tv FDR the Final Years of World War II 1943-45 CSPAN June 1, 2019 10:50pm-12:01am EDT
cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. a historian talks about the last book in his trilogy profiling president franklin d roosevelt at war. war and peace covers fdr's involvement in planning d-day until his death in 1945. the national world war ii museum in new orleans posted this event. this year marks the 75th anniversary of the allied invasion of normandy, france. >> good evening, everyone. welcome to the national world war ii museum. and to those watching on the livestream, i know you are with us in spirit. we feel your presence too. the senior historian here at the museum. i am also the executive director
for the institute of the study of war and democracy. tonight is the latest installment of our meet the authors series. we like to mention our sponsor, we bring this to you with generous support, so thank you. many of you have been to our events before. you know we have a tradition at the museum. may i ask, are there any world war ii veterans or homefront workers in the audience tonight? if you would please stand. [applause] thanks folks. i heard the president and ceo emeritus, and the current president say as many times, we built this museum for you, so thanks for coming to these events. military veterans of any other era, if you would stand and wave. [applause] we know that is a large number. i love the waves.
people give different forms of waves. thank you so much. we would like to acknowledge three special guests in the audience. -- there board member he is. robert, good to see you. thank you for coming. members, deborah -- i am looking in the wrong direction. audience? mike in the great to see you as always. [applause] thanks so much to all of you for being with us this evening. and of course we will never move on before we acknowledge the national world war ii museum's cofounder, president, and ceo emeritus in the front row, nick, as always. [applause] and to all of you in the audience and livestream who may be museum members, you keep us going, so thank you.
a sincere thanks to c-span for being here. it is great to see your cameras at our events. i know i tend to stand up straighter when the cameras are in operation, so thank you too. you have all heard the phrase, so and so needs no introduction. you probably know what that means. this person deserves a very. introduction indeed. it is with our speaker tonight, nigel hamilton. nigel is an award-winning author and biographer, author of a biography of marshal montgomery, known as monty, which has been on my shelves for a long time. the just selling work on the young john f. kennedy, which was turned into an abc miniseries, bill clinton: mastering the presidency. nigel is the first president of the national biographers organization, senior fellow at the mccormick graduate school of
massachusetts, boston. i will say this flat out, he is one of the worlds greatest writers. you know you are in for a treat. this one is no exception. [applause] nigel is also a dear friend of the museum. he spoke at our 2012 international conference, and for the first two books of this fdr trilogy. from a personal perspective, he is a friend of nick's and a friend of mine. he lives right down the road with his wife. please stand if you wouldn't mind. [applause] thank you. so, to the main event. we are honored nigel has selected our museum as the site of his official book launch for "war and peace." this is the third book in the fdr trilogy.
here nigel brings this story home, covering the saga of fdr from d-day to the altar. it is an appropriate time for gathering. today is the 74th anniversary of the german surrender in western europe. we are mere weeks away from the 75th anniversary of d-day. without further ado, i give you the incomparable michael hamilton. -- nigel hamilton. [applause] nigel: good evening everybody. a slightly sad occasion for me because it is a sort of somebody i have lived with for 10 years.
