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tv   Stephen Decaturs Naval Career Legacy  CSPAN  March 3, 2019 9:05pm-10:01pm EST

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once to come to pasadena to be a part of the great wealth and resources that are within the city. our cities towards staff recently traveled to pasadena, california to learn about its rich history. learn more about has it been a and other stops on our tour at tour. you're watching american history tv, all we can come weekend, on c-span3. this year marks the 240th anniversary of early naval war history stephen decatur's birth. his military career including the recapture of the uss philadelphia and the capture macedonia and explore his legacy for the 21st century navy. the white house historical association hosted this 50 minute event at the historic
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decatur house in lafayette square. >> good afternoon, everyone. please continue to enjoy your lunch and in the interest of aheadi think i will go and make the introductions of the distinguished panel that we have and then they will come up to the stage. first of all, our moderator today is anne compton. anne has always been a pioneer. she was the first woman assigned to cover the white house on network television. and with 41 years on the air for abc news, her longevity and
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impact are unparalleled she now -- are unparalleled. she now combines her personal experiences on the white house beat with fresh scholarship from the prestigious miller center for presidential studies at the university of virginia. compton's career at abc news spanned seven presidents and 10 presidential campaigns. anne was traveling with president george w. bush on 9/11 and was the only broadcast reporter to remain on air force one to report on behalf of all the press during the chaotic hours following the terrorist attack. she says that was the most significant story of her career.
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she has had numerous awards, inducted into six holes of fame -- six halls of fame and having received five honorary university degrees. however, her most special award was when she was given the golden statuette bestowed by the national mother's day committee naming her mother of the year in [applause] -- mother of the year in [applause] 1988. midshipmen zach abey graduated from archbishop spalding here in maryland, where he played football, wrestled and was on the rugby team. after high school he attended
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the naval academy prep school in newport, rhode island and reported to the naval academy into thousand 15. throughout his time in the naval academy zach participated in varsity football as a quarterback. he played his first game against east carolina as a sophomore and started his first game in the annual army-navy game in baltimore. that is a tough way to break in starting your first game. he quarterbacked the next year and gained over 1400 yards that year as a quarterback. 1000 yards gained in a year is a
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-- as most of you that follow football no 1000 yards gained in , a year is a big deal, and he gained 40% more than that. yet when the coach had a different idea for someone to quarterback, and wanted to move zach to end, and in the triple option the end doesn't get much face time with respect to the football, it is mostly blocking and tackling, and zach was a true team player and said, whatever is best for the team sign me up. that tells you a lot about the character of midshipmen zach abey. he is a two-striper and is his company's representative to the honor committee. zach was here in our first
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inaugural stephen decatur birthday four years ago, which leads me to the first speaker at the inaugural stephen decatur birthday. he did such a great job we have brought him back twice more, vice admiral walter carter junior became superintendent of the naval academy in 2014. he graduated in 1981 and was a naval flight officer in 1982. he has landed on 19 different aircraft carriers and was the commanding officer of the uss carl vinson. he served as the 54th president of the u.s. naval war college in newport.
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during his career he flew 125 combat missions in support of operations in bosnia, kosovo, kuwait, iraq and afghanistan. in his career he completed 2016 combat-arrested landings, the most of any naval aviator in history, active or retired. [applause] marg and i spend a lot of time at the naval academy and he has done a great job as our superintendent, and will be retiring in july of this year. it has been a great run and ted, you have done a magnificent job
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and we are grateful to you. admiral john c harvey junior was commander of the u.s. fleet forces command in norfolk, virginia, and in his 39 year navy career, admiral harvey specialized in nuclear propulsion, surface ship and carrier strike rube operations, and navywide management personnel policy. he was the chief of naval personnel, the senior uniformed official in the navy and a director of the navy staff immediately prior to becoming commander of the u.s. fleet forces command. since his retirement he is now on the board of the navy memorial foundation and is serving as chairman of that
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board. he is also an outside director of at carney. in 2014 he was sworn in as a member of governor terry mcauliffe's cabinet, where he served in defense affairs until august of he is a graduate of 2017. phillips exeter academy and the u.s. naval academy and the john f. kennedy school of government at harvard. he is a four-star admiral and had a brilliant career. he is also well-known known as a navy historian and has had just an outstanding career. please join me in welcoming the distinguished members of the panel who will be celebrating with us today. [applause]
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>> welcome. i'm going to start with a question, where is hollywood? where's the big, blockbuster movie, that sprawling saga about the naval hero in the early hours of this nation, the one who dressed up in native, local sailors' garb to sneak into to come and notc rescue but blow up the uss
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philadelphia, which had been taken hostage there. where is the one who came back to washington and chanted an an entirehanted community and brought a vivid, heroic life to all of us. where is that hollywood blockbuster? i think that any of you, after listening to this panel today, will agree that somebody in hollywood has to get cracking on this. [applause] ann: i want to start with admiral john harvey, because before we can talk about the legacy we need to know more about the context, the time in history when stephen decatur, the young boy growing up in philadelphia watching ships be built, what was that era for the country and the navy like?
