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tv   The Presidency Theodore Roosevelts Life Times  CSPAN  December 2, 2017 11:05am-12:16pm EST

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facebook questions. watch in-depth with cornell west and robert george sunday on book tv on c-span2. >> next on "the presidency," joe wiegand gives life to theodore roosevelt in a portrayal. he recounts the 26th president's life and times, including his unexpected ascension to the white house after william mckinley's assassination. this is just over an hour. john: i am john elliff, president of the lincoln group of the district of columbia. the lincoln group has existed since the 1930s to honor the life and legacy of abraham lincoln. and this year we have a special opportunity to hear from an extraordinary speaker.
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and in introducing him i would like to repeat something that he said at the first national republican convention that he attended as a young man in 1884. he was part of a reform wing of the republican party, and they had an insurgent candidate to be temporary chair of the convention, taking on the candidacy of the republican national committee. that candidate happened to be the african-american congressman from mississippi, john r. lynch. here is some of what our speaker said. it is now less than a quarter of a century since in this city, chicago, the great republican party organized for victory and nominated abraham lincoln of
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illinois who broke the fetors of the slaves and rent them asunder forever. it is a fitting thing for us to choose to preside over this convention one of that race whose right to sit within these walls is due to the blood and the treasures so lavishly spent by the founders of the republican party. so, it is a great honor and pleasure to introduce the 26th president of the united states -- no. he asked me to introduce him differently. it is a tremendous honor to introduce -- to introduce colonel theodore roosevelt. >> bully, bully! ha, ha, ha, ha! bully, president elliff, thank you very much, sir. thank you ladies and gentlemen, i am theodore roosevelt, and i am delighted to be here this evening with the lincoln group of the district of columbia and northern virginia.
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oh, how it's done my heart good to share fellowship with you this evening. so many of you recognized me upon my arrival and greeted me accordingly. hello, teddy. good evening mr. president. i asked president elliff. my friends in my retirement call me colonel. for my brief time in the volunteer cavalry. history remembers us as the rough riders in the fight against the spanish monarchy for the freedom of the cuban people. all of the greetings tonight historically accurate stand in stark contrast to the young man yesterday, he saw me with my top hat and pointed at me and said, look, there is the monopoly dude. [ laughter ] >> ha, ha! quite humbling for an old politician, i assure you.
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if he knew his history as well as mr. o'brien and the historians here, he would have known i was the anti-monopoly dude. the great trust buster. well, i am here to salute abraham lincoln. of course, i was a little boy born in 1858. we just did celebrate my 159th birthday. i am here to make each and every one of you, even those with a bit of snow atop the peak, i'm here to make you feel young. as a little boy, what a hero abraham lincoln was to me. even with some caution from your chief executive here, i wanted to share with you, of course, what you already know. i am a famous knickerbocker through and through. i am half georgen. my great grandfather was the revolutionary governor of georgia. bully. you might know mrs. rose as a
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daughter of georgia. now the bullocks. some historians say, if not for the stories i heard as a young boy, an uncle to crossed the river to fight a duel to the demise of his opponent, of those who marched off to florida to fight in the seminole war. that if it were not for the stories of southern derring-do and adventure i would never have been your president. i might have just grown up to be another boring dutch reform businessman in new york city as generations of roosevelts had been before. i can indeed prove my southern stock. my grandfather and my grandmother were sweethearts as children. my grandfather, james stevens bullock. and my grandmother, martha stewart, now martha stewart was the -- i thought you might catch on there.
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martha stewart was the youngest daughter of general daniel stewart. a hero of the revolutionary war and the war of 1812. it was he who marched off to seminole, the seminole wars in florida with his six sons, all of whom were 6 feet tall or taller leaving young martha stewart behind. he didn't want to leave her unmarried. in this regard my grandfather had proposed to my grandmother but, as a lady of the day did, she refused the first proposal. my grandfather apparently didn't have much patience in these issues of matrimony so he married a young and eligible lady lady in savannah, esther eltiot. a week lady my grandmother married john elliott who would go on to be a one-term united states senator from south carolina. and my grandmother, martha stewart elliott at that time was a wonderful hostess here in washington, d.c.
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after the term in congress and the term in senate senator elliott returned for retirement in south carolina but did not prevail long. two years after his retirement he died. shortly thereafter, esther elliott bullock died. at which point my grandfather successfully proposed to my grandmother. at which point when they married my grandfather was marrying his stepmother in law. if that doesn't make me a southerner, nothing will. [laughter] indeed my parents were married at bullock hall in roswell, georgia, nearby to atlanta in 1853. if your travels take you nearby to atlanta i hope you'll visit bullock hall and see some of the wonderful history kept alive there. i myself would visit bullock hall in 1905 during my trip through the south. when i toured the south i bragged about my southern heritage.
