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tv   Jim Wright Special Collections  CSPAN  June 3, 2018 11:29am-12:00pm EDT

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plus, i got back to the gym. with not using the side, it was becoming frozen. now i'm able to with help extend all the way, and at one point in time, i couldn't get higher than about there. so there were two ways of fixing that, physical therapy, and surgery. so i said let's try physical therapy, and we did that. >> i think the tape is about to end. is there anything else you want to add? it was an honor to interview you. i can't thank you enough for the contribution and sacrifice that you made. i really appreciate it. it was an honor to meet you. >> thank you so much. it was an honor to do it. >> thank you. in americand history tv? visit our website. the lady view our -- you can view our schedule, and watch college lectures using archival films and more.
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american history tv at >> this weekend, erican history tv is featuring fort worth, texas. c-span cities tour bang staff -- to her staff -- tour staff visited. city is printed -- money is printed in the city. learn more about ft. worth all weekend here on american history tv. at the tcu library on the campus. i am going to talk today about the gym right papers that we jim wright papers. he lived all over texas during his childhood. ran for the texas legislature
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after his service in world war ii and served a year there. then he became the mayor of weather for texas. from the mayorship, he went on to run for congress and he was elected to congress to represent in 1954.2th district he served for 30 years, and then in 1986 became the speaker of the house of congress. the --, he designed resigned the speakership and came back to fort worth and became a professor here at tcu, where he taught in the political science department. he also offered many book and was a fixture around campus. he brought his papers here to tcu, and we have them. we usually have several researchers a year and do research on the papers on his , the politicsss
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of the cold war era, the 1960's the1970's, and ultimately partisanship surrounding his resignation from congress and the ethics scandal he was involved in. all of those are topics people will use the papers to do research in. have a permanent exhibit in the library that is set out in honor of him. it includes several artifact from his political life and personal life. as a hobby, he was an avid boxer. he loved boxing. we have a pair of his boxing gloves in the exhibit, and some of his shoes he were in the ring. when he ran for congress, there was a businessman and entrepreneur in the fort worth area who was very influential and had a lot of power in the
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local political scene. wright's opponent. to break the hold, jim wright took a full ad and wrote an open letter to the man where he challenged this very famous, influential figure, and the texas politics seen. had an impact on the election. he won the seat and he won amon carter's respect. a became friends and that is how jim wright entered commerce and the political scene. elected speaker inthe house in 1986, and
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1988, he started to come under public scrutiny. this was a public campaign put forth by congressman newt gingrich, who had questions abt speaker right's ethics -- especially's is for speaking engagement and royalties over the publications of one of his books and questions about his wife, betty's, employment. he took on a public role in questioning the speaker of the house and saying he needed to be investigated for ethics violations. housey, in 1988, the ethics committee opened an investigation into speaker wr ight receiving gives in exchange for speaking gain -- engagements and questions about his wife's
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employment. he became a publican. in exchange, he did speaking engagements and there were congressional limits on the amount he could be paid for those speaking engagements. in addition to that, he was also for the purchase of large quantities of the book at these engagements. that did not really look good. it is for others to look at all of the evidence and judge on that. charges what one of the was against him. they were also questioning the job his wife had and how much she was getting paid for it versus how much she was working. he addresses that in his response to the charges. was this just a job on paper, or
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was she actually working and receiving compensation for this? there were other questions related to speaking publicly and .ongressional honorariums a lot of these skirted the line of the ethics of congressman. so the house ethics committee conducted an investigation. they spoke to speaker wright and he addressed all of them. in the end, he decided he was not going to be able to be effective as the speaker anymore with these charges hanging over him. andanted a public trial congress stalled. he realized i am going to keep losing power while this is hanging over me. so he resigned june 6, 1989 from the speakership, and later in the month, at the end of june,
