tv Reel America Motor Convoy 1919 Silent Army Film CSPAN September 28, 2019 8:00am-8:41am EDT
announcer: now you're watching american history tv. every weekend, beginning at 8 a.m. eastern, we bring you 48 hours of programming exploring our nation's past. american history tv is only on c-span3. it was a century ago from early july to early september of 1919 that a u.s. army convoy of about 80 vehicles made its way from washington, d.c. to san francisco. this picture depicting what happened, a transcontinental
mission throught the country's roads and a map from washington, d.c. to san francisco, a journey documented in a 25-minute silent film which we'll be showing. but first, joining us is michael owen. the author of "after ike: on the trail of the century-old journey that changed america." how did it change america? michael: this was the first time an official convoy had driven across the country and it attracted a lot of attention. all along the roots, thousands came out to cheer the convoy on, to look at the vehicles, talk to the men who were in the convoy, and it spurred a lot of interest in travel by motorized vehicles. steve: we're going to watch the film. did it get a lot of attention in the press? michael: it did get a lot of attention. they had a major sendoff at the white house. president wilson was in europe at the time, but secretary of war newton baker waved them off. there were speeches, the press
was all there, and there was quite a scene at the white house. they went through the district through maryland through frederick, maryland, where they spent the first night. steve: walk us through the genesis of this idea and why 80 vehicles as part of this convoy? michael: you have to look at it in the context of the time. world war i had just concluded a few months earlier, and the american military leadership realized that in future warfare motorized vehicles would play a very important role. they had a number of different motorized vehicles, but they wanted to know how would they perform under different circumstances, could they drive up hill, across country. if it was necessary to move troops from one post to another, would they be able to do it, how long would it take? so they were interested in the conditions of the vehicles, which ones performed and which didn't. they were also interested in the
condition of the roads. until you got to california, there were no paved roads at the time, so they wanted to know how long it would take and how difficult. -- difficulty in getting across the country. -- how long it would take and the difficulty in getting across the country. steve: a young lieutenant colonel who would go on to serve as president of the united states. dwight david eisenhower. what was his role in this? michael: it's an interesting story because at the time he was very disappointed that he didn't get to europe during world war i. most of his west point classmates did. he was contemplating resigning from the military and he heard about this trip at the last minute. he had to go to the campsite where they spent the first night but it really kept him in the military, and, of course, that changed his life and changed the history of the u.s. steve: so let's watch this film
"the u.s. army motor convoy" and who had the idea of filming this? michael: the u.s. military wanted to film it because first of all they wanted to be able to show people back in washington, the military leadership, here's the condition of the roads, here's the condition of the vehicles and which vehicles performed well or not, and they wanted to record it for history because they realized that this would be an historic trip so they wanted to have a record of it for everyone who would be interested. >> as we watch this film, when -- steve: as we watch this film, when did you first hear about it? michael: i read a magazine article in an american history magazine about 20 years ago about this trip, and it piqued mypiqued my interest interest and i've been fascinated about it ever since,
but it wasn't until i retired from my first career that i was actually able to take the time to follow in the footsteps of the trip. steve: what are we looking at right now? michael: this is the zero milestone marker. it's right across from the white house. the cameraman is standing with his face immediately to the white house. newton baker there in the light suit. he was the secretary of war at the time. president wilson was in europe so newton baker waved them off and he dedicated the zero milestone marker and it's still there today. steve: and you can see the backdrop of the washington monument. now we're at, is it camp megs? michael: camp meigs. it doesn't exist today but all the vehicles had assembled there and drove to there from the white house and took off. steve: it's important to understand how primitive the roads and bridges were. michael: there were a number of covered bridges at the beginning of the trip in the east, and those were fairly precipitous. of course, these bridges were built for horse and buggy, not for 10-ton mac trucks. some of the bridges had to be reinforced and one portion was not large enough to be allowing
the trucks to go through, which had to be modified. the engineers there, they had to take off the top of the bridge so the trucks could come through. so the engineers were really busy at each of those bridges. steve: did they have driver's licenses? michael: not everybody, interestingly enough, had driver's license. they drafted from the service people who said that they could drive. eisenhower later wrote some of the men were more familiar with horse and buggy than they were with motorized vehicle. they learned as they went along and became better. but in the early going, some of the drivers were a bit erratic. steve: talking about primitive, these were very primitive trucks but how did they train on them? michael: they had very limited training. remember, we're right after world war i, so they'd not been able to train very much in preparation for this trip. they did do some preparation at
camp meigs, where the trip started, but not long distances. steve: kind of a big deal in ohio and elsewhere as the convoy made its way through the small communities. michael: it was a big deal all across the country. people lined the roads all across the country and cheered them on. it was a front-page headline in virtually every newspaper of the day and people really found in a source of national pride, and in the aftermath of the war, sort of like a victory lap. steve: you can see someone waving as they make their way through this part of the trip. the roads go from concrete and asphalt to dirt roads, as we see in franklin grove, illinois. michael: yes, once they got to illinois, just west of chicago, the asphalt ended and they were on dirt roads then all the way to san francisco or to california and you could see a problem there was the dust, which was really troublesome but when it rained they had mud.
