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tv   The Civil War Creating the Lincoln Memorial  CSPAN  February 2, 2019 6:00pm-7:03pm EST

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join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [indistinct conversations] >> you are watching american history tv, only on c-span 3. >> the dedication of the lincoln memorial in washington, d.c., took place in 1922, almost 60 years after abraham lincoln's death. next, harold holzer talks about his book "monument man: the life and art of daniel chester french." which examines the life of the sculptor best known for the statue of lincoln that serves as the memorial's centerpiece.
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this program from the annual lincoln forum symposium is about an hour. >> good afternoon and welcome to the second session of the lincoln forum. i want to make one correction before we begin. in your packet, there are biographies and mine suggests that i am the provost at howard university. the provost,ss, would be very surprised to hear that. that's him. [laughter] ok. so, we'll start with that. but, in any case. i have the great pleasure of introducing harold holzer. for nearly arold century, not a century about a quarter of a century. [laughter] i'm reminded of the mistake --
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since the last century, that's right. i've known harold for nearly a quarter of a century and of had the pleasure of working with him both on a publication and on several national boards, including this one. as the bio in your packet indicates, harold currently the director of the roosevelt house public policy institute at hunter college. and, as you know, he is the cofounder with frank williams of the forum which they established 24 years ago. he is currently our co-chair. in his past lives, harold char ired the lincoln bicentennial foundation and co-chaired the lincoln bicentennial commission. harold is the most prolific writer i have ever met. author, co-author or editor of 53 books and counting.
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and most of them are on lincoln. there are some i think a few that are not, ok? the power lincoln and of the press" won the lincoln prize. and a few slightly last prestigious awards. one from the columbia journalism school and other from the kennedy school at harvard. in 2008, then president george bush awarded him the national humanities medal. this afternoon we will be among the lucky few to be introduced to his most recent work, which will not be widely available until january. the title is "monument man: the life and art of daniel chester french." the sculptor of the lincoln memorial. it is my distinct pleasure to present harold holzer. [appluase]
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ause] harold: i would love all eyes to be on me, but i have some really interesting silent movie footage for you to see. this is the dedication of the lincoln memorial, taft. there's robert lincoln. crowd gathering in front of the reflecting pool. this is memorial day, 1922. thousands and thousands of people. you'll see some of them with parasols. it's not raining. it is just really sunny in washington. so, i am going to be speaking about the career that leads up hat turnedctually w out to be a contentious moment in american history, as president harding accepts the lincoln memorial on behalf of the american people.
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crowds of dignitaries on the top step among whom is daniel chester french, the subject of today's talk. this is the longest minute and 15 seconds i have ever witnessed. there are the umbrellas that you see. if wehese in mind, survive to go further on in the lecture. switch.we can so, this is the story of the man who produced the statue that created all of that fuss on may 30, 1922. remarkableory of the career that led up to that moment and that iconic moment itself. so, the lincoln memorial. what is was about in the
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19-teens and 20's, what it became. it is a redemptive story and also a story of great creativity, of government getting things right, of organizations cooperating with a lot of controversy. it requires you to go back in time. maybe i don't have to say this. to a moment when public sculpture was really important to people. as it has become again, right? reinterpreting, reimagining and sometimes criticizing public facesure that is in our all the time and we often take for granted. well, this is the guy. yes, i know. this is the guy who produced the lincoln memorial. born in 1850 in chester, new hampshire. his father was a lawyer. apected his son to be
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lawyer. when this picture was taken when he was three years old, he always had great hair up until a moment, as you will see. he was smiling. i find this to be a moment of interest in the world of art. it is almost impossible to have a smile frozen for a figure of type. dageurotype. interestingly, daniel chester french became a bird watcher and love her. here he is with his friend william who became the most famous ornithologist in the country. april 15, 1865, daniel chester french was bird watching in amherst, massachusetts, his new hometown and put a note in his diary . it said, "first ruby crowned ringlet of the spring."
