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tv   Journalist Tom Brokaws Life Career  CSPAN  October 14, 2017 2:50pm-4:01pm EDT

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service by america's cable and ision companies brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. tv, tomamerican history brokaw perceives the great american's award from the smithsonian's national museum of american history. he talks with david rubenstein about reporting historical events, including water kate and as well as his, writing on world war ii and the greatest generation. this is just over an hour. -- [applause] >> happy new year and we are so appreciative you have come tonight and we welcome you to your national museum of american history. thank you so much for joining us.
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we honor and thank a legendary author, thomas j brokaw. newsr of the nbc nightly and now nbc special correspondent. so many distinct guests are joining us to0 including many members of the nbc family. meredith is right down front. .. welcome. . and we welcome our vice chair of the smithsonian region. ... [applause] in a dramatic shift from just a informationo, new and history is being disseminated through an ever-growing buried in fracture array of channels and media. many of us find ourselves
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searching for clarity for fundamental questions that underpin our nation. it mean to the american and what is the american and what is story of him we are focused on bringing the nation together through a real understanding of our shared american history. through fundamental american ideals and ideas. to create the most engaging, interesting, and inclusive that helpsstory people make sense of the present. as part of a 15 year reinvention, we open a new floor dedicated to the nation we build together one level above us. exhibitions and many voices one nation explore
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the power of our democracy and the history of participation, debate, and lies through the journal story of the people of our nation. open our third floor and complete the full transformation of the west wing by exploring how to mock has shaped our distinctive american culture. entrance is ae humble but astonishing national treasure. the printing -- printing press on which benjamin franklin trained in london in the 1720's. from publisher, journalist, author, the diplomat and scientist. he understood the power of a free press and the central role in fostering robust democracy.
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every american takes inspiration from franklin's examples. rule, knowledge the including our honorary tonight. as we express our sincere gratitude, we applaud and are deeply moved by his passion to make american history meaningful and engaging for all americans. to the national museum of , you're givingy has taken on many extraordinary forms. we are particularly appreciative of your contributions to the and your efforts bring us all together. who is the great american and why echo we will serve at ideals and ideas.
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let's learn more about this great american. >> from just a kid from south dakota to one of america's most celebrated television journalists. leave the news to america for more than half a century. tom brokaw's a great american. he was born february 6, 1940 in south the coda. it was a momentous time in our nations history. just as america began recovering from the great depression and just before became involved in world war ii. tom spent a happy childhood in in schoolta excelling and sports. but he always had his eye on the horizon. he started his career in television journalism in the 1960's. working first in the midwest and
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later in atlanta and los angeles. click senator robert kennedy brought his campaign to southern california today. >> he had his eyes on one as anment in particular, white house correspondent. in 1973 he got the job, covering the white house for nbc. nixon prepare to leave the white house for the last time as the first family. >> more success followed. to cohost the today show, which brought him into millions of american homes every morning. demo 12. >> he took the ultimate step. as anchor of the nightly news broadcast.
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he held the anchor role for the next 20 years. >> may 2, 1994 as a major date on the calendar of edom. >> his voice became a trusted staple. >> the soviet union is breaking up now. uniquearved out a approach. he could just as frequently be seen reporting from the studio and the far-reaching corner of the globe. >> live from the berlin wall on the most historic night in this walls history. >> often going on a hunch. anchor to report from the fall of the berlin wall. >> for the first time since the wall was erected, people will be a will to move through free relay. >> he was the worst american reporter to interview mikael gorbachev. >> are you prepared to reduce the number of men -- >> he interviewed every u.s. president during his tenure, covered every presidential election and spoke with the most
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important figures. >> the chinese say you are all -- you are welcome to come taxation but only in a ceremonial religious host, i take it that is unacceptable. >> -- raise, global warming, and the war on terror. he penned numerous that is. of whatned to the theme he knew best and first. >> you that haven't been back your for 40 years. >> to many lessons of those he famously calls the greatest generation. were humbled by what they had done. i thought oh my god, these are the people who raised me. i have to write about this. demo for nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc nightly news with tom brokaw. >> after 22 years of bringing americans the news, tom stepped
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on december 1. >> i say thanks for all that i have learned from you. that has been my richest reward. >> he has won numerous awards. >> it will be days later that you realize the significance of such. a lifetime ofs achievement. he donates to the smithsonian museum of american history, a piece of the berlin wall. him.he favor present to it is west point's highest honor, awarded to u.s. citizens that exemplify the ideals of duty, honor, and country. has become an elder statesman for the highest quality in american journalism. way we canto find a
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understand each other. we come from many times different cultures, but we are common americans and we have to find a way. >> from just a kid from south dakota to one of the most celebrated news journalists. tom brokaw is a great american. his story is a part of american history. [applause] >> please welcome david rubenstein and tom brokaw. [applause] tom: thank you, it is a great honor. david: tom, thank you so much for coming.