franklin delano roosevelt. shall miss him. to spend 10nded years writing this series. intendertainly didn't for the story to take three volumes. was that is was something of a national scandal countryry -- in this that no one, no historian had written a full-scale account of president roosevelt in his role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the united states in the most violent war
in human history. possible that that had never been done? one of the main reasons of course was fdr died in april of 1945. he had begun to assemble his papers. i was able to interview the harvard graduate who was working in the map room in the white house who was helping them prepare those papers for his memoirs. he was never able to write them. the person who did write them was the british prime minister winston churchill in retirement, and later when prime minister again. an extraordinary writer,
apart from being a great prime minister and leader of his country. churchill took six volumes to tell the story of world war ii. although i am in their wrist embarrassed i have taken three volumes to tell fd r's story, it is only half of what churchill wrote. i call my talk tonight -- and thank you so much for coming. you work for years and years and wonder if there is anybody out there who wants you to do it, who responds to what you are doing. the manonight's talk
bobsaved d-day, because as said, we are about to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the normandy invasion. probably the last occasion on which there will still be significant numbers of survivors. the story that i will focus on , the focus is on d-day rather, not on d-day, but on the project of d-day. each of my fdr volumes began with a voyage. volume i began with the
to newfoundland in the summer of 1940, before pearl harbor, to meet a man who would become his opposite number as commander-in-chief of the british empire, winston churchill. they met on their battleships off the canadian coast. they drew up together, the great atlantic charter. at the end of the volume, having overruled his own chiefs of the president of the united states decided not to launch a d-day invasion that year, which would have been instead ant to lunch
invitation of north africa -- to launch instead, and invasion of north africa, far away from the german lines of communication, so that american forces could learn in the field et and defeat the german wehrmacht. 's of the second volume took up about and also begins a great voyage. first president ever in ay abroad in office flying boat to casablanca, where again, he met with listing churchill and again, overruled his chief of , recognizing that in
1943, almost no american troops had ever fired a single shot in action against a german soldier. learning continue the process in modern warfare in the and also ton much --immoral policy, policy, much as he had when declaring the atlantic charter, mainly, unconditional surrender no negotiation with the nazis. unconditional surrender. book, americanhe soldiers had landed inconsistently, conquered physically and were also on the shores of southern italy -- had
sicily,n conquered it, and were on the shores of southern italy. so we come to the book that is being launched tonight, volume iii. i can reveal that my editor was somewhat surprised at the title. he thought it had been used before. [laughter] hamilton: welcome a yes, but a long time ago! and nobody else had thought to use it since. [laughter] mr. hamilton: i thought it was pretty appropriate, "war and peace."
volume also begins with a voyage, a journey. fdr sailing on a new american battleship, the uss iowa with his chiefs of staff to north africa. i am looking at a picture that is very small, but i think you can see general marshall, admiral leahy, and admiral king . they are going to north africa because they were going to go on there, once again, he is going to meet with his opposite number, the prime minister of britain, winston churchill. but before he gets to cairo he
wants to make quite certain that he has a chance to talk with the american commander-in-chief, allied commander-in-chief in the mediterranean, the young dwight, david . he is anxious, in fact, and fortunately, there are quite a number of photographs from that listen to ike 's views on europe, and to think about him for a very good reason . because ike tells him that he has just been to see winston and he is worried by
the prime minister's unwillingness to go ahead with the d-day invasion in 1934. -- 1944. so when roosevelt arrives in surface, the two thoseok like they have been great friends, which they were. but sometimes, great friends fallout over great issues and d-day was a great issue. cairo, theickly, in president of the united states a crisis, an extraordinary moment in history where his main
, nots, the prime minister only of great britain, but de facto commander-in-chief of all theempire forces including south africans, australians, , has come as he had learned, threatened to have a showdown over delaying or halting d-day. , shouldd been agreed take place in the spring of 1944, in a few months time. why was winston churchill, a prime minister whose british empire military forces were so essential to the success of the invasion, which would be launched, a cross-channel invasion from britain, where was winston churchill such an implacable opponent of the great
landings? afterwards, winston churchill would cast his magical rhetorical and literary spell over the story, claiming that it was simply that he wanted to do much more than just cross the english channel, but he would therefore prefer to focus first on the mediterranean and its inppingstone to the balkans 1944. also, that as prime minister, he had deep misgivings about russian intention in eastern europe. unashamedly, he wrote in his memoirs, against putting all the eggs of the western allies into one basket, d-day, which could be done later if at all.