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of course, i had two uncles that were prominent amongst the confederacy. my mother's half-brother, uncle jimmy bullock, was the head of the confederate secret service in europe. he built the css shenandoah and the css alabama in liverpool. my uncle irvine was said to be the man who fired the last cannon off the alabama in its fateful fight off the coast of france. both men refused to sign a loyalty oath to the union and are buried with symbols of the confederacy on their graves in england. imagine my growing up in new nearby gramercy park in the heart of the union. my father found no way to fight against my mother's family. father, yes, it's true, he
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paid for two substitutes to fight in his place during the war. but my father wanted to fight -- wanted to serve the union cause. he was a founder of the union league club of new york city. and along with mr. choate and others of new york, they had an idea which sent my father to the nation's capital. and through the offices of john hay, president lincoln's private secretary, my father was seen in to visit with the president. their idea was for the allotment commission. you, of course, here know the allotment commission. this was the first time in our history when, through legislation, the soldier was allowed to sign up to have a portion of his pay sent home for the support of spouse and children. in previous wars when the man went to fight the war, very often the family was left at home destitute, reliant upon local charity and the church for support. my father was successful in seeing congress adopt the legislation creating the allotment commission. it took a while. congress in the early years of the war, they weren't familiar with a man coming to lobby congress for an idea in which there wasn't a motive of self-profit.
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but my father wanted to serve, so much so that he became an allotment commissioner for the state of new york. during the war years my father travelled wherever there were troops from new york, in the south, the north, in the west. my father travelled by train and horseback, very often to his own peril to get the soldiers to sign up to send a portion of their pay home for support of spouse and children. when my father was away from our home, our home at 28 east 20th street was a bevy of pro-confederate activity. not only was my mother a southern woman but my aunt anna and grandmother lived with us. three southern women beneath the roof. when my father was away the women of the family would have the children in the basement kitchen preparing packages of bandages, medicine, clothing and cash to make its way to the wharf and via blockade runner bring aid to family and friends in the south. there was great relief in the roosevelt household when the
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terrible war came to its conclusion. you perhaps more than others know that when i was a little boy i witnessed the sad funeral parade that came through new york city bearing the body of our martyred president on the way back to springfield. after my demise, a historian brought a photo of the parade to the attention of my widow. she was familiar with the scene depicted in the photograph, the scene being a picture of the parade as it passed by my grandfather's house at union square. in the second floor window of my grandfather's house you see the silhouettes of two small boys. that's me. and my brother elliott. eleanor roosevelt's father, later in history, watching the parade below. what you do not see is that my future bride, edith carow is locked in the closet. she had been crying at the sad sights of the wounded soldiers
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and the sound of the sad funeral music. it was annoying me and elliott greatly. we picked her up and locked her in the closet. a sin for which she apparently forgave me. i began my career as a young republican as a young student at harvard college. today harvard university, cambridge, massachusetts. you good common sense people of the nation's capital must understand me when i tell you, i did not learn much of practical value at harvard. [laughter] >> most of my classmates majored in the issue of night life across the charles river in boston. it was my own father who had sent me from new york city to cambridge my freshman year with these words. he said, first take care of your morals. second, your health. and third, your studies. i graduated four years later, phi beta kappa. magna cum laude. sadly, while i was at harvard my father died quickly of stomach cancer. a young man of 45.
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the entire city of new york was in mourning. i was in a terribly foul mood. i wrote in my diary and to my family i thought i might go insane with sadness. i sought refuge in the northwoods of maine. there were the hunting guide named williams soul -- named sewell we climbed to the highest point in maine famous today as the northern terminus of the great appalachian trail. we visited the lumber camps where my vocabulary was greatly expanded. each and every morning before our adventures i took my canoe to a place where the west branch of the river is joined by first brook. in the early morning lights by the sound of the waters joining gently i began each and every day as my late father would have me do, with bible devotion. in the years hence the people in the state of maine have seen to name that little point of land a state historic site called bible point.
