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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 4, 2013 11:45pm-12:46am EDT

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respect those who serve, and you better not serve them. because they would feel if you do not respect them but that was egregious. >> you can watch this and other programs online booktv.org. up next.tv, shall shirley meyer. [applause] [applause] >> thank you so much. thank you for coming, everyone. we have changed the slides in the front. let me say thank you to all of you. those of you who write and do research are dependent on a vax network of support. i would like to express so much support to the editors and publishers who helped me on this journey that i'm going to be speaking with you about tonight.
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i want to start out by saying something you have probably never heard of it at the beginning of a history lecture, which is that it's okay to laugh. as the curtain on the screen suggests, there are some laughable moments to the story that we will be thinking together about tonight. some of it is going to strike you as a little bit funny, and it is from our vantage point. tonight we are thinking back to the years 1944 through 1946, the end of the second world war and the transition to peace. in the midst of the transition, there are many pressing issues for the world to face. i will cover in the story a fantastic idea that there should be a capital of the world. a place that would be the center for diplomacy. a place that would be grand. but it might be its own identity, its own city, or at least an expansive suburb. it might sort of be like a
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world's fair, or it might be like a compound of national embassies. sometimes i get the impression that people were thinking of the emerald city from the land of oz. [laughter] especially as they were thinking about the capital of the world in 1945. but this is the story that we are entering into today. if there were to be capital the of the world, where would it be? this was a proposition that civic boosters in american cities and towns could not resist, including philadelphia, but also many others as well. no one announced a competition, least of all the united nations. but the race began. even before it is officially existed, they were trying to get the attention of the world's diplomats and two when the price of becoming the capital of the world. it was a race of civic boosters and a race of newspaper reporters were covering the story. in many cases, often creating
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the story. so as to boost the campaigns for bringing the united nations to their own localities. the race went to san francisco where the u.n. charter was drafted. he went to london where they met for the first time. it went to mackinac island or the nation's governors had their conference in 1945. went to new york, which contained the base of operations for the site searching teams who would determine the outcome. it went to potential sites, especially in the northeast, including philadelphia. while the civic boosters were running their own race race to win a private no one had announced, the world's diplomats were on their own parallel track, a more deliberate of course of determining whether the balance of power would lie in europe or the united states of trying to get an
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international organization off the ground in dealing with a very serious issues of transitioning from war to peace, all the while with the american boosters nipping at their heels. we have had some serious substantial lessons learned from all of us, and it is about the ways that local and national and global identities are formed and it is about the way that ideas and time and space change as communications technology changes and transportation technology changes. it's also a great story as the screen suggests. as the boosters were racing onto the world stage, and as the world's diplomats try to negotiate local politics and the american real estate market. to begin at the beginning, i am
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often asked how i became interested in this topic. so this is a story from the archives. it begins in philadelphia. at a time when i was researching an entirely different subject, although i came to discover it was not entirely separate. was working in the archives of the independence national historical park going through the screen trying to assemble a history. and i came across this clipping. philadelphia, home of the united nations. from the front page of the record in 1945. my only response was what. i have lived in philadelphia for a while. i thought i knew something about philadelphia's history. this was news to me. i wanted to find out more. just on the little investigation, i found the philadelphia, in addition to san francisco, was among the earliest and most assertive and
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longest lasting of the competitors for the honor of becoming the host location for the united nations. the inspiration was come as you can see, independence hall, which was seen by philadelphians is in integration to the nation and therefore presumed to be an integration to the world. what better reason could there be to locate the united nations within the passivity of the cradle of liberty. i came to discover that this kind of attachment to local history was embedded in many of the competitors that came forward. those offering themselves to be the capital of the world. often they were acting from a basis of local history, which they saw as contributing to the nation's history, which they saw then as having international significance. it was especially true of places
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that had historic connections to the american revolution and to the founding fathers. in addition to philadelphia, there were many others including new jersey, saratoga, new york, charlottesville, and williamsburg, virginia, just to name a few on that basis. here we see philadelphians on the steps of independence hall looking forward to their future. they are holding a map of the city. if we could see the other side of this, we can see an aging commercial district that had yet to become independence national historical park and they are imagining that the future will build from on the past that they already have in place. i love this as if they are seeing the future or this was true of other cities as well. in detroit that was another competitor for the boosters
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really saw the potential of the world capital is being a step forward into the future. this is intriguing. then i read about the history of the united nations and gone into the records of the early organization and saw some references that there may be 30 to 50 of the self acclaimed world capital competitors. that seemed enough to look a little harder. i came to understand there were many more. a great variety in every region of the country. not only large cities that you might expect like boston and chicago and st. louis and new orleans and denver and san francisco, but also smaller places i never would imagine. that they would be in a contest to become the center of the world. sault ste. marie, michigan.
