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tv   Prelude to World War I  CSPAN  December 24, 2014 5:37am-6:07am EST

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officers but to raise the men up. i think in that respect i don't think he was ever troubled by the criticism that he received from his admirals about meddling in the culture of the navy because i think he would admit that he did not think that culture was a good and productive one. with respect to the mining operations, the first question, one of the problems that the british had -- the british had no trouble violating international law. they basically turned the north sea into one big mine field which was a clear violation of the earlier agreements. and so they had no philosophical objections to putting mines across norway. it was the maintenance and the technology of the mines
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themselves. once the u.s. gets involved i'm not a military historian so i don't know all the details but they come up with a better mine. that is part of it. and the second part of it is just political expediency. daniels was against british violations of international law. when the u.s. was neutral and brits versus germans once it is u.s. and brits versus germans international law did not mean as much to him as it did when he was neutral. >> dr. craig, would you say that he wasn't an arm chair admiral, he had no military background but then he was a publisher? and did he stay aloof from the operations, newspapers at the time that he was secretary or
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did -- sometimes like frank knox later on kind of distance himself a little bit from chicago when he became navy secretary. i don't know much about daniels tenure and if editorial policy changed with kind of with daniels change in views about our participation in the war effort? >> that's an interesting question and one that i actually address at some link in the book. the short answer is no. he did not separate himself from the management of his newspaper. and he tried initially, but he could not -- just as teddy roosevelt could not not be president -- he couldn't stop being president. daniels couldn't stop
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controlling the opinion side of his newspapers. so he continued to control the editorial policy of the newspaper. in terms of the day to day management he left a couple of people in charge, one of whom was his brother-in-law. those of you who run family businesses know that's a bad idea. i have not run a family business but i learned that that was a bad idea. his brother-in-law caused a good bit of trouble both professionally and within the family. for one thing before the u.s. entered the war and daniels' oldest son joined the marine corps daniels sent his oldest son who at that time was in his early 20s. he had left him back at the newspaper in raleigh as kind of
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part of his apprenticeship. well, it turns out that the son and the brother-in-law, the son's uncle, did not get along very well and there was a lot of trouble there. well, this put daniels and his wife, who was the sister of the brother-in-law in charge back in raleigh, it put them in conflict. and so the mother, daniels' wife, chose her son over her brother and basically told josephus to get rid of my brother. so they ship him off. josephus arranges for him to become a newspaper man at a newspaper in texas. there was some personal scandal involved which i'm just going to leave it at that because this is a public show. and i hope i have wetted your appetite to buy the book to read
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the scandalous parts of the biography. basically he did not stop running. he tried but he just wasn't well suited to do it in terms of opinion he couldn't give up that control. and then he kept getting dragged back in because of the managerial issues with his family. >> in your research did you happen to find out why daniels did not take advantage of the money that was available from congress in 1915 and '16 to establish a base here for his battleships and other large aircraft that could not tie up along side a dock?
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>> i don't know the answer to that specific question, butoóv+ have a hypothesis based on other research that i -- material that i found during the research. and that is daniels used the budget that he was granted by congress to achieve political objectives. i know you are shocked, right? shocked that gambling is going on in casablanca. you are shocked that a politician would do that. it wouldn't surprise me that maybe there was conflicts with state or local politicians or senators from virginia at the time that caused him to hold back money or to steer money in another direction or what have
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you. i can give you two examples of where he did this. one was with releasing contracts for navy supplies. and another was you may recall a little while ago i spoke about cleaning up red light districts. if the local politicians would not aid in that effort daniels would go to the congressional representatives and the governors and would threaten to with hold money from those port areas if they didn't do what he wanted to do with respect to cleaning up red light districts. so that is just a couple of examples of how he would use that. so it wouldn't surprise me. i can't recall exactly that issue but it wouldn't surprise me if that wasn't the issue involved there. i'll cut off there.
