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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  September 14, 2014 8:30am-10:01am EDT

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ceremony commemorating the 200 anniversary of the "star-spangled banner." a special flag today. underway now with some introductory remarks. >> in the distance he heard the morning gun. a single echo coming from the direction of fort mchenry that told him the flag was still there. he wrote the poem in four verses. which in 1931 became the official national anthem of the united states of america. today at this moment, exactly 200 years later we will raise that flag again, and we will celebrate again, not victory, but the perseverance and the
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liberty of the united states of america. the chief of interpretation at fort mchenry national monument and shrine can pick up the story from there. >> the most authentic replica ever made of the star-spangled banner. open that replica up and set the line. you will speak of as to how the replica was made.
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>> we're very honored here to have such a representation of our armed forces. at the moment unrolling the hand-stitched replica flag. we have practically every service branch represented here today. the united states navy, the united states army, the united states marine corps, as well as our guests from canada and the united kingdom. [applause]
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>> taking the field at the flag pole is the fort mchenry guard. they represent the 1814 garrison of fort mchenry. representing the core of our artillery. >> what we will do right now, the united states army guard, along with naval detachment from the united states ship constitution, we will now unroll the large flag, we will unfold it, and you will see what they mean when they say broad stripes and bright stars.
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>> i'll speak to the project that brought this particular flag about that we're about to hoist today. last year, the maryland historical society launched the stitching history project. two noted individual, the ceo of the american historical society, the director of education
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spearheaded the project. the first stop was to heirloom weavers. the accurate weave of the material. there's very few places that can do that and it was a custom job and heirloom weavers did that. they are in red line, pennsylvania, so the material did indeed come from the united states. the stripes are made out of
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wool. the stars are made out of cotton. so they have the authentic material but the second step was to have it authentically stitched. no sewing machines were used in the making of this flag. indeed, over 200 stitchers from across the state of maryland were recruited, spending long hours to handstitch the flag and a number of them are here today. let's have one more round of applause for stitchers here today. [applause] >> placing a flag this large, a very nuanced affair. we're going to rotate this flag counterclockwise.
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as the lines are being set. just as good leadership persevered at fort mchenry and just as we are honored to have a number of prominent military leaders, so, too, did the stitching history project have two leaders and i would like to recognize mimi dedrick and beverly sheming. one was in charge of the blue canton of stars and the other stripes. they got the nickname stars and the other one was nicknamed stripes.
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we do have a bit of time before the flag will be hoisted. but when it is hoisted, one of the importance of historical accuracy. when you sing the star-spangled banner. we will hear and sing all four versus, there will be one verse in which you will hear it shines in the stream. we used to think they met the reflection of the flag in the river. that's not what francis scott key met. the flag with its light weave is almost translucent. you will see the beams of light actually shining through the flag. it is the exact effect that this flag had 200 years ago. >> i would also like to thank
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the maryland historical society for loaning the original first draft manuscript of the "star-spangled banner" which is currently on display in the visitors center of this park. you can see the cross-out. that fragile manuscript represents the fragility. in a war that was going poorly at the time, out of nowhere came a miraculous victory. the point was a stand had been made and the tide had been turned.
