tv Honoring the 116th Congress CSPAN August 10, 2019 10:55am-11:56am EDT
todd young, and historian joanne freeman, who discusses her book, "the field of blood: violence in congress and the road to civil war." professor freeman argues that the country has been more polarized in the past than it is now. >> my name is jane campbell, and i have the honor of being the ceo of the united states capitol historical society, a position that i took in february. so it is new for me and this is my first salute to congress. i am so glad that you're all here with me. and so, the first thing is for us to all rise as the capitol police ceremonial unit will present our nation's colors. please rise.
thank you very much. you may be seated. i am honored tonight, as we gather to salute the 116th congress, to present to you one of the most consequential political figures of our time, a woman who makes history every single day. nancy pelosi is the 52nd speaker of the house of representatives. she made history in 2007 when she was elected the very first woman speaker to serve as the speaker of the house. and now, in her third term as speaker, pelosi consistently reminds members and the rest of
us of the importance of history. speaker pelosi expertly guides the united states house of representatives to act on behalf of the people who elected them while managing the diverse personalities and perspectives. in her first term, speaker pelosi led the house passage of the american recovery and reinvestment act, was the architect of the affordable care act, oversaw passage of the lilly ledbetter fair pay act, the establishment of the office of congressional ethics, the repeal of don't ask don't tell, and those are just the highlights. confronted with the loss of the majority in 2010, then-minority leader pelosi didn't stop. she invested in the next generation of leaders, ultimately retaking the majority in 2018 with the election, i
might point out, of a historic number of women. nancy pelosi made history again in january 2019 when she in january 2019 when she regained her position as speaker, second in line to the presidency after the vice president, and the first person to do so, to serve that second term, in 60 years. her leadership is strong, inclusive, and decisive. thank you, speaker pelosi, for being with us. [applause] >> thank you very much, jane. thank you very much for your warm welcome. thank you. thank you for your warm welcome. thank you. .hank you i accept your kind words on behalf of all the members of congress who care so much about the history of this capital and
of theou as president u.s. capital society for your leadership,million new leadership in safeguarding the people's house. excited to be part of the celebration of the 113th congress. so, i am honored to be here with colleagues who will be coming and going. 30 years ago, a great historian spoke to congress about them use of cleo. said, for almost two centuries, cleo and her clock has reminded people in these hallowed halls that we are part our work willat
face the judgment of history and we are part of a long and honorable tradition in our democracy. probably sleep the last three years or so, he was here and gave the keynote agree -- the keynote. i am very honored dr. freeman will be here to give the keynote today as well. it's amazing how history comes alive through the arts. the early history of our history.
we are amused. we laughed, we cried. presentsspired her today and congratulations for your great work. honor to serve as speaker of the house as president campbell referenced. this is a congress, the one we're celebrating is the most diverse in history. the house democratic caucus 60% women, minorities, lgbtq, and our freshman class, this freshman class made history some of you may recall -- maybe
some of you read it in the history books. when the watergate class came, it was a big deal. it was historic. remember? it was a big deal when they came. and not one of them in the first committee, a subcommittee chair appeared in this class, 18 freshman our subcommittee chairs and that's quite a remarkable thing. it is how we are bringing these young people up through the ranks. congress, we have a record number of women, much more than that in the house and senate and this congress will be observing the 100th anniversary of women having the right to vote, which is pretty much an at that time with over 100 women in that congress.
our new members exemplify our founders' creed. we have debates, disagreements, and that's ok. that's ok. our founders had the kurds to declare independence, to fight a the courage to declare independence, to fight a war. they also gave us this guidance. they could not imagine how different we would be from each other, but they knew we always had to remember we are one, so while we have differences of , alwaysin our debate remember we are one. .hat's what it is all about our founders were very brilliant in that way. our founders wrote to me
beautiful preamble -- wrote the beautiful gamble. article one, the legislative branch -- i keep telling that to the other branches. article one. over two centuries, we have sweeping constitutional powers and responsibilities and that is part of what we celebrate it is ourt always responsibility to debate and legislate and get results for the american people. call ourselves the people's house and we take that responsibility very quickly. now under cleo's gaze inspired by our proud his three, we move forward to do the people's work and didn't have's progress for all americans. you, say you, thank
we know that demands an your time or overwhelming and the fact that you honored us with your presence is something very special and it speaks to commitment to telling the story , the legislative branch. one of the things the historical society is dedicated to is that we are always bicameral and bipartisan. and so, as we tell the story of the legislative branch, we do recognize the house things they are the most important body and are thete thinks they most important body and we are andt enough to have both of on the speaker comes from the next side of the legislative chamber.