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admiral harvey: what struck me when you look at his life is that he is growing into his profession at the same time the united states is growing significantly. the louisiana purchase in 1803, america is deciding whether we want to be a bunch of farmers up and down the east coast, or is there something grander in our future? the louisiana purchase answered that question, but the development of trade into the mediterranean, which brings us to the heart of the stephen decatur story, was also growing in the 1800s. and that the flag follows trade has been true for thousands of years. so the nation was growing and it was fascinating then that the navy was becoming one of the faces of that nation. how did america see itself? how did it understand itself in the context of the times? the navy was growing at the same
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time. the naval act of 1794 signed by george washington got going with joshua humphreys and the famous six frigates. l wonderful book by ian tol tells the story of the development of those frigates and their construction, and they were the great ships of the war of 1812 that figured prominently in decatur's life. so as our nation was expanding and figuring out its future, the navy was expanding at protecting -- and protecting the trade that was going to be the basis for our country's economic development. it -- so, it was kind of two great streams came together and that is why decatur's life captured the attention of citizens at the time. they knew it really mattered every day what was going on with him. ann: admiral ted carter, the heroics stephen decatur is credited with, why was he such a risk taker? you know his background and some of the highlights better than
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anyone. admiral carter: it was that moment in our nations history where we were trying to decide -- were we going to be a land nation or a nation defined by our ocean borders? his father served in the revolutionary war, he was a merchant man so he was familiar with the sea. teenage boys were put on ships to learn the trade and he served as a midshipman on the uss united states with the father of our navy, john berry, first commodore of the united states navy, and he was on board this vessel, the uss united states, as she was launched as the first of the six frigates. that is where he began his training. he was exposed earlier to this odd phenomenon of the time, that in this movie that should be
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made will just enrapture the american public. they had this strange habit of holding up their honor by challenging each other to duels, and he experienced this early. this one quick story i will tell starts to define who stephen decatur became in his early role -- in his early role. of the many midshipman onboard the uss united states, was a gentleman named richard somers. somers would become famous. we have six ships named after him. the second was the uss summers, where we hung the former secretary of war, a midshipman named spencer, and when it was discovered it became the summers affair. that is how the naval academy was founded from 1843-1840 five.
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-- 1845. but as a midshipman richard somers was challenged by decatur himself. made fun of the way decatur dressed, and decatur said, midshipman summers, you are foolish. it became this thing where he had to defend his honor. midshipman were the go-between between officers and the enlisted crew and in the mess the crewmen were making fun of somers himself. and to show his mettle, and somers decided to duel three different apprentices on the ship. the first one shot him in the arm, the second shot him in the thigh, as he was about to bleed out, mid-shipment decatur prop pped him up ando then midshipman somers fired ahead of the fire code and shot the third apprentice, and that is how it ended. somers eventually dies in the barbary wars, but this is where decatur learns this idea of know fear. ann: let me ask midshipman zach abey, and thank you for joining
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us because 138 years from today you will graduate and start on the rest of your career. tell us what drew you to the navy, what drew you to the academy, and what it is about stephen decatur lives on for those of you in today's navy? i grew up in pasadena, maryland. i've been around the academy life all my life. going to football games. i was lucky to play football here. one of the major traits stephen decatur had is what we are taught, to be a selfless leader. i was lucky enough to have a really good squad leader, and not only when we are in intensive training in the
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hallway, he showed leadership because if we had to do push-ups he would do push-ups with us. that was my first interaction with a leader i aspired to be, because he knew that as we were going through this pain, we would do it with him. that is something stephen decatur had, knowing that he was outnumbered 5-1 but he went on the ship first and even after setting the uss philadelphia on fire, he was the last one to leave the ship. he would never expect the men and women who follow him to do more than he would do. that's a big thing we learn from the academy and something i would take forward for my entire career. ann: i want to go back to admiral carter to talk about the hms macedonian.
