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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  July 19, 2015 5:00am-6:01am EDT

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kennedys is husband dies in office. the ironic part always is that her health was always considered to be much worse than his. they didn't publicly know then that their president suffered from congestive heart failure before he took a very famous trip across the country to the western states in alaska. she had nephritis, kidney disease. she had a couple of scares during the trip, but it amazed me that she even endeavored to take the trip. i think a lot of us if we had a chronic condition like that would say i think i will stay close to home. she says we are going to alaska, let's go. she loved to travel. she had a sense of adventure and that feeling that i know i have bad health, but i'm going to cram as much as i can into my life. she exemplified that. her husband dies in san
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francisco of a heart attack, is reported to the press earlier that day that he died that he might be coming out of the woods and of course, he dies. much like grace, much like jackie kennedy, she is stoic. the newspaper reporter who got on the trip, they are reporting now that this horrible change events as they go back east on the train, and they say she is never breaking down. they are worried. she's not crying. and she says i'm not going to. she knows she has this responsibility of setting the stage for the country. she takes that very seriously. privately, she is devastated. this is her whole world. you have no children to rely on
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her one son from a first marriage already has died, he died in 1915. it's her. we can only imagine how lonely and afraid she felt. lucinda: annette, hoover. annette: we will do the light stuff first. she was very avid horsewoman she loved to ride. she liked to motor also. not while she was first lady but shortly after lose mother passed away, after they left the white house, she gets in the car with her father, before they get into the white house, she gets into the car with her father in california they drive all the way across the country. it's a trip for him but also a trip for her. they have large dogs. norwegian held counts. it was either a german shepherd
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were a belgian melon law, no one knows for sure. they had a couple of cats, either persian or siamese, the siamese eventually was in the hoover's apartment in the waldorf-astoria in new york in their later years. somebody had given her an irish wolfhound named patrick. he was very close to her during the white house years. they have a lot of dogs particularly in cats. the tragedy for the hoover's was not death of a child or death of a spouse, but the older of their two sons, herbert hoover junior who to be known as pete by the family contracted tuberculosis as an adult, married man with two children. this was in the 1930's, first of
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all, no cure. second of all we lost track of how severe and prevalent that alyssa was in a lot of different parts of the country. lou, in her typical take charge, i've got this sort of frame of mind, collects information on all the different potential sanitarium swear pete king convalesce, he gets -- once it get made public, they get all kinds of letters telling him how tuberculosis can be cured, quack medicine is alive and well it hasn't changed very much. she eventually settles on a sanitarium in asheville, north carolina. they range from feet to go there, they thought about having him convalesce at the camp that bloomberg had builds in the shenandoah mountains, but they decided that pete -- rapid and
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was very accessible. they decided that he needed to be first of all where there was more attentive care and also that was easily accessible. so that is where he convalesce. pete's wife and two children moved into the white house for the duration, but lou in her very typical strong management style, take charge style, it was just part of life to her. her mother had been a semi-invalid, she was accustomed to dealing with apparent whose health was up and down, it was not anything new in her life. shoot of charge like she needed to and then carried on. lucinda: i want to leave some time for the audience, and then come back to let the ladies have -- the first ladies themselves have the last word. what did they do -- very quickly , after the post-white house years? can you address that a bit?
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sherry: florence lived 18 months after he died. she didn't have much of a life after that. she was adamant she didn't want to come back to her house. she never came back to her house. it was not the same place for her without her husband. she wanted to stay in washington, she liked life there, she has been five years there is a center wife before the white house, she wanted to travel in europe. she had been there three times and wanted to write her memoirs. but she didn't do any of that because again, her health failed. pretty rapidly after warns death. her doctor, who would been here and in the white house, dr. charles sawyer rayna sarah terrien -- ran a sanitary and outside of town, he busily her
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to come back to marion where he could keep an eye on her. and she agreed, finally -- not happily -- to live in a cottage on the sanitarium grounds. so the doctor was accessible to her. she ended her life in the sanitarium. the doc, in addition to being her doctor, was a close friend, he died of a heart attack. that seemed to take the life out of her. it was one of her last very close comrades. she died in november, had an extremely serious bout of nephritis, they were tinkering with the idea of having surgery she slips into a coma and she dies. she didn't get to accomplish what she wanted to afterwards. i wish she had had that opportunity. i think he would've seen the real florence really take on her
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own life. lucinda: thank you. i do think we did see mrs. coolidge. cynthia: she did write several articles, she wrote his autobiography. they both had a writing adventure. also he has syndicated column. they moved back to northampton they go into their two-family house. you tell me how you are going to take all the gifts from the white house that you're given in those days you are allowed to keep them and for the meta-two-family house. i read a lot of the letters were she says could you please take this? and also the dogs weren't too happy. so they eventually moved to the beaches, a larger estate in northampton. they are both happier. calvin does not live to long after the white house, he dies in 1933.