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he could've added, no other news. that is how i'm interested he was and the fact that abraham lincoln, his most famous subject, died that very day. didn't affect him at all. what he did find is that he was not very good at mit, which his father sent him to. his grades were. appalling he begged his father to give him art lessons. by then they lived in concord, and there were some really wonderful teachers there. may alcott on the left. the sister of louisa may all ott was the town's most famous drawing instructor. she gave him his first sculpting tools which he carried with him for the rest of his life. john quincy adams ward, he studied with him in the west 50's in manhattan, learned how little clay sculptures are transformed into giant public sculptures through plaster mold
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s and scaffolding and all the things he had no clue about as they related to the art he was starting to love. and william rimmer on the right, a painter. an anatomist and the author of books on anatomy. french joined his all girls anatomy class and endured it for nine months before their teasing drove them out of the class. as he said, i did not want to be an embarrassment to the girls. may have been the other way around. his early career was spent searching for a style and an inspiration, and in the beginning he sort of was doing a little bit of work that william rogers was doing, the same kind of things. rogers groups. this was his version of rogers groups. this one is called matchmaking. believe it or not, this was a bestseller. what grencfrench learn from it was never sell cheap.
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the rights to this he sold for $50. it took off like wildfire. his quotes are never great. he is an artist. took off like wildfire would not have been my choice of words. he said thousands of dollars were made off the small thing. by 1871, he comes of age, he's 1. and again, that great head of hair. i'm so envious. see, heou you will suffered the same fate as i did. well, he decides what as a young artist to do? he must study abroad. he makes there decision to go to europe, his hometown decides to do a statue of the fight at the old northbridge in concord. how do you celebrate the minute
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men who had risen to the threat of the british invasion and homet them off with t heiheir muskets and without uniforms? there was no competition for this work. daniel chester french was the hometown boy. it did not matter he had never done a sculpture larger than about three fet. et. he got the job. and it's sort of remarkable that it happened. his first model is lost. it was rejected. thehe decided to consult apollo -- a copy of it on view at the boston ofteathaneum. from that, he began doing drawings of legs, torsos that would create, a sense of portion and drama for the figure he would do. then it begins to take a shape
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as he writes descriptive passages as well of what we know is the minute man. this is taken around 1875. the dedication was a tremendous event. ulysses s. grant was there. ambrose burnside was there to represent rhode island, a favorite topic of the day. arrived andcott said, where is my seat? she was pretty famous and the master of ceremonies said, your seat is anywhere but on this platform. she left. she did not stay. then the platform collapsed. [laughter] not get paidh did work, which is pretty good for a guy who did not know how to make a statue. he made a mold. they turned it upside down and filled it with clay. the head fell off.
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he put it back on. somehow we send it to a foundry and had it done in bronze. he got no pay. he did not want pay. he just wanted the honor of doing the work. later, they gave him a $1000 bonus. thehe made replicas for rest of his life at $1500 a piece. he again, became a very canny businessman. i'm sure you have all seen the work. it's become a symbol of everything from war bonds to the national rifle association to the first instant tapioca pudding. ready in a minute. get it? or the national guard. always ready, always there. french did not come home for this moment. he was, i think, i've had disagreements with my friends at chesterwood where his studio is located, he was abroad.
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it was not easy to get a 747 back to boston. but he could have come back. i think he was too nervous. it created a sensation. this is where he is when the dedication takes place. he's in florence with a view of he's studying with hiram powers, a famous american sculptor living in florence. he probably falls in love with powers's daughter. so, he moves on to the of thomas palazzo ball. the sculptor of the emancipation group that is dedicated in washington, d.c., the year afterwards with frederick douglass giving the famous oration about whether abraham lincoln was the white man's or the black man's president.
