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tv   Presidential Descendants  CSPAN  December 27, 2018 11:05pm-11:58pm EST

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next, descendents of presidents ford truman mckinley johnson and theodore roosevelt meant to share their family stories. the white house historical association hosted the meeting attended by representative from presidential sites around the country and descendents of presidents from james monroe to gerald ford. this is 50 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen please welcome fred ryan, chairman white house association historical and deborah rutter , president of the john f. kennedy center for performing arts. [ applause ]. good evening everyone on behalf of the white house historical association is my pleasure to welcome you to the celebration of the 2018 site. the kennedy center is the perfect venue for this, it's so fitting because it itself is a
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presidential site, which is dedicated as a living memorial to john f. kennedy. and to ensure the up and take nature of this historical gathering, the kennedy center has brought us back to the 1800s in terms of the temperature in washington dc. [ laughter ] we want to thank you for that. [ laughter ] [ applause ] also, we have been given authority from no higher source than the chairman of the board of the jonathan kennedy center, david rubenstein for gentlemen and ladies who would like to remove their jackets and be more comfortable. so please feel free to do so. this year's presidential site summit is the largest gathering ever of presidential site representatives. these historic sites include more than 100 birthplaces and childhood homes, memorials and museums, libraries and landmarks from coast to coast. and we are grateful to have the site representatives here and
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for your devotion to educating the public about the american presidency. tonight, we have two outstanding panel discussions focused on the one thing that all of our presidents have in common and that is life in the white house. both will be moderated by the chairman of the board of the chairman kennedy center and a good friend david rubenstein and although he still has his day job david has emerged as america's interviewer and she so you are in store for a very special program. the first panel will feature the prospectus for whom white house history and family history intersect. those are presidential descendents. throughout america's history, our presidents offspring have often played a unique and fascinating role. their antics also enliven the stories of the presidencies. had lincoln for example used to drive both in a wagon down the corridor of the white house. amy carter roller skated in the east room. alice roosevelt gambled, partied and was even stay seen lighting wearing a live boa
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constrictor. this let her father teddy roosevelt to explain i can do one of two things. i can be president of the united states or i can can control alice. i cannot possibly do both. many presidential descendents have gone on to great things. two presidential children have later become president themselves. other children of presidents and their children have made contributions to american life representing a wide variety of fields including educators and entertainers. bankers and builders, artist and activists. presidential son steve ford even became a national villain as the boyfriend who broke meg ryan's heart and when harry met sally. other presidential site summit we have been honored to have over 40 descendents of american presidents join us. these unique americans represent the administration from james monroe to george w. bush. and amazingly, he's going to be here in a few minutes, but we
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will be a few degrees remove from the 10th president of the united states, john tyler. served from 1841 to 1845. he was born in 1790 and president tyler's grandson will be here. i'm not talking about his great- grandson or great, great grandson, his actual grandson ryan tyler has been participating in this conference and is on his way here tonight. and please make a point to say hello to him. i would also like all of the presidential descendents that are here tonight to stand and be recognized. [ applause ] thank you. thank you for joining us and for representing the legacies of our presidents and first families. our evening's second panel we will hear from those who portray life in the white house in the television and movies. and this is an enormous
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responsibility because for any americans and for those around the world, their understanding of the presidencies is entirely on hollywood depictions. imagine how different your view of the white house would be if you have only seen the american presidents? or if you have only seen house of cards? or, if you have only seen abraham lincoln vampire hunter. or, in addition to innocent to our panels from the entertainment industry will be joined by men and women that have been on both sides of the camera. they have worked in the white house and have gone on to advise white house hollywood studios and so we hope you will enjoy this special evening and now i would like to introduce our partner in this who does so much to bring everyday history to life and has been instrumental in the success of this and probably having one of her more difficulties of the kennedy center but please join me in welcoming the president of the kennedy center, deborah rutter. [ applause ]
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>> good evening and welcome. when stuart mclaurin called me to share with the fact that this summit was going to take lace to invite us to participate, i was overjoyed, because so many of us don't even know or understand we are the living memorial to john f. kennedy. my guess is in this room you all know that. but we love being involved in experiences like this and this summit. that said, i know many of you came farther than virginia or maryland or down the street and the saying is you only have one chance to make a first impression. and i just really want to say this is a hot place to spend time. we have been working on the chiller all day and i am really, really sorry. but when faced with the option of either moving it or
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canceling it, we decided that we would all be here and experience it together. and last night it was warmer, right? so, thank you, thank you so much for being here and thank you to the white house historical society for all their work during this summit and for including the kennedy center. today is a really interesting day, if all sort of between august 25 and september eighth. august 25, however was the 100 first day of leonard bernstein and september 8 is the anniversary of the kennedy center. it's just our 47, we are getting ready for the 50th so i hope you'll return for that. now you may ask why i mention those two things and for all the historians in the room, you probably remember a couple of things but i'm going to share them for those of you who may not know.