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embrace says well, i've got to move along an figure something out. their son had married at 29, he and his wife had two daughters. she could take joy in them and also, as we all know, the run up to world war ii. in most people don't know this but grace coolidge was part of the northampton committee to rescue jewish children in germany. this was in 1939, she very bravely, this is a woman who didn't get into politics, she very bravely sent a telegram to the state house to encourage them to let the northampton committee adopt 25 jewish children very here's a first lady who would have had children , but unfortunately, her theory was rolled into the wider rogers build, and attempt to rescue 20,000 jewish children, children like anne frank, by the way, and
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did not want to leave germany. this was not approved by congress, it did not get through. and so we now have that story. they didn't know the horrible holocaust was coming, but still it was not done and then grace does throw herself and helping get ready for world war ii and then during world war ii was a real volunteer, spotter in northampton and that kind of thing. she did take a more active role in her post-white house years. and even though you have rationing, she doesn't get to plymouth so much during the war. she does keep the homestead going in plymouth has an interest in the homestead. her husband grew up there, and she decides to donate it to the state of vermont, if they will buy the birthplace. she was quite active as a preservationist, like to see it that way. she lived until 1957, she did accomplish many of her goals.
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she did get, i would say, rather brave coming out with active stance. lucinda: i will have to ask gary, we've got to get to lou what her story after the white house? annette: she got back where she left off. she took another stint to the national president of the girl scouts of america, she moved active to the home she'd built in palo alto at the stanford campus, and there became involved with the friends of music to bring musical concerts and quality music to that part of the country. she was selected to be on innumerable college boards, the list is very long but to very quickly, mills college will is a women's college and whittier college, the alma motter of a subsequent president, richard nixon. she served on the board of that.
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she was active in the american association of university women and eventually at some point she decided she was going to have to start declining requests because she served on quite a number of boards, including the red cross and she also maintained her motoring fund, her camping out sleeping on the hard ground took her granddaughters on a camping trip where they rode horses into the remote part of the debtors out west at the early age of the 60's and she said i don't eat a sleeping bag or a tense, i'm looking forward to sleeping on the hard ground. she continued to have a very vibrant and active life. lucinda: we have had time. are we love to take questions? gary: i think we can take one or two. lucinda: thank you. >> as a florence harding, i
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wondered if sherry would have any comments about mrs. harding's being involved with mediums, which came up later in all this. she got involved in i don't is a spiritualism, but she had a medium she consulted. sherry: she was interested in spiritualism is a lot of people were doing the time in which she lived. famously, they always made a big thing of she consulted madame marcy in washington, d.c., all of washington society were going to matter mercy. madame marcy later claimed that she predicted doom for the president, which is really easy to do after the fact. [laughter] it was done as a recreation. it was something had a fun to do, like going in somewhere and having someone read tarot card for you. it was just a fun thing to do for a lot of women in society.
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kind of -- lucinda: kind of a thing of the times. >> -- [indiscernible] did this way anything with women voting? sherry: we invented the -- we investigated the cox campaign, and we asked did women vote for him because he was a good-looking guy? is that while the women swarmed to him? they found there was no justification for that. there was no big swell of women to the republican party, they tended to vote as their husbands did, and a lot of women, even though many could vote in the
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1920 election, some could not particularly in the south because of the registration requirements, they said you have to register six months before the election, they didn't get the vote until august. that wasn't going to work. there's no real evidence that the women particularly made the difference in that election. they certainly added to the vote totals. that makes sense. gary: thank you, very much. [applause]
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back for session number two this afternoon. the gap. it is my honor to present our speaker, the executive director of the national first ladies library, patricia crider. patricia: thank you very much, i'm very happy to be here, and on behalf of the first lady's historic site, we are thrilled to be part of the symposium. my job here this afternoon is to talk to you about some of the first ladies that followed lawrence and grace and lou those first ladies who started paving the way for future things to come. i'm going to be talking about eleanor roosevelt through in.