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>> the gentleman asked about the weather 200 years ago. >> it was exactly like it was yesterday and today to the t. it was almost surreal. we know what the weather was like because the after action reports say it. the british log books from the royal navy vessels. those are meticulously kept log books. the weather for the 13th of september 18, '14 was inter mintent showers. intermittent rain. the large flag 200 years ago was made in baltimore city by mary
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pickersville. she, an african american dentured servant and nieces h d handstitched that flag. putting in 12, 14 hour days for a month. and a smaller one measuring 17 x 25 feet. we are currently flying that on the pole right now. this is why that moment is so important. going back to the weather, the 13th was rainy, the evening hours it had continued to rain. clearing up slightly. showers up until approximately 3:00 in the morning on the 14th of september. then gradual clearing. by dawn's early light, the cloud had dissipated. the rain was gone, so as you
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stand here on this original parade ground, you can look on to the gravel path and see the moisture that yesterday's day rain brought forth. that's exactly as it would have been. the sun is out exactly as it would have been. we can't control the weather, we all know that. even the weather report stated that it was unseasonably cold on that particular day in september, just like it is now. this is a special moment, we'll never see this moment again in our life. this is a once in a lifetime moment to be here on this ground. the drums would come in to play yankee doodle, after it was hoisted and we can hear them coming. the united states army old guard presidential salute battery will
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conduct a battery exercise that is symbolic of the battle. [drum roll] >> keep in my mind, there were probably 40,000 people of baltimore looking towards it as well. for mary, in a way it was her flag and you know she was auto looking from her rooftop, hoping to see the large flag. a young united states marine said they were looking down
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toward the fort hoping to see the flag. >> and now in the distance, we can hear the fort mchenry core dressed as musicians, they portray the united states army of 200 years ago. [instruments playing]
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>> music essential to the story of fort mchenry and the national anthem. later in the program we'll hear the musical rendition of our
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national anthem performed by the maryland defense force band. it is the living legacy of the maryland militia that turned out to assist. the drum corps, loyal young men, spent time, exhaustive research and archives to research original music and original scores, just as great pains were taken to find a maker who could make the warp and weave on the flag. so, too, were great pains taken to find accurate drums, researching original beadings,
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handstitched uniforms. exhaustive detail to make the most authentic replication of the united states army's field music from the war of 1812. [applause] one of the lead drummers who helped put the unit together has recently enlisted in the united states arms and in the reserved officer training corps program as we speak. [applause] >> standing in front of the flag, as a noted researcher, park ranger, and great personal friend james c. bailey.
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james c. bailey is the exact build, has similar facial features and ironically the exact same age as major armstead who commanded the fort 200 years ago. he wear as replica of the one that armstead wore on this momentous occasion. [applause]
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>> we have about ten minutes until the 9:00 hour. for those who are interested when the flag is hoisted yankee doodle is what will be played. the star-spangled banner will be played later, but historically on that september morning. the fights and drums of the garrison played yankee doodle. it was really used like a national anthem before the "star-spangled banner" was adopted. the united states had two pieces of music that it used alternately "yankee doodle" and "hail columbia". with the adoption of the "star-spangled banner," "yankee
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doodle" is heard now more in historic performances. >> the gentleman had a question, he said the dawn's early light and yet, 9:00, it is not exactly dawn, it has been dawn for a while. one could simply laugh it off, however, francis scott key summed up that question. he asked the question, o say can
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you see by the dawn's early light. language was so important to francis scott key. some visitors were irate when they saw a question mark on an exhibit text panel that we put on. o say does that star-spangled banner yet wave for the land of the free and the home of the brave, question mark? he poses that question, o, say can you see. he's very accurate in his four verses of the "star-spangled banner." the answer is presented in the second verse where key acknowledges that he saw the flag, which would have occurred at about 9:00 in the morning.
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if you look at your program. look at the back of the program, you will find all four verses of the star-spangled banner of the national anthem. we all know verse number one, some of us know verse number four. almost no one knows the second and third verses and they all do different things, as vinny has already implied. the first one is a statement, beginning actually with a question, o say can you see, and it is very specific about what occurred that day. the second verse is all about the flag. it addresses the flag. the third verse is the most war-like of all, and that really discusses the difficulty we faced at that time and how we
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had to fight our way out of those difficulties, and the fourth one is really a statement of faith. a lot of what happened in the early days of this republic, when we were still in our adolescence and trying to survive, had to do with our faith. faith in ourselves. faith in our ability to sustain what we had created here, and it is that faith, really, that carry the defenders of fort mchenry and others involved in that conflict through to a point where suddenly when it was all over, when this battle ended, when the word went out, the world was suddenly aware that there was a new player on the global stage and it was here to stay.