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he resigned completely from congress. in his papers, we have the copies, draft, and a final copy of his response to these charges. we also have letters written to him by his constituents in the support of him that he kept. photographs -- this is when he made his resignation speech in congress. draft copy with his notes and corrections of the speech -- his final speech that he gave in congress. he begins by saying "434 years, i have had the great privilege to be a member of this institution that is more than half of my life, even grateful ofple of the 12th district texas 18 times. my colleagues, my greatest
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honor, you may be certain that i would never purposely or knowingly violate any of its rules. those rules are precious to me. the speaker of the house is in fact the chief enforcer of the rules of the house. ,f course he must abide by them just as we expect every member to. for the past year while the committee of standards has investigated charges brought against me by another member, i have been silent. by waving an opportunity to speak to my colleagues on a matter of these charges, that opportunity has been repeatedly delayed. silence is no longer tolerable? -- tolerable. >> without any bitterness or any hard feelings toward anybody, i thank you for indulging me, as i answer to you and to the american people on my honor, my
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all of the and things i tried to stand for all of these years. >> he goes on to address the charges and eventually resigns. that is in the congressional record as well, his remarks. the congressmen that he is referring to that brought the charges against him and really publicly campaigned on this was newt gingrich. he went on a very public campaign that jim wright needed to be investigated, and wright felt personally offended some of the language that mr. gingrich used against tam and the charges that he brought against him and his wife, betty. many years later, after speaker wright resigned, he came to tcu.
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in 1995, he actually wrote a letter to newt gingrich addressing the scandal. i will read some of that. newt, there are some things i want to say to you and this is the best way to do it. these words are written not for publication but as a personal communication between you and me. first, even though we have some basic disagreements over the proper role of government and society, i respect your opinion, as i expect others to respect mine. while disagreeing with the -- iantial stress of your believe the speaker should have a specific cohesive program and a definite action oriented timetable. that is leadership. next, i want you to know that i was angry and personally offended when you call me a crook.
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that language was inappropriate and uncalled for. i am not aware that anyone has ever before called me that in my 72 years of living. a quick is defined by the dictionary as a thief, a swindler. for all of my shortcomings, and there are many, i have never been accused of being either. i believe you only an apology. if you are a gentleman, you will get one. he goes on later in the letter to actually forgive newt gingrich over the trespasses that he refers to them as trespasses. he says this is not easy for me. presided and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us. to repeat the words is easy, to perform the deed is difficult. at least it often is for me. but you are forgiven, totally. it is wiped out. that and the other hostile things you have said and caused to be done to me and betty is in
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the past. we forgive you. he had this letter delivered to newt gingrich, i believe by the chaplain of the congress. in february of 1995 -- congress in february of 1995. it was hand delivered to newt gingrich. in december, newt gingrich actually responded to the letter. he wrote to speaker jim wright, dear jim, i have thought and prayed over your personal note from last spring. i wish you know ill, and i will seek to avoid saying anything that would further hurt you or your family. i hope you can have a good and much chair without distraction from the news media or me. thank you for writing, new. t.
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this was a little bit before newt gingrich had his own ethics scandal in congress relating to book publishing. it kind ofame cler goal for him. is the information that we have in the papers related to this ethics scandal. that is of much interest to his story and researchers who want to look at jim wright and want to look at this time in congress -- his time in congress. many look at this event is the beginning of the partisanship in congress that still has an effect on washington today. it was a very significant event in congressional history. what we have here in the are some photographs and documents related to john f. kennedy's trip to dallas-fort
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when he began that trip, he came to ft. worth november 21, 1963. we have photographs of president kennedy and mrs. kennedy exiting air force one and their arrival in fort worth. texaspent the night in a hotel in downtown fort worth. the next morning, john f. kennedy take a speech in front of the hotel and jim wright was part of the delegation that was with president kennedy at that speech. went to the fort worth convention center for the chamber of commerce breakfast that day that kennedy spoke at. there are other photographs of president kennedy and jim wright together on november 22, 1963. the two men had a relationship and knew each other prior to this, when john f. kennedy was running for congress and had just published his book "profiles in courage."
