tv First Lady Mamie Eisenhower CSPAN November 5, 2013 12:00am-1:31am EST
that is how the political seasonal works. on the other hand, this gets to what it provides a roadmap and a set of goals. move people toward. process works. creating that moment is what the leadership can create to actually come up with solutions a little ahead of schedule. >> in defense of democracy, i do not see it doing a much better either. i would not blame democracy but to the human foresight and being sure about what will happen. >> we are almost out of time. >> really quickly. neil, you made the point of invoking confidence in financial markets and here in congress. is that the lack of messaging part of the problem today in
terms of what it is costing our economy today? we are not at a -- we talked about this earlier. the crises we are facing right now is created by political dysfunction. i think the situation is fundamentally different today. i share the optimism that if there was a real prices you would see people come together and congress act in a much more rational manner. >> final, final question. >> i will be quick. how do we create the circumstances to reset redistricting? you look at california and arizona and iowa. , if you'd be my analysis is right about what the problem is. the first question. i happen to think and then what you have to do if it were to
succeed, california as an example. i.e. when you bring competition. you bringen competition to stop state nonpartisanand a analysis and that is what i would do. , you have your paper there, barney. do you just want to go? [laughter] is this going to the floor? but ian go to the floor cannot talk. to hell with that. >> you are about to read a paper. >> i am going to submit it. agencyation before the that discharging the statute with the risk potential and residual mortgages. the deadline is tomorrow.
>> he want to tell everybody briefly. >> and the legislation, the bad mortgages which i was attacked in "the wall street journal." i like to remind people. they said i was keeping poor people from buying houses. then we said those loans you cannot have. >> that is paraphrased? is what they said. you can read it. secondly we said -- the great mortgages were both qualified mortgages and those mortgages you would be able to secure but we asked for risk retention will stop five percent would have to be retained. we advised them not to buy junk. frankly because of a couple of senators, democrats, who were listening to people in the mortgage industry we put in a
qualified residential mortgage. confusing. the qualified mortgages were supposed to be a superduper safe category which you could securitize. to my dismay, the major proposal of the five regulators is to condense and combine the two set and2 and have one one you can not make the one you can make without risk. you have heard that before. the single biggest cause of the problem. and hoping to be dissuaded have risk retention. they know how to make mortgages without risk retention. apparently it means no mortgages were made in america before 1980. >> we are going to leave it there. this is been a remarkable treat.
thank you for the conversation and to the questions. [applause] the meir. -- mayor. thank you. [applause] next, on first ladies and look back at the life of mrs. eisenhower. then attorney general eric holder announcement that the johnson & johnson will pay $2.5 billion as part of a settlement with the justice department. a conversation about the political response to the financial crisis. >> today it is our pleasure to entertain for the first time our first lady at her belated birthday party. ♪
we have a historian and author of a biography. we also welcome back edith. she has been one of our driving forces on first ladies. >> nice to be back. >> what should we take away watching that video about her popularity, about the use of television? >> the film clip you show from the birth a celebration -- birthday celebration, this was shown in an election year, and immediately the democrats want equal time, because this is in their view a campaign ad. william haley, president of cbs, and a close friend of the
eisenhower's says, it's not equal time because this is nonpolitical entertainment with the first lady. obviously, her birthday is november. we are just a few days away from it right now. obviously there was some political background to this, but if you watch the show at the time, what you saw was a lot of people talking about her. wanting to re-emphasize how popular she was at the time. >> what should we know about television and the presidency in the 1950's? >> the eisenhower campaign was the first televised campaign. there are a range of techniques
brought to the fore for that campaign. there were these wonderfully rehearsed man in the street interviews that were supposed to be spontaneous but were quite rehearsed. that was quite a new feature. then you have the bouncing elephants and so forth. ike for president and everybody likes ike. there were a range of techniques. part of this was she so epitomized the 50s, particularly for american women.
if she had an been there -- hadn't been there someone would have to invent her. >> one special thing about this program, a farm is about 90 miles away from washington, dc, and the eisenhower spot this in the 1950's and spent their -- bought this in the 1950s and spent their time there. you will learn about her obsession with pink. you can see she created this retreat away from public life. we will go back in time and learn about her biography, and to do that, let's go back to
that special from 1956 where they talk about her biography as well. >> i hope that you, the members of our organization, and our extinguished guest will enjoy this salute to our first lady. ♪ >> how do you do? thank you for inviting me. birthdays almost seems synonymous with memories, like albums, so we brought this special album for you. it's filled with fond remembrances, and here is a picture of the three or's -- three sisters circa 1906. here is the debutante visiting
and your wedding dress and the portrait in your inaugural gown when you became our first lady. ♪ >> ♪ take one fresh and tender kiss ♪ add one stolen night of bliss ♪ one girl, one boy, some greed, some joy ♪ >> a little bit of a view. tell us a little more. she was the end of a generation, the last first lady born in the 19th century.