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>> at 8:56, we'll hear the barrage, again, representing symbolically the bombardment of this fort. as we wait and i think it is important to wait in silence, but as we reflect, think of the power of place, this is not a rebuilt fort, it is not the mock-up fort, this is the fort that was there. sure, our maintenance team maintains it, the national park service as stewards of these treasures keep it in good repair and the united states army itself throughout 100 years maintain the fort replacing wood here and there. but the fort's core shape is the original. with this assembly, this fort is not a static museum object under a glass case.
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this is a living fort. this is one of those other milestones in the fort's history, in which the fort again, as old as it is, is again, making history, as we see the men and women of our modern military here today. we see yet again, 200 years later, the fort is again serving the nation, a new chapter is being written and the history of this fort and 100 years from now, people will look back and say what did they do back in 2014 to commemorate the bicentennial. and you are part of the history of this fort.
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[applause] ♪ o say can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming ♪
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♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ through the perilous fight ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ o say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪
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♪ o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪ [applause] [music] [music]
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[music] [applause]
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>> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. please be seated. >> welcome to our distinguished guests, governor o'malley,
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general, admirals. all of our international friends, particularly from the united kingdom and canada, and ladies and gentlemen, i would like to thank the groups for the powerful demonstration we have just experienced. the fort mchenry guard and fort mchenry drum corps. [applause] >> gentlemen, thank you for playing "yankee doodle". just as that exact moment 200 years ago. i would like to thank the maryland defense force band, for their musical rendition of the "star-spangled banner." ms. cruz for our her beautiful
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singing of our national anthem and the salute battery of the old guard for symbolically replicating the defense of fort mchenry and the participants of the stitching history project for the american historical society for hand stitching the replicated flag that we hoisted today. [applause] this morning represents the culminating moment of the week-long bicentennial collaboration of the battle at baltimore and the writing of the national anthem. the events that occurred 200 years ago are the reason that we're here today. being here on this ground, on
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this morning, in this year, enables us to connect to a place, a moment in time, and a historical event. the simple act of raising a flag, francis scott key's emotions about that flag put forth on a simple humble document would transform the way americans viewed this nation for the next 200 years. before the war of 1812 began, the young united states saw itself as an emerging country, seeking its own identity and status in the world. the conflict forged a new
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identity in a heat so intense that even 35 miles away the flames of the burning federal building could be seen. the outcome of the war, the future of the nation was in doubt. francis scott key's questioning, o say does that star-spangled banner banner yet wave, highlights the fear that the americans felt about losing the war and the young democracy, the battle fought here was not a large one in terms of casualties, but its effect on the nation was profound. key's word capture the importance of the day. this moment when a seemingly invincible navy had been turned
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back and americans proved steadfast in defending their country. francis scott key did not desire fame for the song he wrote, as a matter of fact, he did not even write his name to it. let fame not to me be given but rather for the inspirers of the song he wrote years later, he deflected all praise away from himself and urged people to remember those who defended the fort. two men who deserved to be remembered this morning represent that cross-section of america that came together behind these walls. lieutenant levi clagget, a citizen soldier of a unit called the baltimore fencibles was
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killed when a piece of iron went through his body. he was a member of baltimore's upper class, a wealthy merchant and today his name is embossed on the battle monument. a monument which still stand in downtown baltimore and has become a symbol of the city itself. the other defender was private william williams. born enslaved in prince george's county under the name frederick hall, he escaped from slavery and changed his name to william williams and joined the united states army. he, too, was mortally wounded here. this morning, like 200 years ago, a cross-section of america stands in this fort represented by all of you and by those who
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will read all four verses of key's song. the words paint a picture of what it was like to be with key on that september morning in 1814. it is my privilege and honor to introduce the following individuals who will read each a verse of the "star-spangled banner." caroline christensen, student, fort mchenry volunteer, representing the youth and future of our nation. ms. cruz, american international boxing champion, singer and aspiring olympian. general colin powell, a
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statesman, and iconic american and mr. vernacke who endured the loss of his brother of the tragic events on september 11th, 2001. >> ms. caroline. >> o say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, o the ram parts we watched were so gallantly streaming, and the rocket's red glare, the bombs
