tv The Presidency The Ford Family in the White House CSPAN July 1, 2021 6:04pm-6:50pm EDT
the arrival of the reconstructed french ship at the 18th century port of yorktown, virginia, designed after the french vessel that brought major general de-lafayette back to the united states in 1780. exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. >> c-span shop.org is c-span's online store. this is a collection of c-span products. browse to see what's new. your purchase will support our nonprofit operations and you still have time to order the congressional directory with contact information for members of congress and the biden administration. go to c-spanshop.org. >> susan ford bales is the daughter of president gerald ford and betty ford. she reflects on her family's time in the white house with former-abc news white house correspondent, anne compton.
they focus on first lady betty ford and her impact on american society. the white house historical association hosted this event and provided the video. doesn't it always seem that the most chaotic time in our country is right now? the greatest risks and the greatest challenges? well, that isn't really true. when i was, first, assigned to come to washington by abc news, in 1974, the nation was deeply divided in protests over the vietnam war. the economy was racked with inflation. and for the only time in american history, a u.s. president resigned in disgrace. it was, at that moment, that abc news gave me the great honor of assigning me to the white house to what came next. it was the administration of gerald ford. and with it, came, of course, the energy and the grace of betty ford. on the eve of mother's day, we
are going to explore those memories with her daughter, susan ford bales. and she is going to take your questions using that q&a function down at the bottom of your screen. now, when you type in your succinct question, please, also, tell us who you are. and if you can, tell us where you are as you're watching this. joining me, susan ford bales, who has carried the flame for her family and the work of the ford family ever since. welcome, susan, and happy mother's day. are you there in texas with your extended family? >> i am. i am down here with my girls and my grandchildren. the best part. >> well, i think, i've known susan since she moved into the white house. and um, i was a couple of years older than her as a young reporter. and i think back, now. maybe, we're fearless, at that
age. but i cannot believe what it must have felt like being thrust into the white house, at a time of what had been high drama in washington. great, high stakes for the country. what are your recollections? and how your mother helped the family make that transition, from a longtime home in alexandria, virginia, into 1600 pennsylvania avenue? >> well, anne, you know, it was a long time ago. and i was a junior in high school, when my dad became president -- i mean, vice president. and then, i was a senior in high school when he became president. so, i had never moved before. i had lived in that alexandria house, my entire life, from the day i came home from the hospital. so the move was a big deal. and to me, the best part was the fact that i was going to get my own bathroom because i had shared a bathroom with my brothers, my entire life. and i was excited to have my own bathroom.
i was in -- i had been in boarding school at holton arms in bethesda and so, i had to move out of the boarding department and back home. and so, it was a step up from the boarding department to move into the white house. >> i bet it was. now, you are the youngest of four kids. the three older brothers. your dad once told me, oh, just like our family. you have a mike and susan. but you -- but you were the one who was home. and you were the one -- i mean, your move into the white house came just as you were starting your senior year in high school. that's a hard year for anyone. >> well, it is a hard year for anyone. and then, within six weeks, mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. so, you -- you know, you're trying to cut the cord because you're a senior. and you know everything, and you don't want to be close to your parents and all of that. and then, your mother gets diagnosed with breast cancer. so, because we were the really,
only females, together, in the household. it made us even closer than we had been, before. it was a -- it was unique. >> you know, your mom was a longtime, experienced wife of a -- of a political life. she had spent, i think, probably, their whole marriage. she had been married to a man who was in the political-national limelight. but when she, suddenly, took on -- put the cancer aside -- but took on the responsibilities in the spotlight of being first lady. how did she do that? that must've been even scary, at the beginning. >> well, it was. but like you said, she had been the wife of a congressman since they -- they were married. and, you know, he became -- he was -- they got married in october and he became sworn in, in january. so, they were a young, married couple.