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the evolution of the role of first lady has never taken a straight upward path. it has always been kind of two steps forward, one step back. the reason for that is because not all first ladies serve the role of the same way. there is no defined role. they can do with the role whatever they choose, which is a good thing because they can do whatever fits their personality whatever fits their interests. you after member that first ladies come from very, very different backgrounds, very different lifestyles. they come from all over the country, and so they don't all have the same interests and they don't all have the same causes and they don't all have the same way of doing the role. some first ladies serve much longer than others. we have eleanor roosevelt who
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served a little over 12 years she had a lot of time to do a lot of things. we have other first ladies who get not even four years. when we look at first ladies, we have to remember that we are only seeing a small snippet of their lives. generally, 40 years. that's what everyone focuses on, when many of these women had an active role before they become first lady, and thereafter. what i'm going to do is i'm going to give you some brief facts on each of the first ladies i'm going to talk about before i start getting into their history. eleanor roosevelt, anna comella or, roosevelt, roosevelt was born in new york city. she was born of wealthy parents. they died within two years of each other when eleanor was just under 10 years old and eleanor was raised by her maternal
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grandmother. theodore roosevelt was her uncle. as for his education, she had private tutors, she went to a common school, she went to a girls academy in london, she had no college, and having no college was a regret she had her entire life. she married her fifth cousin. franklin roosevelt at age 20. she had one daughter and five sons, one son died less than one-year-old. she became first lady at 48 years old. and she served like i mentioned a little more than 12 years. unprecedented, never happened before, will never happen again. and she died at age 78, she is buried in hyde park, new york. eleanor roosevelt was a phenomenal woman, and very difficult for any first lady to live up to eleanor's a
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compliment. she was the eyes, ears, and legs of fdr. she took full advantage of the way that was paved by florence and by grace and my lou. and what most people don't realize is that the social activism of eleanor started well before she married fdr. because of her position in life, she had the ability to be a volunteer, to be involved in activities. when she was a young woman, she volunteered at settlement houses in new york city. she was involved in various organizations, she became an inspector and she would go into the homes of the garment workers to see with their living conditions were. she promoted exercise for particularly the women in the garment industry because they lived in cramped quarters, they worked in cramped quarters and so she put together programs of dance and calisthenics so they
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could get some exercise, she supported unions at that time because they helped with bettering the working conditions and the living conditions, particularly of the workers in the garment industry. in 1920, when fdr was the vice presidential candidate, eleanor went on a 1920's whistle stop campaign tour with him. interestingly enough, she never made any speeches at that time. if 1920, women are just getting the right to vote. she consider this to be a social boundary not yet be crossed. by the 1940's, all of this had changed. eleanor was out there she was a tireless campaigner, she was everywhere doing everything. 1940's should becomes the first
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first lady to address a national convention, when fdr is nominated for his third term. elinor supported so many causes, just innumerable number of causes. she didn't go into the white house saying this is going to be my cause. she went into the white house and she said i'm going to do as many things as possible by work and vide very she was involved with the red cross, both during world war i and world war ii. she became active in democratic party politics, she was involved with a lot of women's organizations. the women's union trades league and the league of women voters. organizations that encourage women to become interested in an involved in politics, to kind of know what was going on politically. she was an early champion for civil rights, for
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african-americans and she was always an advocate for women. she was always an advocate for american workers, for poor and young people. she supported government-funded programs for artists and writers. and she encouraged her husband to put more women in federal positions. she was always interested in global peace. during world war ii, she worked extensively in the war effort, she continued her work with the red cross. she wanted to bring european refugees to the united states. she promoted issues that were helpful to the american troops. she encouraged volunteerism on the home front. and she championed women who were employed in the defense industry.
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eleanor -- she took advantage of all of the media that was available out there. she was a writer, she was a public speaker, she was a media figure. she held press conferences she had 348 press conferences in total. and she was have -- she would have press comforts is women reporters only. the effect of this was that the newspapers and radio stations, and the magazines who wanted to cover her press conferences were forced to continue to employ women reporters, and eleanor actually was instrumental in pushing that role of women reporters to the professional level. she was a magazine columnist. she did many many weekly and monthly magazine columns. she was a radio host.