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bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, oh, say does the star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. >> on the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes. what is that which the breeze, oer the towering steep, as it fitfully blows half con seals, half discloses? now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, in full glory reap flekted now shines in the stream, tis the star-spangled banner! oh long may it waveoaer the land of the
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free and the home of the brave! [applause] >> and where is that band who so vauntingly swore, that hovk of war and battle's confusion, a home and a country should leave us no more. their blood was washed out their foul foot steps pollution. [applause] oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand, between their loved home and war's des sow lation, blest the victory and peace may the heaven rescued land, praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. then conquer we must, when our
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cause it is just, and this be our motto in god is our trust and the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! [applause] >> for over 50 years, general colin powell has devoted his life to public service. his deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world. the son of jamaican immigrants, powell was born in harlem in . 3 he attended the city college of
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new york where he earned a bachelor of science degree in geology. it was not until he joined the army r.o.t.c. program at city college of new york that he discovered his calling and launched his military career. he received a commission as an army second lieutenant upon graduation in 1958 and went on to serve in the united states army for 35 years rising to the rank of four star general. from 1987, to 1989, powell served as president ronald reagan's national security advisor. he served as a chairman of the joint chief of staffs for both presidents george h.w. bush and for president bill clinton and was not only the youngest officer and first r.o.t.c.
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graduate to ever serve in the position, but also the first african american to do so. he oversaw 28 crises to include the panama intervention of 1989 and operation desert storm and the persian gulf war. under bush, he was the 56th secretary of state and unanimously confirmed by the united states senate. as secretary of state he led the state department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civil conflicts in the middle east, sudan, congo and liberia, in the balkins, cypress, haiti, northern ireland, afghanistan and iraq and elsewhere. in all areas he used the power of diplomacy to build trust and forge alliances and help transform these unstable regions into areas where societies and
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cultures have the potential to prosper. he also worked at the forefront of american efforts to advanced economic and social development worldwide. among the many u.s. military award and decorations powell has received are the defense distinguished service medal. the army distinguished service medal. defense superior service medal. soldier's medal. bronze star medal and the purple heart. his civil award include two presidential medals of freedom, the president's citizens medals. the congressional gold medal and the secretary of energy distinguished service medal. in addition, he's also received award from over two dozen countries to include a french legion of honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by her
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majesty, queen elizabeth ii of great britain. it is my esteemed honor to introduce to you general colin powell. >> thank you very much and good morning. >> thank you very much. >> good morning, my fellow citizens and those from other countries. we celebrate the 200th anniversary of our star-spangled banner. a piece of cloth that i have loved all of my life and served under for over 40 years.
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let me take you back to september 13th, 1814, the war had been going on for two years. it was rather inconclusive as to who might win. a few weeks before the battle that took place here, the british had burned washington, the white house, the capitol, and most of the important buildings in washington, d.c. and now they turned their attention to baltimore. because at that time, baltimore is more important than washington, some might say that's still the case 200 years later. governor o'malley, i share that with you. but baltimore was the economic prize, it was a major port on the bay. so this was the next logical target for the british forces. they tried with ground forces to overwhelm the maryland defenders, but that didn't work,
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they knew they had to try then with their fleet. because if baltimore fell, then they could move on up to philadelphia and then on up to new york and that would probably end the war in the favor of the united kingdom. on the morning of september 13th. admirable cockburn began at fort mchenry. guarding the small for t fort. >> and francis key was a lawyer under flag of truce he sent by president madison to get some of the hostages that the british had captured and get them freed under a flag of truce. we happened to be as the bombardment took place all of the day of the 13th and into the
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evening. he watched all through the day and all through the night. >> the next morning, when it was over, when it had become quiet. he began to write the "star-spangled banner." he wrote down what he saw and felt and as you listen to the first stanza, you can see he was speaking to others to shared his experience, he was speaking to the citizens of baltimore who were watching just as he was. and he asks questions, as you go through the star-spangled banner. o say can you see by the dawn's early light. he was asking a question of those who were watching along with him. the thousands of citizens who were looking at the fort and waiting to see what was going to happen. dawn was breaking, the bombardment had stopped. can you see the fort? can you see the flag? is it still flying?
