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tv   Brown v. Board of Education and the Monroe School  CSPAN  July 2, 2015 3:00am-3:10am EDT

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calfkart will discuss that plus what's next for gay rights. later, larry pratt with gun owners of america on gun control efforts in the u.s. after the shooting at the ame church in charleston, south carolina, where a pastor and eight members of the congregation were killed. washington journal live every morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span and you can tell us what you think by phone and by facebook on twitter. thursday american history tv and prime time continues with a look at the declaration of independence. analysts will explore the text and the national archives work to preserve the original document. the national archives and the institute of advanced study hosted a forum with archivists historians, and rare document collectors. the declaration of independence thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span's 3's american history tv.
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c-span is partnering with our cable affiliates as we travel across the united states. join us and cox communications weekend as we learn about the history and literary life of omaha, nebraska, where the deporus club was one of the groups fighting for racial equality. >> omaha had a reputation in omaha and in the united states as a city that when you came in if you were black, you needed to keep your head down and you needed to be aware that you weren't going to be served in restaurants and you weren't going to be able to stay in hotels. when the bdeboris clubs began their -- they used the term social justice because civil rights wasn't pars of the national lexicon at that time. but the idea that civil rights was so far removed from the idea of the greater community of omaha or the united states, that they were kind of operating in a vacuum. i always like to say that they were operating without a net.
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there were not those support groups that were not the prior experiences of other groups to challenge racial discrimination and segregation. >> we look back to the union pacific and how the construction of union station helped omaha's economy. >> the union pacific is the -- one of the premier railroad companies of america. it was founded in 1862 with the pacific railway act signed into law by abraham lincoln. so it combines several railroad companies to make union pacific. then they were charged with building the transcontinental railroad that connect tess east and west coast. so they started here, was moving west and central pacific started on the west coast and was moving in. and they met up in utah. and that's really what propels us even farther. we become that point of moving west, the gateway -- one of the gateways to the west. >> see all of our programs from omaha saturday at noon eastern
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on c-span2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3. >> three men and a woman attempted the assassination of president truman opened fire from the visitor's gallery of the house of representatives. five congressmen were hit. then f. jenson clifrdz davis of tennessee, davis of alabama, george h. fallon of maryland and albert bentley of michigan who was seriously injured. the gun wheelers and to their accomplices goes the -- in american history. >> it was the most violent act that ever occurred in the chamber. and there was debates right after that that we can't let this happen again. what we need to do is wall off
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the visitors gallery with bullet proof glass so that this can never happen again. and the more that members talked about that and thought about it, they said, no, that's a bad çó idea. this is the people's house. and the people can't be walled off from the floor and from what's going on there. >> the capital building is a symbol and that makes it a target. they mentioned the british burned the building in 1814. there was a bombing during world war i by a professor who was opposed to american support for the allies. there was the shooting in 1954. what happened in 1971 was a bomb by the underground opposed to the vietnam war. in 1983, there was another bombing on the senate side by a group opposed to president reagan's foreign policy. in 1998 there were two capital policemen shot and killed at the capital. so there have been those instances over time. and yet the capital has remained
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during a remarkably open building. >> senate historian emeritus don richie and former house historian ray smog on the history of the house and senate, its leaders characters and prominent events sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's c&a. >> the c-span city store has been on the road throughout the year. tonight on american history tv, we are featuring historic sites in several cities. this hour topeka kansas, cox communication hosted our recent visit.
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>> we are standing in the kindergarten room of the monroe elementary school at brown v. board of education national historic site in topeka, kansas. this was one of the four african-american elementary schools that were operating in topeka in 1952 when the brown v. board of education case was filed in district court. the brown v. board of education case is really a small piece of a much larger case that started really, back in the late 1920s and early 1930s. which was part of the national association for the advancement of colored people's -- or the naacp's struggle to overturn segregation in public education. so they were attempting to file cases that would eventually lead to overturning a case called plessy versus ferguson. and that was a supreme court
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decision in 1896 that allowed the state of louisiana to segregate rail cars by race. once the supreme court made the decision that that was constitutional, what you saw was an explosion of laws in the south especially that permitted segregated facilities in all sectors of public life. they were attended to overturn a precedent and they knew they could try to do it in one case but if they lost, it would be the end of their attempt. really beginning in the 1930's, they began to file cases to chip away at the precedent. the strategy was to end segregation in law school and graduate school and then worked down to college and then worked down to elementary schools. brown v. board of education, the name brown is the first name to appear out of the list of plaintiff s brown versus board of education, . here in kansas, the local chapter of the naacp, both the lawyers and also local activists, recruited 13 parents
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one of them was oliver brown, and then there were 12 other mothers. and all 13 of those parents had children that attended one of the four african-american elementary schools here in topeka, one of them being the monroe school where we are now. so oliver brown was a friend of one of the lawyers that was the local counsel for the case a man named charles bledsoe. so the lawyers recruited people that they knew in the community that they thought would be good upstanding citizens that would want to participate in this case. oliver brown was really just one of those 13 volunteers. as historians have noted, it's often just accidental whose name gets attributed. so oliver brown's name is listed first, even though there was another woman on the list of plaintiffs who would have been first alphabetically a woman named darlene brown. for some reason oliver brown's name was listed first. so the case is known as brown, but he was simply one of those 13 parents that were recruited.
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nationwide, there were actually five cases that were part of the brown decision. that included over 200 plaintiffs total. so just by a chance of history, we refer to it by the brown family when they were one piece of a much larger story. the kindergarten room tells a very important piece of the story in that the facilities here in the monroe school were excellent. when a lot of people walk in the building, if they're old enough to remember going to kindergarten in a school like this, it looks just like the one they attend, whether they're white or black. the kindergarten room serves to remind people that education is about being in a safe place where you can learn from people who are sympathetic to you and understand you and that was exactly what was happened here in the monroe elementary school. this was an excellent educational experience. then when they go out and see the exhibits and see photographs of what schools were like in south carolina, in virginia, in the district of columbia and they see what african-american communities endure


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