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now, clearly i needed to find out more about this. so far as i know, there were at least 248 localities they became involved in this episode to 1 degree or another by either making a suggestion or issuing an official invitation or embarking upon a full-blown campaign to make their home towns the capital of the world. so here i could see that there would be a wide variety of materials that would allow me to see what happening in the united states and society and culture and in this transitional moment. how it is related to local identity and how it makes us feel a connection to the world. off i was on my adventure in search for the capital of the world.
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one of the places i'd like to introduce is a sort of counterpoint to the story of philadelphia because it is also one of the earliest and most long lasting competitors. the black hills of south dakota. meet paul bellamy. he is in the driver seat. he appears in histories of the united nations. this is all sort of the throwaway line, the shorthand for expressing the ridiculous lengths that the american booster campaign went to. however, i spent little time in south dakota and a little bit of time getting to know paul bellamy and his campaign. i came to have some different ideas about it. it seemed a little out there and wacky for being on the potential
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capital of the world. can see paul is driving fdr and they are on their way to a dedication on mount rushmore. he was the owner of a transportation company. so often told him to drive the celebrities that came to mount rushmore or other sites in the region. and he organized tours for other visitors. he was a big local booster of tourism and locally beneficial projects. he was always in him. always part of major projects
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the reason why the black hills of south dakota were a contender, at least so far as they were concerned, during the second week of september of 1944, the united states army air force submitted a telegram of tragic news in rapid city, south dakota. just a few days short of their 40th wedding anniversary, they learned that their younger son, paul bellamy had died in a collision. he was 22 years old and had been lead of two groups of flying fortresses. they observed a plane hitting too close to their own ship. the engineer raced to the cockpit intending to grab the controls and command the plane. the plane was colliding with the
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other, and they went down with the ship. half a world away from his son, his search for channels include racing over his son's short life, the baby, the playful boy and the boy in training on the outskirts of rapid city, perhaps a future father or partner in business. we find him at the local chamber of commerce meeting proposing that the black hills issue an
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invitation to the united nations to bring its headquarters there to that region. it was a memorial act to others who had died in the war. the people who are pursuing this dream come although it seems perfectly reasonable to them, i think of them as the parent generation of world war ii. people who were born at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. by world war ii, they are the civic leaders of their communities. many of them had served in war. for paul it was the war.
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they were committed to ensuring peace for the future and supporting united nations as a way of doing that. this was a motivation for many of them to be involved. he was really in the race. ..
