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tv   American Artifacts  CSPAN  November 16, 2014 6:00pm-6:30pm EST

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with these kinds of skills was because they would get paid more money. houses, and they would send their kids to the university of wisconsin. that was not the image that many people had of the so-called grimy worker who worked in steel mills and that type of industry. the formative years in madison set a pattern that is evident even today. and that pattern was, look, we have got a very special place here. we need to keep it special. run all through madison history. it is caused a very interesting phenomena. for people, civic leaders, who have come to the fore at key junctures of history, to say, look, we need to take a road less travel. we need higher standards. we need visionary ideas.
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and we need to try to achieve them. these are the kinds of things that all flowed from that fundamental perception that special, and we need to do everything we can to keep it that way. >> throughout the weekend, american history tv is featuring madison, wisconsin. our cities tour staff recently traveled there to learn about its rich history. learn more aboutm and other stops on c-span's cities tour at content. you are watching american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span 3. week american artifacts takes viewers into historic sites around the country. baltimore's fort mchenry is celebrated as the birthplace of the "star-spangled banner," withstoodican forces an all-night bombardment by the british navy and turned the tide of the war of 1812.
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but the ford continue to make history for years playing an important role in the history of the civil war, world war i, and beyond. american history explores the history of fort mchenry after "star-spangled banner." >> my name is vince vaise. i'm chief of interpretation at fort mchenry historic shrine, the birthplace of the "star-spangled banner." one of the most asked questions are large candidates, the ones that are used to fight off the british in the war of 1812. the answer is, no. were manufactured during the american civil war, 50 years after the war of 1812. it shows the great layeredness of history that fort mchenry had. beginshenry's history with the words of francis got key. but the fort has made direct
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contributions to practically every american war since the war of 1812 right up to our own present time. in a very unique way that theicans bond with national anthem, bond with the american flag. let's explore how fort mchenry's history as evolved. we will see how different garrisons and people who were here at this fort saw the same stars and stripes but derived different meanings. we're going to go inside the fort where we will uncover the hidden history of fort mchenry. really has a layered history. you can literally see that behind me. for example, during the bombardment of 1814, all of these buildings were single story. the second story and porches were added in 1830. during the civil war years, fort
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mchenry was garrisoned by union forces. however, baltimore had loyalties on both sides. many for the north but also many for the south. first -- the first bloodshed in the civil war was in the streets of baltimore. first as pennsylvania troops are moving through the city on the 18th of april. then even worse on the 19th of april as massachusetts troops were marching to the city, a confederate mob descended. gunshots were fired on both side. when the smoke cleared, four soldiers were killed, and nine baltimore civilians were killed and many wounded on both sides. that was the first deaths of the civil war, the most costly conflict in american history. it was a lot of fear around it.w would baltimore be pro-southern? would it take the entire state of maryland out of the unit?
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not long thereafter, benjamin butler occupied federal hill, a large hill near the inner harbor and aimed their cannons at the city. the big cannons of this fort were swiveled onto the city itself. there was another pro-confederate right, fort mchenry could bombard baltimore back into the union. of second -- anyone accused aiding and supporting the southern cause would be arrested. many of those arrested would be brought to this very room in which i am now standing. president abraham lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus. that meant that people could be arrested and brought here and detained and held here for no specific crime, and not even given a trial in front of their peers or in front of a judge. many people saw this as an abuse of rights. some in baltimore said, lincoln has set himself up as king and fort mchenry is his baltimore
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allusion to the king of france. one man who was brought here to fort mchenry was jhohn merriman. john merriman was an officer and a pro-confederate horse unit called the baltimore county horse guard. even though they had been disbanded, they had a reputation of being pro-southern. he was arrested under the pretext of training programs that are -- pro-confederate on his property. n was brought here and held in one of these rooms. perhaps in this very room. word got out and the chief justice of the supreme court at that time, who happened to be in baltimore, actually condemned the decision. he condemned it as a more local judge in chambers. but he issued a stern
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condemnation on president lincoln, saying that lincoln did not have the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and not only did he himself not have the power, but he delegated that power to other union officers in the area. in clear violation of the constitution of the united states. not long thereafter, a federal marshal, taking his orders came to fort mchenry to demand the release of john merryman. and he was turned away at the gates by union soldiers under the orders of the commanding officer of fort mchenry, saying, he took his orders from the president, and the president ordered that merryman stay detained. at fort mchenry, in those early days of the civil wars, it was a constitutional crisis, a time where at least one representative of the judicial branch and the executive branch came at loggerheads with one another. these were swift, decisive
