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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  November 2, 2014 1:20pm-1:31pm EST

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i have papers for a couple of people up here. >> the berlin wall fell 25 years ago on november 9, 1989. we will revisit that historic day with our c-span video featuring president george bush from the oval office and reaction from bob dole and george mitchell. and speeches from president kennedy and president reagan that galvanized berliners and the free world. that is next sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. weekend long, american history tv is featuring colorado springs, colorado. climate andry mineral springs made the city popular as a health resort for people suffering from tuberculosis. together with our cable partners, we visited many sites exporting colorado springs'rich
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history. >> palmer saw possibilities. i want to think it was the mountains he fell in love with and where colorado springs is nestled up against pikes peak in this beautiful place, but what he saw as our greatest economic driver was the climate and the mountains and the fact that people like himself from the east coast and along the atlantic seaboard would be drawn here to live here either for a few weeks or months or come and visit and decide to stay. they would be drawn by the healthy climate and stunning natural beauty. he thought there was potential.
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he built colorado springs along the rail line and the rail line connected further south. he thought of this town in particular to be his home and saw it as an and it wrote to eastern industrialization. this young man who grew up in the second largest city in the entire country, he looked to the west and we have this vast, open expanse of land, seemingly limitless and he envisioned a place here where people could come and live or stay and enjoy the healthy climate, enjoy the adjacent mountains and experience a vigorous lifestyle that he himself enjoyed. william jefferson palmer was born in kingsville farm, delaware. at the age of five, he and his family moved to philadelphia, where his parents are originally from. he not only came from a liquor
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family, but he came from a big excite quaker family. that's interesting because his beliefs shaped his actions. he was working for the pennsylvania railroad when the civil war roque out in the spring of 1861. civil war broke out. even though he was a quaker and quakers are typically pacifists, he formed a troop that later became the 15th pennsylvania cavalry. not in spite of his religious beliefs, but because of them, he later had to account for his service in the civil war and he wrote to his quaker community of friends that if the same circumstances presented themselves again as they did in the summer of 1861, he would do the exact same thing. we have the letter he addressed to the committee of friends in which he's asked to account for his actions in the civil war.
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spirit you acte is the greater matter, he takes this as his mantra and believes he did the right thing and does not question his judgment. in 1894, palmer's men nominated him for the medal of honor which was awarded to him for his actions at redhill thomas alabama. -- redhill, alabama. like many men of his generation following the civil war, palmer turned his eyes west for his future. he had very little money. he did not come from wealth. he had a decent education but more so, he had a fantastic reputation and the connections he made throughout the civil war, he went to work for the kansas and pacific railway. andas secretary treasurer
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he left the confines of the office, so he took over the surveys and took over the cruise inthe kansas and pacific 1870. he did not have money or fortune, but he had a lot of .onnections, and he used as as everyone was building a railroad east to west, those transcontinental railroads following the civil war expanded out west and palmer had a unique vision. he wanted to build a north and south line leading from denver, coming down the front range of colorado, connecting with the santa fe trade in the footsteps of the santa fe trail and building a railroad all the way down to the heart of mexico.
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way, his dream was to build cities along the line and have traffic along the railway. he also wanted to build the baby railroad, a narrow gauge railroad instead of standard gauge. it was supposed to save money and might be more efficient climbing the steep rates of the colorado mountains. his railway founded in 1870 used a narrow gauge come three feet wide. he was starting from denver and went south. he turned his railroad west and created the denver and rio grande west railway and headed ando the rich mining camp eventually extended that rail line all the way to salt lake city, connecting to the rich
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copper mines there. he did that largely thanks to the benefit of a new partner. palmer was an idealist and visionary. he needed the biggest acumen of george auster peabody. partner of a firm in new york city the helped develop some of america's leading industries. what george foster peabody brought to the partnership was the ability to find investors and finance the railroad. it was with the denver and rio grande western that they had to retool from narrow gauge to standard gauge that palmer began to see a profit and finally became a millionaire in 1901. until that time, he had been struggling financially.
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his dreamted to build home am a home he always wanted to build in this canyon north of colorado springs and finally had the finances to do it. remodeled and that's when the stone was brought in and the castle was created. stands.le still it operated by the navigators but it's a beautiful piece of our history and we are all proud it has been preserved. another thing i think is interesting and has left a lasting impact is his concept of open space and parks. during his lifetime and afterwards, he donated over 2000 acres of land to colorado springs for parkland. developed, some of it was left open but he believed people need a place to
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go outside their home on the weekends to enjoy the best of what colorado has to offer. and canyon park, all of these places were gifted to us in one way or another by general palmer and his forward thinking vision. as ae still known today city of parks. he saw opportunity where others saw impossibility. other people interested in created -- in creating calm -- creating colonies in the west built on health and recreation bypass the area will stop they saw it as a desolate area with little water and resources. others said there will never be a town built in this place. he was died in 1909, mourned not just as the founder of colorado springs but one of the greatest economic boosters
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of the state of colorado. he was a well-respected businessman by the time he died and was given credit for opening southern colorado to economic development. he opened up the entire region to trade and commerce and was seen as one of the most important people who ever lived in the state. throughout the weekend, american history tv is featuring colorado springs, colorado. our staff toward there to learn about its rich history. learn more about colorado springs on


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