tv Journalist Tom Brokaws Life Career CSPAN October 29, 2017 10:35am-11:46am EDT
rubenstein about reporting historical events, including watergate and the fall of the berlin wall as well as about his writing on world war ii and the greatest generation. this is just over one hour. [applause] john: we are pleased that so many distinguished guests are joining us tonight, including many members of the nbc family. front,h is right down
welcome come a meredith. [applause] also welcome our vice chair. [applause] john: in a dramatic shift from a few years ago, news, information , and history are being disseminated through an ever going come a very, fractured array of channels and media. many of us find ourselves searching for clarity around the fundamental questions that underpin our nation. what does it mean to be american , and what is the story of america? at the national museum, we are focused on bringing the nation together to a real understanding of our shared american history. we are exploring fundamental american ideals and ideas like
of democracy, opportunity, and freedom to create the most engaging, interesting, and inclusive american history that helps people make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. earlier this summer as part of ,he 15 year, $600 million reinvention of every facet of our work, we opened a new floor dedicated to the nation we built together one level above us. ,ur two key exhibitions american democracy and many voices one nation asked for power of our democracy and the citizen dissipationstory of with the parallel story of the people of our nation. open our thirdl floor and complete the full transformation of the west wing by explaining how democracy has t shaped our distinctive
american culture. inside is a humble but astonishing national treasure, the printing press on which benjamin franklin trained in london in the 1720's. from this press, an unparalleled life encompassing so many remarkable roles, publisher, diplomat, and scientist. benjamin franklin understood the role of the free past and its role in fostering a vibrant democracy. every american takes inspiration from franklin's example and we ,cknowledge the special role including our on a re-tonight. has we express our sincere to david rubenstein,
we are moved by his passion to make american history meaningful and engaging for all americans. ofthe national museum american history and its history organizations across our country , you're giving has taken on many extraordinary forms. we are particularly appreciative of your intellectual contributions to the nation and your efforts to bring us all together. so who is a great american and why? aboutt, we will learn american ideals and ideas from the conversation between david rubenstein and tom brokaw. let's learn more about this great american. ♪ [video clip] >> from just a kid to one of america's most elevated television journalist, bringing the news to america for more than half a century.
tom brokaw is a great american. , john brokaw was born february 6, 1940 in webster south dakota. it was a momentous time in our nations history as americans began recovering from the great depression and just before we became involved in world war ii. tom spent a happy childhood in south dakota, but he always had his eyes on the horizon. he started his career in in 1960,n journalism working first in the midwest, then later in atlanta and los angeles. as his career progressed, he had his eye on one of assignment in particular, as a white house correspondent. in 1973, he got the job covering the white house for nbc. asit is overcast and raining
the president and mrs. nixon prepared to leave the white house for the last time. >> he found an opportunity to make impression on a national stage. he went on to cohost the today show, which brought him into millions of american homes every morning. from the today show, tom took the ultimate step, tapped for the top job as the anchor of a national nightly news broadcast. ofperformed the dual role anchor and managing editor for the next 22 years. his voice became a trusted staple in american homes. >> the soviet union as we have known it for most of the 20th century is breaking up now. he could just as frequently be seen reporting from the studio as a far-reaching corner of the globe, covering breaking
news on the ground. anchorthe only american to report from the fall of the berlin wall. >> for now for the first time people will be able to move through freely. american the first reporter to interview mikael gorbachev. to reduce prepared the number of men, tanks, and helicopters you have? he covered every presidential election and spoke to the world's most important figures. >> the chinese said you are welcome to come back to beijing, but only in a ceremonial context. i gather that is not acceptable. a gifted writer, he penned numerous best-selling books. most notably in his writing, he returned to the theme of what he
knew best and first. >> you guys have not been back here in four years. >> that's right. the first time back. >> and many of those he called the greatest generation. >> they were humbled by what they had done. i thought, oh my gosh, these are the people who raised me and i got to write about this. ♪ >> from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc nightly news with tom brokaw. bringing22 years of americans the news, tom stepped down as anchor from nbc nightly news in 2004. >> thanks for all that i have learned from you. that has been my richest reward. that is nightly news for this wednesday night. i am tom brokaw. >> during 50 years, he has won numerous awards. >> after mr. brokaw has spoken, it will be days later before you