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he is seeing a successful lincoln in the studio. he falls in with the family and, of course there he is on the left, kneeling. and ball with his mustache. that young woman is the next woman he fell in love with, the great love of his life, thomas ball's daughter lizzie. so, he's a serious ex-pat, working, learning, getting very few commissions. and he works on his great classical work, he thinks, the awakening of endimeon. a visualization of a myth of a handsome greek shepherd who is awakened by a kiss. i don't know. it was not successful. in 1876, french returns to boston. after two years away. is he's met by the, the ship met by a revenue cutter, an official government ship from
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the treasury department. he assumes this is coming to pick up the mail. then he hears himself being paged. will daniel chester french please board the revenue cutter? his father is in the cutter. his father who has done so much to nurture and support him. his father has become the assistant secretary of the treasury in the waning days of the granted ministration. you can commandeer a revenue cutter and meet a ship if you are the assistant secretary. dan doesn't know what he is going to do. his father says come to washington and begin your work and my houses, no expenses, you will get the studio and one of the earliest things he does in the more realistic style is a but of hi -- bust of his wonderful patron father who endures several administrations up to the dawn of the democrats returning to the white house. friendly withs his uncle. the french family is very
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competent and daniel chester french marries his cousin whose name is french because she is his first cousin. you all know who b.d. french is, i hope. he was the commissioner of public buildings under lincoln. he is the man to whom lincoln said, i'm not going to spend one more penny for this damned old h ouse when the soldiers cannot have blankets. benjamin takes dan to the white house to meet the grants. and french whispers, grant does not like abraham lincoln. then he says something early rude about julia, which records-- he records in his diary. julia greeted us but her eye was up the chimney. pretty tacky. anyway, dan gets some work.
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he is assigned to his father's influence to do sculptures for the top of post offices in st. louis and boston. it's sort of degrading, although he does good work, because he gets paid per diem. he does not even get commissions to he is not happy. he decides to return to concord and build a new studio. he needs a new inspiration, another minute man. the answer to his reputation building is very local -- ralph waldo emerson. he does a bust of emerson as an old man. regales him with stories. the more resembles me, the worse it looks. finally, he says, this is the face i see when i shave. again, this is french recording a great writer. it is uncanny how prosaic his diary entries are but again it is all of the sculptor. that becomes a full-length sculpture with emerson's famous
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overcoat, which was famous all over concord because he walks around in this gigantic coat. he develop some specialties along the way. one of them is a sculptor of college symbols. this is his work in his studio on a statue of thomas gallaudet and his sight challenged first pupils. here is the statue as it appears today at gallaudet college with the founder or the inspiration for the college signing. it is still there. so is this statue of john harvard. it is not in this location anymore. this is memorial hall. french became so influential, he decided it should be moved. but this statue, according to harvard tradition, is venerated by day and urinated by night. [laughter]
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harold: there were something about the traditions of abuse of daniel's college statues. he did one for princeton. it was not his best work. it's a young man who had died early, so his parents funded a statue of him in a sweater. its lookst too modern for french.every time princeton won a football game, they would knock over the statue. finally they took him off campus. perhaps the most famous of his challenged statues is his almost at columbia university. almost as soon as it was built, it was beamed by a baseball, allegedly hit almost 500 feet by the star of the columbia baseball team. who can guess who that was? lou gehrig's, absolutely. someone years later, planted in explosive device the processeight of
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against the vietnam war and blew a gaping hole in the throne. did no damage the statue. the campushauled off and stored for years. another specialty french develops -- the civil war. he does this wonderful, looming ulysses s grant for philadelphia. he becomes an equestrian specialist sort of. he has a guy named edward c. potter. potter does the horses. french does the people. there was a lot of assembly line to public schools are at the end of the 19th century. same combination for general hooker in boston. these are big event. this is the dedication for the hooker equestrian in boston in the 1890's. he does draper. infinishes jay ward sheridan
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albany. he does, i think is most beautiful civil war memorial, "mourning victory." this is a figure of victory in melving for the brothers, three of whom died during the civil war. the living brother funded this beautiful memorial in the cemetery in concord. one died of disease. on at petersburg. -- one at petersburg and one in andersonville. his most famous work of the 19th century was this. he was hired by the world's fair of 1893 in chicago, the white city. 148 sculptors were invited to produce works for that event. but he got the big gal. the republic. was supposed to rival the statue
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of liberty. a 35ood 65 feet high on foot base. it reigned over the lagoon in the white city. carved on-site from a model he brought back from paris. they built a stairway inside so they could work on a head. eliminated by electricity, and this phase, this beautiful white city. the only problem is that the sculpture and almost all of the buildings, save for the ones that later became the art institute and the science we see them in chicago, all of them were made of an element or a competition of elements called jute. j-u-te. thick paste. arth is called staff in the world which is made up of plaster of paris.