she moved up to the capitol when he was a congressman, and gave tours to the constituents that would come down from grand rapids. so, that was her way to, still, stay in touch. and be able to communicate. and support him in what he was doing. she, also, was, you know, the young-senate wives back in those days where they had the luncheons and they rolled bandages. so the young congressional wives was a very energetic organization that did lots of stuff together. and those were her friends. >> well, she is very much a people person, isn't she? >> she is, very definitely. she -- she can walk into a room, not knowing a soul, and have a hundred friends by the end of the evening. and i can't stand doing things like that. >> well, there -- what i remember most keenly about betty ford's time in the white house is, i will call it what they often tell girls now they should be, betty ford was fearless.
there is a delicate balance for political wives to not rock the president's political-policy boat. yet, your mother stood up and there was one issue, in particular, i remember. that was very divisive in the country. it was a constitutional amendment. and your mother stood up and, in fact, traveled the country supporting the equal rights amendment. back in the oval office, your husband -- your father was not onboard. >> no, he wasn't. and actually, she was making calls from the white house. to congressmen and senators up on the hill. trying to get everybody behind it. and i don't know if it was dick cheney or don rumsfeld. but it was one of them, said to my dad once. could you ask her to tone it down, just a little bit? and my dad said, no, if you would like her to tone it down,
then you need to go speak to her, herself. >> did they ever? >> no, of course not. so, one of the things she did do is she put in a telephone line, that she paid for out of her checking account, so that she could make those calls. and it wasn't coming from the -- the white house. and it was coming from betty ford, as a woman, you know, and that sort of thing. so she was raised by brothers. she was raised by a very strong mother, whose husband had died and -- and -- back in the depression days, had to go to work and became a real-estate agent. so, she was raised by a very strong woman. and i was raised by a very strong woman. so we're -- we're kind of -- we're fearless. we're a little fearless. >> she -- she felt so strongly about women's rights. what do you remember about the era? because that was where women's
rights and the women's movement really had a full head of steam. >> it did have a full head of steam, and it's hard for me to believe in today's world that we still haven't passed the equal rights amendment. you know? gay couples can get married and all of that. and women don't have equal rights. and i look at what the women's soccer teams go through. and -- and the -- the -- just women fighting for equal pay. it just is astonishing, to me, that we still have this issue out here. >> and women running for president. >> absolutely. and it, still, hasn't passed and it's still not an amendment. >> and it is -- it is bubbling back, now. there is some movement. i was covering the virginia legislature when i left to cover your father's administration. and the virginia legislature turned it down. i think they've now -- they've now reconsidered that. but it was a time where rights for women was not just a social
cause. but it was really kind of embracing the world. can you talk a little bit about how your mother felt about the kind of international travel that she did? because i accompanied her and you and your father to beijing, very early in the administration. because the united states hadn't had any relations with china and it was just beginning to open. >> it was. and as we all know, president nixon began to open that door, back in his administration. and i do remember that trip, very well. i remember throwing a frisbee on the great wall of china with gary trudeau. yeah. i mean, it was a great day. and i, also, had the privilege of meeting chairman mall which was a very unusual -- you know, he -- he kind of would disappear, at different times, and his health had not been good. so, i have a great photograph of shaking hands with him.
and i, also, remember when we were on that trip mother and i were dismissed after the meeting. and dad stayed in the palace with him. with, maybe, just one secret-service agent. and they spent about an hour to two hours, alone, talking. which was a -- a rarity to not have, you know, staff. and secretary of defense. kissinger was on the trip. but i don't think -- i don't think henry stayed in the room with them. it was just the two of them. >> you know, it was an interesting time for your father's whole administration. a period of transition. domestically, from a resigned president. to a new president. your dad said at one point, the long national nightmare is over. and he worked very hard to kind of open the country back up. but that left it, also, to your mother to -- to bring americans back into a feeling that there is an open, more normal white house.
