Skip to main content

tv   BOOK TV  CSPAN  August 15, 2015 11:57am-1:01pm EDT

11:57 am
karzai. [applause] >> there is a lot more, copies of the book are available, please form a line to the right of the table. thank you. you are watching booktv and c-span2 with top fiction -- nonfiction books and authors. booktv television for serious readers. >> here are some programs to watch this weekend on booktv. missouri senator claire mechanical talks about her life and political career on afterwards. dinesh d'sousa discusses pleading guilty to campaign finance laws. and a look at the history and
11:58 am
impact of the americans with disabilities act. barnum swaying on his experiences as us speech writer for former south carolina governor mark stanford. an account of the lives of people on the gulf coast in the american revolution. and british consul turned spy, charleston, south carolina in the lead up to the civil war. for complete television schedule visit booktv, 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors, television joy serious readers. >> here is a look at the books president obama is reading this summer. the list includes three nonfiction titles which looks at race in america. and elizabeth colbert's pivot to prize-winning report on the relationship between humans and precipitous loss of >> in the sixth extinction and biography of george washington which won the deal a surprise
11:59 am
for biography in 2011. president obama is reading three novels this summer. the lowlands, all that is, about a man who has recently returned home from world war ii and the pulitzer prize winner for fiction, all the life we cannot see which looks at the lives of multiple characters in nazi occupied france and that is a look at what is on president obama's reading list this summer. >> booktv asked what are you reading this summer and many of you responded via facebook, twitter and e-mail. elizabeth cassel, a talent for stores, a place of greater safety and citizens. >> reporter: said on facebook wall, the proud tower, world conditions and the events during the 25 year run up from 1890 to the outbreak of the great war in 1914. and fdr, champion of freedom,
12:00 pm
conrad black, john quincy adams, american visionary, and scottburg. send your summer reading list, tweet us at booktv, pose to our facebook walt or e-mail us >> welcome to booktv's special look at some of the places and people c-span city tour producers visited in 2015 as we continue to explore the unique history of literary culture of america. with the help of our cable partners for the next hour we will take you across the country from austin, texas to lexington, ky to tulsa, oklahoma. we begin in topeka, kan. where we learn about the worst military aviation disaster in that state's history.
12:01 pm
>> i was watching and the house was shaking and i looked out the window at our house was on fire and i had to get my sisters and brothers out and took some across the street. >> i couldn't get here fast enough. everything was getting in my way and i couldn't realize what was going on but i started running up and down the street until i got here but i couldn't see my house until i got in the house. >> the plane crash occurred jan. sixteenth 1965 and it occurs early that morning at 9:30 a.m.. it went down in 20th and pine street, it crash landed in a section of wichita typically referred to as an african-american community. 97% of the african americans living in this section of wichita so it goes down and we are talking 500 ft fireball engulfed this entire block, 14
12:02 pm
homes are immediately destroyed. fires everywhere, destruction is everywhere and ultimately 30 lives are lost through this tragedy. anything in the historical records that says this is why the story did not get the attention it deserved. what i did find as i researched it is there is a lot going on in 1965 america. i address specifically three wars occurring in this period, the war in vietnam, massive amount of troops heading into vietnam under lyndon johnson. war on poverty declared on lyndon johnson and the war for equality. all of that is consuming the headlines not just in 1965 but the entire decade. thomas paine wrote these are the times that try men's souls during the american revolution. these were turbulent times. everything going on in selma, everything happened, racism was ubiquitous across the nation but because of that this crash in
12:03 pm
and of its self did not get the attention it deserves because it happened in, quote, small-town u.s.a. wichita, kan.. i arrived at mcconnell air force base in 2003, never been to kansas before, no idea what the history of kansas was. i knew of the wizard of oz and that was about it so imagine be sitting in this new city taking in my surroundings and listening to instructors that were there, and during this time, you heard about the history of the city and i am hearing about the city and all these things that are happening and this is where the worst disaster in kansas history occurred and i said excuse the and asked a question about that and didn't get the answers that i wanted and i went to the library and didn't get the answers i wanted that and i found there was no substantive history there. i could not believe 30 lives were taken with no more land this is and remains the worst disaster in the state's history
12:04 pm
and there's not more on it. that started my initials in freak with deployment to iraq and other things in the air force i didn't have time to dive into it more. as fate would have that i became a police officer and i was stationed right there in that community right by 28th and kind and i got to know these people and understand the hurt and tragedies and misconceptions and myths that were there and down the street wichita state university, the archives. that began the story for me to learn more about it. >> and amazing story from the standpoint of the men in and of themselves who were on the plane that whenever supposed to be in wichita. at the last minute, the week prior to head to wichita and partaking in this unique refueling issue, it was called operation lockheed number. they arrived at wichita on tuesday january 12th, they were not able to take off due to weather.
