Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 22, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm EST

2:00 pm
2:01 pm
2:02 pm
2:03 pm
2:04 pm
2:05 pm
2:06 pm
2:07 pm
2:08 pm
2:09 pm
2:10 pm
>> the visitors throughout the day at arlington national ceremony -- cemetery. eric coverage will continue as we bring you a ceremony in the john f. kennedy easy and in boston. that ceremony is about to wreck up. we will show it to you shortly. we wanted to hear from you and your thoughts on the 50th anniversary. for you in the eastern and central time zones, call on
2:11 pm
202058803885. we will take you to the boston event in a few minutes. once it racks up we will have it on c-span. checking some of that tweets, saying theut -- grave is from -- west falmouth. she is talking about the paving stones that were quarried in the cape cod area, near the president's home. phone callsyour momentarily. we will show you the ceremony from dealey chiesa. on american history tv this weekend, much more coverage throughout the weekend. -- beginning saturday morning, live coverage, and also a presidential historian. live coverage, and your ability
2:12 pm
-- opportunity to call in and, as well with those authors. dallas ceremony that just the headline of the comments of the mayor, saying we all grew up that day. part of what the mayor had to say, what he writes, saying the mayor reflected on dallas of november 22, 1963 -- it seems we all grew up that day. the young city was changed for the better i that are a sick event, and so was the world. kennedy and our city will forever be linked. just a short while ago at dealey plaza. our first caller, robert. caller: i'm calling from new york. host: go ahead. caller: i would like to say that, one, i am 43 years old.
2:13 pm
i was not born when president kennedy was shot. my mother was. she said it was the saddest day of her life. i believe it was. he was a great president. i believe in my own knowledge, from history. -- i justle upset remember my mother telling me what she did that they, when kennedy was shot. work, and everything just stopped. host: guest: is your mom still alive? caller: yes, she is. host: have you talked to her on this 50th anniversary? caller: yes, i have. it is a shame because i see what he was trying to do in that time and what we're doing in this time, and i just wish that we
2:14 pm
could just go back there to that time. it is a shame that, you know, how messed up everything really he came -- became from his death. host: we will take you to the boston event just a moment here. the kennedy library and easy. it has been tweeting a lot about the event and some of the coverage in 1963. this is their most recent -- famous kennedy's quotation, and a look inside the museum. we will take you to boston shortly for that event. california is next, and this is sheila. hello. caller: hi, good morning, good afternoon. i am in the west coast so it is still morning, but i lived in brooklyn, new york, when the president was shot, and i remember exactly where i was.
2:15 pm
just branded into my brain. it was one of the worst weekends our country has ever suffered. our greatest loss was the loss of hope and excitement for the future when he was murdered, and i believe he was murdered not just by oslo. there was just too much about the stuff that is coming up that is now being released, and i think there is more yet to be learned. it is a tragedy for this country and for the world, because i think the world would look very different than it does right out. and i am sad today. host: thanks for your call. " has all street journal page on their website that is called the week that camelot came apart. they have here a photo of the president's schedule, the official schedule, and he goes to the day that the president in dallas. he had arrived in texas the day
2:16 pm
before, here attending a breakfast at a texas hotel, and they list some of the reporters who were part of the pool. smith, frank formier, bob baskin, bob clark. shot at about 12:30. sylvia is in paradise, california. go ahead. you are on the of. caller: ♪ hi, my name is sylvia, when jfk was killed. i worked at the phone company, and you have never seen 100 women shut up. we were devastated. this man fought for his country, and he died for his country. and he was the most wonderful man this country will ever see. host: let's go to pennsylvania,
2:17 pm
sharon, hello. caller: yes, hello. thank you for taking my call. i was 16 at the time of the assassination, sitting in american history class, and the announcement came over the loudspeaker, and my eyes fell to my open book and landed. i would never forget, squarely on the words " chief executive." we have been studying the succession of powers. i will never forget it. additionally, i watch my parents , who in conservative pennsylvania, watch to then gradually turn to this man and start to understand what he as a muchd in so far broader view of the world, a much more increasing view of the world, encompassing all citizens
2:18 pm