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the evening of december 7, 1941 the attack on pearl harbor, she went on the radio and she made a personal call of support for all the mothers like yourself who had children who could now be called into active service. she was a lecturer in a public speaker. in her 12 years of first lady, she gave an estimated 1400 speeches. no other first lady published more books while first lady that eleanor roosevelt. she permitted all of her public appearances to be filmed by newsreel companies. and she got tons and tons and tons of public correspondence, and surprisingly, she answered personally a lot of those. and those that she couldn't answer she had outlived by which she would transfer those, so those people would get some kind of personal response. her activism continued after --
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her activism continued after fdr died. she was appointed by president truman for position at the united nations, she was the only women amongst the five american delegates, she continued to be very active in the democratic party, but she resisted all efforts to get her to run for herself. and she continued to be a very, very strong supporter of civil rights. our next first lady is beth truman. for beth has to follow eleanor. beth isn't born in new york city, she's born in independence, missouri. her father dies when bess is 18 her mother's family was wealthy
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by independence, missouri standards. she attended high school and finishing school. beth married harry at age 34, they had one daughter, margaret. she was a worker. she worked in harry's business, she worked in his senate office, she became first lady at 50 years old and then she died at age 97. she is to date the first lady who has lived the longest. she is buried at the truman presidential library in independence. beth truman did not want to be first lady. when harry accepted the nomination on the vice president ticket, she asked him, she said what are you going to do if the president dies? then you will be president she was not happy, he accepted the
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nomination without consulting her. she doesn't look real happy. she couldn't compete with eleanor roosevelt, and she didn't want to. when she becomes first lady, she asks to a have to give press conferences? when she found out she didn't have to, she canceled the one that was already scheduled, and she never gave one. she never gave a press conference, no interviews, she would answer written questions and sometimes, when she was asked spontaneously question, she would answer that. again, she is a very different woman that eleanor roosevelt. even though she kind of has a wealthy family, she is a working woman. her husband has a haberdashery in independence before he goes and politics. and she works their unpaid, the
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accountant. she is sales clerk when she needs to be. she didn't really have the luxury of volunteering for causes. when harry is in the senate, she actually works in his office. she is a clerk and she answers mail and she answers the phone. she had its committee reports she's very active in that way. finally, during the seven years, she starts becoming in some organizations, like the congressional club, and then during world war ii, should becomes very, very involved with the uso. she doesn't want this to just be an honorary membership, she is there at the uso working in washington d.c. very, very frequent. family meant everything to beth. beth and harry and margaret were known as the three musketeers,
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they were always together. barbara bush, in a quote at one point in time talking about first lady's and the roles had beth took care of harry. people will say that beth truman didn't do anything as first lady, and that wasn't true, she just took a more traditional role. she reinstituted the white house formal social committee that had been interrupted during the war. and she helps in planning all of the social events from state receptions to musicals. she was very, very interested in the history of the white house. she was the honorary president or chairwoman or member in many, many organizations like the girl scouts, the women's national democratic club, the washington animal rescue league, she was also the honorary chairman of the american red cross.
