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tv   Controversial Monuments of the American West  CSPAN  March 21, 2019 8:01pm-9:36pm EDT

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ranging from the american lung -- revolution to 9/11. journey through the 20th century on public affairs. on real america. hear from presidents and first ladies. learn about their politics. policies and legacies on the presidency. look at the people and events that shaped the civil war and reconstruction. listen to eyewitness accounts of key events in our nations history on oral histories. american history tv, each night this week in prime time while congress is in recess. on c-span three, every weekend. tonight on american history tv a discussion about controversial monuments in the american west. and how they compare to monuments built in the south. after that we will focus on native american history.
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later texas a&m humanities library. talk about the history and preservation of five spanish missions. in san antonio, texas. next historians discuss controversial monuments in the west. including 19th-century statues and plaques. in honor of u.s. military leaders. and monuments to pioneers, missionaries and early settlers who colonized the west hosted by the western history association, this is an hour and a half. i am the author of a book called the legacy of conquest. thank you. its working title was the burdens of western history. that tells us a little something about the relationship that i saw myself into in southern history. and hoped i would see more of in western history. woodford was the first person to read my proposal for the legacy of conquest. i was hoping to do something comparable to what mr. woodward had done to connect the past to the present. and i dreamed of a real engagement between southern history and western history at that time.
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it irritated me. that children play cowboys and indians and a lighthearted manner. in a way that they did not play masters and slaves. somewhere the seriousness of western history would be seen in a comparative perspective with the other history. regional comparisons here are huge. to a degree i have been okay with the fact that national attention has been on the south and confederate memorials. and less for us and giving us more time as westerners to figure out how we will perform better at handling our heritage it may help or it may be more of a burden. that our heritage is complicated. when we talk about monuments and memorials, we can't get to memorials of soldiers. if you want to speak of that until we have talked about
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father sarah. there is so much complexity to this heritage. also images memorials and monuments that seem to have very little to have to do with soldiers in battle and missionaries in california. with pioneer women. my one comment on bronze, there are several ways in which that is used. the other bronze age was the early 20th century. most of those statues are not in the least from the era of the civil war in the south. or the mid-19th century. thereby enshrined the racial troubles and attitudes of a much more recent era, late 19th or early 20th century. what is observed in these disputes, bronze does not hold
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up well in the atmosphere. it turns out bronze gets pitted and streaked. that is kind of cool. i will say. when you see the reverence that goes into some of the statues. to think that john c calhoun has to be scrubbed every year. that strikes me as funny. i am delighted to have these folks here. i do think we will not only explore the similarities and differences in the heritage of the south, complicated heritages of the south. i also think we will have interesting things that contemplate in the difference in cultures and civic culture, and regional mood between those two fast regions. we will find those two units west and south can be a great
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deal of complexity. those are my opening remarks. i will introduce all the panelists. as we have covered up here, alphabetical order is the only thing that brings order to my disordered life. we will be following alphabetical order. it is our agreement that it is far better for these introductions to be short so you can spend more time hearing the people rather than hearing me speak about them. albert broussard, our first speaker is the professor of history at texas and. he is the author of a number of important and influential books. he has participated into -- two textbook products. a history of black westerners. he now has a wonderful project on the black -- western civil rights movement. of blacks and the relations with other groups. our second speaker, and also let's say your remarks yesterday on -- about your personal experiences were intense and moving. robert h nancy sharon history.
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codirector of the clements center for southwest studies at southern methodist university. he's the author of the white scorch, mexico, blacks and whites in texas. quest for equality. the failed promise of black brown's solidarity and mexicans in the making. his co-author is john r chavez. no one has ever seen a few introductions with such brevity and efficiency. other people in the room have been in the opposite situation. will she ever stop introducing people? margaret jacobs is the chancellor professor of history at the university of nebraska at lincoln. she is the author of a
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generation removed, the fostering and adoption of envision's children in a post world. white mother to a dark race. and the removal of indigenous children and the american west and australia. also engendered encounters. feminism and some bloke cultures. leadership professor of history at the university of california davis. he is the author of battle lines , a graphic history of the civil war as well as a missed place massacre struggling over the struggle of sand creek and a river and the city and the nature of landscape in new orleans. cindy prescott is associate professor of history. there's a chancellor waiting out there to get going.
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she is the author of gender and generation on the far western frontier. she has a project that will be out next year. pioneer mother monument. constructing cultural memory. that is the introduction. we will begin. albert? >> first of all good afternoon and thank you for coming. thank you for inviting me to participate in this. i am going to have to shorten my presentation. monuments in the west honoring african-americans reflect in my view social justice civil rights. selfless service, bravery and
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patriotism and the role of african-americans as pioneers in that region. blacks and whites were equally responsible for the broad public relations campaign to gain public acceptance of these monuments. online confederate leaders or white supremacist politicians, or during the modern jim crow era which looked backward to some golden ages. monuments that recognized african-americans look forward toward the future. on blacks and whites, also i might add share the cost of erecting these monuments. one of the most interesting areas a recognition of black westerners are postage stamps. i don't have time to talk about this. i will talk about two people. robert jordan and dorie miller. i will start with dorie miller. she was born in waco, texas in 1919. enrolled in the united states
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navy in 1939. primarily because he grew up in a poor for family in waco. this was a way for him to feed himself and to relieve his family of the burden. he served on the uss west virginia at the time of the japanese attack on pearl harbor in 1941. many of you know the story. miller left as the attack is underway. without any training. he manned a 50 caliber browning antiaircraft machine. until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship. he carried his white captain who was injured to safety. miller had no training as i pointed out. in this area. for many years the myth was perpetrated that he shot down a number of airplanes. he did not. nonetheless this was still viewed as a heroic act.