relies the significance of this great american and the message he is bringing you tonight. >> to commemorate a lifetime of achievement, tom has donated a piece of the berlin wall. it is west point's highest honor, awarded to u.s. citizens that exemplify the ideals of duty, honor, and country. has become an elder tom has become an elder statesman. >> we need to converse with each other and understand each other. we are common americans. >> from just a kid in south dakota to one of the most celebrated and venerated news journalists, tom brokaw is a great american. history is a part of american history. [applause]
announcer: please welcome david rubenstein and tom brokaw. [applause] [cheers] [applause] thank you. it is a great honor. , thank you very much for coming tonight. tom: it is really an honor to be here. this is one of my favorite institutions. as a journalist and curious kid over the years, one of the museumi did give to the was when i was growing up in south dakota, i was a real outdoor river rat. one day i was also what they
called a rock puppy. i collected minerals and rocks. i found an extra in a piece of from the indians growing up in that part of the world. that's what they would make tomahawks and arrowheads out of. thought that was a tool that they must have been thrilled when they found something like that because it would give them the capacity to make tools that would allow them to exist. david: those of us who grew up liketropolitan areas baltimore, we don't have south dakota stories to tell. envious ofys been people who have south dakota stories to tell. do you think you would have achieved your success if you had not grown up in south dakota? david: i do think it was very
important. i do think it was important. my father came from a large, slightly dysfunctional family. at the age of 10, he had to leave school to go to work. by a home setter who taught him how to drive a team of horses, drill a well, and then later traded that skill for a path on a construction crew. if ever a man and a machine were meant for each other, he could fix it. my mother was the opposite. she came from a college-educated irish family struggling on a m, very attractive, very bright. i would often say how did the two if you get together?
say your dad was the politest guy who showed up at our door. he had this wicked sense of humor, which he did. when i look back on that now, i think about how hard it was for my father to be growing at the time whenever one thought he would not amount to anything. was in his mid-60's, he set down and recorded his life. we were astonished how hard it was for him, but he never complained. he never said that was unfair. he was thrilled with where he ended up. david: you grew up to south in south dakota and then of iowa.he university what happened to the university of south dakota? i was a gregarious kid.
i had a lot of ambition. i lived in a succession of small towns. a high school with 40 kids to a high school with 400 kids. i remember the first day or was walking up the steps of the high school and a man came running out of the school yelling, -- is going to be nature leader. that is the woman to whom i would be married for 55 years. [applause] tom: the reason they were stunned at she was a serious debate or, the daughter of a doctor in town and the idea she would be a cheerleader astonished everybody. we quickly became friends. i do remember that was my first day in school. you spent only one year at the university of iowa and majored as you have written in , and ultimately
transferred back to the university of south dakota, but meredith, you had to get your act together at some point? tom: she more than told me i have to get my act together. she was a cheerleader. i was a job. .- jock we had this trajectory. people ask, why did you date? i did not think she for around enough. she thought i for around too much. we were cowls and there was no romance involved. how i had my face gone adrift seriously, and it was a critical moment because i had such regard for her that i had this turnaround. she said maybe i went to far and i said no, i had it coming. we stunned all our friends and within a year got married.
no one saw that coming. inset off for south dakota the least expensive new car that her father could buy for us. everything we owned was in the backseat. that was beginning of an adventurous life. have a great wife, but no job? tom: i had a starter job at television station. the news director turned out to be an important influence. he was an old-fashioned news guy and took me to lunch. an hour later, he said i never work for me to knows as much as politics as you do. he said i will give you $90 a week to start. said, i have to have $100 a week. i said i'm marrying the daughter of a doctor, and i have to have a three figure salary. get ad ok, you will never
raise, and he kept his word. then worked for other local stations, but then got the chest work for an nbc affiliate in california. a bigrom omaha, i got break. i was working the early morning shift. meredith was teaching high school. by the way, they had an english department. they had a nameless department with warren buffett's aunt. buffett who can diagram a sentence. i'm becoming familiar with nbc and i got a call one night from the biggest station and american those days in atlanta, georgia. it was very prominent and accomplished as a station. i said i hear wonderful things about you and we have an
opening. y am a 25 year old white bo from omaha and this can't be true. so i flew down, arrived on an early spring night in atlanta, beautiful city, and the headquarters of the station was in an antebellum mansion on peachtree street. i thought if i don't get this job, i will kill myself. i did get the job. i went to work as an anchorman at 25 in atlanta with all hell breaking news. often i would leave the station fly to alabama and go to the central part of georgia where things were happening until in bc could get a feed. i was on nbc a lot come on radio and television. been there 6-7 months and nbc said we want to hire you.