. it was the greatest tragic, and i will never forget it. and i would like all of us to thing that least one the man stood tall and prevented us from nuclear warfare. host: remind us again what grade you were in when you heard the news. caller: i was in 11th grade. host: in high school. thanks for your call. a tweet from tom -- taking your calls and comments on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of president kennedy. we will show you the boston event. let's go to batavia, illinois. rec, hello. caller: hi. yes, we do need more leadership i president kennedy offered. assident kennedy was
2:19 pm
inspiring as his words. i think back, it is sad now that we have a president who words you cannot trust. ofsident kennedy was a man high intellect. we have a president now who has to read from a teleprompter. weis hard so far have fallen. kennedy president is missed. and unfortunately with president obama, we have someone from low breeding. host: what are your thoughts? caller: my thoughts and feelings , i remember were i was. i was playing hooky from school that day, and my mom knew i was -- and she called me in and told the. , i enlisted inr the national guard. you were 18, 19
2:20 pm
years old, or what? caller: 17. host: how long did you stay in the military? caller: not very long. they ushered me out. i served my country as best i could, in any way, and will continue to do it. host: appreciate you calling. hello to clive in iowa. taking myank you for call. i was in eighth-grader at the high school in des moines, and i remember looking at the clock when it came over the intercom, at our president had been killed. it was 12:40 central time, like it was in dallas. class.ber going back to we went through the motions. at 1:30 it was announced that the president had died. some of the girls in my class shrieks, started to cry. we were dismissed from class,
2:21 pm
and i remember my twin brother rob and myself walked home that day, as he often did from school, if it was a nice day, and i remember on grand avenue, walking home, the people -- and this was a busy street -- people have actually stopped their cars and had gotten out of their cars and were crying next to the cars. it is something that i will never forget. and very emotional. i am convinced that the 1950 tossed as we knew -- 1950's knew this is as the knew it, a personalism, idealism, naïveté, but i think the 1960's as we knew it started on november 22, 1963. the cynicism, the distrust of that were, the things not as they were before, and although i tend to be an optimist at heart, i do not think there's any question that something died on that day in
2:22 pm
this country, and we have never fully recovered. host: thanks for your calls. some school floated -- school year memories from robert as well. he says i can remember like it was yesterday. i was in mississippi when it happened. i watched the coverage -- in's go to kenneth california. i was in graduate school and my job was running the cash register in the dining hall. that was when iris wreathed -- that is when i received the word. someone ran out of the kitchen, saying the president had been shot. remember saying that is a bad joke, david. the radio -- someone brought the radio out and put it on the table, very near the cash
2:23 pm
register, and we all gathered around, and when we knew that it was for real. i felt that if the president is dead i cannot ring a cash register belt. tearseft the drawer open, running down my cheek, just quietly on an index card, tigard up the cash transactions -- secured a big cash transactions and did the transactions as quietly as i could and did the same the day of the funeral. i remember the television playing its finest hour. there were no commercials during y time from that thursday to that monday, until after the funeral. that had never happened before. i remember also that synagogues and churches were full that weekend. because americans felt the need to pray. i remember that mrs. kennedy's
2:24 pm
great dignity. our hearts were all pleading for her, but we took strength from her and heard dignity as she h ad high, with the dignitaries of the world, haile andssie, queen frederica, we were so proud that all the world leaders came and sent representatives to pay homage to our president. host: kenneth, thanks for sharing your memories as well. one of them later this afternoon on c-span. online at you mentioned mrs. kennedy. she is buried here at the kennedy gravesite, was buried in 1994. we will take boston next and the john f. kennedy presidential
2:25 pm
library and museum, will for the ceremony that has just wrapped up there. ♪ >> a man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea is all. ♪
2:26 pm
2:27 pm
2:28 pm
2:29 pm
>> the new frontier of which i
2:30 pm
speak is not a set of promises. it is a set of challenges. it sums up not what i intend to offer the mecca people, but what i intend to ask of them. pride, notto their their pocketbooks. it holds out the promise of more sacrifice instead of insecurity. i tell you the new frontier is here, whether we think it or not. beyond that frontier, are the uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus. i believe the time is demand -- the times demand new invention, imagination, decision. i am asking each of you to be pioneers on that new frontier.