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have we survived? is it still flying as it is it last night when so proudly we hailed it at the twilight's last gleaming, when darkness was falling and we would not be able to see anything after darkness had fell. remember how those broad stripes and bright stars were gallantly streaming as we watched over the ramparts, during the perilous flight. the rocket's red glare bombing bursting in air, so you could see if the flag was still there and it was. the illumination gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. the bombardment ended and the night was dark. what would we see in the morning? the british had taken the fort. the troops that were here not have succeeded in the mission. with the morning light, we saw that it was not just the smaller
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tattered flag, the storm flag, but instead, it was this, the magnificent flag that had been raised over the fort. we had prevailed and we had prevailed with glory. armistead and his 100 men went into the history books as heroes. francis scott key with a question, it was not a question to the citizens to baltimores. it was a question addressed to the future. it was a question addressed to all of us here today. o say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the brave and the home of the free. there have been many challenges, we have thought civil wars, other wars, we have been in
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world wars, we have gone through depressions and we have gone through all sorts of tragic incidents. a cold war and other challenges, but challenges that the res resilience of our people that we have always been able to prevail over. so we have a resounding answer to the question that francis scott key raised. please tell me does that star-spangled banner still wave o'er the home of the brave and the free. as long as we remember the sacrifice made by these men over
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200 years ago and by americans over the course of our history. it will wave now and forever in the future with god's blessing and with our determination and our courage. god bless our nation, and god bless this flag and thank you all for being a part of this memorable day. god bless you all. [applause] >> i would now like to invite a dear friend of fort mchenry, governor martin o'malley to join us here on the stage and invite you all to join us all in singing the four verses of the
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star-spangled banner. >> oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight oer the ram parts we watched were so gallantly streaming. and the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our
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flag was still there. oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. on the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, what is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, as it fitfully blows, half con seals, half discloses. now it catches the gleam of the
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morning's first beam, in full glory reflected now shines in the stream, tis the star-spangled banner! oh long may it wave oer the land of the free and the home of the brave! and where is that band who so vauntingly swore, that the havoc of war and the battle's confusion, a home and a country should leave us no more, their blood was washed out their
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foul footsteps' pollution. no refuge could save the hireling and slave, from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave. and the star-spangled banner is triumph doth wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! oh! thus be it ever, where freemen shall stand, between their loved home, and the war's
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desolation! blest the victory and peace, may the heaven rescued land praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our motto: "in god is our tru trust". and the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, o'er theland of the free and the home of the brave! [applause]
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>> please be seated. it is my pleasure once again to ask vince vaise to join us. [applause] >> hoorah. >> you can't really add to that, all i'll say is what they did here 200 years ago and what our service people are doing now, both american, canadian, and
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united kingdom says it all. [applause] >> hey, vince, how about three cheers for old glory. >> hip hip hooray. >> hip hip hooray. >> hip hip hooray. >> right now, the for the mchenry guard, drum corps, will proceed, francis scott key was on a ship on the river, the
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pride of baltimore ii, baltimore's own 1812 ship, will signal the arrival of pride ii is representing the american ship president, the ship that was bearing francis scott key and dr. william beane. i invited you to follow the drum corps down to see that. there will be a procession of sail as other saluting ships come in and the presidential salute battery will fire a 21-gun salute in honor of the national anthem and old glory. [applause]
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[drum roll]
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[music] [drum roll]
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[drum roll] [music]
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the 200th anniversary of the star-spangled banner. we saw the tall ships, including the pride of baltimore ii. tonight at 6:00 eastern, we'll have more from fort mchenry and the war of 1812 beginning with american artifacts and for more about the war and all of our american history programming.
