Skip to main content

tv   Reel America The American Revolution of 63 - NBC News Report  CSPAN  July 12, 2020 3:59pm-5:16pm EDT

3:59 pm
it includes appearances by well-known activists, scenes from historic civil rights events, and comments. this is the first 70 minutes of the report, which covers protest movements in albany, georgia, birmingham, alabama, cambridge, maryland, and in the northern cities of englewood, new jersey, chicago, and brooklyn. it also looks at the history of slavery and jim crow laws. an oralp.m. eastern, history interview with u.s. army veteran john jeffries recorded in 2014 by the korean war legacy foundation. at 6:00 p.m. eastern on american artifacts, a tour of the whitney plantation, in louisiana plantation that traces its history to 1752 and in an unprecedented three hour
4:00 pm
report, nbc news presents the american revolution of 63. here is frank mcgee. >> there comes a time there even comes a moment in the affairs of -- for some, the moment arrives when a deed of new dimension sets the hour apart, for others, when words are spoken more sharply. later, but still suddenly, it seems men are saying and doing things they have never said or done before. then we know we are experiencing a revolution. but we cannot say, though he'll store in's will try -- though historians will try, when it began. we know that autumn does not begin with the turning of the leaves, but earlier, on some afternoon when a shadow passes over the fields, and it is no longer in summer. so did "the american revolution of '63," begin in birmingham in
4:01 pm
1955, or in montgomery, or in 1954 with the supreme court decision, or in 1863 with the proclamation. some of its roots reach back to 1776, even back to the year 52, when the apostle paul said god has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth. the truth is, the american revolution 1963 began in all of those years, that those generations past along to this one a restless vision that sometimes and -- sometimes absent sometimes flows but moves toward freedom for all men. our purpose now is to define this revolution. we propose to show how it began. it began in many ways, the corset is following, there are many tributaries, and its effects.
4:02 pm
to do this, we shall take the next three hours. we have step list no rigid form -- we have established no rigid form for doing this, revolutions don't fit easily into standard containers. we are confident that any strand in a fabric being woven will ultimately cross all the other stance, as in albany, georgia. there and into hundreds of southern communities, the church is the negro's privileged sanctuary. the story was covered by herbert caplow. ♪ [religious spiritual being sung] ♪
4:03 pm
herbert: music has long used as an expression of protest, and why in september 1961 albany became a target, no one is sure. the resentment showed itself in albany in song and in other forms and arenas of demonstration. ♪ >> oh, freedom, my lord i will be free freedom, freedom, herbert kohl and a ban on demonstrations has brought more
4:04 pm
than 1500 arrests of desegregation us so far, most last sub when forces of martin luther king were prominent in the drive. from outside albany came ministers and rabbis to demonstrate in street prayer. >> we are here to offer up our prayers to god. >> what is your purpose? >> our purpose is to offer our prayers to god. >> i am asking you to disperse and go your normal way, go back to your normal places of livelihood, preach to your own congregation, and clear your own community of lawlessness before you come here to try to convert us. anybody else want to be heard from? >> blessed to be the lord. from this time forth, and forever more. herbert kohl and the clergymen,
4:05 pm
like other demonstrators, were arrested. and as albany became a bigger national story, city officials continued in their refusal to negotiate with the negroes, which brought comment from president kennedy. >> i find it inexplicable why the city of albany will not sit down with the citizens of albany, who may be negroes, and an attempt to negotiate with them. i can't understand why the city council of albany can't do the same for american citizens. herbert: the otherwise quiet
4:06 pm
georgia city, 37,000 whites, 23,000 negroes remained stalemated in the fight. >> we are all disappointed with the recalcitrance of the city commission, and their refusal to talk with leaders of the albany movement. but in spite of this, we see something developing in this community, which is one of the most significant elements in the civil rights struggle. and i am convinced that within the next few months, we will be able to see changes in this community, and will completely change in terms of desegregation and new levels of communication. herbert: but what has resulted from 1500 arrests? tangibly, little, negro leaders concede. assume was filed against of the federal government and alleged retaliation against a white juror who voted against their
4:07 pm
interest in another matter. the white community of albany has done nothing of significance, knows desegregation of stores, no committee formed. there are no demonstrations now in albany, mass meetings every monday night, but little else. the police chief says albany is it not the way it was before all this. in tangibly, there is one thing that did come out of albany for the negroes. martin luther king learned the lessons of failure here, and did not build -- did not repeat them in his next foray, birmingham. >> there are now and have always been those who wish to stand aloof from a messy struggle and utmost, to remain unemotionally involved. they are always an uncomfortable and usually an unhappy lot. more than 100 years ago, an old woman, the mother of a member of lincoln's cabinet, said these words, of all these things in the world i hate slavery the most, except abolitionist. these abolitionists, scourge of the south and bane of the north, crossed the line between righteousness and
4:08 pm