2:31 pm
>> ♪ america america grace on thee o beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain america! america! his grace on thee crown thy good
2:32 pm
with brotherhood from sea to shining sea! o beautiful pilgrims who their country loved america! america! d they goals refine they all success
2:33 pm
be nobleness. and everything divine! ♪ >> what kind of peace to i mean? not a pax americana enforced on the world by american weapons of war. not that the piece of the great or the security of the slate. i am talking about genuine peace, the kind that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a
2:34 pm
better life for their children. merely peace for americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time, but peace for all time. so let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those things -- those differences can be resolved. now ournnot end differences, at least we can help make the world safe or diversity, for in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. we all breathe the same air among we all cherish our children's teacher, and we are -- our children's future, and we are all mortal. children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.
2:35 pm
♪ the rosyre around children. never ggive up never grow old never ever die young think of life with a rising moon
2:36 pm
even with the evening stars love, but they were never alone, they were never that far apart you could see it on the street on a saturday night downone used to run them they were a little too tight [indiscernible] rattle atot seem to all -- they were fused
2:37 pm
together, body and soul with their backs against the wall o, hold them up hold them up. never do let them fall. pray to the dust and the rest and the ruin -- it shames us all ♪ [indiscernible] there was nothing that would
2:38 pm
hold them down rise from us like a big balloon take this guy cash take the sky brokeners hearts were and i know of their dreams [indiscernible] to another land we need another sky our hearts be broken ones stay on and on but another land eneath another sky skyath another
2:39 pm
hold them up hold them up hold them up would you hold them up hold them up them up ♪ r let them fall >> our peace corps is not designed as an instrument of diplomacy or propaganda or ideological conflict. it is designed to permit our people to exercise more fully their responsibilities in the
2:40 pm
great common cause of world development. life in the peace corps will not be easy. men and women will be expected to work and live alongside the nationals of the country in which they are stationed. doing the same work, eating the same food, talking the same language. but if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and for every young american who participates in the in a corps, who works foreign land, will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of preening to man that decent way of life, which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace.
2:41 pm
2:42 pm
2:43 pm
>> if art is to knew or roots of our culture, society must set artists free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. we must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda. it is a form of truth. the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to
2:44 pm
remain true to himself and to let the chips fall where they may. in serving his vision of the serve his artist must nation. i look forward to a great future for america, a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth, with our wisdom, its power, with our purpose. i look forward to an america which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. and i look forward to an america which commands respect throughout the world, not only , but for itsgth civilization as well.
2:45 pm
2:46 pm
2:47 pm
2:48 pm
>> we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things i'm a not because they are easy, but because they are hard about because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone him and one which we intend to win.
2:49 pm
many years ago, the great british explorer george mallory, who was to die on matt everest, asked mount everest, was what he wanted to climb it. he said because it was there. space is there, and we are going to climate, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. and, therefore, as we set sail, we ask god's blessing on the and hazardous and dangerous greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked. ♪
2:50 pm
2:51 pm
2:52 pm
>> please join me in a moment of silence in memory of john fitzgerald kennedy, 35th president of the united states.
2:53 pm
♪ the moon is slowly rising spinning roundll and i still love you so close your eyes eyesan close your
2:54 pm
it's all right i don't know no love songs and i can't sing the blues anymore song,t i can sing, this and you can sing this song when i'm gone it won't be long before another day yeah,k we're gonna have a good time going to take that time away long as you like
2:55 pm
eyesclose your eyesan close your it's a all right know no him him him him him love songs and i can't sing the blues anymore song,at i can sing, this and you can sing this song gondi'm gone will ♪ave you- gone ♪
2:56 pm
>> in>> we are confronted her merrily with a moral issue. it is as old as the scripture. and it is as clear as the american constitution. the heart of the question is whether all americans ought to andfforded equal rights equal opportunities. whether we are going to treat our fellow americans whether -- how we want to be treated. if an american, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who will represent him, if in short he cannot enjoy the full and free life with all of us want, then
2:57 pm
who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? who among us would then be content with the councils of patience and delay? sincears have passed president lincoln freed the slaves. heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free, they're not fully free from the bonds, they're not yet free from social and economic oppression, and this nation, for all its hopes and all its most, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free. ♪
2:58 pm
2:59 pm
plays]all overcome"
3:00 pm
3:01 pm
summons ustrumpets again. not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need. not as a call to battle, though embattled we are. but a call to bear the burden of a long, twilight stronger, -- struggle, year in and year out. a struggle against the common
3:02 pm
enemies of man. , andny, poverty, disease war itself. all of this will not be finished in the first 100 days, nor will it be finished in the first 1000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps, in our lifetime on this planet. let us begin. the energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. my fellow americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. my fellow citizens of the world, ask not what america will do for you, but what, together, we can
3:03 pm
do for the freedom of man. ♪ >> ♪ you can play the game, you can act out the park, but you know it wasn't written for you. how can you stand there with , ashamed ofheart playing a full. one thing leads to another, ,t doesn't take any sacrifice all father, mother, sister, , if it feels nice, don't think twice. people you love -- you know with love. show them the way that you feel. things are going to turn out right.
