tv [untitled] February 18, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm EST
which they who thought here have thus far so nobly advanced. it is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. that from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion that we feel highly resolved that these dead will not have died in vain. that this nation under god shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people,
>> as commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the civil war continues, join us every saturday at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. and sundays at 11:00 a.m. for programs featuring the civil war. for more information about american history tv on c-span 3, including our complete schedule, go to c-span.org/history. and to keep up with us during the week or to send us your questions and comments, follow us on twitter at twitter.com/cspanhistory. each year, "time" magazine selects the person with the most influence on events in the previous 12 months. if the same question were posed in 1862, who would "times" select as person of the year?
american history tv will be live next saturday from richmond, virginia, as historians including james mcverson and david blithe present their candidate. the museum of the confederacy hosts the all-day forum and we'll open our phone lines and take your tweets so you can question historians about their nominations and propose your own candidates. live conch begverage begins at a.m. eastern on c-span 3. hosted by our time warner cable partner, american history tv recently visited beaumont, texas. to explore the history and literary culture where the oil industry in texas got its start. for more information on our tour of six south central cities this year, visit c-span.org/localcontent. >> we refer to it here locally was built in 1976 for the
bicentennial. and it is a recreation of the boom town that was built when spindle top came in on january 10th, 1901. by 1976, there was nothing left of what was the original gladys city which was just across the highway from us about 1/2 mile. so as a project for the bicentenni bicentennial, you know, this group of people came together to try to preserve the history and memory of gladys city. it is named for a young lady that was in the sunday school class. i kind of call him one of our main characters. although he probably wouldn't like this, we call him our dreamer. he's the one that came up with a lot of the ideas for gladys city. and her name was gladys stingam and she was in his sunday school class and he was very fond of her and kind of really bestowed an honor on her by naming the city for her.
when it was originally -- when betillow envisioned the city, it was what could be called an industrial utopia. by the time came in, there was no more time to be perfect. and his other dreams really focused on this manufacturing part. and i think that's probably what some people wouldn't realize is even they didn't know how much oil was under the ground out there. it surprised everybody when it came in. beaumont at the time was rough and tumble and so he wanted something that was pristine and clean and that's actually not what he got. in the end, but that's the way it works sometimes. the gladys city oil, gas, and manufacturing company was the first oil company incorporated in texas. and they are still in operation
today. they still have interests out in the field. and so -- they really put the engine behind trying to search for this oil. and we'll go in and take a look at a couple of things. wh what higgins' vision was for gladys city. he with the photographer plotted out the city and you can see that there was much given to gladys city oil and manufacturing company, there were places for homes and schools, and then what he believed would be the oil fields and manufacturing areas. if you look up there at the top, you'll see this is a picture of gladys as a child. and then right next to it, you can see that the vision was more about manufacturing and industrial area than it was about oil production. i will say that after the lucas gusher came in, their letterhead
changed very quickly to have the oil there out there in the oil field because their purpose changed very quickly when the well came in. >> why didn't this vision ever come to fruition? >> well, when you have so many people rushing in and, you know, everybody wanted to make their dollar on this huge event that was coming. and if you think about it, especially in this area, just a few months prior was the big galveston hurricane in september of 1900. there were people a lot of people came from galveston when they heard about this because they were still trying to recover from that hurricane. and so this was a chance for people to come and set up businesses and -- or work in the field and try to make some money. now it didn't -- as i've said, it didn't turn out that way to be a perfect city. this is a drawing that represents from a photograph that was done.