comes to us after graduating from the united states naval academy. todd young served in the marines corps. he was first elected to the house in 2010 and then to the 2016, so he comes as a bicameral individual himself. and his legislative priorities include providing quality care for veterans, as well as care for the great lakes and supporting business opportunities and growth. please join me in welcoming senator todd young. [applause] young: thank you. thank you. it is great to be back in the house.
this is such a nice occasion. i want to thank the u.s. capital historical society for hosting this event and for all of the leaders who helped make this happen. i also want to thank everyone who came here. i know your time is valuable, congressman'sthe important.ork is recognizing every we have done as a country. ofs is the anniversary apollo 11. yes, you can have applause for that. thanks area [applause] -- thanks. [applause] nearly 600,000 people were able watch neil armstrong take that first step on the moon.
in iconic moment in world history. no man can truly grasp how far .umankind has come it's truly incredible that humans over 50 years could develop organ transplants and satellite communications and the internet and think of all the other discoveries we have had and the changes to our economy and culture and society in just 50 years. we have come quite far. years ago, the world could barely dream of reaching the moon infused that the risk was worth the price originally. but the adventure excess was a true demonstration of american , american leadership, and american courage.
as the great strong said before a joint 50 yearsf congress ago, it was here in these halls truly began.ure a true testament to the program which would not have taken off without congress. as we follow the footprints of 's major endeavors there are tracks leading back to congress. in 1958, congress created nasa. historically congress has tackled major issues from childcare to retirement to disease eradication to national defense. thousandsas drafted of bills, most of them going nowhere, candidly, with hundreds of laws running the gamut of legislative activity from new amendments and government use --
i do not know if we have missed many of those -- but to ratify for entreaties. in 1960 four, congress passed the civil rights act and the age discrimination act and the age discrimination in 1967. to endmore, in an effort workplace discrimination, congress passed the workplace .iscrimination history unfolds. trade is another area that has been so important to human flourishing it, certainly the flourishing of the american people. congress passed the trade and tariff act. nafta. usmca may come soon. it's important to remember those who came before us made certain to remember the united states would take the lead. they would take the lead on
every venture and every issue from a righteous position. every member of commerce has vowed to bring this nation forward, to protect the constitution. to live up to the expectations of our constituents. to fulfill their needs. america will need leaders who have the desire and the capacity to serve the country. i am not worried. i have great optimism that those to come next will continue make the u.s. congress the leading legislative body in the world. thank you all for your time tonight. thanks for having me. [applause]
you, senator young. we so appreciate you coming here and sharing with us and sharing your time and your respect to. with one more distinguished member of congress, and congresswoman debbie dingell is very special to the historical society. we knew her first as a congressional spouse. and as a member of the advocacy ammunity, and she was always great supporter of ours, and of -- as aress as a whole whole, and certainly a great supporter of her community. we were fortunate not long ago when we honor the house energy and commerce community to hear
from the great john dingell tell stories about those times, that he maintained anything that moved was under the jurisdiction of his committee. but now, that the tingle is a .ongresswoman all her own she served as the president of automotive policy conference in a lifelong -- and a lifelong -- founder of the children's resource health center and she has brought all of that is your means and and so -- experience the dedication, and so her district is fortunate to have congresswoman debbie dingell
serving, not just her own district, but as a leader in congress and we are honored to have you today. [applause] dingell: you know, i want to thank the capital historical society for doing this and all of you for being here. the last time i was in the capitol was here -- was when i was here to support the capitol historical society. he loved this institution and he loved this capitol and he just wanted to be here to share that story. those stories. i was thinking about it, what i was going to say to you.