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in 1962, the president and mrs. kennedy hosted a fundraiser at the white house for what was known at that time as a future natural cultural center. and who was the host? leonard bernstein. and he was hosting a beautiful musical program, one of many in fact that took place at the white house. and it featured our own beloved artistic advisor at large, yo- yo ma as a 7-year-old. a very special program and you can find it on youtube but it reminds you of the reality of seeing president and mrs. kennedy with those artists who are living today and who can tell you about it and leonard bernstein was probably the most influential american musician that we all will remember. now, leonard bernstein went on to a composed the work of the brand-new commission for the
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opening of the kennedy center in 1971. the white house actually, and i would love to be able to share this and maybe we will hear more in the panel, but the white house was actually a place of musical performances. in my understanding, i'm sure david rubenstein knows more, was that john adams was the first, and he had and hosted the marine band was just barely in existence back on new year's day in 1801. and president eisenhower was the first to welcome broadway to the white house. but it was really president kennedy and mrs. kennedy who hosted so much. and whether it was individual artist like igor stravinsky, isaac stearns or institutions like the metropolitan opera, american ballet theatre or shakespeare festival, they were the ones that turned it into a really living artistic place as well. it is that reason that this building became the living memorial to john f. kennedy.
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when congress asked mrs. kennedy what shall we do to recognize her husband? she asked the national cultural center in his name and in fact inspired the contributions that made it possible for us to build this building that we are now in today. the kennedy center has really three elements to its mission. obviously, world-class arts, but also powerful education and programs that reach across the country. and were really well known in almost all 50 states and puerto rico and dc for our education programs. it's the programs that happen here all the time that really support and sustain the memorial to john f. kennedy. our work as we near the 50th anniversary is to strengthen that message and to really reaffirm and remind our patrons and our visitors alike that it is what he stood for, what he
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believed in, how he lived his life that we really represent here. we celebrate his centennial last year and really focused all of our work in that year around attributes that we describe to president kennedy. he never used the words directly but when we checked with his family, they agreed, courage, justice, freedom, gratitude and service. those are what inspire us daily to bring our works to our community and that is what we believe will be even more transparent as we focus on the 50th anniversary coming up on a number of years. thank you for being here. i apologize, i am not sure that's enough but enjoy yourselves. i know that david rubenstein has a fantastic program with you. enjoy. [ applause ]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please woken mark updegrove president and ceo of the lbj foundation. [ applause ] >> good evening and welcome to our lineage and legacy, the stories of the presidential descendents panel. in january 2017, before their father left the white house, sasha and melia obama received a letter from barbara and jenna bush, the first daughters who proceeded them in the white house. take all that you have seen, they advised the obama girls. the people you have met, the lessons you have learned and let that help guide you in making positive change. being the descendent of a president, while a great honor comes with challenges and responsibilities. participants in our panel this
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evening had gracefully embraced the legacies of their presidential descendents and used them to make their own positive contributions to the world. matthew mckinley is descended from two residents. he is the great grand nephew of great william mckinley, our 25th president and the great great grandson of our 22nd and 24th president, grover cleveland. tweed well wrestle bit is the grandson of theodore roosevelt and the price president of the theodore roosevelt associate which he has been associated with over a quarter of a century. clifton truman daniels is the grandson of our 33rd president and honorary chairman of the truman library library. lynda bird johnson robb is the first child of our 36th president, lyndon johnson.