self-righteousness sent spread what many union men considered pernicious views until they enlarge toward to save the union into a war to abolish slavery. in amherst, massachusetts, buildings and trees stand guard over 100 memories. there is a doorway now known to students for over a century and a half. here is a student name henry ward beecher, who established a church in brooklyn. here he could read "the liberator," the anti-slavery newspaper published by the uncompromising william lloyd garrison. beecher would remember, and in the years ahead he would shock cap the country by auctioning a slave girl from the pulpit of his church, a stirring protest. there was hollis greeley -- there was horace greeley of the
4:09 pm
powerful "new york tribune," beauty are ours he said, security belongs to god. and ilia ward how -- julia ward howe, writing the words that would be spoken at thousand times when the angry storm came. each protesting slavery. and here is how it started. africa, the coast of guinea, a tribesman properly subdued and brendan -- and brent did, but -- brought a better price. branded brought a better price. africa, the coast of guinea, a tribesman properly set nude and brought a better price than rice. they were packed into ships. these are their children, names and age unknown. the price, it was a thing of supply and demand. february 5, it was a tuesday, magazine street in new york, 41 sold to the highest bidder. there was lewis, a, a black man, 32, good field hand and labor. shelley, 26. wesley. anderson, a 24-year-old bricklayer and mason brought the day's top price, $2700. ♪
4:10 pm
it was the same in new amsterdam and a score of ports and inland cities. $2700 for a bricklayer. their women made good servants, but the babies could do nothing useful, not for long time. sometimes, they were not made a part of the auction. it was a matter of business, or so they said. ♪
4:11 pm
a peculiar institution was argued and debated, attacked and defended, but it was there. ♪ some streets were different. events might have happened differently. and those against slavery almost won in the beginning. by the end of the revolutionary war, it was acknowledge that slavery was not only immoral, it was economically unwise. you could fire a slave.
4:12 pm
he had to be fed and clothed. the system was dying out. ♪ it might have died out completely, but for this man. he was not an evil man. his name was eli whitney. in 1793, he invented a device to separate cotton seeds from the fiber. it was brilliantly simple. now, a girl could do the work of men. 10 could replace 100. ♪ and suddenly almost, cotton became the main crop of the south. cotton, everywhere, replacing rice and tobacco and sorghum. cotton, quickly baled for the endless boats that waited at river thames, cotton for the hungry mills of new england, whose hunger seemed to grow when it was fed. windows on a stark, man-made landscape that seemed to stretch to a horizon. ♪ and those who apologized for slavery were called back, called back to draw pictures on how the word of god was given to a happy
4:13 pm
and well loved people. just picture an evening seen on the river, music, dancing and singing voices per that was the idea. but this is closer to the reality. and this. if any tried to escape, this. in 1854, a new book appeared, "uncle tom's cabin" it seems hopelessly old fashioned now, but to its generation, it came like an avenging bolt of lightning. president lincoln would meet the author, harriet teacher style, sister of henry ward -- harriet beecher stowe, sister of the reverend henry ward beecher. we can't know what it was like in a darkened theater to sit and watch a play unfold. in 1903, thomas edison made a
4:14 pm
film, and it looked like this. liza crosses the ice to freedom. ♪ now, the beating of uncle tom. the villain is simon lou correa, harsh overseer of the slaves. uncle tom, and here came the classic time does classic line that brought tears to a generation. "you may own my body, but my soul belongs to god."' ♪ and a change was coming. new york city. here, in a lovely brownstone
4:15 pm
building that still exists, came a hint that the issue was moving toward a summer revolution. in the winter of 18 to 60 -- 1860 came abraham lincoln, a politician from illinois, relatively unknown, and he wouldn't have been invited at all if horace greeley at the tribute hadn't been dissatisfied with all the other republican leaders. mr. lincoln might have had something to say. he did. he said we can not afford to let slavery alone where it is, but can we? should we allow it to spread into the national territory and overrun us here in the free states? if our sense of duty for bids this, let us stand by our duty, and fearlessly and effectively. neither let us be slanted by our duty by for psyches asian
4:16 pm
against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of disruption to the government or of dungeons for ourselves. let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dared to do our duty as we understand it." it doesn't seem like a very powerful statement, not here and not to us, but it was daring and dramatic in 1860. and suddenly everyone was talking about the lean man with the sad eyes who came to new york and spoke his peace. 100-year-old words that echo still. ♪ there were hints of the conflict to come. this is harpers ferry, 1850 nine, a place of no importance at all except for the presence of a government armory. and here came john brown. the plan was to capture arms and
4:17 pm
start a negro revolt, but it failed and brown was executed. "i, john brown, and certain the crimes of this guilty land will not be purged away but with lot. that with blood -- but with blood." it came first at a place called bull run. there would be more. on september 9, 100 years ago, cool in maryland, pleasant and september, but not that night. somewhere up ahead, many would die. 26,000 americans died, for each army about equal. lincoln would call it a victory. he came to antietam to talk strategy with general mcclellan, but his thoughts were long and deep. now is the time. he spoke with his cabinet. stanton was against it. no, no. secretary seward, all of them doubted. andy and single resolution and