>> she was born in 1896, our last first lady to be born in the 19th century. her family lived there until she was about eight years old. then they moved to colorado, and that's where she grew up. one of the photographs shows her in san antonio. they would winter there because of her health problems. she was almost an invalid, so they would winter. while they were in san antonio they went with some friends, and that is where she was first introduced to ike. >> second lieutenant at the time. >> second lieutenant. very serious. she said he was not interested in any type of girl or
girlfriend. he was very into duty and his job in the military, and she kind of swept him off his feet. >> or vice versa. and they married a short time after they met. she was a debutante, and her father warned her off military life. >> he warned her off. mamie's parents really liked ike. they thought he was a wonderful young man, and her father even told her when he was coming around to visit that she should quit being so flighty and going off with other young men to parties, that she should pay
attention to ike, but when they got married he told mamie they could not expect any money from him. they would have to live on ike's military pay. her response was, i didn't care about that. i just wanted that man. >> it was probably a surprise to go from the debutante life to a tiny military apartment. >> from living a comfortable life with plenty of money, i think it was a shock for her, but she learned from her father about how to save money, so while i think it was difficult in the early days of their marriage, she always manage to live on ike's salary, and not only that, but in a role reversal, mamie is the one who handled the family finances.
later she said that is the secret to a good marriage, that the husband should turn the check over to his wife, that if he started purchasing things and opening accounts everything would go to hell in a handbag. >> it's interesting because we talk of her as the epitome of the media. there is this stereotype of the 1950's woman she seems to embody. she handled finances. he was domestic. >> she took a domestic science class when they became engaged. her domestic science classes were cut short.
i'm not sure she was that serious anyway. he really did the cooking. >> i want to invite you to be participants in our program. we have three ways you can be involved. if you live out west, mountain pacific and further west, 202- 585 -- or you can post on our facebook page where there are comments going on. how soon after they are married is their first child or an -- born? >> i think it is three years. he gets an unusual nickname. icky.
when i see it spelled i want to pronounce it ikey because it sounds better than icky. he was the apple of their i and -- eye and everyone on the coast. he was like the little mascot everyone took to. he died at the age of three of scarlet fever, and it happened so quickly. in that time, couples could almost expect to have one child die of a childhood disease, because the medical care there were not as you could do about it. they were devastated. >> many of the president's and
first ladies lost a child. >> it's a recurring theme. all the way from the beginning. it's always over her story -- a horror story. in an era before modern drugs you have it happened infrequently. >> their son john is born, and one thing he said is his parents never made him feel he was a replacement of the child they lost, that he was his own person, and i think that was the way the eisenhowers as a couple were.
they took people as they were, but that did not mean they totally forgot their first child. they just made another place for another child in their lives. mamie was a little protective. >> their early years was one of ike hearing gone a lot. -- being gone a lot. how often were they together? >> there was one year they moved three times. she might go back to denver to be with her family, and there was a time when i was on -- ike was on a convoy, which was a military exercise to take transport across the country to test the roads, the bridges, and
really, they found out how bad america's road system was. during that time she was with her parents because she couldn't live on the post, so they were back-and-forth. that's something every military wife faces at one point or another. you might live a place a short time. you can expect multiple moves and separation. >> they were always entertainers. they did a lot of entertaining, and many times the eisenhower home was called club eisenhower because of their entertaining of the troops and military personnel, and going back to how many moves they made over the
years, i think that's why they treasured their years in the white house, and then purchasing the farm in gettysburg. >> i have a photograph to show of mamie in a jeep. at what point did they become popularly known? >> i would say in the 1930's. even when they were first married they became a family that invited other military families into their home. they would have potlucks, up play cards. they had a rented piano mamie played and sang. this photograph was taken in
>> she wanted to be in washington, hoping there would be times ike could come back home. their son john was at west point. any opportunities she wanted to be close at hand. it was only later in the war she went to stay with his sister. >> hi, mark, you are on the air. >> i am wondering if any of them could tell me what life was like in the philippines or panama. i also cannot wait until next week when you talk about jackie
kennedy. >> life in the philippines and panama, both were extremely uncomfortable for her. the heat and humidity. particularly in panama, it was primitive. where they lived was much more comfortable. they had a nice apartment. it was air-conditioned. she had a difficult time in terms of the environment. she did not do well in the heat. there were two times, especially in the philippines, when she suffered from health problems. >> there were a number of generals elected to the white house. how does the world prepare the first couple for life in the white house?