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named for the fact that i as a young man sought and found the wisdom and comfort and solace of the good book there. i would later in life say a thorough knowledge of the bible was worth more than a college education. and when i said so, i had in mind that great scholar of the good book, abraham lincoln. i hope that i have left my camp ground cleaner than i found it. that at some point during my 7 1/2 years as your president that i might have done some good for which you still might be appreciative today. the nation gives me credit fort the national parks. perhaps erroneously so. yellowstone, 1872. president grant and a republican congress. it took an act of congress to name a national park. therefore, i was only able to double the number of national parks from five to ten. i on this issue of the conservation of our natural resources, i was a progressive. and i discovered that very often the opposite of progress was congress. [laughter]
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r]. sessions >> but i hope that you enjoy the national parks and, of course, when we think about the national parks, we must think of president abraham lincoln, who made a condition of california statehood in 1864 the maintenance and preservation of yosemite as a national park by the state. and during my administration, when we discovered that the california parks commission was not living up to the responsibility of maintaining that national park, we refedderalized much of the park and expanded the park. a park i visited with john muir during my administration in 1903. there is a great deal of my administration, of course, that has its origin during the lincoln administration. the railroad act, settling of the west, and my own adventures to the dakota territory would not have occurred without the great progressive legislation and, of course, many are the north dakota farmers still to this day come tell me that they've got on their homestead deed my signature. but that would not have occurred
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without the homestead act passed during the lincoln administration. when i was your president, there wasn't a major controversy, a major issue which i wouldn't look up at the picture that i had in my office of abraham lincoln, a photograph of an unbearded lincoln, dating to the time of the lincoln and douglas debate. i sort of wish that the president would not have grown his chin whiskers myself. i would look up at that picture and think, what would president lincoln do in this circumstance. well, as fantastic as it may sound, it gave me great comfort to put myself in the mind of abraham lincoln during the small controversies compared to the great controversies which the rail splitter dealt. i was proud to be a member of the republican party, and for any of the republicans in the audience, i know you may blame me for eight years of wilson. but when the nomination -- i had won eight of the 12 primaries in
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1912 when i sought the republican nomination against my old friend, my hand-chosen successor, william howard taft. the reason i ran against taft was in great part for the fact that he had divorced himself from the grass roots of lincoln's republican party, the common man, the shop keeper, the mechanic, the farmer, but he was doing quite while by the special interests of wall street, the men that i call the malfactors of great wealth and land robbers. the republican party stole the nomination for taft. not the first nor the last time that something politically was stolen in chicago. we returned weeks later, and i accepted the nomination of the progressive party. my nomination seconded by jane adams. the great social reformer of chicago's whole house, a future nobel peace prize winner. how delighted i was to know that her father, mr. adams of northwestern illinois, was a dear friend of abraham lincoln's and known as his double d adams,
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for the spelling of the family name. the lincoln administration, how we wish it had lasted longer than it had, but it wasn't to be. we are inspired still by that greatest of men. we were this weekend at theodore roosevelt island. during the civil war the island was occupied by united states colored troops. and it was a freeman's village, in the later years of the war and in the years right after the war. the island was known then as mason island, the revolutionary patriot george mason, his family owning the island through those years. there is a wonderful bit of connection through history. i love the way that we find that history has these wonderful webs that are woven to remind us that we are all indeed connected. on that island, a mason owned
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the island during the war of 1812, and a mason served the descendant of the original mason. mason served as the commissioner in charge of exchange of prisoners with the british. so he was sought after by francis scott key. it was mason that gave francis scott key his commission papers to go negotiate for the release of prisoners out side of ft. mchenry during the fateful battle and we have our national anthem, the star spangled banner, written as a result of he taking that commission. i first served the american people in federal office as your united states civil service commissioner. appointed by president benjamin harrison. i fought against corruption in his own republican regime. i did so well in fighting against republican corruption that i was appointed by the democrat, grover cleveland. then i fought corruption in his
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democratic regime just as well. you may know that the author of the united states civil service act, known as the pendleton act. george pendleton of ohio, the vice presidential nominee with general mcclellan in 1864. george pendleton's wife, alice key, the daughter of francis scott key. i have been told so much history that i didn't know by your members, i thought i might share a little bit that i knew with you today. i hope that i lived up to the aspirations of the american people for my presidency. i sadly came to the presidency through the graveyard. on the assassination of president mckinley occurring, september 6th he was shot. 1901, in buffalo, new york, i raced from a fish and game dinner to be by his side.
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and after some days, his physicians assured me and the members of the cabinet who had assembled there that the president would recuperate from his wounds. the cabinet felt it would do the nation's anxiety and wall street's anxiety some good if i was seen to go on a planned vacation with my family in my beloved adirondack mountains. i climbed the highest point in new york. the cloud splitter as the locals called it, lived up to its name. when i reached the apex the clouds split and my guide showed me the bodies of water and the mountains for 360 degrees around. when we came down and had lunch at the lake, a hunting guide known to me was coming up the path, rushing with what appeared to be a telegram in his hand. i knew it would be bad news. the telegram was from john hay. he who in his youth had been private secretary to lincoln, now mckinley's secretary of state. it informed me indeed the president was dying in buffalo and i was needed there. terribly sad news to come to the presidency through the
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graveyard. unfortunately for president mckinley the two physicians treating his wounds were both obstetricians, neither of whom had ever treated a gunshot wound in his practice. when i reached the north creek depot along the hudson river that morning early on the 14th, another telegram given to me again this from john hay, stating that at 2:15 that morning president mckinley had died. i was now your 26th president. i raced to buffalo by train, there paid condolences to mrs. mckinley and then in a private residence now a national historic site, the wilcox mansion on delaware avenue in buffalo, for one of only four times the american president took the oath of office not in the nation's capitol, in a borrowed suit of clothes i took the oath of office without a bible at hand, stating briefly beforehand that it would be my aim that the policies of the mckinley administration for the peace, prosperity and honor of the american people would remain entirely unbroken.