12:05 pm
they had terrible weather in kansas at the time and finally on that friday, the commander of the crew asked for approval to take off on that saturday january 16th and it had never been done before, we just want to get back home. they were stationed at clinton air force base in oklahoma and they said we want to get back home so go ahead, you have approval to do this mission. it is the unique refueling mission. the 135 was this to go up that hook up with a b-52 bomber, long-range bomber for the air force. once they hoped they were going to be fuelled obama at head back to oklahoma. the problem arises january 16th, that morning, 11 degrees outside, a men arrive at the base will before a:00 a.m. perhaps the jet, ready to go and at 9:27 a.m. they depart, they leave the runway, 31,000 gallons of jet fuel.
12:06 pm
two minutes into the fight the pilot calls mayday, mayday, mayday and are never heard from again and that is where the story begins, january 16th with seven men essentially fighting for their lives in this plane over wichita and over a crowded neighborhood. will condition men as far as the air force, the commander had ten years in the air force so well seasoned pilots and those are the things that dealt with looking at the rumors that came about is actually checking the service jacket, really looking at how good they were as pilots. they were excellent pilots but when disaster strikes skill doesn't matter. they only had a matter of seconds, a matter of minutes at first but then seconds to respond in due was simply impossible. when i first arrived in the neighborhood talking to people about this tragedy and asked what happened the myth of that came out immediately and this was only a few years ago was
12:07 pm
that it crashed and killed african-americans. you can understand how that can be stimulated over the years and how that could come about but it was simply untrue and that is one of the rumors that came about because a lot of african-americans in wichita, 97% living in a crumbled section. the rumor was the plane crashed on purpose, crashed to kill african-americans and that was exacerbated by some people who came into the community right after the tragedy. there was a complaint that once the investigators were done. once the police withdrew from the community there was no one there to really protect the victims in the sense of people would come and there were people who were spreading rumors and they knew why it occurred and that cause a lot of victims to be upset. so these rumors began to stir.
12:08 pm
it crashed because there is a parachute stuck in the engine. crashed because the pilots were inebriated. all these things came about rhetorical, terrible when you understand the event. and terrible also when you understand what the families are going for. and how these things came about and that is what happened. and looking at the actual record. and that was something i joy and find and to something about. so the air force, pilots didn't do anything wrong in that sense, performing a routine training operation which was a refueling operation and they were right in that sense, they didn't do anything wrong. the federal government had a difficult time responding to this event and i say that in the sense that federal tort claims act limited the amount of conversation victims could receive and there was a $5,000
12:09 pm
cap. when you talk about 23 victims on the ground that is not a lot of conversation that can be issued out so the federal government had to deal with that. the air force immediately set up reparation payments or thousand dollar relief payments in the community at the command post right there in the 21st minnesota. this was for anyone in the community was affected, they could sign paperwork and get some type of payment for their immediate concerns. but as they do this they find not many people want to come and sign any paperwork. they don't want to receive $1,000 and don't understand why and they recruit the only african-american recruiter at the time to help out with the community and they begin to understand there is mistrust, they don't trust the government so the air force had a tough time even assisting people because there is such mistrust. the federal government has a tough time because of caps in place so it takes one man,
12:10 pm
garner shriver, he helps to list the $5,000 band that is in place but by that time most victims sought litigation through their own attorneys. they looked at ways to receive some compensation outside the administrative claim process they had in place. it was a terrible process that joy and help the victims and i think that added to the tragedy because in the end most victims only received a few thousand dollars for a loss of a loved one. the lowest payment for the loss of the child was $400. for the loss of an adult $700 a we are not talking about great amounts that are issued out but in many cases the loss of property or property damage paid more than the loss of a loved one. monetary compensation could never equate to the loss of life. we know that because it created -- they did not feel they receive restitution. in many cases, this was what i
12:11 pm
found across the board, those i talked to, one would be janine, whose copilot, she gets a knock on the door and after she gets a knock on the door realizes the air force, the chaplain, she gets the heart breaking news that her husband had perished and she was given $1,000 by the colonel who was there. he hands her that and says this is for your current affairs, please get those in order but don't think about suing. that is the last thing he says to her as he departs. other than that she doesn't receive anything from the air force aside from the benefits she would have, from her husband, and that was that. on the other hand, i mean lost her brother was on the plane, and in this tragedy she remembered specifically, the western union telegram in their.