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cement and glycerin. probably not a good idea to have the whole city made of glycerin in chicago. guess what happened? yes, everything -- they would have had to tear it down. i'm not sure that the fire happened spontaneously. but all of it did burn down, the whole white city and the statue of the republic. supposedly the water was on fire. the good news is that french made a couple of replicas. on was put up for the centennial of the state of illinois or the sesquicentennial. a is, it's in a park in traffic circle, a gilded version. it has been ignored for years. but the obama presidential library is being built right behind th republice. it's going to have a renaissance. well, by now, he is a pretty acclaimed sculptor. although he has never topped the minutemen.
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himhinkgs it's time for to emulate his competitor and relocate. he buys a farmhouse on the berkshires, $3000 for 150 acres. and he replaces it with a country mansion designed by a young architect named henry bacon, whom he's used for a few projects to date. bacon then built a studio down the path from the house and begins, and french begins his work in that studio. i hope you all see, he's lost the price of success. he goes to work on a george washington equestrian and it is his first international success. it is out by a museum in paris. this is a postcard he collected at the opening ceremony where the music, the marsailles and
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the national anthem and stars & stripes forever were performed by no less than john philip sousa. the first in mid, decade of the 20th century, when he learns that the state of nebraska, the capital city of lincoln, a properly enough, wants a statue of lincoln in time for 1909. he gets the great commission. thank god he's already done his lincoln for chicago and that is the top act to -- tough act to follow. i found this interesting. what does the sculptor have to do to create a lincoln? the first thing he does is he ets a set of frederick hill -- photographs of abraham lincoln, privately printed, and he also sends french some photographs to consult individually in larger formats. we don't know which, which
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photograph he used, but he did say he wants to show lincoln with the crushing weight of a war still to be won. and admits the more i study lincoln, the bigger he seems. it is my lincoln problem. this is the first model. 36 inch model. he has lincoln with bowed head and arms clasped in front. he packs it off, takes it to lincoln, nebraska. he meets a woman who had seen abraham lincoln at the lincoln- douglas debates and she says to him, "i remember he had a curious way of standing before he was to speak. he stood with his hands clasped in front of him as if he was collecting his thoughts." they then unpacked the model and put it on display in the woman said. "you were there?" he wasn't.
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that he is somehow intuited it. he called it his high water mark. it did not make it to 1909. it did not open, get unveiled until september 1912. bronze.nds of william jennings bryan was the orator on the day was dedicated. bryan, i found a newspaper account, he said "is there anyone in this audience who saw abraham lincoln?" apparently, they said, 100 hand s shot up. in 1912. 50 years later. and bryan says it must be compensation for what you suffered enough wr tar to have d a chance to look upon his sad face. a local lady read the gettysburg address which was inscribed in the back of the statue by henry bacon. and french call this is high water mark. and he, there it is.
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the capital has changed. it is now the tallest state capital in the country but the sculptor is still there. there he is in his smock in the mid-teens. he's so famous that theodore roosevelt asks him to join a new national commission for the fine arts. he has had enough with the way the national mall looks. it's too hard to get the d.c. government to clear land and make decisions, so he is going french agrees to serve. he leaves his conservative roots and takes a fancy to theodore roosevelt. taft is the one who forms the commission and french goes to work there. this is the commission at work. french at the head of the table.
