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tv   Reel America The Eternal Fight - 1948  CSPAN  June 13, 2020 2:05pm-2:31pm EDT

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today was appropriate -- would you please join with me in dr. margaret mcmillan. >> you are watching c-span three. in july of 1948, the world health organization held its first assembly meeting in geneva, switzerland. up next, as the who makes news amid the coronavirus pandemic, we present the united nations film made in the organization's founding year. after documenting the history of human diseases and health problems created by an increase of world travel, the film describes how the who plans to ordinate global efforts to prevent and fight diseases. ♪
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>> deliver us. deliver us from the plague. from hunger. from war. this is been the cry of mankind through all time. blinded by ignorance, he lashed out against the black plague. and so with maddened efforts to stem prejudice and intolerance which too often resulted in cruel and vicious treatment of those suffering from contagious diseases.
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despite the raging panic of ignorance, scientists of many nations went to work, painfully belabored to bring such light of knowledge, using every means of communication to share their findings with each other. it was the dutchman who, with research health, provided scientists everywhere with a new and powerful version of the microscope. now at last the hidden enemy could be examined under the probing searchlight of science. the hunt was on for contagious diseases and their causes wherever they existed.
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in italy, a scientist pioneered the work on the origin and growth of microscopic organisms. he proved that fermentation did not take place in sealed containers but occurred only through contact with microorganisms in the air. jenner in england painstakingly developed vaccination and a little english girl was the first to wince at the sting of a vaccination needle. and pasteur in france, his was the research that proved microorganisms were at the root of disease. in germany, a scientist isolated the bacillus and the dreaded
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germ of cholera. across the sea in america, walter reed and his colleagues sought to prove the mosquito was the sole transmitter of yellow fever. they offered their lives and won. old prejudices were smashed. then, in the course of the 19th century, the world underwent a change, give birth to the industrial revolution, transformed man's way of life. men, women, and children became part of a vast machine. deprived of sunshine and
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fresheners met from the country, men's bodies rusted, became more vulnerable to contagion. new means of transportation brought the world close together, making one tremendous and congested city. from a disease infected zone, the traveler now became unwittingly a carrier of deadly germs. wherever he went, the germs stayed and spread. epidemics breakout far from the known infected areas. country to country. continent to continent. the deadly cargo of microbes is transported.
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menacing on a vast scale the very existence of humanity. mass infection and epidemics are a threat to every city, to every nation. scientific and medical work on a local scale are no longer enough. thus in common defense, nations join an international agreement in the battle against epidemics. medical agreements and protective measures are organized. when an epidemic strikes, the country is subjected to special restrictive measures. step by step the dangers of contagion grow less and less. war.
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the first great world war like all wars, sucking mankind down to misery and death, and with every war, pestilence and disease. epidemics wreak havoc greater than war, wipeout civilian populations. problem is everywhere and must be dealt with internationally. the network of medical information is swiftly organized. through radio, and newspapers. the league of nations spreads information that all may fight the threat of diseases.
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in geneva, this immense storehouse of information becomes part of the arsenal in the battle of doctors. reports are checked and sent out, ready for use. trains are entering and leaving stations. ships leave and dock at foreign ports. millions live, work, and suffer. for the sailor, it's always hard to say goodbye. harder still when your wife is sick, burning with fever and you have to pull anchor. there's nothing wrong, you say? she will be all right in a couple of days. besides, you need the job.
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but neither of you suspect typhus, the black plague. and so, goodbye. both have become carriers of deathdealing germs. germs that will blast the lives of shipmates. germs that are traveling to start a terrible epidemic. anywhere, any place.
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epidemics start anytime, anyplace, wherever you are. wherever she is now in a hospital, there are no doubts. it is contagious. immediate action although she might in fact or has already infected. who is she? a friend, kinfolk. send the alert everywhere. to every nation, every port. every language. a message to all ships at sea. every day, almost every moment. for epidemics strike almost anytime, anyplace, wherever you are.
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a protective mechanism is set in motion. the quarantine service issues the necessary orders for an investigation and control. the ship is stuck. the sick man brought ashore. all others are fully protected by inoculation. ♪
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>> and now the ship is thoroughly disinfected. rats are haunted out of their hiding places. cyanide gas does the trick. teams of specialists fumigate the boat from stem to stern. everything completely disinfected before the ship is able to sail out to safety.
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such cooperation protects mankind from recurring epidemics. international cooperation provides immediate action to smash a quick striking enemy. today, there are no distances. today, the airplane links continents. today the peoples of the world are one people joined over the globe.