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and that chapter of the movie we are all going to go see, that has got to be, if not the climax, close to it. admiral carter: as we are assembled today recognizing the 240th birthday of stephen decatur we are also recognizing the third congressional gold medal bestowed on him, which was for his actions in 1812 on the uss united states, the ship that he would become a midshipman on and eventually command. as we entered into what was our nation's first true war that would be formed at sea against great britain on june 18, 1812, it would not take long for our ships to deploy from cities like new york, norfolk, boston. stephen decatur was deployed in command of the uss united states out of boston, he sailed east to meet hundreds of british ships, mostly fighting frigates, and now looking at them.
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ironically, the hms macedonian would actually be stationed right there in norfolk in 1810 -- in 1810. in fact stephen decatur was on , board the uss united states in norfolk harbor next to the macedonian and met the captain. and they had a bet, they had a bet that if they ever met in combat the losing commanding officer would give a beaver-pelt hat to the winner. so here they are traveling east, 500 miles south of the azores off the island of madeira, and at 9:00 in the morning, over the horizon stephen decatur spies a 154-foot long three-masted frigate and immediately recognizes it as hms macedonian. unlike previous exploits where
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he was brash, outnumbered five to one and going ship to ship, this is a battle in which he actually used his naval intellect and smarts to win at sea. he recognized he had a bigger ship. the uss united states had 400 sailors and marines, 44 guns on board, mostly 18 pounders that could launch cannonade. the macedonian had 36 guns, some of them lighter. 12 pounds. so he understood for this battle he had a distance advantage. if he could stay farther away rather than closer, he had a better chance of winning. that is how we ended up winning this battle, by actually crossing the bow, or crossing the t as it is known in naval battle, and got off 70 broadsides, compared to only 30 macedonia which lasted
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less than an hour. after they came aboard, there were over 1000 holes within the ship. and the truth of this amazing story -- in fact the desk from , the uss united states is here in the decatur house where he wrote his end-of-battle report. as they were lashed together for two weeks, he made a decision, we will repair the ship and sail it back to the united states. it was the first time in american history, the first time in any naval battle, where the captain brought back the spoils of victory. they sailed into newport harbor and that is where decatur became a national hero. ann: where's the macedonian figurehead now. admiral carter: it was renamed as a uss ship and served for ship.0 years as a uss and interestingly, the naval academy training vessel was the
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macedonia, serving as a training vessel at the naval academy for over 60 years. great history with the name macedonian. ann: i want to ask one bit of history about the title commodore, because you don't hear that anymore. is it an honorary title or an official military rank? admiral carter: admiral harvey, as head of navy personnel, could speak more definitively on this rank because it was actually resurrected for a while. today the rank of commodore is more of a positional authority rather than a rank. as many people know, our flag ranks are rear admiral, to star -- two star vice admiral, four-star. but in our early days of our navy, we didn't have admirals. in fact it would be many decades
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before commodore barry would be bestowed that ceremonial rank, becoming the first admiral of the united states navy. but admiral harvey, i think you can talk about this period when we thought about bringing back the rank of commodore. admiral harvey: where actually did. one of our secretaries of the navy, we did bring back the rank of commodore, a little bit of interservice -- hoorah here. in days of old when a navy officer was promoted, he went to two-star admiral, to the consternation of the army, navy and marine car, who camped out as brigadier generals,, one step -- generals, one star.