it was one or the other. steve: what is this here? michael: this is one truck that overturned. the roads, remember, were really built for horse and buggies, so they were quite narrow, and the drivers weren't always the most experience. this driver lost control and it landed upside down off the road, but they were able to right it and, with block and tackle and manpower, get it back up on the road. steve: today, when you travel cross-country, there are hotels and restaurants and a lot of gas stations. what did these folks do? michael: they camped out. they had a couple of kitchen wagons, so they cooked all of their own meals. their marching orders were to be self-sufficient. they tried very hard to be self-sufficient. they did have to stop for gasoline but they had two tanker truck's, each of which held 750 gallons, so they were pretty well prepared. steve: this looks like a pretty
impressive bridge in iowa. michael: it was a wooden bridge, and the engineers on the convoy were concerned that all of those trucks would be too help for the bridge so they sent them across one or two at a time. it took several hours to get everyone across the bridge. steve: your book "after ike," explain the genesis of your research. michael: i was interested in this trip. i think it's a very important trip in the history of the u.s., and i was interested in the fact that eisenhower went along on this. he was only 28 years old at the time and later, i think partly because of the inspiration of this trip, was the driving force behind the interstate highway system, and i wanted to see the actual route they followed. i was able to follow their exact route. steve: this is just west of lexington, nebraska. these roads, obviously, there had been rain so they're pretty muddy, difficult to make their way through. michael: yes, and you can see a truck sort of slipping and
sliding there. they had one artillery tractor known as a militor, which was able to pull them out in most places, but sometimes it was really slow going. on this particular day, according to the log, they traveled 34 miles in 10 hours. steve: and what if the tires broke down, if they were flat? did they have enough materials to sustain themselves? michael: they had two trucks that carried only spare parts, and they stopped at military bases along the way to replenish those parts, but they had to make do sometimes with the best they could. of the 81 vehicles that started the trip, 75 made it all the way through, which is a pretty good track record considering the conditions. steve: and all were enlisted in the army at this time? michael: there were. there were some civilians who followed them or went with them for part of the way. -- them. for part of the way, there was
even a civilian that led them part of the way, henry o sturman. henry osterman, he had driven the route before. steve: did anyone write a diary about what was happening during this time? michael: several people kept diaries but the most complete one was kept by a lieutenant, jackson. he was in the east. he lived in new jersey, and he'd never been to the west. he kept a detailed diary, and that's how i was able to follow the route because he said precisely which towns they stopped in along the way. steve: you said they were self-sustaining. we don't have any film of them camping out, but how far would they travel on any given day, and what were their evenings like, their routine like? michael: it varied depending on the road conditions. with road conditions like that, as i said, on some days they only went 30 or 40 miles. when they were on concrete, they went quite a bit farther but -- still it was
fairly limited because there were breakdowns with vehicles and inexperienced drivers caused some problems. even on the best days they didn't go much more than 100 miles. steve: you told a story about how some thought they were riding horses instead of operating a vehicle. michael: that's something eisenhower wrote about. he said some of these drivers had more experience with horse and buggy then motorized vehicle. he said he heard some of them when the truck stalled hollering giddy-up. giddy-up and go, and some of the drivers didn't know what a clutch was, which was why their vehicles kept stalling out. steve: do you know how many vehicles, cars and trucks were in the u.s. in 1919 versus how many horses were operating approximately? michael: at the time of the convoy, there were about 400,000 motorized vehicles, including cars and trucks and everything, but that quickly surged in the years following so that by just
a few years later, in the mid 20's, there were millions of motorized vehicles on the roads. steve: we are seeing a lot of these trucks off of the side of , which seems to be prevalent. where would this film have been shown and what would those in theaters have thought as they watched this silent film in 1919 or 1920? michael: there was a lot of national pride. remember, the world had just come out of the first world war playing a victorious role. there was a feeling that the u.s. becoming a world power. there was a curiosity about other parts of the u.s. only a handful of people had actually driven in their individual automobiles from one coast to the other, so this was the first real cross-country convoy that was officially sanctioned, and it was front page headlines in all the newspapers across the country. it was a big event for americans, and it was estimated that, along the route, about 3.5 million people witnessed the convoy first hand and that was