many historians have followed churchill'sg political perspicacity, and downplaying the virulence of his opposition to d-day planning in 1943. some come like the biographer, andrew roberts, whom i admire, even claim that it is "not true that churchill wanted to , still less, cancel d-day, as has sometimes been alleged." thers, like the director of churchill archives in england, alan packwood, who i count as a neard, claim that it is hindsight to assume -- it is
mere hindsight to us you let the was the mostd important military operation of world war ii, over which the success of the war against hitler's depended. , as a military , that is cor hornswaggle, or loyalist hogwash. i bow to no one in my admiration of churchill's lonely stand against taylor after the franco-british defeat in the summer of 1940, his finest hour. in if after pearl harbor 1941 the direction of the war fdr'st hitler's is surely
finest hour, as a hope my fdr trilogy can persuade you, as it has persuaded me. all through volume ii, commander-in-chief, churchill has done his best to argue vainly against a cross-channel lending, twice coming to the united states to argue personally with the president. reveals not only just how opposed to d-day , but how theained prime minister sent arguably , in the viewssages of the american secretary, henry stimson, director stalin, without telling the president,
to say d-day would have to be combatin favor of more in italy and the mediterranean. finally, in cairo, in front of the president and his military advisers, the prime minister delivered his grand indictment, as he called it, of the in adent d-day strategy last-ditch appeal to delay or abandon the invasion. now, this was to my mind, the greatest military crisis of the second world war. a crisis of churchill's own , and the making culmination of a whole year of opposition to the d-day project.
hisprime minister claims earlier promise in quebec to carry out the invasion is simply agreement, one that he can, as british commander-in-chief, tear up. and he is serious. he threatened his own war cabinet in london, he would resign if the president continues to insist upon the d-day's spring timetable. he even threatened his military chief, he will risk breaking the grand alliance by telling the americans they will be welcome to switch their focus to the pacific, if they don't accept a delay or cancellation of d-day. in other words, the prime minister of britain is willing
to break his partnership with the united states, a partnership he himself has created, rather than give in. he openly complains to his staff, he is the only genius who can win the war but is being forced to fight with "one arm thanks tod his back american stupidity." turkey, the na,danelles, vien andhere but d-day normandy in 1944, he demands, or the pyramids.
how the president of the united states deals with churchill's rebellion is therefore the core drama of war and peace, my final volume. in his six volume war memoirs of the second world war, churchill gave his own version and rightly helped him win the nobel prize .or literature as a historian and biographer, i cannot match winston churchill's fdr's i can only offer point of view, which is very, very different. d-day, as did hitler's,
as the deciding strategy of the war against the not the third nazi -- i guess then athe third reich. perhaps, no one will ever really explain winston churchill's .upposition to d-day we can do, at last, 75 years after the landing, is see exactly how the president of the united states went about timebomb inrchill's , and interesting, as the president did, that the d-day operation be carried out as agreed at quebec, saving d-day, in other words.
furious, boiling with rage, in fact. .he two men flew to tehran got stalin to promised him back the d-day -- to promised to back the d-day invasion with a simultaneous russian offensive on the eastern front which would toce the wher wehrmacht fight on two fronts, in which case the germans would be unable to draw forces from the east to reinforce their armies in france facing the allies. stalin also promises the president to join the war bce hitler'sn wanto
-- for the fate of the nazi third reich. the landing and subsequent battle would "decide the war" hiller warned his staff and .goebbels "it would not be too hard to beat the western allies," it adds, "after all, they don't have their whole heart in this attack." after the president's trip to cairo and tehran, the d-day .roject is energized . it will go forward in the spring of 1944, and it is energized for ne extra historic
reason, as i tried to define definitively at last in this oak, "war and peace comical peace" the -- "war and namely, the decision to appoint the men he had interviewed, as tosaw, at length on his way cairo, young general dwight the eisenhower. this was one of the most inspired appointments of world war ii, a coalition war involving the forces of many nations, but led by the united states. and typically, fdr is not content just to send ike a telegram.
