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tv   World War II Transforming the American West  CSPAN  February 11, 2021 9:14pm-10:06pm EST

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weekend on c-span 3. -- back. >> next on american history, tv -- argue the world war industry in the american west, impact of the environment of demographics, in ways that influence the region's development, up to the present day. the bill lane center for the american west, host of this events in may in 2017, and provided a video. >> so, for some reason, because it's commencement season, i am thinking a lot about david foster wallace, one of my favorite authors. i favored quote from david foster wallace is a short quote where he said, i do things like get in a taxi and say to the library, step on it. [laughs] but for our purposes tonight, he told the story i'm going to steal from him.
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he will come back from the grave and hit me for this. he tells a story about two young fish swimming along the water passed an older fish. he says good morning boys. how is the water? the two fish swim along and after a while the young one turns and says, what is water? i think in the west, this engineered construct, this society that's so beyond any other society that's been created on the earth, this place with our public power in much of the west, our footprints, our entrepreneurial businesses, the way of looking forward to the past, in some ways are our water. we take it for granted. we want to talk about how we got to this point.
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if we think of history of the west, a lot of history is like this, we've seen the last hundred 20 years as largely accidental. history in general, leading up to world war ii, what with the west have been like had it not been for president william mckinley getting assassinated in 1901? real levers of history would know he was not initially killed. he lingered for a while. teddy roosevelt was hiking in the adirondacks. the secret service got him and said we think we will make him, so roosevelt went back to hiking. then he came down again from the mountain he was on. and mckinley had died. our youngest president, teddy roosevelt, took the oath of office. and he hooked up with a guy named gifford. these two men had very similar
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lives, barry pre-nerd age nerds. and they loved the outdoors and both also had loved and lost in a very young age. today's wife alice died on the same day his mother died, valentine's day, 1884. he wrote in his diary, the light has gone out of my life. gifford lost the love of his life as well. they shared tragedy and they were both a bit off. these two guys then scheme and plot and think now they are finally in a position of power. over the course of the roosevelt presidency, these two patrician,'s these two eastern blue bloods, these two men badly wounded by what happened
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and their lives, these two self proclaimed nerds, created a public legacy that is the absolute legacy of the world. basically, the core of the public land came from these two people, potential and roosevelt. think about that legacy. that lays the foundation for what world war ii did. let's consider another accident. 1933 in germany. a mad man, his party wins a third of the parliament and by the end of 1933, hitler is in power. people forget it was largely a democratic election. it wasn't just hitler by fiat, but he got the people to go along. i won't go into this. germans would not vote again
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until 1949. he conquers most of europe. he rounds up jews, homosexuals, ethnics, marxist, and assorted resistance fighters and slaughters them in a way our civilization had never seen. over the course of the entire war, globally, 60 million people died. that's 3% of the earth's population dies. out here in the american west, on the southern side of the 100th meridian, the war is fantastic. it's transformative. it's great. it changes everything. at least that's what people initially said as they watch this thing roll through. world war ii ends up changing every aspect of western life. you can go to the smallest hamlet in the tiniest valley, tucked in the north facing shadow. you can go to the biggest coastal cities, and you will
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find something world war ii changed. it's that all those things in motion. in no other place of the country was war so transformative. not since the california gold rush, the only thing i can think of which was an accident as well, did something come along that so change the way all of us live in the west. not of it was really planned. none of it was master planned. they didn't sit around and say let's build a society along these lines. it was a result of things, starting with hitler, falling into place leading to where we are now. let me rephrase that. one thing was planned. has anyone ever heard of the planned promised land? planned promised land? not many people have heard of it. that was the original name they
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gave to the dam. i wrote a book about the dust bowl and i went deep into these folks that lived and i spoke to some of the last people alive. they have all passed away. they were in their nineties when i spoke to them and teens when the dust bowl was happening. they told me amazing stories. people say, those people don't believe in climate change. we klain -- area the size of pennsylvania was wiped out. roosevelt's thought when he took office in 1933 was that i am not going to let an i'm tire section of the united states fall away, nor will i let these people fall away. so the idea was that they would pinch the columbia river, the largest river in the west in terms of water, the largest river in the western hemisphere in terms of how much water it empties into the specific. back it up and use that power to resell all those people from oklahoma, kansas, texas, all
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those people who had been pushed out by the dust bowl, they will resettle in eastern washington state and what was called the planned promised land. these people would be given priority and they would use that irrigation to start fresh. it drains an area the size of france. and every droplet was going to be put to work. woody guthrie, the socialist banjo pluck, or was hired for 22 dollars to write some songs. one of the songs he wrote, the lyric was your power is turning our darkness to don, so roll on columbia, roll on. so it was. there would be power for the poor. there would be land for the poor. all of this land would be converted for those eggs so dusters. that is the planned promised land. that's utopia.
