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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  March 20, 2016 7:45pm-8:01pm EDT

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he was something of a scoundrel but also a visionary. he said you could never sell it, you can never lease it.
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that is where the capital of the state of alabama will sit. montgomery did become the capital of alabama. slavery was a big issue of course. the two sections of the country were changing in their own intentions. the south relied on cotton where is the north was becoming more industrialized. economically that overwhelmed the south if you well. states rights issue. the election of 1860 was the abraham in which
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lincoln was elected. many people in the south could not accept that. and they decided to secede. the onessionists were the held the vote determined whether you would remain in the union. the die was cast. it was decided that in city of montgomery we would become the capital of the confederacy. the confederate states of america were organized here in our capital. jefferson davis was sworn in as the president of the confederacy. in february of 1861.
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fort sumter was sitting there in trust and harbor. being re-provisioned. the confederate cabinet was hotel directly across the street in what is known as the telegraph office. fellow and itung went back-and-forth. from general beauregard and troughs in, who was sending messages to the cabinet here in montgomery. finally the unionists would not leave and they fired upon them.
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the orders to fire were issued from that telegraph office. it was the central bank of alabama. it was incorporated within the state laws. it was the first to loan money to the confederacy. we had the exchange hotel. where the order was given. with money needed it was not a great deal of money. at the end of the war the bank was in receivership. many of the things that happens during the civil war took place here. in may of 1861 the capital of the confederate states of america moved to richmond virginia.
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we had supply stores and we had cotton stored here. we don't really know how many bales of cotton. the yankees were coming. that was wilkins raid which left huntsville in july. they scoured through the whole area. the destroyed the university of alabama. what is left is the former capital of the confederacy.
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the unionists began moving toward montgomery. there was great anxiety. todon't know if we are going be punished tremendously because we were the founding site of the confederacy. all that cotton was stored in the warehouse. they decide there is no way they can take on wilson's raters. leave but before they do they agreed to burn the cotton. this great conflagration takes place. on april night. and the wind is blowing off the river. the sparks were blowing all around.
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it happened in other towns as well. there was a black volunteer fire unit here. most of the white man had gone to war. so these black firemen were able to contain the fire and they and theyue heroes could say that they had saved the town from destruction. coming around court square. it was just a basin with a metal fence around. slaves had been sold there. cotton had been sold.
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we had another march the came from selma. they marched up market street. at 4:00 in the morning. flagdown the confederate and raised the united states flag in the flagpole. the war began in april of 1861. for yearsame dates the war ended for montgomery. is difficult for anybody to reconstruct a.
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of intense loyalty. a bit of a struggle for many many people. now black people were free. a whole new economic environment was created. everything changed in a sense. one of the first efforts on the part of the blacks to gain civil rights. they were running separate streetcars for the blacks and whites. all streetcars in montgomery lined up on that morning.
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there was a panic because you can get streetcars and the town was growing city needed streetcars to get around. the changing of that ordinance. separate but equal was still in force for the schools and many other things. the social and political activities. issue.ecoming an the transportation issue going back again to the streetcars. segregated buses. just across the square rosa parks was a seamstress.
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store andut of the pick something up the drugstore. she made her purchase. but that where the lions heads are today. she waited for the bus. she got on the bus right there. area thateat in the was limited to black people. she sat down legally. street morep the white people got on. rosa parks just sat there. that was the beginning of the
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montgomery bus boycott. before the civil rights movement there were all kinds of activities that took place here. the baptist church was built in the 1880's. some letters to the editor saying every going to let black people go to church right here on market street? the election of jefferson davis and the organization of the confederacy. the martin luther king memorial. the leader of the whole civil really sprangt
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from that church. you have a wonderful contrast. one of those strange parallels. selma as thefrom civil rights movement changed from the focus on transportation to focus on voting. the marchers came. at saint jude's just a little bit west of town. through the streets of montgomery. they came through court square. this thoroughfare is main street
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because some any things that happened here. it is a national main street as well. aspects ofbeautiful the issues of civil war and civil rights. both in the same locale. we are want to take all the credit or all the blame. our cities to her staff recently traveled to montgomery, alabama, to learn about its rich history. you're watching american history tv, all weekend every weekend on c-span 3. next, bob coming up woodward reflects on abraham lincoln's legacy and how it has affected a number of his successors, including richard nixon, roc


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