12:12 pm
danny was killed on the plane and that is the last they heard. i find they still didn't know why the plane crashed, had no idea of the myths and misconceptions that were in place nearly 50 years later but they didn't receive any compensation and of course we know the victim did not receive compensation so you see how this continued to fester over really years. was an open wound in the community. i never read the book before and the community wrote this book. i started out with what was really going to be an article about it and got phone calls from across the country from people who live in arizona in phoenix and in d.c. and boston and other areas, someone who perished or i knew someone at the time who was there at the time.
12:13 pm
would initially started as an article turned into a book from there because of all these stories that begin to pour in. one of the challenges we have as historians is getting primary source material. it is not there in the record how do you create the story. i was fortunate that the community and the united states, folks who live throughout the country, gave their stories and after a couple years gave me the accident reporter after four year request. this was a heavily redacted report that was finally given to me and i was a member of the air force on what i was going to do with the report and what i wanted to share and wanted the truth and to know why it crashed. what happened in that sense is there is a technical term, what it means is when a plane takes -- takes off with unscheduled rudder deflection, the largest control circuit monoplane, the
12:14 pm
rudder moves right or left and whichever way it moves it turns the nose of the plane coming in this case there was a malfunction of the rudder and a combination of that with the autopilot malfunction in jammed the rudder in one direction and the plane turns upside down and heads into a nosedive. they were fortunate enough to recover all the engines and the tinker air force base and also fortunate to recover the tail section they could test and able to determine this is why the plane crash occurred in competition with the rudder. and i was able to find that this was talked about in the days prior to the crash, and the other pilot on the b-52, i see that your writer is squirrely, moving back and forth, not telling it, is eerie.
12:15 pm
and the accident occurring. >> 1965, i don't know what the families did not get copies of the accident report. and this is what the air force found. and you don't want the personal information of the crewman to be out there. the editing to keep in mind, if it is flying today, they're not released to the public with the airplane. about its functionality, they don't want the public to know at the time. others then that i don't have an answer, and some of them but this is the air force for it and as i said it took four year request to get a copy of it and i was glad i got a copy.
12:16 pm
this is what happened on the plane. we can put that to rest. >> was a great quote from judith herman, trauma and recovery and she said remembering and telling the truth, remembering and telling the truth about terrible tragedies, those are prerequisites both for the healing of individual victims in we need to talk about these things but also for the restoration of the social order and a lot of times we miss that. for things to go back to normal we need to talk about that and every time i speak about this event in a community setting i can see families come out and talk about it and it gives us a sense of getting this off our chest. there are many families, loved ones who are still around today who lost loved ones at the time is never spoke about it. now they have an avenue to talk about it.
12:17 pm
>> in lexington week met with mark wahlgren summers about his book "a dangerous stir: fear, paranoia, and the making of reconstruction" which imagines the word fear plating reconstruction following the civil war. >> i have been chasing reconstruction for many years and a lot of directions. corruption, i have been chasing the way newspapers got the wrong story. but for the book about a dangerous stir, about paranoia, i was dealing with america coming out of the most devastating war it had. our guest right now history 3-quarters of a million americans died in the civil war. incalculable number. virtually all our other wars to the middle of the 20th century put together and i was looking at the way people respond to how you put the country together again. the idea is why couldn't the two sides come to gather?
12:18 pm
why wasn't there a compromise between those who wanted to do as little reconstruction as possible and those who wanted to do things in a radical way? why wasn't there reasonable alternative? you need reasonable people, but what happens if just about everybody out there has whiled paranoid fantasies that people are out to undermine the republic? what if they really think the people they are dealing with are people that are not disagreeing with about political positions but are part of a conspiracy, a conspiracy to destroy american freedom and are bent on this? what if they begin to have evidence that this is the case? wars don't just cost tremendous physical have a can harm to human beings, they do, they don't just destroyed towns, they destroy conceptions, they destroy what people's sense of
12:19 pm
rationality. things you believe in possible suddenly become very possible and then you see them anywhere. imagine what is happening if you are white serving a planned southerner, you know christmas, there is going to be an uprising of former slaves did a are going to kill everybody so that they can get a hold of their land, that they are going to put joy of men, women and children, imagine really believe things and ask what you do in terms of policy, one thing you do is start rating of a former slave cabins, you take their guns and arms, get rid of their right to arm, any practical effect, clampdown on demand due able judicious killing. was there any such black conspiracy? of course not. nothing remotely like that. absolutely invented. was there any reality to the fear that black people set free after the end of the war were going to go raping their masters
12:20 pm
or master's wives or master's children and butchered them? was there a bloodbath in the south? of course not. the only bloodbath there was in the south was white folks killing black folks because while they were slaves they were property. had value, you had respect for property but now they are not property. fair game. in louisiana in the course of ten, 20 years you have 2500 black people getting killed by white people imagine in one year you have 500 racially motivated assaults into killings out there of white against black. that is what you have got, that is the reality. you have been around, you know what iraq was like in 2003-2004. iraq in 2004 is louisiana in 1868. ugly, terrifying. this is going on.
