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tv   Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Museum - Life of Lincoln  CSPAN  February 17, 2019 1:17pm-1:36pm EST

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we will talk about warm one plural marriage from a bunch of different perspectives. ok? -- we will talk about mormon marriage. >> you're watching american history tv on the on c-span3. >> abraham and mary lincoln lived in this spring failed home from 1844 to 1861. during the 17 years the family presented here, lincoln was elected congressman in 1846, and president in 1860. lincoln's son, robert todd lincoln, donated the family home to the state of illinois in 1887. coming up we visit the lincoln residential library and museum -- presidential library and museum to learn more about the life of our 16th president.
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alan: the city of springfield, so much is built around that legacy of abraham lincoln. springfield is the city of lincoln. his home is here, his speeches, his law offices, and he is buried on the outskirts of town at oak ridge cemetery. he is extraordinarily important. this is the always built in 2005. it had been a dream for many folks in central illinois, presidential library for the greatest president. the purpose is to pass on the legacy of abraham lincoln. he is the man who best encapsulated what it means to be american. the whole idea of what america is about freedom and equality, , opportunity. we put him on a pedestal rightly, but also, he was a great human being. he had great ambitions to do great things, and he certainly succeeded in that. abraham lincoln was born in 1809 in kentucky. he lived there for a few years. he moved when he was six or seven years old when hosted
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indiana, and lives through his teens in indiana. he grew up on the front year, so he had -- he grew up on the ier, so he had a lot of work to do. he was determined to move beyond his hard life. you see a young lincoln putting focus on learning as much as he could and finding rare books, because he knew he would it to do something more with his life. ♪ early age, abraham lincoln said he knew that slavery was it wrong -- that if slavery wasn't wrong, then nothing was wrong. we believe in, somewhat speculation, he would have seen it growing up in kentucky when he was young. one of the reasons the family left kentucky, our understanding is, the dislike of slavery. as a young man he traveled down orleans, which at that point was the biggest slave trading market in america.
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we know he stayed a block away from the major trading area, so -- the slave auction area, and we saw that he saw it and was repelled by it. he saw it as a moral evil, something running founder to the -- running completely counter to the founding ideas of america. saw that from a economic point of view, it made no sense economically. that people should be a little reap the benefit of what they do for their work. being farmed out to other farmers showed him the injustice. if you are working and you are sweating for that product, you should benefit. you should profit. and, of course, in slavery, that was not the case. a fundamental moral and philosophical repulsion to slavery but also realizing it was fundamentally unfair in every way. he had all of his youth and put that into effect as president. abraham lincoln came to springfield, illinois in 1837. he was already in the state legislature, a young lawyer at
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that point making his way into the world. he was part of that legislative group that ended up getting the state capitol moved to springfield, he was instrumental in getting it moved here. he was active in the social scene. he could be awkward around women. in 1839 met mary todd from lexington, kentucky. their courtship was interesting, he met her at the home of her sister who had moved up here and was living, elizabeth was her name, and she had married the son of the former governor of illinois. as i recall the story, mary said, he came up to me at a dance. and said, i have been watching you all night, i want to dance with you in the worst way. he was not a good dancer. they immediately took to each other. it was a rocky relationship. they were engaged, broke off the engagement, there was some mystery about what was going on with that, but they reconnected and got married in mary todd 1842. lincoln is an amazing woman.
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i think our role of abraham lincoln of getting involved in politics was xo to narrowly sometimes overlooked. she came from a very connected family in kentucky, the tod family, very aristocratic family and she was close friends in her youth with henry clay, one of lincoln's greatest idols, in the senate. she had a political background. she would talk politics with her father and was well-educated. when she met lincoln, i think she saw in him kind of a rough version of what he could be and she realized there was a leader that she had seen a future leader. she prodded him along the way, i think she pushed him a little bit, i think she definitely supported him. they were pretty good political pair. obviously, there were issues later on in life, but when you put them together, they were a pretty good political pair abraham made a name for himself . as a lawyer but also as a politician. he aspired higher. he had great ambitions.