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with the toyota headlines came more competitors and i put this slide back up to you in order to describe the way that this wave hits the diplomatic world in 1945. i call this chapter blitz because i think that is about how it felt to the diplomats. the competition to become the capital of the world which no one had announced reached london in the fall of 1945 with the bombardment of invitations that no one had solicited. a resolution from the town board of hyde park new york, letter from the chamber of commerce of deloitte wisconsin and
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promotional brochures from boston st. lucie and newport rhode island petitions from oklahoma and suggestions from saratoga valley forge monticello and williamsburg. bizarre communication signed by chase osborne in's lane somewhere in georgia. south dakota and photographs from philadelphia. starting with a smattering of five suggested capitals in september of 1945 locations increase by 13 in october 17 more november and 85 and december. a few suggestions arrived to locations outside the united states but most of the correspondence came from american public officials publishers business leaders and other individuals promoting their own hometowns. the appeals became more and more elaborate. these are some examples of the promotional materials that landed in the mail in london. philadelphia is at this point still promoting its historic
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significance as its main appeal. chicago is situating itself at the center of the planet and on the right what san francisco called a brochure is clearly much more than that. it's being displayed by a flight attendant who was sitting on a crate of these that were headed off to london. so here you see the promotion being built around the promotion so this is growing and growing and growing. once they got to the diplomats in london, the response they received only encouraged more because diplomats are diplomatic. no one said no. no one said go away. the response was your materials will be considered by the appropriate parties at the appropriate time. if your civic booster what does that sound like to you? yes, you were still in the running.
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try harder and i think this was part of the spirit of americans at this time. having helped the allies win the war, that anything, they could accomplish anything only if they tried hard enough. no one was giving up, even though such as the people from the black hills who really never stood a chance. they didn't know that because no one said no and they were in the game all the way. if there was to be a capital of the world what might it look like? not only did we have civic boosters producing brochures, we had architects devising plans for what the new united nations might become. this was the first plan created in san francisco at the time of the conference there and this is from a newspaper or so it's not very easy to see. but this plan reminds me a little bit of the dry lawn --
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from the world's fair in many of these plans reflect that sensibility of worlds fairs either through their design or through their architects who had connections with worlds fairs or through their settings. some of them were literally on sites of worlds fairs. the other thing i see in these plans and i'm going to show you two or three more of them is a developing idea that a city, an existing place might not be the best location for a new world for this organization, that maybe it should be its own place. maybe it needs a more pastoral setting in order to do the work of peace. here is a second design for san francisco. this is actually in marion county on the bay in here you see this is on the waterfront. this space-age sort of design there. these are businesses of the future and what will the
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poorest -- post-war world to be like? thislike? this is northerly like? this is northerly iowa chizik peninsula near the downtown and what you see here is the proposal for the world capital built on northerly aisle. what i find interesting about this is you really can't see chicago. it is as if the city is not there. there is some idea here that the peace organization needs to be more peaceful surroundings. often there were proposals for islands. this is saint sue marie michigan. there's a similar design for niagara falls. the worse for border patrols is that join towns on both sides of the border. this is salt solved same marie michigan and the same with niagara falls. modern buildings symbolic traffic signals linking roads from both continents are part of
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the designs. finally back to our friends in south dakota. this is the design for the world capital of the black hills. this would have been in a valley in the black hills. what you are seeing here is the central tower structure and this, it looks like a sickle but it's actually a spiral to allow the united nations to grow and grow and grow in perpetuity. here you see a small office structure in the delegations. it looks to be a little bit like a suburban cul-de-sac development. in the hills there would have been villages for nationalities and straight through the middle is the world highway that would allow you to drive around the world which of course would go straight through south dakota. so this was their proposal for the black hills. the philadelphians did not create an architectural design.