and you'll see that it -- those buildings went up very quickly and looked very much like what we have here today. >> is it a safe place to be? >> gladys city was -- i understand was fairly safe. there were people trying to make their money. there were honest people and dishonest people here. so you did have to watch out for card sharks and confidence men and things like that that would've tried to get money f m from, you know -- a lot of these men that came here probably came off of farms and so, you know, they hadn't been in the city even the size of beaumont. so they really had to be careful. that was gladys city, out on spindletop hill. it could probably get really rough. there are stories that it could get rowdy and, you know, people did lose their lives a couple of times because, you know, just through fights and that kind of
thing. so it was more the wild section and then gladys city was kind of off away from the actual oil field. beaumont had its own oil exchange or a spot exchange at the time. this building represents that stock exchange. there were over 600 oil companies that were incorporated after the big boom. and when the gusher came in. and so the trading floor. much larger than this to accommodate the trading floor. this picture up here gives you some idea of what the original looked like. so they would be trading stock in the front. in the back of the building, you had a print shop that was ckinting stock just as oil companies. and, you know, some ofod a som good, but i was talking to a
printer the other day and, you decide.at's not the printer's so they were churning it out as quickly as they could. while all of these buildings are replicas, they do represent buildings operating at the time in gladys city. and this is gibson's goods store. this is where you would come to get clothing or your sewing needs, that kind of thing. now, many women still made their own clothes at that time. they would purchase their undergarments and that kind of thing. but you could purchaseost men at this time would come in and purchase their shirt, and you could actually buy jeans, denim jeans to wear to work. , you know, a day dress, obabl maybe one sunday
same thing for men. they would have had their work clothes and probably one nice starched shirt for church and of course they would have had tosto with that shirt. if you had a little more money, you would have a derby hat or a nicer functions. i think people would be some of these pieces actually cost back cold day in january, you would have had to have your union suit which was like a tighter fittin johns. but for $2 or $3, men and women could get their union suits. this is a copy of the sears and
robuck catalog just before the boom. this is what people would have been ordering from either through the dry goods store, people could order just about anything from sears and roebuck. you'd probably go to the general store and have it shipped in on the train. everything that i've read about higgins and what motivated him was to be somebody. i think he had a real need to find his place in history and to do great things. and sometimes he made it. even later in life, he continued to wildcat for oil, going out to all over texas to find new well sites. many of them are still producing today that he found. and spent most of his life trying to convince people in different parts of texas that for sure there was oil.
so he was on a -- i would almost call it a personal crusade to be believed to be taken seriously about his ideas and to be respected. so while most of our collections fits within the late 1890s, early 1900s, we do dip a bit into the 1920s and '30s with two really special pieces. for instance, this is a 31, 1931 model "a" ford that belonged to higgins. he drove it for nearly 25 years after he drove his model "t" for over 25 years. so he drove this car all over texas as he continued to search for oil and wildcat different wells all throughout the state. i believe it's not on there anymore, but he actually had the steering wheel modified, you
know, because he only had one arm. he actually lost an arm in a fight with a sheriff's deputy. being the big dreamer, but in his younger days, he was a little bit of what would have been called a rounder, and he liked to get into fights, he liked to carry guns and shoot guns. one night he got into quite a scrape with a deputy sheriff, shot and actually killed the sheriff, and in the process was shot in the arm and lost his arm. he did go on trial for it but was acquitted of the murder. and not soon after he did begin to turn his life around. the story goes that one of the tent revivals was in town. and after going to the revival, he converted and actually became
a sunday schoolteacher and then went on to become the man that we know. he came back up in beaumont probably right around 1951 for the 50th anniversary. and by that time, i believe he was 81 -- in his early 80s. he was about 88, i think, when he passed away. so he got to see the full stretch of all the different things that happened over his lifetime. so the spindletop field began to play out after about three or four years. the production started really dropping. so, you know, gladys city kind of remained out there and people still began to build housing, especially here in south beaumont. then by the late 1920s, we had the second boom, and with new technology they came and drilled on the perimeter of the dome which spindletop, the hill was
at one time. that caused the second boom that brought new life to gladys city and to beaumont. then that kind of waned and by the 1950s, companies were mining sulfur out at the spindletop. and after that, that's when it kind of dwindled away. and people -- there was really no major production out there, the booms were over, people began moving away, moving into beaumont proper. and gladys city just kind of deteriorated. by the 1960s, there were some efforts to create a museum and make sure things were being preserved, and by the mid-70s, when they decided to build the replica of gladys city. >> hi there. i'm head of c-span's lcd project, local content vehicle. we've got three of them.