4:18 pm
single resolution and in loneliness, lincoln made the decision. but on the first day of january, 1863, all persons held as slaves within any state or designated a part of the state, the people thereof shall then be in rebellion against the united states, shelby then and thenceforth and forever -- shall be then and thenceforth and forever free. and i make known that persons of suitable condition shall be welcomed into the armed forces of the united states. and if we must have a reckoning, perhaps it is here. he is not for sale, this man. he is a soldier, bound to his status and his job. perhaps it began here. for men who dared to fight end dared to dream, and now, for the
4:19 pm
first time, we really saw their faces. ♪ the proclamation emancipated no slaves. lincoln had known it would not. such a dig pre--- such a decree, surely, could not be more binding than the constitution, and that cannot be enforced in the part of the country right now. the proclamation would only free the slaves after union and peace. and on august 6, 18 64, it was said that peace must come through the negotiations of grant and sherman. william tecumseh sherman, red bearded and perhaps half mad, but seeing in a way that perhaps only the half mad to see. sherman realized hatred had become the driving force of the work. he accepted this. his name, he said was to rip the rebels, humble their pride, follow them to their recesses and make them fear and dread us.
4:20 pm
he did. atlanta, georgia. sherman, first to realize technology had changed the classics of warfare, was the first to strike at the source of the armed power instead of the armed power itself. 99 years ago today, he battered his way into atlanta and began the ruthless disruption of the city. rail lines were ripped up. bonfires were dealt with the ties and the rails were heated red-hot and twisted around trees to make him furious. foundries were wrecked, smokestacks wrecked. the flames spread to an arsenal and night explosions thundered against flame red skies. sherman replied, war is cruel and you cannot refine it. when he rode out of the city, one third of atlanta lay in ashes. today, although atlanta has not really forgotten, it has changed. and with nbc's sandra van and atlanta constitution editor ralph mcgill, surveyed the city.
4:21 pm
>> atlanta began as early as 1819, with a cook -- 1919, with the commission dealing with interracial problems. this continued end in 1938 it was established in two a southern regional counsel with offices in all the southern states but with headquarters here. this was a research organization. well, this sort of background made it possible for interested persons to look at the city. we like to think we played a
4:22 pm
part here at this newspaper, "the atlanta constitution." we had a lot of help, especially from mayor bill hartsfield, mayor for 23 years. i remember bill coming to see us about 16 years ago, and we began a campaign on the paper to help them put in negro police. the old story, opposition, there will be blood in the streets, well, nothing happened. it was enormously successful. we now have some of them promoted to officer status. we still have got a great deal to do with making this a better city for police. we had a fine police chief, and still have him, herbert jenkins, who trained his foleys early -- is police early, well before the eisenhower administration or kennedy administration began to bring civil rights to the fore. this police chief was training officers and patrol men in the right of citizens. atlanta has not been a lucky city, but we have worked out it, and we have worked together at this. and we have not been unaware of
4:23 pm
the problem. >> you have looked at this problem for a long time. in atlanta, negro aspirations here are a reflection of something profound going on in american society. >> i think it is something going on in american society. looking at it across a span of 35 years in this city, it seems to me that we were going along and making progress. indeed, we had done most of the things in atlanta before the great out first of sit-ins and demonstrations. but it seems to me that what happened in birmingham, alabama, police dogs, several days of fruit allergy, -- several days of brutality, televisions showing it a newspapers writing about it, this seemed to me to change the pattern overnight.
4:24 pm
it seemed like the proclamation ending slavery, that the sparks from it fell on every state in the union. what happened in birmingham, the sparks fell on every state in the union, and this is what changed things. this opened up demands for the civil rights in the north, the east end west. so i feel like -- north, the east and the west. so i feel like this is a national thing, and we are well on our way. but right is happening now, there is no question of national involvement. narrator: nearly a decade after the supreme court ended school segregation with all speed, the annual right was the enrollment of a few negro students in previously all-white schools. sometimes it was accompanied by
4:25 pm
howling mobs, but overwhelmingly, most white americans felt the negro was making progress. it was not until the spring of this year, 1963, delusion was shattered suddenly arrest but not fully awakened, some of us were baffled by the new character of the struggle. schools were no longer the prime target. in baltimore, it was an amusement. and ministers and whites of all faith were arrested for joining negroes in trespassing on segregated ground. the movement had negro negro evolved so thates -- the movement had evolved so that negroes were evoking the constitution itself. the negro had spilled his cause out of the newspapers and courtrooms into the streets. it happened in birmingham, alabama. it is reported by richard.