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part of their pitch was we are not going to tell you what to do. just please come here. they did recognize that the idea of the city as a location was falling out of favor and they needed to change the idea of putting it close to independence hall even though they didn't intend to create that expansive plaza there. they moved as charles said earlier their aspirations to belmont plateau and this is a current picture of belmont plateau which is a "field of dreams" because it's all baseball diamonds out there now and you can see the city skyline in the background there and you can barely see a memorial hall from the 1876 worlds fair. also it's visible from this location so they propose this location as well as an additional acreage in northwest philadelphia and into montgomery county. they put together is much acreage as they could to try to
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entice the united nations to come to philadelphia. so here is a question. you have to put the capital of the country somewhere. where do you decide the center is in 1945? among the diplomats the debate was between europe and the united states. with the united nations be the traditional center for diplomacy or would it move to the united states to make a fresh start? the idea of center, this very transitional sort of concept at this time, ideas of time and space were being transformed by transportation, by communications technology. the world was coming closer together but not everyone was thinking of it that way so there are interesting discussions where people are talking about distance. some people talk about it in terms of miles but other people talk about in termsur and
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in hours distance was changing. commercial aviation was about to takeoff and for that reason anyplace could make the argument that when i got there fabulous new airport they were going to be the center of the world and they could very easily accommodate the united nations. they make this point with maps as you see here. this is the black hills campaign and you see the concentric circles moving outward and you see the airplanes coming in from each continent. no problem. everyone can get to rapid city. here is a similar promotion from atlantic city, which was very sort of in competition as well and this is them connecting everywhere. here is the st. louis promotion. weldon spring was the site outside of the city that they were putting forward and here is
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tosca houma oklahoma. again with the concentric circles there at the center and they are offering this very modern structure and the airplane is arriving to bring the world and into tosca houma and you can see here they are measuring air miles in order to show how accessible to ask a houma might be. tosca houma is another one of those stories that at first glance seems like one of the crazy places on the list. but there is also a richer story behind it. some of you may know that tesco houma was the capital of the choctaw nation and it was proposed to the u.n. as a place where the diplomats could locate a statement about social justice by being in the land of an oppressed people. so there is much more going on to the tosca houma campaign than
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might appear. so there are all these promotions about air travel and how easy it will be, how swift it will be to travel to any location that might want to be the capital of the world. but then there is a wrinkle. brewster's were posting about this as roosters well but in the fall of 1945 there were 16 groups of roosters who decided they had to go to london in person in order to make their pitch. here are the philadelphians on the airplane getting ready to go make their appeal to the united nations and one of the reasons we know about their trip is that kept a detailed journal. it's now in the digital collections of historical society pennsylvania to go on line and take a look. it was really hard to travel from philadelphia to london and
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our team -- 1945. first of all they may be sitting on an airplane getting ready to leave but they are not in philadelphia. they are in new york. you cannot get on an airplane in philadelphia and fly in 1945. that would come along pretty soon for philadelphia but they had to take a train to new york and then wait for the weather to be right in order to get on the airplane and day after day they would wait for a phonecall to tell them where to go and sometimes they would get a phonecall they guess they could go and a few minutes later it's called off. at 1.1 of them tried to go on the queen mary thinking would be faster to get to london than it would be to take the plane but they did finally fly. so did the mayor of chicago and so did the governor of massachusetts and each one of them is a tale of adventure and difficulty and long, long
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journeys to get to london. they were going to have a little bit of a hard someone had to listen to them. it was a formality. the diplomats were there down the field pretty quickly and it was a matter of geography. if the united nations were not going to be in europe, europeans were determined they should be as close as possible and that meant in the northeast. they also determined that they wanted to be close enough to a major city in order to enjoy the cultural amenities and you have access to universities and health care and those sorts of services. but they did not want to be so close that they would be consumed into a metropolis.