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a couple times he ran for the u.s. senate, famously in 1858. we know that because the great debates with stephen douglas, his great political rival. there were seven of them held around illinois that really encapsulated the political ideas and the debates of the time like nothing else. stephen douglas was a great illinois politician known as "the little giant." he was an even bigger name than abraham lincoln. but he was a democrat and stood for slavery. he was trying to get the democratic presidential nomination. he had his eyes on that and knew the senate was an important stepping stone to that. of course, two years later in 1860, these men who were rivals 18 51, senate seat in were again, rivals for the presidency. this time abraham came out on top because of the split of the democratic party. there were seven debates between douglas and lincoln. the debates raised his name around the country. he was already very involved or getting involved in the new republican party. adjoining states, sometimes further afield, but he was an
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illinois politician. these debates helped raise him to a level of national prominence. several times after his defeat that, like before every human being, lincoln would think, that is it. i am done. nobody will remember me at all. then after that 1858 debates, he says, i was able to enunciate several principles, say my things on my mind, maybe that will be remembered. of course, that wasn't the case. he goes on, he has thought of running for the presidency and plotted the path to do that. in 1860. it was unlikely he would get elected. what helped him is that douglas runs but loses during the democratic party split. abraham retains the republican party and wins most of the north. the interesting thing is douglas is always his political rival. they had differing views on issues like slavery.
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war breakshe civil out, douglas says, i am with you. i am always for the union. i put that in the credit box for stephen douglas that he said i will support you. sadly, right after that, he passed away. he was elected president in 1860, left springfield in february, 1861. back then, the inauguration was march, rather than in january like it is today. he addressed a crowd when he was leaving springfield on the back of a train and had some pretty heartfelt remarks. where he had practiced law, raised a family, owned a home and how much he owed to springfield. you can sense his concern he is never coming back. he is going on to an enormous challenge in washington. when he came into office, often they had a honeymoon time to start their term, he had no such honeymoon. as he was elected and as he was waiting for his inauguration, states were starting to secede from the union. when he finally gets here, he is allegedly confronted with the
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issue of fort sumter being blockaded by the southerners. he knew that it could precipitate a war. how he traverses that difficult putain, that is it wittily on his desk when he gets to washington, and, of course, eventually the south fires the first shot, and the war that certainly everybody and lincoln didn't want, came anyway. a horrible cost to this nation. but he knew that he had to follow in the footsteps of washington, one of his heroes. he realized he had a duty to preserve the union and carry on the ideas they had. and to make right those ideas, that were still very incomplete thanks to the horrible evil of slavery. abraham lincoln arrives in washington as the newly elected president ready to take the oath. he has to sneak into the town , it is true, because of assassination plots against him.
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and already, he's being attacked terribly by any number of individuals and publications. this part of the museum here called the whispering gallery, we show those representations, attacks on him. they are whispered through this part of the gallery. everything from his looks, his intelligence or lack thereof, and this horrible racist thing is spewed about him. you see themes on, blaming him for the thousands and thousands of deaths and casualties. it must have been a burden to him, to have every move bestioned and to b viciously attacked in such a manner from every possible avenue. his own party, he most wasn't nominated. he was under attack from the republican party itself. the civil war is so much part of what we talk about here in the public library. in this part of the gallery we have an amazing visual representation called the civil minutes.