i do not normally talk about this because i am debbie tingle, my own person. i get elected every two years. i am accountable to the people of that district. but i have a lot of history, and i'm very proud of my last name and john possis father was elected to the united states congress in 1933. there were six women in the congress in 1933. john's got to know father. he was a new dealer, one of the authors of social security. of health care for all. he, too loved this institution. john was on the house floor when
fdr declared war. i did not know this. told me this. the only reason we have a recording of what happened on the floor was because john did not listen and knew it was and allowed him to take what was on that floor. elected in 1955. john brooks served with john's father. he was telling me a story. when some young boys ran all the ranto the top of the dome down these -- top of the dome, and through water loans -- water
balloons, that was in the 1940's. wish for this place to continue to be the people's house. people felt like they could come in and it was easy. and they still do. the capital historical society is making sure it is still that way. john's history. his first speech in the house was on civil rights. he was one of the first authors of civil rights legislation. this day imagine it in in nh, but when i was cleaning his office, and he got roundly denounced for wanting to do the clean water act republicans and democrats.
but the world has changed. always believed you worked across the aisle. that we were all americans and he never forgot that. he believed you start in the middle and brought people in an compromise was not a dirty word. i look back to when i married john. i was one of the first working spouses. headlines in the paper. you know, spouses were not first. fiversed.t when i married john -- i am not old, but i am seasoned. other.s got to know each republican and democratic kids
dated. their parents chaperoned together. relationships matter. that is heard of what is missing make goodhough we do bets on college games luck. i'm looking at joe. university of michigan lost to his team. but that's what really matters. and a time of more strikes than i would like to see, and it seems like blood will tell the story of other times in the history of our country, we have to always remember what a great democracy we have. how sacred our constitution is.
the fact of the matter is none of us are totally right. we each have different respect -- different perspectives. we can learn. there have been other times like this. book andding john's trying to say what i was going to say tonight. now that i am serving in congress -- i was the first spouse that was elected while her husband was alive. and it was hard, by the way. it was really hard. he was looking over my shoulder every minute. i now talk to him a lot.
where are you, giving me that advice? republicans and democrats are breathing new figure and energy. it's a good thing. -- i encourage you all this in the washington post the day after he died. he had lost the ability to rights. he had a message. the post called it his last words to america. he kicked me out of the room thursday morning. said, christine has got to go home, and he said, woman, leave me alone. onl clinton called to check
john wednesday before the thursday he died in john talk to bill clinton, and george bush called me to check on me. neither of them thought that john would be ok. john dingell was focused. president bush could not stop laughing. john was so -- this is what you've got to do. this, this, this, and this. there is something in the last 24 hours of his life, he did talk to a democratic president, and one of the last people you spoke to was a republican president and he respected both of them and never forgot that. america, hewords to that we holdll power entrusted to the officials to the people that elect them. we will all serve our constituents with the greatest responsibility they have granted
.s for a time so we all get caught up in the news of the day and the strikes on the floor, but it's really important to remember this nation's history. in the greatest nation in the world and we can never take our democracy or freedom for granted. thank you very much. [applause] >> what a powerful message. congresswoman dingle, you have a way with words.
you bring us history and you bring us the future as well because you stand there as a member of congress, now in your own right, but understanding the history. it is the work of the historical society to keep the history of congress and the history of our democracy alive, and one of the ways we do that is to bring distinguished scholars to this so whentell this story someone throws their hands up and says, it has never been this dad. we have never had this kind of divisiveness, we found someone to speak to you today who can convince you that lo and behold, it has been worse. our government survived.
our nation survive. our keynote speaker is joanne of americanrofessor studies who specializes in early american politics. her interest is in political polarization -- as nastylls it "hurt he, politics, something we know nothing about. has made herrest particularly popular in recent years. book "nationalng politics in the new republic" explored political combat in the founding era. her book "violence in" congress on the road to civil war focuses -- in the civil war" focuses on
conflict in congress and this is the former house chamber, the very place where that violence took place. you may not know that the popular musical "hamilton" was partly based on her research, and lin-manuel miranda, the winner of our free murder -- freedom award not many years ask relied on her research he tried to prepare that incredible musical. she is the cohost of a popular american history podcast called back story and we could go on and on. but mercifully, i shall not do that, but instead will present to you joanne freeman.