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this was considered an extraordinary action by some, but for others it was the way god intended it to be. [laughter] but as we were pursuing greater joint nest, the navy acceded to the desires to have a one-star rank, and we instituted the rank of commodore admiral as one star. it sounds silly that we changed that to rear admiral lower half, but that was the one time in the modern navy were commodore was a rank. today if you were a captain in command of a squadron of destroyers, you have the honorific of commodore. that is where we are today as far as commodore and admiral goes. ann: zach, in 1815 it's written stephen decatur replied to a toast after successful engagement involved.
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he said our country in her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right. but our country right or wrong. that kind of philosophy, what does your generation of future navy officers look at in terms of americas naval engagement around the world, because you will represent the united states around the globe? zach: we have a lot of classes at the naval academy that support us with that. as we go forward, you talk to different people and have different experiences. as you go further in your development as an officer, just learning from different experiences and just knowing that people before you had done a great job, will help you out and point you in the right direction.
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ann: do you feel your academy years have given you not only a focus on the military, but to be a leader in the world today you have to be a much, much more broadly educated in arts, sciences, literature, music, do you think the education you are getting now is going to give you that background? midshipmen abey: absolutely. we have a lot of core classes. i'm a political science major, but that doesn't mean i just study political science material. the core classes, three history classes, physics one in physics two, chemistry one and chemistry 2 and three.
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we have a variety of information we have to take that definitely helps us broaden what we have to do, and in the same way, when we go into the navy or marine corps we will have a greater sense of what needs to get done. ann: and of course technology has changed all of our businesses, all of our lives, but technology in the hands of america's military is transforming. is it hard to look back at stephen decatur's era of sails and high seas and see lessons there that apply to the incredible technological, digital world you live in now? midshipmen abey: yes, it's incredible to see what they have done, sailing through the night and knowing where to go and knowing what reefs to watch out far without the radar and sonar technology we have now.
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some of the stuff you hear about in history classes, it's really crazy to see. ann: let me ask admiral carter, and terms of educating, what you do now to educate the modern sailor? admiral carter: we think about what midshipmen, at the forming of our country, were trained in, how they became officers of the navy. there is a formal education there that is tried and true. they still have to learn basic science, english, history, celestial navigation is still taught at the naval academy, but as zach spoke to, they have the opportunity to take electives and take classes that will give them a specialty. and the age old question about, how do you teach somebody to become a future leader?
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we give them classes in the understanding of themselves and the people they were lead -- they will eat, but what has changed in education, and not just to places like the naval academy and the air force academy, -- they are happening at all places of higher education, this idea of being immersed into learning. learning is no longer passive. you don't go into a classroom, have somebody tell you something, and you regurgitate it. now it is putting yourself into the experience. for us at the naval academy, that is 100% what we are about, the immersive opportunity. it is not what -- not just what midshipmen like zach have done, it is the opportunities they get during the summer where they get to lead youth, future midshipmen, boy scouts, girl scouts, people from unrepresented parts of the country.
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they will be put in a leadership role. they have their own structure within midshipmen. zach is a two striper, so he is in charge of not just underclassmen but some of his peers. this is the crucible that is time-tested but also needs to evolve to keep the newer generation wanting to be the future leaders of not just the navy and marine corps, but the nation. ann: it is also operating in not only a campus atmosphere, but a country at global economy which is far more diverse than it was in stephen decatur's day. >> i think you have brought up a real interesting point. admiral carter talked about it from the perspective of the naval academy. as a fleet commander, one of the things i always wanted to do was find a way to make the navy's past real to the sailors of today. not just because it is a cool story, but because what was demanded of those sailors, what was demanded of stephen decatur when he led that boarding party
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onto the philadelphia in what nelson called the most daring act of the age is what is demanded of our sailors today. i think it is an extraordinary benefit to find a way to bring it into context to the navy today, the sailors today. in 1960, my father gave me this book, the american heritage junior library, naval battles and heroes. i was nine years old at the time, in case you were wondering. [laughter] admiral harvey: the hook was said early on for me. today, what you give a nine-year-old to try to start telling the story of how this nation, this navy came about and what it took in terms of the human effort and sacrifice at service to bring it to where we are today. how do we bring this story alive? maybe through a movie. admiral carter and the team at the naval academy do a fabulous job in a very packed schedule, as zach can probably tell you.