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i wrote to a friend that while we were in a period of national mourning it would be worse if we were morbid about the duties before us. i took great inspiration from president lincoln as i set about the duties that i had. so much so that, within weeks of becoming your president and after allowing mrs. mckinley time to move out of the white house, in the month of october, i spent a day working on issues of education and southern improvement with the gentlemen. then that night when i invited booker t. washington, the president of tuskegee university, he who in his youth had been enslaved when i invited him to have dinner with me at the white house, do you realize it was the first time a man of color had been a dinner guest of the american president? how far we've come. not all change is progress, however. some change is retrogression. out of all things done by the most recent of administrations,
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the thing that i lament most is that the name of president mckinley, the last president to have fought in the great civil war was taken off of officially the highest point in north america. the president by executive order said the mountain should be referred to as denali. the name by which the alaskan natives refer to that mountain. the park is named denali. would it have really been that much of a cost to keep the name of mckinley atop the mountain? might some children in a schoolhouse wonder why it was named mckinley and then look up the name of the great public servant whose record is perhaps overshadowed by my own. but it was during his administration that we pursued the open-door policy with secretary of state in china. it was during that time that we annexed hawaii. mt. rainier national park, given
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to people during the mckinley administration and so much more. history is a tenuous thing. it's important to keep the names of history alive. i support the work that you're doing to keep the name and legacy of abraham lincoln alive. believe it or not, that man who is amongst the greatest men who ever lived -- but of course there is revisionism in history. some would have us believe that president lincoln wasn't the great man that he was, that he harbored opinions and attitudes that just don't go anymore in the 21st century. i applaud your work and ask you to redouble it to keep alive the spirits of abraham lincoln. i saluted lincoln in 1903. i toured the country. congress had recessed in the spring. i toured 22 states and two territories. when i was your president and i went on vacation, i did not go golfing. i went hunting and camping. very often in the national parks of the country. during that trip i visited yellowstone national park and after camping for two weeks with
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john burrows, i laid the cornerstone in montana in what is known today as roosevelt arc. above which are the words from the act creating that first park in 1872 and from the act in 1916 creating the national parks service. about the only thing that president wilson got right, by the way. those words, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. the parks belong to each of us. hence, to all of us. hence, to each and all the responsibility to pass them on to future generations in better condition and not in worse. during that trip around the country, for the first time, i saw the grand canyon, of the great colorado river in arizona territory. and how it took my breath away. and for the first time i visited california and climbed and camped and tramped in yosemite with john muir, the founder of
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the sierra club, the great bearded botanist, and saw the legacy of abraham lincoln in the maintenance of that great gem as a park. in the trip around the country i also spoke at lincoln's tomb in springfield. of all the things i said that day, i think the most important was to acknowledge the troops, the regular army troops that were there that were colored gentlemen like those that had camped at mason island those years before. i saluted them and stated any man who was willing to fight for his country was deserving of the equal protection of the laws of this country and all the rights thereto. in 1904 you might know that i was elected by the largest electoral vote and popular vote plurality up to that date. and that's not fake news. [laughter] >> when i took the oath of office in march of 1905, you may know that the night before secretary of state john hay had given to me a ring, a locket ring. in that locket a clipping of hair taken from president
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lincoln's deathbed. i held that right hand aloft. and unlike the oath in 1901, this time i wore my own suit and had the family bible at hand. opened to and my left happened upon james 1:22. "be thou not only hearers of the word but doers of the word also." i hope that during my administration i did some of the good work that we're called to do by the gospel. i promised on election night in 1904 that i would maintain the tradition of george washington, not only in its letter but in its spirit, that i would not be a candidate for the presidency in 1908. i shared with one of your members tonight i have only found one record of a regret in all my writings and diaries. that was the regret of making that statement on election night in 1904. i wrote my friend henry cabot lodge i would have bitten off my left hand if i could have taken that pledge back. in my day a man's word was
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indeed his honor and i had to keep the pledge. to give president taft room to grow into the office i went hunting in africa with my son kermit for over a year. mrs. roosevelt and i toured europe. and then i returned to the united states and saw that president taft had made a mess of everything. returning my and abraham lincoln's republican party back over to the special interests on wall street, so i famously told the press that i was stripped to the waist, healthy as a bull moose and that my hat was in the ring. the first time that phrase was used to declare a candidacy. out across the country i campaigned. i do hope that i received the votes of every lincoln republican that was. i was not successful. i only won six states. 27% of the electoral vote. the most successful third party candidacy in our history unless you count the republican party of 1860, which an argument can be made for that.