12:21 pm
it is a scary time. you couldn't imagine that once the war was over the president of the united states would be killed by an assassin who meant to decapitate the government so that the confederacy could rise again. you wouldn't imagine anybody as an assassin would believe it abraham lincoln intended to make himself emperor, abraham lincoln was a threat to the republic and was like brutus killing caesar. that is the reality of john wilkes booth. after that you can believe anything. you can believe may be andrew johnson was part of the conspiracy to get to the top. you can believe the conspiracy was part of a longstanding conspiracy by the democratic party to kill any president who wasn't a democrat. you may say that is not -- that is crazy, you would say but since the democratic party was founded under andrew jackson,
12:22 pm
who were the presidents of the opposition party? the first was william henry harrison and within a month he died in office. they said it was pneumonia and then the next one was zachary taylor and oh he got in the way of the south and he died in office. how convenient it was and then abraham lincoln, quite a nice pattern and if you have prominent democrat saying to audiences you should like democrats because you know you can't guarantee they won't buy out of office, what kind of message does that send? you are beginning to sense there might be a wider broader conspiracy out there. people believed it. they wrote books about it. is all part of a mind set. if you have a president of the united states who believes members of congress are out to
12:23 pm
kill him, who compares himself to christ, who thinks members of the congress plan to kill 8 million americans in the south, we are talking a level of irrationality that is incredible. supposing the president of the united states said today, you want me to say who are traitors to the united states? i saved mitch mcconnell. i say speaker john major, i set heads of fox news and all of their kind are traders of the united states. are you aware that the plan of the united states congress is to kill at least 8 million americans? the congress of the united states, the suppose that congress, the body that claims itself to be the congress of the united states. supposing the president of the united states said that, what would you say? he needs to be carried to the
12:24 pm
cookie factory, this met person clearly belongs in the rubber room. you would say this is serious not case. what i'm doing is andrew johnson, 1866, the president of united states and exactly that. that is exactly what he is doing. you may think this is rational. i don't think this is rational. i think this is very dangerous. the guy that thinks that when you are beginning to ask if he is calling it the alleged congress or a body hanging on the edge of government the declares itself to be a congress, you might ask what you going to do about it? is he going to use the army to toss it out and put in a congress you wants? possible, don't you think? it could happen, don't you think? that he is when you begin to really get into a cold sweat. america 1866. andrew johnson was a brave,
12:25 pm
patriotic, able, talented, tenn. slave holding politician who stood by the american flag, became a military governor during the war, became president when abraham lincoln was assassinated, democratic president elected on essentials republican ticket in 1864. andrew johnson's courage, principles, belief the constitution binds' government and is not expensive are real and sincere. his contempt for black people is also very real, very sincere, andrew johnson wanted to bring the country together as fast as possible as a way of making sure the bitterness of the war would not continue. in 1865 he used his presidential authority to start the process
12:26 pm
going with state government run by white southern conservatives, where in fact johnson didn't wanted something as close to slavery as possible would be imposed on free black people. when the congress tried to adjust to change this, not to give blacks the vote but give them essential basic rights, it to hold property, to marry, to testify in court, in fact when johnson vetoed the civil rights bill that became clear he was not only not on their side but was even making arguments suggesting that this congress had no right to pass such a bill because of the states were not represented, might not be a legal congress. this is a man in other words to again and again reject compromise and in the most violent terms.