3:04 pm
people you love and love. feel,hem the way that you things are going to be much better if we only will. you can run, but you cannot hide. this is widely known. what you plan to do with your foolish pride, when you are all by yourself alone. once you tell somebody the way , you can feel it beginning to ease. i think it is true what they say about the squeaky wheel, how he
3:05 pm
is always getting the grease. better to shower the people you love with love. show them the way that you feel. ghana -- goinge to turn out fine if we only will. well. only shower the people you love with love. show them the way that you feel. going to be much better if we only will.
3:06 pm
shower the people you love with love. show them the way that you feel. shower the people you love with love. feel.hem the way that you life, they sayry the rain must fall. ,ust like pouring down rain make it rain. make it rain. make it rain. make it rain. love is sunshine. shower the people you love with
3:07 pm
love. show them the way that you feel. things are going to be much better if we only will. ♪ >> from earlier this afternoon at the john f. kennedy presidential library and museum in boston, the flame in arlington national cemetery, a live look on c-span throughout the day. streams of well-wishers have come by to pay their well- wishers -- to pay their respects.
3:08 pm
3:09 pm
3:10 pm
3:11 pm
>> members of the kennedy family visiting the grave site earlier today. -- theernal flame eternal flame was restored to the gravesite at arlington national cemetery. a live look here on c-span. during his presidency, john f. kennedy visited the arlington national cemetery twice.
3:12 pm
the first time was on veterans day on 19 -- in 1960 one, and again on november 11, 1963. our coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of president kennedy continues. we will open up the phones later for your comments and questions.
3:13 pm
3:14 pm
3:15 pm
3:16 pm
3:17 pm
3:18 pm
3:19 pm
>> we will take 10 minutes or so to hear from you. 3885 if you are in the eastern or central time zones. if you are in the mountain pacific time zones, 202-585- 3886. thatcebook, larry writes when he was living in west
3:20 pm
germany, someone yelled from a passing car that kennedy was dead. were headed to the east german border in case there was a war. i did not see my dad for a week. gabby giffords tweets stories of past courage cannot supply courage itself. each man must look inside themselves. kennedy inspired a nation to reach for the moon and we are still benefiting from his vision. let's go to kingsport, tennessee. >> i just wanted to say that i appreciate c-span for their coverage of this event. i have a question. didnyone would know this -- kennedy a -- did mrs. ever return to dallas, texas?
