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tv   David Mc Cullough The American Spirit  CSPAN  December 29, 2017 1:44am-3:26am EST

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[inaudible conversations] [applause]
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>> that went on a little longer for him. i was about to say how special this night is that you all beat me to it. my name is steve i am executive director jfk library foundation and on behalf of all colleagues in the foundation and from the library we are thrilled you can be here all forums are great but tonight is a treat because of the speakers in the beginning of the jfk centennial weekend we planned this months ago literally rethought who would be the best speaker and moderator we could get for this historic time we are thrilled they are
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both here. so before introduce them i have a few brief announcements but first our underwriters and sponsors bank of america institute including bill and andrew lowell. media sponsors and kicking off the centennial with information when you be over the next few days there are opportunities seeing a new exhibit with 100 items including 40 never seen publicly before opening tomorrow on a saturday doing a special peace corps day and on sunday and asked her is part of our tribute to nasa and on
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monday music and the navy to honor president kennedy service and exactly 100 years to the minute he was born we will have to planes fly overhead to honor president kennedy then we will eat a cake. we need help doing this to serve 1000 people designed by the famed company that did the cake for their engagement many years ago. join us for those activities. but tonight literally standing room only in this auditorium also overflow in the other auditorium we are thrilled we are streaming this and watching parties including the jf kennedy museum in hyannis and c-span we appreciate all
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of you here and those participating online. we have many distinguished guests but i will highlight a few but many members of the border here we appreciate their leadership and because it is the centennial we invited our colleagues around the country with representatives tonight from the presidential library or their foundation from franklin roosevelt or harry truman, jimmy carter, george hw bush and bill clinton library or the foundation also former united states senator paul kirk and his wife and former ambassadors and several members of the new england consulate core. [applause]
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after the first hour of dialogue there is a question and answer session if you don't want to get up or streaming just weed us literally you can stay in your seat but he will read the question for you we will do the best we can to answer as many as we can. after the event he has graciously agreed to sign books if you want to have a book signed and then help the traffic flow. if you haven't read this yet it is a treasure the american
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spirit of who we are and what we stand for if i had an hour i would ask questions for an hour but i promise i won't. but i do want to introduce mr. charlie gibson. [applause] based on the applause feel we know him even though we just met him much of what i know i learned from him on the news 34 years and then cohosting "good morning america". he interviewed everybody including nine u.s. presidents. a remarkable history and he and his lovely wife are here tonight. david mccullough he hasn't been recognized very much in his lif life.
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[laughter] everybody has two pulitzer prizes and two national book awards and the francis parkin price twice and presidential medal of freedom the highest civilian honor recognized by 54 honorary degrees this amazing panel thank you very much b-17. >> we will do a colloquy for about an hour and you can come up to ask questions if people will tweet outside the room those have to be pretty concise but the most famous tweeter probably is not watching. [laughter]
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i doubt we will get one of those and i shudder to think what it might be. it is a treat as a distinguished history major in college to have a chance to talk to david who is something of a legend. i am pleased there are representatives hear from so many presidential libraries we do gather that leaves me to wonder how many books will there be in the trunk presidential library? [laughter]
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interview with the washington post that he had never read a book about a president either a book or the presidency. he might someday and he doesn't read books because his mind reaches beyond that. so think of the great presidents over the years who are avid readers of history many of them wrote history including kennedy even those who did not have the benefit of a college education read history all their lives to realize it is essential to the rule of the leader whether the presidency or leadership cause and effect. history matters.
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if i have one message to get across is history matters a lot. b-17. [applause] we are slipping in our responsibility of teaching history to our children and grandchildren. it has been going on a long time and a number of us have become evangelical preachers of the importance of history and i lecture colleges and universities and astonish how much people don't know about our country. one young lady came up to me from a college in the midwest thanked me for coming to the
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campus because until she heard my talk that day she had no idea the original 13 colonies were on the east coast. in the question and answer. was my favorite university of california. aside from harry truman and adams how many other presidents have you interviewed? [laughter] so there may not be many books in the trump library but that leads me to the second question as a historian what specific steps could and your jacks and taken to prevent the
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civil war? [laughter] we could go all night. [laughter] then i don't have any more. you could be interviewing frederick douglass tonight. [laughter] oh my. can you believe it? i want to store our recognition of who we are and what we stand for. i think more and more as important as grade school or high school or college university is but maybe is how
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we are brought up at home. how were we raised to behave? treating people with kindness and tolerance and empathy and hard work. i grew up in pittsburgh pennsylvania where people not only worked hard but if you were a good hard worker that was counted high how you are appreciated by other people. my father would say charlie drinks too much but he is a good worker. fred is a terrible exaggerator and tell stories but he's a good worker. if you were a good worker that forgave all other feelings.
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that is how we got to where we are by working very hard. doing my wright brothers book two young men who never had the chance to go to college and never even finished high school but brought up with a purpose with values at home to learn to use the english language so if you read their letters that have survived in the library of congress they are humbling with the quality of their vocabulary to express themselves and never to boast about yourself or get too big for your britches. one of the things that impressed me at that time and now even more given our situation now, john kennedy
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almost never talked about himself. >> almost never used first-person singular about anything. he could have gone on and on with justification. and with pride with what he has accomplished. . .
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