tv Richmond Driving Tour CSPAN January 5, 2018 11:00pm-11:13pm EST
c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and season brut to you today by your cable or satellite provider. over the next three hours here on c-span 3 we're e we'll take a look at some of the places featured in our c-span cities tour. our first stop is richmond, virginia, where we're hear from the zit's mayor. we'll visit famous sites like the edgar allen poe. after that we head to california for a university professor and author larry gerston. we'll also tour the japanese american museum and take a look inside the lick observatory. hi, i'm tiffany rock, a producer on our cities tour
team. this year we visit the 24 cities. right now we're going to show you several stops from our time in richmond, virginia. >> while until richmond, we took a driving tour of the city with merrill levar stoney. >> all right. mayor stoney, thank you for showing us around richmond today. >> thank you. >> if somebody has never been to richmond, virginia, what should they know about the city swl i think they should know that this is the cultural history arts capital of all things virginia. we're a city on the rise, we're drive, but imagine a thriving city with the backdrop of all the historic riches we have here as well. >> so we're going to a historic neighborhood right flou now then. >> we're headed to church zblil what makes it distinct? >> it's part of the original layout of the city of richmond. you're about to see the original part of the city right here on the right, saint john's church.
>> tell me for those who don't know what happened at saint john's church, tell me about that spot. >> i know many people who have their textbooks out right now. ever hear of a guy named patrick henry when he gave the famous speech give me liberty or give me death, which was a prerun tort revolutionary war. >> it happened right here. you still preserved the church. when you go through richmond you're walk among history next to these modern restaurants and shops. how do you make sure that you keep that mod nod to history al while advancing the city. >> this is about tourism, what attracts people to your city. i think one of the most attractive things, not only do we have great historic features, but we also have a great river that runs through the city as well, rapids, but the history is what keeps people coming back and coming back and coming back. if history brings people here initially, then they can also partake in our restaurants, they kls partake in the great museums
we have. they can see so many things. >> what are we coming up on? i see there's like a statue. >> this is libby hill right here. this is the view williamburg came to one of the settlers of richmond came up here and he saw this bend around the river right here and he said it remind him of richmond hill, the river thames near london and that's how we got the name richmond. to the right you have a view of downtown, beautiful view of our downtown financial district. as people know, this is the capital of virginia as well. so not donl we have a great financial district were we have a lot of government buildings down there. weather seat of government here in virginia so that makes us a great city too. >> i'm seeing a lot of industrial building. i see the lucky strike tower. was that sort of richmond's economic past, it's present? >> that's right it's economic past. the river provided for all things commerce and trade back
in the day. not too many cities have what we have right here. >> so where are we heading now? >> you're going to head to richmond hill here in church hill. appearance a view of all things downtown. it's one of my favorite views, a lot of what i've known -- what i remember from this view of the city is a lot of different candidates and politicians and whatnot in the past have held a lot of press conferences because it offers such a great view of all things downtown. you can see the hustle and bus he will of downtown. >> that's perfect. >> okay. >> this is right here a great view, this is right here underneath and then you see downtown and the vcu health complex ever there. then you got state government right there. i think you can see the capital from here. i can see the executive mansion from here as well. >> okay. so -- >> are we going to go by the capital? >> i would love to. >> let's do that. >> let's head there next. >> you can see jefferson's work,
still around. >> how does the city government and state government interact, if at all? >> the state government's our partner. i'm lucky, i think, to have state government based in our city. but also it presents some challenges at times as well because, you know, when you're the home of state government you don't necessarily get -- they're tax exempt. you want them to have an economic impact but they don't pay taxes on these beautiful buildings as well. so it's -- i would rather have them than not have them, i'll say that. >> we're at the state capital. now, the capital doesn't look like a lot of other capital buildings that i've seen. >> no, no, this is the original, right. i mean, this is one of the oldest operating capitols we have. >> now, who designed this? tom mation jefferson. >> the third president of the united states of america. >> designed the capitol that's still in used to. >> that's right. >> tell me about what we're
seeing here. >> abraham lincoln came here during -- came here during -- right at the end of the civil war when richmond fell and basically he freed some slaves right over here. and we have a number had statues that are on -- on the capital square grounds as well. there's harry marquise byrd over he here. barbara johns. >> we're talking about kind of the statues and these monuments. there's a lot of statues and moumts in your city, right? >> there are. you want to go to monument avenue, speak of that? >> yeah. >> even when i came here back in 2004, richmond was steadily like on that upward pro pra ject tori but it was much still to be designed. and in the '90s, a lot of of this was basically abandoned. >> okay. >> and then when people come back now, i think what we're experiencing is that there are
folks who began their lives here who went off to college and other places, had jobs in other cities-like like new york, san francisco, washington, and they come back because richmond's cool again. >> what turned that tide? what nad co what nad cool again? i'm seeing great murals around the city, great businesses. what made the change? >> i think the change -- i was trying to explain this to someone the other day as vcu kind of drove some of that. remember vcu went to the final four, that kind of help -- where's this school from, it's the stiff richmond, that put richmond on the map. i thought also this was one of the ha centers of 2008 election as well. that put us on the map when president obama won virginia for the first time until 44 years. >> a democrat had won the state. >> that's right. yeah. >> do you think that's changed as far as government too?