4:26 pm
richard: last may, water from high-pressure fire hoses sent dozens of negroes sprawling here just a few blocks from downtown birmingham. police also used dogs, motorcycles, even in armed car to break up negro mobs. it came after a five-week demonstration against racial segregation in birmingham, the most totally segregated big-city in the south. the campaign was directed by reverend martin luther king jr.. behind me is the 16th street baptist church, the staging area for the demonstrations. on good friday, i watched dr. king lead a small march through this part. police commissioner eugene connor ordered his arrest. these men played principal roles in the drama of birmingham. [indiscernible conversations] [whistle] >> we preach and practice the
4:27 pm
use of nonviolent direct action to achieve immediate progress on the middle road between complacency and violence. the birmingham movement was directed against white rum -- white supremacy. the campaign began with small-scale marches with police generally using restraint but impatience. then, a new element, following dr. king's campaign to go to jail deliberately to dramatize the negro protest against segregation. the supply of recruits for the nonviolent army was unlimited. about 40% of birmingham were negro. the demonstrations attracted huge crowds of onlookers, negroes who were not trained in the principles of nonviolence. a supercharged atmosphere marked the racial antagonism.
4:28 pm
police dogs were brought in. they had also been used against white crowds during freedom riots 10 years ago. [water spraying from fire hoses] negroes threw rocks and bottles at police and for the next five days, riots and near riots.
4:29 pm
leaders of the birmingham movement joined foleys in an effort to calm the mob, to no event. but leaders insisted there would be no let up in the demonstrations. the demonstrators had aroused long feelings of bitterness and frustration negro negro among the -- frustration among the negro community. now the resentment came to the surface in a violent outbreak. in five days, about 2500 negroes
4:30 pm
were arrested, filling the jails and what dr. king called fulfillment of a dream. burke marshall from the justice department was sent to birmingham to try to regenerate stalled negotiations behind the scenes. governor george wallace sent racial troopers to help subdue the situation. this settlement came may 10. the fight for desegregation of public facilities downtown was in 90 days, at her job opportunities and the creation of a biracial committee. the negro boycott of downtown birmingham, which cost businesses severe losses, was called off. but the trouble was not over. the atmosphere was thick with hatred. extremists thundered the city had sold out. negotiators refused to make their name public. the day after the announcement, the negro hotel and the home of dr. king's mother were bombed. demonstrators went on a march through a nine block area, again bombarding police and firemen with anything they could throw. negro leaders again called for order. the writing remained unchecked
4:31 pm
until the early morning of mother's day. president kennedy ordered federal troops to bases near birmingham. the next morning, police sealed off a 28 block area, carrying shotguns. the next day, dr. king carried his message of nonviolence into a negro pool hall. the new mayor was also threatened with a teargas bombing. more recently, a negro attorney was bomb dent investigating police were pelted by rocks by angry negroes. another crisis loomed on december 4, the first desegregation of the public school system. white fanatics are calling for physical resistance per the city is determined to maintain order. birmingham's racial troubles have not yet run their course. narrator: eugene bull connor, no longer police commissioner comments for this program.
4:32 pm
>> the negro movement is not a revolution, it is one stage. in every civilization, beat and others joined by those who are genuinely unfortunate, and people of limited capacity, aligned themselves, and sometimes this contest is bloody. witness the revolution in france of 1790. the russian communist coup of 1980 team. the chinese takeover of 1946. in the united states, this contest is being waged gradually -- the ballot box. originally in our country, only three people and educate to could vote. then qualifications disappeared, educational qualifications were overlooked. poll taxes were eliminated in the south. now the negro population by the millions is being poured into
4:33 pm
the ballot box to dilute its quality so that our country will be run by its numbers, by those concerned primarily with being fed, clothed and nursed by the government the so-called -- government. the so-called negro movement is an attempt to take over our country by the lazy, the knicks, and some religious, bleeding hearts, all being led by politicians who stay in office by appealing to the most votes. narrator: may 1960 3, 4 months
4:34 pm
ago, and the kennedy administration was still working largely behind the scenes to arrange or nurture the first hesitant and suspicious context between negro and white leaders, hoping to achieve voluntary solutions. in birmingham, a truce was achieved with white as this leaders. during that trouble spring, another truce was achieved with white political leaders in cambridge, maryland. >> even the name of the main street in cambridge, symbolizes the golf, race street -- symbolizes the gulf between blacks and whites, raise street. the campaign has driven them further apart racially. demonstrations and violence
4:35 pm
brought the maryland national guard here in force to maintain order. guardsmen still stand watch after deep racial wounds that have not yet healed. it was organized by the cambridge nonviolent organizing committee, headed by gloria richardson, a militant leader. along the way, nonaction -- nonviolent actions became violent. a long series of arrests, demonstrations, more demonstrations, arrest, broken promises and charges of bad faith from both sides. rioting rocked the city june 11 following a negro march to protest against the sentencing of two youths to correction homes. then a group of counterorganized whites were prevented from going into the negro neighborhood. a modified martial law including a nighttime curfew smothered the violent outbreaks.