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there is not a lot of time to wonder, what am i going to do today? they are jan with a lot to do. how do you bring this to the sailors today i think is a serious challenge and one we haven't yet solved for the navy. there is too much to learn from, too much to understand that is directly applicable to what is going on all around the world today. ann: in a moment, we are going to take questions. before we do, i want to talk a little bit about what matt costello, our senior historian, described to me as the time went -- when stephen decatur made the transition, leaving the sea behind and taking his newfound wealth to washington, buying this land when this neighborhood was a president's park, a white house, st. john's church, but not a lot else. admiral harvey, if you could
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start by talking about how stephen decatur got his wealth. i mean, it was a different compensation than today's. and why do you think he came and settled in washington? admiral harvey: as far as how he generated such great wealth so early, under the idea that congress awarded prize money. he had a good reason to bring the macedonia back. it was worth an awful lot of money to him and his crew. the term was prize money, authorized by congress at the recommendation of the then-secretary of the navy. a very strong career that put you in harm's way also provided, for the fortunate few, the starting of a very nice family fortune. stephen decatur, it was prize money that he invested very wisely in real estate on lafayette square.
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the rest, as you say, is history. he continued to serve as one of the naval commissioners who advised the secretary of the navy on all things the navy should be doing, the kind of ships, the kind of people, et cetera he served a significant policy role at this was a good place to do it. it was mentioned by mr. costello what might have been had he lived. i think stephen decatur, knowing he had a very outsized role in society, and recognized -- very few were at that time -- off and down the east coast, national figure. i think he may have had his eyes on some sites beyond being a retired naval officer, as
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wonderful as that is. [laughter] admiral harvey: and there could be nothing better than that, but he may have had his eyes on something. this was a convenient place to do it at he had the wherewithal to make it happen. ann: he and susan decatur built this home in 18, moved in in 19? it was still the early days. but his friends were president. a couple of days before his death, he went to a wonderful dinner for the president's daughter, who was engaged, maria monroe. this was a guy who had taken that sea experience, the leadership and adventurism that he enjoyed, and turned it into a very, very potent presence in this city.
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admiral, could you talk a little bit about how he returned to this house? what those last days of his life, which cut short a really brilliant career? admiral harvey: well, the actual cause of the duel was the resurrection of an old argument with captain baron, a commanding officer of the frigate chesapeake. in 1807 before the war of 1812, at a time when the royal navy was impressing seamen off u.s. ships, interfering with trade and seamen's rights, called out to captain baron of the chesapeake in norfolk that he believed there were british deserters on board, and called the ship out and challenged it and fired a broadside. the chesapeake was not ready for combat, not ready for much of anything.
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it was on a transit to the mediterranean. it was a great disaster for the ship. many were killed. the ship was taken by the british. seamen were taken off. not a good day for the united states navy. there was a court-martial. decatur sat on the court-martial and captain baron of the chesapeake was suspended essentially from the navy for a period of about five years. he went to south america, went broke, had a disastrous personal life after that. as you might expect, held a significant grudge against those members of the court, of which stephen decatur was one. baron is back in the united states, decatur has moved here to establish his presence with his family, his wife. baron shows up and the rest is history. the old argument came back.
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as admiral carter talked about, the extraordinary sense of personal honor that demanded confrontation and demanded an act of extraordinary danger and courage to satisfy one's sense of honor. that took place in maryland and would prove fatal. that is where it came from. baron came back. ann: it was the era where many americans are now familiar with hamilton and the alexander hamilton, during the musical several times is involved in duels. they went across the water from manhattan. dueling was illegal. in the musical, they asked why they went there. because everything is legal in new jersey.