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miller had been an outstanding football player. no surprise there. in high school in waco. he was also the heavyweight boxing champion on his ship. chester nemecek the commander, personally presented the navy cross to miller. he said he wanted to do it himself. which in and of itself was unusual. this was the third highest award honored by the navy. the navy also use this particular episode as a recruiting tool. in fact, this is the poster that was issued. this was the recruiting tool that they used. miller served in the pacific theater until november 1943. a torpedo struck his ship from a japanese submarine. the ship sank within minutes and dorie miller was among more than 600 fatalities. in 1973 in the united states
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navy commissioned the uss miller. this was a knox class frigate in orner -- honor of dorie miller. a bronze commemorative plaque of miller is located at the miller family park on the u.s. naval base pearl harbor. the united states post office recognized miller in 2010 by issuing a stamp in his honor and to pay tribute to what they call distinguished american sailors. under president obama, two texas legislatures introduced legislation to rename the waco va medical center after dorie miller. president obama signed the legislation in 2015. on december 7, 2017, the city of waco unveiled a nine foot bronze statue. honoring miller, and this was
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at miller park. the city of waco as well as the rapoport foundation contributed to all of the expenses. the former u.s. ambassador to sweden, a life long native that waco gave the key address at this particular time. miller ceremony was a communitywide event. it was celebrated by blacks and whites alike. it was not the divisive issue that southern monuments represent. rather it was upbeat, uplifting and patriotic. the recognition also help to heal in a small way waco shameful racial past. which had lynched jesse washington. a 17-year-old african-american farmworker who allegedly a white woman in 1918. waco thus far has refused however to place any kind of remembrance for this horrid event which they view as devices rather than uplifting. the second statue is out of
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jordan. statues of jordan are located at both the austin international airport and on the ut campus. this is one of four statues i might add honoring african- americans on the ut campus. and represents the triumph of white and black austa nights together two separate -- celebrate and honor the life of a great texas woman. barbara jordan was the -- first black elected to the body since 1883.
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she later ran successfully in 1973 for the u.s. house of representatives. for the 18th the district becoming the first woman from a southern state to serve in u.s. congress. she let a distinguished career in that body. perhaps best known as a member of the house judiciary committee during the 1974 watergate hearings. which investigated the illegal conduct of richard nixon. and fall, a ut student group called the orange jackets began a discussion with a number of student organizations on that campus. to recognize an outstanding woman. in their view the campus lacked statues of female role models. the orange jackets were established in 1923, they are ut's oldest women's honorary organization. they serve both the ut campus and the greater austin community. during these discussions barbara jordan's name emerged and the orange jackets agreed to submit jordan for consideration. in august 2003 the ut board of regents gave final approval one year after this process began. which i think is truly remarkable. the newly formed barbara jordan advisory committee started the tedious process of soliciting
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sculptures inappropriate comment to place on and around the statue. the only controversy i can locate when i read the barbara jordan statue project at the briscoe center this past summer was rather or not the committee should include any mission -- mention of jordan sexual orientation. they did not. on 24 april, 2009 a large group of ut students staff and faculty and community members celebrated the unveiling of the barbara jordan statue. let me share other pictures of that. this is the invitation. one is the invitation of the ceremony and the other is the picture it self. about 1000 people were invited. the official invitation downplayed jordan's race it said quote we hope you will join us as we celebrate the unveiling of the first statue of a prominent female figure, so honored in the 125 year history of the university. in conclusion i would like to save the statues tributes
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memorials to african american westerners sparked little controversy. they were supported and embraced by a broad spectrum of the community. second the two suspects -- subjects, represented the values and the principles. not only in the community but also of the u.s. constitution. pride in one's country and selfless service, and sacrifice and patriotism. the monuments as i said earlier look to the future. they represent it. america's promise was unfulfilled but the future nonetheless was. monument -- monuments to african-americans were designed to unify the community. and they sought input from all statements of the community. unlike monuments for confederate statues. with african american community was never consulted. the former mayor of new orleans expressed my view as well.
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when he analyze the meaning of the confederate statues and monuments in his city he said the statutes were not honoring history or heroes. they were created as political weapons. part of an effort to hide the truth. which that the confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity. they help to distort history putting forth the myth of southern chevrolet dallas chivalry. for those of you not aware mitch landrieu removed the statues of jefferson davis and robert e lee and a monument honoring the white league of millicent white supremacist organization. these monuments recognized african-americans that whites perceived as nonthreatening. in other words, they did not upset the status quo. thank you very much.
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>> i am trying to find my powerpoint. can you all hear me? patty has given us strict orders. 8 minutes. i will read what i. i cut it down to eight minutes. i don't want to go over. thank you patty for letting me use your ipad. your twitter messages keep popping up on the screen. >> neil was among one pushing me.
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>> let me begin with a quote from an anthropologist. sorry if i butchered that french name. with this admonishment. we now know that narratives are made of scientists. not all that are deliberate. we want to keep in mind while some of us debate what history is or was, others take it in their own hands. white nationalist in charlottesville took history and their own hands last year chanting you will not replaces blood and soil and white lives matter. the dedication of hundreds of confederate statues in the south from 1890 to world war i and the naming of schools after confederate generals from the 1920s to the 1950s, represented
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a two-pronged effort that began in the south toward the end of the 19th century. first to minimize the centrality of slavery of the personal foundation -- and second to reaffirm the supremacy of the white race through the enforcement of jim crow's segregation. meanwhile in the western front in mexico and california grapple with their own version of confederate tributes. mainly celebrations of spanish conquest. controversies over the messaging of these tributes have received less media attention nationally, although native people have as much appreciation for the statutes as african-americans for confederate generals. i will mention these controversies before turning to a nearby texas site for comment. a monument in san francisco depicts a indian lying at the feet of a settlor. and the catholic priest by the way looks a little bit like a cross between the ghost of christmas past and mentor. anyway not surprisingly. many native american groups use the statute as reminder of forced conversion.
