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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  July 20, 2013 7:00pm-1:01am EDT

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also at the bedside of william mckinley. who could this fellow be? when i opened the archive, i realize just what a rich subject it was. his life are really had to book ends at the biographical. personalrambling of secretary, private secretary. so much of what we know about lincoln comes from intimate contact with him. on the other end of his life, he served not under -- not only under mckinley but also for teddy roosevelt. it is wonderful, iconic the ends of american history. you realize that all of the chapters in between in american history from the civil war through to the beginning of the 20th century, he's a presence in
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everyone. his fingerprints is on every one of the patients. he has written those chapters of american history. ferro.n talia >> >> next, a discussion on the many changes in the role of first lady from martha washington to michelle obama. we'll hear from women authors, historians and journalists with an introduction by the former communications director for first lady, laura bush. this is just under two hours. [applause] >> hi, everyone. thanks, anne, it is so good to be back.i have such fond memories of being care. probably most importantly, learning care.
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it is great to see all of the teachers. i cannot imagine coming for the position i had a being mrs. bush's our secretary not to say thank you. thank you for all you do. from someone who went all across this country visiting all sorts of schools and all kinds of conditions, we really appreciate all you do for children. when i was preparing for today's lecture, i thought of a lot of different stories i could possibly tell, but then i got so wrapped up in the research. i did what probably most americans do and i googled it. [laughter] so i got a little obsessed, to be honest. i have a 5 year old. so i was staying up late, getting up early, trying to figure this out. and as a previous press secretary, i probably should not have been surprised, but i was, at how many times i read a stereotypical presentation of a first lady. even if it was martha washington all the way up to mrs. obama and the work she's doing now.
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so it seemed that if you had hopes of being a first lady or if you were a first lady, you had to fit neatly into buckets. some of those buckets won't surprise you. you had to be traditional or modern. you are low-key or aggressive. you were ceremonial or very political. you were like eleanor roosevelt or like bess truman. i was also struck by the naivete of news reports that projects surprise when a first lady had influence over her husband. [laughter] i would have to guess that none of them were probably married who wrote that. in other cases they were actually outraged when a first lady might engage in politics. i think you'll hear from the very first martha washington,
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when you hear accounts of that every single one of them were engaged in politics. so it is a surprise to me, even though i witnessed it firsthand that the public might be surprised when a first lady takes on a public policy issue or champion a cause or maybe goes to a podium and speaks her opinion about something that's happening in the current affairs. because she wasn't elected, that's sometimes thought to be out of place. i think you're going to hear a different perspective from the four ladies we have here today. this afternoon's session, "a woman's touch, the role of the first lady" we are joined by a distinguished panel. i don't call them first lady historians because if you going google that, they don't come up. [laughter] to learn more good about a first lady, they're 'tis morans about their husbands as well because
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they have to goly to a lot of that documentation to actually find the facts about those first ladies. so as anne mentioned, we're going to hear more about abigail adams, dolley madison, mary todd lincoln, and, of course, martha washington. so i will introduce our panelists by name and then tell you a little bit about them. i'm going to try not to repeat the bios that you have in this your hand, but i'm going to use my great researching style that these historians will get very upset for my googling. we have pat brady, cokie roberts, catherine al gore and katherine clinton. i'm going to start with dr. brady. i have to say, my first and probably favorite search in return of her work was an article that came out four years after her book. probably it was probably along the lines that was happening here at mount vernon, the 250th anniversary of george martha washington. this article that was front page "the washington post," i should say, was "fresh look at martha washington, left frump, more
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foxy lady."[laughter] i thought this was really interesting. in this article it's frequently quoted using facts from martha washington's letters and records to dispel an image of martha washington that was reported in this article as the, and i quote, mousy, fat, rich widow that dashing washington married only for her money. i was also -- i also read a lot of wonderful reviews about the book "martha washington: american life," which i then bought. i'm embarrassed to admit i didn't have it before then. i told the author that. i agree with this quote probably most. this review from a reader that i found on the internet, i chose to read patricia brady's biography of martha washington because she was someone about whom i knew very little.
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overshadowed by the magnitude of george washington's image, it seemed that her life had faded into obscurity. i discovered an amazing, determined, vital woman who lived her life to the fullest and contributed immensely to the formation of the united states. that would be the frumpy, mousy, fat, first lady. so, pat, we sure do look forward to hearing more about your version of that determined vital first lady, martha washington. cokie roberts. if you're like me, it's such a breath of fresh air on that ridiculous commute. i go from mount vernon to bethesda. and when cokie is on npr, i feel like i get that straightforward, oldfashioned style of reporting. she's a commentator. and whether she's reporting for abc or npr, you know whether she's talking about white house, congress, nominations, and the
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fights about all of them, you can count on miss roberts to give you truly both sides of that argument with aauthoritative facts. and as accomplished as she is in the news business, ms. roberts is extremely expected in her effort to tell the history of women in politics. in her book, which just recently was revised in its 10th anniversary, by we are mothers, daughters, you'll find easy to divest chapters about all sorts of women. and i have to say, i personally enjoyed your edition of chapter 2, which is on ms. bush. she also is author of "ladies of liberty" and "founding mothers" both of which are here. many of them are going they're all going to do book signings after. so they're wonderful books if you haven't had a chance to pick them up. and last year i had the opportunity to spend some time with cokie and another panelist, catherine al gore in an event hosted by mrs. bush at the white house. and prior to their visit, i was researching background
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information on katherine because every time you have a guest, you have to put together briefing paper what did she do, what did she say, etc., etc. so i found this one quote that made me laugh out loud. and for those who might have strong affinity for thomas jefferson i pulled this out because as a former mount vernon person, we admittedly have a very healthy competition with monticello. so when i read, "thomas jefferson was a bastard" you did the internet said you said that. [laughter] i could source it beyond that. and john quincy adams would have been a dream date. and then she said she liked complicated men. i knew i would like katherine. in her book, "a perfect union" she reveals a dolley madison loved by her contemporaries,
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demonstrated the power of partnership and articulated what i didn't find anywhere else, how a political wife's role is so important in helping their husbands achieve their goals. and it's often much more than what they wear. having read her work but never having the pleasure of seeing her present, i'm personally looking forward to it. professor clinton, your portrayal in your writing and quotes of mrs. clinton are revealing and your biography is such a beautiful tribute to her. we all know the history of president lincoln and when you reflect on his wife and all of the tragedies she went through, losing her husband, really her son dying at the white house, and you just think of everything that she went through when she was first lady, when she's reported as the kind of crazy, depressed, first lady and that's all you hear and see, well, i
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would be, too. so it's very enlightening when you see someone who takes a deep dive. there was a wonderful biography 20 years ago that no one's attempted to try to match. and she took on that task, which i think was a challenge, and took it on in a year where there's a lot being said about lincoln. and then talking about stereotypical buckets, i found your quotes in the news article describing mrs. lincoln which was titled "health cat or health mate." she can only be one or the other. very enlightning. so you were reported in one of your interviews as saying the reason why you tackled this is because mary lincoln, mary todd lincoln, was being lost in the shuffle of the new lincoln literature. and i think sadly that that is probably true. and it happens to a lot of first ladies. so we thank you for giving us more insight to the tragic and unconventional life of mrs. lincoln. as anne mentioned, each panelist
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will spend about 15 minutes telling you about their research and their books and how they got there. and then they will come up one at a time. and then at the end we'll take a little bit of a break just to get situated. everyone will come up. and then we have q and a's. as each analysts presents, we ask that you hold your questions, maybe write it down. then we'll moderate that and try to get in as many as we can. thank you. with that i'm going to introduce our first panelist, dr. brady. [applause] >> thank you, sally. i think that was one of the most fun introductions i've heard in a long time. and i have to say, i do agree with the quote about thomas jefferson. [laughter]
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i was happy to hear it here. this is not the way i meant to begin, but i feel i should just throw it in. the idea that if one writes about women, first ladies or whomever, that that's somehow second class history, that it has to have a modifier in front of it, a women's historian as opposed to just an historian. when you write about women, you write about life. it's the same as if you write about men and neither should be favored over the other. and also, you think 500 years will go by with peace and harmony and a wonderful life. and many historians say, oh, there was peace. and then there will be five minutes of a war, and it gets two or three chapters. so we're the one who's write about daily life. and in many ways i think real life is what we write about. what better place to talk about martha washington than here at mount vernon?
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she was the first of the first ladies. so of course, the title had not been invented at that time. she set the pace. and then she's been largely forgotten until now. all anybody knew about her, basically, was the gilbert stewart portrait that she was an elderly lady who happened to be married to george washington, probably born 70 years old as far as anybody could tell. [laughter] so that's why i went back to find out who was the real martha dandridge custis washington. that's why the cover of the book. we did an age regression to find out just how beautiful she was. again, not that it would have mattered if she was plain, but it was certainly fun to find out that she was, in fact, quite an historical hottie. so that's my martha washington. skipping over many years of their lives, we get to the time when george washington
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inevitably became our first president. like many of her successors, martha washington was a very reluctant president's wife. she felt they had given up eight years of their lives with the american revolution. why on earth should they go spend more time on politics when they could be here at mount vernon, at the perfect place, and enjoy another 50 years of rest, relaxation, hard work, and, in general, daily life. washington, however, was talked into it. and she wrote to a nephew about her famous husband. i thought it was much too late for him to go into public life again. he was too old and we had given up too much of our time. i had hoped to grow old in solitude and tranquility together. but as she said, it wasn't to be. her family must be deranged, and
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she started packing up to go to the first capitol, new york city. to show you just how different things were at that time, she did not go to the inauguration. there was no sense that an inauguration was anything especially exciting or that there was much hoopla to it. nor was there an inaugural ball. she didn't come until a month later, more than a month later. and the secretaries and the aides were write and saying, we miss you, the president misses you, please come. and she didn't bother to write back because she was coming when she was coming, which was later on. when she got there, has she discovered the first presidency was, as washington clearly saw, the brave new world. the constitution laid out the general duties, but there were the details to figure out. and life is made up of details, after all. each choice set a precedent. if you do a, then there are
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certain circumstance that follow. if you do b, it's something else altogether. and washington wanted to be very careful to set the correct precedent. as well, he wanted his wife to do the same. what is the president's wife to do? it's not as though she's in the constitution, after all. nobody says if you want to be president, marry very wisely 30 years before. you just you discovered that when you get there, what is expected. but she was the first one. what could it be? well, one thing she found out when she got there was that george washington, in his usual way, thoughtful, not hurrying into things, had consulted carefully with the leading men of his circle, with madison, with adams, with john. and they had decided what the first lady could and couldn't do. she was furious. she said, "i think i'm more like a state prisoner than anything
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else." she was not allowed to entertain her friends or to accept private invitations. and when she arrived in new york on a wednesday, she was told that she would be the hostess of a large reception on friday. well, that was quite a surprise for her. she, of course, made the best of it. for the whole first year that they were in new york no one could have guessed that she hadn't been longing all her life to do this. she was gracious. she was charming. she was friendly. she humanized the great man. she made him much less of a marbled figure, of the udolf statue, and much more of the down-to-earth, flesh and blood hero. she loved him and admired him. and she showed a way for others to enter into that same kind of feeling. she discovered what a public
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figure she was. on the way up, as she and the children, a nephew and various other servants and assistants and so forth came up, every little cross road they passed there were people standing there waving and shouting. she called it the great parade that was made for us all the way that we came. it was her first taste of what press and celebrity could be like. now adays women in politics understand that this will happen. but she had no idea. she thought being the president's lady would be like being the commanding general's lady that they would gather informally with their friends and supporters and meet people and talk about things in an informal way. she was shocked to discover just how very formal things were. i think the idea of the dinner party is one of the worst things that really, from my point of view, that can happen to a
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hostesses. every thursday afternoon at 4:00 there was a presidential dinner party. and washington carefully invited people in a balanced way. you know, people who had this point of view, half the other. partly northerners, partly southerners. most of these men didn't even know each other. they didn't have a lot in common. and it was almost all men. because at this point no one knew how long the government would last. no one knew quite how long they would still be in new york. and so men many had left their wives back home. there would be a dinner party with george and martha and two aides and 14 men who didn't know each other and didn't talk to each other very much. she was hard put to keep that dinner party going, but she did it because that was part that's part of the role of the president's lady, being not just the hostesses to the actual people at the dinner table but
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being hostess to the nation. and that's what she started to see. one thing that she did have an advantage of, she was the first and only first lady who was not criticized by the press. [laughter] talk about didn't last long, did it? abigail adams immediately but although in the second term, washington was severely hurt by the press and the sort of things they published. they actually, at that point, didn't find it appropriate to attack the president's lady as a way to get at the president politically. which, of course, is what has happened from abigail adams to michelle obama with hardly a pause in between. since there was no white house when the washingtons left the presidency and came back home to mount vernon, mount vernon was actually the symbol of the presidency.
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there was no white house they were building it. but there was no white house that they lived in. and it was quite a few years before the white house took on that symbolic weight. for years afterward it was still celebrations of george washington's birth night. to abigail adams' great despair, she couldn't believe they didn't do john adams' birth night. i hope i'm not cutting you out here. but it was still washington's birth night. and people still flocked to mount vernon as they still do, by the hundreds. first to see the great man himself. and then after his death to see martha washington. because, like many first ladies, martha washington in the popular mind represented her husband. and even after his death they still wanted to meet her, to talk to her, to touch her hand. it was a way to have a sort of daisy chain of touching the past and the great days of the
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nation. martha washington was terrific. she was friendly. she was generous. she was kind. she was charming. she set precedence of dignity, duty and devotion that are well followed. she was the worthy partner of the incomparable george washington. and she set the standards for others to follow as the first first lady. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. and, sally, you're so right. it makes me crazy, basically, that people say all the time, is michelle obama going to be a traditional first lady? my basic answer is, yes, probably because a traditional first lady is very involved in politics and has a huge amount of influence on her husband. and is usually pretty controversial.
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so, yes, she'll be a traditional first lady. sally worked for laura bush. and at that event that katherine and i were at together, mrs. bush said she had read in the newspaper that morning that she was prim. and she said, i don't know what that means. she said, i think it means librarian. [laughter] what's so interesting about it is she's the only first lady in history who went to the white house briefing room, grabbed the microphone herself, and use it had to call for the overthrow of the bermees government. it wasn't exactly shy and retiring. but we developed these myths about first ladies that we really have about all of them, really starting with martha washington. i think it's the cap though. i've always said the cap did her a disservice.
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i stay perinally furious with mount vernon over this. george washington's mount vernon. [laughter] [applause] i mean, yes, i bet he was really taking care of all the food stuff and all of that. at any rate. she, of course, succeeded by the very feisty and somewhat problematic abigail adams whom and i might say, pat talked about writing about women. we are very lucky with abigail adams, unlike martha washington, because we have her letters. and we have thousands and thousands of them. the theory is that martha burned her correspondence with george for which we can be angry with her. but whatever, that probably did happen because we don't have it. and we pretty much have every grocery list the founding fathers wrote. so it is very likely that that's
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the case. i will say, to continue on the theme, though, about women's history, it's not just that when you write about the women you have the other half of the human race, but it is also that you learn about the men in a completely different way. they become three dimensional. you know, these founding fathers were so selfaware. and they knew what they were doing was extraordinary. they knew if they succeeded that their communications with each other would be saved and published. so they had that in mind as they wrote. so they did, they wrote with certain purpose and pomposity whereas the letters to the women are much freer and open and filled with their loves and their fears and their predicaments and their ambitions, and humor. at one point john quincy adams said if anybody intercepts this
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mail, i'm going to be so embarrassed because it's all gossip. and to whom but his wife with the great john marshall have written when he found himself in raleigh, north carolina, without his britches. i mean, he said, "i immediately immediately -- he set out to get a pair made. "i thought i should be [inaudible] only one day. but all the tailors in raleigh were busy. so he said, "i had the extreme mortgage fiction to pass a whole term without that important article of dress." i have to tell you, i've never been able to look at him again. i sort of avert my gaze because i'm worried about what he's got on. so with abigail, we are blessed. we have so much that she has written. but much that she has written is quite difficult from the perspective of politics.
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she was a wonderful advisor to john adams throughout his whole career until she became first lady. and i don't think that's, by the way, necessarily all that unusual. it was particularly unusual in her case because of the situation that she was in. but throughout his time, first in philadelphia and then on all of his diplomatic missions and then as vice president, he just depended on her mightily for political information, for political advice. he had a real political tenere. and then when he became president, he was really desperate, just desperate for her to join him in philadelphia because i just felt like he couldn't -- he just couldn't do
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it without her. i mean, he wrote her he's letters, "i never wanted your advice and assistance more in my life." the next day, "i must entreat you come on as soon as you can." a couple of days later, "i pray you to come on." i will not live in a state of separation. another day, "you i must and will have." "the times are critical and dangerous. i must have you here to assist me of the. i can do nothing without you. we must redesign everything but our public duties. will" she wasn't about to redesign the farm which she had kept in wonderful shape. the only of the founders to die solvent of the original the virginians were all in terrible shape except george because of martha. because of martha's money. [laughter] and adams also died with money because of abigail's investments. she didn't have money, but she made money. and she wasn't about to abandon the farm. and also his mother was dying. and she was taking care of his mother. and he says, "it seems to me that the mother and the daughter ought to think a little of the
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president." [laughter] "as well as the husband. his cares, his anxieties, his health. don't laugh." [laughter] then his mother died, and abigail got the farm set and on she went. she got to philadelphia. and just as we just heard with martha washington, the minute she got there she was expected to start entertaining. yesterday being monday from 12:00 to half past 2:00i receive visits. 32 ladies and near as many gentlemen. i shall have the same ceremony to pass through today and the rest of the week. and then, p.s she says her situation is one of splendid misery, state prisoner, splendid misery is the theme. the ladies of foreign minister and ministers with their own secretaries and ladies visited me today and add to them the levee of senate and house,
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strangers, etc., making near 100 asked permission to visit me so that from half past 12:00 to near 4:00 i was rising up and sitting down. so it was a lot of work. and they were expected to just keep doing it. and she was at a tremendous amount of disadvantage in doing this because she was not martha washington. in the same way that john adams was at a disadvantage because he was not george washington. and not the father of the country and not the great hero of the war and the little difficult man. she was a dissimilar disadvantage of not being martha washington, not only because she wasn't the first and because she wasn't married to the father of the country but because she was a new englander. she was not a hospitable southerner. she was not someone who easily had people in all the time.
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she didn't grow up with any money or have issues, the child of a parsen. you compare the houses, this house and the house before that white house where the washingtons were with the little salt box that the adams lived in in what was then called braintree, and the notion that the lady who was in that little, cramp house about the size of this room was suddenly having 100 people to tea is a stretch. now, she had been abroad. she had been an ambassador's wife. she had been in the courts of europe. she was not coming straight from braintree to philadelphia, but she was still she was not the gracious southern hostesses who had grown up her whole life with people around and people that she was used to having drop in.