3:21 pm
that is a good question. we will leave it to the audience to find out. the list is in philadelphia. is in philadelphia. >> i was attending a pep rally in philadelphia. we were in high spirits when they announced the horrific news. i remember coming home and my mother had come in from the hairdresser. she was sitting at our kitchen table, crying hysterically. and thehbors came over television was on for three days. my sister was a senior at penn state. fortunately, for us, she was student teaching in suburban philadelphia and was able to come home for the weekend. i wasjohn f. kennedy when 11 years old. he was running for president. it was october, 1960. his motorcade was going to come past my elementary school in
3:22 pm
philadelphia. somehow, the principal caught wind of this and there we are, all of these schoolkids, waiting for this man to come by on a flatbed truck. i will never forget what this man looked like. i don't remember what i have for lunch yesterday, but he had this beautiful, sandy, thick hair, and the bluest eyes. he was all in blue with a pale blue shirt. he had a dark blue tie that had little white specks, and all the great people of philadelphia's past were with him. it was just a marvelous moment for a small little girl. words stayennedy's with me. he taught us to think. he taught us to love everything from science to the arts and
3:23 pm
that we should remember our fellow human beings, wherever they are. i just want to thank you for your coverage today. it brought a lot of tears and memories back. >> in corpus christi texas, we hear from mary terrazas. honoring his memory today, i would like to read a short scripture from passage -- a short passage from scripture. plant and itme to time to pluck what is planted. a time to kill, a time to heal. a time to break down and a time to build up. a time to weep and a time to laugh. a time to mourn and a time to dance. a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones. and refrainbrace
3:24 pm
from embracing. a time to gain any time to lose. a time to keep and a time to throw away. a time to tear and a time to sew. sars and a time to speak. a time to love and a time to hate. a time of war and a time of peace. amen. corpus christi, texas. thank you for that. we are also checking your comments on twitter. we just shows you an event from the john f. kennedy presidential library. paul winterhat the sextet is the first jazz group to have been invited to the white house by mrs. kennedy in 1962 after touring for the state department. myland writes i was in ogden,
3:25 pm
utah hill a first base when school was dismissed. thank you very much, c-span. you guys are exceptional. i appreciate it. i am a little bit torn up by our president, jfk being ambushed the way he was. i was eight years old going to grammar school. my mom was crying. i was crying. the whole block was in tears. >> how old were you at the time of the assassination? >> 18 years old. >> thank you for your call. jfk assassination, for live, altered have. about the people affected by the assassination. it leavesadline says
3:26 pm
a complicated legacy. film arede towards the complicated. her grandfather found himself in possession of priceless evidence when he captured john f. kennedy's assassination with his camera. you will find out more about that story on our website, c- lots more coverage this weekend of the 50th anniversary on c- span3's american history tv. more calls here. south portland, maine. frederick. thank you for today possibly a full memorial service. at theight years old time of his killing. a feels like he was born into
3:27 pm
culture and chooses kurds. -- courage. his vision to draw us toward a more perfect union, i celebrate today with an offer to the that is aresident testimony to the president's dream. >> rita, stockton, california. thank you for taking my call. in in chicago i was 30 years old. my office.l in i was working downtown. they told me the horrible news about jfk getting assassinated. we were completely broken. we left the office. everybody went home. we cannot talk for do anything.
3:28 pm
we went with our families. horribleay, it is a thing to remember. -- atweet from usa today with president kennedy dumb like the moon. arisemay die, nations may in fall, but an idea lives on. randall, springfield, florida, your next. >> thanks for taking my call. a father left me a document ,hich is on record that we have reported by fox. it is everything from his inauguration to his passing and i was only six months old at the time when he passed away. my brother was 11. legacy, andue something he said to people in
3:29 pm
west virginia at the time that he was there, it doesn't matter what color you are, as long as you look underneath the skin, we are all the same. >> you set your father left you this document? did he record it? >> it is a record. >> on vinyl. , ait is a large record document with him speaking all away through 19621963. i kept it in the case ever since and it is everything from nomination, acceptance, campaign night,york, election inaugural address, the state of the union message. >> is a one disc or several? >> it is several on two sides. it was put out by 20th century fox. i keep it very well protected
3:30 pm
so we can enjoy it. >> you still have a turntable to play it on, then? >> yes. i wish i could share with a lot of people. he was a wonderful person. my father explained that he was -- that it was the most terrible thing to happen to the world. the santa cruz, california. thanks for taking my call. i was a schoolgirl on the west coast at the time. it is so hard to describe the emotions of the time. it had such an impact and it was such a deep loss. that i know john kennedy would be proud of his daughter caroline. position asg her
3:31 pm
ambassador to japan and i know that he would be very pleased at that. somehow, i miss her presence today because she is the only andivor of his close family they all left us much too soon. i wish her very well over there. i do miss her presence today. >> caroline kennedy -- news reports indicated she had no public events on her calendar today. more as we cover the 50th anniversary of the assassination of john f. kennedy. we will take you to this morning's washington journal. the eternal flame at ,rlington national cemetery joining us from new york is richard reid. the general editor of the book "the kennedy years." thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me.
