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tv   The Presidency Heartland Presidents - Harry Truman Dwight Eisenhower  CSPAN  August 19, 2021 8:28pm-9:53pm EDT

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>> harry truman and white eisenhower grew up within 180 miles of each other in america's heartland. next, on the presidency, a look at these two-term presidents and one-time allies who is political roads diverge during the contentious 1952 presidential campaign when ike declared his intention to be the republican standard bearer. they're meeting at president kennedy's 1963 funeral provided a chance for reconciliation. the speakers are truman library supervisory archivist samuel w. rushay jr.samuel w. rushay and eisenhower library deputy director timothy rives. libraries cohosted this event and the truman library institute provided the video. >> harry ostermann was president of the heartland. but what does it mean to say he was the president of the heartland? here, i am referring to his
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midwestern values, hard work, patriotism, honesty, duty, and integrity. these values are not exclusively western, of course. they do reflect harry truman's personality and character. this evening, i will only have time to talk about some of the highlights of truman's life and career and looking forward to talking with him about his connections with another president of the heartland, dwight eisenhower. if we can move on to the next slide, please. this is a photograph of harry truman as a young boy. he's in the first grade at a school of independence. this picture was probably taken at around 1890. harry truman was born on may 8th, 1884 in a town in missouri,
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about two hour south of kansas city. and day six, his parents moved independence. his mother was interested in him attending public schools in independence, missouri. so, this picture would have been taken very soon after his return, or his independence. that's him in the front row on the far-right. do you see an arrow indicating his location in the picture. harry truman was an avid reader as a child, partly because his poor eyesight which prevented him from engaging in the kind of school yard games a lot of his peers did. he was good with eyeglasses as a young boy. that set him apart from some of his other fellow students. he read history and biography, and was a lifelong learner. he also read the bible quite a bit. he wore eyeglasses and took piano lessons. we but otherwise he was an
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average boy with a brother and sister. by all indications you had a happy childhood. if you could go to the next slide, please, morgan. this pictures taken of harry truman when he was probably about 14 years old, about the time he had his first job at a drugstore independence, where he swept the floor and cleaned bottles, and learned what it was like to work as a young man. it was close to his cousins, sister lived across the street of what would become his future home in independents. we will see more about it later. at the young, 80 struck up a friendship with betsy wallace, a longtime native of independence. they met in sunday school, when
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harry was in second grade. they came from different backgrounds, though, that's important. different economic backgrounds. considered part of the local elite. she wasn't episcopalian, long-standing rights and independence. harry truman himself as a baptist. that's his grandfather, a prominent businessman. okay. next slide, please. this is a picture of harry truman's graduating class and independents high school. harry truman is the fourth from the left in the back row. you see him wearing his glasses. he is god's hand on the shoulder of a man in front of him. betsy wallace is in this picture. the second row at the end on the far right. second row seated on the far right. and also of interest in this
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picture is charlie ross. he was on the far left, front row. ross would move on to become harry truman's press secretary during truman's presidency. truman's education was rigorous in high school. although and he never did attend college however, he drugged as a young man of becoming a military general, going to west point after graduation in 1901. he took odd jobs, though, including railroad timekeeper and a bank clerk. his college dreams were shattered when his father's financial things took a downturn. he had to leave independence for the town of grand view, missouri which we will see about in a moment. harry truman was a lifelong learner and release self educated man. major lessons of history throughout his life and career, and drew upon them in
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conversation and they help to guide his personal philosophy and leadership style and decision-making. next slide, please. this is a picture of the grand view farm. south of kansas city in the greater kansas city metro area, though, not far from independence. here, truman is pictured here, on the right, he assisted on his families farm. i mentioned his father had speculative businesses that went bust. so, truman was forced to move with his family to this farm, venice grandmother owned as she is pictured seated in the rocking chair. this is known as the young farm, his grandmother's name. truman engaged in numerous activities on the farm. driving horse drawn plows, doing crop rotations, etc.
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corn and wheat were grown on the farm as where various kinds of livestock. now, this is around 1906, okay, harry truman graduated from high school in 1901, he has a series of odd jobs in 1901 to 1906, when he's forced to move on to the fire. he told about numerous activities and letters to his friends, and on again off again girlfriend bess wallace truman in the future. he told about the rigors of farm life and how stressful it was, although he had a philosophical view of farming and know its importance, of course. he kept the financial folks as well, and about this time he joined the masons which would become an important part of his life and his friendships. he stayed on the farm until 1917 when he enlisted in the national guard and left for, left the farm for military service in france soon after
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during world war i. arwork on the farm taught him he could lead farmworkers. also taught him he didn't want to be a farmer for the rest of his life. next slide, please. harry truman did not need to serve in world war i, it was 34 years old in 1917 so he was inspired by president woodrow wilson's called to resist german aggression. he wanted to see the world's beyond rural kansas city area, the city of kansas city, i wanted to see the wider world as. well he had an interest in the world by his reading, primarily. he had the opportunity to serve and combat during world war i. president of the united states i would seek combat during world war i. we could dedicate an entire talked to his service in world
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war i and i of course don't have time to say too much but he served in france in 1918. he saw action in the mountains, the defensive, and for done. he commanded 194 men in an artillery battery and he further learned he could be a leader of men. he was firm but fair, and by all accounts the men liked him and respected him because he also showed an interest in them. he could be disciplinarian that also shown interest in the men on a personal level and they appreciated that. in fact, they gave him a token of appreciation. truman made important during his military service and served as a colonel and field artillery reserves and really, his military service was a real formidable event for him.
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next slide, please. he returns from the war in early 1919 when he mustered out the military service and he marries his longtime sweetheart. bess wallace, june 28th, 1919. he proposed to bess in 1911. she turned him down. shortly before he left for france, best suggested perhaps they should get married before he moved on to france, before he left for france. he refused saying he didn't want to be married perhaps to a cripple as he put it or worse, to be a widow. he carried a picture of her in his pocket overseas, during the war and in france and throughout the rest of his life while he remained very faithful to his beloved bess.