where did she go to for advice on that? did she just instinctively know what needed to be done? >> well, she had a social secretary. and she had a couple of 'em because not everybody stays for your entire administration. so, she had a great staff of maria downs and nancy ruey and people like that who really helped her with the state dinners and the social part. my mother loved throwing parties. so that was not, you know, a problem. and now, she had the white house culinary staff to support whatever she wanted to do. and, you know -- and she never picked out china because we were only there two and a half years or whatever. and there wasn't a need for it. usually, they don't buy china, unless there is a need. and plates have been broken and, you know, you are limited on things like that. but they always had promised an open administration. they brought back the congressional christmas party
where the congressmen and senators came up and had a big-christmas party up there. and mother did the children's diplomatic christmas party. and i remember big bird. i remember meeting big bird at that. but there were, like, standing parties that you had to do. and then, it was a matter of how do you do it with your own taste and your own flavor? >> um, when she had to deal with foreign leaders visiting the white house. as i remember, you had, after a period of great, you know, kind of, seclusion at the white house. the ford administration brought in a much more vigorous, active parade of foreign officials. did you meet queen elizabeth? >> i did. that was the bicentennial. that was the year of the bicentennial and that was a white-tie dinner. it was the only white-tie dinner that we had during that administration.
>> royalty always gets white tie. >> yes, and it was a tent out in the yard. actually, i think, it was in the rose garden, if i'm not mistaken. and i mean, it was a lovely, lovely dinner. and when dad danced with the queen, the marine band. i think, it was the marine band. i'm pretty sure it was. played a song. well, it turned out to be "muskrat love." >> popular song but not the right place. your mother, how did -- she had to take care of the spouse of the -- of the visitor. did she have to do, you know, kind of brush up on policy? or how -- how did she -- how did she handle that? >> you know, she didn't. i think she -- she always tried to talk to the visitors. either, the husband or the wife or whatever. you know, all, depending what
the situation was. because they were normally parents. and they had children. and -- and when i met queen elizabeth upstairs before the state dinner, um, you know, we talked about family and her sons. and -- and, you know, that sort of thing. it was a very natural discussion. it was not about policy or that sort of thing. and my brother, jack, was looking for studs. and he came down with his shirt open. and he was looking for studs. and there was the queen and prince philip and my mother was just, oh, my gosh. you know? my boys. so, he went in his dad's closet and got what he needed and, off, we went. so -- >> the -- in terms of international policy, it was a difficult time. i remember the president going to meet in helsinki's summit. it was a strained relations with the soviet union. did your mother feel that she
had to -- was that an area where she had to help? or could she really leave the -- the finer points of that to the, i guess, the state department or the national-security staff? >> no, she left it to them. she did not go on that trip. that was, i think, fairly soon after her breast cancer, if i'm not mistaken and she wasn't allowed to travel. but i do remember, when we would go on those trips, the briefing books that we all got with head shots of all the different staff and what their title was and what are the dos and the don'ts of, you know, what to do in that country and that sort of thing. because even when we went to china, we also went to indonesia and japan and the philippines. and the marcos were, you know, in control in the philippines, at the time. and we got to stay in the palace, which was absolutely beautiful. >> well, let me ask you about this since you had mentioned it.