3:32 pm
ask you about this iconic scene at the arlington national cemetery. where did the idea of the ete rnal flame come from? >> i guess there was one at the paris andomphe in that is probably where mrs. kennedy got the idea. it was her idea. >> one of the fascinating stories, and i talked to david hawking's a moment ago, is how washington came together to prepare for something that was unexpected, and yet taking a page from the assassination of president lincoln, a century before. people who think government cannot be effective, they handle that situation well. i think david hawking pointed to the role that mrs. kennedy had
3:33 pm
in all of that. it was obvious that history is what was on her mind. you some to share with of the moments following the assassination of president kennedy. this is a conversation between the air force one cockpit pilot and andrews air force base. they were discussing how the president's body should be transported. >> air force one. [indiscernible] everybody aboard air force one, everyone aboard air force --, with the exception of will be chopper into the south ground. to body will be choppered
3:34 pm
the naval medical center at bethesda. over. ch [indiscernible] >> i did not know these arrangements were already made. >> say again, say again, dr.. doctor. that exchange between andrews air force base and air force one. duplex the codename for secret service agent. of the chaotic
3:35 pm
atmosphere as people try to get information figure out who had to do what. they did extraordinarily well in doing that. that stoodis a city for ceremony. this was the greatest ceremony of our lifetime. even bigger than in operation. -- and in you annt to share with afternoon session. the boston symphony orchestra and the leader of the orchestra, broke in with this news. let's watch. >> ladies and gentlemen, we have a press report over the wires. we hope it is unconfirmed, but we have to doubt it. the president of the united states has been the victim of an assassination.
3:36 pm
we will play the funeral march. a rather dramatic moment from 50 years ago. have you seen or heard that before? >> no. i knew him, too, but i did not realize that had happened. that clip is really moving. imagining, i suppose the people at the concert were kind of representative of a microcosm of the nation and the nation's response to something that we never thought would come our way again. >> where were you 50 years ago?
3:37 pm
was ayears ago, i reporter on the north evening didn't new jersey and i what i suppose that -- and i did what i suppose every reporter in the country did. i got in my car and went down to the office. it was one of those situations where we had nothing to do with what we were doing was getting reaction. i, with the mayor of mars town, i went to their office, which happen to be in the same building and he was near tears. i was not near tears because i was working. there was a window washer outside the window doing the windows.
3:38 pm
he could not hear us. he was waving and smiling to us. we did not respond the way he thought we would. at that moment, he was probably the only person in the country that did not know what was happening. >> we're talking with richard reid. he is the editor of this book which came out 20 years ago. what new have you learned since then? in my own life, i have learned a great deal about the presidency. thed not yet began to write profile of power. .t was an experience for me the thing that most impressed me was i realized how much of a cultural figure john kennedy
3:39 pm
was. that is one of the reasons we are here talking about this now. and also, the presidency itself is a reactive job. it is an act of faith. we had a great deal of faith in this man. the 40 odd people who have held the job, but it is not like what they campaign for or prepare for, again and again. they're reacting to events unforeseen. one man'sendent on judgment. how do you deal with things like oil spills to invasions to the arab spring. that does not change about the job, and that is one of the
3:40 pm
things i learned about a job. but kennedy himself, as i did that i realized that this is going to be commemorated again and again, not so much because people are aware of the things that happened in his presidency. many of them very dramatic. but they understood that he was -- he kind of brought us into modernity. he was quite different from many of us. he was rich. he dressed differently. he had long hair. he did not wear hats. and soon all american men stopped wearing hats, as he did, and they were letting their crew cuts grow out. they were role models, he and his wife, to the modern american. he was a self-selected president. he never would have become
3:41 pm
president under the old system of bosses and inventions. he went out and won it with the press and with organizations. he set up in every state and then won the primaries. he would not wait his turn, and i think now most americans will not wait their turn, which is why our institutions are always being battered by ambitious younger people. >> that is what james restin wrote in the new york times in 1963, and you reprinted it in your book along with the photograph of the flag-draped casket. he is gone now at 46, younger than when most presidents have started on their great adventure. one point from your book is the relative calm in the nation the weekend after his assassination and that monday during the funeral services. why?