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that was the thing they planned and the government project. of course, it didn't work out that way. construction started on the grand coolly and it would eventually become the largest concrete structure the world had ever seen. the grand coolly opened on june 1st 1942, barely six months into the declaration of war. and a boom town formed around the columbia river in eastern washington state, where the columbia pushes west. this was a secret town built overnight with 100,000 people in an area that was supposed to be the grand promised land. 100,000 people. one historian found this written on a bathroom wall. come on you oak ease, let's take japan. we took on california and never lost a man. it was a secret. the boom town was all working
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in secret. and then on august 6th, 19 or five, there was a four inch title in the local newspaper with this headline and lots of exclamation points. it is atomic bombs. the secret was out. this boom town, the thrown together series of boom town industries, had been proven to build the world's most powerful weapon. planned promised land was a bust. it never came together. it never happened to this day, as a matter of fact. the number of acres designated for the grand coulee, is nowhere close to what roosevelt envisioned as a place where people could relocate. a lot of people from oklahoma did come to central washington and ended up working in a plant somewhere. instead, the river was put to use ending an awful war, but
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yet opening and ever more awful era, the atomic era, a terrible beauty to quote my fellow irishman and favorite poet, william butler yates. richard white wrote a very brilliant book about the columbia river called the organic machine. it wasn't just atomic bombs. it was hydro electric energy as well. the power was going to turn the darkness to don in japan, germany. everything that fell from the sky in the rainy pacific northwest was harvest. water today, you expect to have it delivered to your doorstep, whether you live in phoenix, denver, most of california, most of the pacific northwest.
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it wasn't until world war ii came along. big hydro projects proceeded world war ii. government came in and showed what amazing things they can do in reintegrating this wonderful piece of land of ours. the columbia river was ultimately pinched by a dozen dams. almost every river in the west was harnessed, except for yellowstone. this is a side thing a lot of people talk about. they say in the northwest, there is almost zero net co2 emissions. why? because of hydro power. it comes from the sky. it doesn't release anything as far as greenhouse gases. that's another story. there is one asterisk to the story about the mighty columbia
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river. nature got in one last punch. there was a flood on may 30th, 1948. anyone ever heard of vanport? a virgin audience, this is great. [laughs] in wartime you have portland, columbia, and just across the ocean there is vancouver. on the portland side of, it henry kaiser had built a massive shipyard to build armaments of war. a boom town arose there as well. 30,000 people to fill the shipyards. this flood came along in late 1948 and completely wiped the city off the map. it buried vanport. it disappeared. the third largest city in oregon, gone, completely. what that did was it completely integrated portland, because half of all those people that came to the shipyard and half of all the people living had
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vanport before it was wiped out moved ten miles down to portland, and almost all white city got integrated. let's talk about the force of the american west. a lot of it is brown right now due to beetle infestation. my grandmother and mother lived in a sleepy little scandinavian town, known for salmon and tuna. at the start of world war ii, very few people knew what a chainsaw was. it is an emblematic thing now, but most people did not know what it chainsaw was at the start of world war ii. as it turned out, this one instrument, this oil spitting, silent shattering, portable paul bunyan, did more to change the landscape of the northwest than anything since the great glacial ice change moved north
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20,000 years earlier. that's all because of world war ii. in the wartime, there is a huge demand for timber. there were posters around seattle that said to save american lives, we must provide the lumber our armed forces need and provide it now. a chainsaw used to be a big cumbersome machine that took two people to operate. it was changed and modernized into something more portable, resembling the modern machine we know now. it became portable, became something one man could use, one man could cut a tree in a few hours. in a week, a man could cut maybe 100 trees. the chainsaw more than anything else changed the course of the west. at the same time, roads were carved through the national forest. roads once considered financially prohibited were financed by taxpayers as part of the war effort. roads built on hazardous muddy slopes were built throughout the west to harvest timber for the war machine, for an army of
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people holding the portable machine, the chainsaw. it would have been dark and green and hear suit by the end of the 19 fifties in many places where there are now stumps as far as the eye can see, and a new word came into our lexicon fee, clear cuts, which you saw all over the west. by the time i started covering the issue they said all 3%, original growth forced, on public land. had been cut. almost all of that can be traced back to, again, the invention of a chainsaw and the need for timber for the war.