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she also didn't have nellie custis. and nellie custis was a great addition by the time the washingtons left the presidenty. i must say i remain so admiring of martha washington on so many fronts. she had little bitty children when she became first lady. i mean, on that famous arrival in new york, george washington custis got lost. when i was writing that and founding mothers, my daughterinlaw was doing a quick read and she got very nervous. what happened to him? i said, i guess i better get him found. and then nellie was a wild and crazy thing according to martha. but she got her and it was one of the things she did like about new york, she got her in a very good school, isabella graham school. and then nellie grew into this very gracious, young lady. and everybody in in philadelphia just loved her.
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and that was certainly not the case with abigail and abigail's niece, louisa smith who came with her. one young philadelphia woman wrote sally mccain, daughter of a republican, but she wrote that abigail had hawk's eyes. and she brought louisa, set up for the miss custis of the place but said louisa would never match nellie for she is not young and confounded ugly. yes. so glitzy philadelphia was really not having it with new england puritan adams. and it is true, george washington's birth night just sent abigail adams round the bend. she just thought it was outrageous that they were celebrating his birthday. virginia could do that. that would be ok. in her view if virginia did it. but philadelphia, these people who pretend to be so
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sophisticated, why are they doing it? but aside, of course, from all of that, all that that was going on, what was much more important in terms of her own interests was politics. and her meddling in. and in policy. what happened and the reason i think she was not a good advisor as first lady is that she developed something i have seen in pretty much every white house that i have known and i'm sorry, sally it's true in if yours as well and it's happening quickly in this one, which is that people inside very quickly develop a bunker mentality. we're in here doing the good the right, the true, the just, work long, long hours. we're eating terrible food. you are taking shots at us. don't you understand in a we're
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trying to do what's best for the country and why are you being so awful to us? abigail developed that mentality. she had cause. the leader was their own vice president and the press was vicious. and i mean vicious in ways that they just basically made it up. and made up all kinds of scurrilous things. katherine will tell you some of the things they said about dolly, my goodness. so she became an ardent, absolutely passionate supporter of the acts. and she wrote to one of her sisters, "i wish the laws of our country were competent to punish the stir up, the writer and printer of base and unfounded calemny." then she was furious because she felt the laws were shaved eighth paired to almost nothing. but still, weak as they are, they were better than nothing.
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well, of course, the acts were a huge political mistake. and the fact that she was so supportive of them and she had been such a good advisor for so long really colored adams' own view. now, he was not happy by any means with the press either. but her strong support really did push him to a place that was not very useful for him. at about the same time, after she's writing about her happiness, that the laws were passed, she and john go back to what's now called quincy for the recess.
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and when they get there, john discovers he had gotten a hint of it along the way that she had doubled the size of the house. she hadn't mentioned it to him. she actually -- she was working with her cousin not cotton mather. what was his name? anyway. cotton tufts. and she had him write letters to her about all of the bills and repairs and everything and put them inside letters from her sister because she had already told adams that he could not open any letters from her sisters. and she had gotten furious with him one day when she caught him doing it. so he was very much afraid to do that. so all of the home improvements were buried inside those letters. and somebody did come through from massachusetts and let the cat out of bag saying the house seems to be coming along nicely. and adams was just amused.
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but fortunately, so that was well, that gives you some sense of her place in the marriage. he then goes back to philadelphia remember, he's ony one term. and she got quite sick and couldn't go with him. and while he was in philadelphia, she was dying to go to war with france and just pushing and push and pushing for him. while he was in philadelphia without her he decides to try again for peace with france. without substituting anybody in his party, without telling anybody in the cabinet. and he writes to her and says, oh, how they lament mrs. adams' absence saying if she had been here, murray would have never been named nor this mission instituted, he teased her. he said, "that ought to gratify your vanity enough to cure you." and she said that she had heard
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the same thing in boston. some of the feds who did not like being taken so by surprise said they wished the old woman had been there. they did not believe it would have taken place. that was pretty saucy, but the old woman can tell them that they are mistaken for she considers the measure a master's stroke of policy. she didn't, really. and she didn't think it was going to work. and she kept pushing for war with france and one of his opponents called her "not of the country but of a faction." now, of course, everybody was in factions at this point. and, of course, inside the federalist party the faction that was opposing adams was led by alexander hamilton. and on the question of hamilton, abigail was spot on. she was on to him from day one.
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and she would call him in various letters, cassius or caesar, whichever roman she was mad at, at the moment. but she -- he then, of course, gave her good cause to be suspicious of him when today go public to admit that he was having an extra marital affair because he was being blackmailed and it was alleged that he was being blackmailed for trading illegally in government securities. so he had to go public and say that, no, that wasn't the reason. he said he was having an affair with the blackmailer's wife. he says, "i say this not without a blush." which, as an aside, eliza hamilton then served in in the role of that long, suffering woman we have seen way too many of in recent months standing behind her husband as he admits to some horrible scandal and
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saving his political career. but abigail, when she learned this about hamilton, said, "i have not any confidence in the honor, integrity or patriotism of any man who does not believe that thou shall not commit adultery is a positive prohibition of god. i would not upon any consideration do a public wrong or injury, but i can be guilty of breaking the most solemn private engagement? and that to whom i am bound by affection and by honor to protect, to love, and respect? her basic view is give me a break. and she was right. hamilton then did go on the attack about against adams. and that combined with the alien
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and sedition acts really did him in. and they knew that they were very likely to lose the election. they still had to move to washington. and washington is such a funny part of the story. you know, when i was writing this book, "ladies of liberty" which goes from adams to adams, people would arrive in washington and say, where are we? what is this place? it's awful. there's nothing here. it's mud. it's tree stumps. it's miserable. then they would get used to it and start writing letters saying, you know, the circus comes to town. [laughter] and there's a theater now. there's racing and all of that. and then new people would arrive and say, where are we? this is horrible. and, of course, she famously moved into the unfinished white house and it was cold. they couldn't heat it. they couldn't do really anything to make it habitable. and still, though, the minute
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they got there the ladies of washington were quote/unquote impatient for a drawing room because they were all bored. they wanted somebody to come and entertain them. and the president's wife was the right person to do that. so she did, you know a little bit of entertaining, regular, weekly entertaining in that drafty old barn. until they left town. of course it was no surprise then when the election was lost. it was happening at the same time that their son charles was dying. and it was no surprise when he died, either. i will tell you, this was an interesting moment in that hbo series on the adams which i have very mixed views about. but this is a telling omission. in that movie they have abigail, laura linney saying about charles, "he was no man's
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enemy." what she actually said was, "he was no man's enemy except his own." which is a very different meaning. he was a debotched drunk and he did die all at the same time that they were losing the election and having to pack up and go back home. but, of course, what was a surprise to her was the tie, as it was to everybody, between thomas jefferson and aaron burr. it was a long, drawnout process before that got settled between the time of the election and the time the house representatives broke the tie. and interesting, as you heard from pat, people would come here all the time. mrs. washington was constantly having to receive people because one of the things that a politician would do would be to go see mrs. washington. because that would be his bona fide, you know, to have her
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receive him. oh, i was at mount vernon the other day visiting with mrs. washington. what thomas jefferson probably didn't know when he came here to make the pilgrimage and while waiting for the house of representatives to decide was that she had called him one of the most detestable of mankind. again, not exactly shy and retiring about her politics. well, abigail was forced to actually leave town before the election was settled. and that had her completely crazy. but it was february. so, you know, the weather was getting bad. and they did go through a violent snowstorm, which made her very weary. "but not so weary as to have lost my curiosity about the fate of the election." and then when she got to philadelphia and the church bells started peeling to
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celebrate the jefferson victory, she was horrified that the bells were willing to for an infantile president. "it was a very dangerous trip. lots of snow and ice in lots of places where it was quite dangerous to go on. and her niece louisa tried to stop her from traveling on, saying wait for some man to come and be with us. and abigail said that she was accustomed to get through "many a trying scene and combat many difficulties alone." and that was true. she had been. the advantage of leaving washington, leaving political life was that that would never be true again. that she would finally have the rest of her life. she died in 1818. with her husband, whom she loved greatly. and that she would not be on her own ever again. so that was some consolation. but i think that she wrote a really wonderful sort of
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benediction to the founding era as she left. she wrote this letter to her son thomas as she was leaving public office herself. and she -- as she did so often, she thought through what would come next. and she understood the turning over, the experiment of america, to the next generation, to the children. which of course in their case was literally true, john quincy adams. was going to be a very tough moment for the founding generation. so she wrote -- she contemplated that. she said, "i leave to time the unfolding of a drama. i leave to posterity to reflect upon the times passed. and i leave them characters to contemplate." and she was certainly one of those characters that we should continue to contemplate. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> it is a pleasure and a privilege to speak to two of my favorite populations teachers and lovers of mount vernon. and i'd like to thank our general for bringing me here and anne, nancy, and debbie baker. i would like to thank sally mcdonough for her introduction, her very well-researched introduction. [laughter] i'd like to thank her, but now i know why i never get invited to monticello. ok. [laughter] there's a mystery solved. i'm here today to talk about dolley madison in times of challenge and crisis. dolly madison continued and built upon the work of martha
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washington and abigail adams. their mission was to put in practice the abstract series of governance designed by the men of the founding generation, to translate the theories behind, say, the constitution into real life. the american revolution ushered in morning just a new form of government, transforming what the founders would call society and what we would call culture was essential to a republic that was invested in political power and a virtuous citizenry. springboarding from the ideas of the sinkers of the scottish enlightenment which included david hume and adam smith, the founders theorized that in a new nation manners could be more important than laws. and they counted on the women of the ruling classes to secure the nation through manners. and that's the context within which we can understand the work of these first ladies and we can talk more about that context later, if you wish.
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but let's situate dolley in a time frame. thomas jefferson won the election of 1800 over john adams, and brought james and dolly madison to the new capital city in 1801 so that james could be his secretary of state. it is not accurate to say that dolley served jefferson as his first lady. his plan was to limit society in washington and to keep women out of it. in spite of, or perhaps because of jefferson's policy, the madison's house on f street became the social and political center of the city and the government. so when the madisons came to the executive mansion in 1809, dolly had been building her bases and her network for eight years. and that's a good thing. because one could almost
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characterize james madison's two terms with a theme of our panel "challenge and crisis." his presidency was full of them. james' primary political goal was unity in all forms and contexts. of course, unity had always been a goal and a concern. from the first decision to declare independence, all through the revolution and certainly after, new americans worried whether the republic would hold together whether there would be a united states. this concern became more, not less, as decades went by and with ample reason. by the madison administration, james and dolley still worried about external enemies. in their case, the perfidious great britain and the slippery france aided with spain to play troublemaker. but they were much more worried about internal divisions. thomas jefferson was not alone in considering his state rather than the whole united states as,
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quote, his country. such awareness of regional difference made for a fractious and uncooperative congress. more troubling were the political divisions and partisan violence, not just in congress but throughout nation. such division was supposed to have ceased by 1809 but it was accelerating. remember, these are men who did not believe in a twoparty system. for them there was only one common good and one obvious way to rule. and anything else was not, you know, an informed to dissent but treacherous. and the problem with early america is there's two groups that believe that. the head of the party didn't know what to do as he and jefferson had seen it, politics had deteriorated from the unanimity under the great washington, veering dangerously away in the federalist waters. but the victory of thomas jefferson in 1800 should have eliminated the opposition as he
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safely steered the ship of state back on course. but instead, the violence and partisanship increased so that in 1809 james and dolley had the supposedly victorious republican party disintegrating under their feet and it would continue to do so through the two terms of the madison presidency. and what was happening, though nobody really understood it, at the time was that the political system was developing its signature two-party arrangement. and they also didn't understand that this was necessary to build a democratic nation state. dolly tackled this need for unity in practical, demonstrable ways. before dolley and benjamin lenry latrobe restructured the mansion, known as the white house during her tenure, there was no one place in the city where all members of government, let alone their families and the
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local community, could meet. mrs. madison's weekly wednesday night drawing rooms were the only place that legislators, officials, and their families could gather. and under her watchful eye they learned to work together in bipartisan ways. she brought them together to work out their differences, not in the harsh spotlight of congress but in the soft candle light of the unofficial sphere. and as they chatted and danced, the male members of government surrounded by families could begin to see their opponents not as caricatures of evil but as human beings with their own ideas of the public good. it was at dolly's house and nowhere else that members of what would become two parties could begin to build a ruling class. dolly's social sphere is even more important when you consider how violent politics really was. as i think cokie alluded to slander and rival ran unchecked, and there was real violence. this was an era when men beat each other with canes and shot
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each other over politics and, you know, not just in the streets but on the congressional floor. and they could do so. the male congressmen could act out in the house and the senate. but they had to be on their best behavior at a lady's social event. but dolly did not just depend on conventions of civility, she insisted on them. and she modeled civility and unity. she became famous for not brooking any contention in her presence to the point that if people were speaking badly of others, they would cease when they heard the click of her high heels. when republican representative from pennsylvania's jonathan roberts noted, quote, by her deportment in her own house you cannot discover who is her husband's friends or foes. he was seeing dolly's policy in action. dolly was a political genius because she turned authentic parts of herself into a
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political persona. she made personality a tool of policy. make no mistake. dolly madison was a fierce republican partisan, but she tempered her private feelings for what she saw as the public good, her husband's goals. indeed, she became so skilled a politician that some accused her of hypocrisy. as young francis hugh observed, i do not think it possible to know what her real opinions are as she is all things to all men. and if that isn't a description of a politician, i don't know what is. [laughter] james had identified unity as the chief crisis of the nation. dolly subsumed her personal feelings to smooth contention and bring people together. and nowhere is that more evident than in the role she played in the dueling scandal of 1811 when virginia congressman john randolph of roanoke, so enraged, fellow virginian john epps in
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the house over a debate over a trade restriction bill that f called him out. now, dolly loathed john randolph because he did say terrible things about her husband and spread those nasty sexual rumors again to which cokie allude. i would tell you what they were, but i promised nancy and anne i wouldn't talk dirty this time. but challenging someone to a dul was a shame and shocking event in the eyes of most of the world that thought dualing a sin. so she probably would have let him bleed to death on the capital steps, dolley converted the duel into a accommodation, amazing everyone according to the minister of france. national pride was salvaged and a turf war was averted, and as the minister said, all of the honor of the affair remains with mrs. madison. and we have a lot of stories like that. but there's another arena i
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think we have to pay attention attention to. look at dolly's work because this was the business of the federal government, which is diplomacy. so in the early government, the major business of government was foreign relations. and actually, she began that work when james was jefferson's secretary of state. during the infamous mary affair when jefferson so insulted the british minister and his wife elizabeth, they swore off going to the executive mansion altogether. but they would attend private dinners at the madison's house on f street. and this is not because they liked or trusted james madison more than they did jefferson. indeed, they saw him as jefferson's henchman. but by casting the dinners as social and by making herself amenable to the merries, dolley made it permissible tore them to attend. so in the years before the so in the years before the declaration of war of 1812, the
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allimportant business of diplomacy with great britain took place not at the presidential table but at dolley's. again, it is important to stress that dolley was a successful diplomat not because she liked people but because she worked at it like a professional politician. she didn't particularly like elizabeth merry. she thought elizabeth, quote, a strange lass. she hardly associates with anyone, always riding on horseback. but dolley never missed a chance to keep the bridges between the families open. when elizabeth admired dolley's perfume. dolly gave it to her. dolly was so successful that when she fell ill months after the merry affair, elizabeth declared herself her nurse and dolly's actions intensity iffed as she became first lady and the country headed for war. one could see the war of 1812 which was declare in the madison administration as the ultimate
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failure of unity. european declarations broke down and the war itself as a way to break down the government. such efforts culminate in the hartford convention when federalist new england threatened to secede. dolly continued and heightened her work. she provided more social events. more access to the unofficial sphere, unprecedented access to the president than ever before. she celebrated the few heros of the conflict and two washitonians resident or visitor and to americans across the nation she became the symbol of disinterested patriotism in an era when no man could be the symbol of patriotism. again, we can talk about why that worked. and the reason that quickly became legend is because she had impacted from the very beginning
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of the conflicts. indeed, the wartime efforts and the way she sold the useless treaty of peace helped americans view the war not as effectiveless waste of treasure and life, but an expression of nationalism. one of the puzzling things that we historians blessed with hindsight do is we uniformly deem james madison's presidency as a near disaster as he became very close to losing the country both inside and out. so in the cnn polls that we see where george washington is number one, james madison is going to be plightly in the bottom third. in 1817 when the madisons retired, they retired in the a blaze of glory. what they were pratzing the man for, the man who presided over the breakup of the republican party and the most useless war
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in american history -- unity. john adams, who i think we have seen is not the most generous guy said that the madison administration, quote, acquired more glory and established more union than washington, adams, and jefferson put together. how do we explain this? the answer is dolly. again, like many first ladies, we've already talked about this. she often acted as a lightning rod for the criticism of james. in this assessment of his legacy, her persona projected her qualities and achievements on to him. as a politician, james could not really work for unity, but dolly could. if, as contemporaries and historians agree, the country was left with a sense of nationalism, pride, and good feelings, the victory was as much dolly's as it was james. now, two things i must conclude about the lessons of dolly madison in crisis.
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one of the reasons it's been hard to see her work and to assess it is because she didn't win. her efforts at diplomacy failed, the country went to war. and except in individual cases such as john randolph's duel, the efforts did little to mitigate the exaggerated masculinity of the political culture of the day. just because she didn't win doesn't mean she wasn't right. and this is the second point. in her words and deeds, in the way she behaved and treated people at her parties, dolly brought a new language to the table of an early american politics. a feminine vernacular of sentiment and feeling with an insistence on civility. she brought love and empathy in the political discourse and in doing so, she modelled for us a political behavior that allowed the participants to see each other as full human beings.
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her model of bipartisan process, one that emfa sized cooperation over coercion that built bridges instead of bunkers with an emphasis on civility and empathy proved necessary for building a modern democratic nation-state. the men of her day could not envision bipartisanship. they did not even have a word for it. for them, politics was an all or nothing zero sum activity where men regularly fought and murdered each other over ideologies. that dolly could envision politics of power sharing marks her as the most modern politician of her time. this model, the way of facing crisis and channel is her lasting gift to the nation. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you.
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very kind and generous to be here on my first visit to mt. vernon. as a lincoln scholar, we are very aware of these polls and rivalries, but i'm so pleased to be among such distinguished colleagues and be so warmly welcomed by such a beautiful historic site. so thank you. i would like to try to give you the crises of mary lincoln's role as first lady. but as there's been a book a day published since appamatox on the american civil war, a summary wouldn't if it in my time slot. i want to touch on some things because last year the abraham lincoln presidential library museum in springfield had an exhibit on mary lincoln and called it the first lady of controversy. indeed, she is still someone who is recognized by the public as someone who had a good bit of trouble in her tichlt the
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lasting legacy is still in the year of the president's bicentennial, president lincoln is having a 200th birthday and people still feel mrs. lincoln is a characiture, ridicule and that might have been a seed planted in her husband's presidency. women could not predict their role in entering into the white house. but i found one political observer who commented at the 1860 election that mary started with mr. lincoln when he was a poor young man and no more idea of being called to the presidency than of being a cannibal. however, i try to lay out in my book an educated guess that mary lincoln wouldn't let a little thing like human sacrifice come between her and her goal because she was a very determined woman.