4:36 pm
the next three weeks, negotiations stalled while tensions smoldered. on july 8, the guard was pulled out, demonstrations resumed. a restaurant became one of the most improbable focal points of national attention, when the owner smeared a demonstrator with raw egg. afterwards, nbc reporter jack perkins talked with him. >> you saw yourself on television last monday night. we saw a hateful man. are you that kind of man? >> i would say i am just an ordinary american who feels that
4:37 pm
he has a right to defend his livelihood. i hope it never happens again either. >> violence flared again after a prayer meeting at the courthouse. shots were fired by snipers in the dark. the mood of the city was it her anger on outsides. >> they say that we keep begging. we aren't taking nothing. we are telling them what is ours, right now. [crowd cheering] and we are letting them know that we are turning around. we mean that, we will never turn back. >> they can come into town here, but no whites can code their -- can go there. >> i will say it is all one-sided in the newspapers and
4:38 pm
the tv cameras pick one-sided pictures and only talk about what is going on on the other side of town. if i painted myself block, i would be on tv every night. >> again, the curfew, stricter this time. >> demonstrations of all types are prohibited. all stores will be closed at 7:00 p.m. curfew at not :00 p.m. -- at 9:00 p.m. >> please, obey the curfew. please, obey the curfew. >> tear gas was used to break up another protest. even guardsmen were shocked at the violence. president kennedy rebuked the demonstrators for having lost sight of their objective. the governor appealed for a
4:39 pm
solution satisfied -- to satisfy what he called the negroes legitimate call for equality. attorney general robert kenny called for -- robert kennedy called for desegregation of public schools, a federal housing project, a negro at the employment office, and desegregation of public accommodations. in cambridge, the amendment must go to a public referendum next month. whites outnumber negro 221, -- whites outnumber the negro two to one. peace is being enforced from outside the community by the national guard. the solution to a local problem was engineered in washington. if there is a positive side to
4:40 pm
the cambridge story, it may be that other communities are influenced to find a more peaceful solution. narrator: some southern cities had found a delusion even earlier. charlotte, north carolina had integrated hotels and motels, theaters, restaurants, buses, libraries, parks, swimming pools hospitals and churches. but cambridge and birmingham were turbulent tributaries to a stream that was reaching flood tide by september. president kennedy sent a catalog of civil rights proposals to congress, while across the country, negro leaders were being asked with frequency, what is it your people want? the answer depends on where you are. in the south, the goal is service. what might be called consumer rights is a rights. the most basic goals of the southern negro are the vote and education.
4:41 pm
in the north, the negro has consumer rights and the vote, but he joins in the demand for education. and his goals reach beyond public benefits to private advancement, jobs, housing. the north is often guilty of assuming more also. toward -- of assuming moral superiority over the south, because the north allows the negro public benefits, but when he attempts his advancement, the hypocrisy of the north is identified. violence took place in the chicago southside, along the edge of an area that has been an enlargement of the knee group popular -- enlargement of the negro population over the past 20 years. a line between blacks and whites that is called the wall runs between railroad lines on the community from south and west. here is a predominately lower middle-class population fiercely determined to maintain the character of their neighborhood. it was in inglewood that the riot took place. >> 30 apartments in the building, 14 of which were vacant. the land lord that landlord leased at rented the apartment to this negro family, and attention has been placed on the
4:42 pm
area. groups have been gathering every night. there has been disorderly conduct. police have been assaulted. and citizens. [emergency sirens] narrator: it was chicago's worst racial disturbance in more than a decade. why did it happen? strangely, the reasons are the same. distrust. unfamiliar there -- unfamiliarity. bigotry, encouraged by profiteers. similar thoughts -- similar thoughts run through the minds of people all over the united states.
4:43 pm
[emergency sirens] >> it is something that goes to your mind, and your feelings. it is a feeling of disillusionment. i wonder how other people can be this way to other people. >> as a landlord, we don't stand for colored in this building. >> my husband has to work with them. my children have to go to school with them. what i won't have to live with them. won't say i have to live with them. >> they don't know me. there is no desire to know me. when my family came in, they looked at my skin and that was it. they don't know anything about me, and don't care to know. >> i graduated from the
4:44 pm
university of minnesota in education. i went to work at howard university in washington d.c., and did graduate work at a quaker school. >> it doesn't make any difference to me. >> i don't like it that they are moving here. i moved down here from new york to keep away from them. >> we made our commitment that we will stand by it. >> my daughter is 11 months old, she is not 40. a strong commitment has been made. and we have a lot more freedom today than we did, but we have made our commitment to stay, and we will stay. >> the coloreds have been north of 99, and i know the value of our home depreciated then. this has been several years ago.