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i visited with the ripen society today. there they acknowledged the creation of the republican party in 1884 in wisconsin where the founders said they entered that schoolhouse as democrats and whigs and free soilers and came out as republicans. i still have hope for my republican party and abraham lincoln's republican party. when i finished my administration -- today we inaugurate the new president in january. in my day, before the constitutional revision, we did so in march. of all things, i took great delight that that allowed me to salute both president lincoln and president washington during their birth month of february, during the last year of my administration in 1909. and as i considered with your president, mr. elliff, what i might share with you, i thought, i cannot improve upon the original. with your forbearance, remarks
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that i made at the president's birthplace on the occasion of the centennial of his birth, in kentucky. and you will bear with me, i wrote the speech as i wrote tens of thousands of letters, i wrote 30 books. i did not write well. i simply took well to writing. but if you will bear with me what i wrote in 1909 bears repeating. and i would like to get the words correctly read. we have met here to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of the two greatest americans, of one of the two or three greatest men of the 19th century, of one of the greatest men in the world's history, the rail splitter, this boy who passed his ungainly youth in the dire poverty in the poorest of the frontier folk. whose rise was by weary and painful labor and lived to bring his people through a struggle
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from which the nation emerged purified, as by fire. born anew to a loftier life. after long years of ire and effort and of failure that came more often than victory, he at last rose to the leadership of the republic, at the moment when that leadership had become the stupendous world task of the time. he grew to know greatness. but never ease. success came to him. but never happiness. save that which springs from doing well, a painful and a vital task. power was his. but not pleasure. the furrows deepened on his brow, but his eyes were undimmed by either hate or fear. his gaunt shoulders were bowed, but his steel hues never flattened as he bore the destiny
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people. his great and tender heart shrank from giving pain. the task allotted him was to pour out like water the life blood of the young men and to feel in his every fiber the sorrow of the women. disaster saddened but never dismayed him. as the red years of war went by, they found him ever doing his duty in the present, ever facing the future with fearless front, high of heart, and dauntless of soul. unbroken by hatred, unshaken by scorn. he worked and suffered for the people. triumph was his at the last, and barely had he tasted it before murder found him. and the kindly, patient, fearless eyes were closed forever. as a people, we are indeed beyond measure fortunate in the
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character of the two greatest of our public men, washington and lincoln. widely though they differed in externals, the virginia landed gentlemen and the kentucky back woodsman, they were alike in essentials. they were alike in the great qualities which made each able to render service to his nation and to all mankind such as no other man of his generation could or did render. each had lofty ideals. but each in striving to attain these lofty ideals was guided by the soundest common sense. each possessed inflexible courage in adversity and a soul wholly unspoiled by prosperity. each possessed all the gentler virtues commonly exhibited by good men who lack rugged strength of character. each possessed also all the strong qualities which commonly
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exhibited by those towering masters of mankind. they have too often shown themselves undeserving of the words by which we signify the qualities of duty, devotion to the right, lawful disinterest and battling for the good of others. there have been other men as great and other men as good, but in all the history of mankind, there are no other two great men as good as these. no other two good men as great. widely, though, the problems of today differ from the problems set for solution to washington when he founded this nation, to lincoln when he saved it, and freed the -- widely, though, the problems of today differ from the problems set for solution to washington when he founded this nation, to lincoln when he saved it and freed the slave, yet the
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qualities they showed in meeting these problems are exactly the same as those we should show in doing our work today. lincoln saw into the future, with the prophetic imagination usually vouch safed only to the poet and the seer. he had in him all the lift towards greatness of the visionary, without any of the visionary's fanaticism or egotism. without any of the visionary's narrow jealousy of the practical man and inability to strive in practical fashion for the realization of an ideal. he had the practical man's hard common sense and willingness to adapt means to ends. but there was in him none of that morbid growth of mind and soul which binds many practical men to the higher things of
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life. no more practical man ever lived than this homely backwoods idealist. he had nothing in common with the practical men whose consciousnesses are warped until they fail to distinguish be good good and evil. failure to understand that strength and shrewdness in the world of business or in politics, only serve to make their possessor a more noxious and evil member of the community if they are not guided and controlled by a fine and moral sense. we of this day must try to solve many social and industrial problems, requiring to a special degree a combination of indom table resolution with cool-headed sanity. we can profit by the way in which lincoln used both these traits as he strove for reform. we can learn much of value from the very attacks which following that course brought upon his heads. attacks alike by extremists of revolution and the extremists of reaction.