,eturning from tehran and cairo he stays with eisenhower in two tunis and together, the two men fly in the president, plane, cow," to the "sacred malta and sicily, where the president decorates general mark clark for his bravery and leadership in salerno, and tells lieutenant general george patton , whom i think you can see next to the last figure at the back , that despite the current black cloud hanging over slapping and threatening shellshocked gis in a field hospital, "you will have an army command in the great
normandy operation." thus, with the grand alliance , d-day is set in stone, and its supreme commander appointed. back in washington, returning on ted iowa, the president is fa as a conquering hero, from hyde park. surrounded by his family, he broadcasts a christmas message announcing to the world's appointment of eisenhower as supreme commander of the forthcoming assault. he looks and sounds full of
beans. "in the pink" as someone describes him. but he is not. flu,oon falls ill with and he never gets better. the second half of "war and saddertells the story. fdr behind-the-scenes, finally di bag most with heart disease. eisenhower, who is moving to england to take command of the d-day invasion, has meantime been able to stop churchill from mounting his own version of d-day in italy under ,ew british supreme command
namely, enzio in southern italy, one of the prime minister's worst military intercessions in the entire war, which results in 43,000 allied casualties in purposenths to no before d-day. 43,000. by contrast, the d-day invasion is a triumphant allied success. broadcasts a prayer on behalf of all success, and its the landings not only prove one of the great combat achievements in military history, but they disprove churchill's forecast of
an english channel running in blood, which churchill had predicted to american senators in 1943.essmen on anesident even insists american invasion of southern the president insists on un-american invasion against british unwillingness, of southern france, near marseille to give eisenhower more heft when he advances to germany. that invasion is similarly successful. in the public image, then, the president is the master strategist of the war. in fact, he even sales by bytleship -- sails
battleship that summer to pearl harbor. entering pearl harbor itself to force general macarthur to sit down at last with admiral nimitz, his opposite number in the pacific, and see how the united states navy actually operates. and then, with admiral nimitz, to present him with their best ideas on how they proposed to without incurring ruinouscasualties -- o casualties. fdr would have been vintage , blessed with charm, the ability to get commanders to work together, arriving at a
clear strategy. president is not in vintage good health, he is dying of heart disease. he can barely work two hours a day or give a public speech. here is a photo of one that he gives on his return to the united states, where he is asked to stand using his iron legs, and he has a heart attack while doing it. president and u.s. commander-in-chief is a titanic struggle for him. his advisers but is no one else who could possibly lead the nation to victory, not only in war, but in preparing the allies in the postwar for peace, he agrees to
stand for reelection. well aware that he will never despiteanother term being only 62 years of age. he is duly triumphant at the polls. that is inauguration day in 1945. but he is ravaged healthwise. how clear this is, but this is a map of his voyage travelingonce again crimea for ain the second meeting with stalin, to discuss the war's endgame. on the wayin malta
out, with general marshall. here he is arriving in tehran. the russians to help , in a war against japan formal way, and how to establish the united nations and the u.n. , as well asncil discuss the insoluble problem of poland. it is something of a miracle of survival. you can see just how ill he looks with churchill there. who just manages to get through the conference. battleshipd his coming back to the united states
assistant, general watson, actually dies of a heart attack during the voyage. the point is, the president is ,ot merely sick, he is dying unable to stand, even on his metal stilts when reporting to congress. beyond his patriotic sense of ofy as commander-in-chief the u.s. armed forces, one thing perhaps more than any other has since his doctors gave him their sentence of death 12 months before. that they very week , theosed his fatal malady
love of fdr's life, lucy read afford, has become a widow -- rutherford, has become a widow, and she inspires him to go on at least two hitler 's end. and works ontrain his you and speech. there he is, leaving admiral chief ofs white house staff, in washington, to mind the military store. he is joined in warm springs by lucy rutherford, and her friend, , hisatercolor portraitist longtime hyde park neighbor daisy sutley is also in the room, and his personal secretary, bill hastert, when
the end comes. do we have time to read a short passage? mr. hamilton: he has provided the president's papers. the private sector and put them neatly in a folder on the card table which the president used as his desk. lucy and daisy were sitting and watching general show tough work on the -- watching elizabeth work on a watercolor. she was painting is fast that she could, but became aware quote ", that his gaze, his gaze had a faraway look and was completely solemn."