>> with ike there were all kinds of executive and administrative decisions he was used to making, but for mamie, the entertaining of heads of state while he was commander of nato, according to her own testimony was something that really prepared her for entertaining at the white house. she knew how to do it. she actually loved that part of the role. >> hi jeffrey, you are on. >> my question was about how politically involved she was before she was in the white house. i know before he was did he didn't even know
which party he was a member of, so i wonder if she is more political than her husband. >> she once said she and ike were probably two people who knew less about politics than anyone else. mamie did make comments about politics in the interest of the party, but that was with her father and letters back and forth, and her father was a strong republican, so mamie would sometimes commiserate in the letter that roosevelt had done something her father didn't approve of, but mamie was not political in the least. >> we have questions from facebook and twitter. "did ike have an affair --
>> kay was often referred to as eisenhower's driver, but there were several people who drove him around. her job was to keep his appointment calendar to make sure the right people got in and out to meetings. she was engaged to an american officer who was tragically killed in the fighting in north africa, and she stayed on at headquarters, and rumors began that a were having an affair. the research i did, and other people are beginning to look at the letter truman had that he was going to ask for a divorce. i think there are a number of historians that have debunked that.
it's hard to imagine that eisenhower, the allied commander of the european theater, is acting like a schoolboy puppy love following k around -- kay around, which is what she alleges. did mamie know? there was nothing to know except the rumors were extremely hurtful to her. it was the kind of thing that went on and on especially after the book and made-for-tv movie, and that was very hurtful for mamie. >> i haven't done that kind of research in primary sources. i have heard the rumors. i know the family denies it, but
it would be interested to hear from somebody who knows the primary sources. >> it's not just the family. several people who were still alive and had then at the eisenhower headquarters, including one of somersby's roommate said this never happened. they couldn't explain why she would have decided to stay. -- say this. >> a lot of military wives are watching tonight. thank you so much for the show. my question, were mrs. eisenhower and mrs. nixon friendly? did they play bridge together? their children were different
ages. how did that work out? >> they were friendly. there was always a friendly relationship. the story was mamie liked pat immediately. she said, you are the cutest little thing. i think it took off from there, and the friendship continued. >> bernard, you are on. >> good evening. >> how are you doing this evening? >> we are fine. what's your question for us? >> my question is the inaugural ball she wore a pink gown, and that color was known as mamie pink. do you know about that? does that color still exist?
>> you asked the right question. our guest was responsible for creating the popular first ladies gowns. what about her down? -- her gown? >> it is mamie pink. it was pastel. she decided she wanted it to have a little extra flair. she had a designer put 2000 pink rhinestones on the gown so it would sparkle. the color was very popular in the 1950s as part of a wardrobe but also household. charcoal gray and pink was also
a big color combination in the 50's. she had a number of formal gowns that were charcoal gray and pink. i don't know whether that particular shade still exists, but it was popular in the 50's. >> here is a look at some of the important positions he held before the white house. as an allied commander during world war ii, after the war he served as the army chief of staff for the pentagon. he left the military and went to columbia university in new york, where he served as university president. it was around this time in the late 1940's and early 1950's, when they began to consider their retreat in gettysburg, pennsylvania. we are going to take you there, but first we are going to hear from mamie many years later
about the farm and how important it was to the eisenhowers. >> i like having you on the porch with me where ike and i spent so many hours. the capital still appear on the field. >> on your screen is the formal living room at the eisenhower farm in gettysburg, pennsylvania. joining us is a park ranger. alice evans, how is it they came to gettysburg and why this property? >> gettysburg was a natural choice. they actually lived here before during the first world war. he was a civil war buff from childhood.
that pulled him here. he wanted to find a farm that would keep him busy in retirement. >> this was a working farm? >> yes, it was. shortly after they've are just the farm he was sent overseas to work with nato. the house begins renovations in 1953. it was not inhabitable until 1955. >> how many times did they stay here? >> we can document the 365 days. >> yes. this was their primary residence. this was their only home during marriage. until their deaths, this was their residence. >> after the inauguration in 1962, what happened?
>> they drove up in a terrible snowstorm and they had a secret service car following behind them. they got to the front gate and the secret service waved them off. >> president eisenhower did the driving. i want to start by pointing out a very pink room. >> the dining room shows the pink that is typical of many. this is very typical of the sentimentality that she had. she loved having her friends and family together. >> how original is it? >> the house is 98% original. the house has their dining room table. >> you have the place settings and you see mamie on the end.
then, you have dick nixon. >> after it became apparent that the families would be united in marriage, they became very close to the nixons and they were friends and political partners. >> how much of the decorating did mamie do? >> this is really her. elizabeth arden was there to consult and this was mamie's taste. >> throughout the evening, we will bring it into other rooms in other areas of the house. to put the end of the conversation, we had a conversation. did mamie eisenhower meet kay somersby?