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she did talk about mr. lincoln's role, perhaps, of entering the white house. so she was someone who was a true political partner. why is it, then, that so many of the lincoln biographers continue to talk about her as someone who has been blamed for many of lincoln's problems, blamed for some of the controversies. i can cite several of them, but i don't want to give you a history, a graphical explanation of her controversy other than to say she was unusual. she was a daughter of the blue grass. her family were esteemed and political. she had ambassadors, senators, governors in her family. she indeed believed that when she did finally marry mr. lincoln after an interrupted courtship and great deal of controversy, her family suggested that mr. lincoln came from a life where his family wasn't much better from the dirt floors they came from. so marrying into an aristocratic
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family came with problems but she stood by him as his partner. she had ten years of formal education to his one. she had political connections all over illinois. and after two failed senate races, when the votes were counted for the presidential election, and lincoln did, indeed win, he told the men at the telegraph office that he had to go home because he said, gentlemen, there's a little woman at our house who's probably more interested in this dispatch than i am. and when he arrived home, he said, mary, we are elected, which i think truly signals the way in which the lincolns conducted their marriage. even though lincoln's election was a triumph and you could look forward to a glittering inauguration, it was quite a trial. death threats, ropes and paintings of lincoln's death by many who didn't welcome his election.
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once they were safely ensconced in the willard hotel, lincoln was preoccupied with the business of reorganizing a government and mrs. lincoln had to face her trial. after all, she was the wife of the first president to be elected from a state outside of the original colonies. she was suspect and harriet lane, james buchanan's niece who was the hostess met with the couple and said that lincoln resembled the irish door keeper. i do have to tell my students in ireland that's not meant as a compliment. and it's reported that mrs. lincoln is western, loud, and unrefined. so this is what mary lincoln was up against. and i will say i use the term mary lincoln because we did have this is such a wonderful occasion to get to meet and discuss the biography of dolly madison because we were talking about the todd connection that
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isn't a real connection but it seems that everywhere mary todd lincoln is the name. when i first started working on the research and said i was writing on mary lincoln, people said who? i would say mary todd lincoln. they would know this name. the early 20th century when the todd family began to commission some work, including the painting that now hangs in the white house of mary lincoln that "todd" got inserted. not to say that mrs. lincoln was not proud of her family heritage. she indeed was someone who greatly treasured the southern her tanl. but as abraham lincoln said, one deed was good enough for god and the todds required two. he did have some trouble with this family. the inaugural ball in 1861 was a great coming out party where the cave dwellers of washington were going to observe mrs. lincoln and to see how she measured up.
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she entered the tent in blue silk bedecked with gold diamonds and i'm especially fond of the pearls that she's wearing and a famous portrait of her bedecked which is on the front piece of my book. we see it's not known exactly when, but we do know that abraham lincoln slipped into tiffanies when the train was coming in on the way to washington and he bought for his wife a seed pearl set of necklace, earrings, bracelet, and brooch obtained at the cost of $530. we know he was in some way honoring the way in which she had pledged herself to him and after more than 20 years they were headed for the white house. lincoln left at midnight. his wife and her party stayed on dancing polkas into the night. elizabeth elette, a very influential observer said mrs.
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lincoln's exquisite admiral ease and grace won the love of thousands. the exalted station to which she's been so strangely advanced from the little inland capital of illinois. so we know that she was on trial during this period. there was a boycott at the white house at this time of the southern women. but shortly there after, the snubs continued. her receptions were emptied out. the british journalist found it was rather late before i could get to the white house. there were only two ladies in the drawing room when i arrived. i was informed afterwards that the attendance was scanty. the washington ladies have not yet made up their mind that mrs. lincoln is the fashion. they draw comparisons between
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them and the vulgar yankee women now in power. lincoln's call to arms the first lady was drawn into a more dangerous whirlwind to a severe disadvantage. as we talked about divided houses in this era, the white house was seen as a house that represented those divisions, not mrs. lincoln's loyalty, which was to her husband. but we know that her mail was read in advance. everything that went in and out of the white house both to protect her, but also from scandal that there was a rebel spy in the white house. she had half brothers in the confederate army and half sisters married to confederate generals. this led to disasters of mammoth proportion. i do suggest in my work that millions clint con was the first first lady, the first wife of a
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president to have that term. but she feels the first person the press seemed to pursue with such vigor. it was said that the telegraph would tril every time she left the white house. her refurbishment of the white house in 1861 with some of the furniture from the monroe family were still there. she was coming in with young children. she wanted to have a house worthy of the nation that was under siege. certainly, she thought it would be more populist, more democratic to have a large ball rather than the receptions that were held. i know you mentioned the adams house not being much larger than this, i can assure you the lincoln house in springfield was smaller and mary lincoln would invite 300 to parties. she thought she would keep people flowing through. as the wife of a president and the first lady, she wanted to have her -- she had her at homes on saturday afternoon. she had her weekly public reception, but she thought it would be nicer to have a ball. the first ball in february of 1862 was the again, a public relations disaster.
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my poor soldier allegedly in attempt to listen to the glittering intertake tanment and it was at the ball that the illness of her son willy would be prolonged and he would die shortly after. but i do want us to try and keep in mind the context of the times. i was up in the berkshires visiting and lecturing and went to a home built by a member of the morgan family. there on the wall was a portion of morgan with his japanese bride. and i was trying to imagine what it would have been like if we could see. what if it had not been a sign of the morgan family, but rather the roosevelt family who was in the white house with his japanese bride in 1941. what would the nation have thought of having someone married to the enemy. the tragedy was that she was so severely mills understood. on the one hand, as a southern
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partisan. on the other hand, charles sumner who boycotted the white house, indeed, he was the one struck down on the senate floor. he was an abolitionist who was so concerned with this question of the abolition of slavery. but he was invited into the white house, a great friend of mrs. lincoln. so she did attempt to play partisan politics but never quite found her way. always a misstep ahead of the game. but i do try and say, let's try and contextualize her legacy today. many of my friends say what if booth had been a bad shot. but my suggestion was if mrs. lincoln had been the one murdered that fateful night in april of 1865, how would we view her as a first lady. how would we look at her. would there be a notion of
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amazing reconciliation in the wake of the death of this southern woman who stood by her husband's side to allow him to become the savior of the nation? since we cannot know what lincoln's newly invented legacy would have become, it's prudent to imagine that filtering out all of the comments about her very tragic sad leaving of the white house. her tragic wandering, her years as a widow were such that she could find no peace in the wake of the loss of her husband. what would have been the estimation of the role if we could take out the shadow of the assassination and what followed? sterling, i would suggest. and moving up the ladder to platinum with each passing anniversary. she would achieve the honor and glory that she never dared to dream once her husband departed and the realities of widowhood hit her full force. i do suggest she spend her many
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final years championing her husband. we know about the episode of her incarceration in the sanitarium when her only remaining child, robert, fearing his mother might do herself harm thought he would confine her and the public trial and confinement to an asylum was a deep humiliation which, again, i don't believe she recovered from. she was at war with herself. and with social convention and polite society. she had failed mitz rabblely in the court of public opinion. but she was flawed and brilliant all at once. she never rose to the heights of humanitarianism her husband achieved and we don't have the thousands of pages of records. we just have a few letters. we have the letters from the son robert who collected the letters. we have the rumors that the grate at his home was filled with the ashes of correspondence. we have mary lincoln's letters
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talking about reading and rereading her husband's letters. we know they disappeared. we don't have much in which to give you testimony of her wit and her intelligence. but from her writings, i assure you, she was a woman who loved her husband deeply. she sustained his growth to greatness. she was a woman who stepped outside the boundaries of her time and suffered for it. she feels someone who endured more personal loss and public humiliation than any other woman of her generation. near the end, she dwelled on the remembrance of that stormy day when she took lincoln as her husband in springfield against the wishes of her family defying all odds. he slipped the ring on her finger. love is eternal. and, indeed, with that pledge, lincolns made their path forward.
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we know his legacy grows and grows with each passing year. now that he's eternal, there's no reason to regard her as infernal. we might look and say the glory of his legacy is in some way attributable to her passion. i was quite struck on inauguration day in 2009 looking at the china at the inaugural luncheon where there is a gold band encircled by blue and gray ribbons which mrs. lincoln chose as the symbol of her husband's presidency. there it was, a reproduction but triumphant in 2009. thank you, very much.
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>> i want to thank you for this
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wonderful panel. i have the opportunity to be between teachers and hills torrians. i am going to do my very best to moderate this conversation. so we're going to hopefully take some questions from the audience. i'm going to ask you to speak as loudly as you can and i will try to repeat your questions so everyone can hear it. our first question? i can get it started if someone doesn't want to. yes, ma'am? >> we hear about mary todd lincoln's lavish wardrobe. can you elaborate? was she aware that the press was criticize ing? >> indeed. she was very aware of press criticism in that time. one of the secretary's daughter was so concerned that he wanted to go to a hospital with the press which she was doing privately and he wanted them to be brought back to the white house to eat cake. i thought it was a wonderful press secretary line.
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she -- she decided no it to let them eat cake and she refused -- she refused to advertise her good -- her good work. she did go in 1861 to look at furnishings for the white house and indeed brought shawls along the way from a.p. stewart's emporium and was quite excited by this. but in my research, i found mr. lincoln was the only member of the lincoln family to have store-bought clothes before they came to washington. she had all of her dresses made and made them herself, many of them. she hired elizabeth heckley as her dress maker. she was the first person in the white house after the inauguration. but this lavish spending much reported in the press, i suggest, needs to be contextualized. needs to be put up against other kinds of spendings. so, for example, i do tell a
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story where i'm quite concerned about the way one particular historian portrayed her lavish spending in the weeks leading up to her husband's death as if she were hoarding. and -- so that's what struck me first. and what was she buying that was so alarming? gloves. i found repeatedly her concern was taken as someone as gauche and unrefined wearing dirty gloves at receptions was something that would take people aback. she would stand in long lines, she was there when the thousands went through the white house. and, so indeed one of the major crimes against her is that she bought 12 dozen gloves in march of 1865. and i suggest that rather than seeing this as part of a criminal conspiracy, what many of us who buy know that it's cheaper to buy in bulk. and she feels looking ahead to the next four years in the white house. so sometimes i think we can contextualize them.
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on the other hand, i do suggest that like her son, robert, she suffered from spend and purge. this, in this criticism and looking at shopping is something that could be characterized as financial bulimia, she very much regretted the spending and after her widow hood she tried to get rid of much of what she had bought in her time in the white house. and what had been given to her. we're in very different times. people would give her a diamond brooch. that's part of the southern style of gift giving. we may today say oh, no, it's bribery. lincoln himself took hats and gifts. a different context. in some ways, i tried to contextualize it. she did go wild -- being able to be in new york, not as a poor lawyer's wife, not there with the children, but there as first lady having all of the storekeepers come out to her carriage with the lovely goods promising to bill her later. and when the bills came due,
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like many women, she was unwilling to share the costs with her husband and did try and hide her spending pattern. and that led to what i think is clearly -- she feels characterized in the press as having a shopping disorder in the 1860s. >> i have a question about dolly madison. i heard she likes to go, the supreme court is in session and hear the cases and the justices were always excited about her being in the court. why would you think she would take the time to do that? >> if i could -- >> absolutely. dolly madison is very famous for her presence on the washington scene. what she would do is take parties of ladies into the government, to watch debates turnover floor of the house or
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to watch the supreme court cases being argued. and historians have now begun to notice -- and you're very astute to pick this up, how the men who are being active on the floor were affected by the presence of ladies. so they would altar their style and at one point made some eloquent speech and then mrs. madison and her ladies came in so she started it again. and did it for her. and the -- the person commenting on this said with a few more flowers kind of thrown in there. it's interesting to notice who doesn't care for this. i have to bring up john randolph of roanoke once again who commented on the ladies in the gallery he had -- he must have been unhinged. he was totally crazy. >> he was crazy. >> he compared them to public women. so -- so what we're looking at is a woman who pioneers in a way the idea of bringing women into
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the forefront of government. but i'm always terribly interested to see who's anxious and fearful because i do think 24r's something up. she was a public woman in a good sense of the way. but it's true there's nothing else to do. >> a lot of the women of washington came to congress and to the supreme court. that's what you did. and when they were being debates like the missouri compromise or something which is after she had left town, they filled the floor so much that there's no room for the members of congress. and there were a couple of public women who were let in. \and it was something of an embarrassment. >> yes. >> this is why -- >> you have to look at the \>> you have to look at the public women. because i remember being at a history conference about 15 years ago and saying i was going to write on public women. and one of my colleagues said that's good, they're out in public, good. in other words, the term, "public women" used in the 19th century, a woman stepping outside of the boundary was then
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labeled a "public woman," and that very public/private divide that is artificial when we know there were parlor politics. we know women were influencing, not whispering on pillow cases but actually having passionate partisan politics that when mary todd was attracted to steven douglas, she said she didn't like his politicings, couldn't marry someone with those politics. she didn't vote and have politics that a lot of the work coming out fails to elucidate. >> i heard many times -- came to mt. vernon. i'm wondering if you could address, was martha washington a financial wizard? a financial manager? how did she maintain the estate for years without him?
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>> thousands of visitors came to mt. vernon. the question is was she a financial wizard, how did she entertain them, what did she do to receive them? as a hostess, how did she accommodate that? >> was she a financial wizard, probably not? was she financially astute and very careful? yes, she feels. and that is shown from the time she feels a young woman in her 20s when her first husband, the rich husband, died. and she was left with the -- with five plantations. to run and take caref as well as a great deal of cash and a lot of investments. she made very careful investments and she kept books on them and when lawyers acted in ways that she didn't like, she called them to account. she went to their office and confronted them. and, again, it's the whole question, i think, here, of the public woman that she hitched up the horses and went into town.
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and actually confronted the lawyer in his office. and i think he was more scandalized by that than by what she had to say. said you didn't have to go out in public, i could have come to you to talk about this. so, yes, she feels financially smart. in the later days, you know, she didn't really live that much longer than he. it was just 2 1/2 years. so it wasn't that there was a lot to manage. things were relatively good shape. but she was a fabulous hostess. and she saw herself as a private historian of the war, the private historian of the presidency that she was there at the foundation and she could tell people about it. and that's what visitors would say. we spent hours with mrs. washington and she brought it all alive to us. we understood how it was. and that's what she thought her job was, to, again, publicly in
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her house, but none theless publicly to strangers tell how it was, what the foundation was. >> you know, if i can chime in for a second. this is the second time we brought this up, cokie, we all alluded to it. what do you get from studying the women. we talked about how it makes the founders so much more human than we all imagined. the whole thing about no pants, i don't know if i eel ever get over that. >> trust me, you won't. >> i'm traumatized. i think what it does, pat eluded to it -- the power of the everyday. when people are grappling with them and trying to put them to everyday practice, all kinds of interesting things come up. one example i would think of is if you look at the women and working with the power of the every day, you kind of discover the dirty secret of early american politics which is the incredible attachment that the new americans have to
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aristocracy. so they had all fought this big american revolution against the monarchy and against everything that the old world stood for. but they still secretly craved it. and they craved it for a very legitimate reason -- it was the only vocabulary of power that they knew. the only way to show a new nation could be legitimate. you have to have like an aristocracy. so we have an observe moment that john adams is arguing for titles. now they're realizing they won the war. now had to run the nation. >> his rotundadry was suggested. >> probably why he dropped it for that. we see this when we look at women. so we didn't call george washington the supreme highness, we called him mr. president. but we called mrs. washington lady washington. james madison was mr. madison, a properly uncharismatic sober
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republican virtuous man, but his wife was queen dolly. so it's in looking at the everyday, looking and you can only see it through these women that you can uncover the other stories that are part of the american story. >> well, and the first ladies to a great extent put a human face on the presidency. the idea of the presidency is a wonderful idea. but we like to look at pictures. we like to think about people. it's why i think there's such obsession with what they wear. how many -- what can you say about yet another navy blue suit and b red tie? you know, that's just -- there's a limit. but with the women, there's a personalization of almost a feeling of knowing them. >> but see, that's another place where martha was so smart, though. there she shows up in new york to become the first first lady, and we know she loved her sat
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ins and silks but she wore homespun. i mean, that is just such a pr stunt, it's wonderful. >> just for that time. she didn't do it all the time. >> once is enough. >> to arrive in new york on that barge in homespun is brilliant. >> we talk about the old washington. we talk about how everyone's families were here, republicans, democrats, and for these first ladies, their families were there. they couldn't travel home. it would be an imposition. washington, senators on the weekendings, their families weren't there. chiefs of staff go home on the weekend. how is this dehumanized possibly the political scene? >> it has, it's too bad. it is also true that we tend to romanticize how it used to be. i do believe the immediate period growing up, the immediate
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postworld war ii period, i think it had everything to do with the war, was a time of bipartisanship really now that i've read the history has not seen that at any other time in our history. people killed each other over politics. there was a duelling ground in bladensburg. the duel was one of many averted in that case. he called out thomas jefferson's son-in-law. but he was crazy. >> and busy. >> the sitting vice president of the united states. aaron burr murdered his political enemy over politics.
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the last president had a little problem with the gun but wasn't -- so i do think we have -- we have a rosy hue. we're at a -- we've been going through a bad patch in the last 16 years. but i don't think it's anything like the period we're talking about or more so the period of the civil war. >> can i also answer a question in a slightly different way because you're touching on something that's very important which is that our people in the 18th century understood for politics to work, you need the official sphere of action, which would be the debates and the treaties and the pieces of paper. but you need what they call the social sphere. but we call the unofficial sphere, which is sort of the sphere of process. the social events.