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she lived in the white house during the last years of her father's tenure in office from 1966 to 1969, and for over two decades has served as a trustee on the lbj foundation. and susan ford bales is the fourth child and only daughter of our 38th president, gerald ford. she was in the white house during the bulk of her father's presidency from 1974 to 1977 and since 1981 has served as a trustee of the gerald ford presidential foundation. moderating our panel is david rubenstein the cofounder and co- executive chairman of the carlyle group and our country's leading patriotic platypus. generously contributing to the preservation of our nation's history and culture. he is also the host of bluebirds the david rubenstein show, peer to peer conversations. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage matthew mckinley, tweed roosevelt,
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clifton truman daniels, lynda bird johnson robb , susan ford bales and david rubenstein. [ applause ]. >> thank you all for coming. i want to apologize again as one of my roles as chairman of the board of the kennedy center and since the kennedy center opened in 1971 i think this is the first time the air- conditioning hasn't worked. but most of you who are descendents of presidential presidents, have probably had descendents for ancestors who did not have air conditioning. who knows when the air- conditioning was first installed in the white house? first installed for james garfield when he had an assassination attempt to cool
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it down they put some temporary conditioning in. but really the first real air conditioning when everything was air-conditioned was when it was redone under harry truman. but i apologize again, and i just want to let you know that tonight and the other part of the kennedy center, hamilton was canceled because we were not sure that the people who were going to that were as tough as the people that were coming to this event. [ laughter ] [ applause ]. why don't we start now and susan white we start with you, if we could. susan, you were a teenager when your father became president of the united states. what is it like to go out on dates when you have young men, are they intimidated to call you up? and how do they get to the gate? and does the secret service what you wherever you go, what is it like? >> they do, david. it was difficult. i was lucky, unlike a lot of other presidential children that i grew up in alexandria virginia. so i didn't have to change
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schools and i was in an all girls school in bethesda maryland. and, so i was dating boys and i would come home for weekends. and they did, first of all the poor boys would show up just ringing wet because it wasn't just going on a date, it was having to meet the commander in chief. so that's always the hardest part. but yet, they would follow us in another car on these roads with my date when possible, all depending on what was going on if there were threats, there were times when we weren't allowed to go on our personal cars. but it was difficult and i have never been parking in my entire life. if that tells you anything. [ laughter ] >> it wasn't at your senior prom at the white house, did you have to get permission from someone or was that easy to get that done. >> i did and i'm still the only one that ever had a senior prom there and i wasn't even on the
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prom committee at the time. but the group came to be and said could we possibly have it at the white house? and i said i don't know. so i went to the usher's office and the ushers office was kind of the liaison placed between the family and the white house or whatever you need ushers office pretty much takes care of it. so i went and spoke to the head usher at the time and he said he'd get back to me and so, they did. we did our own flowers, the flower shop ordered the flowers and they taught us how to do the arrangements. we paid for all the food and everything so the only thing we didn't have was a runaround. so it looked as if any other hotel, it just happened to be at the white house. and everybody in my class showed up for the prom. [ laughter ] >> for your father was president, he was house minority leader and also vice president. what did you find from the time that he became president that
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all of a sudden people left at your jokes more? and people invited you to more things and you found your life changed dramatically? >> no, it really did for me because i already have my set of friends and when there were other girls in my class who tried to become friends move me after me going to school with them for three years i kind of went know, i know that story. so i really felt very lucky that i didn't have to change schools or do anything else and i had a very close knit group of girls that are ran around with. and they really protected me both through my senior in high school and freshman in college years. >> so, linda your father obviously became president after the tragedy completely unexpected course where were you when your father was vice president? would you living there and then moved to the white house? >> no, i was at the university of texas in a dorm with 300, 400 girls. in those days girls lived in the dorms without boys. the change. and, they didn't like that the
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secret service moved in. and so they would lock the doors and 10:00 or later on weekends. and the secret service would stay in after that and so after a while, the girl started coming down and bringing the present. and asking their advice on this young man or that young man. and this was 63, so i finished up my semester at the university, i was a sophomore. and then my parent said that they really, really needed me in washington. and that mother just couldn't get along without me there to be the hostess and helper. of course in truth, we didn't know what danger might lurk back in the fact that the secret service had put cameras on the floors and just to make sure, you know that someone didn't walk in and go up the back stairs and so forth.