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they were still thinking of the capital of the world. fast amounts of land that would be there on. what you are seeing here are two concentric circles, one around boston so they decided to look within this radius of austin and within this radius of new york. so this is 80 miles out from new york. a line was drawn in order to include hyde park the home of franklin roosevelt but you notice there's another circle here, 25 miles. they didn't want to be any closer to new york city than 25 miles. absolutely not. the conversation the community was three sentences. we are not going in a closer. the new yorkers were pushing hard for flushing meadow queens as the site of the world's fair in 1939. it looks like philadelphia's in the loop right? wrong. philadelphians were shocked to discover that when the list came
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out of places they were not on it and the reason they were not on it is that they were too close to washington d.c.. the diplomats did not want the united nations to be within the influential round of the national capital. philadelphians never thought of themselves as being close to washington d.c.. we still don't, right? but they didn't take it very well when they got this news from the united nations. this says hello mom, we was robbed and here is our colonial figure in philadelphia again being unfairly treated or so they thought by the united nations. i have to tell you that all was not lost. it was not lost and i'm going to go back to the map for a moment in order to explain this because as the diplomats looked for sites, they went to the sites where the numbers are here, they
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did find a place that they like but of all the hundreds of communities that wanted to become the capital of the world they chose one of the few locations in the nation that wanted to have nothing to do with it. they chose initially a site in fairfield county connecticut involving parts of greenwich and parts of stanford. nobody asked the people of greenwich. the united nations encounter so much resistance in the suburbs north of new york first in that particular location and then in the two adjoining counties north of new york but they had to go shopping again. they went looking around at some long-time contenders. they visited san francisco finally for the first time since the charter had been there. they went back to boston and they came to philadelphia.
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they came to look at that great site of belmont plateau. this was very appealing. philadelphia had a great site and it was good for construction and it was available for free. it was easy commuting and even today from center city philadelphia to belmont plateau in 10 minutes if you are having a good day on the expressway. philadelphia had cultural amenities. they were treated to lunch at the museum of art's. everyone seemed to love it. it was such a contrast to what they were experiencing in the suburbs of new york. by the time this additional tour was finished philadelphia was the leading contender, the favored choice. a vote was imminent so when i asked the question how close did philadelphia come to becoming
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the capital of the world the answer is pretty darned close. there were headlines in "the new york times" but new yorkers were alerted to this. new yorkers have their own booster committee and by this time the new yorkers led by robert moses and nelson rockefeller had enticed the u.n. to a temporary meeting place at flushing meadows, the site where they wanted the united nations to be. when this prospect of philadelphia seemed to be almost certain a phonecall one out to nelson rockefeller and i think if you know any part of the story it's probably the end and that's the other fun part about tracing the south. we just don't know how we got there but nelson rockefeller came back from vacation and there was a quick huddling and discussion about what new york could do. the story that you probably know is that john d. rockefeller
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junior who is nelson's father made a gift of $8.5 million to purchase a site in midtown manhattan which at that point was a slaughterhouse. it had been partial together by real estate developer with the idea of building something new along the lines of rockefeller center so it was put together and there was an option on the property and john d. rockefeller gave the gifts. because of that, that site is now the united nations. it's maybe not the capital of the world of everyone's dreams. the planner who supervised the architectural work here referred to it as a workshop for peace so it's not so grand. it's a more workaday sort of place and just to conclude i want to read just a little, because it might -- it's the
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story of the end of world war ii and the beginning of peace. it's a panorama that era but i think it also touches deeply into american culture. because today capital of the world survives as a slogan for new york city rather than a place of dreams. as reporters noted while trailing u.n. diplomats through the darkness in connecticut and one of their site tours the search for the capital of the world could've been a movie. a reporter said reporters said it could've been a movie or perhaps it should inspire broadway show where tap deafening civic boosters diplomatic step thinking in circles and courses of anything you can do i can do better. i left my heart in san francisco and oklahoma. for the grand finale diplomats in boosters could dedicate the united nations headquarters in new york with a rounding rendition of accentuate the positive from the 1944 film, here come the waves. looking back it all seems a little bit crazy then we have
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lost touch with the atmospheric termination hope the next i.d. they characterized american society at the end of the second world war. we have forgotten a time when people in cities and towns across the united states imagined themselves on the world stage and not just on the stage but at its center as the stars of the show. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. very insightful. i certainly learned a lot and i'm sure everyone did. we do have some time for questions if you would like since we don't have books. and if you don't mind repeating it. >> there is a microphone that will come to you. >> yes, i was just curious, did the u.s. government or the truman administration take a
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position on where it should be located? >> that's a great question. the united states government took the position of neutrality on the site question which left a wide open door for all of the local promotional committees, that they would just walk right through. the u.s. government, the state department had a pretty good idea that the u.n. diplomats would come to the united states. they wanted to give the u.n. the start and independent start so let's leave the decision of the diplomats. and so the diplomatic committees who came over had very little familiarity with the united states and they were trusting the boosters really to guide them along and boosters were more than happy to do it. there did come a point in that last round where they revisited that last group of cities where the united states government did become more involved at that point and did step in the final
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days to say the east coast is better than the west coast. but they were still letting the decision go where the u.n. wanted it to go. >> why did they abandon the desire to be no closer than 25 miles to the city? was just the financial help they got to purchase land? >> yes, part of it was a financial issue with the suburban land that they chose in the first place which was hugely expensive. and i think these were people who had come up in the age of imperialism. they were used to going places and taking what they needed to take up the land in fairfield and westchester county would have been very expensive so that was a cost issue.