nbc hired me for the network as their affiliate station in los angeles, but it was part of the network. for a few did that years, then they ask you if you want to have a white house beat? tom: i had gotten a reputation considerable political reported. i covered ronald reagan's first election. i was there the night bobby kennedy was killed. california politics was like a separate world. it was a big deal. i was on the air a lot. we had a great life in california. we just built a house on the beach with every dime we had. they said you have to come east. john chancellor said you have to come east and be a grown-up. i said i like being a grown up in california. so i had tooke out, go to meredith who had a
separate life of accomplishment and a lot of people admired her independence. i said, we are going to move to washington. she arrived in washington dc in leavingle of august this beautiful beach house we had just built in california to find a rental for us, and i thought this is going to be the greatest test for our marriage imaginable. the best thing that happened is one of the houses was owned by art buchwald and she met him and friend ande a close was so cheered by his possibility she thought this would possibly work out. david: you are covering the white house. u realizedou whit nixon could not survive and he was not telling the truth? the evidence was building. bob and carl were already pretty
deep in the story at that point. what was clear every day was that the stories were not adding up as they came out of the white house. juste to say this not because i was a member of the white house press corps, but i thought it was one of the most impressive and responsible moments in american journalistic history, the way the white house press corps cover that story, because we dealt with the faxes we found them every day. matebody had a running because you would cover for each other. my running mate was from the wall street journal, a serious chess master. we were complete opposites. i was a broadcast journalist. once every five weeks we would go to lunch and have a hamburger and i would say, god, it just does not make any sense what they have done in the last two days. he would raise an eyebrow and say, until you remember that he is guilty.
then i would say, oh, yeah, that makes sense. that was barroom talk. he openly resign, then ford became president. in 1976 come you are asked to be the co-anchor of the today show. where you reluctant to move to new york or happy to get out of washington? tom: i love coming back here. i love the business of the city, the makeup of the city, and i am always very comfortable here. easy call, but i had just been through watergate and it was going to be hard to top that. to get to that chair, you have to go through this chair. there was much more serious than
the morning shows are now. abcoon as i got there, began to reinvent morning television, and they were good at what they did, so i was there for about two years and we lost the lead to david hartman and camethen the election along in which ronald reagan was running for president, and we that i would be everywhere politics were weird i would go to every primary and be on morning, noon, and night. go tod get on the planing egypt when anwar sadat was killed. i would get on a plane when shots were fired in vatican city. the entertainment part of it, but politics a captured the attention of the country. having covered reagan, i knew he would be a rock star on the scene. david: did they pay you extra for traveling around so much for the same salary?