he had asked for a stamp to celebrate the upcoming conference. you see the san francisco stamps with the united ;" but seemed to have moved somewhere else in his mind, steering at lucy next to him. , thee filipino butler president has said they needed 15 more minutes to work before taking lunch, which he was looking forward to. suddenly, elizabeth recalled, he raised his right hand and passed it over his four head several times in a strange, jerky way without admitting a sound -- miting a sound. daisy recalled the president
quotes "looking for something, his head forward, his hand fumbling." immediately i went forward and looked in his face. "have you dropped your cigarette" she asked him, alarmed? . .e tried to smile he put his left hand back up to the back of his head and said, i have a terrific pain in the back of my head. those would be the president last words, daisy, quite certain of them afterwards, -- he said it distinctly, but so low that i don't think anyone else heard it. my head was not more than a foot from his. i told him to put his head back on the chair. the president is sick, call the doctor, madame shumatoff yelled. the doctor comes and administers
'sdication for the president heart, the president had offered a quote "massive cerebral hemorrhage" or catastrophic stroke. his blood pressure was over 300, and there was nothing, despite attempted artificial respiration doctor couldent's be done except wait for the end. they called washington to speak to the president's naval formal white house dr., admiral mcintyre. and he's told that there is a long featuresiege ahead. but in the end, the siege did not last long.
lucy told elizabeth to pack her easel and bags and some of nicholas robbins, the man who took this photograph in a white cadillac. they set off in the estate before the press could arrive. they stops to telephone the low white house on the journey home. the flag was already at half mast. the operator, before putting through the call, asked if they knew what had become national, in fact, global news. thepril 12, 1945, -- the last-chief words of the author of this book -- the commander-in-chief was
dead. thank you very much. [applause] host: nigel, thank you very much for another wonderful presentation and for really wrapping up this wonderful and remarkable individual up. we want to open the floor for questions. we'll start in the center, about halfway back. please stand when i bring the microphone to you. . >> we briefly talked when you were sending my book, and it would like you to share with the audience your contrast with hitler's interference with his
command, with his army, with what roosevelt did with his own. mr. hamilton: yes. i enjoyed meeting you, and, you raised an interesting question, fdr'sas it that describes style of leadership, and can he be faulted for interfering with his military staff? yes, he did interfere with them. as commander-in-chief, he has to do that. after fdr, harry truman would have to do it. with macarthur. world war, fdr had to do it several times, as i explained, with his chief of decisions premature to launch the day in 1942 and
1943 before american forces, not just the forces, but the combat commanders had shown that they could beat the wehrmacht in open battle. and we have one of our experts on the wehrmacht right here. tough, tough enemy. so i would say that fdr's great contribution to military command is his willingness, where he felt necessary, to step in to save lives. i think that is what a president often has to do, he has to think of the human equation, not just whether his military advisers should be allowed to go their own way. hisonce having made strategic decisions, fdr was
truly remarkable in getting his team get on with the business. and the support that he gave to eisenhower, once the d-day decision was reached at cairo .nd tehran was really exemplary and is in direct contrast, as you pointed out, to the way that hitler tended to interfere with the command decisions especially in battle, of his generals. host: we will go back to the center again. >> thank you very much. yalta.k about tehran and seems like one of the big differences between tehran and yalta was fdr's illness in his declining health. you believe that if he had been
healthy and if he had continued as he was at tehran, that any of the decisions made in yalta or post-yalta, even if he had lived that long, would have been different, based on his health, or not? mr. hamilton: welcome of that is the most difficult question! i have are been asked! [laughter] are still debating that. it becomes a political and rather partisan debate. fdr wouldelieve that withave been tougher stalin if he had been in good health and yalta. there were documents taken during the conference.
stalin is deferring to the president. the president was running the conference. the fact is that the president did not run the yalta conference. stalin and churchill did, and battled particularly over whether with so many millions of russian boots on the already in poland, ultimately, they would have made that much difference, particularly when the poles were very naturally unwilling to surrender territory. who knows? relief toys, it was a end the book where i did. [laughter] mr. hamilton: and leave those questions to another biographer of a subsequent president.