12:27 pm
in february of 1866 he will make a speech in which he will declare the congress plans to kill 8 million white southerners, he will declare there's a conspiracy of, treasonous conspiracy against his life the leading members of congress are traitors to the united states and he will charge that the congress may not be a legal congress. the result is members of congress increasingly see him as a person who can't negotiate. you can't deal with a person who may have designs to overthrow the republic itself. in the meantime johnson really believes that congress is filled with people who want to create not a free america but a dangerously different tyrannical america run by northern finance years and business men and wild eyed fanatics who believe in the equality of mankind the you have
12:28 pm
two groups at violent loggerheads. by 1867 this fear is so great that people are terrified of what happened to andrew johnson has full control of army. as long as you have general grant in charge of the army you are okay. as long -- the war department is headed by edwin stanton, you are okay. these people will never sell you out to the enemy. they will never let andrew johnson use that army to overthrow the republic and and do reconstruction but when the president fires the secretary of war in violation of a law, he immediately your thought is this is step i and thaddeus stevens on the floor of congress and around and he says didn't i warn you, he said, what could did your leniency do you? if you don't kill the beast it will kill you.
12:29 pm
that is more than anything else why you we impeach this man because you are afraid he could hold the army, sir reconstruction is gone. that is one reason why andrew johnson is acquitted by one vote because johnson gives the guarantees to a number of wavering senators that the person he will put in charge of the army will be a person they contrast and general grant can trust, that he is not going to do those things they were afraid of. the number of wavering senators decide they will vote to acquit him which is why he escapes conviction by one vote. 35 votes to 6, 19 to a quick. you needed two thirds vote and without seven republican senators this wouldn't have senators this wouldn't have happened. happened. those seven votes would not be there.
12:30 pm
what is reconstruction looking like and have we gone very far? of course we have. even with reconstruction done with, the advance that happened after enduring the civil war are tremendous. you could go to a black family in 1900 and say you know you are no longer can vote, the you are discriminated against, you are shed into jim-crow environment. .. you want your that are now when i had a chance to go to school and i didn't have that before,
12:31 pm
is that different from the time when you would be beaten for any reason that your master wanted out there. reconstruction made a lasting, permanent difference. freedom even without full rights is a tremendous thing to be cherished and to be honored, we have to celebrate in that sense. if i have anyone walking away from anything in my book it would be two things, number one, human beings are in many ways not rational but your rational and their feelings, their fears and their hope can distract what they do. not that's formative of all time and the second kind of thing to keep in mind, is that we often forget in reconstruction, reconstruction is not just a second chance for a new birth of freedom, it is that but it also
12:32 pm
a chance to find this nation together into reunited. many people's minds that's a done deal, but it wasn't a done deal. they didn't know how the story would turn out, they had no idea in 1865 that the blacks would be given the right to vote in the next few years. they had had no idea what the outcome was, it seems to me looking back that we have to remember that past. >> and nonbook tv, literary to her of tulsa oklahoma with the help of our local cable partner, we start a trip with michael wass wallace whose book oilman takes a look at the life of frank phillips. >> frank phillips was an oil man.
12:33 pm
first and foremost he was an oil man, phillips 66 was a company he founded just north of us here in tulsa and oklahoma. it became the headquarters of phillips 66 and today he you still see the familiar phillips 66 shield on many highways and streets and especially in this country as well. phillips 66 has become as familiar to any people out here as a coke bottle, it's that iconic in the minds of many motorists. will frank got his start in the oil business in a convoluted way, he was not from oklahoma, he was born on the nebraska front tier out in the loop
12:34 pm
valley. his father was a civil war veteran and fought in the union army, his parents moved out to brassica territory and that's where he was born in 1874. they came back shortly after that, the phillips, to their home country in southwestern iowa and that's where frank grew up. so you had those basically midwestern roots, it came from a big family, many brothers and sisters, he was the oldest and the dominant sibling, by far. his ambition was strong but it
12:35 pm
wasn't necessarily pointed towards the oil business because there was no oil business to speak of as when he was a young boy, it was just beginning, back in pennsylvania and ohio, new york, these were the fledgling days of oil and hence gasoline. he went to be a barber, he's saw the town barber wearing beautiful striped pants and a morning coat and he looked like a million bucks and he opened his barbershop and he just thought that was splendid. so he decided to become a barber so he left iowa and made a big circle through the west, midwest and the northwest, and, and he did all kinds of things. including barbering, he was
12:36 pm
learning how to barber and he barberton of all places, when you think of it today, aspen colorado. aspen colorado is not a sheet, fancy, foo foo place in the mountains the back then, it was a rough-and-tumble town. but he barber there and in mining camps, and bond lumber camps out on the ranchlands, in the frontier and up in the wild and then he came home to iowa. he decided to set up a shop and before long he owned although barbershops in town, by the time he was 22 he owned he on those barbershops and heb cam quite accessible. he insisted that the barbers who work for him, dressed to the nines, that they carry with them things to give to their customers to splash on some rum in the morning, they all carried business cards and he also
12:37 pm
showed his first flash of salesmanship when he invented a hair tonic, a a hair restorative called mountain sage, and the principal ingredient was rainwater. phillips noticed that out on the white iowa hog pens the big old boar hogs had big bristle of hair and he was out there watching them one day in a rainstorm, they decided rainwater might be good with a little bit of a wink and he battled the stop and sold it and made an amazing amount of money. the kicker is, he was bald, totally bald so it's the proverbial sign, if this man in his early 20s could still sell a hair restorative to people in
12:38 pm
big numbers and he was bald then he knew he had the makings of success all about him. he was also smart enough to marry the town bankers daughter, jane phillips and his father-in-law taught him banking business, the bond business, frank phillips went out on the countryside with a horse and buggy selling bonds, he became very successful but he had itchy feet. he had all those boys had what i call gypsy fee, they like to keep on the move so he came down here in the old indian territory, oklahoma didn't become a state until 1907, this was indian territory and he came down here in early 1900s. the methodist missionary said there's oil down there and this place is booming and they came down and sniffed around and said this looks good.