so virginia also went blue in the most recent election. >> that's right. and richmond's at the heart of all that because we -- we play a -- we play a significant role in the electoral future of the common wealth of virginia. not only do you have votes in northern va, but you also have a thriving, growing region as well. we're still growing and i think vcu is a driver of that and i think that just young people in general moving to the city. >> how do millennials respond ton richmond's history? >> you know what? i think the folks who are moving into the city, them just like did i about 13 years ago, you are surrounded by history basically every single day. but it's -- but history also means that it's -- some of the history here we're not proud of, right? it's confederate history that, you know, kind of is, i think, a stain on the city's record, you
can say. but, instead of being stuck in the past and using history as an anchor were we think history should be our foundation to build from. i think we're rewriting -- we're writing a new chapter in richmond's history now and that's a chapter of being a welcoming, open, inclusive city that's tolerant of all cultures and, you know, all walks of life. we're heading down monument avenue, one of the most iconic streets in all things america, i think. the one of the first monuments you're going to see on your left say monument i think that was created around 1996, 1997 towards arthur ash who was born and bred right here in the city of richmond. right now it's the only monument to an african-american. other than that, it will be monuments to those who served in
the civil war. so, you got arthur ash, jeb stewart, stonewall jackson, robert e. lee. >> okay. so there has been maybe a little bit of crory about some of the statues here. what are the feelings in the city about the statues on monument avenue? >> i think folks recognize that this is a part of our history, a terrible history it may be, a horrible history it may be, but it's a part of our history. as i have always said, what i shed any tears at the jefferson davis statue would be torn down snn no, i wouldn't. but i think the history of the past of the richmond, that being -- it being terrible or not, shouldn't be our anchor, it should be a foundation for us to build from. >> why do you think that knowing the history here is important to be what's happening in the present? >> my whole thing is about not repeating the history. providing a little context i think is what's key. right now these statues have no context, it's just statues
honoring and memorializing these figures. i think the key is to tell the whole story. think richmond can be the center of all things reconciliation. right? yes, we do have a terrible past, but it's time to actually start, i think, writing that new chapter. i think we first have to begin with that conversation about reconciliation first. >> and what's the narrative that you would like to achieve? your dream goal for not even just your time as mayor but for your time as a resident in the stiff richmond? >> i think in my time as mayor and also my time as a residency, the goal i would love to achieve would be to -- when people think about the city of richmond, currently i think the next sentence says city of richmond, the capital of virginia and the former cap talf confederacy. i want to change that narrative that says we're the capital of virginia and the center for arts and culture and history, not
necessarily being known as the capital of the confederacy. because we have a whole lot more going for us, we're more welcoming, we're more open minded, more inclusive and tolerant than our history may say. in the early 20th century, the edgar alan poe memorial association was formed by a group of lit rear enthusiasts to create a monument to the writer in his hometown in richmond, virginia. the museum officially opened with several of his manuscripts, artifacts and mem peelya on display. next we'll take a tour with the museum's curator. >> edgar alan poe is the writer who put american literature on the map. he's the one who's the first internationally influential american writer. he invented the detective story. he's one of the pioneers of science fiction. he developed a tale of