and they'll forget there was such a thing as tolerance. to fight, you must be brutal and ruthless. conformity would be the only virtue. ♪ ♪ >> days later, with the president leading as he must, america is at war. all doubts are now submerged. all separate voices drowned out by the great chorus of the war effort. do your bit for the boys over there ♪ ♪ >> the spirit of 17 on the american home front, a nation rallying to the war. behind them, keeping the spirit moved is the machinery of government. a new agency set up by the president under a journalist
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named george creole with his committee on public information which will grow from a handful to 150,000, creole tackles the war effort as a plain publicity proposition. the world's greatest adventure in advertising. it will be an all-star production off stage and on. ♪ ♪ the march king, drumming up sales of liberty bonds with the star of the metropolitan opera, anna case as soloist. ♪ ♪ >> booth tarkenton, author of the best-seller "penrod," writes
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on american facts and german propaganda. the young novelist wries for distribution of the allies and so does the preeminent man of letters, william dean hollows on behalf of the creole committee's foreign press bureau. mary pickford and other stars from the movies make personal appearances as salesmen for uncle sam. the comedienne in a gesture for kaiser bill. ♪ ♪ >> to weld the people of the united states into one white-hot mess, instinct with fraternity, devotion and determination, this is the mission in the words of george creole. the country's artives are told, draw until it hurts. ♪ ♪
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>> the draft, starting in july 1917 makes potential heroes of some 3 million men who will be called on to do their bit in uniform. billy sunday, the national outfielder turned evangelist tours the country with inspiring sermons route the enemy, upset and set out liberty across the world. the president who suffered such fo foreboding calls for force, righteous and triumphant force. untouched by battle, the american landscape is altered by the war. >> washington once described as a drowsy capital becomes a
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boomtown in 1917. this is a time when american history when government grows into big government, spending almost as much on the 20-month war as in the previous century and a carter of its history. dozens was new agencies, a federal payroll that nearly doubles from 500,000 employees to almost a million, not to mention the unpaid volunteers. liberty bonds, allied relief, red cross, scores of wartime causes. for just one dollar a year, government secures the services of one of the most distinguished citizens, an army of businessmen like thomas a. edison and bernard barook. one observer calls washington, a patriotic madhouse.
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one of the new faces of government, herbert hoover, organizer of worldwide relief for belgium in 1915 now summoned to run the food program at home. battalions of volunteers work farms and plant gardens to help feed the nation and the allies. for housewives, the watch words are save food. the public translates it into hooverized. out in the field were women and youngsters and the slogan is do a man's ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> love may not change, but motherhood will never be the same after this war. america's women taking on a man's job work up new arguments to support their demands for the vote, demands that will be fulfilled in a constitutional amendment after the war. how are you going to keep them out of the voting booth after they've helped win the war? ♪ ♪ ♪ >> along with its heroes and heroines, the war effort produces new villains. this scene takes place in birmingham, alabama. a slacker driven out of town by his neighbors, with the draft strictly policed, the penalties of being a slacker are severe. slogans grow into passions, a
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hatred of all things german. a harvard professor finds in music the traits of war, lust and cunning. shops owned by german-americans are boycotted, sometimes wrecked. sauerkraut becomes liberty cabbage. teaching german is banned and president wilson worries that the war spirit may become the mob spirit. ♪ ♪ >> nine months of american participation in the war, four whole divisions shipped overseas, more units leaving every week and no visible impact on the stalemate on the western front. impatient for news of victories, the public has received only reports of the first american deaths. the spirit of over there is becoming muted. the farewells grow somber.