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next slide, please. they to set up housekeeping, which is now a national park service historic site that you can kind of go and visit about five blocks south of the truman presidential library. and this house would become the permanent residents of harry and bess truman for the rest of their lives, and his grandfather built this fun. best did not grow it up in this house to grip down the street not far from this one. i wish i had an interesting story about her life that i wish we had more time to get into but it is at this time harry had to find a business in something of the livelihood. it's here he had his
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haberdashery which was -- in downtown kansas city with a business partner, eddie jacobson, which we will say more about in a little while. the business did not survive very long, though. it went busty tr uman the as a result of the ecoc recession shortly after world war i. harry truman then had to find another occupation but you will say more about here in a moment. it's the place where, this house here, their only child, harry and bess truman's only child was born. this house would remain bess trumans sanctuary as well as her home. for the rest of her life despite they are numerous travels to washington d.c. for harry truman's political career. they would consider this home and independence, missouri as their permanent home. bess arranged harry truman's steadfast wife and partner and
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and advisor behind the scenes. never one to like the lamb light however, she referred to be behind the scenes but harry truman consulted her regularly for a variety of different reasons throughout his career. okay ... next slide, please. this is a photo here of where harry truman conducted a lot of his business, during the 1920s. he, after his haberdashery failed, a turned to politics and that's an interesting story that i wish we had time to get into as well. he won his first election in 1922, and he won as a judge and eastern jackson county, and that was considered another judicial position. it was an administrative akin to a county commissioner. so, he's defeated for reelection in 1920, four but 1926 he was elected as presiding judge of the entire
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county, jackson county. for your term, 1926, reelected 1930, this was the building where he conducted business and visitors could still see the office. there is not far either from the truman hall, a walking distance between truman hall and this building not far from truman presidential library as well. i realize it's kind of updated federal, here probably from 19 seventies, but i do like it. it's important in the 1920s to say briefly harry truman helped renovate this building. it predates truman's wife, of course. he won approval -- 6.5 million dollars to build 2024 miles of paved highways and jackson county, and additional funds for building a county hospital. and raising money to renovate the courthouse here, and build a new courthouse for jackson county in downtown, kansas city.
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next slide, please. harry truman's political careers would not and, those political ambitions were not and in jackson county, of course. he was tapped to run for u.s. senate. again, an interesting story i wish we could get into here this evening. he was elected in 1934. he's progressing to higher and higher offices. elected in 1934, he and his patron i say it was thomas pendergast, so-called bosses kansas city at a time when politics rolled a large amount of american cities, and the pendergast machine saw a lot of value in running harry truman for senate, plus some of the other candidates they were looking for dropped out for various reasons. harry truman was a man of high
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integrity, and struggled being part of this pendergast machine. he wrote long hand notes, diary like entries about the struggles he was having, the ethics of trying to work within the framework of the pendergast machine. by all accounts, he was an honest man and he, said you know, i will leave this office. the senate is poor in every way than when i came in. he refused to profit from his office either as presiding judge of jackson county or as u.s. senator. he was elected in 1934, as i say, and six years later reelected in 1940. he was popular with colleagues and played an important role and passage roles, transportation act -- and he stepped outside of what you might expect in midwestern senator to say he spoke about
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nazi aggression early during world war ii, in the early 19 forties and chicago and spoke about civil rights to an all-white audience in a town in missouri. and those speeches are very interesting in terms of truman stepping out of his comfort zone, so to speak. to challenge some of the great issues of the day. okay, next slide, please? truman's most important, will the think he's most famous for as a u.s. senator was the so-called truman committee which is the senate special committee to investigate the national defense program. which may have saved taxpayers of do 11 billion dollars. it also put harry truman on the cover of time, raised his political profile and his name recognition. especially among democratic party powerbrokers. in 1944 harry truman was becoming president vice
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president. this was a very crucial. fdr was in declining health. the public was not aware of it but democratic party insiders were well aware of it of fdr's declining health. they knew whoever became vice president very likely would become president and the united states. the incumbent vice president henry wallace, was not able to for various reasons. harry truman had positive traits, many. and has fewer negative ones than others. so he was with -- served 82 days as vice president until franklin roosevelt sudden death on april 12th, 1945. with that i think i will turn it over to my colleague, tim. >> thank you sam. here we have dwight d. eisenhower, 34th president of the united states. like harry truman, are very much a product of the american
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heartland. would you subscribe to a lot of the same values, that embodied the same virtues, the man who grew up within about 170, 180 miles of each other. had a lot of similar experiences. in fact there was even a bit of overlap when eisenhower's older brother arthur lived at the same boarding house as harry truman. around 1900, i believe. even though the men did share a lot of common there was a lot of mutual respect, there was not always a lot of mutual like for each other. it was some mutual discussed, ironic given so many similarities between the two men. next slide, please? we will go to ex childhood, and it always strikes me is how similar this picture is to the picture of harry truman's school class. it looks like it's about the same size. they put the students in the same pose. there you can see little ike on the front row.