12:39 pm
so he got his second oldest brother, le phillips, and they started banking and they went into wild going up to independence, going to drill for oil and it built from there. you know, first of all frank wasn't born into a dirt poor family, i guess that we would call them today middle-class family, if there was such a thing back then, but as close to it. they were by no means people with great wealth so what he made, he had to make on his own and that's true of all of these people who got involved in the oil business. when he and elle. e. set up this
12:40 pm
banking business they had to make it a total success and they did, in fact when le phillips who is not at all like his brother le wasn't as daring and forthcoming and personable as frank, he would have never thought about selling hair restorative. frank was a risk taker and one day in their bank in oklahoma, a young man came in with cowboy boots and a hat and sat down, he looked like a cherokee cowboy and he said i want to borrow some money, hire some money that's what they said. and he said how much do you want, and he said $500 they send
12:41 pm
you what's your collateral? and he said what's collateral? ellie tried to explain to him what collateral is but he didn't quite understand it and he was about to leave and le was nervous that he didn't want to lose a customer so he went over to frank and said this guy wants to borrow some money but he doesn't have any collateral, frank frank said he'll be our right lend him the money. they lent him the money the next day le found out that he was henry starr a kin by marriage to bell star, the outlaw queen. henry starr was considered one of the best bank robbers in indian territory, he robbed more banks than anybody, sometimes he dropped two banks in a day and here le was just panicked. by god henry starr paid that loan back even before it was due and frank said see, i told you. you can't go wrong lending money
12:42 pm
to outlaws and oil man, there's little difference between the two. so the word got around that the phillips boys had these banks and that bank robbers but robbed all the other banks and did all their banking with the phillips which probably was true. that was a grub state getting that banking going and getting from there they could finance going out and drilling for oil, they did that for quite a while and had small oil companies, they found one, found another and would name them from their mother, and for relatives and they did very well. that doesn't mean that they can sometimes drill a dry hole. every oil man has drilled dry holes, and sometimes you drilled so many that you are just about to give up and that happened to frank a few times but he spits a let's just try one more and they would do it and it would hit.
12:43 pm
by 1917, frank and le decided it was time to start a proper company, big petroleum company and in 1917 is when they actually founded philly ups petroleum. they opened a big office in new york and by 1927 they were refining their own oil and that's when the phillips 66 shields and the retail gasoline went out and all of these little cottage buildings with pitch ruth started showing up across the land. frank always stayed on the boards of banks but he gave up banking, he weaned off banking fairly early on and just devoted to his time and his energy to the first wildcat oil signs and then eventually to his company.