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they also became wary of the commuting. they really wanted to be in manhattan and have their offices in manhattan. it was going to take them too long to get back and forth to the suburbs. they even dislike commuting from manhattan to queens and so they became more acclimated to being in the city them being in a suburb. the new yorkers were very skillful and investing so much in renovating the world's fair grounds buildings that they could say look we have already invested millions of dollars and so we should stay here. they eventually it put a sign on the building that said welcome to new york. so they step-by-step and is the suburbs pushed to the u.n. out the new yorkers were ready to catch them. so as they toured that last time they were willing to look at san
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francisco now. the presidio looked pretty good. they were willing to look at philadelphia and they were willing to look again at boston. it was the gift, the $.5 million that made it that particular location that deep in midtown manhattan. thanks for that question. >> charlene, i couldn't help but notice that all the boosters were pretty much white man. did any city in the 1940s, did any city use the fact that i had it the first -- >> most of the boosters were white men but they did use multinational population as a selling point and i think it's one of the significant things about this competition is that they started writing about all the different nationality groups that they had because look at all the languages our people can
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speak. great secretaries and telephone operators and everything you need for the organization to operate. the other reason to make that claim is the united nations had made a determination that they did not want to be in a place where their delegates might be subject to racial discrimination so they geroux line at the mason-dixon line at one point and said nothing that is in the southern part of the united states is even going to be considered and it is about the prospect of racial discrimination. they had a great discussion about how well you could find that anywhere in 1945 but the truth outline. at the point where they did that they had a whole raft of competitors complaining that they had absolute no racial discrimination in their communities. so it built over time that way as well. thanks, that's a great question.
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>> hi. >> in your research for your book did you come across any information about the houston family of chestnut bill same wanting to bring the united nations -- nations to chestnut hill? >> that part of northwest philadelphia was in a territory that was being eyed or potential housing for the u.n. and staff. i'm going to go off my prepared slides here to show you a map. this is one of the historical society maps that you saw flashing earlier. this is this google and appear in this territory was the additional land that they were looking at. they toured up there and lo and behold they visited people who said sure you can have my house. which is not at all would have been happening in the suburbs of new york so the philadelphians were very skillful in arranging that. i looked at the papers but i'm told there are good materials
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there. >> to big-money powers. see perhaps that's the case. safieh think it would make a very interesting read. >> that would add to the competition. thank you for that. thank you very much. there is another question in the front. >> he since we are in philadelphia i can't help but ask, among the boosters was there a mention that article you showed. it only mentioned william penn's idealism but in fact william penn had penned his famous essay of peace on world peace in 1693 and it was a concept akin to what the united nations was to become. the promoters mentioned that and united nations stay shares william penn's new calendar
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birthday sort of the prize. >> that didn't get the connection with the birthday however from the beginning there was reference to william penn especially as a world citizen and benjamin franklin in the same way. portraying philadelphia as a world place which is a contemporary concern as well so it's really interesting echo for me. there was also another promoter who was promoting the area around the media in pennsylvania who was very persistent and his argument was all about william penn. he felt it should be in pennsylvania and he did not want it to be in the city of philadelphia. he thought it was not an appropriate setting for his organization so he pushed the area around media and also brought a number of eastern pennsylvanian communities into
