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tv   National History Day - The Glowing Girls The Triumph Tragedy of the...  CSPAN  August 21, 2019 7:47pm-8:02pm EDT

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>> all week we are featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what is available every weekend on cspan-3. lectures and history, american artifacts real america of the civil war, oral history, the presidency and special event coverage about our nations history enjoy american history tv now on every weekend on cspan-3. >> the first africans to land in english north america arrived here in 1619. that would begin an amazing experience in the development of the united states. >> saturday, special american history tv, the washington journal feature as we look back to the first arrival of africans to america. this is 400 years ago at point
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comfort historic roe virginia. at 8:30 am eastern we are live with more folks state historian professor cassandra alexander newby for the history and origins of slavery in america. at 9:30 am live coverage of the commemorative ceremony with speeches from officials including mark warner, jim king, ralph northam and lieutenant governor justin fairfax. the history of africans in america from fort monroe live, saturday beginning at 8:30 am on c-span's washington journal and on american history tv on cspan-3. >> more than 500,000 students competed this year at the local level of national history day. just 3000 students advance to the finals at the university of maryland in june. the theme in 2019 was triumph
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and tragedy. presentation categories include exhibit, website, documentary, paper and performance . >> up next, a 10 minute performance by three middle school students from ralston nebraska . >> this is triumph and tragedy of the women . >> . >> my name is -- and i was a -- girl and i'm here to tell the story of how my coworkers and some of my closest friends passed away. in 1913 commercially produced in america for the first time and a year later, the u.s. corporation was founded by two doctors. they began producing radium parts for businesses.
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during world war i, 95% of radium was used for military purposes but a small amount made from products such as shampoo, facial cosmetics, clothes, watches and it was even being added to water radiant spread all over america. there was experimentation going on, and physicians use this new element. 1922 to 1923, the united states was prominent in the world trading market, and 80% of the worlds radion. what i will talk about today is the u.s. women's corporation i mentioned earlier. after over one, factory workers, had began to hire young women. this is where our story begins. with my coworkers, and when we
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started to work at the u.s. corporation. >> we were asked to paint with the dais being so small we couldn't paint that. we were using very various warships, compasses and watches. almost every soldier had a radion watch. each night when they came home there was a strange : strange glow from our clothes. this fascinated us that fascinated the rest of america. after we made this discovery, we began to where [ indiscernible ] began to paint our hair and teeth, the scientific history of radion is beautiful. >>it started to build up in our
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systems, we spoke with the creator of radion saying he would not care to put it in a box in a room . young farmers and coworkers used it. >>she is that to [ indiscernible ] >>just because it was written
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on a our desk that she had lyme's disease. after the death in 1922 a second woman name irene rudolph died. after that, we began speaking with more than just extreme dental issues and there was concern with the presence of a corporation at the side arthur rover. we brought in a doctor to check out that women and and our work area. the position alice hamilton who also happened to be the president of the national consumer league and all women that worked with radion. and reported the unsafe work conditions. they concluded inevitable if this radion paint was associated with women's death, it doesn't necessarily contain radion, after they found out, he published his own report. >> there's a revived version so the big they still worked
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believing they were fine entered until a journal article was written. article stated the history of this particular thing is so evident that is practically no doubt in my mind response ability of the u.s. radion corporation. operationally we have not been able to find out what chemicals they are using . during the fall of 1923, came under my observation is the case, they had radioactive substances used in the area and it was termed radion job. -- ja w. >>bone cancer, skin cancer, ovarian cancer, tumors and others. approximately 600 people got sick. >>was glad that didn't happen
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to myself so i decided to round up other women that had symptoms of radion poisoning. along with our attorney does convince by the national consumers to join us. i was not the with the women because it ended up being fired for not following orders for the radion week. but it helped to save my life. that girls were getting sick with or dying from. >>1927, after $250,000 each, they got that settlement, $10,000 each and six dollars per year per until our death by the u.s. radion corporation. but our attorney told us, you're going to die and there's
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no hope. every newspaper you pick up has a new obituary there is nothing else. >>even though radion poisoning continued, we try to show the effects of radion on the body. grace had a brace on her back, and to other women, also that worked for the u.s. radion corporation in 1935, had other issues. catherine was supposed to get $5600 with damages but ended up being awarded two times the amount of money given how much giving her about $10,000. october 27, 1932. at the age of 34 from ovarian cancer, even after my family and the other families of the other victim he cannot replace what we lost we suffered so
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much physical and emotional damage like cancer, mutilation of southern infertility the fact, we worked it was torn down the factory was in 1968, nothing stands there except for a contaminated pile of rubble and that will stay that way for the next 1600 years. >> 1933, i died of radium poisoning. the tragedy, is one of the reasons why occupational and health administrations, also known as osha and illinois occupational was created, that believed enough in our story. there's also a bill passed. their children 14 to 17 are legally allowed to work but cannot work in areas that are hazardous to their health or welfare. because i was only 14 when i started working with radium. is another act that happened in 1970. this made factory workers to file a complaint against the
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workers until they got osha to come in and investigate. of men and women to make sure that men and women are safe any work environment while working with chemicals. >>throughout my life, i suffered from colon cancer, lung cancer and losing almighty, 30s. we persevered, those refusing to take our case and many doctors denying us. we represent the women that were sick and dying of radium poisoning. >> we represent the women that fought against corporation and one. >> with -- we are the radium women. [ clapping ] >> h your names? >> i'm olivia, i play nate.
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>> i'm carol, i play catherine chu. >> so how you come up with radium girls? >> i got it from a family member that saw it on facebook. so we did for the researcher to our project like it was a great fit for this topic. >> as you did your research what were your thoughts? was a surprise you? >> what was most surprising for me is when you found out, that these women were being very ignored, and when they were being pushed down and not being believed that they were dying from radium. men were being believed and when they started getting sick, they started being more concerned. there like okay our men are getting hurt now we need the more worried because we trust the men and all the women. >> also because they were so naove, because they started at age 14 and it never realized so this is hurting me because even believed i learned that there were some doctors that were paid to tell them they were fine.
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select is that the girls were naove, they believed and kept working because it gave them good pay. >> how hard was it to write this all into a 10 minute performance? what was a process like? >> it was very hard. we had to do a lot of narrowing down and cutting of information that we really wanted to add. but we just picked out the most important parts that would fit best with our story. with our characters and timeline. >> he wanted to make it more realistic and make it part of a place but not so fantasize that people were getting to the point that this was a real life events. that this was really happening. >> where are you from and to me about your school. >> we are from nebraska. i'm an eight grader going into my freshman year, their seventh grader going to their eighth grade year. i was the first performance in ralston to ever happen, and i went to state my first year. >> and then i joined we joined her this year and we thought it
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was supercool so both of us we've done some sort of theater so it kind of we all can work together and i think it helps balance out this year to get us here. >> why you think it's important for people your age to know about the radium girls? >> i personally think it's important because, when you think about it these women were small specks of rotisserie. they did not really have much to say. as you go throughout learning them you realize everyone has a voice, and a right to see what they want to say. no one should be defiled down to someone they are not. >>i'm been add to that. it also shows, little people can do big things. and a lot of people's say, oh, i'm just 14 i can do anything, but these women were very young. they're in their 20s or early 20s, and they fought against a whole corporation for worker endangerment. >> and without

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