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this is going to present a problem. the next big project is a project deferred since 1865. that is a statue of lincoln and washington. washington had statues of lincoln. a statue of the emancipator is written already in washington. another statue of lincoln is in washington. can -- commission is determined to build a temple and this is the man may choose to do it. he looks like a businessman. this is made around that time. this is when he joined the board of the metropolitan museum of art. he became its curator of sculpture. he did everything. acquired art and a very much the dignified fellow.
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he is presiding now over with the commission over the decision of whether to put -- where to new building. one of the choices is union station. this is the way it looked when it was built with not much around it. peoplediscarded because thought if commuters and passengers came through they would not pay enough attention to a lincoln statue if it was near a railroad station. the next choice was at the base of the u.s. capital. plan for ahad a great statue. what if we create a new avenue radiating from the capital and do it at the other end? that does not seem like a great idea either. the soldiers home, that would be a great place. lincoln spent a long time there. it same problem as before,
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is remote. we are not going to do it at the soldiers home. what about the old naval observatory on a street? lincoln spent time there. it was decided that was a little obscure. my favorite alternative -- alternative site is meridian hill. i don't know why they decided not to do it there. he could have been there is already a statue of james buchanan. [laughter] it seemed a little bit inappropriate. advocates down to these elaborately bearded men. the former speaker of the house who had seen abraham lincoln in , now forand john hay secretary of state. he wanted south potomac part. at the end of what is going to be a reflecting pool. then they swap.
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-- then ate swap. he said he'll be dammed if he would ever let a memorial to lincoln be erected in the swap. i would rather put it in arlington as a symbol of reconciliation. there was a. when they discussed arlington. betweeny said halfway gettysburg and washington. again, very big discussions about where. john hay comes forward and testifies before congress. you must not approach to close to the immortals. his monuments stand alone. apart from the business and turmoil of the city. isolated, distinguished, and serene. they choose west potomac park. it is not easy. they find a lot of water there.
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architect, after all of the drama about the site, there is no drama. bacon, the air to the classical architecture egos in america is chosen. charles mckim had died. envisions a copy of the parthenon in athens. as the most appropriate tribute to abraham lincoln in the swap. so then to do the sculpture? he had been involved in competitions for his entire career. he almost lost the commission when a non-hearing sculptor came forward and said he should be considered. he competed for other
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commissions. he lost some, he won some, now he is 57 years old. he doesn't want to compete. henry bacon says ok. i am going to hire my mentor and friend. no one makes a fuss. another sculptor wants to do it. she is still around. she sought lincoln,. bacon chooses french. while people are considering that there is a slight problem, the government is not funding this. it is costing a fortune to dig piles in the shop -- swap. adding to the budget. they said why don't we just take the same garden statue, make a replica, and put it in the lincoln memorial? a nice, standing lincoln. i don't know what french sent to
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henry bacon but it was apparently enough for bacon to tell a formidable lobbyist that he found the idea repugnant and that your husband would be turning over in his grave if he thought we were thinking of that. teeth, the of his idea was turned down. lincoln isr a seated conceived and accepted. there is one big problem. henry bacon is choosing his old but french is on the national commission for the fine arts. he is a chairman. he has to approve the choice. even in washington, that is complicated. [laughter] not resign from the commission until after he gets commissioned and gets a contract. then he doesn't resign.
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he begins his work. he has the photographs and now he acquires the life mask. that is not damage he is doing their with those nails. to measure that distances between the eyes and the nose and the mouth. that is what sculptors do. he acquired a cast of lincoln's hands. he made casts of his own hands in the exact form that he wanted them to take in his sculpture. quickly within a couple of months, he right to bacon. it should interest you to know that i am making models. i am feeling very much encouraged. i am suspicious of my first enthusiasm. there it is. that is the first model of the lincoln memorial. ifn he says to henry bacon, there is any doubt about who is in charge of this enterprise, i should expect you to come up and see what i have to offer. french is in charge.