about 3.5% of the entire population at the time. steve: this journey took place from july 7 until september 7, 100 years ago in 1919, but who mapped out the journey? michael: there was a nascent highway known as the lincoln highway, which some civilians, who were enthusiasts for motor trips, had mapped out from times in new york all the way to lincoln park in san francisco and that route was established but in many places, especially west of chicago, it wasn't just more than just two ruts across --route across the prairie, as some people called it. it was a difficult route but it was a route that they could follow and they tried to follow that with a few minor detours all the way. steve: you wonder if they were envious. the train was going a lot faster than the convoy. michael: the u.p. had been there for over 50 years. they chose the u.p. tracks because they wanted a flat
surface which they could go in a straight line, so it made sense that the road was close to the u.p. tracks. steve: also, of course this would have been the height of the summer, no air-conditioning of course. what was the conditions like for them on these trucks? michael: it was hot and sweaty and of course they had to stop and push and exert a lot of effort along the way. so, it was difficult, and it's hard to know what was worse, the heat and the sweat or the dust, as you can see that was swirling. with the dust they decided to space out the convoy so there was a long distance between vehicles. steve: what are we looking at here? michael: this is wyoming and gives you a condition of some of the bridges out west. as i said earlier, these bridges were built for horse and buggy. they were never designed a hold a 10 ton mack truck. so a lot of them had to be reinforced or rebuilt, and the
engineers, to their credit, did a great job. if any of the bridges were damaged they rebuilt them. steve: michael owen, do you know who made these trucks? where they were manufactured? mr. owen: packard made a lot of them. ford made some of them, and garford was a big manufacturer of vehicles then. so you have some manufacturers that are no longer in business, but were big automobile and truck manufacturers at the time. steve: did these men, and they were all men at the time, have a sense of what this mission was all about, what they were trying to accomplish? michael: well, they did. some of the diaries that i've read suggest that it was only at the end when they got to california that they realized what they'd actually done and they saw the headlines and thought, gosh, this is really something. i write in my book that i wondered if years later some of the men looked back and said that was the greatest experience of my life. steve: we've obviously been celebrating the anniversary of the first man on the moon, neil armstrong, and i wonder if it
was the equivalent of what we saw in 1969? michael: it was. the moonwalk of 1919 or early 20th century. steve: we often associate the interstate highway system with president eisenhower in 1956 and 1957, but explain how it all came about, as we look at these films see just how antiquated it was 100 years ago but it didn't start with eisenhower. michael: no, there were others that had ideas for an interstate highway system. f.d.r. promoted one and he had fairly specific ideas on what it should look like. there should be a transcontinental road that everyone could travel on from east coast until west coast. but it wasn't until eisenhower was president that the legislation was passed. the interstate highway act of 1956. ike lobbied hard for that to pass, and considered that one of his major collisions. the bill passed in 1956, and construction started pretty soon after that.
steve: and, as i look at these tires, they really look so thin. i'm wondering how they were able to sustain the weight of the vehicle, the truck, and also the journey from washington to san francisco. michael: it is interesting. a man by the name of frank seiberling, who was the c.e.o. of goodyear, rode a fairly significant part of this along with the convoy, and he later wrote about the need for better tires so i think better tires came out, as a consequence, out of this trip. just as so many other things did. steve: now we're heading further west, past the rockies, into this as this film depicts, they are going very slowly. michael: they are. i've been on that road and there's a precipitous vertical drop-off on the left side and even though there's a small guard rail, a truck that size would easily break through a guard rail if someone lost control.
