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tv   James O Sullivan and Grand Coulee Dam  CSPAN  September 2, 2017 2:48pm-3:01pm EDT

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the friendship between presidents hoover and truman. >> it is easy to overlook the fact that they had roots in farming communities, had known hardship and self-reliance, were transformed by world war i, and lived in the shadow of franklin d roosevelt. >> monday, the 1967 detroit riots. >> we prefer to think about it like a rebellion because all the energy and anger that went into that moment had long been predicted. people had been begging for remedy to housing discrimination, police brutality. bet frustration cannot understood as just chaotic and incoherent. it was a rebellion. on american weekend history tv on c-span3. we are on the campus of guns
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agora university in spokane, washington. it was founded by jesuit priests. a look at thetake james o'sullivan papers and learn about his role in the development of the grand coulee dam. can rememberllivan where it all began in an old -- tires blew out like firecrackers and the radiator steamed up with the regularity of a geyser. james stepped out and said someday this is going to be the garden of eden. water will flow onto the soil and the desert will bloom. countless people will come here. busy settlements will rise out of the sagebrush. james o'sullivan was born in 1876 in michigan. he went to the university of michigan and studied law and graduated in 1902. afterword, he started a law
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practice but found out there was not much there. he left to go to washington state and go to seattle. in 1905 and they came out to seattle washington to start a law practice. he cannot have enough work there, seattle was not booming at that time. there was no need for lawyers. he went back to working with his dad's business, that was construction. inwent to teach on a faculty bellingham, washington which we now know as western washington state university. in 1910 he left for a small town in the central state of washington where he got his law bar acceptance. here is a picture of him in his law office where he did cases
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dealing with land claims and land fraud cases. was importantion to james o'sullivan because he workhese farmers needed to in these terrible conditions. they do not have enough water. i have pictures. this is the columbia basin area. there is nothing here but sagebrush. this was taken in the early 1930's. you can seeure, that dust storms took over and made it hard to grow crops in these conditions. we received his collection of materials from james andllivan's widow, pearl, her daughter kathleen in 1948. he had kept notes -- everything he had he kept.
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1929, he started the columbia river development league, the idea was to promote the idea of the larger dam, the tall dam. he worked with local farmers and was able to get the support of the bureau of reclamation to support this idea and get government help. the columbia river basin commission started, and he was voted as the general secretary, which was the leader of this organization. his job was to go to the federal government and get funds. during this time of promoting idea, james o'sullivan had limited funding. he was on a shoestring budget. he was getting some money from these permissions who work -- from these commissions who were charging farmers.
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it was a grassroots effort until the state and federal government got involved. rooseveltranklin started donating $20 million, another28 million -- $20 million in 1934, another $20 million in 1935. they wanted more people moving to the area to establish it and not have it the away slant. there was more for the -- not have it be a wasteland. the benefit for the american people is that this dam would create power that would generate buildings and construction and people in seattle and all over the northwest and beyond. it made electricity a lot cheaper for the northwest residents and beyond that area.
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to build such a large structure, you need to hire a lot of men. there was not a city that could handle that many people, so they built their own city for this building. the construction company was walsh, and they built the town of mason after the first name. we have pictures of what that looked like. here is an aerial view of the town. the city supplied all their needs. games, it high school is now part of cooly city itself. the center there, the meat circle with roosevelt avenue going through it.
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we have housing on either side. we have streets named after trees and after flowers. side you have cedar and spruce.d fur and when the grand coulee dam was completed it was considered one of the largest concrete structures in the world area. it was started in 1933 and finished in 1944. it is 500 feet tall and 4200 feet long. after the dam was completed, he his wholee had spent life working on this project, and he died in 1949. tour staffes
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recently traveled to spokane, washington, to learn about its rich history. andn more about spokane other stops at tour. you are watching american history tv. we continue with our look at the history of spokane. live sunday at noon eastern, author and radio host is our guest on book tv. america is not defined by ethnic the exists. it is not defined by religion. every religion exists. we are the only country in the history of the world that was created and defined by an idea. in order to keep the republic as franklin enjoined us to do, we must know those ideas, we must
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understand those ideas, and we must live them out. >> his book includes wilder fees and -- his books include biographies. yourour conversation with calls, tweets, and facebook questions. >> this weekend on the givesency, lisa ocean photographs and diary entries to describe the enduring friendship between herbert hoover and harry truman. here is a preview. from the morning of may 28, 1945, this would end herbert hoover's isolation from the white house. a meeting in the oval office that would last 35 minutes, but create a friendship that would last until hoover's death in
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1964. write -- itsked to was several pages, but this was a couple sentences. , yes weesident truman did tell him what i thought of the food situation. i replied that the situation was degenerating all over the world, partly due to the war and partly to mismanagement. he had to take it as it is and there was no time to be bothered with recruit nation. hunger meant communism -- those were hoover's lines. .ruman would always be brief he had a two lined memorandum versus four pages. , dear hoover, thank you for your memorandum. it will be very useful for me. p.s.--i appreciate
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you coming to see me. it gave me a left. we discussed our prima donna's and what makes them. some of our boys that came in with me are having trouble with their dignity. it is hell when a man gets in close with the president. truman likes to use hell a lot in his writings. in his memoirs historians faulted him for the exact details of the first meeting. certainly truman recorded the spirit of the occasion, the respect, the urgency, the drama, and even the humor, as he noted that hoover remembered the oval office. entire program on our weekly series, "the presidency" at 8 p.m. eastern on
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sunday. up next on american history tv, a conversation with abraham lincoln scholar harold hose -- harold holzer, author of more than 50 books. he discusses his research and shares his views on current lincoln and the civil war. peter carmichael conducts the interview, which is just over an hour. mr. carmichael: i am very pleased to welcome a good friend, harold holzer to cwi. [applause] harold is the director of hunter college is


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