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the dinner parties where people could compromise or discuss things or propose things and they could blame the wine or the dancing if it didn't work out. you needed that sphere. in the modern world, because that sphere is almost always associated with women, as women worked into the workforce, men haven't taken up the importance of that. so washitonians still have to learn that at some point, you have to stop work, go on a pair of high heels, change your shirt, and go out to dinner. you need that unofficial sphere of politics to make it happen. and all of these women knew that, even as abigail adams was not the best at it. they understood the duel nature of that. that's what's gone. >> can you please speak to what drew you as 21st century women and historians, back in time and to your women and research you've written about so beautifully. what drew you to them individually or collectively. >> 21st century at the time. >> the question is just so
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everyone heard that is what was the draw for each of the panelists to go back in and research these women and be historians of -- of their work? >> i think in some way i'm doing penance. when i was a young feisty graduate student at prince ton university doing my graduate work in civil wars seminars and didn't know what little big top was, i got in serious debates about civil war history. and i remember a very passionate debate, preparing documents and one of the documents was the emancipation proclamation. and the other was mary lincoln's shopping list. i remember this violent argument over it. and 20 years later going to lincoln dinners, i would hear about abraham lincoln and his career and the contribution and
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leading up to the bicentennial, i felt that the cartoonish image of mrs. lincoln needed correction. but the next project is a short book on the emancipation proclamation. that's what drew me to it. i have done other books in the field, i thought it was time to take another look at millions lincoln. >> i came to mt. vernon 30 years ago, i think. it was a very different place then too. the changes in 30 years that mt. vernon in terms of interpretation and education and what's available have been incredible. but i began writing about nellie custus. she was cute, young, in the middle of everything. she wrote pep by letters and she didn't burn them and it was all good. but actually i remembered exactly when -- at the bicentennial of the white house which i came up here for, i was
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sitting with some people from mt. vernon looking at everybody on the stage saying mm, they're mostly men. and the only ones representing women were dolly madison and abigail adams. i said to my friends, where's martha washington. and they said nothing's been done yet. and i thought, you know, i could do that. then i thought for the first time, she feelsn't actually born 70. who was she before gilbert stewart got his hands on her. so i really did -- it was kind of -- i didn't start knowing a lot because nobody knew a lot. i wanted to find out and once i found out, then i wanted to tell everybody else. >> i can't claim the title of historian. i'm a journalist but i write women in politics and women as voters. as i alluded to earlier, i grew up in politics, my fachter was
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in congress and then my mother. and i saw the tremendous influence of the women in my childhood. the people like my mother and mrs. johnson and mrs. ford and all of that doing everything. i mean, they ran their husband's campaigns. they ran the political conventions, the voter registration trials. they ran all of the social service agencies in washington. and i figured the women had to be at least as influential. i had to deal with the founding era all the time. if you cover politics in congress as long as i have, you have to constantly go back and read the debates over things like the right to bear arms or \the place of religion in the public square or why you have to be born in america to be president. or whatever it is that comes up. and the -- the founders are eluded to constantly on the
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floors of congress almost always inaccurately. and so i figured the women of that incredibly crucial era that i was already spending a lot of time with had though be at least as influential as the women of my era. and at the time that i started doing this where neither had a book about martha or katherine's book about dolly were out. they had other wonderful books out, but really with the exception of good abigail adams biographies, there were not really good biographies of the women of this period and nothing with the exception of katherine's book on parlor politics, no one had pulled it together. so when i started to find out about the women, i realized i actually had to write about them because no one had. founding mothers and ladies of
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liberty taken from before the generation to john quincy adams was a way to try to pull together the women of that -- the women of that terribly important generation of our history. >> and for me, it was a moment of drunken bravado. i like to tell you differently. but i -- i was at -- i was a graduate student at yale university and was at a tea in sherry party. i had taken a few lady-like sips of sherry and a very tall professor came up to me from fordham university and he went on and on about women's history, you know, and how it was good, it could tell us stuff about midwifery or life in a shoe factory. but what could it tell us about real politics. he had gone on for so long by the time he finished, the sherry had kicked in. so i said, oh, i bet i could find that out.
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he said you do it. you find out about women in real politics. fortunately, i had already met louis saah and katherine johnson adams and wife and political partner about john quincy adams. i wrote an article about her in russia, how she was very influential in russia and i thought i'm sure it was very different in washington. let me go look. it turns out it was exactly the same, the social circles were incredibly influential. someone asked me why i studied political women before they had the vote? after the vote, that's easy. doing it before, that's harder. so -- >> i write with my husband a weekly newspaper column and i was quoting louisa adams in my column because of what's going on in washington scandal-wise lately. she -- the issue -- most of her letters are still unpublished. katherine did a lot pof work on them but didn't publish -- >> they're coming out soon.
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>> yes. historical societies. really nice. this letter had never been published before. i was sitting and reading it in my basement. and i suddenly realized what had been said. and i went tearing upstairs and showed it to my husband because it was the year the missouri compromise, congress had stayed in session. much longer than usual. and everything was a mess. running out of food and all that. finally they went home. she goes to the meeting of the truls tees of the orphans and is told that they're going to need a new building next year. why, she says? because the session had been very long. the phatevers of the nation had left 40 cases that would likely need our assistance -- 40 pregnant women left behind. by the 16th congress of which
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there were only 232 members. and so she was so furious. she wrote the letters to john adams, abigail was dead. she wrote the letters and said i suggested that we should have a petition to the next congress that although our great leaders should establish a institution and vote the $2 additional in pay they had given themselves to support the institution. uh it doesn't get better than that. >> one more question. sir? >> in an effort to humanize these four ladies, whose love life was most vibrant? >> talking about the love life.
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whose was the most vibrant? >> they didn't write about their love lives. thank god. abigail would say to john when he was -- that's right, we need a weakened government. she -- she'd -- she would write to him and say when he was abroad, he was worried his letters were going to be intercepted and he was afraid to write anything lovy dovy because he was afraid he would be made fun of. and she would basically say, don't worry about the british, worry about me. i can't take these letters. what are you, some frozen lack lander? but by in large, they did not write about their love life. >> i will say this i mentioned there were very few lincoln letters.
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but during the time when mrs. lincoln followed her husband to congress and gave out their home in springfield for a boarding house life in washington. but she brought two young children as well. it didn't work out. she had to go back to kentucky with her family. we have these few tantalizing letters in this period and they are collected in her letters. and i love he's asking about the children, asking about the headaches, and then jokes with her and says, "oh, you are so well, you will marry someone else who's rich in the next life" and then says, "weigh yourself, mary." a husband that could joke about his wife's weight? a really good relationship. so there were many insights in reading these letters and intimacies. i was writing against a backdrop, did lincoln love his wife, did he love ann rutledge.
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did lincoln ever love a woman because a lot of scholars putting out books about his homo erotic relationships and/or that he might have been gay and didn't even know it. so there are many kind of speculations on lincoln's love life. and the rumors of the 19th century are with us in the 21st century. >> well, you need to come back to mt. vernon in november when the symposium will be on happy ansd misery because i plan to demolish the myth of the beautiful sally fairfax. that, in fact, washington chose quite rightly when he chose martha. she adored him, he adored her. and she was also adored by her first husband. and just to be a little crass -- how do you -- what can you really say about people's love lives when they're so masked in those days.
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one of the things i looked at is how much time they spend together when they can and what their bedroom situation is. plenty of upper class people had separate bedrooms, for example, not so, the washingtons. you look at the tantalizing bits and say i really think they were happy. >> i would say the same for the madisons. there's love and then there's sex. we assumed the madisons loved each other because they were so very often together. they weren't apart. we don't have that many letters between the two because they liked being together. the ones we do have show the madisons full of love. but as we end the session, it's good to end with politicings. now i have to break my promise to nancy and talk dirty and say what's interesting to me is i would love to know more about the madison's love life, but the use of the love life for political matters. great speculation in the press
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about this couple. this small man, very tiny. and the large robust healthy woman who had a track record. she feels a widow of having children. and much speculation on what their childlessness meant. so even in the deepest, darkest, most intimate recesses in washington, it's all political. >> the lincolns did have separate bedrooms. i have discovered many of the men who had been out on the circuit with complained about the snoring, talking in his sleep, and, again, 6'4", 5 foot, tangle in the bed. each of us can have our own interpretations and other politicings. >> secret passageways to get from his work space to his home. so you have to remember that. i want to thank each of our panelists for joining us here today. [ applause ]
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and the event was co-hosted with the white house historical association with john riley in the back. so we want to say thank you to the white house historical association. [ applause ] and we're going to ask each of you to teach your children about the work of the first ladies. from starting with martha washington all the way up to helping them interpret the news media about what mrs. obama is doing and all of the work she's doing for the nation. because it's not clearly understood. she wears sleeveless and she looks great and she should wear that if she can. but she's also wearing a lot of work and sometimes it just gets missed in the headlines. thank you. >> thank you. [ applause ]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> the second season of first ladies influence and image begins on sunday, december 9. >> jackie on twitter. was raised as her mother was raised. she was the same kind of wife and hostess, the home, the children, entertaining. that was her heritage. she did it again in the white house after her administration,
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during the johnson years, the whole world interrupted. women who went to war, and got a divorce. we had flower children and free love and free sex. i missed all that. the whole world changed. he became a whole new concept of women. mrs. clinton represents the new woman. >> as we continue our conversation on first ladies, the social secretary to jacqueline kennedy reports on the role of the first lady and now it is changed. on the next washington journal, politics and public policy at the white house before congress adjourns for the summer recess.
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our guests are robber raven and brian walsh. then a discussion of race in america with michael denzil smith and armstrong williams. washington journal is live at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> i decided that he was a delicious subject for a biography when it dawned on me not only atbeen abraham lincoln's bedside, but also at the bedside of william mckinley. who could this fellow be? of course, when i opened the archives, i realize what a rich subject it was. john hey, his life has two bookends.
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there is lincoln on one end. abraham lincoln's personal secretary, private secretary, so much of what we know about lincoln comes from him and his contact with him. the other end of his life, he served only under the new mckinley president, but he was the secretary of state for teddy roosevelt brady have these iconic bookends of american history. when you look deeper, all of the chapters in between from the civil war through teeth -- through to the beginning of the 20th century, he's a presence in all of those places. he has written those chapters of american history. >> the life of john h >> tonight, congressional leaders celebrate a life of nelson mandela on the ninth --
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95th birthday. president obama understood george bush. representative camp and senator baucus talk about updating the tax code. >> congressional leadership hosted a ceremony to honor nelson mandela. prison and7 years in he was the first democratically elected president. hall at theation u.s. capitol visitors center, this is one hour and a half. [drums beating]
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the united states capital. onrecent weeks, reports nelson mandela has refocused the world's attention on this rhubarb noble statesman and the
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rich expense of his life -- a remarkable statesman and the rich expense of his life. it can almost feel like we are talking about a friend. the reason why is scarcely a week or day goes by without us pointing to mandela as an example. an example of principle. of loving your neighbor. adam extended freedom. -- and of extending freedom. he has lived the closest to them. it is not a perfect picture. no one is. -- condemned to prison for life as a terrorist. he said i have time to think. i had a clear view of my past and found that my past left much to be desired. not been imprisoned, i would not have been able to
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achieve the most difficult task in life and that was changing myself. by keeping his humility and faith, he became a better man. all us better too. if a man dies thomas shall he live again? i know this man will. he will live in the hearts of every builder and everyone who toils and says, i want to be free. his health like our own is fragile but his spirit will last. so as long as we do our part to honor his life, legacy, and values area let me thank the members of the congressional black caucus for bringing us together for the celebration. let me express my appreciation to ambassador ebrahim rasool for joining us today.
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and thank all of you for being here today. happy birthday, mr. mandela. [applause] >> let us pray. almighty godhanks for the parents among us of great profits -- prophets. grace ofperhaps the our time, nelson mandela. his modeling of forgiveness and the wake of a rent is injustice and suffering is a call to us all to a greatness beyond most of our imaginings. as we continue the celebration of honor, great that all who attend to these proceedings might transcend smallness and limitations and emerge as people
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desire us of being our best selves and service to all of our brothers and sisters. dear lord, thank you for aspiring such a greatness in nelson mandela. africae to bless south and god, bless america. amen. ♪
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oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? and the rocket's red glare, the
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bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and ♪he home of the brave.
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[applause] ♪
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[applause] >> it is a pleasure for me to be here today to celebrate the life and legacy and the birthday of the father of a nation. the george washington of south africa and the abraham lincoln of south africa, nelson mandela. congresswoman maxine waters attended the inauguration of theon mandela as part of
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official u.s. delegation. she has served many times and today, she will never forget. a commendation of a decade of her raising awareness as only maxine waters can do. about the evils of apartheid. throughout the 19's, maxine waters organized marches, plural, lots of them and rallies to protest apartheid. she let sit in's and lots of them. them.otests, lots of at the south african consular offices in los angeles and washington dc. when she was still an assemblyman, she led and sponsored legislation that outlawed california's pension inn maintaining their money south africa's regime some $13
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billion. [applause] year that nelson mandela was released from prison , then a simpler when waters -- assemblyman waters under the mandela in the los angeles. servedswoman waters has as a national cochair of the free south africa movement. her work would advance democracy and is earned her national recognition and international recognitions. she earned the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian by the south african government. if silver award -- a silver reward. granted by the south african government in 2008.
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it is my pleasure to introduce a fighter, that is an understatement. under nelsonly mandela's values, but the values only aslived by it not a congresswoman who we recognize here in america but also internationally. maxine waters. [applause] >> thank you congressional black caucus. bro us here today to honor and celebrate that brought us here today -- brought us here today to honor and celebrate know some mandela. even as he lives in a pretoria hospital in critical condition
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and even as we must face the inevitable that sometimes we 95 years ofndela's life. happy birthday, president mandela. [applause] and as we celebrate his life, what is the legacy we inherit? do we embrace? he taught us so many lessons about determination, leadership, unity, and the love. if it can be summed up in one quote it will be this "i have walked that long road to freedom. i tried not to falter. i have made missteps along the way. i have discovered the secret that after climbing a great help, one can only find there are many more hills to climb.
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i've taken a moment here to rest and still a view of the glorious and distance that surrounds me. to look back on the distance i have come. forn only rest for a moment with freedom comes responsibility and i dared not linger for my long walk is not ended." on lesson is that we are that we are all of the long walk to freedom that we must go forward and let us do so understanding the long road would've already come. the people of south africa suffered centuries of colonial rule which was institutionalized in to a racist regime caught apartheid in 1948. nelson mandela joined other freedom fighters in the african national congress in the early 1950's to advocate for justice and democracy. in the early years, the world
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attention was not focus on africa. as we witnessed the collapse of colonial rule in neighboring countries like mozambique and 1970's,in the mid- political independence in 1980, we soon turned our eyes toward south africa. in the 1970s, many of us in the united states began to hear the powerful african voices of including musicians mama africa. young people that up with separate -- fed up with a separate system of education. massacre where hundreds of people revoked and brought about a president international reaction. among african-americans, the
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similarity of the uprising in the civil rights and black power movements inspired in new ways of empathy and solidarity in a new wave of activism and solidarity was unfolding in the u.s. demonstrated in more than 100 universities across the country forcing toversity administrators divest funds from companies involved in south africa. the core mission of other lorber -- labor organizations began to focus on their own pension funds. black church leaders formed faith based caucuses to take action. it was under the leadership of randall robinson and trust africa and the congressional black caucus led by bill o'grady that led america to get involved in the struggle in a profound way to free nelson mandela and in apartheid.
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i was profoundly moved and inspired by nelson and winnie mandela. the free south africa movement played a role in weekly boycotts and actions protested in front of gold and diamond dealers in beverly hills. halls.e at city her out the 1980's, we organized marches and rallies. -- and put our freedom on the line. when i was arrested for protesting the apartheid regime in front of the south african consulate in washington dc. in 1986, as part of the assembly i called corporations doing andness with south africa made a call for divestment a national movement sweeping from
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state to state and city to city. i did this with authoring and assembly bill to divest from pension funds in california and fortifying california's opposition to the apartheid regime. the divestment movement grew. there are over 40 state legislatures legislatures that were considering a divestment bill. in 1987, los angeles movement which i chaired welcomed the president of the african in trinityngress baptist church. during that time, i learned about and met other freedom .ighters 1990 was a memorable year. in february, when we learned of the news of mandela's release
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from 27 years imprisonment. the movement organized an all- night vigil and at about 5 a.m. in the morning, we watched on tv mandela walking triumphantly saying this, "as i walked out thatoor toward the gate will lead to my freedom, i knew if i did not lead -- leave my bitterness and hatred i was still being in prison keeping -- imprisoned." i chaired a committee that welcomes nelson and winnie mandela. it was attended by close to 90,000 supporters at the l.a. memorial coliseum. to the united states house of representatives. with all of the talk of transition to democratic rule, mandela stressed that sanctions must continue until the country
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was set on a reversible course leading to is trust for mission , anda united, democratic nonracist country. thus providing us a clear mandate with the continuation of sanctions area the following year, a with the national congress was finally on the band , organizers were allowed and others were able to return home from exile. in july 1991, while i was in south africa as a special guest, participated in a store first national -- how storage -- historic, first national congress, president bush lifted sanctions with approval. i said i would not agree to lift the sanctions until i heard of nelson mandela himself. two years later, in 1993 in the middle of the night, i got a
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call from overseas. it was nelson mandela calling. he said, maxine, it is time. by november, they declared the transition process reversible and preparations for the first elections that was to take place in april of 1994. a month later on i was a member of the u.s. delegation to witness than store swearing in ceremony of nelson mandela as the president -- his story -- historic swearing ceremony of nelson mandela as the president. more than that, we celebrate the life, the legacy number in the freedomf a true fighter. happy birthday, madiba. [applause]
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>> rare is the leader who rises to such prominence that his name becomes a globally recognized as a symbol for causes greater than himself. , is a leader who can direct, directly challenge and establish order up in nearly societynvention of a and still find a way to establish himself as a unifying figure. people but his own
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for the world over. covenants divide of -- continents, across borders of nations, the frontiers of thatogies area even though kind of leader might be a rarity , exactly what the world has to in nelson mandela. the man we celebrate today. a leader whose name is synonymous with ideas like hope, and determination, and reconciliation. we admire this man. , for his stoic endurance all those years in prison when he never lost his faith in humanity.
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but we also admire him for his insistence on what st. paul would call the more excellent way. the more excellent way to unity. when others at the time urged the easier road to vengeance and division. and hate. and it is that quality which helped transform him from the leader of the cost to the father of the nation. morning we honor this bothr and we do so republicans and democrats. both senators and members of the house. words so that own he might inspire those gathered today in the same kind of .ourage and foresight he had i believe my colleague senator durbin will be leaving us off.