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tom: it really is a honor for me to be here. this is one of my favorite istitutions and as a kid looked at the artifacts of american history. when i was growing up in south ,akota on the missouri river y.e day i was a rock pupp i found the extraordinary piece of wood. it is what the indians coming up in that part of the world would harvest because they would make arrowheads. have this tool that must've been given them the capacity to make tools.
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david: those of us who have grown up in metropolitan areas storiesave south dakota to tell. i have always been envious of those stories. achievedink you have your success if you had not grown up in south dakota? tom: i don't know, i thought it was very important. i grew up with a very close family. my dad dropped out of school in the third grade. he came from a large slightly dysfunctional family. at the age of 10 he had to leave school and had to work. he was taken in by a swedish him stutter who taught him how to drive a team of horses. skille later traded that for a passing construction crew saying they needed a horse driver.
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if ever a man and a machine were meant for each other was my father. if it had a motor he could fix it. my mother was the opposite. she came from a irish family that was on a farm in misery. and i would often say how did you two get together? that your dad was a polite guy who showed up on our door. he always had a little extra change to go do things. when i look back on that now i think about how hard it was my father to be growing up in a time when he would not amount to anything. down andd-60's he sat we were astonished how hard it have been for him. unfairr said it was
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because he had to work his way through things. david: you grew up in south dakota at the yankton high school. then you went to the overseeing of iowa? why did you go there? tom: it is a bit of a long story. i was 10 of a precarious kid i had a lot of ambition. yankton was a big deal for me. i went to high school with 40 kids than 400. i remember walking up the steps to the high school. a man came running out of the school and i thought it would be a cheerleader it was a miracle because i have been married for 40 years. was a serious debater
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and the idea that she was going to be a cheerleader was quite astonishing to everyone. we quickly became friends. i do remember that was my first day at school. you spent only one year andhe university of iowa majored and beer and the transferred back to south dakota. there is hope you had -- meredith told you to get your act together? tom: she said more than that. i kind of came out as a whiz kid. she was a cheerleader and i was a job. we had this trajectory. people said why did you date? i did not think she full around. she thought eyeful around. [laughter] pals.e great
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abouthe got in my face that it was a really incredible moment because i had so much regard for her. sheve this turnaround and saw this coming. we stunned all of our friends at me got married. no one saw that coming. dakota --om jd, south yankton, south dakota and everything we owned was the wedding presents. you have a great life but no job. i had a great wife and i did get a starter job. it was at a television station. reallyed up to be a important influence. he took me to lunch, one hour
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later he said i never had anyone come to work to make as much as you. week, iive you $90 per was begging for a $10 raise for the way. to theying i am married daughter of a doctor. i did a three figure salary. he said ok. he kept his word. you then worked for a couple of other states and you got a chance to work for nbc in california, is that right? breakrom all i got a big and i was working saturday night. meredith was teaching high school at their high school. she was the head of the english department and that was foreign buffett'sd -- warren aunt.
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we did the one who could diagram a sentence that make you rich. i got a call one night from the biggest station in america. that was nbc in atlanta, georgia. it was a very accomplished station. they said they had a opening on the 11:00 news. i said this cannot be true. blizzardwn out of a and the magnolias are in bloom. it is a beautiful city. the headquarters of the station where it is and develop mansion -- they were held in this antebellum mansion. for that atlanta
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news. i would leave the station get on a plane go to alabama, go to georgia and find with things were happening. lot, radio and television both. nbct six or seven months they wanted to hire me and their station in los angeles. david: you did that for a few years. what happened was i had prettya reputation as a considerable political reporter in california. california politics was a big deal. i was on the air a lot.