it, to me, is the other, most dramatic part about betty ford's time in the white house. women who were diagnosed with breast cancer, often, kept it quiet. didn't want any attention. it was almost an embarrassment to them. and, of course, a critical, often-fatal diagnosis. your mother had just stepped into the national spotlight. and she decided that she could help women by treating this as publicly as she did. can you talk us -- to us about that? so early in the administration. >> yeah. it was an interesting discussion. um, because she talked to all of us as a fam -- as the family and said, you know, how do you all feel about this? and we're like, it's fine. it's not a big deal. it wasn't a big deal to us, as family members. and then, when we started
reading all of the material of the women who had, literally, been hiding in closets. and hadn't undressed in front of their husbands for years. and -- and women dying of this disease. and she didn't choose to go public because it was gonna give her fame or -- or attention or anything like that. she did it because she wanted it for women and for families. and that sort of thing. and to get it out of the closet. so that people would learn about it. and as you well remember, i mean, the women who went in for mammograms and the lines to get treated was off the charts. i mean, it's the best thing that could have ever happened to women and breast cancer. and she truly changed that and saved millions and millions of lives. >> i have no question about it. i do want to remind everybody that, in a few minutes, susan is going to take questions from all
of you. but before she does, susan, you brought us some photos. >> i did. >> let's take a look. and on here, while we get to -- well now, i recognize that woman. >> yes, that's a very young betty bloomer. very young. and she played hockey with her brothers, of course. very athletic. fearless, then. and fearless, forever. and that was in our alexandria house, which is the house i lived in until i moved to the white house. my -- me and my brother, steve. and also, in our alexandria house. and that's from a trip that they took after the administration to
oman in jordan to visit king hussein. >> christmas at the white house. >> and that's in a store in vail, where we spent our christmas and summer. and mother bought a necklace, which i now have. >> oh, look. >> and that was the -- yeah -- that was the last, big family picture that was taken. that was about 2002. and we did that about -- oh -- it was about the 20th anniversary of the betty ford center. and most of those granddaughters are married and have children of their own. >> that is an amazing picture. was that in vail? >> no, that is actually in palm springs out in their yard. yeah. >> well, susan, i brought a picture, too. because my kids don't remember this. this is long before i got married. but i often traveled with betty
ford on her adventures around the country. and i will tell you that, of first ladies who made themselves available. it's the first time i had covered a first lady so i had nothing to compare to. but even now that i have covered seven-first ladies over a period of 40 years, um, i -- i think she was one of the most accessible -- accessible-first ladies. because she really did believe that it's -- it's part of your role, as a public figure, to carry your message out through, back in those days, all you had was the national media and local reporters. >> yep. >> you didn't have the luxury of the kind of social media can get your message out directly as they can, now. and you did have wonderful state dinners. this is the state dinner for the shah of iran. and i was a new reporter and was lucky to be invited not for the
dinner but for the entertainment afterward. and, of course, your parents restored the dancing in the great hall after the dinner. and the president asked me to dance. >> who was the entertainment, anne? do you remember? >> oh, this is a good story. um, i grew up in the north shore of chicago and i sat there in the audience watching the entertainment was ann-margret. wearing -- a very, very popular singer and actress at the time -- and ending her performance in a little, tiny, show girl, red, white and blue spangled costume and the guy next to me said, not bad for a bunch of new treer grads. >> wow. >> that was that wonderful party. so, we -- susan, please, now, we are going to take some
questions. and i am going to be able to share these and your answers with them. the first one comes from louis in new jersey. thank you for -- for viewing. and he says thank you for -- for sharing your stories. what was your mother's relationship with the other member -- the other members of the first ladies club? >> my mother had a fabulous relationship with the other first ladies. it's a very small club. you have to remember that the nixons were in the house when my dad was a young congressman. so, my mother had known pat nixon for quite some time. and so -- >> is that when he was vice president? or -- or they -- they were in the -- in the white house, obviously, for the -- for the -- for the president -- but -- >> no, dick nixon was in the
house. he was over in the -- on capitol hill. >> that house. >> in that house. so when my dad came in as a freshman congressman, dick nixon was a good friend -- was -- befriended him, i should say. and they became friends, then. so, when you watched my parents walk the nixons out to the helicopter for the departure, it was a very sad day because it was a friendship that, you know, had changed. and -- and i think, my dad was very upset that he had been lied to. he had, absolutely, been lied to. and -- and he, you know, that was hard for him to handle. because one of the things that my parents raised us, kids, was tell the truth. absolutely, tell the truth. and, you know, the punishment will be much less. so -- >> that's fascinating. and, of course, i -- the other -- you didn't have as many first ladies around as when your father left office. we, then, went through a period
where there were five living former presidents on -- >> right. and my mother, of course, new lady bird because of the johnsons having been in the house, also. so, she had known lady bird and lyndon for years because they all had been in the house up on the hill together. and same with the bushes. my dad knew george bush's -- stewart bush. so that goes way, way back. the bushes and the fords go way, way back. so it was kind of an old -- an old group of friends, still, hanging out together and they all got along. and then, my mother became very good friends with rosalynn carter. >> yeah. let's move on to this question from adam in rochester, new york. what was your mother's reaction, he asked, to your father becoming president? >> well, i will step back, first of all, to when he became vice
president because that was, you know, my -- my mother was going, but you said we were gonna retire. and we were going to, you know, leave d.c. and all of that. and my dad said to her, don't worry, betty, vice presidents do nothing. little did she know that, nine months or ten months or whatever it is later, that he -- >> eight months and three days. >> okay. thank you. i knew you'd know that, anne. that he would become president. and i think it really was -- i wouldn't say she was happy about it. because it was going to throw her into the limelight, which, really, she didn't desire. that was not her desire in life. her desire was to be, you know, his husband and then retire. and, you know, their -- their kids were grown. everyone was in college. it was time to be a great-empty nest.