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>> one more question. >> would you touch on daniels' enlisting of female personnel? and what was his relationship with secretary baker? >> i was invited because daniels essentially created the role of women in the navy. it was the 100th anniversary of his order establishing roles for women in the navy. i was invited to speak at the navy memorial in washington, d.c. and in commemoration of that event. and so as i -- it is just a
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couple of blocks off of the mall. as i left my hotel to go to give my talk there were hundreds of thousands of people outside. i thought not accustomed to audiences of this magnitude and my students in raleigh would be shocked that anyone who wasn't forced to take this course would listen to this guy. it turns out that when i went in to my room there was only the staff there because it was the day that the president was speaking in commemoration of the anniversary of the march on washington, martin luther king "i have a dream" speech. so i gave that talk and daniels, for those of you who are familiar with daniels background, he was a notorious racist and was one of the
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leaders of the white supremacy movement in the south and the disenfranchisement of african-american voters. it is always shocking for people to learn that the individual who was as important as any other single individual in the country in the disenfranchisement movement at the turn of the century that he was also what we would say today was a staunch supporter of feminism. he was one of the country's leading advocates and by leading here i mean someone with political power and a voice as a leading newspaper publisher for women's suffrage. so he not only was pushing the administration towards the amendment for women's suffrage but created the roles for women
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in the navy and marine corps. i thank you for that question. did you have a follow up to that? >> his relationship to secretary baker? >> he and baker had a very good relationship, a good working relationship. they had a good working relationship once war came. i think baker was maybe in a more bellicose side in moving the administration towards war than daniels had been leading up to the war. i think they worked well together but i think they had some conflicts in terms of the run up to the war with daniels being in the peace camp and
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baker outside of it. i think daniels was probably the loudest voice in the peace camp. there was nobody else in the administration who was going to get along with him because he wanted on this front because he voted against war until the very last moment. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. [ applause ] you have been watching c-span's american history tv. we want to hear from you. follow us on twitter. connect with us on facebook or you out our upcoming programs at our website. here on c-span 3 we're
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featuring american history tv. . we'd like to tell you about some of our other american history tv programs. join us every sunday at 8 p.m./midnight eastern to discuss the presidency. learn about the first ladies and hear from chief executives through archival speeches. speeches on the presidency every sunday at 8 p.m. and midnight here on c-span3. here's a look at some of the programs you'll find christmas day on the c-span networks. holiday festivities begin at 10 a.m. with the lighting of the national christmas tree, followed by the white house christmas decorations with first lady michelle obama and the lighting of the capitol
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christmas tree. just after 12:30 p.m., celebrity activists talk about their causes. at 8 p.m. supreme court justice samuel alito and former florida governor jeb bush on the bill of rights and founding fathers. on c-span2 at 10 a.m. join steve pinker and 12:30 see the feminist side of a super hero. at 7 p.m. author pamela paul and others talk about their reading habits. on american history tv on c-span3 at 8 a.m. eastern, the fall of the berlin wall with c-span footage of george w. bush and bob dole with speeches from president's john kennedy and ronald reagan. at noon, fashion experts and first ladies' fashion choices. and 10 p.m., tom brokaw. that's this christmas day on the c-span networks.
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for a complete schedule, go to >> american history tv visited the macarthur memorial in norfolk, virginia, hosting a symposium marking the world war i centennial. coming up focuses on the rainbow division which soldiers from 51 states. his talk is about 50 minutes. >> our second speaker is nimrod frazer who is the son of a world war vet. this is the division in which douglas macarthur will serve as chief of staff and brigade commander during world war i.
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frazer's father received the purple heart for wounds received mr. frazer is a member of the alabama business hall of fame. he's the author of send the alabamians:the history of the 167th infantry regiment. he's a founder and been factor please join me in welcoming nimrod frazer.
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>> thank you, dr. orr. it's a great honor for me to be back at this wonderful place. i'm not an academic. better described as a child of the rainbow division. i knew the name of the commanding officers of the 167th infantry before i could read. i knew the name of the company commander "d" company of the 167th infantry before i could read. my family was divided in later life but the common ground that i had with my father, who was a
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very complicated guy. a very experienced combat veteran as was his best friend, chester scott who was also in "d" company with him. chester scott took his remington 1911 automatic and blew his brains out in 1937. i like to think of them as willie and joe of the rainbow regiment from alabama. but the military was always the common bond with my old man. i would go down to visit him. and the one thing we were both comfortable in dealing with was his military service and then later with mine. i must -- before i get serious here, tell you that when i returned from korea, i thought i might have done the best job i could do there. i smelled a little gunpowder and i sat down with will.