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she also continued fundraising efforts that had been started by the roosevelts for the march of dimes. she would willingly greet leaders of all different organizations and posed for photos, and let those photos be published. she would attend a charity luncheons because she knew that her presence would increase ticket sales. the end of world war ii, she signed a housewives pledge of voluntary food rationing for the white house, and she did as an example of americans, do the same so the food donations can be sent to europe, where they were so short, of simple staples. beth, somewhat unwillingly accompanied truman on his whistle stop sure -- tour. no speeches, but she would waive
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by his side. in 1948, it was found the white house was in bad shape, structurally unsound to the point that something had to be done. there were a lot of supporters that said that the white house should be torn down and then a replica should be rebuilt. beth strongly believed that at least the four original outer walls should be saved and then that could be used as the shell for rebuilding the white house. and that's what happened. during the time of truman's lives at the blair house just across the street from the white house. beth was visibly thrilled to leave the white house. and returned to missouri. jonathan daniels, the former press secretary to president roosevelt, said beth truman is a
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lady unchanged by the white house. and determined to remain always what she is. next we have maybe eisenhower. she was born in boone iowa, her father was a successful businessman, he moved around a lot. her mother was a housewife. the family moved frequently just because of her dad's business. she had a high school and finishing school education. she married ike eisenhower when she was 19, he was already in the service, the couple moved 33 times in 37 years. they had two sons, one died under age four. she was 56 years old when she became first lady. she was first lady for about eight years. she died at age 82, and she is buried in abilene, kansas. mamie wasn't interested in
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politics, but she would do anything to help her husband get elected. and so if the politics and the party people said mamie, would you post? she would pose. she was always very willing. she loved the thrills in the trials of the campaign. she always went along with ike on his campaign trips. she would wear the ike jewelry. happily. she was energetic and enthusiastic. on the campaign trips. i could finish his speeches by saying, how would you like to meet my mamie? and that was her cue to come out and smile and wave. mamie viewed her role as first
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lady as being the wife of the president and hostess of the white house. she was very, very popular. she had firsthand knowledge of women's struggles during the war. she was a military wife. in the 1950's, she represented what most middle-aged middle-class women liked. home family, entertaining, a good personal appearance. mamie was a very good organizer. she had all those years as a military wife. she had all of those moves she had a choreographed. and so she looked at the household of the white house she took control of that and managed and she approved white house operations. and she said, of course, being mistress of the white house is a terrific responsibility. and i am truly grateful for my army wife training.
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she knew how to manage it large staff and she could be very demanding, but she kept a real friendly approach and treated everyone like family. mamie loved to entertain at the white house. the eisenhower's entertained a record number of heads of a. but even the president had to get her approval if you wanted to use any of the rooms of the mansion because she controlled the schedule. mamie posted the first white house performance of musical theater music, selections from hit shows that on broadway. that was one of her favorites. and then there was another side of mamie. when the president had a heart attack in 1955, she took charge. she took over the flow of work to the president. everything had to go through her to be reviewed. visitors meetings, she limited
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his schedule. based on medical advice. she strictly managed his diet. she played a similar role when he had an operation in 1956, and in 1957, he had a mild stroke. he was supposed to attend a state dinner, and she wouldn't let him do it. she convinced vice president in that he had to attend in his place. because of the president's health issues and heart issues mamie became very aware of heart disease, and she became very ethically involved in the american heart association should begin at chairman on a local and national level. she remained involved for a number of years. she was credited by the head of the american heart association with drastically increasing the money as they came into that organization, and also drastically increasing the
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number of volunteers that they had. because of her years with the military, she understood all the problems that they had, and she like to help with causes related to the military. she worked with hundreds and hundreds of army wives across the country. to raise funds for military retirement community in washington, d.c. originally it was called the army dispatch home, and it was dedicated in 1962, it was called knollwood. jackie kennedy. jackie was born in southampton new york. society parents who are divorced , she had a wealthy stepfather, shoot a very good education. in addition to her high school she went to college vassar, she
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went to france, she went to george washington university, and she got a ba in french literature. before marriage, she was the washington times herald camera girl. she was the first first lady to be born in a hospital. she married jfk at age 24, her second marriage to aristotle onassis, at age 39, she had one daughter and two sons, one son died at two days old. she was 31 years old when she became first lady. she was first lady less than three years. she died at age 64, and she's the only first lady to date that is buried in religion national cemetery. jackie kennedy really wasn't appreciated for the things that she did. and maybe that's because of her age. 31 years old, she was much younger than any of the first
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lady is that we have talked about so far today. those first lady's became first lady's at mid-forties late 40's, 50's, 60's. jackie was 31 years old. she was young, she was beautiful. she was raising and bearing children, what could she possibly know? but she was very well-educated and very intelligent. she spoke spanish, italian french fluently. she wasn't really interested in politics, but she was willing to help with the campaign. what people need to realize is that when the campaign of 1960 was going on, she was pregnant and it made her active role kind of limited. but she did make calls for kennedy, and she did give speeches in spanish and italian. and she recorded campaign spots in spanish, encouraging votes for jfk. there's jackie doing some
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speeches in spanish. about the 1960 election, jackie said i cast only one vote for jack. it is a rare thing to be able to vote for one's husband for president, and i didn't want to diluted by voting for anyone else. she went on many foreign trips some with jfk, some by yourself. she was always very, very popular. when she went with jfk to france, jfk said i'm the man who accompanied jacqueline kennedy to paris. she dazzled the gall with her knowledge of french history, literature, and art. and to call later said i now have more confidence in your country. she met khrushchev in vienna. the press wanted khrushchev to shake kennedy's hand. he said it i want to shake her
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hand first. she went to goodwill ambassador trips to pakistan and india. the prime minister was captivated by jackie. he broke protocol and went to the airport to meet her. the president of pakistan gave her a gelding. on the motorcade from the airport, 100,000 people waved american flags, sharing the cars with rose petals. one of her biggest projects was the white house renovation. she wanted to redecorate the family rooms and wanted to historically restore the public rooms. after the renovation during the truman time, truman didn't do much to redecorate. they were on their way out.