but she really thrived, as a first lady. and she got to do so many things that she never would have gotten to do before. and, you know, she went to a palm reader, years ago, back when she was a young girl. and they had told her that she would dance with kings and queens. and she thought it was going to be dance, as a martha graham dancer, because that's what she -- that was her love. and so, she was like, oh, my goodness, i'm going to be a famous martha graham dancer and that's how i'm going to dance for kings and queens. little did she ever know that this is what happened. >> we had -- i want to thank john, in louisiana, for his question, which you also answered about the moment which richard nixon resigned. let me move onto this one about mrs. ford's involvement with the era.
adina and elaine ask your mother was portrayed in this week's episode of ms. america on hulu, the show about the era, what do you remember about your mother's role in -- was there any reluctance to get involved in this? or did she just dive in? >> no. she really dove in. i mean, she did her research. i'm not going to say she didn't do her research and the pros and cons to stepping out. i have not seen the -- the hulu show, yet. so, i can't speak about that. but um, let's remember, i mean, anne, you know. she wanted a female on his cabinet and she got carla hill who did a fabulous job. she would have liked a female supreme court justice. but she didn't get to win that one. so, you know, the advantage she had was she had him at pillow talk, in bed, late at night, when she could whisper sweet nothings in his ear.
and, you know, so she won a few and she lost a few. but, you know -- but she just felt really strongly about it. and -- and there was no turning back. >> and she continued that, for many, many years, thereafter. here's a question. >> yes. >> this question reads, my name is ted. i'm an american history teacher from tucson, arizona. my question is, do you think the glass ceiling for women was any different in 1975, the year ted was born, than it is now in 2020? has there been progress? >> i think there's been progress. it's been slow. it's not been steady. um, which is why i would hope that now, if some of the states are going to revisit the equal rights amendment, that they would get it passed. and, you know, it would become an amendment to our constitution.
as i said, it's ridiculous that this is what we're, still, dealing with. >> and i can only imagine that your mother would look at the presidential field, in 2020, noting that there were five, six, seven women. four of them, united states senators. who were contenders and were standing on those stages in the presidential debates. and -- and that is something that, i think, she -- parties aside -- she -- she would have smiled. >> well, and -- and -- and she was alive, also, for nancy pelosi becoming, you know -- i mean, that's -- that was a big deal. i mean, we have -- we have made progress but it's not been fast. >> okay. caroline says she is about to graduate from the university of virginia. this was -- she was wondering what it was like to be a
teenager and, suddenly, have your life placed in the national spotlight? boy, the press would never [ inaudible ] and how would that impact the rest of your time in high school, your friendships, your social life? great question. >> well, i partied quite a bit at the university of virginia. so, um, luckily, anne was not covering me. so, um, i -- i would have been in a lot of trouble, if there was the 24/7 media that there is today. but i think my parents were a little bit tired, by the time i got to be a freshman in college. and it was just, like, she has agents. she'll be fine. i got into trouble. i promise, i did. i drank underage. what a surprise. >> but let's remember, the drinking age in d.c. was 18, then. it was not 21.