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so this duel with stephen decatur and baron was just across the maryland line. he was brought back to this home and this is where he died and cut that historic life short. which means the hollywood production will have a weepy ending, just like hamilton. with that, i would like to invite those of you in the audience, if you would like to ask a question. i have the first-hand of over here. >> did stephen decatur and people of that era set the culture of the u.s. navy? what did they set for the culture of the navy? how did they carry it forward with the technology we have today? >> i will take a first shot at that. there is no question that stephen decatur was the early
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definition of the ethos we represent in the navy. bold, decisive, victorious in just about every engagement. during my time, i have experienced going from what i would call the analog maybe. i flew in planes that had nothing digital, the going into the beginning of the digital navy. granted, when i started flying, some of the most dangerous things you could do was just to fly and maybe land on a pitching deck aircraft carrier. i have witnessed younger tenants -- young lieutenants making incredibly courageous decisions in the air over combative territory, being fired at over the country of kosovo in 1999 against a mobile surface-to-air style missile. close in, not knowing where they were. instead of just evading at not being shot down, they went head-to-head with them at took down those sites. that type of instinctual daring
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still exists, whether it was in the 1990's or going into the 20 -- or going into the 2020s. we see this in the midshipmen at the naval academy. from my seat as the head of an institution that is in charge of developing those future leaders, i am incredibly optimistic that that fighting ethos that existed in stephen decatur is still there today. for our navy officers and our marine corps officers. ann: yes, martha. we have a microphone. could we pass that over? martha, one of the board members here and a longtime colleague of mine in the white house press room. >> i wondered what the impact of his death was by dueling, whether nationally there was a sense of great loss by means that somebody just should not have been dying at that time period. what was the impact within the navy and nationally?
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admiral carter: i think you get an idea of the impact nationally if you look at his funeral. it reminded me -- you can read about it in the sitting room -- on one of the walls, there is a short story about it from the time. everybody who was anybody in washington went. it was like burying a president these days. congress, the president, all the prominent figures were there, as well as so many of his shipmates and much of the navy. the idea was his death was known nationally, and it was considered a tremendous tragedy for the nation, not just the navy. as to the history of dueling, it continued. it was the nature of the time. that sort of behavior was going to be expected, and it was carried out. it did not end dueling in the
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united states, but certainly it had an impact on the navy as well. >> what did it have within the navy? was there a reconsideration of whether people should be involved in -- admiral harvey: you have to remember, the navy, we just now ended bread and water as a punishment. [laughter] admiral harvey: we don't do change real fast. [laughter] we can change a lot, but not everything. it did not have that impact. it was considered a great loss, but he was considered to have gained great honor through having fought the duel. >> i was just looking for something positive from such a tragic death. admiral carter: i think the positive is dueling did end. it may have taken a couple of decades, but it did end. i am not sure that decatur's loss-of-life -- by the way,
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admiral harvey covered this so well, but what is lost in the translation -- remember, when they dueled, the duel was 10 paces. in this particular case, barron and in horrible shape and the seconds allowed this to be a four pace apart deul. somebody was going to die. sharpshooters like stephen decatur would often not take the death shot. they would shoot someone's hip or elbow. this was set up for decatur to die and their seconds were responsible for that. that is the aftermath of this duel that is not often talked about. >> as a strategist, how did he get himself pulled into that? admiral carter: there was a part of stephen decatur -- there was no duel he didn't like. i think he liked that kind of excitement. he was involved in dozens of
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them, whether the shooter or the second. this was a flaw, if there was one in him, that he just could not turn down. he did not have to duel barron. that grudge match had already been settled. admiral harvey: i think you nailed it. it was in his nature. as zach said, the first one on the ship, the last one off it. that was a pattern through his entire career. it also translated into how he did business on shore. he was never going to step away from a challenge. you read any of the biographies, you will see countless -- not just duels, but confrontations over the right thing, his honor, his judgment, and he never backed down from any one of those confrontations. it was just the nature of the beast. >> zach, does not have some resonance for midshipmen? zach: not backing down? without a doubt. one thing that came to my mind
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for i guess something in our era is lieutenant travis manion, who graduated from the naval academy. he was in the marine corps and he selflessly died in fallujah, but i am sure a lot of you know he sacrificed his life for his crewmembers. -- for his platoon members. that is something that -- we get talk all these leadership lessons, but that is something that comes from within. that is a leadership quality that you should aspire to have. his famous quote is, if not me, then who? i believe that is something stephen decatur influenced. ann: we have a question way over here. another insider question. >> anyone on the panel, is the navy today promoting the risktakers, the decatur-like risktakers?