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we had a great life in california. we had just built a house on the beach. they kept saying you have to come east and be a grown-up. i said i like california. out and theyke said that you have to go. a lot of people admire meredith. i said we are going to move to washington. she arrived in the middle of august from this beautiful beach house we had just built to find a rental. i thought this would be the greatest struggle for our marriage. nearby met artes -- so cheeredowed
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by his personality. david: you are covering the white house under watergate. when did you realize mexico not survive and that he was not telling the truth? think -- bob and carl were already pretty deep into the story at that point. what was clear is that those stories were not adding up. i was a member of the press corps i always thought it was one of the most impressive and responsible moments in american journalistic history when the press corps cover that story. i had a close friend -- everyone had kind of a running mate to cover for each other. mine was the wall street
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journal. they were in for a broadcaster was. we would go out every five weeks to go to lunch and have a hamburger. i would say it does not make sense. eyebrow andaise an say he is guilty. [laughter] we did not say that on the air. he ultimately resigned. 1976 you are asked to be the coanchor of the today show in new york. were you reluctant to move to new york or were you happy to get out of washington? tom: i love washington. i love coming back i have a lot of friends here. i love the makeup of the city. i am always very comfortable. i had just been through watergate.
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it was going to be hard to top that story. said was thing they they wanted me to be a anchor. in the meantime they wanted me to do the today show. the today show in those days had no competition, you could do what you wanted to do it was much more serious than the morning shows are now. beginn as i got there abc to reinvent morning television. they were very good at what they did. i was there for about two years and we lost the lead to abc. then the election came along where ronald reagan was running for president. decided thatand i i would be everywhere and the politics world. i would be at every primary, i would get off a plane and go to
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where the shots were fired at the pontiff in vatican city. they were going to make a news program but at the same time have the entertainment. politics has really captured the attention of the country. having covered reagan i knew he was going to be a rockstar. did they pay you extra for traveling around where do they pay the same salary? to tell you the salaries are different in those days than now. [laughter] a lot different. i moved to new york and we went to the city for the arts and the schools. our girls were raised in new york and went to a very good school. a store whileed we were there. she followed the things that she wanted to do.
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the today show was always part of that. i came to the end of five years at the today show and i said i do not want to be interviewing cher for the rest of my life. [laughter] even though she was entertaining. david: did you get tired of waking up so early? tom: there are two parts of it. you quickly learned that the most important thing to do is you are going to be in front of 35 million people. you had to be on top of your game. the other thing is people talk about the morning. i actually learned how to like it. you do the most important thing you wind down for the rest of the day. at the end of the day you are a our best. i got a letter when i was
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leaving the today show from a woman in pennsylvania. she stuck with me. she wrote a handwritten letter -- i read you did not like getting up in the morning. what me tell you about my job. i work at a laundry and i pushed these big brains of hotel bins of hotel laundry. my only good part of the day is when i get off and i watch you on the today show. then i have to get my kids off to school and do the other things. i tell that story to everybody who comes to the station. you are paid well and get a lot of help you are not working at a commercial laundry somewhere. david: you obviously liked it. then they say it is time for the evening news and the energy with somebody else.
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tom: when roger and i started it did not work. you cannot force chemistry. i have the highest regard for him. the show just did not work. was at cbs he was just starting at abc. we were not doing well. the powers that be at nbc decided they needed a younger guy. i did not mind going to where the action was. i knew most of the affiliates. that did not make roger very happy. then we began to turn things around. it was not easy. was if there is a story it is always a mistake not to go. i always went. david: you are the anchor for 21 years. you went to berlin.
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what was it like to be there the night the wall crumbled? easily one of the most memorable mites of my career. i did not expected to happen. colleague who is a foreign editor. he said there is not much going on in america right now. he said it is getting very restless in germany. they are pouring out of berlin to czechoslovakia. they had overthrown a terrible area atwas running the the time. it was chaos. the first day i went i got into east berlin for the first time and it was kind of quiet chaos. the next day i went back and i said i don't know if we will need the satellite.