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off.ading us think -- thank-- the congressional black caucus for their single or determination to make sure united states congress was on record opposing and condemning apartheid. it sounds like an easy task today, it was not at the time. it took remarkable courage and i commend my colleagues for their leadership. [applause] this is what he wrote, this is what nelson mandela wrote about his own childhood area "at earth my father gave me the name rolihlahla which means who the branch of a tree but accurately troublemaker. my english name nelson was given
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to me by my class teacher on the first day i attended school. nobody ever sat with me at regular intervals to give me a clear connected account of the history of our country. i acquired knowledge by asking questions to satisfy my curiosity. as i grew up, i learned to express his church imitate what they did. i came across a few whites as a boy. the local magistrate was white as was the nearest shopkeeper. occasionally, white travelers or policeman passed through our area. they appeared as grand as gods to me. the role in my life was a distant one. i doubt a little of the white littlegeneral -- thought of the white men in general. [applause]
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>> nelson mandela, freedom fighter. any, noreally pick single -- no deep ebony, no phany, 8000o epi indignities -- 8000 indignities. a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. it was no day on which i said henceforth i will devote myself to the liberation of my people, instead i simply found myself doing so. and could not do otherwise. on national day of protest june 26, 1950 was the first national campaign in which i took part and at the end of the
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day, i felt exhilaration that springs from success of an important venture one has helped to plan. cities, the majority of the workers stay away from work. and black businessman closed their shops. the success of this day raise our around. it served as a warning to the government that the people would resist apartheid to the bitter end. [applause] >> nelson mandela, freedom fighter. june 26, 1961. a letter from underground. informed a word for my arrest has been issued and the police are looking for me. i've had to separate myself from my dear wife and children, for
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my mother and sisters to live as an outlaw in my own land. i shall fight in government side by side with you, inch by inch of it while by mile until victory is one. will you come along with us but mark or are you going to cooperate with the government in its efforts to suppress the aspirations of your own people? or are you going to remain silent and neutral in a matter of life and death to my people, to our people must work -- people? i have made my choice. i will not leave south africa, nor will i surrender. only through hardship, sacrifice, and militant action and freedom be won. the struggle is my life and i will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days." [applause]
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>> the accused. 20, 1964. pretoria, south africa. .i am the first accused i am a convicted prisoner serving five years from leaving the country without a permit and for inciting people to go on strike. in my youth, i listened to the elders of my tribe. telling stories of the old days. amongst the total they related to me were those of wars fought by our ancestors in defense of the fatherland. i hope to then that the life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to the freedom struggle. during my lifetime, i have dedicated myself to this struggle of the african people.
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i have fought against white domination and i have fought against black domination. i have cherished the ideal of democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunity. it is an ideal which i hope to live for and achieved. ideal need be, it is an for which i am prepared to die." [applause] >> over a decade ago, i stood in a small cell on robben island with the john lewis. 23, 1969 from that small prisonerson mandela,
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and husband wrote this. a new worldwinnie, will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms folded, but by those in the arena whose garments are torn by storms and whose bodies are maimed in the course of the contest. under belongs to those who never forsake the troops even when things seem dark and grim who try over and over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation, or even defeat. since the dawn of history, mankind has honored and respected brave and honest people. men and women like you, darling. an ordinary girl who held from a country village hardly shown on
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most maps. you for of devotion to clues me from saying more in public than i have already done in this note which must pass through many hands. one day, we will have the privacy which will enable us to share tender thoughts which we have kept buried in our hearts. nelson mandela. \[applause] >> the words of a prisoner, april 1, 1985, off the coast of cape town. nelson mandela wrote these
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words. the ideals we cherish, our dreams and hopes may not be realized in our lifetime, but that is beside the point. the knowledge that in your day you did your duty and lived up to the expectations of your fellow men is in itself a rewarding experience and magnificent achievement. i am also aware the massive efforts have been made here and abroad for my release. a realistic approach clearly shows that must be ruled out completely. the possibility there is such a demand will succeed.
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but i am optimistic. even behind prison walls, i can see the heavy clouds and the blue sky over the horizon. but however wrong our calculations have been and whatever difficulties we must face that in my lifetime i shall step out into the sunshine, washing with firm feet because that event will be brought about by the strength of my organization and the sheer determination of our people. the words of madiba. [applause] >> nelson mandela, a free man,
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february 11, 1990, cape town, south africa. comrades and fellow south africans, i stand before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. on this day of my release i extend my sincere and warmest gratitude to the millions of my compatriots and those around the globe that have campaigned for my release. today, the majority of south africans, black and white, recognize that apartheid has no future. it has to be ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. our struggle has reached a decisive moment. we call on our people to seize this moment so that the process
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toward democracy is rapid and uninterrupted. we have waited too long for our freedom. we can wait no longer. now is the time to intensify the struggle on all of the fronts. to relax our efforts now would be a mistake that generations to come will never be able to forgive. our march toward freedom is irreversible. we must not allow fear to stand in our way. universal suffrage or the common voter's role in the united democracy and nonracial south africa is the only way to peace and racial harmony. nelson mandela.[applause]
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>> nelson mandela, nobel peace prize, oslo, norway. we do not believe that this nobel peace prize is an intended as a commendation for matters that have happened and passed. we hear the voices which say that it is an appeal from all those throughout the universe who sought an end to this system of apartheid. moved by that appeal and inspired by the eminence you have thrust upon us, we undertake that we, too, will do what we can to contribute to the renewal of our world so that none should in future be described as the wretched of the earth. let the strivings of us all prove martin luther king jr. to
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have been correct when he said humanity can no longer be tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war. let the efforts of us all prove that he was not a mere dreamer when he spoke of the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being more precious than diamonds or silver or gold. [applause] >> nelson mandela, may 10, 1994. south africa, inauguration day. we the people of south africa feel fulfilled that humanity has taken us back into its bosom that we who were outlaws not so
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long ago have today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on our own soil. the time for the healing of wounds has come. the moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. we have at last achieved our political emancipation. we understand it's still there is no easy road to freedom. we know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. we must therefore act together as a united people for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.
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let freedom reign.[applause] >> when dr. mary frances berry, former congressman walter fauntroy, randall robinson and i went to the south african embassy for an appointment with the ambassador that we received under false pretenses, we could imagine a free south africa but i am not sure we could imagine celebrating nelson mandela's 95th birthday in the congress of the united states. [applause]
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september 21, 1998, new york city. this is probably the last time i will have the honor to stand at this podium to address the general assembly. born as the first world war came to a close, after departing from public life, as the world marks half a century of the universal declaration of human rights, i have reached that part of the long walk when the opportunity is granted, as it should be for all men and women, to retire to some rest and tranquility in the village of my birth. may i sit and grow as ancient as its hills, i will continue to entertain the hope that there
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has emerged a cadre of leaders in my own country and region, on my continent and in the world which will not allow that any should be denied their freedom as we were, that any should be turned into refugees as we were, that any should be condemned to go hungry as we were, that any should be stripped of their human dignity as we were. were all these hopes to translate into a realizable dream and not a nightmare of torment -- to torment the soul of the aged then will i indeed have peace and tranquility.
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then would history and the billions around the world proclaim that it was bright and that we dreamed and that we toiled to give life to a workable dream. nelson mandela.[applause] ♪ bring back nelson mandela bring him back walking down the street of south
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africa tomorrow bring back nelson mandela bring him back i want to see him walking hand in hand nelson mandela ♪omorrow ♪
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♪ >> bring back nelson mandela bring him back to soweto i want to see him walking down the street of south africa tomorrow♪
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♪ [applause] >> good morning. as we celebrate the legacy and the values of nelson mandela, as we mark his greatness by the reading of his own words, it is important to note that the spirit and the words of nelson mandela have permeated the halls
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of the capitol for many years many times. on two occasions, more than nearly more than any person in history, nelson mandela addressed a joint session of congress in 1990 as deputy president of the african national congress. he urged us to keep our apartheid sanctions in place. his stirring words inspired and instructed us, and that instruction continued with randall robinson of transafrica, with ron, our former colleague, with bill gray, whom we thought was going to be with us today, but i understand his wife, andrea -- and i want to recognize bill gray's work and the gray family's contribution. [applause] mr. clyburn, our distinguished assistant leader and, of course,
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with maxine and the list goes on and on. and that leadership continues with the congressional black caucus under the leadership of marcia fudge. as deputy mandela stated then, to deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. to have deprivation is to dehumanize them. four years later, he returned to the house chamber this time as the democratically elected president of south africa. [applause] following one of those addresses, some of us had the privilege of having lunch with president mandela in statuary hall. you remember that. and he talked in very personal terms about what it was like all those years in prison.
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he talked about his family. he talked -- he said -- he spoke the burden of imprisonment of the sacrifice he made not only about himself but the sacrifice that his family made. not only at the cost of personal freedom to him but the price of personal time with his family. indeed, to become the father of a country he had to make sacrifices that meant he could not be a full-time father to his family. those of us who had the opportunity to be there that day were in tears just to hear his opening up in that way. those of us who ever had the privilege or opportunity -- i don't know about privilege -- but opportunity to visit robben island know he was cut off from his family physically though not spiritually, as steny indicated
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in his remarks -- in his quoting of mandela. for 27 years, as we all know, before he appeared before congress, nelson mandela, languished in a cell. he was denied his rights, disconnected from the movement, as though as you know others were imprisoned at robben island at the same time. and had their ways of collaborating. fighting for his freedom, missing his family, he epitomized the pain of apartheid and the struggle to end it. he was the symbol of the oppression and the prejudice that plagued millions across africa, yet, nelson mandela never gave up hope. he never lost faith in the strength of the human spirit. as he told congress and our country in his second address to congress in 1994, his freedom and his country's progress,
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quote, represent the triumph of that intangible nobility of spirit which makes for peace and friendship among people. to succeed in the struggle required courage, he said, as mandela once defined it, courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. when he was released from prison, he had the courage to turn not to hatred but to love, not to vengeance but to compassion, not to resentment but to reconciliation. and that reconciliation was south africa's gift to the world as desmond tutu has taught us over and over again. he emerged from his cell, nelson mandela did, not with malice in his heart but with forgiveness in his soul. as president he would extend the blessings of freedom even to men and women who denied him his own freedom. that was the true mark of courage.
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that was the statement of his values. today on his 95th birthday that remains his legacy. that was the spirit of the free south africa movement whose success would be measured more than the freedom of one man but in the human rights of a people. manifested in long lines of polling places and free and fair elections. it was a movement inspired by a giant of history. may we always answer the call for justice, reconciliation and peace, the call of nelson mandela. happy birthday. [applause] others have mentioned the experience -- the spark that the free south africa movement created. eleanor holmes norton, our colleague, was part of it and
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described very well go into the embassy and some of what transpired. now we'll hear from some of the other leaders of the free south africa movement who visited the embassy. each playing an essential role in the fight to end apartheid. now, let's hear from william lucy and from dr. mary francis berry.[applause] >> thank you so much. as a member of the free south africa movement, it gives me an incredible honor to say a few words on this day. on behalf of thousands of local union leaders and everyday workers drawn to this cause by the service, sacrifice and
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commitment to a new nonracial democratic south africa. a better world for a freedom- seeking people of the world this was such a special time. them, wish tol of sell this day, happy birthday, madiba. your life, your legacy will be a beacon for all times for freedom seeking people to struggle towards. especially in the hearts and minds of so many. thank you. [applause]
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>> all those people who believe that where there is no struggle, there is no progress, took action wherever they were, inspired by the people of southern africa, and the imprisonment of leaders like nelson mandela, all of us everywhere, doing what they could. we picketed in bad weather. we filed legal briefs. we packed supplies for refugees. we drafted legislative language. many of us, like many in south africa did not live to see a free south africa. many more did not live to see this day. i would like to ask you on their behalf to take a moment of
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silence, for those we lost are too many to name here. all of them are remembered. thank you. in the spirit of our common ancestors, and our future descendents, we thank you in this emancipation hall. we thank president mandela, and the people of southern africa, for bringing us together, reminding us of our common humanity, and teaching us to say -- the struggle continues. [applause] >> i let bill have my glasses. what i'm going to do is tell you two stories. happy birthday president
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mandela. he would understand why i am telling you these stories. what they mean. the first is that when we, randall and nine, we went out to talk to the press, and they left us in there. when we cap having a frank exchange of views as it were, with the ambassador, and then looked at each other and said to i maye are not leaving, say, we are not leaving. we are not leaving until you torilla and the tell them to -- to free nelson mandela. we are not leaving. he looked at us and he berated
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me and said how can you be at a civil rights commissioner and telling me we are not leaving. >> i just told you. you're a congressman. he didn't say that to randall. i don't know what he thought. i'm having you arrested. i guess he thought we were going to be scared. randall looked at me, and we just laughed. the he had us arrested. is rest of that story history. we did not know the importance. we didn't know whether this was going to work. we had no idea whether it would work at all. we tried to be strategic, and we try to play, but we didn't know
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what was going to happen. -- those of usse fromid it to free africa racism and apartheid. max told you.y about the history of the whole thing. we did it because it was right. it took off all over this country. people all over this country joined us. since wet two years, have told you with the ordinary people do, they want to get arrested. my goodness.e, we could not imagine. we met every day at my house in the morning for almost two years to plot and plan the day.
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the smithsonian museum says they want my table that we sat around. [laughter] every day for almost two years. but it worked. we got sanctions. i'm telling you that story. , president mely and ella -- president mandela we triedl the story, to go on occasion after sanctions were passed. to see what was going on. needless to say, they would not give us a visa. we couldn't go. we could go for this, we could go for that. finally, we decided some of us to tell them that if we went there and things were better, we would announce publicly that things were better. they believed us. [laughter]
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we got visas. we went to south africa. africa, we raised hell all over south africa. [applause] we said free nelson mandela. when we finally got to cape town , we went to a hotel and we got a call one night. the ministry said, you can stop raising hell. he is coming out tomorrow. [applause] so, we told all the people who were working in the hotel, and work stop. singing, dancing and may spread the message. the streets were full. when weed on my long
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got the next morning, i went over to the mayor's office where he was to be brought, and waited for him there. then finally, after all those years, of marching and singing, and even before that, i spent my whole life saying free nelson , the doornd apartheid open, and this man came in looking like he looks, vibrant. not debilitated. we all worried about him. he came in, and he walked up and he hugged each one of us, and thanked us. we sat down, and we sat on the floor around him. we talked about the struggle. .hat had been done
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finally, he just said, this is only the beginning. then he went out to speak to the people. some of us climbed up in the windows in the mayor's office to look out the window behind him, so we could be behind him looking down while he was speaking. i climbed up in the window and hung out the window. he spoke. then, shortly after that, that same day, i had reason to come back to the united states. i had classes to teach. the enormity of what had happened, those two years, the people, all over the country, it didn't hit me until i was -- i have been so exhilarated by this working together on the struggle . i hadn't thought what amounts. i was in the transit lounge on my way back, and the tv was on.
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i hadn't seen him come out of jail. we did have a tv in the mayor's office. it was playing. i wanted to see him walk down the street, holding hands. on the screen, he was walking down the street, holding hands. i started to cry, and i couldn't stop. people thought i was crazy. but it hit me. what this meant was this, the lead -- nonviolence can can make what seems impossible possible. that evil will triumph over good, and that the immoral will be inheriting the earth. if you're persistent, if you use nonviolence, if every generation makes its own debt in and
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justice, change will come. happy birthday. [applause] 1990, when20 6, -- on mandela was 20, 1990, he opened his speech with words, it is a
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fact of the human condition that shows a brief passing moment in space, across the human stage, and passes through existence. ofo not often say that nelson mandela, but he was wrong. he will not simply pass out of existence. even today, as the angels wrestle with his soul, he refuses to pass simply out of human existence. is it is reported that he is watching television with headphones on. [applause] also thinking that generations will allow him to
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pass out of existence, because for as long as their struggle in the world, for as long as this country has the absence of peace, for as long as people are made to feel inferior, nelson mandela, his legacy and his life will not pass out of existence. [applause] it nelson mandela could see what today,ening in congress he will know that he can not pass out of existence. if he knows that over this time, people are gathering to celebrate his values, then he will know that he is not going to pass out of existence. all over the world, people need his values, and his legacy, not
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as a museum piece, but as something real and living that we can use in our everyday lives. i have sadly come your to give thanks. i want to thank the leaders of the house and the leaders of the senate for putting together the celebration of the life legacy, and values, of nelson mandela. i want to thank you. as congress, welcoming him in 1990 when he still was on your books as a terrorist. i want to thank you -- [applause] for the congressional medal of honor that you have this code -- the stone on him when he was a prisoner. i want to thank you in 2008 for the removal of nelson mandela
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from the terrorist watch list. [applause] you, and single out in 1986 the late congressman dowland'sds -- ron for the comprehensive apartheid act. [indiscernible] overriding the veto of the white house, in saying that your house beats where the ordinary , i want to thank you for that act of courage, because
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only four years later, nelson mandela walked out of prison. eight years later, we had the first democratically elected president seeing. -- presidency. achy for what you have done. [applause] i have to thank you for other pieces of legislation that you have passed through these houses. the african opportunities act has kick started south africa on the brink of prosperity. today, you do nelson mandela, you do south africa, and you do the african continent great reverberating it's worth in these houses.
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african drums sounding as wonderful as they are in africa, and bring the great jazz music into your houses today. i want to thank a group who cap the umbilical cord going from the days of slavery to the times of segregation and the civil rights struggle, through the anti-apartheid struggle, to every instance of racism and injustice, every instance of inequality. they shine the light. thank you very much for your commitment. [applause] i believe that none of those instances where he was welcomed into this house would have been possible if there are not been a conscience call the congressional black caucus.
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africanant to thank the diplomatic corps. [applause] you are presented the people of south africa where the official revisited is revisited apartheid. thank you very much for me a clear voice to all of us. i also think that we must thank the people of the united states of america. we have heard from some of them today that i think that will we have seen is an energy, and most important way, the conscience and humanity that comes -- that transcends notions, consonants, color, every difference that is possible in the world. i end by quoting from nelson
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mandela, the second time he spoke in these houses. he received the congressional medal of honor on the 23rd of september, 1998. nelson mandela said, "honorable members, i do not expect to be grounded -- granted the privilege of addressing the residences of the united states of america again. i am grateful to have been allowed to do so in the last .onths of my public life we face the future with confidence. we do so because despite the difficulties, and attentions that confronts us, the e's and all of us, the capacities to touch one another's heart across oceans, and consonants, thank you americans for allowing nelson mandela to touch your heart across oceans and continents.
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[applause] >> as you're standing, we invite you to join us in singing happy birthday. we want to lift our voices of the can hear us across the ocean. this is a solid stevie wonder wrote during a time when we were trying to get martin luther king holiday pass. happy birthday to you. ♪ ya'y birthday to ya'y birthday to
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birthday. birthday. birthday. birthday. happy birthday. happy birthday. happy birthday to ya' ya'y birthday to happy birthday happy birthday. birthday.
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birthday. ♪ [applause] >> let us bow our heads for the benediction. >> got of our weary years, and tears, you who of brought us thus far, we praise you, the giver of bountiful gifts, for this moment in time, to celebrate the life, of the divabirthday
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-- and for his really miss to serve his generation, and your purposes, by striving to create a just society, moving his nation from rancor to reconciliation. from receive inspiration his exemplary life, remind us that what we do for the lost, lonely, the last thomas and the least, we do for you. day when hasten the justice will roll down like
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waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. him, keep him. touch them even now with your healing hand. let your face shine upon him. be gracious on to him. lift the light of your countenance, and give him your piece -- peace. we pray in the name of him who declare you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free, amen. ♪
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[applause] ♪ president obama honors former president george w. bush -- george a chevy bush. >> on the next washington journal, news and politics at the white house and on capitol hill. our roundtable guests are robert ray been, and brian walsh.
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washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern here on c-span. -- hile in office, last week, president obama honor the former president as the points of light program gave its 5000 awards. more than 4 million volunteers, and 72nd partners were mobilized in 2011. from the white house eastern, this is half an hour.