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now, it brought about a power shift. these, beautiful forests which tea are -- thought for the average, personally used to always use the word the little guy. the big man can take care of himself, but the little guy needs something. someplace where he and she can hunt. someplace where he and she can find solace, someplace where he and she can call their own. with great american inheritance of public land. he's changed as well. because it went over the companies -- that became the priority for a long time -- so i wrote about in that -- he was just a character and a great character by the way who, lived from, the end of the civil war, in 1865, until three years after world war ii 1940, it's a huge swath of american history near the end of his life, he -- journey out west to look at the force in which he had set aside. he was absolutely appalled he said the people who did this i'm nothing less than public enemies. that's what he said ... this is
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after he was appalled at what happened there. those in the west, the, desert southwest was also put to work. now, before that, even on maps up to the start of the 20th century, you could see label parts of the southwest, parts of it they said, parts of the plains were labeled, the great american desert. it was this wasteland, nobody ever wanted to settle there. -- that's why they doubled the home state -- and then with world war ii, and the southwest, they found a use for it. a bombing range. nuclear testing, weapons. over a period of time, 14 million acres of this public land was put to use, for the military. now, las vegas, at the start of the 1940s, this is just about one bogey -- bogey segel was starting to i vegas. the godfather mafia, didn't get
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into into the 19 fifties. -- 1940, how big was las vegas? 8000 people 1000 people, so, with military airfields, which they had a number of people to vegas, it tripled in a decade. by the 19 eighties, -- was 1 million people. time magazine put it on's cover story they said, the new detroit. vegas, was the way we live now. so, that all happened as a result in part because of the airfields and the military investing in his dusty little town a second big thing that happened of course, this is what's totally transformed phoenix and other places, head off into the war. was air conditioning if air conditioning did come, along you would have a southwest settlement still. in new mexico, the manhattan project arrival sala most in 1943 it was thought, like the
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hanford -- it would be a temporary thing. it was a mystery. it was an eastern town, of 6000 people. but that is still there. now, let's talk about how, race changed. because of the war, this is one of the more interesting sides. i mentioned portland. it was mostly, all white city. portland i still think is the second most white major metropolitan city in the united states. -- and not far behind that. was los angeles. it's full of midwestern transplants -- these were largely white cities, along the coast. the war changed everything there. so, i'll tell your story. a live in a known farmhouse, a block from old washington -- summer days ago lounge on my deck. every once in a while, sunday, i share this joan overhead, this clip of air being chopped. and i look up, and i see a
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formation of b 17's. flying fortresses, -- they have this area with a fly of the 17th, it's cool to look up -- michael by the way was a pilot, and they talked about how, they always, news some cases, 20% of them were not going to come back, on those bombing routes. so, the 17th are with changed, ultimately what's integrated seattle. -- so this is what happened in race relations, boeing was relatively -- it started a bar. down on lake union. they have built planes of spruce, this is what the first -- the built planes of spruce, light spruce for world war i. and world war ii came along. totally changed boeing, totally changed seattle. this small little family company, became one of the biggest engines of the war machine. almost 7000 b 17's were built, in the few years time at
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boeing. point number two on the -- is training up 15 thing -- this is -- 35,000 workers turning, up flying fortresses on this little thing. half of those workers, as you probably know, half of those workers were women. we'll see the river, came out of that tradition. and occasionally, they say rose or the river -- would drop note, into one of the planes and pilots with sometimes fly with a little fun note and one of the plains -- what people don't know, what is less known, it's a more often than not, -- she is an african american be 17 -- just as the ship guards have brought -- in portland. the same way happened in southern california. the black population of seattle, quadrupled, during the war years. quadrupled that's when we got later, some of the best music.