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by spanish american later settlers. member, a tribal member by morningstar called the sculpture a monument of genocide. that it's removal which so disrespect for history. this is a slide of the santa barbara mission that native activists the captured -- decapitated a statue. who has canonized a saint in 2015 by pope francis. these natives say he should be called a saint of genocide. in new mexico during the festival of santa fe, held each year since 1911, the residence address to celebrate the 1692 conquest of new mexico known as the entrada. which took place 12 years after
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dashed the drove out the spanish colonizers. the natives in entrada as reminder of forced religious conversion and the violence against resistance to spanish rule. last year the city council voted to end the reenactment of the entrada. alain ortiz a tribal member in northern new mexico, set activist groups have been emboldened by the removal of confederate monuments across the united states. then there is don diego, in 1598 -- after a long and bloody
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h. 400 years later in 1998 natives in northern mexico return the favor. by sawing off his right foot. the native commandos left a statement. we took the liberty of removing the man's right foot on behalf of our brothers and sisters of pueblo. we see no glory in celebrating, and we do not want our faces rubbed in it. perhaps the most guilty of historical silences is located just a few blocks from us. the alamo was originally a mission. establish in 1720. the history of those native people who were raised by white men and women in san antonio in the late 19th century, about the same time white southerners began their confederate moderate built-in craze. council estimates more than 1000 native americans are buried in the grounds adjacent to the alamo. it does not include native people. despite at san antonio is a city with the 10th largest population of native americans.
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instead they remain -- remade the mission into a shrine of courageous white pioneers against the dusted to some of mexico. the narrative also completely erases the role of slavery in the struggle for independence from mexico. it even silences the voice of stephen f austin. who wrote in 1833 i have been a verse to the principles of slavery in texas. i now have change my views. texas must be a slave country. of course for years anglo settlers like jim buie and davy crockett had crossed the border between louisiana and mexican texas without documents. i guess the alamo is also a shrine to anglo illegal aliens.
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25 years later texas voted to succeed from the union in 1861 to preserve slavery. they demanded the protection of quote the beneficent and patriarchal system of african slavery. and the servitude of the african to the white race. the racial fears and anxieties of whites in
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in texas and in the south was as much of a threat to their masculinity as the racial power and privilege. today whites are left in 50% of the total texas population. latinos are 40%. latinos represent 52% of all public school students in the state. tomography may not be destiny. it matters what monuments and memorials are being celebrated, by whom, where and for what. for over a century the university of texas, and i speak from experience because this happened when i was there, used to hold an official celebration on march 2 of texas independence. until the practice was abandoned in the 1990s. a growing number of students protested against the celebration of the save dan ashley republic that demonized mexicans as well as blacks. what guidance and conclusion? might historians of the south and west provide communities having to reassess their regional heritage in the narratives of the past, that these monuments serve as a reminder. i do not know. i do not have a clue. i really don't. maybe patty does.
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i do know that if communities want to build bridges instead of boats they must seek consensus. first on what values and ideals they want their communities to represent. second to consider whether those monuments embody the values and ideals that they wish to pass on to their children. thank you. >> good afternoon everybody. neil has kindly agreed to be my flight expert. in my brief talk i will compare two recent efforts to
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memorialize our complexed history. the national memorial for peace and justice in alabama which is on lynching. and an aborted art installation called scaffold. which is about capital punishment. which included the memorial -- memorialization of 38 men that were hung in 1862. i feel like a star. the national memorial for peace and justice opened much acclaim on april 26, 2018. one mile away from the still standing jefferson davis monument in montgomery, alabama. this was founded by brian robertson and his equal justice initiative. or dji. and the new memorial as you can see is built on a six acre site
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atop a rise overlooking montgomery. this memorial bears witness, this is a quote, more than 4400 african-american men women and children who were hanged, burned alive, shot, drowned and beaten to death by white mobs between 1877-1950. the ej i characterizes the memorial as a sacred face for truth telling and reflection about racial terror in america and its legacy. of course there were some rumblings of discontent with the memorial. at least from the white locals. it will cause an uproar and open old wounds said one. local residents, she said, feel it's a waste of money and a waste of space and it's bringing a bull ship. in general if you follow the coverage of this nationally there was great public support for this project and great interest in it. it was very only willingly -- overwhelmingly a positive reaction to it.
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this is scaffold. scaffold was to be unveiled in may 2017. at the reopening of the sculpture garden of the walker art museum in minneapolis. it was one of 16 new works being added to the garden as part of his $33 million restoration and expansion project. it was made of wood and steel. it was meant to represent seven historical gallows. that were used in u.s. state sanctions executions by lynching or hanging between 1859-2006. these included the abolitionist john brown, the lincoln conspirators and the haymarket martyrs, saddam hussein, and the 38 dakota men in mankato.
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this culture was the creation of san durant. to explain i made scaffold as a learning space for people like me. why people who have not suffered the effects of a white supremacist society, and who may not consciously know that it exists. whites created the concept of race, and have used it to maintain dominance for centuries. whites must be involved in its dismantling. that is his quote, not mine. the artist in the museum's director were shocked when local dakota people begin gathering outside of the museum on may 26. and remained all weekend. to protest the new sculpture. it is really traumatizing for our people to look at that and have it just appear without any warning or idea that they were doing this. it is not art to us. the dakota protesters told the minnesota star tribune. in response to the protest, both the artist and the museum
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director apologized. and expressed regret that they had not reached out to the dakota's. durant agreed to an immediate meeting with city representatives in the minneapolis park and rex board and a council of the dakota elders. at the meeting they came up with a plan to ceremonially dismantle the structure. led by dakota spiritual leaders and elders. my paper is about what accounts for this very different reception of these two memorials? and the obvious answer was one memorial was a black led project about black historical atrocities, and the other was a white initiated project about indians suffering. this controversy came on the heels of the uproar over the white artist teen issued paintings open casket of emmett till at the whitney biennial just a few months before the walker museum. african-american writer hannah black had written an open letter to the curators of the
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whitney, and monist sting -- there may be some deeper reasons for why one of these memorials has drawn accolades and the other scorn this is scratching below the surface a little bit. there is the collaboration element versus an individual art project. since the national memorial for peace and justice with a long- term coordinated effort that included multiple artists, but sam durant made scaffold without ever consulting any dakota people. this particularly -- as kate being who is a professional put it they can speak with us and not about us. going to another level too,
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there is the context for this. note that the national memorial for peace and justice was careful to create a sacred space. you can see that in this photograph. at the sculpture garden of the walker museum curators play scaffold between this sculpture of a giant cherry, and another of a big blue rooster. another issue is the focus. the national memorial for peace and justice focused on a particular abuse. it specific victims and its long-term impacts. scaffold by contrast use the dakota 38 to make a larger point about capital punishment. the monument is a focus on the dakota is paying or their specific experience of colonialism. and related to those is the
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idea of honoring the actual victims. the national memorial for peace and justice represents the names of all the lynching victims in its inner sanction. scaffold has no representation of the dakota men who were hanged, nor did it include their names. another point of comparison would also be the narrative that each of these memorials creates. the national memorial for peace and justice has a clear narrative about the historical links between enslavement, lynching and the great migration and mass incarceration. scaffold is him a lodge of examples without any historical
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narrative or context. there's lots of other reasons we could pursue about why there was a different perception of these memorials. i wouldn't buy all of your interpretations. in general i would say this controversy over scaffold suggest that as we strive to create new memorials in the west that we need to be as attentive to the process as to the product. hannah black -- black rights that representation go to the heart of the question of how we might seek to live in a reparative mode with humility, clarity, humor and hope. thank you. >> good afternoon. thank you for being here. thanks patty for inviting me to be part of this panel.
