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tv   Know Your Ally  CSPAN  August 20, 2016 8:00am-8:46am EDT

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announcer: each week, "american history tv's reel america" brings you archival films. that provide context for today's up next, "know your ally." outlook affairs issues. up next, "know your ally." -- "know your ally, britain." it is a 42 minute training film produced by the u.s. army signal corps. this introduction to english society and to the events that led the united kingdom into world war ii, was shown to american troops before they isles onn the british the british in the lead up to the 1944 d-day invasion. ♪
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[applause] [cheering]
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narrator: that game was not won by the man who made that touchdown, it was by 18. and every man had a share in winning it. now we're playing another kind of a game now only this one is , not for fun. it is for keeps. [gunfire] narrator: this game will not be won by any single player. it will be won by a team a team , called the united nations. the ball will be carried by backfield, the tough little guy from china, big joe russia, john britain, and the guy called yank. the four greatest backs in the world. so let's take a look at the men who carry the ball with us. who are they? how do they live?
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what makes them tick? we will start with the one that is toughest to understand, the one we know just enough about to confuse us, john britain. here is where he lives, a little island no larger than idaho. half a million people live in idaho. 96 times that many live in great britain. the the nazis and the japs complain about living space, but there are more people on a thene island of britain germany or japan or italy, more people anywhere on earth then except on the new york subway. that is a clue that explains a lot about john britain. we built front porches on our houses because we do not want to miss the chance to see our neighbors. but great britain hides himself and plants iox
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hedge around that to make sure he doesn't. living that close to neighbors, privacy is part of the pursuit of happiness. and in the sardine can call the britain they learn to get on , with neighbors. they have to, he is too dam close -- damn close. that is why they have so little time. believe it or not, even in war times, the british officer does not carry a gun. nor does the professional crook. and in 1926, when the world heard about this stoppage of work in britain transportation, , the whole length of the country was paralyzed by a general strike. it was still more surprised to learn next day that the strikers were playing football with the cops. you can only understand if you live in a sardine can. the second clue of this guy on our team, no part of britain is more than 100 miles from the sea. every day for hundreds of years, years of peace and years of war,
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john britain has seen ships sail from his island to the seven seas. that means, whenever he wants to bust out of the sardine can, it him.e see that gets he has been busting out for hundreds of years. and that led to australia, south africa, new zealand, canada, and for that matter, the united states of america. ♪ narrator: how did john britain get on our team? remember 1938? the yankees won the pennant, the wrong way corrigan, last trains ran on the 6th avenue l, well, john britain got excited about the same sort of things. say, he had his job. sizeids, getting exact or on his day off -- his exercise on his day off, playing football
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-- [applause] narrator: only 300 miles away, people were cheering another kind of event. [shouting] narrator: and in london and every other british city in town, they were reading about what was going on in europe and and they got sore about it. , but they were well determined to keep it none of their business. then, this looks bad. the czechs had an agreement with france, and france had one with great britain. this might mean war even though , everybody was anxious to avoid it. they had been through one war, perhaps been wounded. hundreds of thousands of brothers and friends had been killed. there was nothing beautiful to them about war and they had
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, no desire for another. ♪ >> the last effort to preserve peace, the prime minister today flew to munich. narrator: all is well. britain, france, italy and --many were signing a packed a pact, in which the germans agreed they had no further territorial claims to make. it would be peace in our time. but it turned out to be a strange sort of peace. hitler's first move was to break the pact he had signed. wishful thinking was done. now they knew that something had to be done about germany. they approved the construction -- conscription act, the first piece in british history, just like in american history. ♪ narrator: the british had put their cards on the table. they had said to hitler's -- >> if you go into poland, we
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will fight. >> hitler's smiled. like other conquerors of britain, the spain, napoleon, kaiser wilhelm, he that he understood the british. he did not. [explosion] narrator: the sleeping lions again to wake up. they were terrible for the first six months of the war. he snapped and growled. leaflets andd more bombs. he hoped that common sense would return to the german people, and that they would throw out hitler's and the german warlords. -- ead >> at dawn this morning, the german armies without warning invaded the neutral countries of