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this competition each with their own proposal in east end pennsylvania for example, places and the poconos came in at his urging in order to make that connection with william penn. thank you for that question. it's interesting to me that a lot of these cartoons show philadelphia as william penn and think about the city trying to be modern and historic at the same time. i think especially this cartoon speaks to that, that the u.n. diplomats are in the business suits flying on an airplane and philadelphia saying goodbye to them in the person of william penn. i think that suggest something about the perceptions philadelphia had of itself and some reasons why philadelphia got as far as it did in this competition. there were some diplomats who would not have been really happy to come to philadelphia. >> philadelphia's proposal was signed by mayor renard samuel and at that time philadelphia's
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administration had a reputation for being fat was incompetent and corrupt. >> and now off of that. >> that the proposal is terrific. it's a beautiful piece of work. my question is, how were they able to do it, did this city administration do it or did others get it together? >> it originated with the philadelphiladel phia record. the clipping i found was actually the origin of the campaign and it was david stern the publisher of the philadelphia record. every day in that newspaper there was some kind of a manufactured story about how great it would be and how natural an idea it is for the united nations to come to philadelphia. an endorsement from this politician or that one, every day they found something new. the mayor for his part had had another idea that a peace
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conference to end world war ii should happen at independence hall so he readily transferred that interest into this idea. so within a few weeks they had a big meeting of politicians and the leading citizens of philadelphia for time in the mayor's reception hall in city hall to push this idea long. it was there when they decided they had to send some people to san francisco in order to begin lopping right right-of-way. there is this interesting coalition of newspaper people and politicians and by the last phase where they're talking about elmo bledsoe you are entering into the air of her facial i city planning for philadelphia and the city planner. hopkinson had taken charge of it by that time so it went from being sort of a sentimental reflection on the city's history to being a very sophisticated statistical measure argument for
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bringing the united nations to philadelphia. philadelphia really had to reshape the image it was projecting to the world and they did it in the space of about a year from liberty bell and independence hall to belmont plateau and northwest philadelphia. >> continuing on the philadelphia theme and have photographed of the city fathers are city leaders looking ahead into the future is there any sense that you have that independence national historical park is in fact the price that philadelphia gets when it does not get the united nations? >> no, i think the idea for the park, well it's in the same era so the idea for the park has developed in the period between the first and second world war and some of the same people are involved. his ideas fit neatly together
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and a lot of american cities had been storing up all of these great ideas through the great depression, through the war are all these all these plans and ideas and by 1945 there were philadelphians and architects who are already lobbying for state park and a national park around independence hall. this was kind of a kicker. this will fit our plans too and how great this will be but then the whole idea derailed. but the plans went forward for the park and for the state park in the national park. the same state and federal officials who the philadelphians were dealing with were of course the ones who also -- on the part. there are interesting connections there certainly. >> charlene, being aware of time is here and we would love to
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continue the dialogue. i would love to thank her again for her presentation very much. [applause] >> the intense discussions, arguments within the "national review" that i allude to were primarily not totally but merely still feeling their way. the conservative movement was still gelling. in the 1970s, russia's focus is on, is initially on the possibility of actually placing a republican party with the new conservative party. i found a letter in which he
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said to a friend, my problem -- this is about 1975. my problem with the republican party isn't that it's not conservative enough. it's that it isn't big enough. yeah we wanted to win in republicans after watergate in the mid-70's were in terrible shape. i won't recite the details but a lot of them probably felt they were back where they were in the 1930s. russia wants to take this opportunity to start a new conservative party. not rigidly conservative but consciously conservative, one in which the liberal wing of the republican party would not be present and therefore would not have the veto party that -- power that he thought they had.