>> she was aware of the rumors and graciously met her. >> we will get back to the eisenhower farm in gettysburg later. >> it was around the time of the purchase of the farm that the eisenhowers were drafted by both political parties. they were not partisan and both parties thought they could be recruited. tell us why the republicans were successful. >> there's this grassroots movement, "citizens for eisenhower." people were forming and pushing for eisenhower to run for president and as a republican. when he is in nato and they are in europe, there are people
flying, including jackie cochran, to talk him into running on the republican ticket. and, he does not come out and say what he will will not do, because of his positions and what he is doing it nato. they are in france and he is with nato. it is about christmas time and people are sending christmas packages from the united states. they open this one package and it is from "citizens from eisenhower." there are all these ties and "i like ike" pins. while ike is in the library,
mamie gets this box of paraphernalia. he took one look and his face went red. >> eisenhower was thought to be a democrat. what was the tension between the trumans and the eisenhowers? >> i don't know much about that. aboutre you know more that than i do. >> obviously, there has been a great deal said and written about how badly truman and eisenhower came to dislike each other and how cold they were. and, mamie and mrs. truman were good friends. they went to spanish classes.
there is a photograph of bess showing mamie around the white house and they look like two girlfriends. regardless of what somebody's political affiliation is, she could get along with them. that was the case. if their husbands were having problems, that did not affect them. >> once the decision was made, how wholeheartedly did she push herself? >> she threw herself into it and it turned out to be a watershed for presidential wives and for campaigning.
i think she was a great boon to the republican party. they, uh, like the fact that she connected with the women of america. they started asking for on the campaign train and they did a whistlestop across the country. they would say, "we want mamie." she would come out on the rear of the train. he would say, would you like to meet my mamie? photo of wonderful them. she was a tremendous hit. she would give local interviews and turned out to be quite an asset.
>> we visited the eisenhower presidential library in kansas. it is in the hometown of eisenhower. you can see pictures of it on the screen right now. they showed us campaign memorabilia that they have in the collection that is related to mamie eisenhower. >> the 1952 campaign is significant because women outnumbered men in the electorate. they catered to this new demographic with fashion accessories, including the official campaign hats. it was designed by one of mamie's favorite hat designers. all kinds of rhinestones and jewelries. including earrings and i like ike buttons. notice that mamie's name comes first in the mamie charm bracelet.
"we want mamie" and "i like mamie" buttons. no lady is complete without a corsage. all these accessories would be worn with this dress, often worn at campaign rallies and conventions. let's go to a museum to see more campaign memorabilia. we have a number of drawers filled with campaign memorabilia, including these wonderful gloves, mamie on campaign buttons and stockings. this leads to eisenhower winning the 1952 election.
she becomes first lady and wears the suit to the inauguration. she wears a pillbox hat by her favorite designer. >> this is your area of specialty. >> we have a wonderful collection of ike memorabilia. >> has there been an election since? >> not to that extent. the republican party went wild with putting out materials promoting the campaign and herself. i think that this resonated with people because, as the curator was saying, this is the first time that the women's vote had caught up with men voting. they had gotten the vote in 1920, but participation has lagged behind until 1952.
the head of the women's division of the republican party had come with three areas that would appeal to women in the campaign. they emphasized bringing the boys home from korea. that was imaged in bringing your husband, son, and relative home. ike was the one who was going to do that. there was also the mess in washington. the scandals inside the truman administration. this was imaged, in the sense that any housewife could clean up a mess in her home. there are all kinds of cleaning pails and scrub brushes. there are brooms and lapel pins in the shape of brooms.