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he never wavered in devotion to his principles. and his love for the union and in his abhorrence of slavery. timid and lukewarm people were always denouncing him because he was too extreme. but as a matter of fact, he never went to extremes. he worked step by step. because of this, the extremists hated and denounced him with a fervor which seems to us fantastic in his day -- in his deification of the unreal and impossible at one time when one side held him up as the apostle of social revolution because he was against slavery the leading app ligsist denounced him as the slave hound of illinois. when he was the second time candidate for president the majority of opponents attacked him for what they termed his extreme radicalism. while a minority threatened to
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bolt his nomination because he was not radical enough. he had continually to check those who wished to go forward too fast. at the very time he overrode the opposition of those who wished not to go forward at all. the goal was never dim before his vision, but he picked his way cautiously, without either halt or hurry, as he strode toward it, through such a morass of difficulty that no man of less courage would have attempted it, while it would surely have overwhelmed any man of judgment less serene. perhaps the most wonderful thing of all, and from the standpoint of the america of today and of the future, the most vitally important was the extraordinary way in which lincoln could fight valiantly against what he deemed wrong and yet preserve undiminished his love and respect for the brother from whom he differed. in the hour of a triumph that would have turned any weaker man's head and turns many a man
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to dreadful thing to goodness, he said truthfully that as long as he had been in his office he had -- you never willingly planted a thorn in any man's bosom. and a with the solemn strifetion that as the was over, all should reunite in an effort to save their common country. he lived in the days that were great and terrible. when brother fought against brother, for what each sincerely believed to be the right. in a contest so grim, the strong men who alone can carry it through are rarely able to do justice to the deep convictions of those with whom very grapple in mortal strife. at such times, men see through a glass darkly. to only the rarest and loftiest spirits is vouch safed the clear vision that gradually comes to
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all, even the lesser as the struggle fades into the distance, wounds are forgotten and peace creeps back to the hearts that were hurt. but to lincoln was given this supreme vision. he did not hate the man from whom he differed. weakness was as foreign as wickedness in his strong, gentle nature. his courage was of a quality so high that it needed no bolstering of dark passion. he saw clearly that the same high qualities, the same courage and willingness for which self-sacrifice belonged to both the men of the north and men of the south. as the years rolled by and as all of us, wherever we dwell, grow to feel an equal pride in the valor and self-devotion alike of the men who wore the blue and the men who wore the
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gray, so this whole nation will grow to feel a peculiar sense of pride in the man whose blood was shed for the union of his people and for the freedom of a race, the lover of his country and of all mankind. the mightiest of the mighty men who mastered the mighty days. abraham lincoln. [applause] >> careful. careful now. careful. that's an encouragement for a politician to go on speaking. [laughter] >> i was the first president to make permanent office space available for members of the press at the white house. something i am sure many of my successors deeply regret. i would be negligent of my duties if i didn't open up the
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floor to questions and perhaps your president might do so first. i defer to each and every one of you. any question or comment that you might have or lacking questions we could do a bit of a boxing exhibition. please, sir. >> given the strife between our political parties in the last decade, would you support a third party, and do you think it would be possible to bring a third party into being? >> as you know, currently the election laws, the ballot access laws of this country are written to the detriment of any third-party candidate. but there's been a great deal of dynamism amongst the electorate. the internet, of course, has brought great change to the way that we campaign. so that i could imagine, by some circumstance, if these two major parties are not attendant to the needs of the american people, that the american people may seek out some sort of tremendous change, just as the republican
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party was born of the need of the inability of the major parties of the time and, of course, born from the fact that the kansas nebraska bill had upset the previous compromises upon which the nation had been set. well, again, if the american people choose to put their faith in a third-party effort, maybe they won't be looking to the example of the bull moose party but instead to the republican party of 1860 as the model for success. >> colonel. i was raised with stories. i would like you to expand upon when you and the french ambassador going out to rock creek and what's called skinny dipping in rock creek. there is a monument to the french ambassador there. what can you tell us about these outings? the game, of course, was
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called point to point. it's an outdoor hiking game, a game we played in oyster bay, long island with the roosevelt boys and their children. other than the lincoln boys, i believe the roosevelt children captured the attention of the american people with their lives in the white house. we were able to do so in a time of peace and prosperity. the way we played point to point with the children in oyster bay was to spin a small child around at point a. wherever the dizzy child came to rest and pointed, beyond the horizon was an imagery point b to which we raced in single file. the rule being, whenever you came to an obstacle. downed tree, cliff, barn, hay stack, you never went around it. but always and only over it, under or through it. it's great fun. we should play it here in arlington. i imported the game to washington, d.c., and played with members of congress and diplomats, army and navy officers who showed themselves too unfit to keep up with a fat, asthmatic president racing through the woods. it was the most famous of my
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point of points with the french ambassador. the ambassador came to the white house disregarding the part of the invitation that said "wear your dirty clothes." he arrived wearing the finest of french silks. we rode our horses to rock creek park and raced through the woods to the potomac river. he had sweat through his clothes and being a fast, deep and wide running portion of the river he thought certainly it was our terminus and that we would to the white house for refreshments. i turned to the gentleman and said let's take off our clothes, swim across the river and put our clothes back on. can you imagine such a thing today? i think today cnn would go live. the french ambassador had kept
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on his lavender kid gloves. i said, mr. ambassador, why have you kept on your gloves? he said, monsieur, president, in case we meet any ladies. [laughter] >> i see fashions have changed greatly along the riverfront, have they not. i don't believe any president ever enjoyed himself as president in the white house as much as i did. certainly no family enjoyed themselves more than the roosevelt family. six children, most of them small. my daughter alice was 17 when we entered the white house. and her behavior was scandalous. alice smoked cigarettes in public. she flirted with army and navy officers. and when the white house punch was discovered spiked we knew who the culprit was. alice kept a snake in her purse and introduced the snake as emily spinnach at diplomatic dinners and receptions. sometimes wearing the snake around her wrist or neck. i said, alice, no daughter of mine will smoke beneath my roof. alice was sometimes seen smoking on the white house roof. during one conference, she
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continually interrupted. i was told, can't you control your daughter, alice. i said, sir, i can can either run the country or control alice. i cannot possibly do both. you may know that she was famously and thankfully married at the white house in 1906 to congressman nicholas longworth of cincinnati, ohio. the wedding was a great success. your grandparents may have played the wedding waltz, alice's blue gown. she outlived all her younger siblings. living to the age of 96. well into the administration of president james earl carter. and all those years living in her dupont circle apartment in the nation's capital. my daughter was known as the second washington monument. [laughter] >> and i do believe her personality delightfully summed up by a needlepoint message on a pillow in her setee.