>> nigel, i have a question online, and from missouri wants to know: how do you excuse fdr for not informing truman on the a-bomb? or can you excuse him? mr. hamilton: i can't. book, it is very difficult to understand why fdr, again, going back to your earlier question, i think if fdr had been in that her health, for instance, if he had only been suffering from a physical ailment, but if he had been mentally fetter he would have toerstood how vital it was put his vice president and obvious successor in the picture. but he relied on henry stimson to do it. and the truth is, by those last
ks when perhaps he thought he would spend more time, he did not see truman, and obviously, thatd given instructions secretary stimson should share the atomic bomb secrets with the vice president. he just was not well enough. and to be honest, i think if he had sat down with truman, am not sure how much sense he would have made, in terms of whether or not to drop the bomb. i am often asked whether i think, as his biographer, that he would've dropped the bomb, and i can say unequivocally that he would have done so.
after all, he is the president who founded the manhattan as the, who watched scientific research was done. i have quoted from stimson's diary showing that he was well aware what the germans were or weren't doing, the japanese the same. he discussed with winston theyhill with her or not should share with -- whether or not they should share stalin the secret. he is totally on the atomic bomb page until this fatal illness to a veryim really, till lame president at the end. the point is, he thinks he has accumulated in his fourth term in office, that is a prehistoric, but also -- that is
pretty historic. but also, in all the work he has done with winston churchill, in his meetings with stalin, he thinks he has a king related the sort of stature that nobody else -- he thinks he has accumulated the sort of stature that nobody else could have. that nobody else could have done what he did in that final year. host: on that point, than i will get to two more questions. know, was it to that he had much confidence in his subordinates that they knew the right thing to do at this point in his life, though they were going to carry on his message, his legacy to his hisessor, and was part of secret to his success the fact that he would stay hands off? hamilton: i don't think that
is quite true. i think when necessary he accepted that the role of the president and commander in chief is to make the ultimate decision. , yes, when wild things are being done. but when it comes to a question like unlocking our, do we okinawa, do weon deliver a ahead with an invasion that will kill not just many tens but hundreds of thousands ?f soldiers, and even civilians only a president as commander-in-chief can make that decision. and fdr would never have stood back from it, and i think if he had lived in retirement, he would have been proud of what truman did. host: question in the back to
your right. >> thank you. why didn't fdr lie in state at the u.s. capitol? mr. hamilton: why didn't fdr lie in state at the u.s. capitol? there are various theories. [laughter] know, there isu this very sad train taking him ack, the ferdinand magellan that takes him back, with eleanor aboard, to the capital. there have been various theories. some people feel that eleanor was still upset that she had not been present when her husband died, and that lucy rutherford had been present, and was
unordered or angry with her noyedter -- was an or angry with her daughter anna for having kept that secret. i don't think that is why eleanor decided against it, for her own reasons. ,econdly, i don't think eleanor it has been much exaggerated, her feeling of anger. it is impossible for any historian to believe that fdr could have had this in , not sexual,ummate the president was unwell, but it is impossible to believe that the commander-in-chief, surrounded by doctors, personal , itf, lawyers, politicians is impossible to believe the claim that eleanor did not know that lucy rutherford was keeping
him alive. died, eleanor wrote to lucy and sent her some objects. fdr had been extorting or a relationship with eleanor. obviously, he shouldn't have had that adulterous relationship during world war i, but when that ended, he was completely loyal to eleanor, who looked after him when he suffered his polio. i find it very moving that at the very end of his life, he did , her charming relationship with a woman he had once loved so much, and who
loved him. host: we have time for one or two more questions. to your right, nigel. overere was a report that was told by macarthur that he 40-page memorandum to truman, seeking to inform him that japan was attempting to surrender and a terms which would have been acceptable under yalta terms. there was also a report that in 1995, there was a report that the english for the first time, released information that there had been a secret communication from japan to russia in code orange, tempting to negotiate a