they were put out by the campaign so women could identify. the third thing was the economy. that was imaged as every woman having to stay within her budget and the government should do the same. they put out enormous grocery bags that said, ike and dick. the grocery bags were going to be extra large. this was how much more your budget was going to go if you elected ike and dick. >> 53% of american homes had television and they were growing and growing. there was also the rise of public relations and fashion and
united states. >> yes. there were a lot of advertising men who migrated into the campaign. it imaged ike and mamie as a commodity that can be sold to the consumer. >> stevenson was divorced. >> yes. >> he was also a unitarian, which many think as something like an atheist. >> ike and dick were imaged as god-fearing man. >> it was a war hero against a cerebral candidate. >> even though you had these image makers, she is someone who the image makers are not making
her who she is. she is being herself. >> that is what i said earlier. if she had not come along and done what she did, she would've had to have been prevented. -- invented. >> exactly. she is so natural in that situation. >> how much influence did mamie have on ike? >> we do not know for sure. i have wondered. i do not think there is any discussion that they made public about how they decided or he decided. i'm not sure if her father, being a republican, and ike being on good terms had any influence. i just don't know. it has more to do with who would
have been running for president in the republican slot if not for eisenhower. eisenhower agreed because he looked at the other candidates and could not see them, especially if they're going to be isolationist in the world, post-world war ii -- it was almost as if he said, if it has to be me, i can handle it better. >> david, go ahead with your question. >> yes. i am curious about what eisenhower's stance or position was on the civil rights issues of the 1950s. >> thank you so much. we will talk about that more
later. >> eisenhower is being recognized by historians for his contributions in the civil rights era, not only for what happened with little rock and sending troops in. eisenhower integrated washington, d.c. >> in what way? >> every way. washington had been a segregated city. going back to wilson. eisenhower integrated the city. >> how do you integrate the city in washington? >> they were inviting blacks to attend white house functions.
i don't know how they dismantled the segregation in the -- of the government positions. that was also something that went on during the eisenhower administration. a desegregation of the workforce. >> that is notable. there were african-americans wearing the "ike" dresses. >> until recently, he never got the credit for the very strong stand that he took in little rock, with sending the federal troops. that was a shocking thing. by the time you get to the 1960s, everybody knows about johnson. in the 1950s, this was a shocking move.
>> they worked throughout their professional lives, both military, and through the white house. one of the things that changed was the rise of air travel and post-war diplomacy. we will return to gettysburg and the farm. let's look at how the eisenhowers entertained there. this translated to the time in the white house. >> alice evans, what are we seeing? >> we are seeing mamie and her iconic inaugural gown. >> below that is a piano.
>> you see the photographs and friends. >> we are in the formal living room. it is a rather large room. how much entertaining was done? >> not much. president eisenhower was not a fan of this room and the decor. mamie understood etiquette and rules and regulations. she wanted to put that gift on display. >> how did they furnish this room? >> with gifts given to them throughout the years by friends. there are few things that they purchased for themselves. president eisenhower was the last president who is allowed to keep all of his gifts.
>> we are looking at a lot of things. >> mamie let it slip that she likes porcelain. >> we are looking at a portrait of mamie eisenhower. >> that portrait was done before she was first lady. it was painted in 1948, while ike was still at columbia university. this captures her spirit and her vitality and femininity. >> before we leave this room, the table in front of the couch. is the upholstery on the couch original? >> yes. the coffee table is one the most important pieces in the home. this was a gift from the
president of south korea and it came near the anniversary of the cease-fire at the end of the war. it is from the wife of the president of south korea. ike may have found a solution, but many got a table. -- mamie got the table. this piece was in the white house at one point and it was installed while franklin pierce was our president. >> how did it end up in the house? >> julia grant was decorating the white house and marble had fallen out of fashion. she had the marble fireplace removed and they were auctioned off and sold into private hands. the white house staff was able to track down this piece and presented it to the eisenhowers. lincoln was important to
president eisenhower. >> how would the eisenhowers used this room? >> it was used during christmas. they would put the christmas tree in front of the fireplace and many would be at the piano, playing christmas carols. >> we will see the porch the next time we come back to gettysburg. >> we are in gettysburg pennsylvania at the eisenhower farm. the entertaining at the white house, the queen of england. how important was that? >> the eisenhowers entertained more foreign dignitaries and
more state dinners then any previous administration. part of that has to do with the change in transportation. >> and his position of leadership in europe. >> yes. he had met all these people. so, when queen elizabeth and prince phillip come to the united states, eisenhower says that we have just re -- reacquainted ourselves with old friends. they knew queen elizabeth when she was princess. they felt that so many people had met, they were just re- meeting and entertaining in a different place.