they went very slowly there. the road is only one lane and that had to stretch out a little bit because of the dust but fortunately they got through and over the pass. this is close to a high pass going over the sierras and down into california. i think the top of it was about 7,600 feet. they were able to get over the past and back down with no other mishaps. steve: were there any other vehicles at the time? michael: very few vehicles and at this point, the police and highway patrol did not allow other vehicles on that highway while they were on that pass. that was fortunate because they would have a difficult time passing any other vehicle as narrow as the road was. steve: what are they doing here? michael: this is in utah. the road was very bad there. they're actually cutting sage brush to put underneath the vehicles to get some traction for the vehicles, because they were in this deep sand. they had difficulty getting through the sand. in fact, they said some of the
vehicles were so heavy, they sunk down two feet into the sand. so they were putting down sage brush to get some traction. steve: but again, a journey that lasted a couple of months. you mentioned earlier they were self-sustaining, but how'd they wash their clothes, make sure they had enough to eat, what if they had medical issues? how do they deal with all of that? michael: they had a couple of medical cars with medical supplies and really, remarkably, there were very few serious injuries. a few people had to drop out because of injuries, but no really life-threatening injury along the way. in terms of keeping clean, i think they stayed pretty dusty west of chicago. when they got to san francisco, there was a big washdown. steve: now, we're even further west, almost in san francisco, but this is a pretty barren part
of utah. michael: yes, it is and as you can see, there were no service stations or towns in sight. this is why they had to be self-sufficient. of course, they had a couple of kitchen wagons, and you can see one on the left. here you can see it a bit better. they're preparing a meal there. a pretty primitive way to cook, but that's how they did it and of course, cooking for 81 men on a contraption like that wasn't easy. steve: and they had to be hungry. michael: they did. they had a lot of complaints about the food in the beginning in part because the person who was doing the cooking was also a supply officer. and in omaha they got a full-time cook and the food improved quite a bit. steve: how'd they determine who was going to be on this journey -- how were they selected? michael: they asked for volunteers and then they found people who said they were familiar with vehicles. and were prepared to drive across the country. as it turned out, some of the drivers had a very limited experience with driving. steve: we are so connected today with cell phone technology.
how did the leaders of this convoy communicate with the military, ask for supplies, what was that all like? michael: the person who kept the diaries, jackson, once they would set camp for the night, he would go to the nearest town if he could reach it and end a -- send a telegram back to washington to report on progress, difficulties, conditions of the vehicles. so jackson was responsible for keeping in touch and it's those submissions that make up a key part of his daily log. steve: in terms to have timeline, did they have a certain schedule that they were determined to meet? did they want to be in san francisco by early september? how did that work out? michael: they had an open-ended commitment. they wanted to get there as quickly as possible. part of the goal, objective of the trip, was to see how difficult it would be, since nobody had tried something like this before, and the military
wanted to see how quickly could get troop trains and trucks out to the west coast if we ever needed to get them there. steve: have any of these trucks been preserved? michael: these particular ones, i don't believe they have. they were at the end of the line . once they got to san francisco, they were cleaned up and refurbished and sent off to different military bases all over the western part of the u.s., so they were separated then. steve: but they had to deal with every time of terrain and weather condition, heat, rain, probably no snow at the time of the year, but a lot of potential storms. michael: yes, and elwell jackson was complaining about the dust. he was not aware, but the alternative to dust was heavily rain in which they would have sunk down into the mud. they would have had to drag the vehicles out of the mud. the dust was preferable to the
rain and mud. steve: what surprised you the most in researching this journey? michael: i think the fact that so few people knew about this trip. it seems to me it was such an important part of american history and laid the foundation for motorized travel in the u.s., but very few people knew about it. i stopped in libraries in every town along the way and looked up in the log of newspapers of the newspaper that was published the day after the convoy had been there. it was always front page headlines in each of those newspapers all along the way, yet few people, nowadays, know about this trip. steve: as they look at the mountains in nevada, did they have someone ahead to make sure they knew the road conditions and how treacherous they were? michael: yes and that's an important point. there were two men on harley davidson motorcycles so they
went ahead of the convoy all the way. first of all, they would mark if there was a fork in the road and if they saw difficulties, they would look at how to deal with it and come back and consult with the convoy. so, those two men on harley-davidsons really played a key role. steve: how fast or slow were they going right here? michael: they averaged in the west about 6 miles per hour, so it was pretty slow. steve: and do you know who shot this film? michael: they had some publicity people with them to take film. they really wanted to have am -- have a good record of the film. steve: if you grew up in the east and you are heading out to lake tahoe, spectacular sites. michael: yes, you can see lake tahoe in the background there. today, it is still a spectacular sight, such a bright blue. that was kind of a milestone for the men because they knew they were on the border of california. they were in nevada here, but
close to california, and soon, there would be paved roads. steve: so they had a sense they'd almost reach it would finish line? michael: that's right. they were keenly aware of that. steve: how far is this from san francisco? michael: this is still in eastern california but right along here they got on paved roads. no, it looks like that's yet unpaved but very soon there will be paved roads. this is in eastern california. very small town, even nowadays. i saw they have a sign, welcome to the town. now leaving the town right next to one another. steve: and we can see some of the flags and some of the people when they arrived. michael: here we're on a paved road again and it was pretty good pavement, recently paved all the way to san francisco. steve: we talked about then lieutenant colonel eisenhower. was he one of the leaders? michael: no, he was not.