12:44 pm
people for years tried to get him to move his company out of oklahoma they said you don't want to be done here in oklahoma, you have that new york office, why don't you move your headquarters to new york or to chicago, or to st. louis. and he said not on your life, i'm going to stay right here in oklahoma. he said if i can get a man out to my ranch, i can out to my ranch, i can close a deal like that. because he discovered that a lot of people were like he was, if you crack open frank's chest you and pull out the heart of a 10-year-old boy. so he would get these big-time investors, board members, bankers, all these stuffed shirts and put them on private pullman cards and bring them into oklahoma, bring them into burrell's bill and they would get off and have on these great suits and had thing carrying canes and all of this and to
12:45 pm
meet them at the station would be people like henry wells who is a retired bank robber, they would have the stagecoaches pick these guys up and then ride them out, not to some hotel, not to the hotel in tulsa or in other places they would take them out to little rock. they would take them to the ranch and on the way out guess what would happen? he would have some out laws with bandannas on ride their ponies right over a ridge and they would stop the stagecoaches and robbed them and they take all the meds wallets and wall watches, and jewelry, generally jewelry, generally terrorize them a bit and then write off and these people were dumbfounded. can you imagine
12:46 pm
some guy from philadelphia, boston, or new york and stagecoaches would pull up to the lodge and frank would be there with a cigar waiting for them and they would get out and come in and there is this japanese valet always with frank and he would pour them a drink and they were looking around and they were on the other table would be all their wallets and jewelry laid out. frank would just be sitting there laughing, they would look at him and he would have a big glass of milk and said this is buffalo milk this is what keeps you going out here. from then on those guys got rid of those clothes and put on some levi's and he would give them outfits to wear, and for days they would play cowboy, they would go out shooting, they got talking to the indians and cowboys and at night they would sit out on the little mezzanine playing poker. frank would close the deal. the thing that was, there so
12:47 pm
many things about frank phillips that were unusual, he was a real dichotomy. i know this man just about as well as anyone but i could never figure him out, he was like merck are you mercury. i could never like quicksilver, he was such a contradiction, a total contradiction, he could be as predictable as christmas and then turn right around and do something totally unpredictable. he was a guy that had such a profound impact on the internal combustion and he never knew how to drive a car, never drove a car. here is a man who would fire you for the least breach of ethics in a new york second, and then probably hire you back at the end of the day. along with that little moral
12:48 pm
code and seemingly straight shooter, loved outlaws, he like to be with outlaws. these are the kind of things that drilled frank phillips, you see what i mean by this dichotomy and by not really being able to get a hold of him, but i got a hold of him enough and i don't think i really wanted to get a hold of them all the way, i kind of liked that aspect of frank's life. frank phillips passed away in 1950, he died in atlantic city, gamblers town, that's where he passed. they brought his his body back here to oklahoma and carried him out to the ranch and put in into a mazza liam dug into a hill where his lady jane,
12:49 pm
his wife was very. frank left orders in his will, i've been in that mausoleum a few times and it's a beautiful kind of greek sort of design with the tiles, mosaics and his orders were, it lets air-conditioned a mazza liam i want a telephone in there, and all my fishing gear. he said someday you're going to be down at club lake are one of my other ponds and i'm going to come back and tap you on the shoulder and let my line next to you, i don't know if that's ever happened yet or not but that's what was done. some years ago phillips emerged with with another old rival of theirs, conoco. conical oil was located in oklahoma and so now you have conoco phillips, you still still have the phillips 66 brand and
12:50 pm
name, they're still phillips offices in all of these cities and you still see the phillips 66 signs, pumping gas. it's not the same. like so many businesses, now we have people with mbas and proper education and not quite as colorful, a little more predictable, great folks but they're not quite like those old oilmen were. >> it and while in austin we toured the home of william sydney porter are also known as o henry, author of the short story the gift of the magi. [inaudible]
12:51 pm
>> william sydney porter better known as all henry was a great american short story writer, he wrote about 300 to 400 short stories and he was known for his having twist endings. a good example is the gifts of the magi, which, which is probably the most famous story, it's a bout a poor couple who want to buy each other christmas presents, she has this long luxurious hair that she cuts to by her husband something for his pocket watch, meanwhile he sells his pocket watch to buy her these combs that she's been coveting for her long hair. so a lot of people noise henry as a new york short story writer, that's where he wrote a lot of his stories the last ten to ten to 12 years of his life, but here in austin.
12:52 pm
there's an museum since 1934 and what people can find when they come here is a middle-class house, it's three bedrooms, or three rooms, a parlor three rooms, a parlor which were standing and now, there is a bedroom and there is a dining room, and a porch that used to be called a sleeping porch, it wasn't enclosed but it is now. he moved to texas in his early 20s from green borough north carolina, partly out of wanderlust and partly because he had a job. he started as a sheepherder and a ranch in petula, which is south of san antonio. after a few years he made his way up to austin and met his wife, they had a daughter named margaret and here in austin he had today jobs that he worked while he was honing his skills as a writer. the first was a draftsman at the texas general land office, he he was exceptional illustrators of future maps for them.