>> that is mamie eisenhower, who returns large-scale and elegance entertainment to the white house. most people think of jackie kennedy. it is her entertaining in the white house. the truman renovation of the white house meant that they could not entertain in the white house. it is mamie who brings back entertaining to the white house. >> she is a curator of exhibitions. how significant of a decision was it? >> i think they were afraid that it would look like bribery or some kind of, you know,
prompting of return for political favor for the gift. that was made illegal. >> presidents still get lots of gifts. >> they usually go to the state department or the national archives. through the archives, they often turn up at presidential libraries. they are not owned by the president or first lady. >> one statement that the they atement is who invite and who they do not invite. they did not invite senator joe mccarthy. >> mrs. mccarthy was invited to teas reception. >> what is the significance of that? >> i think she was making a political statement on her
husband's behalf not to cross the door. >> some people watching this . n't know who joe mccarthy is [laughter] went was the senator that so-called commune ises in and mmunists in government saw it as a witch hunt. he went after all kinds of people that were supposed to have had some affiliation with the communist party or a communist party front or someone who leaned through the communists in the 1930's and 1940's and did a great deal of harm to a debate number of
people's careers and personal lives. and the reason that mamie would ot invite him to the house entertainment is that she disagreed with the methodology that he used and the ruining of people's reputations and careers. >> this question is connected. she was a big fan of "i love lucy." did she write to help lucy in any way when she was being investigated? >> yes. lucy had been brought before the committee and of course she and their careers and it's ike's birthday. it's ike's birthday and mamie
invites lucy, desi and vivian advance and william fawley to sbrains. house and she they do a bit of entertaining for ike's birthday but she makes a point of having lucy and desi sit with her and ike for the dinner portion of the evening. she's not saying anything about it, but just making a very public statement by who she invites and where they sit and how they're treated when they arrive. >> she brings a sensibility to the running of the white house. we are going to return to the eisenhower library in kansas. >> as a young girl, she was diagnosed with a heart condition. in later years, she was under
doctor's orders to stay in bed three days a week. she stayed every day in bed until noon. she would still meet with her staff. she would get up in the morning, do her hair and put on her makeup and lay back down in bed. we have many notes from those meetings. while wearing the bed jackets we saw, mamie would meet with her secretary to plan the day's events. she ran the white house with military precision. her schedules were blocked out in five-minute increments. we have schedules for every year that she was first lady. for example, on this schedule, we see that not only did she have a dinner, but next morning was to plan ribbon at the church bizarre. handwritten notes when she would meet with her personal secretary. some of the things that mamie would discuss with her social secretary were of a personal
nature. for instance here, she is shopping for christmas gifts for the grandchildren and wants to buy this doll for her granddaughter susan. she kept her figures so she wouldn't go overbudget. >> how many people lived with them in the white house? mamie's ometimes had mother. the eisenhower grandchildren did not live there. they visited very often. amounts of time and loved them, loved to photograph them playing in the front of the building or sometimes they would have photographs of them inside playing. but basically, it's ike and mamie and for long periods of time, mamie's mother.
>> mamie said any day was a good day when her grandchildren were there. >> someone asked this earlier and made reference of the 1950's woman. it was documented that mamie visited the oval office four times. will you talk about that separation of the wife's role versus the husband's role that 1950's. reotype of the very much a division of labor. women would handle the food, the entertainment, the family. the president would handle the country, the politics. >> we just had a roosevelt administration where -- >> that was such a departure and such an anomaly for the time that it didn't get institutionalized until much later and part of that was
because of mamie's military background, too. she once made the comment that a wife never went near her husband's command post, his point of operation. it simply wasn't done. and so again that separation of their spaces. >> and it was a busy eight years in the eisenhower white house for the president. and we have a list of just some of the big things that were happening during the eisenhower presidency to show you. and we are doing it while ooking at video. and the h of sputnik cold war burst onto the international scene, tension between the united states and russia. there was the red scare and we heard earlier about senator joe mccarthy and the role he played in the united states.
the rosen berg espionage trial. . e u2 spy plane shot down rosa parks did her famous bus ride and montgomery, alabama, the arkansas deseeing ration case and the creation of the nterstate highway system and nasa was established and our last two states came into statehood, alaska and hawaii. mamie eisenhower wasn't involved in any of this? >> she did not discuss issues publicly. that was not her job as she saw it. privately, she was very opinionated and had very strong ideas on a number of social issues, but she simply was not an activist the way that we think of women speaking out
today. in fact, she was probably the last presidential wife that didn't have a particular cause while she was in the white house. that was something that eleanor roosevelt had done, but best truman had not done and so mamie, her whole background itself to ave lent her doing that. the last first lady where that's the case. >> she launched lots of charity drives. she was the spokesperson for the american heart association but can't say they were causes and projects the way it became institutionalized. >> very traditional. >> where jacqueline kennedy and on, a firstmrs. johns
lady was considered to have a project. >> she wasn't considered a first lady if she didn't have a cause. >> mamie eisenhower sat down with barbara walters to give her views. >> you think presidents need their wives at home? >> i don't know. i don't think -- i think you -- mine has to be encouraged. i told ike every day how much i thought -- how good i thought he was. your ego has to be fed. >> gary robinson wants to know her ould mamie say was
greatest contribution to the role of first lady? >> i would say giving ike a comfortable home life where he could relax and get away from the pressing issues of the day. i think her greatest ontribution was in institutionalizing the first lady as a campaigner. i think that is the role that has really carried on with later first ladies and in american political life. >> what would your answer be? >> i would agree that privately, it would be creating that home. and when she said homemaker, she meant it in the truest sense, making a home that was comfortable and welcoming and gave ike a place to escape and for their friends and family to enjoy themselves and to be
together. publicly, i think her contribution as a first lady was projecting someone who really as interested in any and everyone without consideration for their political, social and religious background. to say she was nonpolitical, it almost sounds like well, too good to be true, but i think bavelly, she was interested in people for whom they were and they realized that in her and responded to her. >> were there public opinion polls in politics at the time? >> there were public opinion polls, but they really didn't those kinds of questions so you can't gauge it against today. >> one of the things she did to preserve eisenhower's sense of time. we hear it all the
there was something before shangryla. how did it become an official presidential retreat? >> the hoofers had set up a camp on a river in virginia. been unused sort of because it was a rocky and hilly kind of terrain that franklin roosevelt couldn't use. so roosevelt had set up residential retreat called the retreat and then he renamed it camp david. > did mamie invite any past or future first ladies to the white house?