4:45 pm
the fact that they are not right in the neighborhood, i feel it has decreased the value of our home itself. i have lived here 14 years, and when i came over here, it was a real nice neighborhood, everything was clean, all the property kept up, everybody owned their own home. and everybody got along. until about one year ago, when they broke the block and the real estate man came in. >> immediately upon a nonwhite family moving in, all of the people are pestered every sunday morning, every saturday, by real estate men. do you want to sell? do you want to sell? >> all you have to do is stay where you are. if you stay where you are, you can't be inundated. you can't be run over. >> we don't want to take somebody out or make somebody feel uncomfortable. i believe we will be as fine of neighbors as anybody else.
4:46 pm
>> in the summertime, we will be having colored people using the same pools as we are. >> it isn't a matter of being educated, evidently. this is what i have believed for so long and have been taught, to be educated and be clean and so on. it isn't freedom until the least of us is free, and i am free. because we can't live in our country and be accepted as human beings and free citizens, so something is the matter with something. and it isn't me. narrator: it is permitted, even required of historians to find order in the most disordered human affairs. that is one reason why the history of a revolution shows it from the clearest of causes to the most inevitable resolution.
4:47 pm
but in this resolution, one goal stood about the others and it's attainment was certain. in clemson, south carolina, this year a personable young negro hardly caused a ripple when he entered school at contest -- contrast of that seven years ago when a student prompted distraction when negro students entered. but education is not necessarily the primary goal. for some, it is a house in a white neighborhood, for others, a hamburger at a lunch counter. but there is unanimity on the philosophy shaping the revolution's method. it did not originate with gandhi in india, but a recluse in the new england town of concord. in this rambling old house fashioned toward off cold, new england winters was born henry david thoreau. born in july 1870 in concord,
4:48 pm
massachusetts, a place already touched by history. the years would treat this house kindly, almost as if great full -- as if grateful for giving us this man. it still survives. walden pond was a short walk away and in this remote place haunted by winds and things that scurry about at night was born the idea of passive resistance. thoreau built a cabin here. you can find the site. it was 1845, but already, concord is too crowded read he needed a place to think. he came here. the thoughts he thought and the words he wrote would sound one day in india, in birmingham, richmond, virginia, the campus
4:49 pm
of the university of mississippi. his study was stark, so too his words. unjust laws exist. shall we obey them more amend them -- them or amend them, or transgress them? men generally under a government such as this think they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. they think that if they should resist, the remedy would you worse than the people. -- worse than the people. but it is the fault of the government that the remedy is worse than the evil. i have paid no poll tax for six years and was put into jail on this account one night and could not help but be struck by the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if i was mere flesh and bones to be locked up. i did not for a moment feel
4:50 pm
confined. i thought as if i alone among all my townspeople had paid my tax. ♪ it was a long time ago, his voice long since dead. e-house survives and a simple hit -- a house survives and a simple headstone, henry, late citizen of concord. even walden pond has changed. there is a public beach there now. end of all the things that were there then, only this survives, a dead tree. he might have brushed in passing or rested for a moment in the shade. but ideas don't die, not strong ones. unjust laws exist. shall we be content to obey them, or shall we transgress them? 1963. >> i have been arrested five times.
4:51 pm
i have been to jail before. i am willing to go to jail again. we will do everything possible to defy, we will defy this injunction. narrator: in 1860 1860 four, the military government occupying parts of the louisiana was about to draw up new election laws. to the governor, abraham lincoln wrote, i suggest for your consideration where -- whether some of the colored people should be let into the franchise. within six years of this hesitance start, lincoln was dead, negroes were given the vote, dominated northern legislatures and scalawags and southern whites helped negroes draw up new constitutions and southern states that they had to accept for readmission to the union.
4:52 pm
then, the ku klux klan was born. with violence and intimidation, they drove negroes from the legislatures and voting booths and within six years, whites gained majority. with supreme court acquiescence, the negro right to vote was whittled away. in the south today, only 28% of those eligible are registered. in mississippi, six percent, sunflower county, 2%. this eat of sunflower -- the sunflower county is doddsville. >> negroes who are eligible to vote have been illegally denied
4:53 pm
registration. the only way to your life, the only way to better the lives of your children is to register to vote. you have got to register to vote or you are not a full-fledged citizen. you wouldn't care to vote? >> no. narrator: gains have been small, frustrations large. courage is not as contagious as fear. sunflower county. -- todd]\ -- for mor than a year now, young volunteers and students have traveled to the back country and city streets. >> this is the negro section in
4:54 pm
greenwood. we have divided it in six areas and have concentrated on areas a and b. area c is baptisttown. since we have been working especially in the town from the george and willie and fred and i can go over to baptisttown and we can divide ourselves into other areas. these plantations are very important because the people there are isolated that we have to make sure that they are reached and get into the city to do the voting. >> we are subject to be arrested. we could be arrested for trespassing. i think they would rather shoot us. narrator: last spring after three shootings, one that blasted george green, negroes organized protests. newsreel film was confiscated and 11 marchers arrested. >> they can't stop us with a few dogs and a few bullets.