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the jessi, and quincy jones, all of this came from african american communities, came to seattle because of the war,. and the great plains -- which i consider -- the only state i don't consider part of the west -- , i'm sorry. it's not just because they don't have public, land or mountains it's because, it has its own history. so lone star state is republic, i'm sorry -- on the high plains, what happened during the, war there was a huge labor shortage. huge labor shortage so, they actually went, south, as we still do, to mexico. and brought up 20,000 mexicans. brought them in here, guaranteed them ten dollars a day, to work the fields. it was one of the other integration things that happened. women were working the fields as well, but this was appalling to some of the -- there was an editorial and the
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kansas city star that said, if this keeps up, we will have to accept the idea, that women will supplant men in the fields. >> oh heavens. now,v■]$]x ñiovíf■native americ. i read a book about edward curtis, wonderful individual. spent his entire life, taking five years, and it up consumers entire life, trying to take pictures of every native american tribes, still living somewhat by the old ways. utterly consumed him, he lost his copyright to jp morgan. but he pulled off the greatest photograph in achievement history, which was 40,000 pictures, on eight by ten blast plates. with a slip back in the studio, and reproduced magnification -- so extraordinary achievement. , for more have been done in a civil war, so, i spent a lot of time in indian country, researching curtis, because he spent is entire life in any country. and, one of the things you realize, was shocking to me was,
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when curtis was researching this, is trying to take pictures of these and native american rituals, which were being outlawed by the government. so, a lot of the religious regiments, whether it was the black fee, where is the hope with their snake dance, we have a first amendment. which protects this wonderfully for free speech. it protects us for the right of worship, unless you're native american, which of course a lot of them weren't citizens until the 1930s. -- the other thing they did, they tried to erase the language. one of the things that he did, is that he went around because a lot of work, people don't realize. this was one curtis -- to this day, we have those audio recordings. he, in many cases especially california, got the last individual allowed to speak the language. and so when the tribes went with can see, knows they had edward curtis is audio recordings. one of many great of chief myths, part of the six reeducation, probably would not have gotten the stanford. but, it was a really brilliant
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kind. so, they tried to raise the language. if you had any means at all, -- whether you are navajo, or no matter where you are from, send you back to the carlile of carlile indian school, they would try the brits try to do this. first i got a little chip on my shoulder. this is exactly what we did, we went and said don't speak your language world war ii, we realized, that language can be a powerful thing. the navajo, talkers think of some people still spoke the language. the enemy never figured it out. so it was just a navajo, they're the ones of course, who are most famous for that. but, the native americans finally got a little bit of a niche of appreciation, because we had preserved, because some of that language, had not been
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entirely erased, now, i want to do a little personal indulgence, when i was talking about race and the surge in population, this, irish american kid from the south side of chicago, was a gi. and he got shipped out to loosen seattle. and there, he met a lovely, very intelligent, very well read young woman. it was my mother my father. so, -- there goes the jay. that was my personal indulgence. thank you for that he tell that story. now, overall the entire west -- zhu three times the population of the rest of the country. california gained 1 million residents, this was largely sleepy town. excuse me sleepy state. not the most popular state, by far. 1 million residents between 1940 and 1943. l.a. gained 10,000 people, a
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month during the war. that was -- more projects were built, in the west more than any other place. so 1940, for california craftsmanship shipyards employed half 1 million people. you talk about at detroit, it wasn't vegas. it was los angeles. los angeles became the second detroit. it was the second biggest manufacturers there. so. sleepy san diego. totally transformed, totally transformed most of southern california. which is moan mostly white, totally transformed. the west, today, most people don't know this, if you look at the -- it is the most urban part of the united states that is ranked number of people who -- senses countless 10,000 people. upstate new york, it's far more rule than most of the west. people do live in populations, they don't live in small
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hundred acre farms. so, sad to say, you can't talk about this transformation, african americans come into the coastal cities, native americans finally getting their say, because the language had not been taken away. you can't talk about this transformation, without mentioning the terrible other, of an ethnic group, that happened during world war ii. when ethnic group of african americans flooded in. another, as you know, was forcefully moved out. so, not far from those born plants and seattle, newly-employing african americans, -- the first time the united states, we started to forcibly remove, american citizens. japanese americans, from their homes. and put them in internment camps. this was a result of executive order, 9:06 six. -- in 1942, it allowed quote,