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luxembourg and belgium. >> the king of the belgians to date surrendered his armies of more than half a million men. french chief of state has asked for armistice. ♪ narrator: britain was alone. czechoslovakia occupied, poland defeated, denmark gone norway gone, holland, belgium, france gone. only britain now. britain was alone. hitler's considered the war over. everybody considered the war over except the british. on the 11th hour, the lion was roused. >> will defend our island, whatever the cost may be. we shall fight on beaches, in
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fields, in streets and on the hills, we shall never surrender. [siren] narrator: for a year, they took everything that the nazis could throw at them. for one solid year from june 1940 until 1941, they were the only major power fighting the greatest war machine in the world. [explosion] [sirens] ♪ narrator: they took body blow after body blow, solid punches before they even had their guard up. all they did was take it on the chin and hang on to the ropes. they never went down. ♪ and while they buried their dead , they prepared grimly and
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finally for the day when they could strike back. there were no victories, just defeat after defeat. some heroic like the beaches of dunkirk, or like the hills of greece, where british soldiers landed to keep their place of honor with the greek people. landed knowing that they were facing overwhelming odds, but some left glorious. hong kong, singapore, and burma. but through all of these long months, the british people were thinking and planning and working, only for the day when they themselves could take the offensive. and that day came. [airplane motors]
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[gunfire] narrator: it was the british that made the germans realize that war could be brought to german soil too. day after day, night after night. ♪ [explosion]
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narrator: the offensive continued in greater and greater strength. that's in the air, and on the ground 1500 miles away in north , africa. [explosion] [cannon fire] ♪
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narrator: 1700 miles in 122 days. 1700 miles of sand, and wind, and enemies. what's more, the people of great britain heard their church bells ring. [bells ringing] narrator: more than three years earlier, they had been warned that this would be the signal of invasion. but long since the nightmare of the threat of invasion had passed, now the bells rang out in the song of thanksgiving, the song of victory. [bells ringing]
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narrator: now there is the plain and simple truth about great britain, but those on the axis team know that the only chance of winning is to spin our team up. so his team plays a game in which they have had a lot of practice, a game called divide and conquer. men like these tell the british we are not taking the war seriously. they tell the russians we are letting them down. they tell the british the russians will sell them out. they tell us -- >> it is ridiculous for the warmonger roosevelt to tell the american people that they have anything in common with the british. on the contrary, they are different in every respect. narrator: well there are , differences, that is true. for instance, we drive on the right side of the road. britain -- we go for baseball. [applause]
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narrator: they have another number called cricket. [applause] narrator: and anyone who ever drank coffee over there knows why there will always be an england. >> is your coffee alright, sir? give us a glass of half an hour. blimey, you would think of the poor old mill. >> he gets his watch. ♪ >> and then tchaikovsky's smaller piano -- >> seller retirement.
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>> i do they always mush so much with corn in their mouth? you cannot understand a word they say. narrator: yes there are , differences, but there are a few things britain and america have in common. and these are the important things in life. a little thing called a free representative government, we call it congress. they call it parliament. a little thing called freedom of speech. >> in the next war, you don't have to go to it. they will bring the war to you. the trenches are just outside. >> this meeting is called under the american workers body. an organization dedicated to the organizing of the working class of america. narrator: freedom of the press, freedom of religion. they may not be important to hitler, but all of these things are the common heritage of john john q. public and great britain. several years ago, our ancestors
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fought for the magna carta. >> no one will be denied or delayed write or justice. narrator: 300 years ago the petition for rights. >> no man should be compelled to yield any tax without act of parliament. narrator: these came to our country with the earliest settlers, and then -- and from them developed. >> congress will make new laws in respect of religion, where speechng the freedom of or the press or the right of the people to peaceably assemble. narrator: we make gags about the accent, but we speak the same language of freedom. even when we wrote the declaration, we were at each other's throats. we were free to say -- >> you cannot but respect to their cause and wish to make it your own. narrator: and alongside his great naval hero, john britain and his naval hero nelson, john britain has put george washington. square,arliament
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abraham lincoln. of course, hitler does not like this kind of talk. his job is to sell the british that we are a nation of money grubbers and gangsters. while in the next studio, he is telling us the idea that the british are dopes. that john q public and john britain are entirely different. all right hitler, where of these miners? wales or west virginia? these farmers, devonshire or wisconsin? these steelworkers, sheffield or pittsburgh? these children, american or british? they live in lands which share the same hope the same ideals, , and unlike the poor children of germany, in lands where the