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measures that the union, the lincoln administration took to secure baltimore for the union cause, by securing baltimore for the cause, it helped keep the state of maryland from seceding from the union, and that resulted in maryland staying loyal to the union cause as well. so, fort mchenry was an important union fort during the civil war. i would also like to take you into a cell where we can also see where lincoln violated the constitution again. ironically, to help a confederate soldier. so, the cells we are about to walk past, this was solitary confinement during the civil war. suspected spies were kept here. you could almost look at this as the death row area of fort mchenry. there were three known executions here during the american civil war. i want to talk to about an
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execution that almost happened and it almost happened to the man who actually stayed in this specific cell. midway through the american civil war, an officer for the wasederate, henry hall -- arrested. he was arrested and put here at fort mchenry in this cell and accused of being a confederate spy. of course, that had the death penalty attached to it. he fully expected he would be executed by being hung after a few weeks or perhaps a few months. so you could imagine a mental anguish he went through in this cell. in addition to the physical anguish, he said he was never given anything to write. his bathroom was a bucket. the only thing he had to sleep on was a strong mattress. drier than it was
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150 years ago. downid green slime came these walls. after a while, his skin turned white. story that shows that lincoln violated the constitution, but i think it shows the great compassion that abraham lincoln had for those who did not like him. when the writ of execution when across lakin's desk, he had the factoied under expos law. it says in the constitution "there shall be no ex post facto law." you cannot arrest a person and then accuse them of a crime that was not stated as being a crime or on the books at the time the man was arrested. that is exactly what lincoln had with henry hall brodgen.
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lincoln did not want this man to hang. law,eated an ex post facto and he was tried for entering union lines without sufficient permission and without a pass, penalty.ried on lesser this man was transferred up to a union fort outside of new york city. he stayed there for a few months. then he was eventually released. so, yes, lincoln violated the constitution. by the same token, he did that to say this man's life. ironically, this man did not know what lincoln did. we know he was a pro-confederate. it is very unlikely he would have remotely liked or supported president lincoln. yet, reflecting abraham lincoln's compassion, he pulled later heings so that
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would not suffer the death penalty. wanted to take you up here. share a couple more civil war stories with you. and then also, talk about how different americans saw the stars & stripes here at fort mchenry and in baltimore during those critical years. an sign here shows interesting story of the american civil war in the first year. of the more, some prominent, wealthy ladies from baltimore were invited by the union commander to come to fort mchenry. john dix. an afternoon luncheon, small tea party. after that broke up, he led them up to this point, where there was a large cannon aimed at the
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city of baltimore. and had them check the sidelines. they synapse that the canon was aimed at the section of the city where they happen to live.told him if there was another ride dix in the city, it would be incited by her husbands. you go home and tell them that the guns at fort mchenry are loaded and ready and your houses or be the first to go. recognizing the power that women had to influence their menfolk, but also a different way of conveying the message in no uncertain terms. certainly these baltimore women, many pro-confederate supervisors, were hereat -- would have seen the american flag. for them it would have meant something radically different than what it meant to francis got key. that is most caustically expressed by the grandson of
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francis scott key. editorey howard was an of a newspaper called "the exchange." he thoughtt while the cell should not have seceded from the union, he believed it was totally legal for them to do that. were interpreted as being pro-southern. his newspaper was shut down. and he himself was arrested and locked up at fort mchenry. ironically on the very anniversary day that his grandfather would see the star-spangled banner. mywould say, whereas grandfather saw the stars & stripes as a freedom of free -- a symbol of freedom, for me it stands for yankee tyranny and despotism such as this world has never seen. for many baltimoreians who had loved ones arrested here, those who were arrested on political
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suspicion, many perceive the flag as the stars and stripes the violations of the constitution. so for them, they saw the flag as an abuse of presidential power. a symbol of a tyrannical northern government. very different symbol. however, many white union soldiers from ohio, pennsylvania, and other such states would have seen the stars and stripes as a symbol of unity stars all the representing every state, and that blue canton, symbolizing the hope that the nation would be reunited. for them, the flag over fort mchenry was a symbol of unity and the cause they were fighting for. in the city of baltimore were a number of union soldiers. they call them the colored troops back then. they would've seen the stars & stripes over fort mchenry.