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enemy alias -- mostly applied a japanese nationalists. my daughter, for her thesis to get out of stanford, wrote this piece about, there was a campaign mueller montana, called kamala, where they put the italian nationals, most of them were sort of vaudeville -- select in the -- with a said, rather thesis was that, it was much easier than it was on the japanese americans. people come from hundreds of miles around, to visit on sunday nights, when they open it for dinner. because it was the best in the west. they were happy, they were sad to see go actually. but as you know, with the japanese, 120,000 -- interment cancer the duration of the war. and, two thirds of them, were american citizens. two thirds of them. it was a great tragedy, it was a huge violation of the constitution. it still has not been completely litigated by the
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way. there is a case law on that. and, it's a blight on the record of a prisoner, who i greatly admire. i consider fdr, the second best president. next to president lincoln, donald trump said the other day -- he also said andrew jackson could have fix that overnight. not a chance. of course, jackson died more than 110 -- he was the only one of the first seven presidents who did not release his slaves upon his death. i think he would have had a little trouble making a deal with trump. i am distracted there. let's fast forward to today, 75 years after the united states entered. i had a dust bowl appear funny when i was driving around the texas panhandle, oklahoma,
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towns that were devastated. there is just old people left. they don't even have a restaurant, a bank, a school. there's just a handful of elderly people living in these farm towns. i realized while i was doing this thing, i was seeing young people, mostly women, and i hate to say that, the women were far more articulate. as i was doing this, i realized i am suddenly being handed a baton of their story. this baton, if i dropped, it it would be gone. so the same things happened in world war ii. if it's part of your family story, talk to veterans. get that story now because it was 75 years ago.
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these people are all in their nineties if they're alive. let's fast forward. what happened to wallace stagger? his line was a geography of hope. how did the geography of hope and up? what became of it after it became an engine of war? much of it is with us now in ways that are not so good. i mentioned the mystery town on the columbia river. this was the epicenter of the planned promise land, where the power of the river was harnessed, and used to better the lives. hanford today is the most contaminated nuclear site in the united states. they are still cleaning it up. they will be cleaning it up after everyone in this room has gone. it's going to take forever.
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at the end of the cold war, 53 billion gallons of high level radioactive waste, 25 million cubic feet of solid radioactive waste, 200 square miles of contaminated groundwater. we still have huge chunks of land devoted to the war, 14 million acres and all. i know one of the professors present can talk on this later in the next couple of days. i also know along the area of the columbia river today were once there were just a few thousand people growing peaches on dusty sides. , there is now a thriving city, of a quarter million people, most of them doing cleanup jobs, but high paying jobs, and doing jobs that spin off from that. also nearby is the last free-flowing section of the columbia river.
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a huge home for those big fat, 40 pounds salmon that swim and spawn up there. one of the national monuments right now set aside more than 20 years ago, we may lose, it so it's monuments on the list of review, but it's not just contamination from the nukes. there is a beautiful free-flowing stretch of the biggest river in the west that still exist side by side. that's the way we live. that's the paradigm of where we are. the modern list is dominated by pulse quickening two cities, fast growing areas. we are surrounded by public land. the land survived its conscription into world war ii, the forests are now largely quiet. they've scaled back the logging vastly from where it was at its peak. cities that were envied by the
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rest of the world with their industries, ethnic diversity, constant flow of newcomers, not necessarily bound to tribe or tradition. all of that has changed in part because of the war, and most of it because of government. government was the engine that got it moving along. finally, what would our west be like without world war ii? that's a fascinating what if. it's the kind of thing that gets a historian a free drink at a bar. there is a handful of things that can work for that. but i would say, having not experienced world war ii, my conclusion is putting aside the contamination, putting aside the awful things that came from war, but just looking at what's transformed and what transpired, we would be today, by far, a
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less integrated place. we would be less entrepreneurial. we would be looking a lot more like yesterday country, and a lot less like what we certainly are today, which is the america of tomorrow. thank you. [applause] [applause] i guess i have a few minutes to take some questions. i am a popular historian, not a ph.d.. yes sir? he asked about hispanics. . certainly,hvn2÷t% southern cali, new mexico has a latino population, the majority that was erased in the migration in the early 20th century.