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second from the left with the arrow pointing to him. i think it's actual pointing the arrow at the key, he is wearing a key on a string around his neck. i guess he was sort of a latchkey child. which doesn't make a lot of sense. he lived directly across the street and he was at home. probably 100 feet from his house. for whatever reason he is wearing a key around his neck. he was born on october 14th, 1890 in dennis in texas. again ironic and the eisenhower story because he became so identified with kansas with abilene and in fact it was the only one of the seven eisenhower boys who was born outside of the state of kansas. his father has suffered a business setback with a son jury dry goods store he owned in hope, kansas, about 25 miles south of abilene. out of maybe a sense of shame he went to texas, in a self
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imposed exile, working as a wiper for the missouri kansas railroad. that's where i was born in 1980 -- 1890. then in 1892, another family member convince them to move back to abilene. ickes father went to work in the bill springs creamery, where he worked for many years. his huge regional name was david dwight eisenhower. david was for his father, dwight after a famous 19th century evangelists, yet they always called him to white because they don't want him to be called junior. after his father. and like ulysses s grant when he went to west point, his name officially changed. it was then that he reversed the order from david dwight eisenhower to dwight d. eisenhower. it became the name that is now so well-known. abilene was an interesting town. it was only about not even a
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generation removed from it wild, how child passed. abilene is a terminus of trails, you had the great history of the cattle drives, up the trails to kansas, wild bill hancock headed in the city more shot one time. yet it gunfights, everything that goes along with a cow town. eisenhower really absorbed, really enjoyed that history. coincidentally, 1890, the year he was born was also the year that the american frontier was declared closed. you had eisenhower coming into the world at this transition in american history. from this open frontier, moving to a more industrialized age. in fact it's great symmetry in his. life he was born the year the frontier was declared closed. he died the year americas land on the moon. you can see this range of history of eisenhower. embodied and in fact with his creation of nasa, it helped
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create that. the foundation also, the foundation rather, the frontier gave ike a sense of limits. if most of the freeland was gone, natural resources were in danger, of being exhausted, there had to be limits set up on expansion and on what we could expect out of the natural habitat. for reasons i would take a while to get into, eisenhower's few front here and at this limited resources would actually lead him to expand social security. to a certain degree. which does take some explanation. we will get to that later. he was a good student, he really enjoyed ancient history. he enjoyed math, did well in school. next slide, please? a few years later, this is his high school, senior picture i guess we would call it today. i graduated in 1909. should've graduated 1908.
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he was a freshman, he had an accident, scrutiny which became badly infected. in effect almost lost a leg. he had to repeat his freshman year in high school. he had a brother, edgar, who was a little more than a year older who dropped out of school in return. their would end up graduating together from abilene high school. in 1909, which being a high school graduate in 1909 put one into an american elite. only about 30% of americans graduated from high school at that time. roughly three times that now. but eisenhower like harry truman was always academically, educationally ambitious. he wanted to get a good education. very good athlete, played baseball, football at abilene high school. thank you, you can see the baseball team picture. that is ike on the back row,
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second from the right. it's always a little difficult to recognize eisenhower as a young man because he had such a foot head of hair. when you think of, ike our memories is of the opposite. usually a center field, or a running back on the football team, also organize abilene high school athletic association. which raise money for equipment and things like that for the student athletes. there was a prediction in his high school yearbook, forever graduate there was a prediction. the editor predicted that his brother, edgar, would become president of the united states. and that dwight would become a professor of history at yale university. they were close but not quite there. next slide, please? again, education, eisenhower really wanted a college age occasion, he wanted to continue playing sports as well. then eisenhower's were a modest
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family. economically, some would say poor. i would still say they were in the middle class. they had this home that we could see. they moved in 1898, it's now the center of the campus. still in its original location. i find it interesting that all three of the homes where i lived as a boy are still standing. the first in 1898 denison, texas, still standing. it is a state park. there's another house in abilene on southeast second street, where the family lived from 1892 to 1898. which is still standing and of course the structure which was built in 1987, like trumans, there was a family connection in the acquisition of the home. it was owned by one of ike's uncles named abraham lincoln house and how are. he said the house to his parents in 19 -- 1898. he lived when he was about in the third grade until he left
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for west point. in 1911. unlike harry truman, who had dreamed of west point, maybe being a journal as a boy, eisenhower never really had, except later, and idea of that growing up. that he wanted in education, a college education. his brother, edgar, did as well. so edgar started at the university of michigan. the idea was that i could work for two years, support edgar, and edgar would drop out, i could go for two years, they would leapfrog their way through college. so to support edgar, eisenhower was working at the bill springs creamery where his father worked. basically as a boiler attendant. for about 84 hours a week. it was every night from 6 pm to 6 am. but during that time he renewed in acquaintanceship of a boy named swede has lit. sweet has lit a rather affluent
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friend, he'd gone to a private military kagame, and he was going to the naval academy. he told i give you want to get a college education should get a service academy appointment. ike dedicated himself to try to get an appointment to annapolis or west point. no preference, just wanted a college education. he wanted someone to pay for it. and so while extending the boiler is also studying every night during 12 hours. he does well in the employment, there's a competitive exam offered by senator joseph bristo. eisenhower secures an appointment. he was too old, however, to go to annapolis. by this point he was 20 years old. he would not start college until he was almost 21. that would have made him a year or two too old. it's going to west point. it's fun with them. again, he just once a college education.