the purpose of these vehicles is to collect programming from outside of washington, d.c. how do we do it? we staff each one of these with one person with a small video camera and a laptop editor so they're able to roll, record, produce, and edit things from the road. and that's what we're doing with the lcvs. why do we want to do this? to get outside of washington, d.c. and collect programming for all of our networks. and we're doing an lcv's city tour. all three vehicles, one will do history programming at historic sites, the other one will do book tv programming at bookstores catching up with authors. and the third one does community relations events. community relation events are important because they work with our cable partners in each one of these cities. the last thing important to know not only this goes on the air, but is archived on our website, the c-span video library, and also doing extensive social media. you'll see us on facebook, our cable partners on facebook, four
square with really location base and tell people where we're going. you'll see us on twitter, as well, so it's a chance to get out our message not only on air but also online and through social media, as well. so that's why it's important, we want to get outside of washington, d.c., get into places we don't normally do programming and make a commitment to get outside the beltway and produce programming for all the networks. >> and watch our local content vehicles, next stop in shreveport, louisiana. regular weekly series as well as khtv's history tweets and youtube, twitter, and four all weekend every weekend on c-span 3 and online at c-span.org/history.
join american history tv on monday for 24 hours of america's first ladies. including an interview with eleanor roosevelt at 4:45 p.m. eastern. >> i think like everything else that we started out expecting that the united nations would solve every difficulty right just by being the united nations. >> tour the white house private quarters with laura bush at 5:00 and lady byrd johnson at 8:00, nancy reagan reminisces about her husband at 8:30, and 11:30 the only first lady to run for president secretary of state hillary clinton. american history tv monday, presidents' day on c-span 3. kathleen is the curator for american women's political history. when you were putting together this latest exhibit, how did you
decide how the gowns would be placed? and what it would say about history and the role of these first ladies? >> well, partly based on what we thought was pretty and what hadn't been out. sometimes it's nice to be the curator. we also wanted an array of color and an array of different styles. it's not chronological. so we wanted to maximize the space in the case and really maximize the look of each style and the color of each dress against each other to make a more pleasing picture. and i think that putting things that are far apart in time next to each other as opposed to a slow progression, you really see the amazing difference between say lucy hayes, that dress with the bustle and the tight shoulders, you look at those shoulders, you're not going to raise your arm above your waist. and something like grace coolidge's flapper dress. if flapper dresses.
if these were chronological, you wouldn't be able to see that. >> you say we try to put things out that haven't been out in awhile. does that mean there are gowns, items back. storage? >> there are some things that are back in storage that will come out in time. one of the ideas is that we can change things out here. if you're not doing every first one eases the pressure on the dresses. we're trying to make them survive as long as possible. and some of them have been standing around for 100 years. so they need to rest. they need to be out of light. and this allows us to change things around. it also simply allows some things that haven't been seen before to be seen by new people. we have more in the collection than the gowns that i think -- i always think of them as being the type specimen gowns, the one that everyone expects to see for each first lady. sometimes we have others and those are interesting too. >> there's a lot of fanfare that
goes into the giving of the dress. how did that come about? >> that has also been a changing tradition. people always think the exhibit looked one way. it's actually been about nine different shows. it's been changing. people think the gown presentation always happened one way. in reality it, didn't really start till lady bird. the tradition, first they pacificed dresses to create the show. sort of just a big bolt the first time and then they would ask each first lady and ones to fill in the blanks for a dress. now, helen taft got interested in the exhibition. she was the first lady at the time. and she contributed her inaugural gown, her 1909 inaugural gown. she set the tradition of giving your inaugural gown and every first lady since then who has had a ball has given her gown. >> has anyone ever refused or balked at the idea?