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and the girls did not like to have their freedom infringed upon. and so they would hang underwear on the cameras. and so we decided, we, mother and the secret service that i needed to come back and help her run the white house. and so i came back and every weekend in 64, lucy would go out and campaign or i would go out and campaign and we took turns. and i wrote half of the ladybird special trains to the south and lucy road on the other half and then we compared how many state did i carry with my presence and lucy hers. and then i went off after i graduated. i always won. [ laughter ] anyway, then i
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moved back in when, well i fell in love with my husband. i was a socialite, you saw the movie the picture of me in the wedding dress, well, chuck is in the audience. and i got to date him without anybody knowing about it. the press were indignant that they had discovered it first. but he was a socialite and we would play cards, play bridge. and his roommate dated my roommate. so we ended up falling in love and this last december we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. [ applause ] >> i'm very interested in presidential history so i called up the white house historic society and said i want you to look it up. is there anybody that has been married in the white house as
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long as we have? and i have to tell you a lot of the white house weddings don't work out very well. [ laughter ] i told chuck i'm working on the second 50. >> so, her husband, governor and senator rob is here and congratulations to all of your career endeavors governor. >> okay. >> one more story, my father was very concerned about doing anything that did not look right, so we got married in december, chuck was leaving in march for vietnam. chuck was, we were the last presidential children to serve in the war zone. but anyway, i am proud to have my marines, there is another good member of the naval forces john mccain. but we, anyway did all this in
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secret. well, the night before we were supposed to leave, rehearsal dinner, daddy pulls chuck aside and said you don't know this, but the plane that you are going to charter to fly away on your honeymoon is being bought by a big cotton government contractor who has lots of, you know, aerospace things. and so it would be very awkward if you used their plane. now, we were paying for the plane, we were renting it just to fly us off on our honeymoon. but that he said no. so there we were, on our wedding day with no place to go. no way to get away from the white house on her wedding day, and that's a whole another story and i never told my children what we did or where we went. >> i'm sure they can figure out what you did, but where you went. >> my husband was in vietnam and he didn't see her until she
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was six months old. >> okay, so do have to follow that? >> i'm sure you can so tweed, let me ask you you are descended from teddy roosevelt, and your descendents as well from franklin roosevelt? >> i don't get that much, but when i do get is that you do know tia tr since he died in 1920. but these younger kids they never know.? so let's talk about teddy roosevelt, after he was president he took a trip to africa and then later he took a trip down the amazon to discover what was going on down there and he almost died. in fact he was thinking of committing suicide because it was so unsafe or heresy dangerous for him and he got ill. now you later did the same trip and you wrote a book about it why did you decide to do that and wasn't as dangerous when you went as when he went?