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it really is an honor to be up here with several of my favorite historians in the profession. i was on a panel this morning. i just realized with the number of people, and i did not say that to them. please do not read into it if you are in the room. how are you doing neil? just hit play. on july 24, 1909 the pioneers association, which was a heritage organization, that celebrated colorado's stetler's past. participated in what at that time was a national commemorative project. the pioneers association unveiled a civil war memorial on the colorado state capitol steps. veterans of the civil war
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around the united states were nearing the end of their lives at the time. as a consequence, archives were firing document collections and authors were publishing regimental histories and cities including denver were unveiling monuments that were intended to shape our future generations would remember the civil war.
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>> the black slide was intended to convey a silence. which is often how we memorialize things. other scholars have argued, this upsurge of memorialization around the united states embodied what we now look back on and recognize as a reconciliation is impulse. memorializes constructed a heroic narrative, this was a story in which union and confederate soldiers fought bravely and had fought well. they had fought in service of virtuous goals. and of course it led aid and comfort to the lost cause over time. the wars of root causes struggles over the fate of slavery and definitions of federal authority and citizenship, and over the right to shape an emerging american empire in the trans-mississippi west. all could be swept aside in
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service of an amicable reunion between the north and south. the marker that you are seeing here related to states early history and then posted of colorado citizens patriotism. they reported nearly 5000 coloradans had volunteered to serve the union during the civil war. this was quote the highest average of any state or territory, and with no draft or bounty". it then went on to list in columns, beep, the names of all the battles and engagements in which those troops had fought. including at the bottom right, a bloodletting that we now call the sand creek massacre. at the dedication of colorado civil war memorial in 19 only nine -- 1909. they tried to emigrate -- integrate visions of empire and liberty. thousands of people gathered
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that day to celebrate the heroic colorado volunteers who served the union, and it sand creek helped the nation to realize its manifest destiny. i will flashforward about 90 years, to 1998. when a colorado state senator named bob martinez grew tired of walking by a memorial on his way to work in the state capital. it seemed to martinez that sand creek, which he described as a horrible massacre, had no place on this list of battles and engagements. after all martinez believed the massacre had nothing to do with the civil war, and a conflict he believed was best remembered for preserving the union and for ending the institution of slavery. sand creek's inclusion on this memorial, martinez reason is, insulted the victims and diminish the sacrifices of colorado soldiers who fought and died in the civil war. martinez's colleagues in the state legislature agreed with him. the legislature decided it would hire a metalworker to remove the plaque from the
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statue's face. grind off the words sand creek, furnished the remaining battles and engagements to match their original color and reattach the nameplate to the memorial. you could get rid of the horrors of the past for just $1000. then david hollis, who is colorado's chief historian at the time heard about this plan. he thought that it was well- intentioned but lousy. he worked at the -- with other representatives on the project. hollis contacted some of these representatives, steve brady, and they agreed with him. steve brady says quote, there were many india massacres during the civil war. the white people want to forget the stories. opposition to martinez's revisionism crystallized in the
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city of denver. local historian argued with the denver post that coloradans should grapple with their past rather than try to forget it. he suggested the civil war memorial should remain and that quote the story of sand creek, with all of its various interpretations, needs to be left open for public discussion and reflection. then summa sand creek's latter- day defenders including members of a national heritage organization known as the order of the indian wars, agreed with tom know well that the plaque should be left alone entirely. a man named michael corey said taking sand creek off of the statue will not make it disappear. you gain nothing by hiding under a blanket. unlike know well, corey advocated, he thought quote politically correct meddling with dis-honor people who fought in the civil war. on july 31 of 1998 hollis testified before colorado's
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legislature. they offer lawmakers a compromise rather than removing sand creek the state should provide the memorial visitors with context. informing the public about the massacre through historical markers. within a few months the legislature decided to adopt this suggestion. four years of committee readings and public outreach passed before the text was ready. four years to write a few hundred words. on november 26, 2004 senator martinez stood next to the civil war memorial that i have shown you. after arapahoe and cheyenne singers performed an honor song. martinez and build a bronze plaque. the marker narrated the politics of memory surrounding sand creek. noting the controversy surrounding the civil war monument has become a symbol of coloradans struggle to understand and take responsibility for our past. he went on to re-account the particulars of what happened at sand creek before turning the contested nature of public
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memory. quote, some personnel and civilians denounce the attack as a massacre and other claim that the cheyenne and arapahoe's were a legitimate target. sponsors had quote mischaracterize the actual events when they designated sand creek battle. the plaque concluded by pointing to widespread recognition of the tragedy as the sand creek massacre. in the decade and a half or so since the state of colorado rededicated the civil war memorial, thousands and tens of thousands maybe even hundreds of thousands of people have visited the capitol steps in denver. it's not clear how many have noticed the plaque. certainly some of them have. hundreds of thousands of additional people have traveled to the southeastern part of the state. where they climbed a small rise overlooking the sand creek killing filled. most americans prompted by popular culture and public memory still recall the civil war only as a war of events, as
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a good war. i will end on a uncharacteristically upbeat note. it may be possible with the sorts of complexed monuments and memorials, that the civil war may also be remembered as a war of empire. it is possible that visitors to colorado state capitol can learn the nation's history is shocked through with these gainful ironies. and the active memorialization, contingent and contested, is sometimes fought with unexpected lessons. thank you. >> i will stop frantically dashed i will prepare my mind to speak to you myself. i will try to find my file i'm going to be asking the question today are pioneer monuments racist? which is -- are they racist?