3:42 pm
>> i think it was a death in the family. people were in shock. they did not know what to say or do about it. and it was this extraordinary spectacle of millions of people having lost someone they considered they knew. >> richard reeves, i want to jump and for moment. we want to show the scene at arlington cemetery. this is the royal highland regiment, the british bagpipers. they are performing live now at the kennedy gravesite. [bagpipe music] ♪ >> from arlington national
3:43 pm
3:44 pm
cemetery, two british bagpipers, part of the royal highland regiment. we continue our live coverage here on c-span. we are joined by richard reeves, general editor of "the kennedy years." i did not mean to interrupt you. i just wanted to get that moment live here on c-span. back to your thoughts. >> it was a death in the family in a way that was television was
3:45 pm
in our living room. most of us watched hour after hour after hour and then came jack ruby killing oswald, and we were kind of numb. it was one of the first times we were overloaded with information and with grief. a member of the "washington star" was later a senator from new york, and he said these two irish icons, and mary said we will never smile again. moynahan said we will smile again but we will never be young again. i think that is the way it affected the end of this generation's youth and of the nation's innocence. it just cannot happen to us, but it did. >> this morning, the "washington
3:46 pm
post" has a sketch of the scene and dealey plaza along elm street in dallas, texas, a dark day in american presidency. one part of the story is the tragedy forever change the accessibility of presidents, most notably that open air car that we will never see again. >> because the kennedy administration and the president himself really had created a culture of assassination. i mean, the whole world knew we were trying to kill castro. we provided a weapon that killed someone in need dominican republic just before kennedy took office. an official of the congo had been assassinated. people kind of took for granted that that is what governments did.
3:47 pm
again, on the american side, we thought we were immune when, in fact, our leader was the least protected in the world. and that, of course, has all changed. one of the things that strikes me about the pictures we used in that era was there was one particular picture of kennedy holding a couple of his nephew'' hands and little caroline's hands crossing the street in hyannisport with the cars stopped and ordinary citizens around them. of course, that will never come back. we put our presidents in a cocoon because it is necessary, but that does not mean that it has been beneficial to either the president or the country. i mean, they lose sight of the public and the public cannot get near them.
3:48 pm
>> richard reeves has written for new york magazine, the new york times, the new york evening news, and a contributor to pbs. he is joining us from new york, he is the general editor of the book "the kennedy years." we have divided phone lines regionally. if you are old enough to remember where you were 50 years ago, we want to hear your story as well. tim is joining us from gainesville, florida. >> good morning, steve. pleasure to be speaking with you. i have a quick comment. then i want to ask a question. it is a pleasure. >> go ahead. >> i have a quick comment. then i wanted to ask a question. i wanted to thank c-span for educating me about president kennedy's africa policies and
3:49 pm
how instrumental it was in solving the cuban missile crisis. i also wanted to ask mr. reeves this morning, and it is wonderful to be speaking with you as well, about president being uniquely positioned as the first irish catholic president and the civil rights speech, to speak about something as old as the scriptures and clear as the constitution, that we have no class system or masquerade. -- or master race. and how that should really be for all americans 50 years later. >> thanks for the call. tim is describing part of the extraordinary 48 hours in the kennedy presidency when he gave what is called the peace speech at american university, saying perhaps we should take another look at the cold war. how did we get into it? are we really adversaries or are
3:50 pm
we all moral and do we all care about our children and what will happen to them? our children ant will happen to them? and then when he came back to the white house, governor george wallace was standing in the doorway at the university of alabama at which he had appointed himself provost because he wanted to block the entrance of the first two black students to attend. and it was an extraordinary american moment because our national guard unit, our state unit -- george wallace was the commander of the alabama national guard, and they were on the scene. however, the president has the power to federalize the national guard and then he becomes its commander. and kennedy decided he would do that. so the same people protecting
3:51 pm
wallace in a way then turned their guns as much as they head toward him, and he is left with his state police. kennedy, against the advice of most of his people, all of his people, wanted to go on television that night to talk about what had happened. like most politicians, he had hoped he would not have to deal with civil rights. it was an issue -- everyone in a way knew something was going to happen. kennedy was kind of caught in the middle as a politician because the congress was dominated by southern democrats in those days. depended on the democratic leaders of the congress, and they kind of thought -- they did think that secretly he was on