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today, people of all races moved from country to country in a matter of hours. today, vital medical control is established through moderate points of international exchange. the health information services has been an extended from the seaport organization. is this sufficient? how long before a potential epidemic can be predicted? from one continent to another. only a few hours' flying time. but cholera takes longer to show
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itself and yellow fever, three to six days and incubation period of smallpox, seven to 16 days. passengers in a modern plane look healthy. they are. how do we know? that little girl, when she got the doll, did she receive germs as well? some passengers are germ carriers. they will reach their destination before any symptoms show. the quarantine system cannot get thorough medical control. today, that system of defense is no longer enough. today, epidemics must be crushed at the very source.
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unfortunately, in some countries, contagious diseases exist in an endemic state. that is permanently. india has certain places that are always affected with cholera. this plague can extend to western europe. in africa, some forms of malaria still rage. germs can easily be transmitted to south america. and cholera in japan could strike suddenly in the west coast of the united states. personally infected zones are localized. it may cover entire continents. the struggle against epidemics
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is a global one. for the danger of death is worldwide. then what is the answer? within the framework of the united nations, a new organization exists to promote the welfare of all people. the world health organization. in its first assembly, dr. chisholm declared this organization was physically prepared to raise the health level of all people and forever restore the human afflictions of colorado, tuberculosis and syphilis. the prime objective of the world health organization is the fight against disease on a global
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scale. the representatives of nearly every nation have signed on, and this means an organization with the authority to act. epidemics, no matter what part of the world they may inspect are a potential danger to all other nations. the world organization will make full use of every existing means. a tremendous movement of world solidarity is born. inoculation already widely used will be extended. millions of people will be given prophylactic injections. a widespread system of medical control will be everywhere.
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enormous quantities of serums, vaccines and powerful drugs such as penicillin. a constant flow of up-to-date information in every nation now makes it possible to apply the discoveries of modern medicine. cholera broke out in egypt shortly before the first sibling meeting of the world health organization. the first cases were instantly reported.
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from cairo, every nation was immediately alerted. new york was then the clearinghouse for the vaccines and equipment needed to fight the epidemic that was menacing egypt. how about serums, needles, syringes -- anything else? anything? don't worry about the payment. the world health organization will pay. let's get going fast. the answer was swift. the soviet union and the united states. vaccines were shipped. planes with precious food into egypt. in record time the egyptian government have the entire population immunized.
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six put into isolation wards. the affected areas were methodically disinfected. and within three months, completely eradicated from egypt. ♪ in the internal battle, the struggle has been won, won by international cooperation. but there is a tremendous test before us. a test for all people, by all people. the lives of little children, too, must he saved, that mothers might yet smile in a new world.
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>> you are watching american history tv, covering history c-span-style with event coverage, eyewitness accounts, archival films, lectures in college classrooms, and visits to museums and historic places. on weekend, every weekend, c-span3. on our civil war series, kelly hancock of the american civil war museum talks about the 1863 richmond bread riots, a protest of hundreds of poor and working-class women. here's a preview. >> on april 2, which is the day of the riot, he reported, this morning, a few hundred women and boys met at my concert in the capital square, saying they were hungry and must have food. continued swell until there were more than a thousand.
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these were mostly foreign residents with exemptions in their pockets. jones was correct in his assessment that the meeting had been prearranged. one of the leaders of the bread riot was a woman named mary jackson. market a seller in the and had been in the market for seven years. she had a husband who is a painter, a little younger than she was. together, they had four children. one of them was a son in the army. mary jackson had made herself well-known by continually going to the war department and seeking a discharge for her son. word,ry jackson spread the day before, she was talking up this riot that was going to take place -- not this riot, but protest that was going to take place. described bywas
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the richmond examiner as a good specimen of a 40-year-old amazon with the eye of the devil. another paper said she had and i like a vixen. i will talk about the betrayal of the women in the bread riot as we go along, but mary jackson arranged for women of the town hill inin belvidere oregon hill, a working-class neighborhood. at this meeting, they decided they would go to the provision stores and demand goods at government price. that was their goal. they wanted to go to the market and pay the same price for the goods it purchased for the soldiers. >> learn more about the 1863 richmond red riots today at 6 p.m. eastern, 3 p.m. pacific,
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here on american history tv. >> up next on american history tv, bancroft and pulitzer prize-winning historian, gordon wood, delivers a talk titled the revolutionary roots of the civil war. he discusses the founder's views on slavery and argues the civil war was inevitable. the james madison memorial fellowship foundation hosted this event. >> we are privileged to have gordon s would with us for this 2019 james madison lecture. professor wood is, i think it is fair to say, the dean of early american historians. he is a professor emeritus at brown university, born in concord, massachusetts, where the revolutionary war began. he was raised in that commonwealth and graduated summa con la out of from tufts university and earned a phd from harvard university, where he studied under bernard phelan.

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