he was one of the officers but the leader, the commanding officer, was colonel charles mcclure, who retired after this trip. so, this was his final mission in the military. steve: we just saw a moment ago, in sacramento, it looked like a parade of sorts. michael: yes, they knew that they were coming. the governor of california actually welcomed them at the nevada state line and he prepared welcomes along the way. they have a big welcoming parade, committee, in sacramento, and an even larger one in san francisco. steve: so we're midway between the capital of california, sacramento. and it's about an hour and a half today from sacramento to san francisco. michael: it took them a little bit longer -- quite a bit longer , and of course, they had to take two ferries to get across from oakland to san francisco. but you see there were power lines there. they are back into civilization. steve: you can only speculate
what they're there waving. what do you think they were thinking? michael: and it's almost over. i've gone the worst part and now in oakland, they really knew the end was in sight and quite excited about getting in. and here they're at the port in oakland. they're getting ready to get all the trucks on two ferries that would cross the bay there. again, by now, they had 75 vehicles. big news, there were plenty of people who turned out. steve: and this is the bridge you were talking about a moment ago? michael: these were the fairies, no bridge. steve: fairies, sorry -- ferries, no bridge. sorry.ferries, michael: they went across to the water front in san francisco. steve: did someone make the journey in advance of the convoy
to map out the route? michael: a group had driven previously in their own private automobile. they had some experience from them. one of the most fascinating individuals to drive cross-country was the etiquette guru, emily post. she drove with her son across country. steve: explain what we're looking at now. michael: this is the sort of closing ceremony. they were greeted by military personnel. that's the mayor in the top hat. this is the ferry terminal in san francisco. they were coming around that and driving toward lincoln park, which is where they parked the vehicles. you can see them going down toward lincoln park. that's sort of the water going off to what is now the golden gate bridge. steve: your overall assessment of this film and its impact on history? michael: i think the trip, first of all, was what had the greatest impact on history because, so many people saw
this, and this was the dawn of the automobile age, and it really led people to think automobiles are really the wave of the future, so i think that had a major impact. i think the film is interesting as an historic artifact and just to remind us how far we've come in really only a century, because it was exactly a century ago. this, of course, had a major impact on eisenhower, and he said himself that trip really led him to be interested in an interstate highway system, so it had major impacts in that way. steve: he wrote a summary report november 5, 1919, about two months after arriving in san francisco. let me share with you part of extended trips" by trucks through the middle western parts of the states are impractical until roads are improved. and then, only light truck's should be used on long halls. it is believed that the motor transportation corps should pay more attention to disciplinary drills for men, and they should be intelligent, snappy soldiers.
before giving them the responsibility to operate tracks. two different points there. michael: eisenhower, like all the other people of the convoy, so how bad the roads were. they were shocked. they realized the military is interested in finding out if they could move trucks and equipment and men across the country quickly. they saw, no, we can't. it would be quite an effort, so we need improved roads to the west, not only for the military, but more and more civilians were getting automobiles. and the second one, eisenhower wrote about the lack of discipline early on, especially in the first few weeks of the convoy. as i said earlier, a lot of men who were not used to driving vehicles, they were more used to horse and buggy, and they were not able to follow orders very well. he also faulted some of the officers who did not get the discipline that they should have from the men. steve: this is 1919. the interstate system was not created until 1956.
r decadesly fou later, why did it take so long? michael: there was interest but the great depression came along and there was no money. and then world war ii came along, and there were other priorities. fdr did say we need to have cross-country highway system. after the war, truman was interested, and under truman there were some roads built, but it was not until eisenhower came along that a full interstate highway act that was passed. it allocated the money necessary to start the build a nationwide system. steve: i know you are about to make the journey again. for those who want to re-create the route, how can they do that? michael: they can read my book, first of all. the lincoln highway association has a couple thousand active members, annual conferences, and they have been very busy promoting the lincoln highway. -- highway, keeping the knowledge of the highly active, so i would say go to the lincoln
highway association's website. look at what they have for the information there. you can get detailed maps. in each of the states along the way, tourist bureaus have information on the lincoln highway as well. steve: the roads are certainly better today, but those who make the route, would they see similar topography? michael: yes, absolutely. they would see more farms and small towns coming up. and, more buildings along the way, but the topography is the same. nowadays, you have the interstates, so if you want to do this fast, you can get out there in just a few days. i found it a lot more fun and a lot more interesting to go on the small roads, because they still go right down main street of all the small towns, just like the convoy did. steve: two points. first, they made their way through these communities, the reaction among the townspeople was what? michael: very enthusiastic. they had the two advance men on the motorcycle saying the convoy will be here in three hours.