1 tom: i have to tell tom: i have to take you the salaries were different in those days than now, a lot different. we moved to new york. we decided to live in the city so our obvious reasons, girls were raised in new york and went to a very good school, and wasdith started able to step out and do the things she liked to do. openingso a lot of come and the today show was always part of that, so it was an exhilarating time to be in the news business and i was still doing that. i came to the end of five years of the today show and said i don't want to be interviewing life, although she was really entertaining. david: you had to get up at like
4:00 in the morning. didn't you get tired of that? tom: it is two parts. you quickly learn the most important thing you are going to do is write away and it is going to be in front of 35 million people, and those days. you had to be on your game. that a thing is, people were always talking about the morning , and how hard it was to get up. i like it because you could wind down, the rest of the day. be nightly news, you had to in your best form of the end of the day. i got a letter when i was , from athe today show woman in pennsylvania. it was a handwritten paper -- letter. she said i read where you did not like getting up early in the morning. laundryt a commercial and i pushed big cartons of wet
laundry through the night to get it washed and the only good part of my day is when i get off at 7:00 in the morning and i go home and watch you on the today show and that i have to give -- get my kids off to school and do other things. i tell that story to everybody who comes to the today show. don't talk about getting early in the morning. and you are well not working at a commercial laundry somewhere in pennsylvania. david: you got used to waking up and you obviously liked it. then they said it was time for the early evening news and they initially paired you with somebody else. tom: it just did not work. one of those things where you cannot force chemistry. i have the highest regard for roger sylvia. the show just did not work and peter was just starting at abc and we were not doing well, so
the powers that be decided the other guy, and i did not mind getting out of the plane and going to where the action was and i knew most of the nbc affiliates, so they chose me. turn thingsbegin to around, but it was not easy, and story, it wasas a a state that i would have to go, so i was always going. david: anchor for 21 years and among the places you went was berlin. what was it like to be there, the night that the wall crumbled? tom: one of the most memorable nights of my career. i did not expect it to happen. i had a colleague who was a foreign editor and he came in and said there is not much going on in america. it is getting very restless in germany.
they are pouring out of berlin into czechoslovakia. the guy overthrown running east germany all of these years. it was chaos and he said what are you go there for two days? the first day, i got into east berlin and it was kind of quiet chaos and then the next day, i went back and i said i don't know if we're going to need the satellite, but we ought to keep it. the leader was out of favor by then, and i am going around east berlin, doing the stories and i was going to be at a news conference where the head of the bureau of information would be and he wasso we went
kind of throwing -- droning on, the bureaucratic way and somebody handed him a piece of paper and he said the bureau has decided that the residents can leave and return through any exit in the wall. he said are you saying they can go, what are they have are a visa -- whether they have a visa or not? and they said yeah and he got up and walked off the stage. everybody in that room, there were a lot of germans in that room. they were all stunned by what they had just heard. i had a interview arranged with him and i ran upstairs. throwingr my producer her body against the door to keep other journalists out. i did that interview with him. i said read that again. this means people can come and go. he says that is what it means. he was very cool about it.
i said to you have any second thoughts? -- do you have any second thoughts? we grab the tape and run downstairs and i say to a group of my colleagues, it is over, the wall is coming down tonight because it had been broadcast in east germany. we got on the radio phone and said wire everything, we are going live from berlin. i went back and worked feverishly to get everything ready. we got to the gate about 25 minutes before we were supposed to go on the air. the top of the wall was filled with west german students. the east german students were so terrified about coming across because the guards were there and they did not know what was going on. the guards got out the water hoses and hosed down the westerners. the were driving them off the wall with their exception of one
back -- his back to the his back to the water hoses. i said go get him, i can see him on the cover of time magazine. the face of the new german citizen. they came back and said it is not what you think, he is drunk. he is happy to get up -- to be up there, getting hosed down. david: normally, evening news anchors, they love that job, but the only way they leave it as if they are pushed out, but you decided to leave voluntarily at a relatively young age. as did you decide to leave the nbc anchor? you could have stayed longer. tom: i could have, but i also felt strongly that a new generation could -- should come along and have their chance. i also felt that i could leave
that -- could leave that job during seasons i cared about. i am a bird hunter, i love the fall. i wanted more flexibility. family, whole run in my i remember one night where i was in montana and i was very tired and we were sitting in the house someone said princess diana has been in some kind of accident and a producer called and said she was in a terrible car crash. i said what do you think? he said i think you've got to go. a remote ranch in montana, getting to london at night is not easy. i know a charter or you could get detroit where you could get a flight all the way to london. i had a blazer and a couple slacks and a couple shirts.
i was on my way to the detroit airport, i stopped at one of those cheap tie places and i tried to find the best time i could -- tie, i could. one of the guests we had on the and i swear heno stared at my tie thinking where did he get that. that was what was -- that was one of those typical things. i got the buckingham palace about 10:00 the next morning, tom montana -- got buckingham palace about 10:00 the next morning, from montana. -- he said he will -- she was our princess, she was our princess and this was my princess and we think this is family for us.