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his process is to make ever larger models. this is a three foot model. then, a six foot model. that is him posing with it. he is posing with the little original model below the coat to show you how it has proceeded. inis not going to put him the kind of preventing -- primitive clothing. lincoln may have preferred to be codeless said french but his appreciation of the fitness of things would have allowed him to dress like the men about him. it is easier to address conventionally than to merely. i cannot imagine him to dress without any affectation or carelessness. his close or made of finer material and buy a good tailor.
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there was nothing careless about them except maybe the way that they were warned. taft viewed this model in new .ork the lincoln memorial commission and the fine arts commission approved. french what's one more validation. he invites robert todd lincoln. there is robert. robert lincoln says you should bring it to me and washington. french says no you should come see it in a studio. i don't know if it was a power-play or not a power-play. only when french did this work did robert come see it. this is in the new york historical society. it is almost unexplained therein. there is a model for the lincoln memorial. it is more than that. french goes down and sees the
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shell of the building and says what i am making is going to be a 12 foot high statue. it will be dwarfed in this atrium. i wanted to be 19 feet. just like that he figures it out. adding $50,000 to the budget. that was a lot of money. he said that is the only way i will do it. besides, i am not doing bronze i am doing marble. tomakes this plaster head fit a 19 foot statue. he has it taken down to washington and hung in the atrium by a rope exactly where it will be. that is what robert lincoln finally sees. that is what he got. french got his way because the proportion of the symmetry his perfect area robert litan apparently approved. here are the unsung heroes of the lincoln memorial.
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i like saying their names. [laughter] these were the italian marble cutters who worked in the bronx in a gigantic shed not far from where yankee stadium would rise in a few years. they employed marble carvers. they got the models and they worked at it. i found this amazing magazine the models and the heads were illustrated in this magazine. there is a seated model from which they are working. and's the cluttered studio my favorite story is when they broke for bathroom breaks or meals, one of the brothers would hand the chisel to the next and the next brother would continue
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as if the first brother were carving. of course, they learned it from their father and their father's father. this is a family trait. , frenchtain moment often joined them. i can't imagine he was the most jovial of guest. they would break for macaroni which one of the brothers would make every day. there is always food involved. [laughter] until 1920 did french eclair it done. then it is shipped in 30 marble blocks, some of which were defective and had to be replaced , and taken and to set up in washington. this is a remarkable picture made in the middle of the process. this is the cover of my book, andy assembled, with french henry bacon standing in front of it. therere you have all been
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. that gives you an impression of the size of sculpture. french decides he has done all he can do. italy and sees his daughter married there. he does not come back until it is time for the opening day. i showed you in the beginning. in this memorial day, 1922. the people who gather would see the inscription. he was not supposed to read the inscription. the man who did it, the original author was robert underwood johnson. at the s grant's editor century magazine. he was going to write the inscription. i don't know what happened. done by was eventually the new york tribune's art critic. he wrote these words in this temple as in the hearts of the people for him he said the union that memory of abraham lincoln is inscribed forever. beautiful, perfect.
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it was absolutely attacked in 1922. disfiguring and erroneous. they had deemphasized his inievement size -- deemphasizing black freedom. maybe that was one of the points. what followed is the dedication ceremony from hell. my bookthe beginning of but getting toward the end of my talk. underway,eant gets the north carolina born superintendent of public , armed with guns and goes to the front of the audience where african-americans from washington had gathered early to be present for a statue dedicated to a man arguably a revered. they said get out.
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area.s not your there is a color to in the back. were herded even if they had tickets to section five. they went back into the grass and weeds. arranged fors white people with chairs and those for color picture -- people were benches. a day of jubilation turned into a scene of consternation and chagrin. some 21 prominent african-americans including several federal officials and -- an administrator, the first african-american rhodes scholar walked out in protest. calledple who stayed -- that's with the chicago defender described their ghetto of the day as.