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i will argue that the earliest pioneer monuments which were erected beginning in the 1880s and 1890s. the same time confederate moderate -- monuments are going up in the south. really were about white civilization or white supremacy. you have white strongmen powering over their indian guides. as in this one in the state house in des moines, iowa. san francisco's pioneer monument from the 1890s, which has the goddess of war. atop a pillar honoring many men who achieve the conquest of california. leading from indian savagery
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through spanish fantasy past and mexican romance to white english civilization. including as including as we saw already in this session. was protested in the 1990s and actually was removed last month, from its pedestal, to an undisclosed location. there were native activists who held a ceremony as the cruise removed it. the current plan that i heard is to leave the pedestal empty. i look forward to seeing what the text will say why it is empty. in 1909, as denver was putting
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up its civil war monument, they also were putting up a pioneer monument. the artist placed prospectors, settlers, a pioneer mother at the base, and the original plan was to put an indian warrior on horseback at the top, but the people of denver freaked out because you couldn't have the progress go from top to bottom, they read it from bottom to top and read this indian warrior is the conqueror of the whites and that was not acceptable, so they substituted kit carson for the indian warrior who was supposed to be wandering off into defeat. and then in portland oregon in 1905 as part of the lewis and clark centennial expedition, we have sacajawea represented as
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the female guide of the expedition, put up by some elite, white suffragists in portland oregon as essentially a feminist project. a plaque at her feet says in honor of the louis and clark expedition and the mother of oregon. they argue this is the first of many pioneer mother statues in 1905. the feminists are arguing that sacajawea paid the way for the white mothers that paved the way for civilization. so these statues from the 1880s until the start of world war i, around 1915, were looking for ways to demonstrate civilization and presented as a progression from savagery to civilization. the shift around the time of
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world war i is away from showing pioneer men, to showing pioneer women, as an embodiment of white civilization. always carrying civilization westward, but never quite arriving. they come to embody white civilization arriving in the west end becoming part of the settler colonial project, in claiming the whites place in the west. after world war ii, we see a shift away from what i call the pioneer mother movement into an emphasis on nuclear families. the pioneer mother looks the same, you just had the father and the son and particularly sons, as the hope for the future in the middle of the cold war era with the emphasis on family
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relationships. pioneer families become the american family. they are representing a set of values that we can hold onto as the civil rights movement leads to general relational conflict. perhaps the 1850s should be the ideal we should be looking toward, right? then amid a farm crisis of the 1980s, we have people in the planes looking back to the 1880s. or 1860s. western cities really lost interest in pioneer monuments, but smaller towns on the planes become very interested in settler persistence. no mention of the people who had been there before. we survived in an empty land. we won't talk about why it was empty. very recently we already heard, so i will just touch on this briefly.
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we see resistance and removal of statues. these conversations started in the 1990s with new western history. people started asking questions. there were debates in the early 1990s, including the early days portion of the monument was moved, all of two blocks, to make way for a revamped civic center. at that point there was controversy from preservationists saying you can't move something that was already there, to activists saying this was racist, we should tear it down. the compromise was to move the statue two blocks out of the way and put up an interpretive plaque, which took them several years to come up with language about. that was then overgrown and nobody knew it was there, until the confederate controversy, starting in 2018 brought renewed interest to these
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statues. this one was removed in 2013. kalamazoo, michigan removed fountain of the pioneers, which has a settler and it is hard to make out because it is very stylized, but that is an indian man in headdress, with a pioneer man towering over him. the early days portion was removed and they left this empty pedestal behind. these are the only two sites i know of where monuments labeled as pioneer monuments exclusively have been removed, but as my colleagues have pointed out, there is beginning to be debate around other kinds of monuments. the pioneer label tends to be less quick to recognize that it also carriers the settler- colonial implication. >> so, thanks to the people who
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alerted me to make sure that we followed the time. you have all been remarkable. this is going to set a new pattern for this profession. you have been great. as a treat, you have a chance to speak to each other. is there anything anyone wanted to say to any of the presenters? i will say myself that it seems like an unexpected aspect of this is the notion that the west might have some better traditions. not a lot of them necessarily, but some traditions of honoring people we would want to honor and imagining a process, your colorado thing, the people had four years of committee meetings. that is quite inspirational that you would have that and then to come up with something that was quite better than it was.
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i am not saying it is the home of hope here, but it does seem like we might have something we might be able to offer and neil saying he had not a clue came up with a fine conclusion to what the west might be offering. >> i got to react to all of my colleagues already a little bit, but i wanted to bring in a conversation that a fuel has had on wednesday at the histories roundtable on monuments and memorials. the question of why and how our western memorials and southern memorials different, which we are all speaking to, but we were having somewhat more of a meta-discussion on what that means. one of the things that stood out to me was that southern history has been boiled down to this confederate narrative. a few specific generals that we honor over and over again were memorialized across the country.