this is going to be big. nbc,: when you did leave you stayed with them is a special correspondent, but you began writing some books. or of the books was the greatest generation. that,nspired you to write and did you have any idea that it would become as famous as it did? tom: that last part, i certainly did not. what inspired it was i went to a 40th anniversary of d-day. i remember the war, vividly. we lived on a army base and i wore a helmet. out were testing ordinance on the alkaline planes. , whereup in the postwar it was prosperity for working-class people. i was thinking i could be the first of my family to go to college and my dad bought his first new car. everybody around us was like that, and we were all being .aised by veterans
the american legion sponsored the baseball team and boy scouts. they never talked about their war experiences. at the 40th anniversary, -- described right where they landed, they described the ramp going down on the landing craft and it lets in it and first sergeant being shot through the head and they are 18 years old with no leadership and they get on the beach and they are terrified. a kernel comes limping down the beach and he became a legendary figure and he memorize the line based on experience landing in italy. he says the rock two kinds of people, the dead and those about to be dead. you have to get off the beach.
saw a bluff and tried to get up the bluff and on the bluff were sappers detonating mines. a lot of them lost legs and were shooting themselves up with morphing. they got to the top and these two men realized that the rest were alive, we would have to take it a day at a time. i was so shaken by that, i went to lunch and a guy came over to me and said i am a congressman from florida. i said what are you doing here? and that he said i was there, 40 years ago, 82nd airborne. i said to you want to talk about it and he said never did, but yeah, i do. he tells the story of jumping in behind enemy lines, his team was scattered and his wife came over and began to cry and she said i never heard the stories and he
said i have to tell the story all the way through, but he had a terrible time. we put together a crew and they fought back and forth, up and down the road. be targetgoing to practice for the germans and they kept fighting from village -- illage until they saw will share with something -- with you something, something that i have kept in my pocket. i said how did you -- he said with this. everybody had been given a ascket in the 82nd airborne they did not know how they were going to communicate. he said when i landed, i had that of my team around me i did not know where they were, so he iid i clicked once and hoped heard that, which means i'm
coming. he said i clicked for the double-click and i clicked again and that is how they put together their team. eitherld all symbolically or realistically and when wethese are so divided in so many ways, i would like this to be a new symbol of how we can get back together, because when they responded. they did not say are you a member of the tea party, are you a republican or democrat? they just said i'm coming and we are going to win this war. and they did, against great odds. i'm -- we need to keep that in mind as we go through our lives. democrats and republicans are people as well.
i think that could become the symbol of the times. [applause] david: and you were writing that book. when did the title come to you? tom: i was on the today show with katie couric on the 50th anniversary and you try to think about what you are going to say and i thought to myself, by then i had been speaking about these men and women in that time, at lectures and commencement ceremonies and so on. katie said what do you think and i said i think it is the greatest generation any society ever produced, survived the depression, not prepared to go then just as they were coming of the depression, they were asked to fight the
greatest military regime ever assembled and they did that. i said i think that is the greatest generation society ever produced. african-americans fought very hard and very heroically. [indiscernible] they did all of that stuff. of notdy was conscious having christmas presents, for example. my dad's crew made them for us, so we had handmade things. on theould draw lines back of their likes to look like there are wearing stockings. whole emotion, and then when the time came, they setd have a real life, they out, building modern america and wanting to put the war behind them. it is one of my very favorite
stories when i stumbled on. three men wounded in different parts of the war. 1 -- two in italy and one on d-day. back toe shipped america and went to battle creek, michigan and they were room as kind of larger companions and they talked everyday day about what they wanted to do with their lives after they left and got prepared -- repaired. all -- bob dole and the other was for whom the senate office building was named. it was an astonishing experience because they decided that they really wanted to be public service for the rest of their lives. book was aore recent book called a lucky life
interrupted, about your struggle with -- when did you realize that you have this disease? ago,it was four years about now, but i was diagnosed and i was bicycling across south america. i had gone to advocate -- africa because nelson mandela was dying. i was fishing in montana and i have this persistent backache. people said it is your lifestyle, you are always pushing the envelope. day, imissouri river one was in the front of the boat and i inexplicably fell. it was not likely to do that, and i had to have a icepack for a couple days. i went back to the mayo clinic and my smart doctor said it
should not last this long. own, and extraordinarily accomplished position. anand extraordinarily -- nex extraordinarily accomplished position -- physician. they called me in and said want to share something with you and they start reading stuff off of charts. about they were going to say i had a parasite that i picked up while it was in middle east -- middle eastern africa or asia. been out of school when bedside manners were taught because he turned to me and said opening line, you have a malignancy. people die from this.