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you can check out our website you can also connect with us on facebook and follow us on twitter @c-span history. >> last night vice president biden was at the fort along with maryland governor martin o'malley. >> governor, thank you for the introduction. although i can't fir row, i understand my friend paul sarbanes is down there and the delegation and barbara mccolski. it is a delight to be here. i only have one regret tonight, i'm so flattered to be invited, but my father is not here. the biden family landed here in baltimore in 1825, and was here
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until my father moved from baltimore when he was in his teens, and as a matter of fact, my great, great grandfather married a woman named elkins and they have been in baltimore county since 1627. the roots go deep here, although i have never lived here, i regret that my father is not here to celebrate tonight. folks, imagine the site that greeted francis scott key staring through the distance at that flag pole 50 yard behind me, asking a simple question, does that star-spangled banner yet wave? that question, in its implicit aspiration, has echoed through
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every fight that america has engaged in the last two centuries. did that star-spangled banner yet wave in the morning mist 200 years ago and it did it continue to weave at the dawn's early light of the nation torn apart by a civil war. did it wave over the trenches of france, the mountains of korea, the jungles of vietnam and the konar valley in afghanistan. did that star-spangled banner wave? did it wave over an aging president at gettysburg and a young preacher. did it wave over the supreme court ordering the nations to
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segregate and where brave children tested that promise. did it wave over the shoulder for women marching for the right to vote and does it yet raise wherever voices are raised for equal rights in this country interest. does that star-spangled banner wave over every embassy, every forward position, every ship, every man and woman deployed in the service of the united states of america? >> yes, it does. >> my wife silently praying for the return of their warrior from afghanistan. does that star-spangled banner wave over every firehouse, ball park, neighborhood, every town and city in this great nation.
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francis scott key's question persists to this day. does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. to state the obvious, yes. it will now and forever. because it does not just wave above us, it lives in our hearts. the heart of every american, we're americans and as whoever has faced us has learned. it is never, ever been a good bet to bet against the united states of america. [applause] >> because we are one nation under god, justice for all, may
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god bless you all and protect our troops and continue to bless the united states of america, thank you. >> with live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span, here on c-span 3 we complement the coverage by showing you the congressional hearings. the civil war's 100 thd anniversary visiting battle fields and key events. touring museums and historic sites. the presidency looking at the policies and legacies. our new series real america,
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featuring archival government and educational films from the 1930s through the '70s. c-span 3 funded by your local cable or satellite provider. >> each week, american artifacts takes your into archives and historic sites around the country. tour of fort mchenry historic shrine in baltimore. >> this would have been the main line of defense against the british ships. this was the largest type that was here. we were down by an 18-pounder before, this barrel is original to the war of 1812.