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>> first of all let me correct the suicide thing. he told somebody years later that whenever he went on an adventure like this and he went on many that he always took enough morphine with him to kill himself and the reason he did that was that if he felt he was so sick that it threatened the other people on the trip, that he would take it and so other people can get out. so the only time he thought about that was the amazon trip. but he said i didn't take it because i was with my son, this is when i was with him. and he said i knew my son would take me out dead or live either way and it was marginally easier to take me out alive. [ laughter ]. >> so you were the head of the teddy roosevelt association. how many dissidents are there at this point? >> well, tr, i think my generation, i haven't counted the next generation, my generation there are 24 great- grandchildren. now, only a quarter of them i
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guess have the name. because they are either dessert descendents of women themselves. so that's the group and we have gone out and become fruitful and my daughter got married a month ago, two months ago, my daughter got married two months ago and when i gave the father the bride toast, she allowed me, she of course reviewed it, maybe marriage belong and fruitful. >> well, you didn't know teddy roosevelt, but you did know alice? b and edith, i knew his wife. i have course to alice, his wife lived many years so i was about 8 when she died and she lived in sagamore hill which was tr's home. and i never course lived in the white house but i did live in sagamore hill. and i remember her as an extraordinarily formidable lady. like alice, too and neither of them used too much time for children so when president nixon was resigning the last
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day, he asked his son-in-law to give him a book that contained a letter from teddy roosevelt. in the letter was something he had written when his first wife died and you remember this letter and what he said about the life of his life has gone out. so, with respect to that letter and with respect to teddy roosevelt, what is it that you most remember about teddy roosevelt and what he said at that time and the fact that he thought his life had ended and how did he actually reconstruct his life? >> well it's interesting, i have course to know him but my grandfather for the most part raised him because my father was in the foreign service and they were overseas and years later i realize, this was perfectly normal but a grandfather does with his grandson just with his father done with him. and all those trip, tr was very good with children, all those camping trips he took with children, hunting trips, my
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grandfather did with me he even told the same stories, ghost stories. so i felt i knew him that way. tr had a lot of tragedies in his life as we all do. >> his wife and his mother died on the same day. >> in fact until valentine's day in the same house. and he was a very young man, he was i don't know, 25 or something. and it was a tremendous blow as you might imagine. his wife had just presented him with a new baby and in fact she died partially as a result of that. so he was totally devastated. at the time, he was state assemblyman. he decided in solar roosevelt style that he would pick up the ball and move forward. and he went and finished his stint there, but then he decided to go out west and reinvent himself. >> now if i use your credit card and they see roosevelt how
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many people what percentage of people ask if you're related to teddy roosevelt? >> all of them. >> you ask if you can have discount >> when you have the name roosevelt you are at both sides of the fence. when i was younger new york most of the new york cabdrivers were democrats. and so when they found my name one way or another, they would start talking about fdr and i would is not appreciatively and so on. so, it works both ways. >> but can i ask you about your grandfather? your grandfather died when you were 15, but you wrote a book out about your experiences with him so what was he like in person? was he kind of a simple talking person, very direct as we know? or was he more complicated? >> no, he was simple and direct, you had to be careful when you are his grandchild. early on in my life you came to visit us in new york city and
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stay down the street. >> are you his only grandchild? >> no, i'm the oldest, there are three younger brothers. he stayed down the street at the carlyle hotel and he got up at the crack of dawn every morning and went for quick walk, grabbed as many newspapers as he could find, walked up to our apartment, let himself in and through the newspapers on the floor and read until somebody woke up. and my brother and i were first down one morning and he was behind the newspapers so he didn't see us. so we started to go into the den where we kept the television set. and he caught us and he said where do you think you're going? and i said into the den to watch the tv. and he said, you don't want to do that. and i thought, yes i do. that's why i was thinking past you. and he went between us and he went into the library and took out a book from the top shelf and he said you come out here and sit by me. and you didn't argue with harry truman so we sat down in the
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open the book and he started to read and my mother came down a few minutes later and stopped cold at the bottom of the steps. neither of us were moving. and we were just sitting there on the arms of the chair while he read to us from a book that didn't have any pictures in it. and my mother said what in god's name are you reading to those children? any shoulder. the history of the peloponnesian war i believe at 6:00 the morning to a four-year old and a 2-year-old. so, now, is it true this is urban legend true that somebody went to your grandmother and said can you get your husband to stop using the word manure? and her response was you don't know how long it's taken me to use the word manure. [ laughter ] as far as i can tell, yes it's true and even if it is and i'm going to keep telling it.