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western history is more complex and the terms of the way it has been remembered and thought about and more localized. i just think i want to bring that into this discussion because the presentations we have today speak to that and demonstrate how varied these issues really are, in the west, where we have so much ethnic diversity. so many different national histories and colonial histories intersecting and overlapping. >> i am getting to cheerful up here because it seems to me that the empty pedestal, that kind of process, don't build a bridge, build a moat. it went very fast, didn't it. don't build a moat, build a bridge. yes. so, what a cool thing. it won't happen in 2018, but the notion that san francisco, it seems like a creative community, could take that
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empty pedestal and conjure up something better to have. out of the process of discussion, i will say that my favorite discussion in colorado was proposing in confederate memorials that white flags be inserted in their hands. a great production of white flags and installing those in robert lee's hands would be a good idea. i don't know, but it does seem like there is positive motion in this locality and it has happened before. people can be engaged in community discussions on how to do that. to some degree, margaret wants to speak, but it does seem like a lot had to be left out, in order to celebrate barbara
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jordan and the military veterans, a lot had to be looked away from. you said that. margaret, did you want to -- >> it is interesting because i took away a very different lesson then you did, patty. mainly the case i was talking about. my take away looking at those two cases was there was something more fraught about western history, new efforts to memorialize western history, then new efforts to memorialize southern history. i don't know if it is true, but based on those two cases it just felt like there is such unhealed pain and ongoing colonialism in the west. slavery is over. obviously the legacies of slavery are not over. incarceration is still a huge problem. social inequalities are a huge problem. colonialism is still ongoing
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and is very visible. to me some of the efforts to memorialize what is going on in western history, at least around indigenous peoples, it seems very, very raw and very pain, to me. so i wouldn't really agree with patty. >> but you showed us the rooster, which is not a tradition in which we framed tragedy. that was a deep weirdness. you are too persuasive in presenting that context, but i do take the point. >> having been uncharacteristically upbeat earlier, i am going to regress and say also, not necessarily disagree with patty, but i think some of what we are observing in the west is that monuments to colonialism may not be challenged as often or as aggressively as monuments to
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white supremacy in the south, because southern colonialism was extraordinarily effective in getting rid of native peoples. in a place like minneapolis, not entirely, but in a place like minneapolis where there is a large dakotas community, you see the dakotas coming out and saying this is unacceptable, but in colorado it takes the national park service to get in the process for northern cheyenne's to come back from northern cheyenne country and say we would like to be involved in this process of re- memorializing or reinterpreting the civil war memorial on the state capitol steps. >> okay. the denver urban indian community is significant and there is no fatalistic reason to say that that will ever rise to the visibility of the people
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in minneapolis. the native people in indianapolis. i think that is underestimating the urban indian community and lots of locales. >> but the denver urban indian community is made up of many nations and each of them are members of sovereign nations, so i think it gets a little more complicated. whereas for reasons that i think are incredibly complex, the african-american community in the south understands that they have a shared history of oppression in the form of slavery, particularly and they tend to, at least recently, to be working hard and together. i share your optimism that i think it could happen in the west, as well, i just think the demographics are different in the politics around it are going to be more complicated. >> when i was doing the research on the ut campus, it was a
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white community that seemed to be the driving force. the white student population, because the black student population is just too small on that campus. in particular the orange jackets, that is a white student service organization. there pointed not been to honor an african american woman. there had not been a statue of a woman on the campus. they did not identify the person or persons who named barbara johnson, but there was almost no controversy. not only did i read the meetings minutes, but also of the supervisors, at least bullet points. the only objection i found was whether or not there was some discussion on mentioning something of her sexuality. i didn't show you all the images of the statue, because if you have been on the campus,
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it is really a beautiful campus. there are points at the statue where you can read, signage, et cetera re-. she is also buried in the austin state cemetery. she is right next to stephen austin, which i find ironic. there is one word on her tombstone, patriot, which i found to be quite interesting. again, i think white students were the driving force. another thing i want to say is that there really hasn't been any serious discussion about taking down statues on the texas a&m campus, to my knowledge. >> i was there in the 90s, up until six years ago. i watched the robert jordan go up and mlk and cesar chavez, the same time everyone was looking to get rid of nelson and jefferson davis, front and
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center at the tower. and i agree with you, it was a lot of white students. but the fact of the matter is, 50,000 students. in the early 90s 78% of them were white. today it is a majority minority university. whites are 46% of the population at ut austin now. there was a small contingent though, of others, who were a little upset with barbara jordan for advocating citizenship cards as part of her immigration reform. they pointed out that if we have to carry citizenship cards we will be racially profiled, because they will not ask african-americans or white people if they are citizens, but dark people will always be asked to prove they belong to the u.s. the other thing was to say when i left, the whole time i was there, african-americans
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had never risen above 4% of the population of ut austin, never. students came to see to me when i was the associate dean, african-american students, and asked me in my office if there was a master plan to keep african-americans from going above 4% and i remember my response was, i never thought of that, there might be one. i should investigate this, so i did. i would put nothing past ut for maintaining something like that, but then they started to launch all of these investigations into why it doesn't go above 4%. i won't go into that but i wrote an article in the journal of southern history on the 50th anniversary of brown versus board. not an article, and essay. they wanted people to reflect on this. those controversies, are certainly still ongoing at ut.
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i keep track of these things. >> neil, while you're speaking, can you say something about what you envisioned with that build fewer moats and more bridges process with community deliberation? >> yes. it depends on your point of view. first of all, communities get together and meet at school auditoriums. my daughters, all three of my daughters went to robert e lee elementary school. then they graduated and said how come we never protested against the name of that school. i never really thought of that. you grow up and you get acclimated to all of these schools all over the south. i'm not from texas. i never saw any in washington, dc. i said, i don't know, it's really bad. all of a sudden, two or three years later, they were deciding against that name.
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as many of you in this room know, some of them stayed with the name. the one in hyde park in austin, they did not want to give up lee. a lot of the resistance was the teachers themselves. the teachers liked the name lee because it was a blue ribbon school, a high-performing school in hyde park and they liked saying i teach at lee, instead of one of the nonperforming schools in east austin. not everybody was happy with this, but it was a consensus, a majority. they said it will be lee, but not robert e lee. no one said robert e lee anyway. now it is lee elementary. but it is russell lee. the photographer. yeah, spike lee.