[laughter] tom: i actually went into this kind of mindset. my journalistic instincts kicked said isat point and i there a cure and they said no, but we can maintain and we think we can give you a good life. how long do i have? the statistics say five years, but you should do better than that because of the advances we are making. on the other hand, are you saying i have a terminal case of cancer? hard to fathom. he was looking quite concerned. i was on a crash course to get a the 50thry done on anniversary of the assassination
of john f. kennedy. i was writing it and i went back and i have in a daze my ipad open -- had my ipad open. i was on the board, at the mayo clinic. what of my close friends was on the board and he called me and said you are not here, what is up and i said come over and have a drink. we went down to the bar and i said i have a cancer and i don't know what this means but it is obviously going to change my life. we had one and a half martinis, a piece, we shared the last one. i did not want to tell meredith on the phone, i wanted to tell her in person. we went over to a remote area on
a winding gravel road and we did that. ranch and wethe went to the bedroom and i said to her, our lives have changed. i've got cancer. she is a real warrior and she says, what does this mean and i told her i am not sure what it treatable.it is not it is treatable, but not curable. we went to bed in each other's arms and the next morning, i got up foolishly, feeling pretty good and decided i'm going fishing. i drove four hours with a ice pack on my back and three days later, they had to medevac me clinic, i hadyo so much bone damage. lucky, and iery must tell you, it is in some
ways, one of the defining experiences of my life. i think in so many ways, i am a better person because i am now fully aware of what other families are going through, all the time and they don't have the resources we have. it is very expensive. i became curious about the treatment of cancer and how you and we havewith it i don't know how to describe it. i say this is the doctor you want to see, and it made me very conscious of the fragility of life and very conscious of the importance of family, about how and shete to each other
is the daughter of a doctor who should have been a doctor and she came back and the other daughter as well and kept things going, so in many ways, it is an extension of the brokaw streak of luck. i have cancer, but we have it under control. not sure how long it is going to go on, but in the meantime, they are making great games and we can afford to care, whatever we need. that has been a huge asset for us. adult want to wake up in the and think i've got cancer. it is the first profound effete i have had as a human being. i was on a fast track in my
business, a great marriage, wonderful experiences and then suddenly, there is this kind of that provese side to you, as we all are, you are vulnerable. there are no guarantees in life and you develop a whole new consciousness about the preciousness of life and you try to share that. that is where i am. i expect to live with this as long as i need to. who had gotten cancer the year before i did. i did not know this before i wrote an article and i got back and said i need to know, so we have been going through it, together and in his began to fall apart and he is in philadelphia, in a new experimental program developed by the chinese, of all things. they developed a way to unleash
genes that can kill the cancer. easy,very toxic and not but i got a note from him today, saying the doctors think he may be illuminating -- eliminating. you how much of a fan i am of the work going on in cancer research. this concerts -- this conversation about immigrants, a lot of them are coming here from east india and spain and italy and south america, working in these labs, so i am a lucky guy. is extremely well written. the remaining time, i would like to ask you some questions. as you look back on your life, what are you most proud of? what is the legacy you hope will
have people think about you? i got very lucky, meeting meredith when i did and leading this wonderful life, together. she is very meticulous in everything she does. about anything. there was a time when i could not relieve myself, i was in bed, paralyzed with pain. i would have to call her to help. she would get up, no complaints. everything was so emotionless. in my career, what i am most proud of is that i got it mostly right and when i did not get it
right, i was quick to a knowledge that we needed to work harder at it. -- quick to it knowledge that we needed to -- quick to acknowledge that we needed to work harder at it. david: things you would like to do over the remaining years of your life? what other objectives do you have? tom: i keep developing these goals and then i keep setting them aside because i revert to the things i like to do. i am not happy with my handwriting so i ordered a calligraphy -- a calligraphy set . it has been unopened for three months or something like that. i have tried to get better at things and i like to do fly fishing and that kind of thing, and i love writing. i did not have the confidence when esther -- when i first started writing.