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he wants to continue playing sports. so we go to west point in 1911, and indeed he becomes a football star. in fact he's starting to gain a lot of national attention. he plays in the game against the famous john torque indian school. he's on the verge of being a star when he suffers a catastrophic major. in a game against tufts university. that is basically the end of his athletic career. nothing he could fix at the time. it was probably torn acl, something along those lines. fairly routine now. it was enough to end his athletic career, almost cost him his commission. in fact he could not join the cavalry because his knee could not take it. mounting a horse. he did it make it through west point academically. he was kind of midland through the middle of the class. he had a very high number of the merits. a lot of things, minor infractions, but he accumulated
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enough a lot of them. his best scores were in english mathematics, and in fact he created some solutions to have problems that became the school solutions. the no, history did not like west point rote memorization approach to history, and lost this boyhood love that he had, which was later rekindled by an officer who was influential in his life. next slide, please? ike and me became such a famous pair. i got out of west point and he goes to fort same houston which is in san antonio texas. which is still there, he meets mamie geneva dowd. she came from a wealthy denver family. in fact her father had become a millionaire still in his forties thanks to the meatpacking business in iowa in
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the 19th century when a billionaire really meant something. really immense wealth at the time. lived in denver, as i said. they would spend their winters in san antonio where it was a great deal warmer. the two met at lot long after ike's arrival in the fall of 1915. by valentine's day, 1916, they were engaged. they were married july 1st, 1916. were also affected their plans as it did harry and bess. rather than waiting, the eisenhower's decide to speed it up. they got married fairly soon. of course it was a very good, enduring marriage, a very successful partnership. next picture, please? of course there is a war. as sam said, harry truman is the only president to have served in combat in world war i. combat is wet dwight as an hour
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one to more than anything. he felt that in order to make his mark as an officer to, advance his career, he had to get to france. and made so many requests to get to france that he was threatened with disciplinary action. instead, it already been recognized through his great mind general and administrative administrative abilities that he become famous for. instead of going to france he becomes the director of the national tank training center at camp cold pennsylvania, by gettysburg. eisenhower in charge of training almost all american tankers. at one point he had 10,000 men under his command. one of a graduate of the class of 1950 to become -- temporary leadership. you could see him here in front of a tank. the type that were used. no idea who the guy is sticking his face out of the hatch there. there is a young white eisenhower. one high marks for his
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administration and for his administration public health during the spanish flu. of that time which i think we can all relate to better now than we could a year or so ago. he was, again, bitterly disappointed at missing the chance for combat in france. eisenhower was always considered by his peers to be blessed with a lot of luck, and luck is something many successful generals have been credited of having. in fact, napoleon's question of general was always is he lucky? for whatever reason, as an hour had that that gift. one of the boys from kansas, who had taken the west point or service academy test alongside ike did not get an appointment,
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went to france and infantry and was killed. another boy who competed against ike didn't get to the appointment to west point, went to the air corps and was killed. there were several of these guys who associated with ike and his efforts to go to west point. he went to the regular army, instead in lost. who knows what eisenhower actually avoided by the fate he actually experienced. that seems to be a theme throughout his life, these fortuitous events. probably because he missed that experience. next slide, please. he eagerly volunteered for 1919 transcontinental motor convoy which was a coast to coast demonstration of americas new mechanized army. and a test of that capability
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to see how well these new largely mobile mechanized units could do, and also a test of how well america was prepared to defend itself by giving its army access to these roads. the answer was not very well. 58 days from washington d.c. to san francisco, they averaged not quite 60 miles a day. some places across the country, the roads are virtually nonexistent. many places, they had to build bridges to actually continue their journey. the big thing to come out of this is to put in eisenhower's mind the idea we had a good national grid of roads, and eventually see the interstate highway system come out of this experience, along with his experience later on the german
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auto front. that first seat was that two month crawler cross the country from coast to coast, the transcontinental. it was a informative experience in ex life and you could see the picture on the right, eisenhower is on the right of that picture. i believed his immediate left is one of the fire stones. there would be a reception in every city that they want to end in this case they stopped at firestone headquarters which i believe are in ohio. if memory serves. again, important experience in ex life. next slide, please. he returns, went to camp mead, maryland, home of the tank or were he contended for a couple years following the motor convoy. he went to panama and in panama, he was the executive director, executive officer of infantry
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brigade under a general named fox connor who is in charge of military operations under jon purging during world war i. connery was a very influential mentor and i put him on an extensive professional reading program, rekindled explosive of military history, and groomed ike for advancement. he also prepared him to go to the armies commanding general staff, as it was called the time. real watershed for careerists. often how you did at moderate could determine in large part the course your career was going to take. eisenhower goes, thanks to general connor's intervention and training preparation. graduates first in his class and that opens up a lot of opportunities for him. it goes to washington and under retired general john j pershing
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is assigned to the commission, in charge of all the cemeteries in europe. also charged with putting out a guidebook for the cemeteries. eisenhower, as i mentioned, was a very good student, english student at west point. considered one of the best writers in the war department. pershing assigned him to finish writing the book that some others had started, and ike was given the opportunity to go to france for a year, do you more research, and write that volume, which he did. they spent 1920, eight 1929, we ike and me and their son john in france and i quote spent his days as you can see in this picture here out during the battlefields. he got to examine the entire western front that he had missed during world war i. so, he was able to gain appreciation of the ground and with this experience he'd had
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missed in 1916 and 1918. he returns, finishes up his guidebook, which you can still find copies of, surprisingly, becomes an assistant to the assistant secretary of war, travels around the united states, studying how already industry would be to convert to a wartime footing, if that should occur. works closely with congress and other political leaders and it's a good education just in the ways of washington, and in the ways political bureaucracy and as ike later said, it was his introduction to the military industrial complex that he would make so famous in his farewell address. he then becomes an assistant to douglas mcarthur, the army chief of staff, and he follows mcarthur to panama. for mcarthur there to form a
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philippine army defense force in preparation for the islands eventual independence, and there, eisenhower is really him the day-to-day work to build things from scratch. again, invaluable we experience. i know we need to get moving. next slide, please. at the end of his career, of hard work and ambition that culminates his appointment as a supreme commander of the allied expeditionary force, his supreme moment on june 6th, 1944, d-day invasion which i think is the moment we that, at that moment, people knew he was probably going to be president some day, the respect he had and reputation for confidence and leadership, you know, it was obvious this guy was someone to look out for, politically. here is that iconic photograph of eisenhower with men of the 101st airborne the night before