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so he had not been thrown in jail but not quite in favor. i was going around east berlin. late in the afternoon i was going to be at a news conference bureau ofhead of the information would be resigning. -- residing. droning on.s someone handed him a piece of paper. thatsaid they had decided the residents can return. minute are you saying they can go if they have a visa or not? he got up and walked off the stage. [laughter] there were a lot of east german and they were all
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stunned by what they had just heard. upstairs -- i ran upstairs and i found the woman who made me andpointment for asked him to read that again. that means they can come and go. i said to you have any second thoughts about this? we grabbed the tape and ran downstairs. i had a group of my newspaper colleagues. the wall was coming down tonight. it had been broadcast in east germany. we got on the phone in those days and said we are going to go live from berlin and we have a satellite. i worked feverishly to make sure everything was there.
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i got the 25 minutes before we were to go on the air. the top of the wall was filled with west germans. the east germans were so terrified about coming across. the guards would get out the water hoses and drive people off the wall except for one man. he stood with his back to the water hoses he had his arms up triumphantly. exit go get him i can see him on the cover of time magazine. the face of the new german citizen. they said he is a drunk. [laughter] this is the first shower he has had. he is happy to be getting hosed down. news: normally evening anchor's love my and it is a great job.
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usually the only leave when they are pushed out. leavecided to voluntarily. at a relatively young age, why did you decide to leave after 21 years as the nbc anchor you could have stayed much longer? tom: i could have. i also felt strongly that new generations should come along and have every chance i did. i also felt that i could not leave the job during seasons that i care about. lovea bird hunter and i the fall. i wanted more flexibility. night when i was in montana and i was very tired. i came back and we were sitting they saidse and princess diana was in some kind of auto accident. injuries are called and told me about it.
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he said you have to go. i was leaving montana at 10:00 and i had a ticket to the could get me to detroit. i had a blazer and a pair of slacks and that was it. i was waiting in the detroit airport, i had stopped in one of tie places. i was wearing one on the day of the funeral. one of the guests we had was valentino. e.swear he stared at my ti [laughter] that was one of those things where i flew for the night and i got to buckingham palace at 10:00 a.m. the next day from montana.
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i had a full realization about how big this was going to be. there was a working-class guy .here streaming tears he said that she was our princess. she was my princess. this was the family for us. i said that is going to be big. you stayed with nbc as a special correspondent but you begin writing some books. when of the books was the greatest generation, what inspired you to write that? did you have any idea that it would become as famous as it did? tom: the last part i did not. earlier i had gone to a anniversary of d-day. three-year-old when the war happened. i remember very vividly. everyone was coming home around us.
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so then i grew up when there was prosperity after the war. my family was the first to go to college. my dad brought -- bought his first new car. everybody around us was like that. we were all being raised by veterans. legion sponsor the baseball team. they did everything. they never talked about the war. everybody was a veteran. went to normandy for the 40th anniversary of d-day. you can see those guys on the beach. they described right where they on the landing craft.
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it would cut it had been shot in the head and they are 18 years old and i have no leadership. they get onto the beach and they are terrified by a tank trap. he had memorized a light based on his extreme sledding in italy. he went over these guys and said there are two kinds of people. the dead and those about to be dead you have to get off the beach. they got on the bluff where they ines and theyd m got to the top where they ourized for the rest of lives we had to take it one day at a time. i was so shaken by that, i went to lunch and this guy came over to me and said this is the congressman from florida.
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he said he was here 40 years ago. he was with the 82nd airborne. i will play what happened. he started to tell the story of jumping behind enemy lines. , his wifecattered came over because he began to cry. she said she had never heard the stories. he said he had to tell the story only through and had a terrible time. they fought back and forth up and down the road. they thought they would going to be target practice for the germans. they cap fighting village to village. somethingre with you that i took away from that. i said how did you hook up with them?