re they friends with the reagans? i know they traveled to california? > they knew nancey davis reagan's parents and socialized with them in california. and nancy reagan did meet them in the collection at the eisenhower presidential library, there is a notice of nancy and ronald reagan's marriage, it's an announcement, not an invitation. they really knew each more, different generationally, because ike and mamie were better friends with her parents. but as for first ladies, yes. maimey was friends with best truman, although best truman didn't come to the white house afterwards.
certainly, mrs. kennedy, mrs. johnson would have come to the white house as senate wives -- when their husbands were in congress because they would have been invited to those functions. >> talking about family life and how mamie's job was to preserve and encourage it. we will return to their farm in gettysburg and learn more about family life. >> alice evans is a park ranger and mamie expert here at the eisenhower house. how much square feet does this property have? >> inside, 14,000. >> what room are we in now? >> the porch. one of the most important rooms in the home. this is where they lived and mamie said we lived on the
porch. this room was really the private life of the eisenhowers and the family center of the home. >> and set up with couches and chairs and over here a tv. >> sign of the 1950's. the television. they were our first presidential couple to really watch television in the white house. >> what would be a typical evening? >> the eisenhowers would have their dinners on tv trace and watching walter cron kite on "the evening news" or watching "i love lucy." >> and where would the president sit? >> in that chair facing the television. >> that's his actual chair? >> that is the actual chair he sat in. >> and there is early version of the remote. >> that was the president's territory. mamie used to joke that he would flip through all three channels.
>> where would mamie sit? >> off to the left. >> would they talk? >> the eisenhowers were great. that was a still that mamie had. she loved people and she loved socializing. >> when ike was president and after the presidency, what kind of guests would come and be here on the porch with them? >> all guests came to the porch, be it their grandchildren coming in to see grandma and grandpa and dignitaryies came to this room. >> who were some? >> lots of big wigs. winston churchill. and khrushchev and his visit in 1959 to the united states. and khrushchev sat here and had a little fall on the cold war here. >> moving on down, seems to be a
little breakfast room here, is that what this is? >> this would be sort of an area where the couple would play cards and the ladies would play here and the gentlemen would play in the other end of the room. i like this area because it's really mamie in this part of the room. the president liked to paint here on the porch. and spent so much time apart in their married life, especially in their retirement years, if he was painting, she would be playing cards, reading a book, crosswords puzzles. she liked to be with him. >> alice, in this little space here with the wicker chairs, i counted 12 ash trays and four lighters. >> this is the 1950's and 1960's. they both smoked. e smoked four packs of
cigarettes. mamie smoked longer. >> behind us, it's covered up now, but what is behind these screens and drapes? >> they had a beautiful view of their cattle field and portion of the gettysburg national military park. >> what kind of security did they have? >> secret service during the eight years and after kennedy's assassination and had secret service until 1979 for mamie. >> mamie eisenhower, tv and secret service. >> she came up with unique tasks. she loved soap operas and her favorite was "as the world turns." sometimes she had to miss it. guess who is watching it, a secret service man taking notes. >> he would have to present it to her? >> oh, yes.