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truth is free. ♪ narrator: but let's not kid ourselves, great britain is not the united states. and the united states is not britain. for instance, we do not go for this kind of thing. they do. but there is no mystery about that. remember our grandmother's house? it was old-fashioned and out of date, passed down by generations, and filled with relics even grandmother could not understand. well, john britain has been living in his house for a long time. that is why to us that live in the modern house that we built ourselves to suit ourselves, in great britain, there are traditions, like the king for instance. the present king road to the same coronation in the same coach to the same church that
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his ancestors did. but the job he took on is very different from theirs. there are some changes made, for the british king can no longer make laws or impose taxes or interfere with the government. work as hardmily as any other citizen, doing the job people expect of them he is , a servant of the people and and not its ruler. when an american is arrested and brought to trial, the bailiff calls his case. >> the people versus john doe. narrator: but if such a case were called in john doe -- great britain -- >> the king versus john doe. narrator: it means the same thing. today, the king is a symbol of the people. the british are great fans of buckingham palace, but when they sing god save the king, they are not worrying about his health. bless the british
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people. and the dukes and girls -- earls, people took away the power of the lord's. dukes and earls do not run the country anymore. today there are only two people who do that, john britain and his wife. as mr. to the polls just and mrs. john q public do here and elect their representatives to the house of commons. and they fix the taxes and make the laws. and if they want to get rid of their representatives, they can at any time vote them out of existence. but john doesn't want to get rid of them, so he confuses us by keeping dukes and earls in a country where unions have long been accepted as a democratic system where the labour party , controlled by the unions is one of the two great political parties. where longshoremen and railroad
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engineers have been ministers of the time. and for 30 years they have had , social security, even more extensive than our own. so when you read about the lords, former head of air traffic production do not think think they got them because of their families. they got them because they were the best man for the jobs, just as the former labor leader and now member of the war cabinet, started as an errand boy that is now the minister of home security, got there important heir important jobs because they were the best men for them. but the things on the surface, differ. but the important part of their lives, they are run the same way, the democratic way, the freeway. but this gentleman never bothered about the troops. and when john britain started carrying the war to germany, he tried a
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. -- a new line. >> to save the british empire. narrator: ok, let's take a look at that one. here is the british empire. here is where the germans were headed after britain declared war. does that look like trying to save the empire? tackling germany when it was headed to poland and russia? with one direction where there were no british possessions? after poland fell, hitler tried to do peace with the british. this was a perfect chance to save the empire. but it wasn't saving the empire that the british were thinking about. >> his majesty's government, in respect of any peace offer by r, we are not in any circumstances prepared to negotiate with him at any time of any subject.
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[applause] narrator: and after britain had been on the losing end month after month, it had another chance to save the empire. even now, hitler's thought john britain would make a deal. we heard the british answer. >> what kind of people do they think we are? is it possible they do not realize that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget? [applause] and let's take a look at the british empire. the freedom we fought for in 1776, britain has since freely given to canada, australia, new zealand, south
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africa. these are independent nations, with their own parliaments, their own laws, even their own money systems, their own tariffs, which often work to the disadvantage, their own armies and navies. narrator: britain could not even take them into war if she wanted to. each one of the british commonwealth of nations declared war on germany of its own free will. >> no one ever talks about the british empire today without mentioning india. and men of goodwill in great britain as well as other countries have been outspoken in their demand for indian freedom. no man who believes in democracy four can support the foreign rule of any people. but there are things that many of us do not know about india. for instance, that india pays no taxes to britain, either
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directly or indirectly. that the indians fix their on -- their own tariff laws frequently to britain's , disadvantage. of the council 11 of the 15 , members are indian. and in the courts, 10 of every 11 judges. furthermore, no indian has ever been conscripted for the service in the army and navy. it was voluntary enlistment that raised the indian army from 170,000 to the outbreak of war to a million and a quarter today. and on the subject of india, listen to the words of field marshal john christian smuts. he fought against the british 40 years ago, was defeated in his fight, and still became the leader of one of the british commonwealth of nations. prime minister of south africa. >> india, if she will, can be free in the same way and by the same means as canada and , australia, and new zealand.