so, i did the normal things that most young, college girls did. and i had a good time. >> did you ever get away from your agents? did you ever try? >> i did. i did. i escaped. it -- i -- mother was coming in the gate. and i had gotten my -- i had a yellow mustang, if you remember that at the time. and i got upset about something. and jumped in my car because you always had to leave your keys in the car so that they could move cars for ceremonies and things like that. and so, i went out, jumped in my car, and the gates were already open. and went out. and i got out. and the problem is there was a hall and oats concert at constitution hall that night and i had tickets to go. and -- but my agents had the tickets.
so, if i wanted to go to the concert, i had to show up. so i showed up. i was living in arlington with a bunch of girls, at the time. and when i showed up at 6:00, my agents were waiting for me. and they said, your father would like to see you. and i was like, oh, no. that's -- that's not a good sign. so i went and got the talking to, as we all referred to it. and then, i went to constitutional hall and went to the concert. >> excellent. and can we say both of us, as moms, who -- our daughters were in college together. to caroline and all those at virginia and all those graduating this year who will have a very unusual exit from their college years. it will make you stronger. you will have lots of excitement. i'm sorry you are missing some of the parties and some of the events and the traditions. but you are getting a wonderful
lesson in public duty and service. and of helping fellow americans. and you will never forget. you will look, in hindsight, at 2020. okay. let's get to a couple more questions here. a lot of people are asking -- i should have asked about this -- if you had your senior prom, high school prom, on the white house south lawn, who was your date? how was it decided to host at the white house? and did your dad and mom chaperone? >> no. yeah. okay. it was not -- it was not on the lawn. it was in the east room in the -- it was on the -- the floor where the red room, the blue room, and, you know, those -- the main-public room. state floor, thank you. we had two bands. we had asked the beach boys to be our band and they turned us down.
so, we got two bands. my date was billy pifer from winchester, virginia. i had met billy when i was shenandoah apple blossom queen a couple of months before. and um, it was a really fun party. and there are some great pictures back to those days. and my parents, actually, were on a foreign trip. and i don't know where they were but they were on a foreign trip somewhere. and my aunt janet came from south carolina to chaperone the third floor of the white house because i had a bunch of girlfriends spend the night. and so, she was up there chaperoning all of us girls. >> well, next question kind of fits in with this. sheryl from -- sheryl douglas from washington. what state -- what was the most fun thing you did at the white house? anything you haven't told us, susan? >> there's a lot of things that
will never be told. i think my weekends at camp david were probably some of the most fun. and as you know, it's -- it's a place you can get away and just be yourself. and, you know, we would play tennis and there was -- there was a little, throw-hole golf three-hole golf course up there. and a trampoline. and if there was snow on the ground, you went snowmobiling. you could just be yourself and your agents weren't following you around. and you had some freedom. and then, when my parents didn't go up there, sometimes they would let me go up there with some of my college roommates. and we would take dates and there's a bowling alley up there. and you just could have fun. and nobody was -- you weren't going to get caught doing anything wrong is the biggest issue. >> camp david is about an hour -- little over an hour north of washington in the mountains. and it's really, i think, the only place on the face of the planet, including the white house, where the first family
can really feel secluded. >> it's true. and it's beautiful. >> susan, this is from jeanah woodward in old new maryland. who just wanted to tell you this. my father was executive residence staff and i remember going to a christmas party when you handed out toys to all of us. i looked up to you and thought you were just beautiful. >> oh, thank you. >> thank you for that, very much, jeanah. let's get -- i think we have time for a couple of more. this -- this says, hi, susan. it's your old friend, massy mckinley from atlanta, georgia. isn't it true that both your mother and father were models, young in their lives and met modeling and that betty ford trained -- oh, and that betty ford trained with, of course,
martha graham? >> yes, they were both models. but when my dad modeled, he was dating another woman, at the time. and ended up on the cover of look or life magazine. i mean, really serious. and then, they met. mother and dad actually met at a cocktail party. she was newly divorced. and a lot of people don't realize that my mother had been married before. and so, she was newly divorced. she was in no rush to get married again. she called it her five-year mistake. and dad had just come home from the war. and they were 30 and 35 when they got married so they were much young -- older than most people of that era. and they happened to meet at a cocktail party through mutual friends. and, you know, next thing you know, they were married. so -- >> well, i'm told we have time for one more question.