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[applause] >> good afternoon everybody. on behalf of michelle and myself, welcome to the white house. 23 years ago, president george h w bush began a tradition. he knew that across the country, every day, americans were finding ways to serve each other, and give back to their communities. often with few resources, and little recognition. president bush knew that their
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good works were valuable. the people they helped. award, the daily point of light award, to recognize americans to serve their neighbors and communities in innovative ways that inspire us all. for the rest of his presidency, nearly every single day, president bush gave someone a daily point of light award. after he left the white house, he kept going and going. in between skydiving and other activities. he kept going. [laughter] it should come as no surprise. we are talking about somebody who has served his country in such extraordinary ways. jump at do a parachute just a of 85, not
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parachute jump, but another parachute jump, this is somebody was not going going to slow down anytime soon. today, we are extraordinarily honored to be joined by the family that helps build the points of light foundation into the largest organization that is dedicated to volunteer service. , weident bush, mrs. bush want to welcome you and recognize michelle knight and -- michelle knighnunn. [applause] this is not the first time he and i have come together for an event like this. or years ago i went down to texas a&m, to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of points of light.
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i appreciated the warm welcome by which i mean, the loud howdy i received. [laughter] i was impressed by how invested the students are in community service. most of all, i was moved by how much they loved president bush. we have come together to mark another milestone. 4999 pointsinute, of light awards have been presented to individuals and organizations across the country. joininghe honor of president bush in presenting number 5000. [applause] about 10 years ago, they had
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been farming for years. them of a friend told special place they should visit along the way. floating kathy. it sounded like a detour. when they arrived, the cut -- the country was in a brutal drought. people were starving. many were children. having seen this, kathy and floyd had to do something about that. the vision of a leisurely retirement was replaced by new vision of fighting global hunger. distributedhave free meals to hungry children in more than 15 countries worldwide. -- 233 millionnd meals.
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this work is the most rewarding thing they have ever done. i have to say, having just been to tanzania, we can attest to how important this kind of work is. how it changes lives. it is a fitting that later this week, people around the world will celebrate the legacy of the magnificent public servant of nelson mandela. people look for examples, -- each, provides if the purpose of this award is to celebrate americans who work to make americans lives better i cannot think of anyone more deserving than kathy hamilton and floyd hamilton. before we actually present this award, i would be remiss if i
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didn't take an honor to honor the man that made this all ansonal -- -- to take opportunity to honor the man that made this possible. appreciates how much she has done to help the service. he championed and signed the national community service act. by washington standards, it was a modest law. it involved little money. that it has, we see sparked a national movement by laying the groundwork for the community service. it gave tens of millions of americans meaningful opportunities to serve. today, thanks to those programs and others like them, and thanks to the passion of leaders like president bush, a volunteerism has gone from something some
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people do some of the time to something lots of people do as a regular part of their lives. since 1989, the number of americans who volunteer has grown by more than 25 million. service is up across age groups and regions. it is now a graduation requirement in many and colleges. it is embedded in the culture large and small. speaking for my family, volunteering has brought joy and meaning to michelle and me and our doctors over the years. i know that is the case for many of your families, too. this may seem ordinary too many americans, especially those who grew up during this. , -- during this period. we can say we are a stronger force for good because more and more of our people serve. for that, we have to think president bush and his better half, barbara, who is just as
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committed as her husband to service and dedicated her life to it as well. [applause] the presidents who followed president bush had a good sense to continue this work and not just because one of them calls him dad. [laughter] even after leaving office, president clinton and both president bushes have come together to help people affected by national disasters here at home and around of the world. a reminder that services not a democratic or republican value, but a core part of being american. at the white house today, we are proud to carry forward of that legacy. i created the office of innovation and civic participation to find new ways
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to use innovation to strengthen service. we expanded the office of neighborhood partnerships originally created by george w bush which works closely with community organizations across the country to help americans in need. today i want to announce a new task force with representatives from cabinet agencies across the government to take a fresh look at how we can better support services, in particular on some of our most important national priorities. in -- improving schools, recovering from disasters, remembering our kids. this'll be led by my team here at the white house along with wendy spencer who is here. she previously led the group in florida for jeb bush. we have the whole family working. [laughter] in times of tight budgets there are very tough problems. we know that the resource we have is limitless energy. when we harness that energy and
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create more opportunities for americans to serve, we pay tribute to the extraordinary examples set by bush. to close on a personal note, i am one of millions of people who have been inspired by your passion and commitment. you have helped so many americans discover they have something to contribute. that they, too, have the power to make a difference. you described those points of light. the people who are spread out across the country who are like stars brightening the lights around them. given the humility that has defined your life, i suspect it is harder for you to see something that is clear for everyone else around you and that is how bright a light you shine. how your vision and example have eliminated the path for so many others. how your love of service has kindled a love in the hearts of millions here at home and around the world. and, frankly, just the fact that
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you are such a gentleman, a good and kind person, helps to reinforce that spirit of service. on behalf of all of us, let me just say that we are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you and we cannot thank you enough. [applause] it is now my great pleasure to join president bush and all of you in presenting this extraordinary award to an extraordinary couple who have done so much for so many people.
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we are grateful to them. will you please step up and receive your award? [applause] [applause] >> thank you for this incredible award.
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we are humbled and honored to be chosen as the 5000-daily point of light. not in our wildest dreams did we ever plan to be here or even imagined receiving this award. in fact, after being in business for 34 years, he was relaxing and sailing around the world. in 2003, he was asked to build a hospital. that changed everything. when we got there, we saw children dying of starvation. there was no food and no money. three little boys who were scavenging for food aid something which was poisonous and that they died.
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we left for home, overwhelmed by the need and by our need to do something about it. we knew we had to send food to help the people of the village. we packed our first 2000 meals with volunteers. we discovered that people loved to help and to give and to pack meals. we started an organization called out to reach. each day we took another step toward a bigger operation. one day -- one, we had no intention of doping, but which we were compelled to expand. we had to help and others were eager to help us. each labor day volunteers all
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over iowa helped pack 4 million meals. in the united states and canada, tens of thousands of volunteers of all ages and nationalities have helped us to pack a total of 232 meals. -- 232 million meals so far. [applause] as we have seen time and time again, when people give of themselves, when they share the burden and they share the task of solving it, like shines. love grows. all over the world and here at home. thank you so much. [applause]
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>> now i think we will have neil, up -- have neil come up. >> my remarks are to say something nice about neil. [laughter] it is not hard to do. he has been very active helping others. it is my privilege to introduce neil. i think president and mrs. obama for this wonderful hospitality. it is like coming home for barbara and me. for the rest of you, it is like
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being greeted for this hospitality. it knows no bounds. thank you very much. [laughter] [applause] >> as he is being moved to his seat, he may not be parachuting anymore but he has taken up a new hobby. he is trying to be a style-
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center. i do not know if you have noticed the sox, but gq men were calling him. [laughter] you have said if one wants to pursue a life of meaning and adventure, the weight to do so is to find the nt, the dignity and goodness in every person. to to help others in need and to become part of something bigger than ourselves. you and mom have lived an incredibly meaningful and adventurous lives. thank you for inspiring so many. that is an applause line. [applause] on behalf of the entire bush family, a special inks to you. thank you for inviting us to this most special place. and for your outstanding work to
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promote movement as a national priority. you understand and you spoke of the fact that services is one of the things that truly brings our nation together. it transcends all it takes. it addresses problems that government alone cannot solve. we are so blessed to have two to view documents that have points in your own ways. we thank you for your leadership in this area. [applause] today we are celebrating the 5000 daily points of light that represent the 65 million americans who engage their cells in the lives of others every year. these are what my dad calls the soul of america. years ago, dad asked us to imagine what would happen up all the points of light award winners decided to leave their hometowns and move together into one place in america.
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i imagine -- imagine if she used her retirement funds to start a brilliant bus and taught the children computer skills. and the pro football player got them all reading books. and kathy helped feed and nurture the young people. intervene with trouble you. and teach for america arrives and corporations faith, use, senior groups, organize volunteers to work with charities to tutor, to clean, to mentor and serve as points of light. regardless of its problems, a community like this, one where every person gave even a small part of their time and service to others would be truly and utterly transformed. that is our mission. too deepen the culture of
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service that drives change. that is the power of the daily point of light program. before you left the white house you spoke to all of the award winners and said, if i could leave but one legacy to this country, you brought up the l word which he never does in private. it would not be in treaties signed or wars one. -- or wars won. it could be a return to the moral compass that once drove the country. a respect for goodness that makes this country great. a rekindling of that light as lit from within. to remake america as it truly is, a country with millions of points of light. thank you to all of you in this room. i could go on, but dad told me to keep it short. i won't. [laughter]
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thank you to all of you who are points of light. those who we recognize with the daily point of light award and two of not found recognition but are solving the biggest challenges facing our nation. to all of them, we say thank you. [applause] you are cutting into my time. mom is looking at me. to stop the applause. [laughter] now it is my pleasure and i'm truly honored to serve with such an astounding board, to introduce the ceo of points of light. a true leader through -- a true leader.
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>> thank you for your boundless optimism and you're incredibly gracious spirit and leadership. i think we share a number of things in common. one of them is that we have no- nonsense mothers. thank you for your lives of service. we are so proud to carry on your legacy and proud to continue to give out this award that you created to showcase the power of people to create change. the daily points of light gathered here today, i think are a beautiful tribute to your lives and your work. thank you to president and mrs. obama for sustaining and dramatically growing national and community service. you carry on a tradition of leadership, calling on americans to use our compassion and ingenuity to put them to work and serve our nation.
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over the past three decades, our presidents have shown us how we can work together through service. they have literally rolled up their sleeves and called the nations volunteers. from building houses with habitat for humanity to rebuilding after disasters to joining hands to support our veterans. i believe it is in these humble acts of serving others that are president, the most powerful individuals on earth, have demonstrated america's true strengths. they have made it clear that when there are people in need, americans come together across all that divides us to help. when there is a job to do, to clean up the mississippi river or rebuild after a super storm, we do not ask about political parties or fate or income. when it comes to ensuring that people get food and shelter and
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a helping hand, we get together and we get busy. the daily points of light award calls the nation back to an essential understanding of who we are as americans. it was resident bush's genius to put a daily spotlight on these individuals and actions that embody the very best of our nation. the award is the antidote to the cynicism that often pervades our news and our discourse. it reminds us that people care and that hope is the true story of america. for 24 years, 5000 points of light have shown us that we can create a better future together. i want to introduce you to two points of light. can you stand? [applause] a few years ago, he broke his
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glasses and while he was waiting for a new care, he realized how hard it was to learn anything without being able to see. he discovered how many kids cannot afford glasses at all. so he started a project called site learning which has collected and distributed more than 300 $50,000 worth of used eyeglasses to students in half a dozen countries around the world. thank you. [applause] darius, can you stand? [applause] like so many points of light, he has transformed personal tragedy into a platform for serving others. he was four years old when his father was murdered. he spent 11 years in foster care without encouragement. and then in high school a
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biology teacher told him that he had great potential and that he believed in him. one caring adult who believed sparked him to pursue scholarships and grants. not satisfied with his own personal success, darius wrote a book and found it when million- dollar scholar. in just one year, he helped thousands of students get the scholarship that they need. congratulations. [applause] i would like to invite all of the points of light award winners who are with us today to stand so we can recognize you and celebrate your andcontributions. [applause]
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thank you, all. you and so many others across the nation are examples of america plus greatness. you show us that we can create an impact at a scale and speed that was formerly unimaginable. the future of service is brighter than it has ever been. individuals have more power to create change than they ever have. and each new points of light will make that future brighter still. it is for that reason that i am thrilled to announce today that disney is making a significant investment to help ensure that we are able to lift up the next 1000 points of light. [applause] so, president and mrs. bush, we can hardly imagine the transforming changes in these next points of light will bring.
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but i know they will illuminate our task, they will carry or word your spirit and they will reflect on your legacy of service. they will show and live out your example and your words, president bush. they will show us not only what is best in your heritage but what all of us are called to become. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, michelle, for your outstanding work to all the points of light recipients. we are proud of you. congratulations. keep up the great work. you inspire us and make us want to do that much more, especially when you see young people who are already making such a difference. it gives you enormous confidence that america, for all of its challenges will always me to
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them because we have this incredible character. with that, i want to once again thank president and mrs. bush for their outstanding leadership. we are so grateful to both of you. i want to thank neil for his leadership and i want to make sure that everybody enjoys a reception. i suspect the food may be pretty good. [laughter] thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain seated until the official parties have departed. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> helen thomas, former white
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house correspondent died early this morning at her home. she was 92 years old. she covered every president from john f. kennedy to barack obama was the first woman assigned to the white house for time by a new service. president obama said in a statement that she was a true pioneer opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism. >> for present if cap and senator baucus on tax policy. honoater, president obama rs former president george bush.
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a monday -- on monday, they discuss the israeli conflict with a group of independent leaders founded by nelson mandela known as the elders. they include jimmy carter, former president of finland, and former foreign minister algeria. -- firstders press public event. >> jackie was raised as her mother was raised. she was the same kind of wife and hostess. the home, the children on the entertaining. that was her heritage. she did again in the white house. right after her administration, during the johnson years, the whole world erupted like a volcano. women who went to work and got
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divorces and demanding equal rights. we had flower children and we had free love and free sex. i missed all of that. [laughter] the whole world change. it became a whole new concept of women. represents theay new woman. >> is with continue our conversation on first ladies, leticia aldrich, reporters, and others talk about the role of the first lady and how it is change along with the nation monday night. >> and discussion on tax policy and senator max baucus house cherub representative dave camp. this is part of an effort to get support to update the tax code and one of many planned around the country.
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this is 45 minutes. >> can i have your attention please? for those that are still eating, quite eating.. thank you very much. havee honored to the chairmen of the economics committee in washington, i would like to introduce those that might not be familiar, senator baucus is from montana. he is a native of montana, and
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educated at stanford and a law degree, going back after he got his law degree. he announced not long ago that he will not run for a seventh term. i think he will feel the joys of liberation at that point. the chairman of the finance committee is now in the middle of all the things we will talk about today. congressmen camp is from michigan and represents the fourth district of michigan. he has been a member of the house of representatives for several terms since 2011. when he first became the
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chairman, is that correct? he will serve through the end of this congress. there is a term limit for leadership in the house ways and means committee. he would be serving as the chairman of the ways and means committee unless there is a change at the end of this congress. and returning after law school to michigan. both of you gentlemen are doing something very unusual in washington, getting together with both parties. a bipartisan -- if there is any
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chance that the democrats and republicans can get a comprehensive tax reform? >> it has not been brought up since 1986. 15,000 changes to the code since then. there are a lot of provisions and it is compared to other countries. with respect to the coast, other countries have modernized the bears. i think people are extremely --
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90% of americans want to fill out their tax returns with turbotax. beyond that, here we are. republicans and democrats. it was different and it was very political. >> if you were a betting man, would use a 50-50? 80-20? >> i would say about above 50%. >> the chance of getting something through the committee in the house of representatives.
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>> the current code is indefensible. people do have the sense that if they knew somebody in washington, they would be paying a lower rate. there is a real sense of unfairness and people are getting a special deal. all the changes the last few years and the other reasons, we have not seen -- there really is this need for growth, and the complexity is enormous. people are afraid they are going to get audited and of a very well may be. but the concern is that people have this huge stack of papers. even small businesses. there was a man come in with one
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retail store and he was $9,000 in tax preparations. the cost of compliance is enormous. there is a huge sort of complexity laid over the nation's that is really unproductive. it is really important we look at this. i do think it is over 50%. i know there are a lot of businesses -- there is probably a center working together that is important. -- senator working together that's important. they are excited about doing it and i think they believe that this country needs this. i think if we can get the economy growing, it is among young people and very high. many of us have kids in the age
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group. you don't get hired. to give people the ability to start and get on the road to prosperity or success, i think that is important. >> tax reform is corporate and individual. you're talking comprehensive. some people think tax reform means raising revenue and others think it means revenue neutral. >> both. >> ok. [laughter] both, okay. same bill. [laughter] >> both.
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>> democrats generally would like to raise revenue, is often said. republicans often say, over my dead body. how're you going to deal with the gap between revenue and no revenue? >> we meet weekly. working together on this, it is a great reduction. and the house republican. -- is republican. the bill will probably have some revenue. the house probably will not. we meet, have a conference -- >> let me ask you about the process you just mentioned. revenue-raising bills are supposed to go first from the
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house, and that would mean the house bill would pay us first. it might be politically difficult, is that going to be hard to do? >> we meet regularly and are both graduates of the super committee.[laughter] we have been talking about these for a long time. we think it is regular order. we both have been meeting regularly and i met with every member of the ways and means committee. lots of listening sessions and the members from off of the committee and on the committee. i think together we have had more than 15 hearings. in 17 years, between the senate finance and ways and means
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committee. how do we get the policy right? how can we develop the policy along the way? in that area, a lot of this is not as hard as you might think. it is not about how we figure out how to make that happen. >> do you agree that the house will have to go first? >> you don't agree? [laughter] >> we agree on a result. the revenue bill, i think it
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makes sense for us to look at that. will that help the bill's success? >> you can argue about the affordable care act. >> we both agree that whatever avenue it takes to get this done, we are willing to try. i really like tax reform and i want a revenue neutral bill. >> this is different from 86. president reagan was a big
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driver of tax reform. president obama is not pushing as strongly. if president obama were to be out in front -- and i think it is good that he is aware it is. they have done it frequently. >> they let you move forward, they won't send a bill. are you planning to have more grass-roots hearings around the country? >> yes. >> any place? >> next we will go to philadelphia.
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>> who testifies? any citizen? >> they are not formal hearings. we have many approaches. we do lose a bit different. -- we do things a bit different. we want to talk to the country, not just regular garden variety hearings. we're going around the country as well. the twin cities, 3m, a larger company and another smaller >> small business, individuals. >>we will talk to somebody that sent us a very interesting submission.
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>> in washington, we call them tax expenditures. the biggest expenditures are mortgage interest deductions or charitable interest deductions >> municipal bond deductions. state and local. >> thoseare the big four. which of those are going to go away? [laughter] >> do you have a preference? [laughter] >> i have some, but to be serious, you probably can't eliminate all of them. should the pain be shared on all of those? will it likely go more than one? >> not to cause nervousness in the room, but not everything is there areenditure. items that are not tax expenditures. we both agreed to not take the
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current code and the clean slate and see what we need to put into it for a 21st-century tax code. >> in your respective committees, giving you ideas of what they want to see or not see.have you gotten a lot of submissions?how was i going? >> not only are dave and by working together, but the ranking republican and i are we agreed on anr. approach. maybe start with a clean slate. getting rid of all expenditures. roughly $12 trillion over 10 years. start there, what's that used for? rate reduction? revenue reduction? almost entirely rate reduction.