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she said i'm going to leave that up to somebody else. jackie kennedy took this on. she went all over trying to find pieces of furniture that had been stuck there over the years. each family could come on and decorate the way they wanted. they needed to raise funds. there were no government funds for this. she came up with the idea of the guidebook. it was successful to raise funds for this redecoration. she solicited all over the nation for people to donate historical furniture and artistic items. then she worked to make sure there was a law that cap. that those items became a permanent part of the white house collection. she succeeded in getting a new position created, the white house curator. she was a proponent of the arts. she use the white house to
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showcase the arts. she posted performances -- she hosted performances of ballet and modern jazz performed by american performers. she was very instrumental in the creation of what was the national cultural center, the kennedy center for the performing arts. the whole country watched and mourned after the assassination. she impressed the nation with the way she held up after that assassination. president johnson said i shall never forget her bravery, her nobility, and her dignity. lady bird johnson, born claudia born in karnak, texas. her film father was a wealthy
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landowner. she had a high school education. she went to the university of texas at austin and has a ba in history and ba in journalism. she married lyndon johnson at the age of 21 years old and had two daughters. she ran his congressional office . she purchased and managed an austin radio station and she owned and managed large ranching properties. lady bird became first lady when she was 50 years old. she was first lady for six years. she died at age 94 years old and is buried at the lbj ranch in texas. lbj went into the navy in
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1941-1942. while he was in the navy lady bird ran his congressional office. she answered correspondence, she coped with political problems, she gave especially attention to constituents in washington who visited his office. lady bird johnson inherited from her mother a small radio station in austin, texas. it was in terrible financial condition, close to bankruptcy. she took over that station, she hired all new on-air staff, she found commercial sponsors, she kept the financial accounts, she cleaned up the building itself. she served as the manager and then chairman. this became a media conglomerate , a huge media organization by
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the time the family-owned it -- sold it in 1980. it was so huge, it provided the family with substantial earnings. mrs. johnson took those funds and investments and invested in large ranching operations. she also managed to those. she was an early civil rights advocate. she was so strongly in support of the civil rights act she was there when lbj signed that bill, the only woman in the room in 1964 when he signed that. she also was very strongly interested in an advocate of women seeking higher education. most known for the beautification program, it
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wasn't just planting flowers. the beautification program was very encompassing. it was taking care of urban delights, taking care of cleaning up the highways. there were environmental elements. there were pollution control elements. there was national park conservation elements to what she did. part of beautification program was the committee for a more beautiful capital. they started in washington with cleaning up the urban blight cleaning up around the national mall, making a nicer place for people to visit. then there was the highway beautification act which was very difficult because part of that was to get rid of billboards along the highway. there were organizations that were strongly in support of those billboards.
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she had a fight on her hands. she took the discover america trip to the national parks to raise awareness of national parks and clean them up, and get visitors to go to the national park. she was involved in project head start. that was part of the war on poverty. it was to help underprivileged children, give them the tools they would need to be prepared to go to school with their peers. this was a very successful program. she was approached to be an honorary chair of the program and she said i will work on head start but i don't want to just be an honorary chair. i want to actually work on it. very successful program. it just celebrated its 40th year in business.