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it changed washington. the northwest did not have a big latino tradition, or asian tradition. they came in with big agriculture in eastern washington. in terms of integration, certainly, southern california had a latino majority. there is also the native american majority. there is a reservation the size of virginia. they didn't suffer in the south. i don't see the war as being that transformative for latinos. yes? >> -- >> you touched on something great. i don't know if i consistently repeat the question, but it was about the relationship with the military.
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as i see it, there is a legacy from that. does it carry on to now? that's a very good point and i forgot to mention. we built the atomic bomb out of secrecy, and there was a reason for that. we were in a global war. that carried over into peacetime. to this day, you have a hell of a time getting information out of the military. i covered the west for a long time, traveling 50,000 miles a year. of all the federal agencies, the ones the most difficult to get any information on was the military. there were people -- i think there is a legacy of secrecy that carried on in the laboratories as well, even though a lot of the research is not done for top secret reasons that will win the war. that was the justification. you gave me the idea just now
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as i think about it. it's a legacy of secrecy. in the last 20 years, i have seen a greening of the military in a lot of areas they live. urban areas stayed in the way they were. imagine the press idiom but 1 million acres. they have endangered species that don't live anywhere else. they've got huge swath of america that were largely attacked. i'm sure there are breaks being put on that right now, just like everything else. that's what i see as the legacy. he asked about native americans. native americans served, and we know there was a popular movie. this is an interesting to step for native americans in the 20th century.
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at the dawn of the 20th century, made of american population was down to 1% of what it had been. that is an estimate. i think they lost 99% of the population from contact in 14 92 to the dawn of the 20th century. there are about 300,000. they did a really exhaustive census count at the start of the 20th century. he thought the start of the 20th century that they would be gone. they had lost 99% of the population, mainly because they did not have immunity to western diseases. that's what's really killed them. the conventional wisdom is they would be gone. i am now happy to report, as you all know now, the census just counted 3 million people of primarily native american
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blood. that is a significant rebound. in the interim, two things happened. they finally got citizenship. it was 1934. 1934 high believe. my hero edward curtis's final cause was to give native people citizenship. they had enough of censorship. with citizenship, they stopped forcing some of these making it a crime. that was the first step of the two steps. with the war, with them serving, with native people serving heroically in ways that caught the attention of the american public, they started to become less than the stereotype of the people. if you will allow me one diversion, i just finished a book on irish americans. of all the emigrants, the irish were the first to really wash up and mass because of the
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great famine. in about four years, about 1 million people came. they crowded these awful tenants. there is a party called the know nothing party in the 18 fifties. the whole purpose was to keep the irish and the germans from getting citizenship. they didn't like them because they were catholic. they were clan-ish. a lot of them spoke gallic. they thought they were dirty. all these things about the poor, you would hear about the irish. my hero was a guy who abraham lincoln worked with in the american civil war the war made them americans. the war made them in the eyes of all these people who disparaged them, they died more than any other unit in the civil war. the irish took the biggest amount of casualties in the civil war, after slave holders. most of the real irish american
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prejudice stopped after that. a somewhat similar thing happened with native americans, somewhat similar, because it's totally different. the two-step was citizenship and then the war helped people to see them as americans. they are countries within a country, a lot of them. you had a question over here? >> the japanese, for example, and the people you talk about with heroism, what about the japanese who were relocated? they were subject to a draft. >> isn't that amazing? >> so many young japanese men volunteered. they had volunteers to do the
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camouflage. those people were conscripted and volunteered, even though they were living through a forest relocation. >> that is absolutely true. there are a lot of stories like that. but i don't think most americans saw them as full citizens, and those were not the words they would use, unlike what happened rather quickly with the irish and somewhat differently with native americans. it still took while for people not to see them, because race was the variant. i hope the supreme court finally gets this out of the system. if this were to ever happen again, there was an individual from seattle who litigated his own case. reagan offered a formal apology, as you know, to the people, only after congress passed a resolution and reagan offered an apology as well. it is still on the books, how
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citizens can be herded into camps and made to be enemies. and they're extraordinary service while being conscripted as well. there was a loss of property as well. there is a terrific book about snow falling on cedars and sort of the slow thing that happens in the war where someone is your neighbor and then suddenly they are in a camp and you really want the land so you go to the sheriff and get it at an auction cause they are failing at the bank and it wasn't just taking land but there are little ways of doing it as well. there was no going back -- almost taken from them. so, i mean, i'm trying, for the sake of this, to keep it kind of get a big picture. to look at the -- default losses, and not get too much in the small things. anyone else?