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i have asked for submissions that they are starting to do that now. i expect i will get them near the end of this month. senator hatch and i are working together. and we are keeping them confidential because we want to encourage candid conversation with our members. >> they will make time for the they will bring thee to the floor if you come up with an agreement? >> he says, max, tell me what you want me to do. how can i help you? >> people talk about the value- added tax, something we don't have in this country. is that something you would even consider? is that not in the ballpark? >> there was a senate vote on
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that.excerpt describes it. -- it sort of describes it. i do not think you want another layer of taxation and the code. what i have said is that if you have something that raises the revenue that is described in the budget, we will look at it. if there is another type of taxation, or some of these other ideas that are out there, as long as the joint committee on taxation scores this, and it meets the benchmarks, we will consider that in the committee. we have done a process different than the senate. we have had 1300 submissions on that. we've compiled that in a joint committee report. >> there is so interest to do what you just suggested. part of it is getting down the members and find out how much support there might be.
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>> in the last congress the congress agreed to increase the capital gains rate to 20% read 20%. is it likely that we'll ever go up again in this reform bill? could it go down? [laughter] would you like to say it is not likely to be changed? [laughter] i can try. >> marginal rates could go up? >> everything is on the table. >> i'm not going to get meeting specific pre->> growth and simplicity, and revenue neutrality, those are the things
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that are the benchmarks we're trying to look less -- look at. >> let's look the affordable care act. your committee is done with that. the president is going to postpone implementation for one year. does that concern you? >> we just had votes on this yesterday. there was a part of this and -- a bipartisan vote to repeal the individual mandate. i think there is a lot of concern. i think there are some a democrat supporting the individual side. i think even though we had assurances that this would be implemented on time, it is not moving on time. there are problems with it. i think this is clearly an indication. basically, this is going to destroy the ability of working americans to have health care.
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i think that these problems have to be admitted. we need to look at it. the only bill that reduces, how to get premiums down. >> medicare is said to be one of the biggest problems the federal government budget because it is growing at a large rate. are you planning to do anything on medicare in this congress in terms of dealing with the problems there. >> let's go back to the last question. david and i are on track with tax reform. we have a different view on the affordable care act.
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i believe that it was proper for the ministration to delay it for one year the employer mandate. it is a big task. i support the bill strongly. a couple of years work to get past. individual mandate is morbid interval part -- more of an integral part of the statue. it is important that young males sign up, so that health care is provided for everybody. i have spent a lot of time on implementation. i want this bill to be implemented correctly. it is here. it is not going to be repealed. let's make it work the best we possibly can. that is the course we should take. >> on medicare? is there any solution to that in this congress? >> we announced a series of hearings on entitlements.
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there was a discussion draft on the ideas that are out there. social security, and a lot of this has been discussed for many years. bowles-simpson, cantor, i supercommittee. a lot of ideas are there. now we need to set the committee structure that will deal with the background for that. i think there is different views on how to approach that. clearly that needs to be part of the discussion. those are going to have to be resolved. those might have an opportunity to come forward to help us resolve those issues. >> it is not too difficult conceptually. we have been on other efforts. bowles-simpson, supercommittee.
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[laughter] this is an interesting point. those efforts failed in part because two-thirds of the members have no knowledge of the subject. they were not on corporations committees. they are not on the ways and means committee. two-thirds of the time was educating members of the committee as to our appropriations provisions. we have had these meetings now. it is -- we tend to know what the major pieces are. if there is a role there, back to me put together pretty quickly important point is that the committees of jurisdiction are involved. they are the committees that do now the ins and outs that are
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involved. >> both of you have served in the supercommittee. since they cannot come to an agreement, sequestration way into effect. do you think of the supercommittee, do think they would try to come up with a solution, with a, but the same solution? >> it is interesting. two-thirds of the way through the supercommittee, we were getting very far. one of the co-chairs didn't -- they had never met each other. that is part of the problem here. they don't work together very much. it is a process. i'm encouraging all of us to talk to everybody.
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i am meeting every single senator on tax reform. we put together burgers and beer twice a month. just get to know each other and talk. my point is that in the supercommittee, things get bogged down. the committee says, let them do it. they turned it over to us. we sat down, mccain up with the solution. it was not for drilling -- not $4 trillion. but we then had resistance. >> other people in the congress? >> that this small group of people impose something on the rest of the congress is not going to work.
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i think one of the things that was important to do. to really involve members. this is something -- i do not think a reconvening would be helpful. that dynamic, that is why on the piece you're mentioning, we're doing hearings, putting out tax so that this is a possibility. it doesn't mean you're going to succeed. your chances are better if you have that process. you rebuild from the ground up. you get people involved. more and poorly, have interesting parties who are part of this. >> that is a good point. we get weekly members only to go to different parts of the code. because so many are new, or because -- it is a wonderful learning process.
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that's a double-edged sword. the good side is they don't know much. when we explain different parts of the code, we are mutually searching together to try to get the facts. it is bringing us together psychologically. we're building trust together. as dave's point says, the more it is going to help her. >> most numbers no -- know the provisions that is important to their state. no one is an expert on the entire tax code. it is important to have those opportunities to work through it, as opposed to imposing the solution. >> would you have the same view on bowles-simpson at the commission had been adopted by the congress?
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>> many people -- it was a terrific service. bipartisan, address the debt problems. but it has changed a lot over time. there are different versions. many members of congress, they passed not knowing what was in bowles-simpson. if they knew the details, they would get hung up. i believe that we cannot just layer it on top of all we're doing. there was a lot of valuable work. does the committees of jurisdiction. they want to be involved. i think that is the process we're undertaking. what has a better chance.
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>> when you join the senate in 1978, the chairman of the senate finance committee was russell long. how did the committee operate in those days? how is congress different than when you first came? is it much more rewarding? >> the committee is such the same. we work well together. that has not changed much. it is the congress and the town that has changed. that has some influence on the committee. basically, we are working together. we're trying to figure out how to put those pieces together, as opposed to dd did sherry committees -- judiciary committees. >> when you came to congress, did they talk together more?
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is that a myth? >> it is not a myth. we talked more. i arrived, there was a room where senators only dined. only senators. it was a wonderful place to go just to see who was going to be in there. you would meet other senators that would meet. it is empty now. nobody goes there anymore. why? they are doing other things. they are going all to these lunches. we are having lunch together saying all those people down the hall they are terrible.
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and fundraising. fundraising pulls us apart. it is symbolic of how we just don't talk enough. >> it is not a big a deal because -- >> is it much partisan than you possibly could imagine when you join? >> well, obviously, the biggest difference is that i got on the committee in the minority. now i am in the majority. it was not exactly bipartisan. the chairman had proxy voting. was able to throw the president of the room and go back and write the bills. it was a very different time. i do think that there was more discussion. a democrat was always very friendly to me.
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over time, there was less of that. that is why there was a great response to my my members on the bipartisan working groups. they were scheduled to meet. they actually, they enjoyed working together. i do think we need to get back to that rate over time, that has eroded. the houses more one-party rule in the the senate. that is the way that this whole government was structured in terms of that. i think that given that there is a republican house and a democratic senate, able to to be signed is going to bipartisan. it doesn't take a scientist to figure that out. that is what i think is important on this. we have had seven bipartisan trade bills signed into law. they were closely on those. i think that as a model of how we could do these other things.
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>> our member, in the 1980 elections, the senate which republican. somebody said you're going to be chairman of the -- but was would tell russell long? the fact that both of you, unless there is waiver in the house, neither of you will be in the current position in the next congress. doesn't make it easier for you to get tax reform through? >> easy. i have much more time to devote to it. not campaigning. don't have to go out there with the 10 cup. -- tin cup. i'm doing what i came in to do. legislate. it is helping a lot.
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>> when you retire at the end of the congress, do you intend to teach? go back to montana? what would you like to do? >> nice try.[laughter] i do not know yet. >> you do run marathons. >> i only do 50. >> are you interested in having a waiver, or would use think of running for the open senate seat in michigan? >> in the house, we have two- year cycles all the time. there is no guarantee you're going to know the majority after two years. after the house, make the most of the two years that you have. >> let's talk about trade for a
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moment. the administration would like to get the trade agreement and asia. it needs to do that that fast track authority. even you can get that through? >> yes. i do. we are going to see a bill by the end of the month. we talked about this just yesterday. our staffs, we made on issues relevant to our committees. this is clearly one. we are close to getting an agreement. >> we will work on it. it will get done. >> is the chairman of the finance committee, you meet lots of people. business people come in. what is usually a persuasive argument to something?
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what you find this persuasive when you are people talk? >> like anything else, the truth. is it right? does it make sense? is it considered relevant? is it possible? >> i think both were pretty and spyro we saw. -- pretty inspired by what we saw. we saw an incredible innovation, and the great things americans were doing. we heard about how the cold was making harder for them to do that. going to the bakery, for generations running the bakery, and how they been able to innovate. when you can take the issue, and personalize it to make it understandable, those are the important meetings. that happens in meetings. you can get a picture of that as well.
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that is the trips that we're going to take going up. >> i was struck. 10,000 harvard business school grads. they said that the primary problem they have is u.s. tax codes. people around the world, it is a complexity. it is our higher rates. the most difficult problem they have is their tax code. >> let me address that issue. right now, some come to congress and say let's bring cash back overseas because we will have more cash in united states. let's have it brought back at a lower tax rate. the joint revenue committee says this money is going to come back
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at a 35% tax rate. is it there it is going to come back? you are assuming it is coming back. it probably will never come back. you're never going to get this money. how do you solve that problem? >> in the house, i put discussion drafts out. i think it is critical that on a regular basis, companies bring back those dollars that they have earned overseas without a double tax. that is one of the areas where we are not competitive. we need to do that in a regular basis. it is out there. there is an ability to do that. we are obviously working through that. we have a lot of the back out there. it is an area that is very complicated. it is essential for us to compete in the world. they think it is now almost $2
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trillion. how can we get that investment here in the u.s.? we want these large multinational company's platform platformed in the united states. >> we are on the same page on that one. >> do you have a view on whether qe3 was a good thing? give a view on whether ben bernanke should have another term. >> that is up to ben bernanke. i think he has an a good job. i think quantitative easing has been helpful.
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it has been helpful to the u.s. and european banks. we are concerned that potential long-term inflation, but i think he is on a super job. my understanding he is he would rather not have another term. the president asked him, he might have another term. i think he is in a good job. he makes the point that is valid, he is doing the best he can with monetary policy. >> what is your view of ben bernanke? >> i think a little differently. i think the concern about inflation and the printing of money is a fairly significant one. again, it is not a total picture. we have a lot of work to do in
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the house in terms of the budget and the deficits, trying to get programs. as you look at that, tax reform is so important. if we get economic growth, we get jobs that will need more revenue. having gpd lesson two percent is acceptable. we have a lot of quantitative easing. some was necessary. we're at a point where i'm concerned about the long-term aspects. >> if people are watching on c- span, and they're interested in tax reform, what is the best way to communicate with you and your staffs about the things you would change our ad? what is the best way to communicate with you. >> we have a website, tax reform.gov.
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we are accessible. >> taxreform.gov, that is probably the easiest way. >> you celebrate your 60th birthday last week. >> thank you for reminding everyone. >> when you turn 60 years old, people, you all the time and say you look good today. you had a health issue a while ago. people would be interested to know, you dealt with non- hodgkin's lymphoma. >> thank you for asking. completed treatment, obviously there are many different kinds. the one i had was very treatable. the trip was successfully completed. i had a lot of encouragement and support. if you know anybody who is going through something like that, don't hesitate.
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write them that card. it does help you if you're going to that you know that there are people thinking about you. >> you have served as distinguished careers in the senate and the house. knowing everything you know about what is to be a member of congress, would you have decided to do this with your career? is it where you're happy with? what has been the most frustrating thing about having the shop? -- this job? >> i when i have any other way. it is the best job in the world. i feel so lucky. trying to make a difference, there are frustrations obviously. the rewards, they have outweighed the frustrations. i recommend it for anybody.
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>> but you have had your last election. >> i have had my last election. i'm looking at my next chapter. i wouldn't change anything. >> i may not have had my last election, so i'm may look at it a little differently. the thing that is most interesting is the quality of people, and the things they are doing. where you are exposed to so many different industries, and people from different walks of life. you come away with this huge respect for the freedom the country offers people, and what they're able to do with it. we have a lot of needs. not everybody is successful. i don't come from a wealthy district. it is important to see what this country can offer. i come back with a great respect for americans. most are not in the u.s. congress. you do get an opportunity to --
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>> we are the americans. we take that for granted. we are so incredibly lucky. you do not see people in other countries. we are really lucky. in scripture, to those who have been given much, much less be given. -- much must be given. >> thank you for your years of service. thank you for what you're doing. thank you for being here today. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> coming up, congressional leaders celebrate the life of nelson mandela. president obama honors george w. bush. representative dave camp and senator baucus discuss tax policy. in his weekly address, president obama talks about the senate confirmation of the director of consumer financial protection bureau and the importance of the csp be. in the republican response, tim griffin and tie young talk about their legislative efforts.
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>> hi, everybody. three years ago this weekend, we put in place tough new rules of the road for the financial sector so that irresponsible behavior on the part of the few could never again cause a crisis that harms millions of middle- class families. as part of that reform, we set up the consumer financial protection bureau, the first- ever independent consumer watchdog with one job: to protect families from that sort of behavior. two years ago, i nominated a man named rich cordray, a former attorney general from ohio, to run this consumer protection bureau. but republicans in the senate refused to give him a simple up- or-down vote, not because they didn't think he was the right person for the job, but because they didn't like the law that set up the consumer watchdog in the first place. so last year, i acted on my own to put him in charge - because without a director, the cfpb couldn't use all the tools at its disposal to protect consumers from shady mortgage
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lenders, or unscrupulous credit reporting agencies, or predatory lenders who targeted veterans and seniors. and i'm pleased to say that he was finally confirmed this week by a bipartisan vote. because of the work that's been done at the cfpb over the past two years, today, mortgage lenders, student lenders, payday lenders, and credit reporting and debt collection agencies all face greater scrutiny. and if they don't play by the rules, you now have somewhere to go to get some measure of justice. in fact, the cfpb has already addressed more than 175,000 complaints from every state. today, as part of the cfpb's "know before you owe" efforts, students and their parents can get a simple report with the information they need to make informed decisions before taking out student loans - and more than 700 colleges have stepped up to make this information clear and transparent. and if you've noticed that some credit card forms are actually easier to understand than they
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used to be, that's because of the work that rich's team and others in the administration have done. today, veterans have the tools they need to defend against dishonest lenders and mortgage brokers who try to prey on them when they come home. seniors are better protected from someone who sees their homes or retirement savings as an easy target. and thanks to the hard work of folks at the cfpb, so far six million americans have gotten more than $400 million in refunds from companies that engaged in unscrupulous practices. that's money we didn't have the power to recover before. you know, we've come a long way over the past four and a half years. our economy's growing. our businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs in the past 40 months. we've locked in new safeguards to protect against another crisis and end bailouts for good. and even though more work remains, our financial system is more fair and much more sound than it was. we've still got a long way to go to restore the sense of security that too many middle-class
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families are still fighting to rebuild. but if we keep moving forward with our eyes fixed on that north star of a growing middle class, then i'm confident we'll get to where we need to go. thanks, and have a great weekend. >> i am todd young from indiana. >> i am congressman tim griffin. equal justice under the law is a basic founding principle of our country. we want to see our children have the same opportunities we had. we want them to work hard, and have a fair shot at appearing -- achieving the success. when washington helps businesses and ignores of families and workers, americans a duty to speak up. >> the obama administration announced it was going to delay the employer mandate in the president's health care law pretty take this action because because businesses are having a hard time complying. that is great news for big businesses, but it is less -- left hard-working americans
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wondering what about me? the laws mandates are just as daunting for individuals. they do not have an army of lawyers, lobbyists, and accountants at their disposal. nelson mandela the government without an additional 100 45 pages of regulations on the individual mandate alone. how are ordinary citizens opposed to keep up? >> republicans understand americans are worried about the impact. we acted. let's be fair about this. if the president is going to help businesses by excepting them from the law, he ought to give the same relief to folks like you. that is why this week, the republican-led house of representatives passed a bipartisan bill i introduced authorizing president obama's delay of the employer mandate. >> the house approved my bill, the fair ms. for american -- the fairness for american families act. unfortunately, many democrats
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voted to stand with big business, and against fairness for individuals and families. president obama threatened to veto our proposal altogether. we take that to me he thinks it is fair to let businesses off the hook, while leaving families and harm's way. it most certainly is not. we urge them to reconsider his veto threat. we'll call in democrat leaders in the senate to give our proposal the vote immediately. >> republicans will continue to do everything we can to protect all americans from the president's one size feet -- the presence one-size-fits-all healthcare program. the story i heard from a hispanic american who runs a small business in my district's story is becoming all too
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familiar. he is ready to hired 10-20 more people. key can't because obamacare makes them choose between higher insurance premiums or hefty fines. he said the government should be my partner, so i can help my employees. i can help them more than the government, by literally and not able. the holding is a train wreck. >> the bottom line, the sooner we can delay this health care law, the sooner we can get people back to work, and focus on expanding opportunity for everyone. for now, thank you for listening. >> thank you for speaking in supporting fairness for all. have a great weekend. decided he was a delicious subject for biography when it donned on me that he had been not only at abraham lincoln's bedside immediately after his
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assassination but also at the bedside of william mckinley in 1901. who could this fellow be? who could this fellow be? is life really has two bookends at either end of his biographical shelf. linton on one hand, he was abraham lincoln's personal secretary, lived in the white house with lincoln for four years. life, heher end of his served not only under mckinley, but after mckinley's assassination, he was the secretary of state for teddy roosevelt. you have these wonderful bookends of american history. when you look deeper, you realize that all of the chapters in between in america's history from the civil war through to the beginning of the 20th
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century, he is a presence in every one of those chapters. his fingerprints are on auto pages. in many cases, he has written those chapters of american history. ferro on the life "q&a." hague on c-span's >> congressional leadership hosted a ceremony to honor nelson mandela. he served 27 years in prison and he was the first democratically elected president. from emancipation hall at the u.s. capitol visitors center, this is one hour and a half.
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[drums beating] ♪ ♪
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the united states capital. in recent weeks, reports on nelson mandela has refocused the
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world's attention on this rhubarb noble statesman and the rich expense of his life -- this remarkable statesman and the rich expanse of his life. it can almost feel like we are talking about a friend. the reason why is scarcely a week or day goes by without us pointing to mandela as an example. an example of principle. of loving your neighbor. and of extending freedom. he has lived the closest to them. it is not a perfect picture. no one is. condemned to prison for life as a terrorist. he said, "i have time to think. i had a clear view of my past and found that my past left much to be desired. if i had not been imprisoned, i would not have been able to
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achieve the most difficult task in life and that was changing myself." by keeping his humility and faith, he became a better man. and he is made all us better, too. if a man dies, shall he live again? i know this man will. he will live in the hearts of every builder and everyone who toils and says, i want to be free. his health like our own is fragile but his spirit will last. so as long as we do our part to honor his life, legacy, and values. let me thank the members of the congressional black caucus for
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bringing us together for the celebration. let me express my appreciation to ambassador ebrahim rasool for joining us today. and thank all of you for being here today. happy birthday, mr. mandela. [applause] >> let us pray. we give you thanks almighty god for the parents among us of great profits -- prophets. we honor perhaps the greatest of our time, nelson mandela. his modeling of forgiveness in the wake of apparent is injustice and suffering is a call to us all to a greatness beyond most of our imaginings. as we continue the celebration of honor, great that all who attend to these proceedings might transcend smallness and limitations and emerge as people
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desire us of being our best selves and service to all of our brothers and sisters. dear lord, thank you for aspiring such a greatness in nelson mandela. continue to bless south africa and god, bless america. amen.