3:52 pm
their side, that he was just a northern politician pandering to a minority group. but that minority group was beginning to come alive with young people with sit-ins and freedom writers. he went on television that night and he did not have a speech written out. he had a lot of facts. and he gave one of the great speeches in american history, two within 48 hours. he said this is not a regional issue. this is not a political issue. this is a moral issue. it is about what kind of people we are and if people are equal, who among us would choose to be black? --put an extraordinary thing it but the government of a democracy on the side of a minority, and that is no small
3:53 pm
thing to the history of all ofocracy, particularly hours. the president took sides, and he chose the minority. also the night that things were happening around the world. in that period, the first monk burned himself to death in saigon. in the field secretary of the naacp listened to the speech on the radio. he was traveling in mississippi .here he lived and drove home this was met there ever is. he called his wife and asked her to keep the children up because he wanted to talk to them about what the president had said and what it would mean to their lives and to all american lives. as he stepped out of his car, the sniper across the road shot him and he bled to death in
3:54 pm
front of his children. so these were events of high drama which kind of mobilized the thinking of our generation, my generation, and we did not whenthen that these events not be lost in history. they are still almost current was a because there density of events in the kennedy presidency. whether it was the bay of pigs, whether it was the nuclear test and treaty. ,t was an extraordinary time and he did as well as he could, and we appreciated it. this ap telegraph moment before the shots were fired in dallas, texas. the president and mrs. kennedy wearing her chanel suit. 50lections on where bill was years ago in this tweet -- i was
3:55 pm
in seventh grade english class in middle school when the announcement came over in the school pa system. we have a call from new york, good morning. caller: good morning. mr. reeves, good to see you again. i have followed you on tv more years than i want to count. but my question kind of relates to mr. kennedy in this way, and by the way, where was i when i heard about the assassination? i was sitting in my office in rochester, new york and one of my assistants came in running from a couple of blocks away and told me about it. but going back to a question for spitzer's, eliot political career has probably ended because of indiscretions. you know the history of president kennedy's indiscretions and infidelity
3:56 pm
over the years. if the american people were aware of that, would his standing in history be reduced? and should we be given mr. kennedy a pass on that part of his life? host: thank you. we will get a response. guest: i think we do give him a pass on that part of his life. and far dangerous to his political ambition as a self- selected president. become his health would public today and that would eliminate him. in terms of his womanizing and infidelities, you know, rich people, and he was a rich person ago have long driveways. you cannot tell what is going on there. he was very comfortable with , and i dod with lies
3:57 pm
not think it affected his presidency and it certainly does not affect the way we think of him now. i was stunned by last week's gallup polls showing that 75% of the respondents considered kennedy the greatest modern .resident and the people were between 19 and 28, and not only did they not know kennedy, their parents probably did not know him. have we forgiven him? obviously, we have. i want to share the immediate coverage, and this is the morning after, the front- page newspaper, the baltimore sun. reporting was gerald griffin. the headline -- close parallels are noted in the kennedy and lincoln deaths.
3:58 pm
he says president kennedy's seven deaths today and dallas ended a brief but brilliant chapter in american history. in a flash of an assassin's gun, the nation would be sent plunging into grief. the resident was well on his way to a triumphant reelection next year. a tv journalist who passed in july of last year reflected in an event we covered on how the media dealt with the immediate story of the kennedy assassination in trying to get that story. getting it out to readers, viewers, listeners. [video clip] >> very frankly, i cannot think of a time in history when it was more important to make a decision very quickly and then hope to god that you are right. and this panel that we have with us this morning are the folks that had to make some of those decisions. and i think that history is
3:59 pm
pretty well-recorded that the decisions they made at the time were decisions that they can still live with 30 years later. i was in the decision-making business then, too. one of the things that i think that we really have to think reminisce on what happened back then was the tools that we had to work with 30 years ago compared to the tools that we have to work with today. in television, of course, we had black and white film. dl cameras dh and that we hope we had the good sense to pull the filter out of when we went to take inside footage. we knew how to run the cameras. we knew had to make a tape recording. hopefully we knew how to edit film, how to write to film, and how to go on the air. ♪
4:00 pm
a live scene at arlington national cemetery. the colors at the gravesite. let's watch for a moment.