-- prominently displayed it in their magazine and that i got more confident about my writing and i really enjoyed the process . i am writing more for the times, i got another op-ed page on the assembly line. still love television, i still love the craft of selling something visual that takes you to a place you would not get to, otherwise. david: flyfishing is a bit part of your life. your brain is this big, the fish's brain is this big. why is it so hard to outsmart the fish? [laughter] tom: i will tell you a story about brains. i have also gotten very curious about all of this stuff, because i woke up in montana weeks ago
and i looked out the window and it was a kaleidoscope, nothing was put together. i stumbled across the room with this terrible sense of vertigo. the position said it could be a stroke. they rushed us down. i called my friends at the mayo clinic and the head of the mayo clinic is a neurologist. he said we are setting an appointment and you will be medevac. i'm sure very few people have heard of the condition. the inner ear is compromised for reasons they don't know, and it throws everything off balance, because the inner year since the signals to the brain about balance. i could not walk, i had to have a walker, a cane and in four days at the mayo clinic, these
genius therapists got me stable, so i could walk and they said you were lucky because sometimes it goes on for two months. i've got one more therapy session yet, but it was really weird. that gets me thinking about the brain and what we do. so you came up with an improvement on obamacare, the on the board of the mayo clinic and we can solve any problem right? tom: a little peek at something. i know health care is 20% of our economy. it is complex and affects every family in america. this plan is going to fly. it is much more complex than that. i think the president obama made a mistake by trying to do too much, all at once and you could not repair it on the run. it would have been better to take 20% of the country that did
not have coverage and just begin with them and then ease our way into it. now you are all involved in the thinggy and the other that is going on with health care in america, outside of washington. big hospital systems in her book -- ro places like nebraska. small hospitals have gone away because they are not economically feasible. it is very complex for those places to run on -- i know this from my mayo clinic experience. to run on a fiscally responsible basis. if you make a state decide whether they want to do medicaid or not, that is going to have an enormous social impact on this country. people are going to say i'm not going to move to iowa, they don't have medicaid. the fact is that this is a
perfect example of where we've got to get together and i think a lot of the blame, republicans promise for seven years that they were going to get rid of obamacare and i do think it needed a lot of improvement. in seven years, they mostly just voted they were going to throw it out. when the time came, they did not have a plan. now it is a white-hot environment of trying to do this with everybody looking in and all the stakeholders are looking in. i can't think of a more important domestic issue for us than getting this right and maybe the only way you can get it right is to do the best you can on the system that is in place. we've got to put together a bipartisan group to work toward something. david: i'm glad to hear your health is in good shape and that you are feeling well and i want to thank you on behalf of all americans for your service to
our country. thank you. [laws] --[applause] >> thank you very much and thank you for your donation to the nation's collection with the west point presentation, which we received from the united states military academy for embodying its motto, duty, honor and country and for two pieces of the berlin wall from november 9, 1989, commemorating your historic lives and several other important objects will be joining our collection of national treasures to be preserved and shared with the american people in the world in perpetuity. would you please sign your life
which in this document essence is a deed of gifts for what you have given to the national collection? tom: i really wish that i could be signing something in which i am the very generous benefactor of giving to you the first computer, which i invented. [laughter] tom: but that is not going to happen. >> if you can find it, we will take it. it is my privilege on behalf of the museum of american history to present the great american's metal to dumbest -- to thomas j brokaw for his commitment to journalism and steadfast defense of freedom of the press and the life of public service in the furthering of american democracy, reporting via compliments of the greatest generation, bringing a voice of
and trust as american people face the impact of september 11, 2001, for his uncompromising principles based on american ideals and ideas, for these values and achievements, he defined service of the highest level and is the true meaning of a great american. congratulations. tom: thank you. [applause] >> additionally, this is just for you, we are honored to present you with this special gift from two pioneering americans to another. a reproduction of meriwether lewis's silverplated expedition pocket compass. it is on the you and our american exhibition on the american presidency and we have brought it out here for you to see.