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>> you sometimes have played and father? >> i have there's a 40-year-old leavitt james whitmore originated that was called give them harry. i was trying to think of a good line from that store so he starts up online by saying i never saw myself as president of the united states of america. i was just in the right place at the wrongtime. >> he was the president who actually did not live in the white house for quite a while because the white house as i understand it, it was kind of falling apart and hadn't been reconstructed after it burned down in 1914 so he moved across at the blair house and an assassination attempt occurred, did he ever talked about the assassination attempt? >> no, that was one of the things that came as a surprise as i got older. my parents and my grandparents
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i think kind of cherry picked with they told children about grandpa being shot at it was not something they told me in until later on. >> you might tell the story and those days there were no presidential pensions there was no secret service after he left the white house. so your grandfather he carried his back to the train station after president eisenhower was inaugurated. he then went to independence. but then the first time he came back like 1953, he drove back, can you describe the trip?'s.? he caused havoc. my grandmother and he put the suitcases in the car, stopped traffic all along the way after they pulled into a motel, the motel operator called everybody in town. and after they finished the trip local authorities all across the country said mr. pleasant please don't ever do that again. fly next time. so, when president truman died, it turned out there was no pensions for widows of
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president of the congress passed a pension act, it was like $5000 a year. so how did your grandmother survive? >> by that time they had sold my grandfather's family farm in granville missouri not long after he retired. and that farm was almost 600 acres and they sold it to developers and that took care of all the bills. they even had money left to send their grandchildren to college. >> well, okay. >> now let me ask you a question you are descended from two presidents, grover cleveland and william mckinley. so which one do you like better? [ laughter ] >> it depends on the day. and who is in the audience and who you're talking to, because those, i think are probably two, i think are to the greatest. >> so let's talk about grover cleveland. he married someone who was the
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youngest first letter lady ever come is that correct? >> that's right, 21 years old, francis fulsome cleveland. and how old was he? >> probably about 30 or 40 years old or so, a lot older. i think he was 48 when they married. >> okay. and he served two terms, but not consecutively? and are there presidential memorabilia that you have in your family as a result? >> i do i have a ton of letters, and i was talking to george cleveland who is here today. he is the grandson of grover cleveland and we were talking about that today, yesterday, there's a lot of letters that exist, a lot of letters that he wrote. he was a voracious reader and a voracious writer and there are tons of letter that our family has accumulated over the years that he wrote in buzzards bay. >> i see. so have you ever heard the story of president reagan and
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his appointment, after he was elected he went to see tip o'neill and tip o'neill said this depth desk i have is the desk of grover cleveland and president reagan said i played him in a movie. and he said no you played grover alexander cleveland the picture, i don't know if that's true or not. >> so let's talk about president mckinley. so, he was elected, a senator from ohio and was tragically killed in a world's fair in buffalo. and that led to teddy roosevelt becoming president. so what kind of memorabilia you have for mr. mckinley? >> so i have a letter that was written on my birthday december 21, 1896 and it was not a white house stationery it was written on executive mansion stationers so it's very special to me and is completely preserved and i
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just treasure that. >> you look great for guy born in 1986. [ laughter ] so, how many times do you introduce yourself and say i'm massey mckinley and what percentage of the people asking if you're repeated related to president mckinley? >> all the time. >> and have you thought about putting cleveland in the middle of your name so you could say massee mckinley ?? i have so a lot of people loved him. and were they related themselves? >> they were not related. but the wonderful thing david is that grover cleveland actually attended william mckinley's inauguration, which i think is pretty special. >> okay susan, when your mother was first lady, she came down with breast cancer and in those days people in mixed society never mentioned the phrase breast cancer was very uncommon to say that.
