tv The Presidency FDR Ike Relationship CSPAN November 11, 2021 7:24am-7:37am EST
about his new release. later, it's lizzie johnson and her latest, paradise. it starts tonight at 8 p.m. each on c-span2. also watch our programs online at booktv.org or follow on c-span now, our new video app. >> s paul sparrow, the directorf the fdr library, today we're going to talk about fdr's leadership. and one ofdr the major skills he had was seeing the right person for the right job at the right time. particularly true among his military p leaders. he put together an extraordinary team during world war ii and sometimesti ignoring seniority d protocol in the process of doing it. one of the questions asked is about thehe relationship between fdrtw and dwightizeen a hour, ad specifically -- dwight eisenhower, and specifically what was that allowed about
eisenhower's leadership to select him for that role. and joining us today is the director of the eisenhower library, dawn. welcome. >> thank you so much. what a delight to be with you today. >> so what do you think? what was the qualities eisenhower presented that made roosevelt choose him first for the invasion of north africa and then the invasion of normandy at d-day? what was it that attracted him? >> it makes sense to point out that eisenhower had an amazing relationship with general fox connor, and connor helped him develop some of his military lessons or his military knowledge.it fox connor mentioned eisenhower to general marshall, and general marshall introduced eisenhower to fdr as well. >> now, marshall was the chief of staff and, of course, at the
point of roosevelt had to choose a leader for the d-day invasion, it was going to be marshall, but it ended up being eisenhower. so they add had a complicated relationship. >> they did, but i don't think that fdr felt that he could do without marshall in washington at that time. and marshall was an incredible administrator and sounding board for fdr. >> one of the first really important meetings between the two of them took place in casablanca after the north africa invasion. and it was a difficult time for if eisenhower. he wasn't sure whether he was going to get fire or whether he was going to get promoted. >> yeah. itit was quite a hoe for the americans -- show for the americans after the invasion of africa, don't you think? >> i wonder what it was like for eisenhower going into that room with all those military leaders on both sides and having to justify everything that happened up until then. >> one of the things i've been amazed about eisenhower was his
ability to remain calm. don't get me wrong, he could lose his temper, but when he really needed to be calm and smooth with his delivery, he was reallyer masterful. so i'm sure that he was internally very nervous about that, but i bet he displayed himself in an amazing way. >> i think one of his most success characteristics was his ability to get along with different people and probably the reason he was given the title. he had very, very difficult people to work for like bernard. montgomery in the british military and, of course, winston churchill. and he was in england planning for the d day invasion, winston churchill was, let's just say, in his face quite a bit. how did eisenhower balance all ndthese competing egos and agens and launch the most successful
amphibious attack in thean worl? >>ha he knew he -- he didn't hae a big ego. i think that he was able to establish sort of diplomatic relationships within all of the other layers, all the other allieded commands. churchill himself, i think his innate diplomacy really showed well during this time for him. >> you have a new permanent exhibit at the eisenhower presidential library and museum, and one of the things you highlight there is directly connected togh d-day. do you want to talk about that? >> we do, sure. so we did a major renovation of our exhibit galleries recently. it just opened to the public last fall, and is we were able to sortnd of reimagine how we interpret d-day and eisenhower's involvement in the d-day planning. we have, at the eisenhower
presidential library, we care for three pretty amazing to objects related to d-day. one is one of the d-day planning tablings. another is the in case of failure note that eisenhower penned -- the or penciled, rather andis stuck in his pocke, and the third is the model of the mulberry harbor, used to explain the concept to churchill. churchill gave the model to president roosevelt, and the roosevelt presidential library then transferred it to the eisenhower presidential library. so we are so very proud to share this with the public, thank you. >> i think the planning table is one of those objects where you realize the history that happened right there with men sitting around that, the decisions they are making, tens of thousands of lives hanging in the balance and that eisenhower would handwrite a note saying if anything goes wrong, it's my fault. it's so dramatic. >> it really is dramatic.