lewis and clark used this compass to help guide their journey across a new country. this compass was one of the few instruments that survived their harrowing trek. may it continue to help you -- thehe african people american people toward greater knowledge and freedom. tom: thank you. [applause] tom: look at that. one quick observation about lewis and clark. i actually grew up on the missouri river. and was an important artery in my childhood, and then when i was seven years old, we moved to
a remote part of south dakota. that is not an oxymoron, by the way. it came up that stretch and they talked about it, the diaries the captain stephen ambrose's book and i cannot tell you how many times i would go down and walk along there and try to imagine what it was like because they were against the current, which could be strong. the other thing that was going on in the great plains in those days, which was hard to imagine. those planes were covered in bison, elk and grizzly bears. an extraordinary american savanna that existed and how they accomplished not just that part of the trip, but then they get into montana and they go through the mountains and they
get to the pass thinking they're going to see the pacific ocean and that is on the western end of montana. they have to get all the way across to the pacific ocean and then come back. on their way back, lewis says to clark, do you remember that river we crossed as we were montanaup through the north dakota voter -- border? i want you to go back to it and -- ine -- knew andw learned the smaller band and cross them out down to where we now spend a lot of our lives on the yellowstone river and they began this kind of northeastern expedition and they have their
built --ing, so they and they floated on the yellowstone river and they had and theyne whole day finally got to the concourse to the yellowstone and missouri nearby was aa bush piece of parchment that was a note from lewis to clark saying we left here three days earlier. come fast, i need your help. they had pushed his team down and caught up to him and his friend lewis had been wounded in a hunting accident and he was in terrible shape and clark cleaned andp and got him repaired
they went on to st. louis and when they arrived, people were astonished. everybody had given them up for dead and lewis said we need to send a note to the president, president jefferson. they sent their best man to the mail boat and turned it around and he sent a message to thatdent jefferson, saying we do cover star mission, we have seen the pacific ocean and learned so much and for the first time, he signed it lewis and clarke, because clark had been told by the military that clark could not have equal rank but lewis always treated him as a absolute equal. i find that one of the most riveting stories. what i have done here is replicate the weight that it was always told -- way that it was always told by stephen ambrose.
history tv? visit our website. you can view our tv schedule, preview upcoming programs and watch college lectures, using them tours, and more. american history tv at c-span.org/history -- c-span.org/history. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1970 nine, c-span was created as a public service by americans -- my american -- america's cable-television companies and is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. green hill plantation was built in the 1790's and was operated by a virginia slave dealer for the first half of the 19th century. sunday on american artifacts, we visit the plantation with the founder of the saving slave
houses project. here is a preview. this is the auction block and auctioneer stand. we are at greenhill plantation in campbell county, virginia. --m here with the company they are here with me off of my calleddent project saving slave houses which is doing documentation of all the known slave houses in the united states. the company makes the survey equipment i use in one of the pieces they make is 3-d laser scanners and that is a piece of equipment that i currently don't use right now, kind of the highest level of documentation
that is out there, that you could do for buildings or objects is to do 3-d scanning. they are here to document some buildings with me. this site, green hill plantation has the original slave owner here, very active in the slave trade and so one of the things he decided to put in his yard is a slave auction block and auctioneer stand. you can definitely feel the power of this place. this would have been the last place men, women and children would be with their families and after this place, they would have been scattered across the united states, so this was kind of ground zero for that experience. >> watch the entire program
ongoing -- on greenhill plantation, sundays at 6:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv, only on c-span3. >> up next on lectures in history university of north , korea at chapel hill professor joseph glatthaar teaches about the korean war and general douglas macarthur's removal from command by president harry truman, and civil-military relations. the class is about an hour. prof. glatthaar: today i'm going to talk about the korean war and we're going to talk a little bit about civil military relations. last time we met, we talked about the cold war and the development of containment. korea was an unusual situation in that it had been a colony of japan's since 1910. during the second world war, there was fighting in korea, the u.s. and the soviet union jointly occupied korea and they agreed to divide korea.