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after the emancipation proclamation, later in november 1864, when maryland as a state outlaws slavery, the stars & stripes stand as a symbol of of liberationg in the south. i think it is interesting that at one time at fort mchenry and baltimore you had three groups. one group see the stars and stripes as a symbol of tyranny government,al yankee despotism. another sees it as a symbol of hope for unity. a symboler sees it as of freedom and liberation for every american regardless of skin color. three groups. one star-spangled banner. three different meanings. that meaning is going to change yet again a few generations later, as thousands of immigrants pour into this city. for that, let's look over and look at the cranes here. those -- where those cranes stand was the locus point
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immigration terminal. there was a strong relationship between the city of baltimore and germany. the north german lloyd steamship ghtpany operating - brou thousands of immigrants into this nation, not only from germany but from other countries like italy, poland, and other places in europe. some of these ethnic communities are still here in baltimore today. like greek town and polish town. for those immigrants, they never saw the statue of liberty. that is in new york. they never went through ellis island. but there symbol of a new start in a new nation was seeing the stars & stripes waving over this fort at that time. 1902, the locus point immigration terminal was second only to ellis island as far as the number of immigrants. standing on the ramparts, one can almost hear a german father
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telling his daughter, your descendents will be americans. we are going to see that the flood tide of immigrants dwindles to a trickle at fort ihenry in 1914 when world war breaks out in europe. fort mchenry is being used as a city park at that time. it was a much famous for its bathing beach as it was as the home of the star-spangled banner. but that changes in 1917 when the united states goes to war. and shortly thereafter, a fleet come, andand workmen they begin building 100 hospital buildings on the ground. two, oneospital number of the largest army hospitals in our nations is built here. let's take a look at that hospital.
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number two, one of the largest army hospitals during world war i. many historians say that the first world war was the true war. modern poisonous gas, tanks, airplanes, bombings, submarines, machine guns. all perfected. even though the united states does not get involved until 100,000 americans are killed during the first world war. and many more wounded. this general hospital no. 2 specialized in two things. one, the very early plastic surgery was done here. in conjunction with top surgeons from johns hopkins and the university of maryland. if you look at these jawbones. these are the types of facial reconstructions that were done, the reconstructive surgery. men who had their jaws shattered by exploding shells had new jawbones fabricated and
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carefully implanted into them. again, a lot of early plastic surgery. a great deal of medical history was made here during world war i. addition to that, some of the thet programsi to train disabled veteran were promoted here. this woman --h emily reine williams, one of the lead nurse stationed here. themes another important -- a lot of times women are ignored when it comes to military history. in this time where women were seeking to gain the right to vote, women prove themselves as nurses during the first world war. 300 female nurses were stationed at fort mchenry. like i said, some of the first programs to help the disabled american veterans were promoted here. one program, they taught chemistry, so a man who was wheelchair-bound because he lost
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a leg was taught chemistry or taught -- one man who could no longer hear was taught to use a typesetting shame. a lot of men were trained. there were well over 100 different skills you could learn. it was really a cutting-edge hospital for its period. so over 100 buildings here as part of general hospital no. 2. you can see how many buildings there were. some of these are hospital wards. there was a train sh where they could bring in visiting familiese. a chapel, officers row, other hospital wards. some of these other buildings were training centers to help disabled veterans be reintegrated into society. you can see the red cross headquarters that was here at one time. this was also during the golden age of baseball. the inside of the fort was converted into a baseball diamond. where the one-armed team
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played against the one like a team. you look at those veterans. really, the american flag waving was ahis fort powerful symbol of hope and healing for those folks during the first world war. that hospital was abandoned in 1923. and most of it was all torn down in1927. the buildings were left air liquide for a number of years until the national park service acquired in the 1930's. -- the buildings were left derelict. when that happened as part of the programs during the great depression to put people back to work, the works projects administration came to fort mchenry and built sidewalks, repaired walls. and so, i do not think there was any coincidence that during a time of stress and hard times during the great depression, 1931, the star-spangled banner