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everybody had been given a cricket because that is how they were going to communicate. landed i had none of my team around me. once and two that means i am coming. that is how they put together their team. this is a metaphor for our lives that we should also bolick or realistically have one of these. if we stay divided in so many this to be alike new symbol of how we can get back together because when they not ask whaty did
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political party you are part of? they just said i am coming. they did that against great odds. keep that in mind as we go through our lives. i really think that could become the symbol of the country. [applause] david: when you are ready in that book -- when did the title come to you? tom: i was on the today show i wasatie couric and trying to think about what i was going to say. by then i had been speaking about these men and women at the time.
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with katie she said what do you think? i thought it was the greatest generation. there was this big political push with this. out as they were coming they were asked to fight the greatest military machine ever assembled and they did that. katie i think that is the greatest generation ever they foughtause very heroically. david talked about getting scrapped in pittsburgh and living on a army base and everyone was conscious about not having christmas presents. his crew made them for us.
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love -- have lines in the back of their legs like stockings. it was a total immersion. when theyime came could have a relied they said they wanted to put the war behind them. when of my very favorite stories werei had stumbled on wounded for different parts of the world. they were shipped back to america and went back to michigan where they were put in a larger room for their companions. they had talked every day about what they wanted to do with their life after they had gotten repaired basically. .ne of them was bob dole
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so it was a astonishing decided thatey they wanted to become public servants for the rest of their life. david: you have wrote a number of books. them was a life interrupted. that was your struggle with my lonely up -- with a disease. it was four years ago when i was diagnosed. very active across south america. becausene to africa nelson mandela was dying. i was fishing in montana on the river and i have this persistent back ache.
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everyone saying is you are always pushing the envelope. in the front of the boat and i inextricably fell. it was not like me to do that. i had to have a icepack all day. smart in turn was there. he said it should not last this long. this is a extraordinarily accomplished physician. didot blood and that he evidentiary medicine. he said to the head of internal medicine at the time that he has multiple myeloma. they wanted to speak with me and started reading all of these things off the chart. i thought it was a parasite that
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i would have picked up. the oncologist must have been when bedside manners were taught because he and said you have a malignancy. people have died from this. [laughter] i actually went into this kind journalistic mindset. my instinct check in at that point and i said is there a cure? they said no but they can maintain it. we can give you a good life. how long do i have? they said five years. you should do better than that because there are advances we are making.
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on the other hand i was thinking did they say i have cancer? that somethingd to fathom. the intelligence was looking quite concerned. i was on a crash course to get a documentary done on the 50th anniversary of the association of jfk. i was back in my room and i went back in my room in a daze. on how youad open treat this. i was on the board of the mayo clinic at the time. they did a lot of important things that i did not show up for. one of my very close friends was there. i said what you come over and have a drink. we went on to the bar and i said i have cancer and i don't know
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what it means but it will change my life. remember we had martinis and i had to do another test. i did not want to tell meredith on the phone. i got there late at night. in a very remote area on a winding gravel road. we got to the ranch and i would up to the bedroom and i sat on the side of the bed and said our lives have changed i have cancer. she is a real warrior very stoic and said what does this mean? i said i'm not sure what it means. i said it is not treatable. it is treatable but not curable. we went to bed in each other's arms i went up. and felt pretty good.
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i said i'm going fishing. i drove about four hours with a icepack on my back. two days later they had to medevac me because there was so much bone damage. i had a hole in my pelvis. i had several fractures in my spine. i had been very lucky. that it is aou defining experience in my life. you can think of so many ways that you are a better person. i am fully aware of what other families are going through all the time. they do not have the resources that we have in our family. about theery curious treatment of cancer and how you deal with it. i don't quite know how to
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describe it. they say this is the doctor you should see and this is the best facility for it. conscious about and verylity of life conscious about the importance of family and how you relate to each other. she is the daughter of a doctor and the other waited on stuff. i really in many ways have the i haveon of brokaw luck cancer but they are making great games with this cancer. that was a huge sf for us.
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i no longer wake up in america and say i have cancer. and say i have cancer. it was the first profound disease that i've had as a human being. i was on the fast track with my business had a great marriage and these wonderful experiences. suddenly there is this kind of -- shot fromide the side that proves that you are vulnerable. life are no guarantees in and you develop a new consciousness about the preciousness of life and try to show that as low. that is where i am. i expect to have a long good life as long as i need to.