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the invasion. and he kept a copy of this picture on his desk the rest of his life, whether as president or as a private citizen. next slide, please. and he left this message the night before the invasion, taking personal responsibility if the invasion fails. this is an item we have an eisenhower presidential library. i think it's our single most important item just because of not only how momentous that occasion was. we want it tells you about eisenhower's leadership, and the sense of duty. if you can't read it, it says we failed to gain a satisfactory foothold, i withdraw the troops. my decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. the troops that air and maybe did all with that bravery and
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devotion to duty can do. if any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone. some how you will see it's misstated july 5th, we will talk about that later. i think we better keep moving it to the presidency at this point. we're going to shift>> right. okay. thank you, sam tim. we will talk about harry truman. many other things tim and i are talking about, separate, talks i do apologize for glossing over some very important things that i am hoping to at least get highlights. i mentioned harry truman becomes president suddenly on april 12th, 1945. and few, if any presidents, have ever faced similar challenges that harry truman faced, particularly since he was very ill prepared by franklin roosevelt, the two only had two meetings during
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his 80 today vice presidency, and what was happening was the war against germany, world war ii against germany was concluding, it would conclude in may the following month, but the war against japan was still very much happening, ongoing. and so harry truman was faced with how to handle war against japan, and dealing with the issues of postwar europe, and asia after the war. so, he has a meeting here in july of 1945 with the big three, was done churchill, truman, and joseph stalin. churchill of course the british leader and stall in the russian leader. soviet leader who were allies during the war. and, you know, harry truman, some of his greatest successes had to do with the framework or
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structure to conduct the cold war, which would occur after the end of world war ii. that is a cold war conflict of a last for four years between the united states and soviet union. although we are allies during world war ii, those relations would sour soon after the successful conclusion of the war. truman helped establish that framework through the marshall plan, huge aid package to europe for european recovery after world war ii. the establishment of nato, the defense alliance with our european allies. truman doctrine which was more of the ideological framework or containment, that's how to deal dissociate you knew, not for aggressive war but containing their expansion and of course, not in the least the establishing of the united nations to try to prevent war and promote peace throughout
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the world. so, in this photograph, we have truman meeting with the big three. okay, next slide, please. one of the things harry truman had to deal with as i mentioned was concluding the war against japan. and yet options available to him. he has approved shortly after becoming president first part of a plan invasion of the japanese home islands, of course i ended up not being necessary when he was brief shortly after becoming president by secretary of war about the progress of the manhattan project, which would develop the atomic bomb. harry truman, as was his leadership steyer, stylist gather as much information as he could from experts and rely on the experts, their expertise, with little ego associated. he was willing to have people in the room he knew where experts and smarter than him,
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in their various areas. but in the end, the buck stopped with harry truman. the buck stops here, his famous slogan. he always knew he was the one who made the decisions. harry truman, the decision to use the atomic bomb or authorized this use was a simple one, you know? as an ex artillery officer. he saw the bomb without complete understanding of it we as a weapon to end the war and save american lives. that was his goal, that he successfully accomplished. we still, over the years, have gotten a thank you from veterans and their families for truman's use of the bombs to end the war and save lives of american service men and women who lost that invasion. the atomic bomb was successfully tested in july of 1945, and, you know, used in
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august, august twice, actually against hiroshima and nagasaki on august 6th of august 9th respectively. it brought the war to successful conclusion. again, we could talk more about these issues, but no evidence truman ever agonized about this matter which remains of course a controversial one oh. next slide, please? one of the most important things harry truman accomplished as president, in addition to the war against japan, was extending recognition to the new state of israel in 1948. for harry truman this was a moral, humanitarian and, yes, a political issue. he he was keenly aware of the suffering of the jewish people, and other displaced persons during and after world war ii. and a real importance here was eddie jacobson who, is focused
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here with truman on the left, who personally intervened with truman on this issue. truman showed strong leadership here, many of his own advisers opposed recognition for geopolitical and economic reasons. but -- intercity with truman to see would become the future president of israel. that was a pivotal conversation. truman's own advisers, most notably george marshall, opposed this decision. the fear among his advisers was that it would cut off oil supplies because of possible arab embargo if we were to recognize israel, and would increase the leverage or power of the soviet union in the middle east. these are some powerful voices, again, harry truman was willing to listen but in the end made his own decision.
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next slide, please? >> a lot of people have asked me -- >> okay, all right, i think we will probably go ahead and skip the video there in the interest of time. one of the things that harry truman had to deal with as well, a very eventful presidency early on, was the invasion of south korea by north korea in june of 1950. the real takeaway here was that harry truman, in his own reading of history, his own experience, knew that aggression had to be met with force if necessary. so harry truman authorized the use of american military forces, under the leadership of the united nations, that's very important, and the leadership of general douglas mcarthur, to lead those united nations
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forces in june of 1950. truman made a quick decision. he heard the advice of his advisor's on this. in the end he wanted to preserve south korean independence, which is what he did. he helped divert world war three as well. that was mcarthur who had a difference of opinion on how to conduct a war, in short truman fired douglas mccarthy of the following spring, ensuring privacy of civilian control of the military. this was also the first successful stress test, to put it lightly, for the united nations. which was a fledgling organization, established in 1945, very near and dear to truman's heart. next slide, please? the domestic realm, harry truman did a lot for the issue of civil rights. he was appalled by the truman
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and abuse of african american veterans following world war ii. this was a remarkable thing with truman's own past, as both his grandparents had enslaved african americans in missouri. truman was known in some of his early letters to bess to use racist language. so that context is important when you think about what truman was able to accomplish in the early civil rights movement. he establish a civil rights commission, which is pictured here, pictured here. for him it was a moral issue. to treat all citizens equitably, especially during the cold war. so the american government could be an attractive model for the world. next slide, please? truman became the first president to speak for the naacp. this speech took place in washington d.c., 1947. you can read their what he said.
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during that speech. a very, very important. this would come at a time of great political risk to truman himself. by his own democratic party which in the south, anyway, was a very powerful. at that time. there were very conservative democrats in the senate, southern democrats, which size split in his own party, a three way split during the 1948 election. next slide, please? one of the most pivotal document in our collection from the library is this executive order here. which is the executive order of nine nine eight one. establishing committee on the treatment and opportunity, we're in short, resulted in the
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eventual desegregation of the armed forces. he also issued another executive order, desegregating the federal civil service. truman use executive orders because he could not get even a basic bills through congress. on civil rights, he was unable to get an anti-lynching bill passed, or legislation even to abolish the poll tax. so that showed you the context that he's working at here. we talk about some of the weaknesses or failures, or challenges truman presidency had, and we move on to the next slide, that is in the area of korea. again, these are big issues we don't have time to get into here. and late 1950, truman authorized the use of the united nations forces to push north korean forces back across the 38 polar air, back into north korea.