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they watched from a distance of blocks away in an area designed to emphasize their second-class status and their separateness. group insult to injury, a described as gray clad survivors of the confederate army received special seat of honor aside equally ancient of veterans of the union. an african-american -- american eyewitness saw cruelty in the fact that such jim crow is him of the grossest sort had been shown by the hypocrites of this great nation. on a day devoted to lincoln. you don't see any of this in the coverage by the newspapers. it is only in the chicago defender and the newspapers published by the african-american press of the day. one decried the event under the headline lincoln harding james
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crowe and taft. finally, as everyone gathered, only one african-american was on the top step. booker t. washington's successor as principal of the tuskegee institute. reported as adely generous gesture, organizers invited him to represent a colored people and deliver a speech. since he was a person of color, he had to submit his speech in advance to the harding administration. this is what he wrote in the original. so long as anyone within our nation is denied the full protection of the law, what lincoln called his unfinished work remained unfinished still. the memorial would be but a hollow mockery.
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unless we together can make real and our national life in every state and every section of things for which he stood. the heirs of the party of lincoln decided that was inappropriate. are grasshim which had to be struck from his address. he said he objected to having his work censored. the organizers said you are absolutely free to not speak at all. truncated, sanitized version of his speech and it remained unpublished for decades. what he really wanted to say. continue that we never learned about in school. after he was done, he was ushered off the top step as if he could no longer remain among the other dignitaries. all of this happened as william
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howard taft comes on and says how it would soften lincoln's anguish to know that the south has come to realize that an assassin robbed the section of their greatest friend. again, the defender. harding, who says much the same thing, was an abject attempt to justify inwards of apology the greatest act of the greatest man who ever lived. on,ill dedicate it later said the chicago defender. this is not a real dedication. at the end of the day, robert robert lincoln- proudly stood and the all white dedication ended. the lincoln memorial stood in place. i would say that french's
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involvement did not and because he could not bear the way you look at night. henry bacon had added some extra layers of wax to the skylight and this is the way it looked. -- they could afford a free lighting study. look at the difference from an early effort to like the statue. there, it rested until the new life of the lincoln memorial. image was best for 10 or 12 years. roosevelt help change that. when marian anderson was not allowed to sing in the dar building in washington, eleanor roosevelt helped organize a
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memorable easter day concert in the lincoln memorial. they thought a few thousand people might come in the rain. 50,000 people came. marian anderson sang my from theis of the steps of the lincoln memorial changing the iconography of the place forever. -- frankink tempora capra. mrs. smith goes to washington. one of the things mr. smith seizes the lincoln memorial. he reads the final words of the gettysburg address nurse inscribed there. it is now the icon of all icons. .ot yet the apogee
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that comes in 1963. as the epicenter of the march on washington, where the leaders of the civil war rights movement white and black gather at the memorial for a ceremony for that august day. you see dr. king's second from the right. on the bottom is a man who has his own statute now. third the left on top is the young john lewis who is now a member of congress. there he is being interviewed by john daly of what's my line. right before this moment. the i have a dream speech begins five score year ago a great american in his symbolic shadow we stand today signed the emancipation proclamation. this momentous decree came as a
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great beacon light of hope to millions of new growth slaves who had been feared in the flames of withering injustice, a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. it has been so long since then, that in 2013 there was a 50th anniversary ceremony in which the speech was repeated. it is the place where president-elect spend their last night as president-elect. it is the ceremony a launching pad of the inauguration. here is one. here is another. obama and the trump family. at its ideal best, a unifying symbol, a symbol of hope and aspiration. it is also a symbol of mourning
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and distress. this is the famous cartoon to signal our963 sorrow at the death of john kennedy. this is lincoln responding to the election of barack obama. [laughter] yes, there were a lot of cartoons about the election of donald trump. how would the lincoln memorial react? who knows, but this is one. [laughter] it is just surprise. that's all it says. [laughter] french inniel chester front of the memorial he built as an old man. robert lincoln used to visit it. cardriver would hold its and he would go up and say isn't it magnificent? by then, the iconography had not changed. i am glad it has changed from
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this original concept. i couldn't help throwing this and because i took judy collins to see it and she was so overcome that she did a spontaneous rendition of this land is your land in front of the station -- statue. four years after it was dedicated, a young african-american from washington who was employed as a bus boy because he could not get much work after serving as a historian's assistant visited the lincoln memorial. he was soon to enroll alongside thurgood marshall at lincoln university. he was destined to emerge one day as a collect and social activist. his name was langston hughes. this is what he wrote in 1926. , hopefullytrue now it will be true always. let's go see old age.