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jim wright was in congress and had a local television show where he would invite guests and to speak about prominent issues. it was a way to keep in touch with his constituents while for one episode he hosted john f. kennedy, who had just published this book. he has an interview with him on "profiles in courage." congressmanis is jim wright in another series of five-minute interviews with people who are doing things in washington. i have a particular treat for you today. one of the most significant books to be published in recent months was written by a senator. the title of the book is "profiles in courage." the story of events in the lives of such great
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americans as daniel webster, sam houston, robert h taft, and others. i think you would rather hear about it from the man who wrote the book and our author is our guest today. the very distinguished senator from the state of massachusetts, john f. kennedy. this is the closest i'm going to get for a while. >> the two men knew each other and had a rapport. that makes these photographs even more interesting and personal, because this is one of john f. kennedy's last public appearances before he was assassinated in dallas. we also have in jim wright's papers his copy of the itinerary for that day that showed when president kennedy and mrs. kennedy were going to arrive in fort worth, and what their schedule was going to be.
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then, the itinerary for november 22, 1963. --is a poignant artifact poignant document because it goes through the entire day. of course, we know that president kennedy did not complete this schedule of events. but these are in the collection as well. jim wright wrote about his experiences that day, being with president kennedy in the motorcade. these are some diaries kept by speaker wright during his tenure in congress. these did not come with us with his original congressional papers, but we received them after his death. they offer a very candid insights into -- insight into his time in congress.
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they cover most of the 1970's and 1980's. they do not go all the way up through his retirement and departure from congress, but they do offer very candid insights into what was going on at the time -- thinks that he would not have been able to put in correspondence to colleagues or anyone else. these were really his private thoughts, both personal and political. the journals cover a lot of the things going on in his family life, but also his impressions of leaders at the time he was working in congress, and some of the issues he was facing in congress. this one, in particular, is very interesting because there is a of 1982 inm january which he says "it is sunday, an eventful week behind us. reagan's tuesday night state of
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the union appearance was a triumph of rhetoric. and actresselivered felt which has made it appear that they were springing each moment from his heart." he had a very high opinion of ronald reagan's oratory skills, and he goes on to talk more about his impressions of the state of the union address that your. there are -- that year. there are many in the book that cover topics like that. some were critical and some were positive. i think he felt that jimmy carter -- some of the passages i have read, he wished he would speak more passionately in his speeches. jim wright was a very good orator, and he felt this was a very important skill for a politician to have. sometimes i think he felt hard
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speeches-- carter's were lacking in passion. he did like reagan, and he mentions in that previous assets that his skill as an actor helped him in public speaking. that was someone -- he was not on the same political page as reagan, but he recognized a good orator when he saw one. -- signatureches pieces of legislation that jim name. was for bear his we have a lot of papers in his congressional collection related to the development and passage and public reaction to the wright amendment. especially if you live in the dfw area, you are very familiar with this because it had a big impact on air travel in the state. but the right amendment did -- what the wright amendment did
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was try to improve traffic into the airport. it was a new airport and they want to build it as the main airport of the area. had a majormendment impact on the competitor to dfw airport in dallas. what the wright amendment did flights fromited taking off and flying to neighboring states without first making a stop in texas. if you were flying say on southwest airlines from dallas to new orleans, you would first have to stop in another city in texas. southwest airlines obviously did not want this past because it was going to have a big impact on their business. but in order to try to push in business to dfw airport and get
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airport, thatthat was the purpose of this amendment. jim wright obviously favored this, and wanted this past to help dfw. he had a lot of pushback, obviously, from southwest airlines, local people living in the area, and even other congressmen and senators. in some of the papers, such as this from december 10, 19 79, it is a letter from barry goldwater , basicallyht expressing his desire to not see this past. he did not want the wright amendment hast and thought it would have a detrimental effect. there are many -- past and and thought ited