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not only did he push north korean forces out of south korea, he authorized the use of those same forces to pursue the north koreans across the border. trying to unify the country, remove the north korean government of kim's son, however would happen is that the push went too far to china. which is north korea's northern border. there resulted in a massive innovation by chinese forces, in support of north korea. in support of their north korean allies. this resulted in a protracted stalemate of the korean war, and we will see more about that here. it really cost truman politically in the democratic party in 1952, in the election. korea, in addition to its positive legacy, had also a negative legacy of-limited undeclared wars which did not result in the third world war, but did exact a very high
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prices. particularly in vietnam, and on american service members killed during those conflicts, and of course and korea, there was no peace treaty even to this day. next slide, please? we have here another more negative aspect of the truman presidency, despite all the glowing things truman accomplished for the world and the country. the loyalty board established was not one of them. even prior to joseph mccarthy, making accusations of communists in government, just three years prior. harry truman issued an executive order that would create a loyalty board, a lot of aspects to it, and basically it was truman's effort to try to preempt more stringent
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efforts by the republicans to try to root out communists. even before mccarthy's charges, harry truman was dealing with a communist government issue. it was a issue that he didn't think there was a severe threat to the u.s. government by communists within the government. but he did establish a loyalty board. part of the problem here is that truman distrusted the fbi, which was involved in this loyalty program. truman disliked its director, j edgar hoover. charges could be based only on unfounded accusations. there were a number of employees who lost their jobs. some of them, you know, for legitimate reasons, others because they were just rooted out, unfairly. standards of procedural safeguards an standards of evidence were lacking. so i think we will move on
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here. i will pass it on to you, tim. >> okay, a little quick background, eisenhower, following world war ii, became the army chief of staff. he eventually retires from the army, he becomes the president of columbia university. during that time he is called back to service, sort of part-time in washington, since they are combining some of the military services. eisenhower becomes the first sort of informal chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. and then also while he is still at columbia, president truman taps ike to become the first supreme allied commander of nato. in december of 1950, and in early 1951, eisenhower goes to france, i think you are still in france at the time, i believe. to take up the position. and in many ways, his running
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for president was to protect internationalist organizations, the same when harry truman supported. the republican party at the time was deeply divided between eastern and moderates who believed in internationalism, they believe the united nations, they believed in nato, they believed in the european defense community. as opposed to the more america first old guard conservatives, as often described, led by senator robert taft. eisenhower had, for a number of years, been declining invitations to run for president. as both the democrat and republican. we know from both men's diaries, dwight eisenhower's and harry truman's, harry truman brought eisenhower to the white house and offered to run as his vice president if ike wanted to run as a democrat for president.
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ike was a republican. largely because he believed the democrats had been in power for too long in washington, for 20 years in the white house. that there had been too much centralization of power, too much deficit spending. those were his main reasons for identifying as a republican. it was as a fairly liberal republican, dedicated to internationalism. had robert tapped, there was a meeting between the two, eisenhower said if you will agree to support nato, the united nations, the european defense community, i will publicize this letter i'm holding saying i am not a candidate for president in 1952. tapped would not agree to that statement. tapped would continue to oppose those organizations, so eisenhower decided to run largely for those reasons. against taft, and given his
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popularity in general he was able to easily win the election once he hadn't won the republican nomination, which took a little more work. at any rate, to get quickly into the slide, when we're talking about the greatest things i saw as accomplishments, or as failures that we will discuss, i would like to use his words. he thought in terms of foreign policy, at the end of the korean war, as sam said, the worst stalemated, became a big problem for president truman. eisenhower during the campaign in october of 1952, a speech into troy, pledged that if i'm elected -- it is part a lot of confidence. it gave him a 5% bump in the polls. president truman sneered. he asked ike after the election
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if he still wanted to go to korea, or if it was an empty campaign pledge. i did visit korea in december 52, he kind of get the lay of the land. he decided it wasn't worth continuing. he came back, but july 27th, 1953, there was an armistice. or at least a cease-fire, technically. it had to do with joseph stalin had died in march of 53. which i think made it easier, made it possible for them to take place. i would like to point to what he described as the prevention of communist efforts to dominate iran, lebanon, formosa, i want to, south vietnam. as we will see, some of the means he used would come back to haunt us, for example, the regime in iran by covert means. next slide, please?