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what was the thinking that she had about saying what the operation was to be, and did she ever have any hesitancy about it? and how did that change your life in terms of being an advocate for breast cancer detection? >> well, first of all we are talking about 1974 and we had only been in the white house about six weeks when mother went into bethesda naval hospital for her routine is a goal like any president or first lady does and they found a lump the size of a pea. so when mother went in for her surgery, and lynda and her mother and her sister were there at the white house that day visiting. you will see pictures and you will see a small suitcase at the foot of my parents bed. and no one ever looked at that picture and discovered that she was going into the hospital. so, when she got in there and they did the surgery the next morning, and they discovered it was cancer. in those days you did a total mastectomy. she had stage ii breast cancer and they did a total
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mastectomy. i don't take mother was prepared for the outpouring of support that she got from the american people, because in those days, not only did you not say breast cancer, we probably would have said mother had female problems and gotten away with it because that's what you were able to do back then. and when she found out so much about breast cancer and the women that were hiding in the closet and didn't talk about it with their husbands, it wasn't talked about it wasn't even said on television much less, she realized what an impact she could make with the american people and that is when she chose to go public about it. >> so president ford has a presidential library, where? >> and ann arbor michigan. >> okay and are you involved in that library, you and your family? >> the library is in ann arbor and the museum is in grand rapids which i think is the only use him and library that are separate. and so, i sit on the board of
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the ford foundation and we do events to support the library and the museum. >> where is teddy roosevelt library? >> there isn't one. they work presidential libraries then, so the vast majority of his papers that were collected during his life and afterwards, the personal stuff is at harvard library and the governmental stuff is at the library of congress. >> okay. >> so the museum he has is in sagamore here, and it's run by the house, full of his stuff that was there. so if you could tell somebody in two sentences the most important thing about teddy read is about what would you want them to know. well, i think normally what people think is the most important thing he achieved as president which was the conservation effort, 230 million acres, that's one out
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of seven acres in the lower 48, and that was a tremendous achievement. but another achievement perhaps for better or worse he created the modern presidency by viewing the presidency in a different way than had been done before. >> did he not also fill the west wing? >> you mentioned something about renovating the white house, rather his wife renovated the white house and the, too. but they later created the west wing later. i think somebody else mentioned it was called the executive mansion. but he changed the white house. >> lynda what i your fondest memory of your father being president? when you think back on those years, what did you enjoy the most or what's the best memory you have about it? experience >> i think when he went to the congress and ask them, and it was bipartisan, he went and asked them to pass massive civil rights legislation. [ applause ]
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>> that wasn't easy for someone who's best friends in the best season were not in favor to why did he decide he wanted to do that? >> you knew it was the right thing. before he had represented texas he had represented his constituency but time had changed. and he personally knew of the discrimination. he had seen it, not just with people who were african- american. but for instance, when he was a senator, our phone number was in the regular phone book and he got a call, a hispanic in texas had been killed in korea. and the local funeral home in texas refused to take his body, because they said that if they
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took his body from the battlefield to bury it in his hometown, that no white people would use the fruit home. and that did not sit well with my father. and so, he had him buried in arlington. and so, he felt that a long time ago. [ applause ]. >> now when i worked in the white house for jimmy carter, i was 31 at the reelection in 1980 and i thought if we ran against ronald reagan it would be good thing because he was 69 years old, which i thought was really ready for a nursing home. i am now 69 years old so it seems younger. but your father, it seems middle age now. but your father died stay four years old from something as i understand today could be solved in 10 minutes, is that
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right? with a stent? >> as a matter fact i feel very strongly about heart disease but unfortunately he gave those genes to me. but the doctor did everything he could. we had wonderful doctors, but daddy was worn out. he had led, he had his first heart attack when he was 47 and in those days when you had a heart attack, you just went home and vegetated. but they had had such good tear, doctor deadly wind had taken care of president eisenhower and they had learned a lot. and so, daddy survived and went on to have a very good, full life. but it had been hard. and yes, it is tragic that he was only 64 when he died and i am older than he was now. and it was just absolutely