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he has from the farm agency in the 30s and went around taking pictures of poor people. nobody cares, nobody knows about them, but his papers are at the archives. the thing that really upset me about that as a father of three daughters who went through that and i was already at smu at the time, but if there are two options, keep robert lee, go to russell lee and keep the name lee, or the third option was to name the school after the first african-american woman teacher, first african-american teacher, who is actually still alive and taught all three of my daughters in second grade. i thought that was the obvious choice, but they wanted to cling to lee. they wanted to clean to it, not what he represented, but they couldn't give up the name. to this living african-american woman who spent 35 or 40 years teaching at that school and retired.
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i will say very quickly, the same thing happened with stonewall jackson school this year in dallas, up the street from smu. they did the same thing. they had community meetings. the yelled and screamed at each other. teachers wanted to keep jackson, because it was a high- performing school and they liked saying they taught at jackson. the parents, faculty and others, they rebelled and were able to get the school district to rename the whole thing mockingbird elementary school, because it is on mockingbird street, which is a big street in dallas that runs right through the smu campus. different outcomes, but the point is, the communities have to make those decisions. >> i thought margaret thought, it was so excellent, if they just started calling it spike
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lee. thank you margaret, for that. we do have time for some questions. >> i will bring the microphone to you. not that we think you are incapable of being heard, but this is for the audience who could not join us today. >> anytime someone hands me a microphone i feel like one of the supremes. okay, anyway. coming from a department of history and art history, what i missed was some analysis of the sculptures themselves. for example, white is the pioneer mother always look like a drudge? what's with the sun bonnet? i think you have to sort of take a look at that and the link that to the stories, also, the analysis of the object themselves. that is basically it. because i think that is a large
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part of what these sculptures convey. maybe in a longer version that is part of it, but just as a reminder that a person of piece of art does deserve interpretation. >> absolutely. my first response is, in my longer work you can read all about it. by my book and read all about it. i will give one example of this. the first pioneer mother, and i barely touched on her. we had sacajawea as a pioneer mother. the first labeled as a pioneer mother was in ninth 1915. it was all about southern colonialism and all this stuff. the artist who was brought in to produce this bronze monument
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of a pioneer mother dressed her initially in a fringed buckskin gown and moccasins and people freaked out about that, as well, because you can have, and i showed you in my slides, a white man settler can wear fringed buckskin and that shows that he is a rugged frontiersman. when a woman is in buckskin, we can't have that. people freaked out and the artist agreed to adjust her clothing, to make sure she was clearly white. at least one reason she had a son bonnet was after that with the broad rimmed sun bonnet, was because white women needed widebrimmed son bonnet's to maintain their whiteness in the west. they are protecting their complexion, which is all about protecting their whiteness.
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>> i have a question for cynthia prescott. you showed a statue of a pioneer family in front of the county building in the city i live in. how widely did you look for statues in provo? did you know there is a self standing statue of one of the principal youth chiefs in that area? >> no, i didn't know that one. my project, i was trying to be comprehensive in statues labeled with the word pioneer. i realize by doing so, i identified nearly 200. >> so you are already interested in the pioneer? >> it is what i was looking for, but i want to acknowledge that by doing so it was erasing many of these. i wasn't going out looking for every statue. i do know of one in enid,
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oklahoma, a similar pioneer family sculpture. on horseback ready to claim his native land. the native people in that region hired the same sculptor to sculpt a native man, to offer a counter narrative. so there are cases of that, but i will not at all claim to be comprehensive. >> that statue could be seen as colonialism, because the largest congregation of youths in the utah territory were near where that was, that was in utah county. >> so in some cases they are offering a counter narrative and other times they are promoting the southern colonialism. when it is native people watching the white men show up to displace them, that sends a very different narrative. >> i just wanted to throw this
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out. you are talking about the lee elementary school controversy. there is an interesting story in salt lake city, my home, where they changed the name of the andrew jackson elementary school to the mary jackson elementary school and mary jackson was a nasa engineer. the school board said she had her college degree and andrew jackson did not and we want to point our students toward college. that is a possible solution. if the last name is lee, find a different name that represents what you want for your students. i just wanted to share that comment. >> okay. first i had the wonderful opportunity -- hello. the camera is in the way. some of cynthia's book. it is really really good. everyone buy a copy.
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get the book out, come on. it is really good. really interesting. bait -- patty, i hate to stomp on your western triumphant is him, but there are remarkable memorials throughout the south. well-organized african-american tourism for the south. many of you may be aware after the great migration north, many families now come back to family reunions, school reunions. this is black tourism. the little rock nine have an installation on the capitol grounds. little lot, larger than life. it hardly resembles the nine. they kind of look like themselves. but you know, the first african-
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american student at the university of mississippi. there is a statute of that. there is an installation about the slave labor that built the university of north carolina at chapel hill, near silent sam, which was the statue that got effectively and justifiably torn down. so there is a lot going on in the south that is something of a counterstatement to all of the ridiculous confederate memorials and i think it is an aspect of why they are coming down. i had to deal with a lot of this. here is the kicker. stone mountain, georgia, mount rushmore. we have one of the most massive installations to american nationalism and empire. it is in the american west. >> by the same artist, by the
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way. >> yes, exactly. absolutely. here we are, western historians. what is our responsibility? it is a huge global tourist -- we wonder about the alamo, let's wonder about mount rushmore and what it represents to western history and what is the counter narrative that can be presented? i know crazy horse is nearby, but what can we do? >> the scale of the number of monuments and their weight and heaviness, in this case their enormity, it seems like we better get creative artists involved in this. some people have been very remarkable with that. i don't know, that is a lot of sandblasting to take that down. i always say when artificial intelligence puts so many people out of employment.
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3.5 million driving for a living. there are whole other industries waiting to happen and monument removal, there you go. that is exactly it, commenting on it and twisting it some way. >> hi, allison rose jefferson. so i wanted to comment on margaret jacobs' analysis on two projects she presented and this is a perfect example of why we need to have public historians involved with art museums when they are developing these kinds of projects, because with the project in minneapolis, the problem with that project is that it was not well thought out. it was an artist to maybe had good intentions.