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in fact, the images you see on the screen, they are from the same page in his diary. up until may of 2010, if you had asked to see eisenhower's diary from october 8th of 1953, you would've been given a page on the left which is mostly redacted. if you look on the right, you could see eisenhower talking about recent developments in iran, which were accomplished thanks to the cia in which it admits basically by force overthrew the government of iran by covert means. it was not a very well kept secret. technically this part of his diary remain classified until the last ten years which is quite a while after eisenhower was in presidency. you can see how relations with iran had still been troubled by this action. he believed it was worth it
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given the stakes of the cold war. next slide, please. in terms of foreign policy failure eisenhower said i admit to little progress and global disarmament, reducing the bitterness of the east west struggle. they were certainly attempts to heal relations with the soviet union. one of the last was undermined by eisenhower's own decision. there is to be a summit in paris in may of 1960. unfortunately, shortly beforehand, he gave a green light to one of the last admissions of the spike. which flew over russia and was shot down. he was perturbed francis and garry powers, the pilot, did not use the kill ability and took his own life and was captured by the soviets and cat was out of the bag at that point. what do you see on the screen is the first cover story that
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was put out. united states knew it disappeared but said it was on a mission collecting weather data. kind of a likely story to recover a spy operation. as an howard decided very quickly that was useless to try and keep that pretense. they would simply be caught. it then undermined another conference, he's conference with the soviet union. as you can see a troubled eisenhower and these words are from his memoir. he consider that his greatest foreign policy failure. next slide, please. in terms of accomplishments, domestic accomplishments, 1966, at a time when eisenhower felt he was under a lot of criticism, largely thanks to two bestselling books. won by arthur schlesinger junior called 1000 days, about the presidency of john f. kennedy, and another book about president kennedy by ted sorenson, i believed it was just called kennedy. he thought put his
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administration in a poor light. he put out a memo to his friends and said i will take these things out of the top of my head but it's this detailed memo and we often at work refer to it as ex top ten. he listed about 23 things. i have some of them here on the screen for your consideration that of course he added to states, rather, two unions were added in an ex presidency, silence seaway was built, the first civil rights bill in 80 years, won a 1915 seven 1957 a 1960 dealing largely with voting rights that were passed, the most ambitious road program by any nation at all, history of course is our interstate highway system. eisenhower did not completely reject the new deal. in fact, he really accommodated much of fdr's new deal, and harry truman's fairytale.
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the interstate highway system cost more that all of the new deal social programs combined. it was a massive public expenditure and something many of us experienced almost daily in our commutes. he notes, as you can see, the initiation of the space program which was nasa, which began under president eisenhower. next slide, please, to kind of finish this one off. segregation in washington d.c. and the armed forces, the defense education bill, which occurred in the wake of sputnik. soviet union sputnik satellite which really put a scare into americans in terms of our technological capabilities. defense education bill was one of our responses to it. the use of federal power to enforce orders in a federal court in arkansas, a little rock which we will discuss. but on and on, eisenhower saw these accomplishments that were being overlooked in what he
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felt was this adulation of john f. kennedy's administration. next slide, please. in terms of what you might say we're ickes failures sam alluded to senator joseph mccarthy's anti communist crusade and hearings. eisenhower was very anti mccarthy and really work behind the scenes which he preferred to do. combatting mccarthy. did not confront mccarthy directly which is still a debate. there are books published even in the last few months of eisenhower's dealings with joe mccarthy, whether he took the right to act or not. that's not going away anytime soon. he admittedly himself did not convert to republican party as he called middleweight governing philosophy. he did not provide moral rhetorical support in terms of civil rights as a civil rights
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leader. he was a little tepid, for example after brown versus -- supreme court case, he didn't say this was a just decision. it's way overdue. he said the supreme court has spoken and i was sworn to uphold a law which looked like he almost disagreed with the court, but he would kind of accept it and move on. something else that's come up, i had more awareness of it. summit i first did this program more than ten years ago, and so a lot of the slides were put together at that time and one thing many of us have more awareness of is the history of gay civil rights, and as truman had his loyalty, eisenhower banned gays and federal employment in the mid 19 fifties largely for security reasons as well. you are starting to see more
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criticism of ike for that action, as well. it's all within the same context of security which is not to excuse it. i think something that can be seen as a knock on his leadership. next slide. we all know at harry truman's saying was, everyone knows the buck stops here. as an hour had a saying as, well you can see it here in latin. i'm sure my pronunciation is incorrect. it's gently, basically gently and manner, strong indeed. you could hear a sort of echoes of teddy roosevelt in that as well, speak softly. carry a big stick and what i was talking about was that it's not so much your words, especially flashy or fancy words, but it's what you accomplish that matters and he was kind of putting himself in comparison when he would talk
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about this later with john f. kennedy. he is viewed as being more sizzled in his estimation. eisenhower did not trust even someone like senator mccarthy, not senator mccarthy, general mcarthur who was so strong on rhetoric and on his ego, which eisenhower really found distasteful. just kind of a personality difference between the two men but i think eisenhower's view, eisenhower's preference being expressed well in this motto, which was on a plaque that sat on his desk at the white house. next slide, please. civil rights, despite what was done in terms of banning gays from federal employers, eisenhower's attempts to advance the civil rights traffic and americans are the biggest areas of revision in terms of eisenhower's
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scholarship and here's a number of bullet points you could see of things he was able to accomplish in terms of just banning discrimination, receiving federal contracts, completing desegregation of armed forces began under president truman. rebuilding the federal judiciary of integration judges who are signing civil rights, bills establishing civil rights division within the doj and civil rights commission, sending federal troops to little rock, and appointing first african american executive to the white house and the first african american secretary and also first african american cabinet member. eisenhower did take steps, much like harry truman, perhaps, about as much as he could've done in that era and in the context. again, it's another part of his presidency, still getting a lot of tension from scholars.
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next slide, please. i think it's back to sam. >> great. okay, thank you, tim. i think in the interest of time, i know we want to take some questions, we are going to go quickly through these next few slides that show some photographs from the truman library collection! harry truman with dwight eisenhower, this picture at the post and conference as omar bradley in the car as well. here is harry truman a 1940, eight awarding general eisenhower. extensive correspondence between the two men in the truman papers during the truman presidency. unfortunately, that would end as a result of the 1952 campaign which was a contentious one. this is a meeting that took place between the two men shortly after eisenhower left presidency 1952. you could see by the expression there that it's rather tense for various reasons.