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these guns were used in the french navy and prior to the war of 1812. some of these guns were in the french consulates warehouse in the city of baltimore and not long before the battle they were brought here and installed at fort mchenry. it will fire a 36 pound iron ball. no wonder the british never wanted to get very close. if you look down here, you can see a difference between the 18 pounder shot and the 36 pounder that they shot and fired as well. one more thing about before we go into the fort. is how strong these defenses
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were and why the british chose a long range bombardment. if you look behind me here, you'll see a small white house, that was not there at the time. you'll also a cement factory. the americans strung up a chain-link boom. imagine telephone poles chained together laying long ways. that's blocking the channel. behind that, the americans had gun boats, like a big row boat with a big cannon and a bow. for the british to win the battle and get their vessels into the port of baltimore to destroy the city, they would have had to have knocked out that thick iron chain, saw through it. fight off the american gun boat, raise the sunken ships and knock out all of the cannons of fort mc- mchenry and there were many of them aimed down river. the british decided on a long range bombardment hoping they
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could knock out the guns of the fort. this is why they chose to rely on the five people bomb ships that could fire a 200 pound shell two miles. and everyone knew while the cannons were only good for a little more than one mile. if the anchor, halfway into the bridge, they can throw the shells in the fort, and they had one rocket ship. if you watch like on the fourth of july when people shoot off these bottle rockets, it looks like, except as big as we are, it is pretty large. fiery fingers in the night sky, a jet plane going across the sky. boom. explode in and around the fort. >> so they were not really that accurate, but if you've never seen one before, and if you're a defender here and it is your first battle, you know, it was like the shock and awe of 1814.
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>> you can watch this and other american artifacts programs anytime by visiting our website >> this year c-span is touring cities across the country exploring american history. next a look at our recent visit to cheyenne, wyoming, you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span 3. >> general dodge laid out cheyenne in july of 1867. by september when the cheyenne newspaper started, they had about 300 people living here. it increased to 3,000 people and that's where it got the name
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magic city of the plains. [horn blowing] >> we are currently today in the cheyenne depot building, that was constructed in 1886 and 1887, and a portion of the west wing has been converted to a railroad museum basically, it is a historic structure in cheyenne and actually a crown jewel of cheyenne and a landmark. the pacific railroad act was signed by abraham lincoln in july of 1682, but the plan for pacific railroad had been on the drawing boards for a number of years prior to that, but the civil war came about and that delayed the construction of the
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railroad. there was a lot political pressure, where the southern congressman wanted the route to go around the south. the northern congressman wanted it to go north and abraham lincoln and general dodge together decided that the central route would be the proper route to go, also the terrain across wyoming allowed the early construction a lot less problem than in some of the other areas. november of 1867. cheyenne was laid out in july of 1867 by general dodge. the reason cheyenne was chosen was based on the fact that we had a creek that went through here and the source for water and they wanted to build a shop here also at that time, because it was the base of the rocky
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mountains. there was nothing in cheyenne or anything here in the west until the railroad came. the railroad is the cause for the devolvement of all of the communities along this whole southern tier of wyoming. the first construction that occurred here at cheyenne was a spur track that went up to the military base. it was not a base, it was a military establishment, and that was called fort d.a. russell. fort russell was a military establishment where they protected the railroad. well, they needed protection because of the indians, there was a lot of indian uprisings. the indian weren't too fond of the iron horse coming, and they knew this would bring civilization and it was going to effect their hunting ground,
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which is it did. the transportation was so important, it was wonderful to be able to travel by train when previously a stage coach was the only way across. of course, the mail service, that improved that so much, and then bringing in supplies and material for the development of this region. the railroad was responsible for that. at 1867, the livestock industry is starting to develop and cattle is the main type of livestock, and it was the biggest industry that we had here at that time. as the livestock industry grew, which it did, up until the mid -- about 1887, when there was a terrible blizzard, then the
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railroad hauled all of that livestock out to market. so it was important to have it. in 1889, the union pacific started a big construction program, and they built a huge shop facility here in cheyenne, cheyenne was affected because they had a line that went south to denver. it was intermediate between augden omaha. it was effective to handle freight and repairs. as time went on, they improved those shops. like the shop building we have now. which used to be a lot larger, that building was completed in 1919. cheyenne had the largest shop on the system. and even during the depression
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the man hours of shops succeeded all other shops with man hours of employees. at one time union pacific was the largest employer in cheyenne. i think the railroad that originated cheyenne, that general dodge laid it out, and over the years it has been such an important industry in cheyenne and wyoming, that i just don't know how you could look at it any other way than the importance of the railroad and it still is. we run 100 trains a day through here.
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>> thank you for that gracious introduction.


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