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becomes the official national anthem for the united states. and fort mchenry becomes preserved. this becomes a unit of the national parks service. but there is a clause in the deal that says if the military needs to use the grounds, they can do so. that is exactly what happened during world war ii when the united states coast guard used about 13 acres of land as a training base. 00 coast guard men and women trained here during the second world war. specializing in shipboard security and firefighting. i had the pleasure of interviewing a lot of these world war ii vets. i would ask them what they remember most. almost all of them to a person, they say, i remember seeing the "star-spangled banner" waving over the fort. and how we had to change into our class a uniform spirit every morning when the colors were
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hoisted in every evening when the colors were taken down. it shows you the impact of the stars & stripes on the world war ii generation. and the way that the stars and stripes stood as a symbol of democracy triumphant. you see that here in a way "life" the image on magazine, the imagery of the flag and the events that happened here and during the war of 1812 inspired another generation of americans many years later. so in a way, the visitors are still writing the chapters of fort mchenry's history. visiting fort mchenry is part of the history of the site, how different generations of americans come here to be inspired by the stories of the "star-spangled banner." if you look down here, you can see the late 1940's, early 1950's visitors coming to learn about where key saw the flag. was inspired to write the national anthem. people coming here right after world war ii, you can see all
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the cars and everything. in the 1960's and early 1970's, during vietnam, a lot of military ceremonies were held here. they live on to this day, where of thete guest units marine corps, army, and navy to come here and perform on certain evenings in the summer. we still have change of command ceremonies for the military here. politicians and statesmen come here to walk the grounds for special programs. fort mchenry continues to inspire. just to wrap up this tour, i will show you a few places i think our neat, some places that visitors do not always see. some of the look at behind-the-scenes stuff. take you to places that no one gets to go. this speaks to when the fort was built, one of the oldest features of the fort that plays into the war of 1812.
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thisome down here, actually goes to an underground passage. not a secret passage because everyone would have known about it. but this descends to a tunnel that goes outside of the fort. outside the fort's wall, there was a ditch. think of it like a castle but without water. moat without water. you have infantry with muskets. what if the british landed, a d-day invasion? those americans could retreat to the inner fort. this would be the passageway that they would retreat into. they would come to this passageway and come up single file. it is so narrow that if the british were on her tail, we could bayonet them as they came out. bu tht this was known as the covered way, a passage from inside of the fort to the
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outside. in addition to a big tunnel at the main entrance to the fort. we are going to go into one of the underground bomb -- the era of war of 1812. there is a cool story about this underground bunker. so, when the bombs were bursting in air, there really was no underground bombproof. soldier, every defender was totally exposed to the shrapnel of the british bombs. when the british sailed away, all the damage of the fot waxs quickly repaired -- -- the fort
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was quickly repaired. there was a fear that the british would come back. the fort was strengthened. one of the biggest issue was this bombproof. this was billed weeks after the battle. if the british did come back with those bombs, the defenders could bunker down. fort mchenry remains an active military pos for almost 100 yearst after the battle baltimore. 's when the army decided to improve fort mchenry, they expanded the bombproof into this chamber back here. this is one of my favorite rooms. even the other was no battle, because it is original. this room was built in the 183'' s. you could put almost the whole garrison into these.
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you could see it could accommodate more men. they had large air duicts. or you'd have numerous air dcu ucts in case there were severe shelling and some of them caved in. the men could survive. ws howlly whshopws the army thought of fort mchenry as a viable fort for a generation or more after the "star-spangled banner" had been written. so, what you see through some of the underground chambers in the history of the fort is that fort mchenry has layered history. people ask what is original? the answer is, it is all original. some of it dates to the bombardment in 1814. some of it to the civil war, some of it to a few weeks ago. the core of the fort is original. a represents a timeline of


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