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i have a friend who had gotten cancer one year before i did. i did not know this until i was diagnosed. we had been going through it together. his to get to fall apart and he was in philadelphia where there was a new experimental program developed by the chinese called rt immunotherapy. they developed inspecting kill the cancer. it is very toxic and not easy. he said with a reduction of my tumor i may be a limited -- i may be eliminated this. can't say how big of a fan i am of cancer research. by the way with the conversation they are coming here from east india and italy.
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they are coming from south america and working in the slats. labs. with the remaining time i would like to ask you to questions. one, when you look back at your life what are you most proud of and what you see as the greatest legacy that you'll ultimately have people think about? tom: i think the biggest thing is family. i got very lucky. we have this wonderful life together. she is a expert bridge together -- bridge player. is very cool and calm. what of my favorite stories. it will probably embarrass her. i was paralyzed with pain.
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in the middle of the night after calling her she would get up and she would get these funny bottles. everything was slow motion so i ended up calling it tai chi pee. noah or than her. -- no one laughed harder than her. if ever one person was to have one production -- one profession it is me. i absolutely journalism. david: the things you would like to do with the remainder of your 10-20 years of life? tom: i revert to the things i really like. i am not happy with my handwriting. i have ordered a calligraphy
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set. [laughter] it has been on open for three months or something like that. i have not opened it up yet. [laughter] i am trying to get better at the things i like to do. like flyfishing and that kind of thing. i love writing frankly. confidence in it for certain writing. times abouthe l.a. a accident that i was involved in. i wrote that story out and they displayed it in their magazine then i suited to get more confident about my writing. i really enjoy the process. i am ready more for the times i have another piece right out on the assembly line. i still love the craft of selling something visual that you would not get to otherwise. been aflyfishing has
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important part of your life. your brain is this day, why is it so hard to outsmart a fish, why is that so challenging? [laughter] tom: i will tell you a story. i have also gotten very curious about this. because i woke up in montana three weeks ago and i looked out and it was a kaleidoscope, nothing fit together. i stumbled across the room with a terrible case of vertigo. and mydownstairs daughter said it could be a stroke and we have to figure this out. the scanners.has i called my friends at the mayo clinic and he said they are sending a point.
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i am sure very few of you know of his condition where the inner air can be compromised. it throws everything off balance because it sends the signals to the brain. i could not walk. i had to have a walker and a cane. after four days at the mayo clinic they got me stable. basic you are lucky because sometimes it goes on for two months. i have one more there be session yet. that got him thinking about the brain. so you have to come up with a improvement of obamacare, just be in the board you can solve any problem. tom: i have to tell you something.
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care is complex and it affects every family in america. i do not think this latest one will fly. it make it somewhere down the road. it is much more complex than that. i think president obama made a mistake by trying to do too much allowed once in the beginning. repair it on the run frankly. it would have been better to take 20% of the country that did not have coverage and work on them. then find a way into it. now everyone is involved. the other thing going on with there are big hospital systems. the small hospitals have gone away because it is not economically feasible to run. it is very complex for those -- i know this
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from my mail experience. on a physically responsible day. ifyou make a state decide they want to do medicaid are not that is going to have a enormous social impact on the country. if they have decided not to do dedicate. the fact is this is a perfect example of where we have to get together. a lot of republicans promise they were going to get rid of this. i do think it needed a lot of improvements. cap votingars they to throw it out. when the time came they did not have a land. now it is also in a white-hot environment where everyone is looking in. a more think of important issue than getting
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this right. maybe the only way we can get it right is to say we will do the best we can for the year that is in place. you need to put together a bipartisan group. i am glad to hear your health is in good shape and that you are feeling well. i want to thank you for it or service to our country. [applause] tom: thank you. [applause] thank you very much. thank you for your donation to the nation's collection with the west point saver that we received from the united states military academy. with the motto duty, honor and
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country. as well as two pieces of the yourn wall commemorating historic live recording from that remarkable moment in history and several other important objects. they will be joining our collection of national treasures that will be preserved venture with the american people tom, would you please sign your life away? of giftument is a deed for what you have given to the national collection. tom: i really wish that i could send something where i am the very generous benefactor of giving you the first computer which i invented. [laughter] >> when you find it we will take it. privilege on behalf