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every week of the war is shown as one second. you see that changing borders and much casualty rate in the lower right. it is a phenomenal way of representing how the war progressed. the war to the great toll on the nation and certainly took a great toll on abraham lincoln. we all know the horrible aging he underwent in those four years, five years from his election in 1860, or you can see in the photos, where he looks like a young man, and then we have one of his final photos 1865, or he has aged almost 20 years, because of the stress of the war. we are fortunate to have life mask of abraham lincoln. to touchow guests these. this is from 1860. you can see a relatively looking youthful face in 1860. and this was taken no longer for the assassination, and you see a very different
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face year of a man grown prematurely or older really, with all the stress and strain of the civil war. what caused the stress, he got it from many fronts. he goes to the telegraph office all the time. he is very much connected to the front and he knows the mounting casualty numbers. he visits hospitals with mary in sees thengton area and sick, the wounded, the dying. he takes it very personally, everyone of those. he does get constant bombardment of letters from families wanting to know where their loved ones and talking about the horrible, horrible toll of the war. so from every direction he is getting stressed. he also has to make constant decisions but he knows may preserve or destroy the union. these are extraordinarily earthshaking decisions but no , no woman could take easily, and you see that as part of the stress as well. , when theyr began
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can came into office and the civil war began, he put a lot of effort into preserving the union , but he understood that the real core issue was slavery. and he knew he had to take measures against slavery. sadly, controversial thing to do. one of my favorite areas of the museum shows the reading of the massive patient proclamation to july,ry strong cabinet in 1862. you see a variety of reactions to that, some happy, some not so happy at all, because they feared the proclamation would drive the border states into the con federation, and that would would drive particularly the border states into the confederacy. lincoln knew at that point from a principal point of view it was important. it was the wartime measure only as commander in chief just to free those slaves in the rebel territory taken by the union armies, he also knew that was
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important to bring african american men into the union fighting forces. they played an extraordinary important role in the final victory of the union in the civil war. lincoln presents the draft of the proclamation to his cabinet. you famously heard from doris kearns goodwin, this was a team of rivals, a very intelligent, connected group, and he got a diversity of opinions on the proclamation. some for it, some against it. some were culturally against black inequality, but the realized it was important wartime measure to make. lincoln had a conversation with god about this. i think you see a growing religiousness, if that is a word, with abraham lincoln overtime. youthearly man, an early in new salem, he was seen as an atheist sometimes. but you see him coming to terms of god over time. with the emancipation proclamation, we see a very
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religious man, by the second inaugural. civil war is over, lee has surrendered, essentially the war is over. there is great jubilation, make and even walks the streets of richmond, the rebel capital. he comes back and says a few words to the white house and decides -- one of the things he always loves to do is go to the theater and he decides to take mary to a play at ford's theater, to see "our american cousin." ford's theater, our a great comedy. is taken back to springfield where he is buried on a trip after 1700 miles on the rail. -- they go there and after 10:00 p.m. john wilkes booth enters the area where the president is sitting with mary along with major rathbone and clara harris, shoots the president point-blank in the head. he dies 1865, good friday. he is then taken back to springfield, where he will be married on a trip that is some 70 miles on the real -- 1700 miles on the rail. we say it's the most prolonged,
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most elaborate, repeated ceremony in american history. thousands turn out to pay their respects to the slain president. one of the final sections of what we call journey two in our museum represents lincoln lying in state at the state capitol here in springfield at the end of his long journey back from washington. is very interesting to me, even though this is a replica of the scene, the real estate state capitol is down the road and people can go and visit it, it is a beautiful place. but even if they're a loud school group, they will quiet down immediately upon entering here and show president to president lincoln. tens of thousands of people came to see president lincoln, to pay respects while he was lying in state he was buried the next day . at oak ridge cemetery. in terms of his burial site, there was a lot of debate. some wanted to bury him in chicago. there's a great back and forth with mary. she determined where it was gonna happen. she wanted it to be in oak ridge cemetery. he was buried there a furious later, there was a plot to steal his body.
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thankfully, that was foiled. many years later, when robert todd was still alive, they built the new tomb at oak ridge cemetery where he is safely buried along with mary. and everyone in the family, except for robert todd, is buried at arlington national cemetery. when visitors come, it's a great experience, i hope for everyone. you can learn about president lincoln, about his times, about the civil war. i hope they leave realizing at least one thing, that lincoln is still very relevant to us today. that the ideas that he stood for are still the ideas that we as a nation say we aspire to today. that he can be a great model for all of us of how we attain those principles. announcer: our cities tour staff recently traveled to springfield, illinois, to learn about its rich history. learn more at tour. watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3.
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>> in the 1950's and 60's, the cia's secretly funded radio for europe which broadcast anti-communist propaganda behind the iron curtain. kenneth osgood talks about the programs u.s. operations, which sought support from politicians, corporations and american citizens. this 25 minute interview was recorded at the american historical association's annual meeting in chicago. >> kenneth, i want to talk about your book, but let me begin with a topic we hear so much about especially from our current president, fake news. what is it? kenneth: fake news is a new term for an old phenomenon. it quite literally refers to manufactured information, or fabricated information, propagated through the media. this is as old as the media itself. going back to 1898, an episode that comes to mind is on tve


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