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our today sovereign states. those people worked out the constitution for themselves. the same course is open to india if the peoples of india will agree about the terms of a free constitution. freedom is not a thing that can be imposed from without. it can only be created from within. >> the indians have a responsibility to reconcile the differences that exist in the its indian population with hundreds of different languages, religions, and on march the 11th, 1942, the british government placed itself on record and promised full self-government to india if india will work out a constitution that will satisfy its people after the war is over. but during this war, military leaders agree that allied troops are needed in india as a democratic block keep the nazis and japs from uniting. there, it provides the
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basis to get at the japs from burma. in other parts of the empire, democracy stand on guard. if it weren't for the british in -- andcyprus, alexandria they are hanging onto them regardless of the cost. without the drive to tripoli, there would have been no north american -- no american landing in north africa. ♪ >> there is another tune the nazis play about the british empire. >> the british are fighting -- sitting back, letting others fight the war for them. narrator: we know that too well. written will fight -- britain will fight. the troops that thousands of canadians and australians and new zealanders have gallantly fought and gallantly died in crete, in greece in libya.
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,but there is something the nazis won't see, something pretty important. out of every 10 inhabitants of the british empire, one comes from britain. but of the casualties suffered so far in this war, seven out of 10 were born and raised in britain. one of 10 in population, seven of 10 in casualties. air, of the planes flying with the raf of great britain two out of three are crews from cruise -- britain and the planes on the overseas front, four out of five are manned by men from britain. and then there's a little thing called the british navy. from 1588, it went against the spanish armada, to 1940 when we got onto the two ocean navy. that too is manned almost entirely by men from britain.
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the little island in the atlantic, and island [indiscernible] and the british royal navy, still the greatest merchant navy in the world, despite all hitler's can do. men from every british town, on the stoke holds of every ship, on ice coated darks, in grimy engine rooms, men who have been torpedoed twice, three times. ♪ there is one english sailor has been torpedoed six times and still signed on again. >> but we never hear about these things because of a curious character whose ways will never be completely understandable to
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an american. john britain himself. he has an idea that he shouldn't talk about himself and what he does. he calls it bad form. we call it damn silly. he say of a spitfire, oh he is -- she is not a bad little kite. but this band, the boss of the german air force, can tell us the spitfire has been the deadliest fighter in the world. and we certainly need an interpreter when this happens. all right, except that he spent two days in the icy waters of the north atlantic after being poor peter owed on the way to murmansk. see this man. this man, believe it or not, is the first man who flew the atlantic nonstop. in 1919, eight years before anyone else, he and john elkhart flew nonstop from newfoundland to ireland. it goal, the british let
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at that and he went back into obscurity. there is nothing wrong with john britain that a course in showmanship wouldn't cure. narrator: for a moment imagine that you are not american, but british. you would still be in uniform. but in britain, every man between the age of 18 and 41 unless he can not be replaced, is already in uniform. your old man too. he has had to quit guessing about the last war. they are starting to draft men up to 51. dependence or no dependence if , you got yourself into this mess, your draft board will say frightfully sorry old chap, , but you are in the army anyway. and your kid sister, if she was a sailor or in the air force or the land army or a ferry pilot earn the fire brigade, she is
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probably in the army. for they draft unmarried women up to 30. and even if she is married, every woman up to 41 can be drafted to work with war plans. and 8 million workers, men and andn, can quit their jobs enroll without government permission. this is about german guns and german planes. every body, man or woman, young or old, is in the front lines. ♪ narrator: maybe this isn't your idea of britain. the ads were different, and you wonder if they still make bows
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and arrows at the village forage. they have kept quiet about industry, just as this one leaves out the aircraft plans in the auto fields. they have what you have read about. the quiet country lanes. but they also have the steel mills of sheffield the , pittsburgh of britain. they have the picturesque little villages, the gently flowing streams, the lovely old castles, but they also have the shipyards of the river clyde. not as modern as henry kaiser, but still one of the greatest in the world. they have the old cathedrals, which remind us of a rich tradition. but they also have the great industrial cities of birmingham, glasgow, manchester, leeds. they seldom if ever saw an american tourist, but they made a britain, even in peacetime, one of the greatest industrial powers in the world.