and you know that he wrote the date on that piece of paper, he wrote july 5th. no one knows why. we don't though if it was they have they havees -- nerves -- was nerves or, we just don't know. to see that piece of paper, to note that it was written by his hands, it was from his heart, it's an incredibly moving piece of paper. >>ie so you've put tremendous effort into developing and designingin this new current exhibit at the eisenhower library. what is your favorite part of it? >> i think for me the most or not piece of our development is to share this story with a new group of people who don't have a personal connection to world war ii. how do we explain the whole time period that the war encompassed. how do we explain a global, global conflict. and to be able to figure that out and engage the visitor in a
different way was really important to us at the eisenhower presidential library. we have a film -- we have two really great films, actually. we have one film that's more of a graphic that shows the expansion and contraction of the land mass that's occupied by thp allies or the axis powers. all of the battles. there's video within it to show some of the battles. and i think that's a real visual representation of a global, global war. and how long it actually took because the film starts with manchuria. so i think it's been a great way for us to reimagine how to tell this tale, how to tell this incredible, epic story to people who really just don't remember it. >> we find the same challenges with the roosevelt era; that is, it's ancient history to so many people today. of course, many of the issues that they faced then we're once
againnc facing now, economic upheaval, income inequality, environmentall catastrophe. so it's very interesting that, you know, issues our presidents were dealing with 75, 80 years ago are once again confronting lour leadership. now, i realize you're closed now as we are, but what about the public response when you first opened in. >> we had so many amazing comments. thank yous from veterans, families of veteran just delighted tot see this story retold. a lot of our teacher guests told us that we really hit the mark for some of the educational pieces that we wanted to hit. we had a lot of gratitude. so we did have the accolades, which are lovely, but those people who came up to us and said thank you, thank you for doing this, those were really the meaningful comments. >> well, the question i always have about people when they're
deeply immersed in one life and historic figures is what's the part of his personality, what's the part of his story that you most totally? >> the general knowledge that we all are have about this man, he was astounding. he wasg. amazing. but when i learned this very human aspect, it made him touch hi heart more. my heart more. so he was not a very good student is the, not when he went to west point. he graduated west point in the bottom-middle of his class, and he graduated with an awful lot of demerits because eisenhower had a lay ifful streak. playful streak. and so when he graduated, world war i begins, and he doesn't progress in his ranks as often or as quickly as some of his classmates. and we believe that he recognized and equated it with
perhaps i didn't do very well in school, and then he was never any less than number one in his class. so when he went on to the war college, when he went on tot command and general staff college, he was never less than number one in his class. and to me, that's really a very human moment of, you know, we can change things in our lives. we can recognize that i might not like whatever's going on, and i can fix it. >> that'sha great. i want to end with one of my favorite photographs of roosevelt and eisenhower. there aren't that many photographs of the two of them together. it's very interesting. but at the young are the ran conference, the big with three conference with churchill and stalin when churchill and fdr committed to the may 1944 invasion of france, lin -- stalin said, well, who's going to be the supreme commander? they hemmed and hawed, and he said it's all nonsense until you select the supreme commander.
so on his way back, fdr says, okay erik i guess i've got to make a decision, and he flies to north africa and meets with eisenhower. there's a photograph of the two of them in a jeep, and the expression on their faces is so classic. and if then this is one of these historic moments, you know? the fate of the war hung in the balance, and you look at that picture, and you see these two men realizing that they gave everything for their country. this is a moment that really captures it. >> i know that photograph well, and i love their faces. >> well, dawn, thank you very much for joining us today here at home with the roosevelts, and i can't wait to get out and see your exhibit. >> please do. we're always waiting for you. ♪ >> american history tv, saturdays on c-span2, exploring the the people and events that tell the american story. at 2 p.m. eastern on the presidency, historians revisit george washington's 1796 farewell address and his
warnings against threats confronting the young nation. and then at 10 p.m. eastern, this week heart attacks the 100 -- marks the 100th anniversary of the tomb of the unknown soldier. samuel holliday shares the story of the overseas journey that took this anonymous soldier from the fighting fields of france to america's most revered burial ground. watch american history tv saturday on c-span2. or find a full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at c-span.org/history. >> host: the author of the lifetime learner's guide to reading ask learning, but before we get into the theme of the book, will if hoover, in your biography it says that you live in a 33-room house, 32 rooms of which contain the books.