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♪ ♪ >> the materiel of the home front is stalled in transit as the railroad burdened by mismanagement and strikes finally break down. even on the home front, every day is a battle. ♪ ♪ war production sputters under a variety of handicaps. competing for materials and manpower or any reasonable substitute, industry operates by government committees. washington's patriotic mad house has become a bureaucratic mad
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house. an economic czar bernard barook is empowered to get industry out of its doldrums. ♪ ♪ >> by government, production gets rolling. barook and his war industries board armed with extraordinary powers reporting directly to the president keep the economy disciplined with a tough regime of priorities. it is a pattern alien to america. business by government regulation. less steel for autoparts, none for corsets, more for guns, less cloth for blouses, more for airplane fuselages. ♪ ♪ >> even with the speed up, industry will never quite catch
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up with the war. in a single, ceremonious day, fourth of july, 1918, 95 ships are launched, but none will cross the atlantic by the time of the armistice. british shipping will carry most of the load. nor will any american-made tank get into action. the american expeditionary force will fight with french and british tanks and artillery while the bugs are being worked out over here. ♪ ♪ >> it is late in the war before the arsenal of democracy is geared up for the business of war. its problems of manpower and material settled. one new source of industrial manpower is the negro, recruited by the south by the thousands, given up 50 or 75 cents a day job for the work in the north. ♪ ♪
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>> the migration which will have a profound effect on the course of american life is accompanied by conflict. race riots in northern communities like philadelphia, chicago and east st. louis, illinois, where 37 americans are killed, white and negro. ♪ ♪ >> another kind of disease is loose in the land, suspicion, attacking all forms of dissent. vigilanties operating in the name of patriotism pursue their own blacklist of enemies. draft dodgerses and war bond slackers, pacifists who condemn
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war, labor groups that insist on voicing discontent, the foreign born. wilson's fears of a brutalized, conformist america loom over the nation. the government acts to take the law out of the hands of the mob. the wilson administration under criticism is soft on pro-germans, seeks and gets tough new laws suppressing freedom of speech and opinion. ♪ ♪ >> one controversial labor group, the industrial workers of the world, the wobblies is violently suppressed by mob and government. in arizona, 1200 members are expelled en masse to an army post in new mexico where their practice of strike with
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anarchist overtones. elsewhere, iww offices are raided by federal agents, their officers arrested including big bill hayward, their leading figure. socialist party leader eugene v. debs who got nearly a million votes for president of the united states in 1912 is arrested for a speech considered obstructive to the war effort and he's later sentenced to 12 years in sdwral. with the prosecution of the dissidents, wrilson has both crushed the anti-war spirit and appeased the extremists. ♪ ♪ >> america's answer to the threat from abroad, the threat
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of the german armies also becomes more vigorous in the summer of 1918. doubts of national conscience, fears about security are dimmed by triumphant scenes from the western front. the aef is an action to the hilt. joining the allies in driving back the germans' last offensive. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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woodrow wilson who proved that war would be an enemy of liberty has compromised with that enemy, but in the promising autumn of 1918 the nation does not sense this. what americans feel is an irresistible strength of purpose. the army is on a march in france and the nation is in step over here. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation like uses on facebook at c-span history. coming up over the fourth of july holiday on c-span2's book tv. tonight at 8:30 p.m. eastern, author john mcwhorter discusses his book "talking back, talking black". >> i wanted to see if i could make the general public have a more positive view of the dialect that most black americans use in casual situations. >> then on tuesday at 7:15 a.m. eastern, author and pulitzer prize-winning historian david
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mcm mccullough, the american spirit. >> you don't whine and wimper. you get up and continue on, and i think that that's something that we all need to be reminded of and aren't reminded of by the examples set in this story of our own country. >> at 1:30 p.m., utah senator mike leigh with his book written out of history, the forgotten founding fathers who fought big government. >> i don't think anyone can comprehend what happened in philadelphia in 1777 unless they read both sides of the argument because unless you read the arguments of the federalists, they appear to tilt more in the direction of federal power than they, in fact, do. >> at 2:30 p.m. jena bush -- >> with malia and sasha we felt
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unbelievably protective of them and people thought it was odd how protective we were, but it isn't. we saw ourselves in them. we saw our little selves in them when our grandpa became president and when they left the white house, they were the same age we were when our dad became president. being a teenager isn't easy and it's incredibly rewarding. >> former secretary of state condoleezza rice discusses her book "democracy. stories from the long road to freedom." >> democratic states that can deliver for their own people don't invade their neighbors. they don't traffic in child soldiers who are 10 and 11 years old. they don't traffic in the human sex trade so that women end up in brothels in eastern europe and southeast asia. they don't harbor terrorists as a matter of state policy. they don't, as democracies, don't fight each other. we know this. it's called the democratic
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peace. >> for our complete schedule go to >> the center is for vision and values at growth city college in pennsylvania recently hosted a two-day conference called the communism that failed. communism and socialism, then and now. three scholars open the conference with the influence of communism and socialism around the world since the 1917 russian revolution 100 years ago. they also discuss how socialism was viewed in the united states in the past and its influence in the 21st century, including the presidential run of senator bernie sanders. this program is about an hour. >> hi, everybody. welcome. welcome back. it's great to have everyone here. two-day conference on communism and socialism. i'm going to be like a kid in a candy story on this topic, and we've never had a


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