surrender. simply indicating that the emperor would be retained. do you believe that those happened, and should they have been considered consistent with fdr's instructions that it should be unconditional surrender? and without that, require the ?ropping of the bomb mr. hamilton: it sort of goes , but it doesef relate to fdr in terms of how he looked on the war with japan. and i do quote evidence in the not only was fdr willing to soft and the unconditional surrender in specific cases, he writes a wonderful memorandum of this subject to the secretary of , saying, there's
a difference between principle, , and you want to hold to maytical realities, which require you to do something else. later, he does talk to somebody about the japanese. he is worried that is japanese -- that the japanese seem so willing to encourage civilians to commit suicide, not just troops. there is also the concern about american pows. i don't think fdr was ideologically -- about dropping the bomb. i think he would avoid the matter -- i think he would have weighed the matter very carefully. he wasly, in the state during the war, i think it was merciful that he was not the
president that would have to carry the weight of that responsibility, and that we had a president who refused to pass the buck. host: last question. we will go to our livestream audience -- winston, who had seen his clout decline and his empire on and, and fdr were dear friends. so it seems in their correspondence, but there may have been some resentment near the end of the war. was winston truly sad on fdr's passing, or did he see this as his opportunity to reestablish his greatness and the united kingdom's greatness? mr. hamilton: i don't think churchill in anyway wanted to exploit the president to death. it is true, he did not come to the funeral. were -- i say, they
wonder how many times in human history there has ever been a coalition of two leaders, of --t sort of level, who sold who so trusted and committed with each other. the great showdown is evidence of the fact that they did actually have it out. i have reached a vast age myself, and finishing this book, i was sad. i was sick. the president has made me think of mortality. i prefer to think of churchill not coming to the united states , you know,some ways he may not have been able to control his own emotions, which i find old enough.
[laughter] host: thank you very much, nigel. [applause] host: the incomparable nigel hamilton, he proved it as he always does. so you know the drill by now. the book, buy multiple copies of the book. he will be happy to our graphic. drive carefully. and good night. one more time please, for our nigel hamilton. [applause]
announcer: you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. this person was in the end secretary of the smithsonian by the board of regents. he is the first african-american and first historian to take the post. mr. bunch is the founding director of the smithsonian's national museum of african american history and culture on the national mall. earlier this year, he talked about how he sees his job as museum director. >> i was the associate director in charge of all the curators at the museum of american history, and i was called before congress. question one congressman asked me was, can somebody african-american be in charge of america's history? i was so offended by the notion that i can only know one aspect of it, so i realize that what it
wanted to do was make sure i understood the fullness of the american experience and i can bear.that to so the opportunity to do an exhibition on the american presidency, an exhibition that is still out at the museum of an amazingstory, was opportunity because it allowed me to think about america writ large. there is nothing more quintessentially than americanding how president ship their countries, and how countries ship the presidentp this is a story tha. american historians, who happens to be black, can tell. >> you describe, it was named the glorious burden. i think it would be easy to name that now. at the time, what was >> i have a researcher. we were trying to figure out
what the name of this was. i said find something that jefferson said. you could always count on jefferson. he comes back and says jefferson said the american presidency is a glorious burden. i remember calling the secretary of the smithsonian and saying we have the title. at 10:00 that night the kid calls me and says i screwed up. jefferson didn't say this. [laughter] on the phone crying, i'm crying. [laughter] go with ite would but tell the truth. of the burden of being president was much like being museum director. it was also glorious. the challenge to do something that matters. like us to shape the way they
country views itself. that is what a good president does. >> that was lonnie bunch. ofcted is the 14th secretary the smithsonian earlier this week. you can watch the entire program and others by searching his name on our website. tv, allamerican history weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> dickinson college professor teaches a class about end-of-life care and the perception of death. how changes in medical practices and technology have extended life expectancy in recent decades, americans have been removed from death through hospitals and funeral homes. prof. hoefler: today we have these policy ridden and managing debts.