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sitting in the marble and the moonlight. sitting lonely in the marble and the moonlight. centuries.0,000 quiet for a million million years, quiet and yet a voice forever against the timeless walls of time. daniel chester french had reduced a statue of the nation's best loved man. in so doing, he produced the nation's best loved statue. gather a while for it to the gravitas and the multiplicity of meanings it now evokes. what could be more fitting and proper that this endeavor now reflects the full panoply of hopes and dreams of all the american people. thank you. [applause]
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thank you. thank you. i am sure that is mostly for daniel chester french but i will take what i can get. i am told that we have a little time for questions. >> there are two images or pictures that i find really wonderful. one with fidel castro at the seat of the lincoln memorial. are there any other world people that you can tell us about? >> in the days before security became onerous, it was a must
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stop for world leaders. i tried to do as many as i could find. the one that we don't have, the one that i would be most interested to see is the midnight visit of richard nixon to the statue to commune with lincoln in the moments, the hours leading up to his decision to resign. as far as we know, even the white house photographer, who was with him every second of every day did not take that picture. yes, i know that picture and others. any others? >> could you compare the visual iconography of this statue with the literary iconography of the gettysburg address? >> that is a heavy question. [laughter] compare the visual iconography with the literary iconography.
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both are considered masterpieces in their respective genres when built. both accumulated additional meeting over the years. gettysburg is not just a funeral rededications the of the american founding to the new birth and all that that entails. clearly of,as built by, and for white people and it has become an international and multiracial symbol of opportunity. of course, we have the intertwining of the iconography because there were debates about whether anything should appear on the walls of the lincoln memorial. everything is symbolic. from the number of pillars outside to the 36 states that are listed, then a more states on top.
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38 states. then 48 states. then they added a little hawaii and alaska around the back. [laughter] of course, the words of the second inaugural and the words of address are attached in the walls of that memorial, evelynby a student named b interests long did a lot of the wording on his statues. i could sayi wish the french just wanted to those great addresses. he wanted the springfield farewell address to be in the lincoln memorial. probably best with those two. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] peoplen more about the and events that shaped the civil war and reconstruction every saturday at 6:00 p.m. on
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american history tv on c-span3. live super bowl sunday at noon eastern, an author is our guest on in-depth. the author of many books, including "what's my name, over" and his most recent. >> i love sports. that is why we need to fight for sports. we need to reclaim them and take them back and if we are going to do so we need to know our history. that is our greatest ammunition. we need to know our history of the athletes, the sportswriters, to fans who have stood up the machine. if for no other reason, it allows us to look at the world and see that struggle can affect every aspect of life in this system, even the ivory tower
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known as sports. , youin us with your calls mills, and questions, sunday at noon eastern on book tv. on c-span2. this weekend, american history tv joins our comcast partners to showcase the history california, to learn more visit we continue now with our look back at the history of visalia. valley is thequin bread basket of the world. the second largest producer of agriculture in the country. some of the crops we're going to see, walnuts, pistachios, arens, those are what we going to first see as we leave town. then we t


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