>> i don't think anyone has ever refused but edith roosevelt who we'll see around the corner and see her inaugural gown, she didn't have a lot of patience for this. she was not first lady at the time. but she said that she didn't save clothing. that she cut it up and paid other things out of it and so she did not donate anything to the collection. her daughter, however, later did. and what she donated was the inaugural gown but mrs. roosevelt wasn't kidding, the bodice had been remove the from the dress. it now has a prop bodice. >> does that give us some context at the time? >> mrs. roosevelt said she liked to cut them up and said satin dresses worked very well as tea gowns. it may have been a thrifty quirk of hers that she repaid her clothes. >> it's not just inaugural gowns. there are examples of other types of gowns. why do we care so much? it seems on every occasion we're
looking to see what they're wearing. >> one, we've become a very red carpet kind of culture that likes to analyze what people are wearing. people were interested in what martha washington was wearing. again, i think it's because we look to this entertaining style for clues. we don't meet the first lady. currently, we probably have more exposure to the first lady than we've ever had and we still don't know her. most of us will never meet the first lady. so we have to figure her out based on these little clues, snippets of interviews, what she's wearing, what she served or dinner and had you she entertains and we piece all that together to get an idea the causes see promotes and we pete that all together to create our own view of the first lady. >> yet, they're supposed to represent sort of a presidential style if you will. if you can explain what you think that means and then which first lady didn't meet public
expectations when it came to that and which ones were really praised for their style. >> i think the first lady sets the tone, the style, the style and demeanor and tone of the presidency. it's she picks the china. she arranges entertainment. she's the one that sets the feeling of the presidency. she's also the more accessible probably partner in the presidency. so she has to decide all those entertainments are going to come down, she will be graded on those. her choices will be examined. and it's got -- you've got to take awhile to figure out, i can't imagine how daunting it must be to come in and have to face your first state dinner. you've never done this before. what are you going to do? they then set a tone, if they deviate from that much, it's
viewed as they're reassess. and the white house as ebbed and flowed between very elegant and more casual and as the country has changed, also styles have changed also with the style of each first lady. and people have reracketed pro and con to each one, sarting with martha washington who had to figure out what on earth is the appropriate style for democracy or republic, if you want to think it that way. how do you command respect for a new nation, a fledgling nation but not look like a monarchy. you've got to the step away interest that. so how do you balance that? where do you -- what's casual, what's formal, what's informal. but yet, she was addressed as lady washington because no one knew what to call her. >> so who was criticized, who really hit it out of the park and met expectations? >> dolly madison is sort of the first amazing social first lady. she's the -- was the go-to touchstone for years of a
successful first lady. she was -- had decorum, but there was a little bit of casual and informal and fun to her events. if you had a card of introduction you could come to mrs. madison's weekly crushes, her receptions. people mixed and talked. it was said that you couldn't tell who her friends and enemies were because she was lovely to everyone. a lot of business got done at mrs. madison's white house. some first ladies have been less successful, sometimes because they were awkward in the job and sometimes because their taste didn't jibe with public taste at the moment and some of them have done amazing reversals. nancy reagan came in determined to make a much more formal, which she thought more appropriate white house. she got some pushback for the increase in for malt. but when as that went on, people began to admire what the reagans
were doing in terms of the tone of their white house. >> so does the criticism, the praise sort of reflect the politics of the time, the culture at the time, maybe the public polling of the president at the time? >> i think it reflects popular culture at the time where we all are as a culture in entertaining. we do expect a higher standard of the white house though. 'know it's not our house and we know that it is a more formal style but it can't seem too formal. it can't seem too ostentatious. i think ostentatious is the mof correct word. it can't be showy. >> given that, which dress in here do you think sort of reflects the times? like eleanor roosevelt's dress, for example, or another dress that comes to mind baby? which really reflects the times? >> i think they're all pretty representative of their time period. i think eleanor roosevelt's is a beautiful simple dress that really reflects that period of
time. she's walking a line because the first inaugural ball, it's during the depression. she has to look elegant and appropriate but doesn't want to the look too rich, she doesn't want to look too ostentatious. that's an elegant but simple dress. anyone could wear -- you can visualize yourself in that dress at an event to which you might be able to wear it. most people could look at the pictures of her and see that they could -- this was something that they could relate to. >> jacqueline kennedy's, this is the dress from her first state dinner. this youthful cassinni dress. jacqueline kennedy is more shaping fashions. mamie eisenhower, the amazing ma gent at that time dress, herbs '50s, an amazing silhouette. that really speaks to the formality of the new look and
the '50s. when you look at something like the flapper dresses or actually nancy reagan's wonderful suit, it's an adolpho suit, you look at that and you know it's the 19 0s. >> seems very '80s. >> they want to be appropriate for the occasion, appropriate for their age. appropriate for the circumstance. and i think appropriate as a symbol of the united states because weigh still do look at the first lady as representing women in the united states. even when she's not functioning in duty hours, she represents the united states. >> this is the photograph part. >> excuse me pop we will have two photo opportunities. the first is for the still photographers. and then that will be followed by the television camera. so we ask our guests to please be patient. >> all day monday, amic