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in 1964, lady bird johnson went on the first so low organized campaign trip by a first lady. she went on the lady bird special. this was an organized train trip that took four days, went through 40 cities in southern states. they had postcards whistles matches, banners menus at different stops. she was and always well received. she is doing this through the southern states who are not happy about the civil rights act. she wants to get support for lgb
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-- lbj so he can be reelected. at some stops she is booed and heckled. she is quoted as saying to a heckler, you've had your say may i have mine? because of her warmth she was able to will over people to herself and her husband. when the trip ended in new orleans, lbj joined her and gave her credit for helping him win those difficult southern states. then we have in. pat nexen is probably the first born into the poorest circumstances, born in eli nevada. her father had numerous occupations, sailor, truck driver.
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he died when pat was 19 years old. her mom died when she was 14 years old. she had a high school education. her parents had died. she worked her way through school. she went to junior college. she went to usc. she eventually got a bachelor degree in merchandising and a certificate, the equivalent of a master's at usc to teach high school. she is the first first lady to have a graduate degree. she married richard nixon at age 28 years old. she had a wide variety of jobs. that would do anything to earn the money to pay her way through college. she was a janitor. she helped the family at farming before her parents died. she was a book keeper. she was a pharmacy manager.
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she was a high school business teacher. she continued to work after her marriage. she had two daughters. she was 56 years old when she became first lady. she was first lady for 5.5 years. she died at age 81 years old and is buried at the next and presidential library -- the nixon presidential library. pat nixon, very underappreciated , she visited over 80 countries. when she went on these trips she wasn't content to just go to receptions. she would do those things but she also wanted to meet the people. she wanted to go to schools, the hospitals. she wanted to go to orphanages. she wanted to talk to the people in the villages one-on-one, meet
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them and find out what their concerns were. she was that he is no matter what the agenda was. she could discuss human rights issues in south africa. she recommended to yugoslavian officials [no audio] she took a vietnam trip and that made her the second first lady to enter a combat zone. the first was eleanor roosevelt. she visited hospitals, orphanages, military hospitals and later on she sent personal letters to each one of the injured soldier she talked to in matt. when peru was hit by the devastating earthquake in 1970
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within one week she was on her way to peru. she had nine tons of food that was privately donated. she went into the worst areas with the peruvian first lady. they spent an entire day walking through the rubble, climbing through the rubble, talking to the citizens. listening to what their problems and concerns were. months later, the president of peru was thinking all countries for their help that he singled out pat nixon for coming to peru, thanking her for her help with this terrible ordeal. later he awarded her the grand cross of the order of the sun the oldest decoration in the americas. she was a tireless campaigner.
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richard nixon had many campaigns over his ears in politics -- over his years in politics. she was happy to do it. she liked being on the campaign trail. when he ran for president in 1960, there was an interior entire ad campaign based on the campaign pat for first lady. there were manicure kits, all these things handed out. and spoke at the 1972 republican convention. the first republican first lady to speak at a convention. she had other interests and causes. you don't hear much about this. she publicly advocated women
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should become more involved in the political process. she was the first incumbent first lady to endorse the civil rights amendment. she was the first incumbent first lady to disclose her pro-choice views. she publicly called for the appointment of a woman on supreme court even before she started lobbying her husband to do so. in conclusion, first ladies continue to break barriers. they forge new roles, they do it in their own way. there is nothing wrong with that. they can use their special voice to get messages to draw attention to causes. roslyn carter said she felt she was in a special position and that it was her duty to use that role to promote causes. thank you.
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[applause] f usher, mr. gary walters. gary walters: good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. i am well. how about you? [laughter] the white house that i served for 37 years is a unique part of our 239 years of american history. i was honored and privileged to serve seven presidents and first
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families from 1970 through 2007. the presidential history that i have seen is remarkable. a president resign from office. and appointed vice president become an unelected president. a one term president who became more prominent for his activities after he left the white house. a two to president who face down the evil empire. a president who won a war and lost his reelection bid. a president impeached and remain in office. and one of the most closely contested presidential elections in our nations history that permitted me to serve the son of a president that i had previously served. the chief usher is appointed by
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and works directly for the president of the united states and is head of the staff of the executive residence at the white house. i was accountable to the president and the first lady for the activities that took place in the white house and on its grounds. my primary charge was to carry out their desires as they relate to three main functions. first and foremost for the executive residence is the home of the president and his family and is as such a place where their privacy is guarded with vigor by those who work there. second, it is the side of official and ceremonial activities of the presidency both in the house and on its grounds. finally, the residents, its grounds, are a museum of our american history. for those of you who m


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