4:55 pm
when the dog sank his fangs into the reverend's ankle, he sank o.s fangs into my ankle to narrator: comedian dickie gregory joined march, was pushed around, told to leave town but never arrested. charles sampson later said they had no grounds for protest. >> there is no discrimination. they have been here for years. we have made no attempt to keep any of them from registering. that was clearly demonstrated before we had the trouble on the .7th of march from march 1 to march 24th, 280 made applications to register. on march 27, they had their first demonstration.
4:56 pm
not tried to prevent them from registering. 280 edged dirt in less than a month. narrator: yet negro leaders have succeeded in getting few names into the registry books, only 50 out of 1500 applicants. they expect to make substantial gains with the help of the federal government. the justice department has brought 42 federal discrimination suits since 1961. 12 in mississippi. the most dramatic suit was filed last spring by the naacp to enforce a long dormant provision of the united states constitution. section two of the 14th amendment would take a portion of congressional seats away from any state that denies voting rights. this section has never been applied. the answer is still in the courts. last month, mississippi negroes new legal move. they marched to the polls in the democratic primaries carrying
4:57 pm
affidavits claiming they had been illegally denied registration. it did not work. the state ruled the attempt illegal. but negro leaders say challenges will continue. >> if it was up to me, i would lean toward having federal troops enforce the right to vote for negroes and the south. -- in the south. the situation is that serious , the trickery is that complicated. the stubbornness of registrars and the resistance of traditional political machines are there. as such, federal troops ought to be called out to stand at every ballot oxen see that a negro citizen, 21 years of age or over who otherwise qualifies, is not denied his rights. narrator: but negro leaders do not want to depend on force at the polls, rather through by peaceful persuasion coming through legal action and the massive drive to educate the neighbor or registration.
4:58 pm
day by day, rally bilaterally -- rally by rally, county by county. it has got into the house of the people live here, the hearts of the children. i see a great movement underway. triede frederick douglass to tell us a long time ago that to struggle is an attempt and black men's bodies white men's souls. narrator: senator james eastman, democrat from mississippi, filmed this for this report. >> the whole thing was started by a group of agitators. the negro in the south has economic equality and is well treated. i cannot speak of conditions in chicago or new york city.
4:59 pm
the push is for social equality, not for economic rights. as far as the south goes, there is full economic equality. we sit in the deepest part of the deep south. there are wealthy businessmen. they are wealthy men. there is no discrimination against them at all. demonstrations are to promote social equality. that is something you can't legislate and you can't force. >> various advisors, black and white are giving advice on what should be the primary objective. each argues that if the barrier is broken at the point they select, the remainder of the
5:00 pm
barrier will collapse. the fact is that the barrier is not uniform. what he has gained determines what he wants next. while the southern -- they have demonstrated in pittsburgh, california and new jersey. site inonstruction elizabeth, new jersey. to be of b -- --heir recognition the money comes from tax dollars. out of their pockets and the pockets of whites. at 6:00 a.m., only one ticket was present, having been there all night long. he described his makeshift bed
5:01 pm
as uncomfortable but police called it unlawful. >> what made you decide to sleep here tonight? >> we are striving for equal security for our young people. better schooling. in the doorfoot now. it is not time to stop. >> other demonstrators started arriving. they gathered at a black baptist church. inside, clergymen conducted a pep rally, complete with songs and chants. they told the demonstrators how to avoid trouble. once outside, it did not take long for things to get out of hand.
5:02 pm
5:03 pm
>> everybody. everybody. [crying] >> when you watch demonstrations like this one, enough questions come to mind about the emotions of everyone involved. one way to look for answers is to put yourself on the picket line. guess the first thing is an awareness of pride, tremendous pride. he sends it in all the people around you, courage too. it may not be much, but it is a personal effort. is strangest part about it everybody keeps going. everyone of them must know, deep down, that there is very little chance that what they want will be given anytime soon.
5:04 pm no sign to tell you how much farther you have to go. they just keep going, one stroke or one step at a time, hoping. maybe somewhere, sometime, a wise man will figure out a better way, an easier way of fighting back. a lot of people here would like that to get after a while, your feet start hurting. you get tired. you get bored. he start thinking about all the other places and all the other things he would rather be doing now. maybe the most important something of their lives that does not mean that they are friends or that they know each other. it goes much deeper than that. i say it is a kind of kinship, the kind that comes from sharing the same goal. this could be as dangerous.