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♪ oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming. whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming. and the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
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gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. ♪
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[applause] ♪
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[applause] >> it is a pleasure for me to be here today to celebrate the life and legacy and the birthday of the father of a nation. the george washington of south africa and the abraham lincoln of south africa, nelson mandela. congresswoman maxine waters attended the inauguration of nelson mandela as part of the official u.s. delegation.
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she has served many times and that day, she will never forget. a culmination of a decade of her raising awareness as only maxine waters can do about the evils of apartheid. throughout the 1980's, maxine waters organized marches, plural, lots of them and rallies to protest apartheid. she led sit in's and lots of them. and protests, lots of them. at the south african consular offices in los angeles and washington d. c. when she was still an assemblyman, she led and sponsored legislation that outlawed california's pension plan maintaining their money in
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south africa's regime some $13 billion. [applause] in 1990, the year that nelson mandela was released from prison, then a simpler when waters -- assemblyman waters honored mandela in the los angeles. congresswoman waters has served as a national co-chair of the free south africa movement. her work would advance democracy and is earned her national recognition and international recognitions. she earned the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian by the south african government. if silver award -- a silver award. granted by the south african government in 2008.
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it is my pleasure to introduce a fighter, that is an understatement. she has not only honored nelson mandela's values, but the values she has lived by not only as a congresswoman who we recognize here in america, but also internationally. maxine waters. [applause] >> thank you, congressional black caucus. that brought us here today to honor and celebrate nelson mandela. even as he lives in a pretoria hospital in critical condition
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and even as we must face the inevitable that sometimes we celebrate mandela's 95 years of life. happy birthday, president mandela. [applause] and as we celebrate his life, what is the legacy we inherit? and what values do we embrace? he taught us so many lessons about determination, leadership, unity, and the love. if it can be summed up in one quote it will be this "i have walked that long road to freedom. i tried not to falter. i have made missteps along the way. i have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one can only find there are many more hills to climb.
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i've taken a moment here to rest and still a view of the glorious and distance that surrounds me. to look back on the distance i have come. i can only rest for a moment for with freedom comes responsibility and i dared not linger for my long walk is not ended." the lesson is that we are on that, we are all on the long walk to freedom that we must go forward and let us do so understanding the long road would've already come.-- we have already come. the people of south africa suffered centuries of colonial rule which was institutionalized in to a racist regime caught apartheid. in 1948, nelson mandela joined other freedom fighters in the african national congress in the early 1950's to advocate for justice and democracy. in the early years, the world attention was not focused on
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africa. as we witnessed the collapse of colonial rule in neighboring countries like mozambique and angola in the mid-1970's, political independence in 1980, we soon turned our eyes toward south africa. in the 1970s, many of us in the united states began to hear the powerful african voices of activists, musicians including mama africa. young people that up with separate -- fed up with a separate system of education. the police massacre where hundreds of people revolted and brought about an international reaction. among african-americans, the
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similarity of the uprising in the civil rights and black power movements inspired in new ways of empathy and solidarity in a new wave of activism and solidarity was unfolding in the u.s. students and demonstrated in more than 100 universities across the country forcing university administrators to divest funds from companies involved in south africa. the core mission of other lorber labor organizations began to focus on their own pension funds. black church leaders formed faith based caucuses to take action. it was under the leadership of randall robinson and transafrica and the congressional black caucus led by bill gray that led america to get involved in the struggle in a profound way to free nelson mandela and end apartheid.
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i was profoundly moved and inspired by nelson and winnie mandela. the free south africa movement played a role in weekly boycotts and actions protested in front of gold and diamond dealers in beverly hills. we spoke at city halls. throughout the 1980's, we organized marches and rallies. we led -- and put our freedom on the line. when i was arrested for protesting the apartheid regime in front of the south african consulate in washington dc. in 1986, as part of the assembly i called corporations doing business with south africa and made a call for divestment a national movement sweeping from
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state to state and city to city. i did this with authoring an assembly bill to divest from pension funds in california and fortifying california's opposition to the apartheid regime. the divestment movement grew. there are over 40 state legislatures that were considering a divestment bill. in 1987, the los angeles movement which i chaired welcomed the president of the african national congress in trinity baptist church. during that time, i learned about and met other freedom fighters. for me, 1990 was a memorable year. in february, when we learned of the news of mandela's release from 27 years imprisonment.
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the movement organized an all- night vigil and at about 5 a.m. in the morning, we watched on tv mandela walking triumphantly saying this, "as i walked out the door toward the gate that will lead to my freedom, i knew if i did not lead -- leave my bitterness and hatred i would still being in prison." i chaired a committee that welcomed nelson and winnie mandela. it was attended by close to 90,000 supporters at the l.a. memorial coliseum. i was elected to the united states house of representatives. with all of the talk of transition to democratic rule, mandela stressed that sanctions
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must continue until the country was set on an irreversible course leading to its trust for mission into a united,-- transformation into a united, democratic, and nonracist country. thus providing us a clear mandate with the continuation of sanctions. the following year, with the national congress was finally on the band, organizers were allowed and others were able to return home from exile. in july 1991, while i was in south africa as a special guest, participated in a store first national -- historic, first national congress, president bush lifted sanctions with congress approval. i said i would not agree to lift the sanctions until i heard from nelson mandela himself. two years later, in 1993 in the middle of the night, i got a call from overseas.
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it was nelson mandela calling. he said, maxine, it is time. by november, they declared the transition process irreversible and preparations for the first elections that was to take place in april of 1994. a month later, i was a member of the u.s. delegation to witness the historic swearing in ceremony of nelson mandela as the president. more than that, we celebrate the life, the legacy, and the values of a true freedom fighter. happy birthday, madiba. [applause]
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>> rare is the leader who rises to such prominence that his name becomes a globally recognized as a symbol for causes greater than himself. rarer still, is a leader who can direct, directly challenge and establish order up in nearly every convention of a society and still find a way to establish himself as a unifying figure.
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not just to his own people but for the world over. across the divide of covenants theontinents, across borders of nations, the frontiers of ideologies. even though that kind of leader might be a rarity, exactly what the world has in nelson mandela. the man we celebrate today. a leader whose name is synonymous with ideas like hope, and determination, and reconciliation. we admire this man. madiba, for his stoic endurance all those years in prison when he never lost his faith in humanity.
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but we also admire him for his insistence on what st. paul would call the more excellent way. the more excellent way to unity. when others at the time urged the easier road to vengeance and division. and hate. and it is that quality which helped transform him from the leader of the cause to the father of the nation. this morning we honor this leader and we do so both republicans and democrats. both senators and members of the house. by reading his own words so that he might inspire those gathered today in the same kind of courage and foresight he had. i believe my colleague senator durbin will be leaving us off.
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-- leading us off. >> let me thank the congressional black caucus for their singular determination to make sure united states congress was on record opposing and condemning apartheid. it sounds like an easy task today, it was not at the time. it took remarkable courage and i commend my colleagues for their leadership. [applause] this is what he wrote, this is what nelson mandela wrote about his own childhood. "at birth, my father gave me the name rolihlahla which means he who breaks the branch of a tree but accurately troublemaker. my english name nelson was given
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to me by my class teacher on the first day i attended school. nobody ever sat with me at regular intervals to give me a clear, connected account of the history of our country. i acquired knowledge by asking questions to satisfy my curiosity. as i grew up, i learned to express -- -- through experience, watched adults, and tried to do what they did. i came across a few whites as a boy. the local magistrate was white as was the nearest shopkeeper. occasionally, white travelers or policeman passed through our area. they appeared as grand as gods to me. the role in my life was a distant one. i doubt a little of the white men in general -- thought little of the white man in general." [applause]
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>> nelson mandela, freedom fighter. "i can't really pick any, no single epiphany, 1,000 indignities. 1,000 injustices. a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. it was no day on which i said henceforth, i will devote myself to the liberation of my people, instead i simply found myself doing so. and could not do otherwise. the national day of protest on june 26, 1950 was the first national campaign in which i took part and at the end of the day, i felt exhilaration that
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springs from success of an important venture one has helped to plan. the leading cities, the majority of the workers stayed away from work. and black businessmen closed their shops. the success of this day raise our around.-- raised our morale. it served as a warning to the government that the people would resist apartheid to the bitter end." [applause] >> nelson mandela, freedom fighter. june 26, 1961. a letter from underground. "i am informed a warrant for my arrest has been issued and the police are looking for me. i've had to separate myself from
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my dear wife and children, from my mother and sisters to live as an outlaw in my own land. i shall fight in government side by side with you, inch by inch, mile by mile until victory is one. -- victory is won. will you come along with us? or are you going to cooperate with the government in its efforts to suppress the aspirations of your own people? or are you going to remain silent and neutral in a matter of life and death to my people, to our people must work -- people? i have made my choice. i will not leave south africa, nor will i surrender. only through hardship, sacrifice, and militant action and freedom be won. -- can freedom be won. the struggle is my life and i will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days."
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[applause] >> the accused. april 20, 1964. pretoria, south africa. "i am the first accused. i am a convicted prisoner serving five years for leaving the country without a permit and for inciting people to go on strike. in my youth, i listened to the elders of my tribe. telling stories of the old days. amongst the tales they related to me were those of wars fought by our ancestors in defense of the fatherland. i hope then that the life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to the freedom struggle. during my lifetime, i have
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dedicated myself to this struggle of the african people. i have fought against white domination and i have fought against black domination. i have cherished the ideal of democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunity. it is an ideal which i hope to live for and achieved. if you need be, it is an ideal for which i am prepared to die." [applause] >> over a decade ago, i stood in a small cell on robben island with john lewis. on june 23, 1969 from that small cell, nelson mandela, prisoner and husband wrote this. "my dearest winnie, a new world
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will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms folded, but by those in the arena whose garments are torn by storms and whose bodies are maimed in the course of the contest. honor belongs to those who never forsake the troops even when things seem dark and grim who try over and over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation, or even defeat. since the dawn of history, mankind has honored and respected brave and honest people. men and women like you, darling. an ordinary girl who hails from
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a country village hardly shown on most maps. my sense of devotion to you precludes me from saying more in public than i have already done in this note which must pass through many hands. one day, we will have the privacy which will enable us to share tender thoughts which we have kept buried in our hearts." nelson mandela. [applause] >> the words of a prisoner, april 1, 1985, off the coast of cape town. nelson mandela wrote these words.
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"the ideals we cherish, our dreams and hopes may not be realized in our lifetime, but that is beside the point. the knowledge that in your day you did your duty and lived up to the expectations of your fellow men is in itself a rewarding experience and magnificent achievement. i am also aware the massive efforts have been made here and abroad for my release. a realistic approach clearly shows that must be ruled out completely. the possibility there is such a
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demand will succeed. but i am optimistic. even behind prison walls, i can see the heavy clouds and the blue sky over the horizon. but however wrong our calculations have been and whatever difficulties we must face that in my lifetime i shall step out into the sunshine, washing with firm feet because that event will be brought about by the strength of my organization and the sheer determination of our people." the words of madiba. [applause]
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>> nelson mandela, a free man, february 11, 1990, cape town, south africa. "comrades and fellow south africans, i stand before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. on this day of my release i extend my sincere and warmest gratitude to the millions of my compatriots and those around the globe that have campaigned for my release. today, the majority of south africans, black and white, recognize that apartheid has no future. it has to be ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. our struggle has reached a decisive moment.
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we call on our people to seize this moment so that the process toward democracy is rapid and uninterrupted. we have waited too long for our freedom. we can wait no longer. now is the time to intensify the struggle on all of the fronts. to relax our efforts now would be a mistake that generations to come will never be able to forgive. our march toward freedom is irreversible. we must not allow fear to stand in our way. universal suffrage or the common voter's role in the united democracy and nonracial south africa is the only way to peace and racial harmony." nelson mandela.
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[applause] >> nelson mandela, nobel peace prize, oslo, norway. "we do not believe that this nobel peace prize is an intended as a commendation for matters that have happened and passed. we hear the voices which say that it is an appeal from all those throughout the universe who sought an end to this system of apartheid. moved by that appeal and inspired by the eminence you have thrust upon us, we undertake that we, too, will do what we can to contribute to the renewal of our world so that
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none should in future be described as the wretched of the earth. let the strivings of us all prove martin luther king jr. to have been correct when he said humanity can no longer be tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war. let the efforts of us all prove that he was not a mere dreamer when he spoke of the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being more precious than diamonds or silver or gold." [applause] >> nelson mandela, may 10, 1994. south africa, inauguration day. "we, the people of south africa, feel fulfilled that humanity has
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taken us back into its bosom that we who were outlaws not so long ago have today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on our own soil. the time for the healing of wounds has come. the moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. we have at last achieved our political emancipation. we understand it's still there is no easy road to freedom. we know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. we must therefore act together as a united people for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and
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suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. let freedom reign." [applause] >> when dr. mary frances berry, former congressman walter fauntroy, randall robinson and i went to the south african embassy for an appointment with the ambassador that we received under false pretenses, we could imagine a free south africa but i am not sure we could imagine celebrating nelson mandela's 95th birthday in the congress of
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the united states. [applause] september 21, 1998, new york city. "this is probably the last time i will have the honor to stand at this podium to address the general assembly. born as the first world war came to a close, after departing from public life, as the world marks half a century of the universal declaration of human rights, i have reached that part of the long walk when the opportunity is granted, as it should be for all men and women, to retire to some rest and tranquility in the village of my birth. may i sit and grow as ancient as its hills, i will continue to
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entertain the hope that there has emerged a cadre of leaders in my own country and region, on my continent and in the world which will not allow that any should be denied their freedom as we were, that any should be turned into refugees as we were, that any should be condemned to go hungry as we were, that any should be stripped of their human dignity as we were. were all these hopes to translate into a realizable dream and not a nightmare of torment -- to torment the soul of the aged then will i indeed have peace and tranquility.
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then would history and the billions around the world proclaim that it was bright and that we dreamed and that we toiled to give life to a workable dream." nelson mandela. [applause] ♪bring back nelson mandela bring him back
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walking down the street of south africa tomorrow bring back nelson mandela bring him back i want to see him walking hand in hand nelson mandela
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tomorrow ♪ ♪ ♪ bring back nelson mandela bring him back to soweto i want to see him walking down the street of south africa
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tomorrow ♪ ♪ [applause] >> good morning. as we celebrate the legacy and the values of nelson mandela, as we mark his greatness by the reading of his own words, it is important to note that the spirit and the words of nelson
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mandela have permeated the halls of the capitol for many years many times. on two occasions, more than nearly more than any person in history, nelson mandela addressed a joint session of congress in 1990 as deputy president of the african national congress. he urged us to keep our apartheid sanctions in place. his stirring words inspired and instructed us, and that instruction continued with randall robinson of transafrica, with ron, our former colleague, with bill gray, whom we thought was going to be with us today, but i understand his wife, andrea -- and i want to recognize bill gray's work and the gray family's contribution. [applause] mr. clyburn, our distinguished
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assistant leader and, of course, with maxine and the list goes on and on. and that leadership continues with the congressional black caucus under the leadership of marcia fudge. as deputy mandela stated then, to deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. to have deprivation is to dehumanize them. four years later, he returned to the house chamber this time as the democratically elected president of south africa. [applause] following one of those addresses, some of us had the privilege of having lunch with president mandela in statuary hall. you remember that. and he talked in very personal terms about what it was like all
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those years in prison. he talked about his family. he talked -- he said -- he spoke the burden of imprisonment of the sacrifice he made not only about himself but the sacrifice that his family made. not only at the cost of personal freedom to him but the price of personal time with his family. indeed, to become the father of a country he had to make sacrifices that meant he could not be a full-time father to his family. those of us who had the opportunity to be there that day were in tears just to hear his opening up in that way. those of us who ever had the privilege or opportunity -- i don't know about privilege -- but opportunity to visit robben island know he was cut off from his family physically though not
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spiritually, as steny indicated in his remarks -- in his quoting of mandela. for 27 years, as we all know, before he appeared before congress, nelson mandela, languished in a cell. he was denied his rights, disconnected from the movement, as though as you know others were imprisoned at robben island at the same time. and had their ways of collaborating. fighting for his freedom, missing his family, he epitomized the pain of apartheid and the struggle to end it. he was the symbol of the oppression and the prejudice that plagued millions across africa, yet, nelson mandela never gave up hope. he never lost faith in the strength of the human spirit. as he told congress and our country in his second address to
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congress in 1994, his freedom and his country's progress, quote, represent the triumph of that intangible nobility of spirit which makes for peace and friendship among people. to succeed in the struggle required courage, he said, as mandela once defined it, courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. when he was released from prison, he had the courage to turn not to hatred but to love, not to vengeance but to compassion, not to resentment but to reconciliation. and that reconciliation was south africa's gift to the world as desmond tutu has taught us over and over again. he emerged from his cell, nelson mandela did, not with malice in his heart but with forgiveness in his soul.
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as president he would extend the blessings of freedom even to men and women who denied him his own freedom. that was the true mark of courage. that was the statement of his values. today on his 95th birthday that remains his legacy. that was the spirit of the free south africa movement whose success would be measured more than the freedom of one man but in the human rights of a people. manifested in long lines of polling places and free and fair elections. it was a movement inspired by a giant of history. may we always answer the call for justice, reconciliation and peace, the call of nelson mandela. happy birthday. [applause] others have mentioned the experience -- the spark that the free south africa movement
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created. eleanor holmes norton, our colleague, was part of it and described very well go into the embassy and some of what transpired. now we'll hear from some of the other leaders of the free south africa movement who visited the embassy. each playing an essential role in the fight to end apartheid. now, let's hear from william lucy and from dr. mary francis berry. [applause] >> thank you so much. as a member of the free south africa movement, it gives me an incredible honor to say a few words on this day. on behalf of thousands of local union leaders and everyday workers drawn to this cause by the service, sacrifice and
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commitment to a new nonracial democratic south africa. a better world for a freedom- seeking people of the world over. this was such a special time. this was such a special time. people, for all of them, wish to say on this day, happy birthday, madiba. your life, your legacy will be a beacon for all times for freedom seeking people to struggle towards. especially in the hearts and minds of so many. thank you. [applause]

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