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yes. >> more touch on that segway -- [inaudible] . >> yes, this question, was doing the research on the transition from, the only thing i did i can only speak my doesn't research on it. the first book i wrote was a book called -- you can tell us about the pacific northwest. i followed this ghost. this person who had written the first book about the northwest, eastern or newsroom a blue blood family. he didn't like what was going on in american history, there was some slavery, industrial -- polluting the rivers of new england, mills along there, so he comes in northwest, and it's -- well, this is the hope for america. we can start fresher. forgetting always -- the time. so, i wrote a book about him,
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because he wrote this first book about the northwest. and it was on how, this is where the american idea can truly take on -- first american officer killed in a civil war. his book became a posthumous bestseller. it was called a canoe intersect. i follow him around i get to this section, and northeast washington state, far up by the canadian border, okanagan country. i find the most awful poise in this toxic episode of cold war paranoia, where, it was during this is only the social -- how this question carried over. they ran this local farmer editor, out of town. because he was writing against -- he was writing against the fact that, people were being accused, this and that. they labeled him a communist, and communist sympathizer his son lost -- him so he was defending people who lost their jobs. the reason i wrote about it is because, i saw a connection. 30 years later, a deranged
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young man on christmas eve way to the house of his family, has grown children, and slot of the entire family. slotted them because, he had believed, after finding these old scare stories, i just wrote a sociological thing, how the hair tried carried. like hatred -- landed on the head of a crazy person, and he's a lot of the family. i know there's lots of stories about how cold war ... chancellor question made military even more secret. that's when all, the top secret stuff came about. anyone ever tell you look like gary from the show -- ? all right folks, thank you so much for coming out i appreciate it >> you are watching american history tv, every weekend on c-span three explore our nations past, american history tv, on c-span 3. created by americas cable television companies. today we are brought to you by these television companies, who
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provide american history tv to viewers, as a public service. weeknights this month, we are featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what is available every weekend on c-span 3. on friday, night we take a look at african american history. since the 1970s, david pilgrim has collected everyday objects that mock and the humanize african americans. the founder and director of the jim crow museum of racist memorabilia argues that although the artifacts are offensive, they can be used as teaching tools to promote conversation and understanding. resume, we visited the museum in fair state university and big rapids michigan, to see a selection of their artifacts watch friday, beginning at 8 pm eastern. and enjoy american history tv, every weekend on c-span 3. american history tv, on c-span 3.
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exploring the peopl% that people -- story,y weekend coming up this story,y presidents day weekend, saturday at 6 pm eastern on the civil war. author edward acorn talks about his book, every drop of blood, about abraham lincoln's second inaugural speech, considered one of the greatest speeches in american political history sunday, at 2 pm is stern, on our history, virginia coleman talks are experiences as a chemist for the manhattan project -- project at oak ridge, to build the atomic bomb. and monday, at 7:30 pm eastern, on american artifacts, photographer and storyteller, john, on the 42, giant bus of american presidents created by sculptor, david attics, decaying on a private property, in virginia, explore the american story. watch american history tv, this weekend. on c-span 3.


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