12:53 pm
he was known for drying little scenes and little characters on the perimeter, which is something his coworkers that was pretty clever. his second job was a teller at teller at the first national bank in austin. it's their where his wife sort of took a twist for real, he was found to be embezzling money we thought it was about $850. some people said he was guilty, some people said he wasn't, some people said he wasn't equipped to be a teller, he was pre-active pride, writing and what have you. in any case he was sentenced to five years in federal prison, he served about three 1/2 prison, he served about three and a half years. it looks like he came up with the pen name pretty much concurrent with being in prison, he was really embarrassed by the whole ordeal and try to keep a low profile in prison. i think it's his way of masking his identity a little bit. he might have toyed with the name prior to prison but i think he adopted it once he got there and transformed himself to becoming a full-time writer. there is a thing that time to
12:54 pm
write that said once he got in prison he had time to write. we don't really know where the pen name came from, there's a few theories, one is a french a french chemist and i'm sorry if i butcher this name but there's an o and an h and they think he may have grabbed from that because when he lived in north carolina his uncle ran a pharmacy and so he was familiar with the drugstore experience, another theory as he had a hat named henry, and another theory that a favorite bartender was named henry and it's the same kind of deal. there's also thinking that ohio penetrant tree, may be a anagram aback, some of the items in here, the most are red mostly.
12:55 pm
pieces. in the parlor we have some cool items it's a desk he wrote on, belong to a friend of his in town, we have his original dictionary that he brought from north carolina, it isn't really worn in an amazing artifact because he has exceptional vocabulary and it's fun to look through that. we have a piano that his wife played, that is original. music was something that brought all henry and his wife together, they perform together, he was in a quartet. we have the only known recording of both henry's voice is about a minute and a half and he's talking about the craft of writing. [inaudible]
12:56 pm
>> we have a beautiful wooden rocking chair that his wife purchased along with the landscape prints here in the house, the story behind that is will had set aside some money for the chicago world's fair and she decided instead of spending money on herself she would buy some stuff for the family so she bought these two rocking chairs and a landscape prints. we like to say that active selfishness may have been an inspiration for the gifts of the magi. after prison he moved to new york and he was a popular writer the last ten to 12 years of his life, he wrote constantly , he had a contract with the new york world newspaper to write one story a week which lasted for about two
12:57 pm
and half years. it was during that time that he wrote gift of the magi and because i was a weekly story he was writing for about two and half years, it was something people kind of waited for and so were patient every week. i like to equate it to one of my favorite movies the christmas story and they gather around little orphan annie for the christmas program. one of the amazing things is since 1934 he passed shortly after 1910, literature changed so much by that point with the introduction of hemingway and fitzgerald, a lot of people thought the twist anything was a little pitchy. it works really well sometimes and sometimes he kinda painted himself into a corner and and had to pull the rug out. i think over time he is maybe not regarded as as highly in the states, but we get a lot of visitors from asia, korea, japan were were some of these tales are universal tales and they
12:58 pm
resonate across the world. i think what makes a henry popular is he dealt with that universal themes like gifts of the magi, everybody knows what it's like to know by present for someone. he's also sort of a champion of the marginalized, a lot of his stories the subjects are about regular old people. that's mostly in new york, for example a great story is the cop in the anthem. it's about a homeless person who is trying to get arrested so he can spend the night in jail and have a warm night, and a meal. he ends up, instead finding, instead finding salvation in another way and that sort of the twist ending but i think zero henry, characters are the number one thing people enjoy when they read a story and to the henry
12:59 pm
depicts me and you. telling our stories is sort of a fictionalized and a nonfiction world. what i want people to take away when they come to the museum is the fact that there is a number of stories in his catalog better based here in texas and if you think of him as a new york writer, you say why is he talking about the story lines, or whatnot. that's important. that's important to fill in those gaps, it also allows you to to talk about all henry was one of the first waves of western writers, his stories go back to early 1903 era that compete with stories like the virginian which is considered the first western story. i think it's important to tell, that background that people don't know, they're so used to the new york city lifestyle stories and i like people to be able to use it as a portal to learn more about this.
1:00 pm
[inaudible] >> your watching book tv on c-span two. top nonfiction books and authors every weekend, book tv television for serious readers. >> here are some programs to watch this weekend on book tv. missouri senator claire mccaskill talks about her life and political career on afterwards. then they way in a political issues and discusses issues on pleading guilty to violating campaign finance laws. a look look at the history and impact of the americans with disabilities act


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on