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of the smithsonian to present the great american's metal to to brokaw for his commitment journalism and steadfast defense of freedom of the press and the life of public service and furthering american democracy for supporting the accomplishments of the greatest generation. as the american people face the impact of september 11, 2001 for his uncompromising principles and the american ideals. do this he defines service at the highest level and the true meeting of a great american. congratulations. [applause] >> additionally and this is very
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special just for you. we are honored to present you with a special gift from two pioneering americans. a reproduction of meriwether compassd william clark and we have pointed out here today for you to see. lewis and clark used this compass to help guide their journey through the country. it was one of the few instruments that survived their harrowing trek. may continue to help you guide the american people towards greater freedom and knowledge. tom: thank you. [applause]
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wow, look at that. i just want to make a quick observation. i actually grew up on the missouri river. it was a important part of my childhood. when myven years old parents moved to a remote part of south dakota. there had been a cavalry fourth across the road. a car came of that stretch and they talk about it in the diaries. --an't see how may times tell you how many times i would walk along there and imagine what it was like because it would be pushing against the current. the other things that would be was that the great
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plains were covered with bison. they were covered with oak. they were covered with grizzly bears. extraordinary savanna that existed. how they accomplish much is that part of the trip but then they get into montana and they go to the mountains and they go through the past when they think they will see the pacific ocean and that is on the western end of montana. they go all the way across to the pacific ocean. then they come back. lewis says the clark do you remember that river we crossed? that and ito go find want you to float and we will reconnect. we will reconnect at the is auri river at is what
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different river now. sacagawea new with that river was. she led a smaller band down the spent a lotere we of our lives at that river. they began this kind of and they expedition have their horses stolen. built boats and they floated on this river. one whole dayit because a bison herd was so great that it took a day to get across the river. they finally get to the confluence of the missouri river. nearby there was a piece of parchment with a note from lewis hereark that said we left
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by three days earlier. come fast i need help. they pushed their team down and caught up to them. lewis had been wounded in a hunting accident. shape, clarkrible cleaned him up and they went on. louishey arrived in st. people were astonished. everybody had given them up for dead. said we need to send a note to the president. his asthmatic to the mail and they turned it around. message to president jefferson saying we have established our mission and we have seen the pacific ocean. he signed it time lewis and clarke.
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clark had been told he could not have a equal rank. lewis was rated him as a absolute equal. i find that as one of the most riveting stories. quite honestly what i have done here is replicate how it was told around our dinner table by stephen ambrose and he could hold a whole audience in his hand. [applause] >> thank you, very much. for all of you there are some coffee and cookies outside. thank you very much for coming. [applause]
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>> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3. today at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war the author of by their own cause southern morale after black troops assigned to guard confederate prisoners. >> one might assume that is why they chose these troops paid in the mid-19 century most people believed black men are not talented enough to fight that they were not brave enough to fight. >> at 8:00 p.m. on lectures in history a professor on native
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americans and trade in 19 century california. >> indian men are cowboys. they look like a mariachi band, they look very nice. that kind of shows you the value that missionaries placed on the work that they had done. they were allowed first of all to ride horses which was generally forbidden. they kind of dress nice. >> on sunday at 7:00 p.m. on oral history we continue our series on photojournalists. >> if i say something about his hair and i take this photo and it looks nice. no one will ever believe that this was not set up. i just took the photo and wound up running to full pages in life magazine.
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over the next 20 years or so it was the best moments of life. in the it was selected issue of one of the best photos in life magazine over the past 75 years. >> american history tv all weekend every weekend only on c-span3. c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that affect you. coming up sunday morning a tea hery patriot discusses groups call for mitch mcconnell to resign. reporter on the epa's decision to roll back the obama era administrations clean power plan. the other talking about his new book russia and
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communism. the sure to watch washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern monday morning. join the discussion.


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