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the message said. if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit next to me. please. >> there are two presidents that were born in the state of new york. you were the first. what do you think of the second occupant? >> seems we've run out of time tonight! ha, ha, ha! well, i am sometimes asked by audiences. there has been a bit of an editorial opinion. someone wrote a column, oh, president trump is so much like president roosevelt. it's true we were both born in new york city. we both came from a bit of wealth. and i think early on what i lost most of my father's inheritance in a cattle ranch gone bad along the little missouri river. i think president trump eventually showed a bit more finesse with his investments. if i were to find a -- for me, something that might be similar
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in my time period, you might remember that the publisher william randolph hurst, sought the democratic nomination in 1904. you might be familiar with the film citizen kane. it's based on william randolph hurt. in that regard, hurst was a self-promoter. he had little public service. his claim was that he was a wealthy man who had been quite successful at promoting his own business interests. so i would say, sir, that i think there is probably a closer relationship and historical relationship between william randolph hurst and the president than myself. by the way, we are on c-span, so i am on the record here. i am delighted to see c-span. i am delighted by the wonderful
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work that c-span does bringing hearings and seminars to the people of the country without editorial comment or commercial. it was during one of the programs hosted by brian lamb, book tv. you may know that he interviewed my biography, edmund morris, he who wrote many years ago "the rise of theodore roosevelt" and most recently "the colonel." during that interview he told brian lamb that all in all he was glad i died at 60 because if i had lived longer it would have cost him another decade as my biographer. bully for c-span. any other questions? president elliff. there is a real president in the room. i heard you have board meetings coming up in may. never miss a meeting when they're electing officers.
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john: there was a coal strike in 1902. and you had to intervene. and how did president lincoln's example influence you as you dealt with that crisis? of course, i asserted the power of the executive in this case. >> it's known as the anthracite coal strike of 1902. the anthracite coal was the call we burned in our fireplaces in places like new york, philadelphia and boston. the workers had gone on strike for increased wages and rational, reasonable working hours. when they had gone on strike, the mine operators locked the union out. we were producing no anthracite coal. the idea of a winter spent with riots and the idea that people might be tearing apart their own wooden buildings to provide heat for their families, well, i threatened the mine owners that, unless they negotiated with the union members that i would send
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federal troops in to operate the mines. this is similar to what president truman would later do during the steel strike during his administration. we at the blair house, the white house was being renovated at the time. i had had surgery on my leg. at the blair house i met in a wheelchair with my leg up upon another chair. and the union -- the mine owners would not even met with mr. lewis, the head of the mine workers union. we decided to go about an arbitration. i put together an arbitration commission. and the mine owners were adamant that no union man should be represented on that commission. so i discovered that they didn't mind that a union man might be appointed as long as he weren't called a union man. they didn't so mind tweedal dumb or tweedal dee as long as the phrase would be used properly.
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so a union man was included on the commission and we called him an eminent sociologist rather than a representative of the unions. president wilson, during his time as a professor of princeton, as a political scientist he wrote a tome called "congressional government." there are two presidents during the period before and after that period when the federal government was dominated by the speaker of the house, the president pro tem of the senate. there were two times when the executive was ascendant and when the executive asserted power. perhaps power beyond the constitutionally authorized. that was president lincoln and myself. there was no constitutional me e panama canal. asrecognize the breakaway they had no constitutional authority as president jefferson
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and the louisiana purchase. we did much to raise the power of the executive and i followed in his footsteps, to make sure the president was not a rubbish stamp of the congress. but instead, the white house a minute -- white house -- to do the common people of this company. this was the idea the federal government existed not to enrich the people of wall street as some of the previous administration of mine have done, but instead, the federal and for theas by people. i cannot imagine sitting on the sidelines and watching the freezing winter estimate the people of new england. i did what i could do.
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>> how did you get the nobel peace prize? >> i settle the russell japanese war. the major powers of europe were allied with the japanese or the russians. we were able -- at the invitation of the french and english -- we stood behind those major powers to negotiate a peace saving hundreds of thousands of lives, both the and emperor --r as they battled in manchuria. it was not only to my credit, but to the credit of the people who entertain the russian and japanese delegates.
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i felt fortunate to do the work of bringing peace in asia in such a way that was acknowledged. prize.ted the peace there was a great deal of money that came along with the noble. i splayed to my children, since i was the president of the united states, there was no way i thought i could retain the money i delegated the money to congress, asking them to fund industrial peace. congress was not interested in doing such a thing. when i first -- when the first world war came about, i asked my money to be returned. the money was parceled out for the relief.
