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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  February 7, 2015 7:49pm-8:01pm EST

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it's very rational to me, how she behaves in this play. i am hoping they will take that away. james: there is a moment in the play where she says very sincerely, what's to become of me? that is a genuine question for mary lincoln in this moment, and i think it is a universal question that we all feel in moments of grief. what is to become of me? where will i go? will i love? i think those are universal things. susan: thanks to both of you the playwright and the actress of mary lincoln. portraying mary lincoln in "the widow lincoln." thank you for your time. >> in the 19th century, the federal government was very limited. they do not have many deployable resources. so the army does a whole variety
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of things. they are discoverers. they are explorers. army contracts were an important part of the western economy. the army plays a role in conservation. in the recent ken burns's earrings on the development of national parks, it points out the perks were established in the 19th century, but there was no one to protect them or preserve them, keep trespassers away, keep hunters off of them. and so the army, really because of the efforts of the commanding general at the time, the army steps in and literally saves the national parks until another organization can be created. for better or worse, the army in the west did much more than just fight indians. the american people have historically had an antipathy a year of the regular army, from our english traditions and revolutionary war traditions.
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we fear a standing army. it is deliberate. it is hard for modern observers to realize. the military is one of the most trusted institutions in the united states. but that was not the case in the 19th century. >> watch all of our events from corpus christi throughout the day. sunday afternoon at 2:00 eastern , on c-span 3. >> all week long, american history tv is featuring corpus christi, texas. the naval air station was once the largest pilot training facility in the world. by the end of her war two, it had issued wings to over 35,000 aviators. our cable partners worked with the city tour staff, and traveled to corpus christi to explore the city's rich history. learn more about corpus christi all weekend, here on american history tv.
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>> already. >> i christened the lexington-- christen thee lexington. rocco: lexington is what is known as an essex class air carrier. the way the navy sets its class of ships, the name of the first ship in the group sets the class. so the six was the first aircraft carrier built of this type in world war ii. every ship of the same type afterward becomes an ethics class -- essex class. modern nuclear carriers are known as the nimitz class because the first ship in the class was the uss nimitz. there were 24 essex class built 19 in world war ii. they were designed to be the
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super carriers of the day. the only place the carriers fought was the pacific. the reason is because they had the kind of range -- they could carry enough bombs, fuel, ammunition to travel the vast distances of the pacific. the atlantic ocean was mostly summary and war and land-based war, because you could launch airplanes from england to hit the german factories. the pacific, not so. they had to be back the japanese and the islands of the pacific. to beat back the japanese and the islands, you had to take your airplanes with you, to provide close air support for the marines and soldiers ashore, in addition to protecting the other ships in the fleet. since lexington is not a museum in the sense that we are not funded by an entity, like a state, city, federal government, etc. -- when you are not funded by that, you have to bring people in the door to pay the
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bills. and you have to make it interesting to enough people that want to come in the door. some people just might not be interested in ships, but yet they might be interested in seeing a digital 3-d movie related to ships, maybe, related to aircraft. so we have to make angst not only related to lexington, because that is the story we are trying to tell -- we are trying to tell a story about the navy in the pacific, world war ii. we have to make it interesting for the visitor that might not be as involved in history, so we put other things on board, like maybe some interactive games and exhibits. we are in hangar bay one right now. behind me in hangar bay one, we have what is known as a tbm-tbf avenger. the reason it has two names is depending on who built them. this is the type of airplane
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that president herbert walker bush flew during world war ii. also significant for corpus christi, he got his wings at the naval air station corpus christi. that is another attachment to corpus christi for president herbert walker bush. this airplane he flew. and people know that he got shot down during the course of the war. but also he went down another time due to an oil pressure problem. when he went down that first time, he was rescued and ended up on the lexington for a couple of days, until he could get back to his aircraft carrier, the san jacinto. he came on board and spoke at an event we had. he did not remember too much of his time on board the lexington. he says he does remember what he calls sack time, sleeping a lot on lexington. not very historical for us, but he did spend a couple of days in world war ii on board lexington. most visitors that come here, we would like them to come aboard
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to learn all the history about it. that is not necessarily the case. many people come on board and go, wow, this is really big. we get people on board that do not care about airplanes. they are engineers. the want to see how the ship ran. they want to go to the engine room. they can go to the engine room. we get some dentists who want to see where people took care of teeth, or nurses who want to see where people were treated after they got injured or were sick. the shipment only has to be combat space, ready to fight the war, but it has to be a hospital, a post office, has to be a restaurant, everything. so it becomes a city at sea. i would say for the most part the airplanes are probably the biggest draw, but after that, there are any number of things people are interested in. behind me is what we call our restoration area.
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this is where we can bring airplanes in that have then subjected to the elements every several years, so we can redo them. sometimes, we change the paint schemes on them, depending on if there is something more significant, a story we want to tell. for the most part, just bringing them down here for a tuneup. the atmosphere in corpus christi, because of the salt water of the bay, very corrosive. airplanes, being metal, are subjected to a lot of corrosion, a lot of wind, even sand erosion from some of the beach sand. it is important we keep on a schedule to keep the maintained. right now, they are working on what is known as the a-7 corsair to renovate it. in other two or three weeks, it will be back on the flight deck and we will bring the next one down. in the 22 years that we have been here, we have become quite an important part of corpus christi, including the movie industry. we filmed part of the movie
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"pearl harbor" here. we filmed the first episode of "jag" here. we just finished filming a big pepsi deal, halftime for the super bowl, a blake shelton concert. we have become not only a tourist attraction, we have also attracted the movie industry, because if you stand on our flight deck and lookout, use ebay. you do not see a lot of buildings. there are certain shots they can do that make it look as if this is a ship at sea. the navy is critical and very important to this nation's prosperity. so it is important people understand the role of the navy, understand how we got to where we are, and understand, for us, the evolution of the aircraft carrier. world war ii essentially saw the first aircraft carrier. that was the invention or the operations of the first aircraft carrier.
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the japanese proved how strong and how important aircraft carriers could be. we took that and evolved it during the course of world war ii. and now aircraft carriers are the centerpiece of our seapower. so it is important -- we think it is important that people sort of understand that, but put it in context of the history that came before it. announcer: throughout the weekend, we are featuring corpus christi, texas. our city staff traveled there to learn about its history. learn about other stops on the c-span cities tour at content. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span 3. >> the political landscape has changed with the 114th congress. not only are there 43 new republicans and 53 new democrats
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in the house and new republicans and democrats in the senate, there is also 108 women in congress, in thing the first african-american republican in the house and the first woman veteran in the senate. keep track of the members of congress using congressional chronicle. the page has lots of useful information, including voting results and statistics about each session of congress. new congress, best access. >> you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-span history. each week, american history tv since then on a lecture. you can watch the classes here every saturday. next, paul mapp


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