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>> first you have to find them to promote them. there have to be circumstances that bring forward the people who will take the great risk. it is very interesting that we have not had a major fleet action since really 1944. 1945. the number of times that you have had actions between ships involving ships have been very few. the one exception has been naval aviation. from the period of time before the kuwait war up until now, naval aviation has been involved in combat continuously since 1991, from desert storm to the southern watch to everything else that has followed. i think we have a pretty good idea, and i will speak very frankly. as chief naval personnel, we had a very good idea in terms of aviation. those who were the standouts,
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those who led in the air, as admiral carter talked about, we knew who they work, because it was demanded of them as lieutenants, lieutenant commanders, and commanding officers. i think we had a very good idea of that. the other communities, it is a little more difficult. the submariners are out alone and unafraid. i never know what they do when they are out there. they say they do an awful lot and i take their word for it. surface to land, you did all kinds of things. about the actual getting into combat -- i know risktakers involves more than just that -- but who will be the ones to fight? back to the first question, the expectation that was set was if there is a fight, you are going to fight. and if you are going to fight, you are going to win. that was the single frigate action of the war of 1812 that set the standard for the navy that carries through today.
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finding the risktakers is very difficult in a zero defect society and bureaucracy. making that work is a challenge for all of us who were in positions of responsibility and authority, and i think it continues today. i don't think you will ever get a satisfactory answer. are we promoting them all? we will find out when push comes to shove if we have the right people with the right stuff. so far, my experience has been that we have, and on the main, we do a good job putting the right people in the right places. ann: we have time for one more question. >> i want to know what happened to barron after the duel. admiral harvey: he was wounded, but not fatally. he recovered and died a few years later. he never recovered his fortune, his family, his name. it was just off into the waste. >> for commodore decatur, the
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book that has been published here that describes the funeral procession when his body left here to go to a burial spot, the neighborhood -- the city turned out by literally thousands and thousands of people, and walking in the dirt streets behind the casket and family was the president of the united states, the entire cabinet, the supreme court, and members of congress, taking stephen decatur to his burial spot. it was a symbol that i think we don't see in this day and age unless it is someone who has ascended to the political level of a john mccain were george herbert walker bush, who embodied that kind of american spirit, and it really makes stephen decatur the must-see blockbuster officer winner.
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thank you all very much. please thank our panel, admiral harvey, admiral carter, zach abey. thank you gentlemen for being here. [applause] you're watching american history tv, 48 hours of programming on american history on c-span3. follow us on twitter at c-span history for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around
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the country. c-span is brought to >> american history tv is on c-span3 every weekend, featuring museum tours, archival films, and programs on the presidency. the civil war and more. here's a clip from a recent program. in april of 1970, mixon sent south vietnamese and american troops across the border into cambodia. this is completely illegal. we were not at war with cambodia. there was no authorization from congress to go to war with cambodia. they just sent troops across the border into cambodia. this strategy also failed to dislodge the north vietnamese from cambodia, who continue to be supplied from cambodia. --thed have the effect unintended and undesired effect of supporting local communist insurgents in cambodia.
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the resulting khmer rouge--their victory in cambodia, helped by the north koreans, encouraged by the u.s., was catastrophic for the cambodian people. 2 million fell victim to the genocide that was perpetrated by the communists as part of what they called their "real relocation program." it's hard to do this in secret. the president got found out. it was revealed. war withto go to another country with no one noticing. immediate protests and congress -- in congress. when college campuses explode. out in the quads, protesting the american policies, protesting the war,
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protesting the draft. >> listen to lectures and history on the go, by streaming our podcast anywhere, anytime. you're watching "american history tv," olean c-span3. next, on american artifacts, we go behind the scenes at the u.s. army heritage and education center, in carlisle, pennsylvania, to see a selection of world war i office -- objects and their storage facility. caresl be the staff who for the items in the collection, and see how the repair, conserve and store a selection of fragile objects. bissinger.eb the army heritage and education center is the army's unofficial


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