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would have a denture metal effect. this large folder contains letters from constituents -- would have a detrimental effect. this large folder contains letters from constituents. this is from a woman who lives near the field. she did not want it passed. she said, thank you for your did want ithe passed. thank you for your efforts to stop interstate flights out of the field. my husband and i moved to a neighborhood by love field thinking that dfw would be the airport and we have poured thousands into our home as many have, and now our neighborhood is threatened by southwest. she did not want southwest to increase because of her home value. in 1979, andssed had a major impact and the
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controversy lasted many years. a lot of people did not like the wright amendment, but it did help dallas airport become the regional hub that it is now. southwest airlines still became one of the other major airlines in the area. the wright amendment was repealed in the 20 beginning, beginning in 2006 and then finally in 2014, the last remnants of the wright amendment were repealed. it did have a major impact in this area for a long time, and it is one of his signature pieces of legislation. in terms of the airline industry and air traffic into the area, this is something that we get a lot of research or requests to see these files and to see how that bill came about. one of the things about jim wright as speaker is that he
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to expand the role of the speaker in american politics and american diplomacy. trip87, he actually took a to the soviet union, and he is pictured here -- he is on the left. his wife, betty, is in the center. and there is mikael corbett jeff -- the calgary jeff -- mikael gorbachev. he went to the soviet union to meet with leaders there. he also wanted to speak directly to the soviet people and encourage diplomacy between the two nations. he received a lot of correspondence from citizens of the soviet union at the time. those are in the papers. a lot of that correspondence is here. the reaction that speaker wright got from the russian people was
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positive. when he was there, he made a televised speech and received 800 letters from russian citizens that were very therable, and repeated intent of his speech, which was we would like peace between our nations. nd up being a very positive experience, and we have all of those letters here in the collection. what we would like people to know about the jim wright papers and about jim wright himself -- the papers really document his his birth androm his childhood and events that shaped him and inspired him to be a public servant, all the way through the challenges that he faced as a congressman. obviously, the ethics scandal that led to him resigning from congress and the effect -- the way that affected him personally
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. and theributions to tcu fort worth community are represented in the papers as well. some of the historical events he was witness to or involved in -- in 2015,til his death what a figure he was in texas politics. he really had a great impact on the fort worth area, and he was a major figure in american politics for over 30 years. anyone researching congress during that period, these would be a great resource for them because he was an eyewitness to it all. legislation major and the diplomacy of the united states at that time. he was also such a good writer and communicator that he was
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really able to distill these events in the written word into a way that really got to the heart of the matter. i think that the papers are just a great historical resource and historical treasure, not only about him personally, but about the united states in the last half of the 20th century. our cities tour staff travel to fort worth, texas to learn about its rich history. learn more about fort worth and other stops on our tour at detours. you are watching -- city tours. c-span american history tv. >> tonight, a columnist with a
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that travel is in, populism, and nationalism are threatening american democracy. mr. goldberg is interviewed by the editor of commentary magazine. book, you say that western civilization as we understand it or contemporary western civilization is unnatural. what do you mean by that? >> if you took humans and cleared them of all of the civilizational education and put them in their natural environment, we would not having conversations about books or doing podcasts, we would be teaming up into little bands and troops and setting ourselves against animals and other troops and that is what our actual nature is. >> but for the point of lord of the flies, if you have kids who are the pinnacle of western civilization at the time in
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british boarding school. almost instantly, the second you put them back in the natural environment, they became tribal and they k oileaer and attacked each other. atwatch afterwards tonight 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span twos book tv. >> next, on lectures in history, american university professor johanna mendelson forman teaches a class on food and how disruptions in agricultural production and supply whether by natural or man-made causes can be a catalyst for war. she also talks about the role played by food during world war ii and the berlin airlift. her class is about an hour and a half. johanna: today, we are on week three of our conflict quizzing -- cuisine course and the topic we are going to discuss is what is on your screen. can food drive war?


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