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horrible. but at the last moment, and that was in january 22 and in december in the middle of a snowstorm, that he insisted on going to a civil rights meeting at the library, opening the civil rights papers. because he said, we have not finished this grade we must continue and he had wonderful crowd of civil rights leaders and local people and said it's up to you now, you must finish this. you must make our country so that we can all benefit because we need you! we need you! you are going to make our country better and so it's very important that you please do this. and of course he was active with the immigration law and change all the jewish people that were not allowed to come
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because the state department's restriction. he opened up asia and africa. those people could not come to our country, so he was doing it for the benefit of this country because we are richer with everybody here working together. [ applause ] >> now if someone wants to learn more about lyndon johnson, where's the lyndon johnson library? >> is in austin texas and we ask you to come, it's wonderful, we used to be the premier library and we still are in the sense that we have tapes of daddy talking. and he will be talking to harry truman, and i am fortunate enough to have to have met your great great aunt, princess alice was a hoot. and her younger sister was wonderful and they took her to sagamore hill. and president truman gave me a
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tour of his library. i mean, i have been blessed with getting to meet a lot of these people so, i hope that they'll come to the library of every president and learn, because there's so many things. i mean, christian can tell you about going to many of the libraries and learning, and daddy went, too. and so all these years i have been saying all those bad things about hoover [ laughter ] and i never knew he did all those wonderful things to feed europe. >> so is there truman library? >> there is a truman library. >> it's an independence missouri about half a mile from grandpa's house. >> and why did your grandpa where those wild shirts when he went to key west florida you mark what was that about?? everybody wears wild shirts when they go to key west
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florida. [ laughter ] >> is there cleveland library? is there a mckinley library? >> in canton ohio. >> and why is there no cleveland library. >> now you have an exit mission. >> there's a lot of memorabilia and presidential tapes. so we have run out of time unfortunately we could go on hours more. for those who want to see this again, this is going to be on c- span i don't know when it will be shown but let me just wrap up by saying i want to thank all of you for being here and thank you for what you have done to let the american people know much more about your ancestors and your parents, and thank you for what you're doing for the cause of making certain that more people in our country no about our history because obviously there's a problem that many of our people don't know about our history particularly about our presidential histories, so thank you very much.
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[ applause ]. sunday on q&a. >> so we are on the floor the united states senate and it is unprecedented. and no one else has ever gotten an opportunity to the for the production on the documentary on the u.s. senate on the floor now before they begin we are going to ring around the chamber and get some shots during the session and then afterward it goes down to the floor so this is special. >> c-span executive producer mark vargas talks about his work on c-span upcoming production the senate, conflict and compromise. >> if mitch mcconnell suggested this, how much control did he have over the contents? >> zero. when we met with him for the first time, we had a couple conditions, one was that a, you have got to grease the skids
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the democrats because if we want access to the republicans we have to have asked to the democrats and two you don't have any editorial control over this and they said well, that's fine. what we don't want you to focus on the acrimony. and so, we sort of said, you can't ask us to do that because we're not going to concentrate on it, but again we can't shy away from it we got to come up with a product that we feel people on the journalism site and people who watch the senate say they didn't give a wet kiss to the senate but you got to be able to watch it and say we didn't do a hatchet job either. >> mark vargas, executive producer on c-span's original production, the senate, conflict and compromise, sunday night at eight eastern on c- span's q&a. american history tv continues now with filmmakers and former white house officials describing their work on the presidency hosted by the
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white house historical association. this is 45 minutes. [ applause ] >> good evening i hope you have been enjoying tonight's program it is fascinating and there is more to come. a year ago i was honored when fred ryan the chair of our board asked me to cheer the white house historical association board committee for this important 4-day summit, i wanted thank martha camara, and our historian advisor michael bessler for their year-long commitment and their commitment to the planning of the summit. with a terrific staff of the white house historical association and the president vision and leadership we have convened more than 100 presidential sites as well as leading experts in the wide array of fields of interest of presidential site representatives told us that they wanted to hear from. i want to think


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