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and in wartime, even as late as july 1942, this little island no larger than the state of idaho, was making more war equipment goods than we were. maybe you thought john britain sat there and waited for us to send in planes, and guns, and tanks. he would be grateful for what we did for him. it saved his skin when he was in a tough spot. but today, relief works in more ways than one, for today john britain himself furnishes planes and guns through the same lend lease to us, to russia, and his other allies all over the world. in britain alone, our forces have received free from the british and millions and a half tons of food, clothes, and munitions, and 2.5 million tons of other materials. there is another thing you want to know about britain. if your unit gets sent there, you probably won't be invited
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out for supper or for a drink. that's not because the british don't want to entertain you, they have not anything to entertain you with. britain is mobilized for war. total war. and that means an end to civilian supplies. if you were a britisher, you wouldn't expect your girl to use lipstick. there isn't any except what we bring over as bait. she wouldn't be smartly dressed for clothes, severely rationed very unlikely she wears , stockings, but if she bought a pair of stockings in london, that would be all the clothes she could buy. that is some rationing. we think our gap rationing is tough, but john britton gets no gap at all. he goes to a pub to buy a bottle of whiskey. the pub keeper laughs in his face. grain is needed for industrial alcohol. industrial alcohol is need for
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munitions. and nearly all the reserve stock of british whiskey is kept for sale to america to pay for the goods britain buys here. so don't forget, besides lend lease britain buys and pays for , vast quantities of goods. and if the cash purchases that britain made before we entered munitionsat gave our industry our style and enabled us to build it up in record times. he goes to buy a pack of cigarettes. there probably aren't any. but if there are -- >> two shillings, please. narrator: that's $.40 for a pair of cigarettes. the pack is paid to the government. britain is going all out in taxation. nobody is making any money out of this war. industry is paying. excess profits tax is 100%. labor is paying.
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the man who earns $33 a week pays 29% income tax. and the rich man, if there are any of them left, pay that income tax of no less than 97.5%. and then there is the matter food. there are not many fat men nowadays, but john britton is not complaining. he knows that it is helping him to win the war. the british rations are the rations of a free people. they could get food as they did in peacetime from canada, australia, but that would take ships and the british prefer to , use the ships for supplies to russia. troops tom america, the mediterranean. to win the war, every britisher is on short rations and has been on short rations for two years. everybody except the children. they get four times the eggs that grown-ups do. they get all the oranges that arrive in britain. and practically all of the extra milk.
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but john britton is thinking of after the war. of the new world that his children and ours will inherit. a world where there will not only be freedom of speech and freedom of worship, but also freedom from want and freedom from fear. >> if it is not given to us, to peer into the mysteries of the future. my hopes andow days sure in violet that in the days to come, the british and american people will for their own safety and for the good of all work together in majesty, in justice and in peace. , >> this is what the british are fighting for. they are an old people a , stubborn people, and sometimes they had moved slowly. but in three years of blood, and sweat, and tears, john britain
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has found his sword. ♪ narrator: now he is tough, now he is determined, and now he knows where he is launching to victory and to a new world. he is a good man to have on our team. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] announcer: coming up this weekend on "american history tv" on c-span3, as the national park service begins to prepare for its anniversary, we look at the
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california national and state parks tonight at 10:00 eastern. filmeel america," the "land of the giants." it looks at the daily life in work camps. the undergrowth for prior -- fire prevention provides lumber for nearly any kind of construction job which may be desirable. the convoys make everything from heavy timber to park signs. announcer: and a panel of scholars examines the musical in it,on", the history and the relation between academic history and the history portrayed in popular culture. and then wrote to the white house-- road to the white rewind. bob dole faces off with bill clinton. >> the bottom line is, we are the strongest nation in the world. we provide the leadership, and
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we are going to have to continue to provide the leadership. let's do it on our terms when our interests are involved, and not when someone blows the whistle of the united nations. >> i think we have been successful in haiti, in bosnia, we moved to kuwait to stop saddam hussein. our fleet in the taiwan straits when he tried to end the north korean nuclear threat. i think the united states is at peace tonight because of the defective and careful -- effective deployment of military resources. announcer: at 6:00, we look at the arlington house, the national park service ranger matthew den rod. leeas the home of robert e. who had married into washington's family. ofthis was to represent all the ideals of george washington,
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and that included once again the idea this nation would exist forever, and that no state had a right to leave it. that thatnic is it man's daughter would marry robert e. lee, who became the great confederate general and perhaps the man who came closest that any other man in history to destroying it, the nation that was created during the american revolution? announcer: for the complete schedule, go to up next, we hear from a panel that discussed how black americans understood freedom through the lens of economics, marriage, and citizenship. this was part of a three-day conference cohosted by the smithsonian national museum of african american museum and culture, and the us oracle association. it was called the future of the


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