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truman is quick to congratulate eisenhower on his victory in 1952. trauma decided not to run for president, by the way, in 1950. two it was stevenson who was a democratic nominee. there was a long period of tension between the two men but eisenhower did visit the truman presidential library in 1961 after eisenhower left office. eisenhower wanted to see the lay out of our building in independence, missouri. truman himself gave eisenhower a tour. real reconciliation between the two men that have occurred as a result of the tragic events in november 1963, the john f. kennedy funeral, which brought the two men together for a long conversation. although they never really would become friends, tim would agree with that they at least mounted their offense is enough to be amicable and they met on several occasions at various
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funerals. sad occasions, but it brought the two men together. next slide, please. and i think that quote probably says a lot there. and can we go to the next one, please, tim, if you don't mind? maybe we can conclude with this survey. the latest presidential survey. >> i think -- sorry, sam. >> go ahead. >> it's so interesting, of course, when president truman left office, you had a low approval rating. when eisenhower left office, about a year after ike left positive office arthur sausage or senior did a big poll from the new york times of ranking the presidents and drawing upon the expertise of his colleagues. eisenhower ranked 22nd of the 34 presidents down around
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arthur. which -- ike's inner circle. it led to getting the papers in abilene available to scholars as quickly as possible so they could tell their side of the story. i think with both the availability of the records then abilene and in independents that both men's reputations have risen and direct correlation to the release of those papers, and for scholars to get a firsthand look at what was really going on, and now both men are in the near great category. in fact, about as high as you can get without being in the real ever stratosphere of the american presidency. they both really grows fairly rapidly in reputation, since the time they left office. and again so much in part to the remarkable record and advantage that hindsight gives us and we will have to say in
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comparison to some other successors, they make them look pretty good as well. it's been a remarkable rise for both men, and can you really rank people precisely? there's always still subjectivity associated with these polls. you see in the estimation of professional historians and political scientists, both men are in good company at this time. there will be for the revisions. some presidents stock goes really down. woodrow wilson used to be ranked among the top presidents. wilson's record on race, and single-handedly segregating washington d.c., federal bureaucracy really made him drop in the eyes of many students now. that will happen with things that decisions of iraq and
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president truman made, probably will affect how they are seen in the future by historians as well. both men have had remarkable posthumous presidential careers. at least among scholars. >> i agree with that, tim. i think we will turn it back to you, morgan. >> okay, excellent, thank you sam and ten for a wonderful presentation. if you have a question and haven't added it to the q&a future at the bottom of your screen, go ahead and do so now. you can like a question that's already been submitted, that she would like to see answered and -- the first question we have is for. tim it's from zachary. they ask is there a book you came across that deals with eisenhower's views on the frontier, or is that drawn from your own observation? >> it's not in any book yet. there are a number of letters in which i expel sat out for a
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friend of his. there is an article i did that appeared in prologue magazine in 2015 which you could probably find online. no one's expanded on that in a book yet which i always found that such an interesting time eisenhower's view on the campaign, the frontier. how that affected his ideas, economics, and any number of things, policy. in a thorough way and happy to make copies of those documents available. if you'd contract to the library, we can do. that he did talk about it quite a bit, and he explains it really well >> excellent. our next question is from pam, and pam asks what was eisenhower's most defining moment that he designated in his life outside of the day? >> well, he was often asked what his greatest accomplishments were. he would usually say the defeat
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of nazi germany. 11 months after invading the continental europe, and eight years of peace and prosperity as president. those were his stock answers. at age 77, eisenhower was an avid golfer. and in retirement, in palm springs, california, he shot a hole in one in 77. he called that his greatest achievement. so ... i guess that puts it in context! generally, that defeat of hitler and eight years of prosperity is what are his crowning moments. i guess he had to. >> i think we will take this last question in here. a longer, one but i think it should be fine. there is a question from richard that says both are ranked in the top effective presidents. could you argue why the other should be ranked ahead of your guy? tim, you have to argue for
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harry, and sammy argue for ike. we will end after that. [laughs] >> do you want to take a stab at that one, tim? >> i was hoping you would. [laughs] >> i think that, in many ways, he might admit, have to admit grudgingly that truman devised some policies, that he agreed with that he followed. particularly in foreign policy, in containment. when eisenhower became president, he formed this committee, a code name of project solarium where they had teams that debated different foreign policy approaches. one of which was containment, one was liberation, one was retaliation. they came out with a containment like foreign policy that was clearly based on trumans model. also in other ways. eisenhower followed democrat
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policies like in the new deal which he culminated. in another way, i think you would have to admit he found their ideas useful, maybe perhaps and some need of modification or better administration. but they weren't. their side wasn't without merit. >> sure. i would argue eisenhower was a very unifying figure. yes, he did face divisions within his own party, but he was able to really unify the american people in a unique way. if he could've been reelected in 1960, he probably would have been successfully elected for a third term had the constitution permitted it. but also, i think his consolidation of the new deal fair deal policies, as you mentioned deserve a lot of credit as well, making them more palatable to republicans and having eisenhower as
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president with the stamp of approval, so to speak, helped really make them acceptable and not to mention the cold war framework he strengthened as well. i think eisenhower deserves great credit for bringing some, maybe not ideal ending to the war in korea, but one that averted a third world war. that's an interesting question, richard, it really is.
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and afghanistan a new generation on the challenges facing afghan children who grew up as refugees in pakistan. then former cia officer dwayne evans talks about his book foxtrot in kandahar about history of duty in southern afghanistan shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. >> book tv features leading authors discussing their latest nonfiction books. on sunday, at 12:45 eastern, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell shares what's on his reading list. at 2 pm eastern, author discussions on afghanistan including wesley morgan and his book the hardest place. the american military adrift in past value. -- peter bergen talked about his book the rise and fall of osama
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bin laden. and from freedom fest. libertarian institute director scott horton argues that the war on terror has been counterproductive and too costly to continue. in his book, enough already. time to end the war on terrorism. watch american history tv and book tv every weekend on c-span 3. and find the schedule on your program guide or visit >> next on the presidency, dwight the eisenhower presidential library and museum director hammatt takes us on a virtual tour of the facility in abeline, kansas. the museum shows us the legacy of the nations 34th president. hammatt also answers questions from viewers at the national archives foundation hosted this event and provided the video. >> now our featured speaker, dawn hammatt. she is in her


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