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he believed the key to this was one not necessarily the most important thing but an important thing was to moderate economic conservatism and to be a little more populist, recognize that the needs in the position of the little guy. he always had some of that in him but also to welcome social conservatism to this populist issue. and not only southerners but what then were known as conservative democrats. people who later became reagan democrats. he was one of the first to note the size and importance of that voting bloc. he was one of the first and i'm sure one of the most effective at the upbringing into the republican party and he advised reagan to do this. he knew both reagan and the first president bush pretty well he had known break-in since the
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mid-60's. he advised both reagan and then vice president bush some years later to do this. he was successful in that and that although i don't think reagan really needed to be -- i'm not sure that reagan really needed to be told that but it's encouraging hearing it from somebody as much as he respects rusher. russian also wanted reagan to be the head of this new conservative party. to make a long story short reagan refuses. most political scientists and i have had training in political science will tell you that the third party will be big on a national party cannot start small. it's got to start that probably with a superstar like reagan so once reagan refused in 75 to join this third party -- -- russian got going and wrote a book about it.
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it was probably curtains for that idea. but russian has succeeded in getting conservatives to think more about the need to expand the republican party and for the republican party to being more coherent. not so ideologically coherent that it was willing to forfeit elections. i think rusher was passed that phase of his lyrical perspective by then. so he recognize that if reagan wasn't going to head it, it was probably not going to get too far but he stuck with it. the full details are in the book, chapter 13. what he came to see in the late 1970s that it really was possible for a guy like reagan to win the republican nomination and once reagan did ever since
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reagan won the republican nomination in 1880 and had in rusher's view it totally successful presidency rusher remained to the end of his days in absolute republican party loyalists. rightly or wrongly and that's another interesting lesson. the man who for time a time and then a third-party advocate comes back to a more conventional political. in closing i just want to say two words about rusher's significant as a symbol among conservatives. he was a very elegant man. he was not particularly tall. he was athletic but he was wonderfully articulate. he always spoke imperfectly formed sentences of 10 public and private conversation. he was always very well dressed. he loved fine wine and offbrand traveled all over the world and went to all the hotels of the
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world. this is a little unusual for a semi-populist conservative and for a guy as ideological as he was. perhaps leading conservatives today could use a few more people like that. in other words it was hard for a manhattan liberal to say rusher, conservatives are hicks and this and that. you couldn't say that about ugly and you couldn't say it about rusher so rusher to reinforce that sense of well the "national review" are smart and sophisticated people and fund to around if you can stand their viewpoint now and then. rusher was an example of the kind of conservative. younger conservatives tended to admire that and bring them along in that style in in vain. also his doctor edwards referred to rusher was a major major conservative hater for a while
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most probably on a pbs show called the advocates. he was a conservative advocate. he did extremely well and a lot of people would watch that and say well we can do that to matt. too met. we can be as good as he is. you can watch this and other programs on line at booktv.org. >> what are you reading this summer? tv wants to know. just finishing a book called the billionaires vinegar a book about a rare wine market and has to do with the most expensive bottle of wine ever purchased, a 1787 bottle apparently at thomas jefferson's -- it's a fascinating read and i don't make a habit of drinking 10,000-dollar bottles of wine but it's a funny look into a rich person's world. the second book i'm looking forward to reading is and the mountains echoed. it's khalid hussein's latest book a work of fiction after his
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two best sellers a thousand splendid sons in the kite runner. he has beautifully lyrical way of writing and is about a culture that we don't get to experience very much so i'm really looking forward to that. i actually just on c-span's booktv the liberation trilogy. rick atkinson is the latest book the guns at last light. that will be my history fix for this summer and a really in-depth look at world war i. the guns at last light takes a look at the last two years the war. that is what i will do to improve my mind a little this summer.
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[applause] [applause] >> good morning everybody. i'm excited to be up this early. we are all wishing this was not a breakfast, more for lunch but here we are. i'm very delighted to be sitting here with wally lamb, doris and these amazing authors. i'm eyes excited to be involved with anything with

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