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he'd written me one letter while i was there. it was the only letter i got in my whole life. but he wrote me one letter when i was there. and every word was caution, be careful, get behind a log. so, when i came back, he wanted to know what i'd been doing. and i told him, well, i'd been in three operations and i did the best job i could do. and i got to tell you, he was underwhemed. the 167th alabama was in four campaigns. and if you want to count the sudan, he was in seven operations. we were both there about ten months. bottom line, he did more in ten months -- he did twice in ten
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months what i'd done in my ten months. on june 19, 1916, the montgomery advertiser reported the mobilization and federalization of the alabama national guard. with origins of the social militia. the units made antrable to the governor when four part-time regiments were authorized by the alabama legislature in 1912. that's the date that i mark as the beginning of the training of the 167th infantry. its orders came from the war
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department. after entering full-time merle service at montgomery's vand built park, montgomery's racetrack, they were no longer answerable to the governor. the alabama national guard had become more professional between 1911 and 1915. in 1912, a full-time regular army captain was assigned as supervisor of training. well, let's see what we're going to get here. we've got to get this right.
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yes, yes. i got it. i got it. that's where i want to be. that's bill screws. he graduated local high school montgomery, alabama, was sent to marion military institute for one year. made the honor roll one time. that was the extent of his college. he qualified for alabama voluntary regiment's commission at the time of the spanish/american war. he served briefly in the spanish/american war, but brushed up against the regular army there. so much so that he liked it. the regular army was then
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committed to the adventure in the philippines and they offered screws a job to go out there as a lieutenant and to work against the insurgent morose. so he went down to mindanao, and i retraced his steps down there. had a car and a driver and i said, i want to go right back into that lake district where these guys were doing all of that early fighting. all of the senior guys in world war i had cut their teeth on the morose in the philippines. my driver says, i'm not going to go any further. it's dangerous. so, i can tell you today, a sentsent sentry sentry later the mindanaroas are still raising hell. the same ones.
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screws came back, wanted to stay in the army. they didn't have enough company commands and battalion commands for the west pointers, but they had made him captain, made him a regular army captain. and he considered himself a first-class regular army captain. his first duty after coming back were serving in three states in the west, where he was a supervisor of training for the militia units that were transitioning into what was becoming the united states national guard. when he got to alabama in 1912, he immediately caused a shakeup. there was increased federal money coming into the annual budget at the state of alabama for the national guard. standards were immediately raised. one company was unprepared to go
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to camp and was immediately eliminated. another company was eliminated for general inefficiency. newspapers covered the guard activity and one reported that regiments faced tactical problems, long, sweating hikes in sun blistering on the target range. civilians became involved in the training of these militia troops. they were invited to watch target practice and invited to parades at the end of summer camp. individual appearance of guardsmen and standards of military courtesy were improved. shooting competitions were held regularly and one person went to the 1912 olympic shooting competition.
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captain william preston screws, the supervisor, established an examination board for officers commissioned in 1913. this kind of thing was unheard of in the social militia that had preceded his coming to alabama. a signal corps was established with 72 men in 1913. and more than 150 attended a tactical school taught by regular army officers in 1914. it was considered, quote, exactly under the lines of a regular army camp. defishgt guard officers were required to drill as privates in an effort to improve professionalism at drill and ceremony.
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a correspondence school was established by screws for officers and participation was made mandatory. poor attendance at drill continued to be a problem. and most units were below minimum strength. the mobilization in 1916 did not come as a surprise, but the units were not prepared for the new way. the new high requirements for troops on full-time active duty. the war department required dismissal of the officers and enlisted men unwilling to enter federal service or who were physically unfit for such service. in raising units to war strength became a challenge. its units were second class. officers had always been part-timers.
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and most had little education beyond high school. most enlisted men were simply there for the money, but despite having been ill-trained and poorly equipped in the past, the national guard suddenly offered young men an opportunity to walk away from the simple lives that many had never been able to escape. with little or no education to fall back on, some found military service to be his opportunity. my father was one of those. he had seven grades of education and went into the guard at age 19. all of these men, practically without exception, were grandchildren of confederates. at that time, civil war was under way in mexico.
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and the u.s. army was sent to the border. this has been discussed here in today's previous presentations. mexican irregulars had killed american civilians in a border crossing into new mexico. and president wilson, who had run on a peace ticket, was afraid that the fighting would spill over into our country. that was one of his angles. i'm sure that never was his fear of our being so totally unprepared for a war that was on the horizon. he respected revolution in new mexico as an internal matter but the countries shared a 2,000-mile border and had been troubled since 1910. president wilson authorized sending 15,000 regular army troops and 156,000 national ds


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