>> after ike's death in 1969, she stayed here, what sort of visitors did she have on her own? >> she tried entertaining. friends and family were always welcome. she was very lonely after the president died, so she welcomed friends and family. >> did she have have live-in help? >> 30. series of madse that assisted . r and soth money and his wife came and they were close. >> and she is still living? >> yes. she keeps in close contact. >> we have one more stop on our tour and we will be upstairs. >> we were wondering about the secret service duty to transcribe the soap operas. mamie eisenhower was popular,
but she was shielded from the press and gave only one news conference in 1953 and was asked to write a regular column and declined. but she always made it onto the best dressed list. >> every year she was in the white house. >> we will show some of mamie's style. get ready. >> we are going to return to the eisenhower library to look at mamie's style. >> i'm surrounded by some of the items. she often worked with one of her favorite designers. this is the outfit she wore at the opening of the st. lawrence seaway. another custom designed dress is this. a printed cotton fabric with many of the houses that the
eisenhowers lived in and includes the five-star symbol of general eisenhower. these are a few examples of her day dresses. fond of the color pink and wore it in many different styles. many of the dresses that you see are sleeveless. she said her arms were ike's favorite feature. this is a hand made dress that shows her attention to budget. it has a long hem that she would raise and lower so the hem line was always in fashion. jackie kennedy is known for the little black dress and here are two examples of mamie's favorite black dresses. she said she would never dress like an old lady. this shows her love of bright colors and wild fabrics. mamie loved hats. this is a small sampling of some of them we have in the collection and one of her favorite designers is victor.
and she loved her issues. any of the shoes we have say made expressly for mamie eisenhower. this dress shows her love of fashion. she was about 30 years old. too old to be considered a flapper but stillish. let's look at some of the exhibits that focus on her style. she was known for her special bangs and called the mamie look and you could purchase fake bangs to clip into your hair. mamie would go to the salons to get her hair done and elizabeth arden had a hair stylist create her drawings. >> you are on. this series of calls, influence and image, how much did she
influence american women's looks? >> she was extremely popular. she set off a rage for pink, set off a rage for bangs and everybody wanted to look like mamie. it seems strange to us post jacqueline kennedy but she had .he best taste in dresses and everybody tried to copy her look. the interesting thing about the bangs, she first started wearing bangs in the 1920's, after the death of their son which resulted in the eisenhowers growing somewhat apart. and when they were sent to panama, his commanding officer's wife sort of took her under her
wing and said you have to do something to rescue your marriage and one of the things she decided to do is take a renewed interest in her personal appearances and that's when she had her bangs done and that was symbol to both of them to the approach in the marriage. later, when she is in paris, she started free quenting the . izabeth arden salon in paris and when she came to new york, she frequented the new york salon of elizabeth arden. and after the first inauguration, elizabeth arden wrote to her and said now that you are in the public eye i noticed that when you first came back, your hair looked absolutely beautiful but hasn't been quite the same since.
renderked our stylist to the structural drawings, which you saw in that film clip, which are now at the eisenhower that they he steps are taking to achieve. and therefore, in your travels across the country and around the world, you can take these structural drawings with you and go into any elizabeth arden salon and have your hair turn out perfectly. >> and with her sleeveless gown. >> we have a list of the things first mie eisenhower was for. one was the first couple to kiss at the inauguration h
>> we are running out of time. we are going to portsmouth, new hampshire. robert, your question. >> my question is jackie kennedy has been mentioned a few times tonight and i'm curious how they viewed the kennedys and how mamie viewed jackie and the differences between them. >> i would say that jackie and mamie got off to a very rocky start and that was never
righted. art of it is the difference in age, but beginning with a misunderstanding and it was just very rocky when mamie took jackie through the white house on her tour before the inauguration and mrs. kennedy was telling mamie already the plan she had for renovations and that didn't really set very well with mamie. and it went on from there. >> but i have to say that later when they were trying to raise fund for what's now the kennedy center, the eisenhower administration had already been planning for a cultural center in washington, d.c. and when the kennedys were continuing the
plan for that, ike and mamie as retired first couple did a lot of public speaking and appearances on television to promote the cultural center. >> talk about the fact that the en hours were smokers and in 1965, he suffered a heart attack and spent 19 days in walter reed hospital. was he able to carry on his duties? >> nixon -- they wanted things to carry on as normally as possible. you are talking about it? >> nixon continued to hold cabinet meetings and wanted the country to see that everything was moving along as it should be because when the first announcement came of eisenhower's heart attack, the
stock market plummeted and to show people they were on an even keel, nixon stepped in. >> despite this, eisenhower made the decision to seek re-election and we have a very brief clip in the 1956 campaign ad looking again how mamie appealed to women during the 1956 election. >> so much of your future rests with the women of our country. they are the home makers, the whole family unit revolves around them. everything that affects the family's wealth affects them first and everything in the family's life benefits from their influence. they do the buying and seeing that everyone is well clothed and well fed. they are the custodian of its values and aspirations for the future and there lies the training of our young people for