[applause] prof. freeman: thank you so much for that introduction. i am herely that speaking at event that does honor congress but includes so many women, i am very happy to stand before you as a woman historian. it's only appropriate. thank you. thank you very much. [applause] i want to start by saying something that was just referenced. i am very, very honored to be speaking with you in this , speaking inace honor of this particular congress.
congress, the capital building -- the capitol building, and this hall, for a time the house of representatives, had been the center of my thoughts for 17 years. the people, the passions, the politicians -- particularly lesser known as one -- lesser-known ones. speaking to the congressional community is kind of a bucket list moment for me. i have been relishing it from the moment i was invited to come here and i want to thank you and the congressional sponsors of the program and the wonderful folks at the capital historical .ociety
times i have been immersed in studying the doings of the antebellum congress, i see a lot of shadows. i can almost see john quincy adams. he would have been sitting over there. almost hear him literally bringing the house down around him with his aggressive stance against slavery. before thethe space speaker's platform, which would have been roughly over there, i brawlmost see the massive from 1858, largely having to do of slavery,titution that only ended when one
yanked the whig off the head of another, which only goes to show you that slapstick is eternal. i want to offer you the words of . congressional clerk -- and this is actually from his diary -- when is 1000t, the hall candles. between thepery richer, it all appears than by the light of day. the galleries are usually crowded with all of the gentility of washington. the house happens to be in a good humor and some interesting
is under debate, i know no more imposing spectacle. but when 10:00 or 11:00 at night .rrives, the members drop away those who remain become tired and sleepy. one by one, they grow angry. there are motions to adjourn. the speaker calls "order, order !" at the top of his voice. in theiregin sleeping chairs. by 2:00 in the morning, someone usually moved the call of the house. , they in the morning arrest the missing congressman and drag them back to the house and they arrived, not quite in thes rumpled,,
it's the dynamics of human interaction that make it go. history,t our nation's those dynamics have been shifting. sometimes unpredictable. sometimes problematic. my most recent book notes what happens during those highly problematic moments. when researching the book, i uncovered roughly 70 physically violent incidents. fistfight,hoving, people throwing nights at -- uns at each other. wild malays, people throwing punches, a handful of streetlights -- wild melees.
dramatic story and its little-known outside scholarly circles for good reason because a lot of it was censored out of the congressional record. there are clues in the record. now and again you will see when you are reading through the record -- there are clues. and i discovered them once i knew the violence was there. sayagain the record will "the debate became unpleasantly personal at one point." in one case, that was describing a moment when one congressman pulled a gun on another. that is unpleasantly personal. or there was a sudden since -- sudden sensation in the corner.
there was one huge fight in 1849 that a clerk riding it down reported it as this -- he wrote in the record, the house is like a heaving billow. some of this was a product of the times. the united states was an place.ngly violent centered onolence the institution of slavery and the brutal treatment of native americans. the united states has a long history of violence and a lot of it has been race-based. that some of the violence in congress was strategic. at some -- and these were men who
were most likely to be armed and men most willing to engage into man-to-man combat, some of this was strategic and meant to threaten opponents into silence or compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery. take the example of john dawson of louisiana. when someone insisted that john quincy adams had every right to discuss an anti-slavery strutted john dawson over to the fellow and said adams had a right to discuss an anti-slavery petition and said, do that again and i'm going to ear.our throat from ear to message received. southern slaveholders attempted to silence debate and for a time this worked quite bad -- quite
well for the south. in the late 1850's, the dynamic changed and the violence peaked. the issue of slavery was undeniably and aggressively ever more at the center of debate. second, and to me particularly intriguingly, communication changed. at the same time the nation's growth was keep slavery front and center, the telegraph made matters worse, transmitting information at breakneck speed. so just as the conflict began to , news spread faster than
ever before and without much congressional spin. exaggerate hard to how the invention of the telegraph changed politics. one congressman pulled a gun on another congressman and there anda stampede, confusion after the episode was over, a senator from new hampshire student and said i feel the need to tell pete that within 45 minutes the nation is going to be reading that we are slaughtering each other in the senate. and you can feel the room controlg they have lost of the story. there is little they can do to .hange that of whatn to get an idea
we're talking about. it should come as no surprise that dramatic changes in the modes of conversation change the modes of democracy itself. the degree to which the representative rights were being stifled, the ways in which representative voices were being -- they tended to vote more combative men into congress and many did indeed fight back. with words and sometimes with fists. distrust, the bitterness, theyents on each side that
were being degraded eroded the functioning of the institution congress. fighting overwhelmed the working of congress. there's a lot to be learned from the narrative i just laid out. i feel very savvy for having written a book that came out at this time, but it took 17 years to write it and i never could have predicted that i would ditch the book at just this moment, but there is much to learn. i will mention a few key points in the minutes i have left. , our political system has become so complex, easy to forget the ground-level power of the core essence of congress and what it does. the powerful emotions and the powerful symbolism that complicates how people feel their representatives
do and who their representatives are. for people looking on in the nation at large, congress is a national sounding bar. for some, is the personification of the state of the nation. it is something of a cliché that they're members of congress more than their institutions of congress, but , it sustains a strong message about the state of affairs in their country and what first drew my interest was its unique status as an institution that brings people together physically and puts them into two chambers and forces them to hash things out. forng that kind of space that kind of conversation -- however caustic that
conversation may be, having that space matters, and of course, iting the audience witness in some point, having that space matters as well. accountability to the american public is the ultimate guardrail of democratic government. because of the intense link between the american people and their representatives, sometimes there are broad and profound meanings that beyond legislation. thus congress's extraordinary ability to create the national emotionally, rhetorically. congress is the american people in assembly. , congress is the
nation's beating heart. giving voice to the popular will and allowing conversations to happen within this institutions, all of this is the lifeblood of democratic governance. i am about to do something that is really counterintuitive and wherever alexander hamilton is, forgive me.ll i'm hamilton scholar, but i am about to describe the man who killed him, aaron burr. his politics were sometimes equivocal. he was something of an adventurer. he killed hamilton. he was tried and acquitted.