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thank you. yes, sir. >> as you look back do have any regrets about your relationship with mr. taft? i'm from cincinnati -- [laughter] ohio in thei won republican primary. [laughter] >> the first republican primary held -- >> designate a successor, but -- >> he promised to finish the result administration. for the progress of the american people. as areed luke wright secretary of war. he did not appoint luke wright. this is at the point of wanting to replace taft, but been my secretary of war, parties nomination. promises to me.
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under the influence of his brother. partyed my republican over to those in control of wall street. nationalism weew needed a federal government that would advocate for the american people, for example, the conservation of our national resources. governor'sfirst conference on natural resources. in 1909, we held the first north american conference. we had planned and begun to implement plans for the first international conference on the conservation of natural resources. between his lack of energy and
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under the influence of the old , president taft was a great disappointed to me. on the nomination was still in chicago, -- was stolen in chicago, one should not support one who steals. yes sir -- yes, sir. their isy have heard an election in three years. cap's you had not quite achieved the second of the term, would you be interested -- [laughter] not give a response. if nominated, i will not serve. if elected, i will not serve.
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if -- roosevelt 2020. [laughter and applause] >> yes, sir? labor in superior to capital. what did you mean? lincoln said there was no justice in stealing bread from a man who belabored. capital, they run this country for plenty of time. is cut outabor that from the of making done. of putting class against class, i hope it is nothing i was never guilty of. my presidency was one to unite the people. we suffered through sectionalism . we were told we were different .y race, by section, by party
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when i met booker t -- when i brought booker t. washington to the white house, i stated i never judged a man or woman by his or her race, color, creed, religion. nor by their section. -- theredivision but man thevision -- a medical to the interest of a man of the people. hence, the enforcement of the sherman antitrust law against the man of capital and behalf of the man of labor and consumer. i think i asked and answered. are you on the ticket? [laughter] delight.e had a i think madam, we will take yours as the last question.
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there was a tremendous run on wall street in 1907. , who was prevailed upon by mr. morgan and others, after being locked up in his library in new york city. he was to purchase the shares of the tennessee area ankle company, which had a great smelting plant in birmingham, alabama. he was aware it would increase his percentage of domestic generation and production of steel. purchased before you the stock -- before he purchased the stock, to boost the shares of the trust companies in your, he wanted the insurance -- the assurance i would not sue. there is ae, difference between good trust and bad trust. were nots the actions dumping product and price
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fixing. as long as his actions were those of an honest business proprietor, without damage to competitors or consumers, i would be all right and he would have no fear of the justice department. [indiscernible question] >> what was the role the federal government? it should of been greater. the creation of department of commerce and labor. gathering statistics in the operation of business of the public- businesses that he traded corporation should open up their books for inspection of government regulators. the idea we should have the information of the corporations. they should be operated honestly. , on wallten we found
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street, they fell short of this consideration of operating honestly. the speech in kansas was one calling for a great deal more of activity of the federal government. instead, invigorating those businesses to assure -- to ensure they would do the right thing. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] can awful me. i can tell when i have kept an audience on their seats for
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too long. preachers for the lincoln group of d.c. hip, hip hooray. hip, hip, hip hooray. hip, hip, hooray. go out and make the real splinter. [laughter] >> join us on c-span three this weekend for american history tv. there are a few highlights. at 3:00 p.m. eastern, the 50th anniversary of the 1957 the history of news and public affairs programming with gimli are -- with jim and nick. temperatures lectures in history, the university of kansas professor on the will of african american ministers and how churches helped numbers get experience with organizing and running for political office.
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sunday at 8:00 eastern, relations of the bottle of midway from veterans who took part in the battle. women'samerica -, the rights convention. american tv, all weekend, every weekend. only on c-span three. >> c-span -- watch history unfold daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. it is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> sunday, on c-span's q1 day, -- q&a, john-q&a cogan. >> humans desire is to help
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someone in need in assistance. for politicians, it is easier. it is some a else -- it is somebody else's money. they have the same basic desire you and i do. they have this desire to be reelected. once the entitlement is put in place, then the game has changed. interest groups formed around projecting entitlement for more assistance. money starts flowing to politicians, who protect those benefits. the game changes. >> john cogan on u.s. federal entitlement program. sunday night on 8:00 eastern on q&a. afterwards, at on woman is interviewed by bruce.
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wartimese of its entire -- because of his entire wartime experience, he became convinced the only way for democracy to survive, to be our enemies, and be a strong country, was to have a great school system where democracy was better than dictatorship. we would have billion, talented people in government, science. the way to do it was to have the sap, which he helped invent and produce across schools across the country. if we were going to be a great nation in the high-tech world he foresaw. he had an extraordinary impact on american life. >> watch afterwards, sunday
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night on c-span two's book tv. 1999, congress approved the dwight d. eisenhower national memorial. this november, the dwight d. eisenhower memorial commission broke ground in washington dc -- in washington, d.c., speakers including his granddaughter, talked about his legacy and the memorial in honor of the president and world war ii supreme allied commander. the ceremony is about 50 minutes. >> welcome to this special and long-awaited event, the ground breaking for the memorial honoring president dwight d. eisenhower. we are gathered today to honor a remarkable man who left our nation a unique legacy.


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