5:05 pm
another one of those free-for-all's might break out at any moment. suppose the guy next to you slugs a police man. suppose a policeman slugs you. there is no point in thinking about it. as you walk along, you pick up a sense of determination, even stubbornness, all around you. if trouble comes again, not one person will run away. the fight for more jobs is still going on in many cities, including brooklyn. some get carried away. [chanting]
5:06 pm
>> those demonstrations and others like them have fought on a number of fronts to lessen job bias. some gains are being made through boycotts. it is expected that the economic why can't will soon replace demonstrations, as the primary weapon in the fight. this has led some business firms to go out of their way to put more blacks on the payroll. not enoughs say companies have adopted the policy. in their eyes, job discrimination is the paramount issue. the reasoning is simple. it takes money to obtain advantages like better education and housing. in theany quick chance
5:07 pm
job market come the american dream is yonder reach. >> obviously -- is beyond reach. rockefellernelson is one of those who expresses that concern. as legislation is concerned, new york state has fightingleader in discrimination. in employment, apprenticeship and access to public places. our problem in new york -- we had the legislation against discrimination. our problem now is primarily in the field of employment. the black, puerto rican and other minority groups having the necessary education and training, and apprenticeship opportunities to permit them to get into the positions, where they have had trouble, due to
5:08 pm
the lack of training and due to discrimination. progress is being made. both unions and employers, government at all levels, are uniting to achieve this quality of opportunity for all. >> demonstrations in the north have made it clear. although it has different objectives and different areas, a common goal is the elimination of discrimination. hillsboro, ohio and rachelle knew -- rochelle, new york have been found guilty of segregating schools. commonore discrimination. housing in the district is all parents can afford. englewood schools open for the academic year of 19 you have an agency three, months of talk and legal maneuver turn into action.
5:09 pm
boycott left it almost empty. englewood could not have been more surprised. the city and important dormitory seemed an ideal hometown for nearly one third of the population. englewood has no visible racial barriers. palatial all public facilities are open. there is a block on their blessed face. it is almost entirely negro. this creates defective segregation. de factoive segment -- segregation. consequently, a group of us got together and decided on the englewood movement. about ready. we said we needed someone to coordinate this movement.
5:10 pm
>> i think that what we are trying to do with englewood crystallize the complete contempt and lack of respect, which is more or less negroes.ards the white number in the north is very upset about thengle would movement because this is the movemente -- englewood . the same liberals did not complain about mass rallies in harlem, but they will complain when it comes close to their backyard. the same liberals will send $25 to desegregate in georgia, but will call names if we are trying to desegregate and bring a quality next-door to them. they rallied into mckay park.
5:11 pm
nine where that white get a fewcture could doctors or a lawyer or two, bring them in the back door. it is over. -- let's facethat one thing. you are in the big leagues down. not everybody wants to play fair. you take the token freedom that goes with it. i want it all. i want it now. not tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. tomorrow, i am going to fight for it. facto segregation at lincoln was officially ended. so far, we have seen the revolution is nationwide, and a long time in the making.
5:12 pm
have seen that it has five major objectives he had equality for -- objectives. equality for negroes. more for employment and housing in the north. education in all areas. overall, we have seen the negro is challenging segregation. attending south and ottoman south blames much on the northern agitators and the north, while perfectly willing for the south to accept change in its social patterns is quite reluctant to except change in its own. now we are about to examine the actual means employed by the negro to civilly disobey. can watch archival films on public affairs in their
5:13 pm
entirety on our weekly series, we'll america -- reel america. here on american history tv. tv is onan history c-span3 every weekend. all of our programs are archived on our website on you can watch lectures, tours of historic sites, archival films and see our schedule of upcoming programs at >> you are watching american history tv, covering history c-span style with event
5:14 pm
coverage, eyewitness accounts, archival films, lectures and visits to museums and historic places. all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. ♪ c-span has unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public-policy events. c-span'satch all of public programming on television , online or listen free on the c-span radio app. feedrough our social media , c-span, created by america's cable television company as a public service and brought to you by your television provider. the korean war began seven
5:15 pm
years ago on june 25, 1950. it ended with an armistice agreement signed in july of 1953. next, an interview with john jeffries recorded in 2014 by the korean war legacy foundation. we hear about his experiences providing medical treatment for north korean pows. the interview project was underwritten by south korea's ministry of patriots and veterans affairs. john: john jeffries. i was born in salt lake city, utah on august 7, 1929. was raised by a mother who was single mother. had five children. we had the bare essentials, barely. [laughter] i got a chance to work on my


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on