they knew it was coming at some point. they got precise advance notice from the two people on harley davidson's. they could bring out the people and have a little parade as the convoy passed through. that was an important factor. steve: finally, you touched on this on a number of occasions, but the importance of this convoy, this trip, was what? michael: several things. first of all, it showed a trip like this could be done but it was challenging. if the military wanted to get military vehicles cross country quickly, they needed to improve the roads. also, there were a number of civilians who were interested in better roads. several them had started the good roads movement. some of those people from the good roads movement drove along with the convoy for portions, and they used this as a way to recruit more people to the good roads movement, but also to
press different state governments to allocate more money for highways and improve the highways along the way. it was a concerted effort by both military and civilians to improve the highways and the west. steve: for you personally, retired from the foreign service? michael: it was a great adventure. i met a lot of people along the way. it was gratifying for me to be able to tell this story, because, as i said, so many people had never heard about this. steve: the book is entitled "after ike." michael owen, thank you very much for joining us. michael: thank you, my pleasure. this weekend on american history tv, today at 2:00 p.m. eastern, historians talk about the lessons learned from the reconstruction period after the civil war. >> whiteness after the civil war was a very of exclusion as it states that only white men can
vote. to excludeas used others. but in the civil rights act, whites become a baseline. if whites enjoy certain legal rights, everybody else has to enjoy those rights also. announcer: at 8:00, the thedustrialization of united states in the 1970's 1980's. and sunday, the psychological impact of flying on world war i pilots. at 7:00, women in the apollo program and challenges they face. >> there were cameras all over the place, and they are supposed to be in the room as a whole, but this camera, i had no idea how long it had been on me. i didn't say anything about it and we didn't even know the term sexual harassment or hostile workforce. there are two different ways to think about it. one is that it is a little , harassing, and
uncomfortable, but the other way to think about it is that let them look and let everybody who's not in this dam room no there is a woman here -- damn here,now there is a woman and get used to it. announcer: american history tv, every weekend, on c-span3. q&a,ncer: sunday night, on as the house launches an inquiry into impeachment on president trump, here about one of the historians who worked on the report commissioned the house to dishy airy committee back in 1974 on the impeachment -- house judiciary committee back in 1974 on the impeachment. >> one official thought of the utility of the report of this and turned to van woodward and asked woodward to be the
commander-in-chief of a project of preparing such a report, which was unprecedented. introduction of the original. he asked people to be field identifiedd they 12 historians to write 1, 2, or three sketches of that many presidencies. i was chosen to be one. we had eight weeks to do it. it was a day before facts, email, judiciary shooting -- judicial nation. andessor woodward submitted that is last we heard of it. six weeks later, the president resigned. announcer: watch, sunday night at a the clock eastern on q&a.an's announcer: sunday at 9:00
eastern on afterwards, in his book, paul tough reports on the challenges and costs of a college education. he is interviewed by sarah, author and founding director of the hope center for college community and justice. >> we are still debating about whether a 12 grade education is enough. it is obviously not enough, and all of the signs from the economy and labor market are that it is not enough, but unlike our previous successors who were able to respond to that basic -- those basic economic signs saying educate our young people, we are finding that in turning it into questions of identity, snobbery, politics, partisanship, when clearly there's a sign that our young people need our support and help and we need more education, credentials, skills to survive in the current economy. announcer: watch afterwards, sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span two.
announcer: next, on american history tv, historian damien talks about alexander hamilton's military career and his relationship with george damien cregeau talks about alexander hamilton's military career and his relationship with george washington. >> welcome. i am so happy all of you are here and joining us today for this program. if you have not been here before, definitely after the lecture today, please stay and take a tour with our staff. before i introduce our guest speaker today, just a few rules or bits of information. we do have light refreshments for you in the kitchen. there is coffee, tea, cheese, crackers, cookies.