susan, i'm going to squeeze two questions in, if i can. her -- this -- this -- amy from omaha, nebraska, talks about admiration for your mother. her kindness, consideration for american women. well, as you approach mother's day this weekend, what do you miss most about betty ford? >> oh, i just miss her. anne, you know, when you don't have any parents, it's hard. my girls will treat me well and i will treat them well, and i'm glad i have daughters to celebrate my mother's day with. but just the -- the talks and the time together. there -- you can't replace 'em. >> yeah. so time for the last question. and actually, this viewer has written what i actually was going to ask you at the close.
and it's such an important part of the betty ford story. she has a lasting legacy that changed the lives of so many families. rescued them, in effect. can you talk about your mother? the founding of the betty ford center? what it meant to her and what it meant to so many people that you must have met during the years that you took a leadership role there, as well, susan? >> well, you know, mother got sober april 1st. we did the intervention, april 1st of 1978. and her sobriety date is, actually, april 7th because of detox and that sort of thing. and we are so grateful that she accepted the advice that we gave her. which was, you know, go get sober and -- and go to treatment. and she went to long beach. and so, four years later, when
she made the decision about the betty ford center, which was very young and early in her recovery to make that decision. and she came to us and she said, yeah, um, what do you all think about naming it the betty ford center? and all of us, kids, were not bothered by that, whatsoever. we said, no, we're -- we're glad to continue that legacy. and we're proud of what you've done and that sort of thing. and all of those alumni are just ambassadors for what she started. and we have, you know, over 100,000 ambassadors, you know, both families and we have children who have gone through the children's program. that are continuing her legacy. and so, it's an incredible legacy of hope for so many families that may never receive the gift that we received. but there is hope. >> well, it's an amazing chapter
in her life. and it seems, to me, that it draws on that same kind of fearlessness that you and i talked about at the very beginning of this. what was it, in your mom, that gave her the -- the power to not only create things like that but to see it through? sometimes, execution is the hardest part. a good idea can't survive, unless there is someone who has incredible strength to push it all the way through. >> i think it was the support of my dad. my dad supported her in so many things. and he pushed her. he helped her raise the money. he helped her connect to the people that she needed to meet. you know? it was pretty easy for him to open doors, back then. it's been going on, what, 38 years now. so, he was very supportive. and all of us, as family
members, supported her. and wanted the best for her. and that was the important thing. when we saw the difference of her after treatment and years of sobriety, why wouldn't you want that? and to share it with other people so that they could have the same gift that we had received, as a family. >> a century ago on may 31st, 1921, racial tensions in tulsa, oklahoma, led to an armed mob of white men marching on the city's predominantly african-american greenwood district. the arrest of a young-black man for his interactions with a white woman in a downtown-office building triggered the unrest. over the next day, the neighborhood known as black wall street would be the scene of shootings, looting, and arson. while official totals put the number killed at 36, historians now believe the toll was as high as 300. 35 blocks of the city were left in rups. ruins. tonight, beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv.
we explore the consequences of that day's events. >> american history tv on c-span3. exploring the people and events that tell the american story every weekend. saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern, on the civil war, elizabeth varon and william kurtz of the university of virginia's now september for civil war history on their project black virginians in blue about african-american union soldiers fighting for emancipation. saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history, university of california riverside professor, katherine allgore on the lives of women during the american revolution and the early republic. and sunday, at 6:00 p.m. eastern, on american artifacts, the arrival of the reconstructed french ship at the 18th century port of yorktown, virginia, designed after the french vessel that brought major general
lafayette back to the united states. exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. >> at noon on august 9th, 1974, president richard nixon resigned his office and vice president gerald ford was, immediately, sworn in during a solemn ceremony in the white house. next, on real america, a time to heal, gerald ford's america. shown daily at the president gerald r. ford presidential library and museum, this film tells the life's story of the michigan republican. august, 1974. a husband and wife shared their deep concern about a nation in crisis.
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