but he was apparently a very , and hee president understood the profound significance of congress. with the end of his vice presidency, he said the following -- and i think it's so the essenceaptures of congress that i want to close with the words of ehrenberg. this house is a sanctuary, a sza dell of law and liberty. if the constitution be destined ever to parish by the
sacrilegious hand of the demagogue or the usurper, it's its expiringies -- agonies will be witnessed. thank you. [applause] >> one of the things these society is privileged -- come here, mr. chairman, i need you. this is don carlson, the chairman of the board. one of the things -- we have ofble from the renovation
the capitol rig we use that to create products. when someone honors us with their speech, we provide to you book in made from the marble of the capital. [applause] and my boss, the chairman said "make sure to tell people we now have the lego set that you can buy from us and build the capitol yourself." we are almost to the eating and drinking time. you can stand and sits. take a minute to acknowledge the board of the capital society. those of you on the board,
please stand and be recognized. we appreciate your -- [applause] organizationrofit to theists due investment of time, talent, and treasure of people on the board who care about the his of congress. one of the groups that was especially helpful today is the national association of realtors, and we thank you very much for the contribution to .llow this event to happen i do not know if cheryl johnson is here with us, but the clerk , i spoke with her and suggested she may want to storys because of the being written by the clerk. virginia foxx, i see you.
one of our best board members. i appreciate you being here. there are few other members of congress who may have slipped in and outs. thank you. i get the privilege to stand , having pulled this event off by myself. there is a group of staff who work for the society. please wave -- including the interns. come on. thank you very much. thank you. and so, it is time to eat, drink, and be merry. thank you very much. thank you for being with us.
[applause] >> tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on "lectures in history," female activists in the 1960's civil rights movement. >> while women were responsible for organizing and putting the march together, the event was dominated by men. sunday at 4 p.m. eastern, the global significance of the declaration of independence during and after the american revolution. of ouriple translations declaration made their way to colombia, venezuela, and ecuador
. it was a half-century known to scholars as "the age of revolutions." eyewitness 8 p.m., accounts from inside the white house during the apollo 11 lunar landing. windows weree the dark. we were into nighttime. 4:15 p.m. landed at and the astronauts did not welcome to later. >> explore our nation's past every weekend on c-span3. in 1979, a small network with had an unusual ideas -- let viewers make up their own mind. c-span door to washington policymaking for all to see, giving you unfiltered access to congress and beyond. a lot has changed in 40 years, but that idea is more relevant
than ever. on television and online, c-span is your unfiltered view of the government. brought to you as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. on"q&a" --ght >> we were taken out of the hall and confronted this mob of angry people. >> alison singer talks about being physically attacked after an appearance of charles murray on campus. brian: you went where and what happened? much.on't really remember i can't even tell you which were we went out, but we were taken out of the hall and we confronted this mob of angry people. some of them wore masks. the heart was rosemary. at 8 p.m.night
eastern. presidency,"he john singleton talks about richard nixon's early life and career. he is the author of "richard the life." the smithsonian associates hosted this event. is my pleasure to welcome our speaker tonight. john farrell is an author in contributor.- and he was a white house in theondent and served spotlight. in his capacity as a journalist, he has recorded every presidential campaign from 1980 to 2012.