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i can't say what his motivations were, because there are a lot of different motivations that could have gone along with him developing that sculpture, from the standpoint of genuinely being interested in social justice, but also as a statement piece because he thought he could get attention. that is cynical, but those things do happen. in terms of the museum people, they should have been more involved in doing community outreach to the people that he wanted to commemorate in the sculpture, to find out their thoughts on how this sculpture should be put together. as it relates to the museum in alabama, the peace and justice memorial site, that was developed over years. it had all kinds of research that went into it.
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it is a commemorative project that is not just about lynching. it is about the people that were exploited and also dehumanized. we all know the different words that we can use to talk about what that monument represents. i think this is a perfect example of why we, as public historians, need to be more involved in these kinds of monumental processes. >> i just want to respond. we were talking about the west, i get that. but there are national things, too. i agree with you, that you know, we need to get, you know, some kind of public historian and public interest in the ways we shape the ways we think
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about ourselves. i am trying to get this, i wanted to show you, the bottom slide here is the rotunda at the united states capital. i worked at the senate for three years as a young man. this is their citadel. it has three times as many statues of confederate figures as it does of black people. every confederate state got to pick one of its heroes. i wrote the names down. the 12 confederates, the only three i recognized were davis, calhoun, and lee. the others were minor figures in the pantheon of southern history in various states. they put up for african- americans. frederick douglass, rosa parks, mlk, sojourner truth, just since the 60s, right.
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what was missing was native americans, so they chose one native american to put in there. does anyone know who it is? was it standing there? well the first one was the leader of the pueblo revolt. you have a pretty big lobby in the community. blue lake. so i don't know the story behind that. i was looking at all of this stuff when i was preparing my talk and the other thing is the controversy over the statue, the one with two monuments. three soldiers in the vietnam war memorial. the fact that one of the reasons this became a controversy is that one of the veterans said, what is her name, maia lynn, her design
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was, i am trying to find what he said. a black gash of shame and sorrow cut into the earth. so they came up with this one. what i didn't know about this one was i knew there was a white man in the middle and a black man on the right. this, guess who the person on the left is? it is supposed to be a latino. yeah, that's what i thought. oh. they got the skin color right, maybe. the thing is, they were trying to be contemporary. we will put up a more traditional kind of statue of soldiers, maybe not raising the flag okinawa style, guadalcanal, but let's show
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diversity. that is always a good thing to do. the african-american statue is actually sculpted based on the sitting of an african-american sculpture and so is the white dude. but the latino is kind of like a composite. i don't know how they figured that was a latino. i grew up in dc and never thought of that as a latino. you know, if you are going to do diversity, maybe there should be more than three people up there. where are the women, too? they were also part -- >> just very quickly, i wanted to highlight a positive thing going on here and that is the northwest band of shoshone nation has purchased the bear river massacre site and he is in the process -- i'm not the
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best person in the room to talk about it. the chair is right there, of the tribe, but they are in the process now of developing their own commemorative, interpretive center for that site and i think that is a step forward when native people interpret it themselves and i think it will be an amazing thing. there has been a lot written about the monuments that are there already, that are essentially pioneer memorials. i think it will be an important change. >> [ inaudible ] >> i am chairman perry from the northwestern shoshone nation. first year at the history association. thank you for having me. this is fascinating. i just have a perspective from us. i mean, my grandmother always told me no one has ever wanted
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to hear our story and one day you will have to tell them our story. the other thing is, i am not a monument eraser. i want you to know that. monuments are part of history and who in my to tell you that monuments put up hundreds of years ago are not important, even though we are smarter today. history isn't always neat and tidy, but we need to look at those things. we were able to purchase the massacre site, more than 700 acres last january, and we are going to build an interpretive center on the site to tell the whole story. our perspective, but hopefully it is a perspective that looks at everybody's point of view. my grandmother always told me that everyone has a story they have been told and what is your story? your story is equally as important as mine. so i am just honored to be here
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in your presence, to hear how smart you are. i don't talk like you people. i feel intimidated sometimes. but your voices are as important as ours, so thank you. >> [ applause ] >> so, this is an imperial moment here, but the panelists were spectacular. i feel the questions were great. your attentiveness and all the questions. we do have a custom where we think that the audience, the great majority of them, realize that we have a wonderful experience so i just call for a standing ovation. >> [ applause ]
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friday night on american history tv we take a look at american politics with catherine brownell as she teaches a class about political advertising in the 1950s focused on dwight eisenhower's presidential campaign. other programs include archival footage of a 1959 interview with ronald reagan before he left office and a 1949 educational film explaining the inner workings of capitol hill. that is friday, starting at 8:00 eastern, here on c-span3. the 30th anniversary of the
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exxon valdez oil spill, remembering president george h.w. bush, and the inventor of the world wide web. all this weekend on american history tv. saturday starting at 12:30 p.m. eastern, three programs marking the 30th anniversary of the exxon valdez oil spill, the second largest in the u.s. >> the captain of the ship got on the radio and called the coast guard in valdez, immediately. and said we are hard to ground and evidently we are leaking some oil. he said on the radio he was going to try to rock the boat and get off the reef and proceed to, which was a terrifying possibility. the ship was so badly damaged there is a good chance it would've sunk or capsized. >> and sunday on the presidency, james baker remembers his longtime friend, president george h.w. bush. >> i was privileged to serve as
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the secretary of state for four years and i was extraordinarily fortunate to serve a wonderful friend and a beautiful human being, as we all know, but to serve as secretary of state to a president who understood that he had to defend me and protect me, even when i was wrong. >> and at 9:00, on the 30th anniversary of the world wide web, a conversation with its inventor. tim berners-lee. >> the pieces of the puzzle, in different people's brains. but they are connected on the internet. so can the web be a place, the goal is to be a place where when i have an idea i can easily put it into the web and as i wander around the space looking at other people's ideas, i can pick them up and
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take them together. to link anything to anything to say, you are thinking that, i am thinking this. >> watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. next on american history tv we talk with donald fixico from the western history association. he describes current areas of study for western historians and have a field of american history has changed over the last decade. this is about 15 minutes. joining us from san antonio is donald fixico. he has a history professor at arizona state university. for the purposes of our conversation today, the president of the western history association, which gathered in san anto


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