tv 1968 White House Tour CSPAN November 29, 2013 8:30pm-9:01pm EST
to do to be noncontroversial and yet contribute to a spouse's legacy. it would work for a man, too, you know. [laughter] >> she understood that she had a megaphone and that she could use it for good and she did that and expected all of her successors to do the same. thank you to the white house association for their assistance. thank you for being with us once again tonight. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] pe
eastern on c-span. >> in august 1970 four, vice president ford was signed in as president of the united states. . she was less excited about becoming first lady, but he encouraged her and said we can do this. she said, if i'm going to do this, i will have fun doing it. the fun started immediately. within 10 days, she had a state dinner to entertain. she had to prepare for in her role as first lady. she hit the ground running. first lady betty ford, monday night at 9:00 eastern, live on c-span. >> next from the linden being johnson's presidential library, a tour of the white house
>> years ago when i was the wife of a brand new texas congressman, i snapped photos. i never imagined that one day i would live on the other side of that fence. like the tourists, i had the distinct feeling that this house belonged in part to me. i think that is a feeling that everyone who visits here shares. just like the thousands who come here every year, i was impressed by the majesty of the pride of the stream of history that ran through each of the rooms. what the passerby doesn't always realize is that there are two sides to the white house. the official side that remains in the public eye and the private side that the public rarely sees. living quarters for the president and his family.
here is our living room. actually it is the west end of the long hall. it is the nerve center and crossroads of all family activities. an intimate place and yet busy. it belongs to all the family. psychologically, when you cross that threshold, you feel that you are at home, that you are inside your own house. you can put on a robe and slippers and curl up with a good book. we gather here on all the climactic occasions, such as the immediate moments following the state of the union message or another major address to the nation. we usually invite those who worked on the speech were who had contributed to the event. on those nights, this room has been filled.
it has the same electric quality of a broadway opening after the performance you're anxious to hear the reviews. although we have had some thrilling successes and high moments of pride, there were some chilly moments, too. but happy or painful, this is where the initial public reaction is seen by the president and this is where the family shares his experience. this room is also a listening post for the tone of the day. when we have no engagements in the evening, i come in here with some of my work that is so demanding and wait for linda to -- lyndon to come home from his work. you can see his office from here. the lights may be on until 8:00 and maybe 9:00 or 10:00. sometimes he doesn't come home for dinner until after midnight. it is not for a far for a man to
commute, but in terms of his responsibilities, there is a great distance from here to there. i recall being up here as lyndon brought in the latest acquisition for our old book collection and lucy emerged from the kitchen with a pan of brownies she had made and at the same time the room that lyndon was down there only a few yards away. the tenses -- tensist nights are when lights are on. perhaps it was a crisis of the gulf of tonkin, of the middle east in june 1967. but sooner or later, the lights would go out and then in a few moments i would hear a little voice down the hall call out, "where's bird?" and then i would know he was home, really home. like in any american home, this place has personal touches.
bookshelves that reflect individual interests of the family. old and treasured friends. one of the things that i'm proud to leave as a reminder of our time here is an addition to the white house permanent collection of paintings. i love it. this is our most recent acquisition for the permanent collection. gypsy girl. the first painting acquired during our stay at the white house was a winslow homer's. you can almost feel the love between the mother and her children. look at that little girl. is she wondering what the small child is going to mean to her life? it's such a dear painting it
seems to set the tone of the room. it is where the family shared to -- so many personal and intimate moments, where we felt we were in the heart of the house, really at home. each of the rooms in the family quarters of the white house has a special personality, a distinctive mood. here, it has a dark green velvety look. its ornate decor reflects the victorian period. after the civil war this became the cabinet room for president andrew johnson, but it was president grant to introduce
this table which so many succeeding presidents used to conduct the nation's business until 1902. that was when the country outgrew the second-floor. president roosevelt who had six children did not want tradition bound to the west wing presidential offices. separating once and for all the family quarters from the day-to- day work of the chief executive. many objects bring to mind earlier presidents. the torches of andrew jackson, this lamp presented to grover cleveland. and this wastebasket of president grant. the chandelier has an interesting story behind it. it was designed for the east -- president grant's time. but it soon passed from room to
room until it finally wound up gracing president the adore -- president roosevelt's new office. every time the door opens it tinkled, striking him greatly. he ordered it to be sent to the capital and he was supposed to have said, put in the vice president's office and it will keep him awake. and there it remained until my husband came vice president in 1961. during mrs. kennedy's renovation, we were instrumental in returning it to the white house where it hangs today. this room has seen many treaty signings. in our time, i've witnessed to treaties here involving the geographic extremes of our country. the first was a treaty which made the summer home of franklin delano roosevelt and international park between canada and the united states. behind this table, prime minister pearson of canada and
my husband were sitted, flanked by their delegations. i remember james roosevelt and ms. grace tully, the president's personal secretary, it was a thrilling look back into the past. and then from the northernmost part of the country to the southernmost. in october of 1967, returning to mexico a small strip of land that was long a dispute between our countries. what a feeling of goodwill there was that day. the texas congressman from the border districts were here and a delegation from mexico, everyone i felt was saying to himself it is done at last. i can recall some other writing i can recall some other writing performed at this table. i was showing my guest the rooms on the second floor. we entered the treaty room and as i began my recital, i saw on the table some rather tattered
notebooks and chewed pencils, a high school algebra and latin book. it was evident at linda and lucy had discovered what i too would soon learn, that this room is not as conducive to getting work done. -- mighty conducive to getting work done. almost from the beginning, i have used this room to launch the project closest to my heart. it is a good place to gather your committee or your group, talk into being a program and get it moving. most of our beautification planning was done right here. we took our notes on president grants table and our connection with the outside world with this french telephone made in 1890. and then, i know that one day when i walk through the finished lyndon b. johnson library in texas, vivid memories of this room will come to mind.
for almost three years, our various library committees have met here. many of the chancellors, regions, historians and architects and all manners of historians. here we have watched library grow from just the germ of an idea to a real, living repository of history. and so, a room that started out as a working environment by a succession of presidents still provides that very important function for 20th-century first ladies with a variety of projects. it is a working room, but like any room in the white house is also a collection of memories. having the entire family together for lunch is a joy, but also a rarity.
>> to me, the yellow oval room is the loveliest room and all the white house. while our living room is homey and cozy, this room is formal and elegant. yet, there is life here. it is warm and inviting. it is a one room in the white house that formal ceremony is mingled with family life. it symbolizes in a way the role a president's family plays well living here. where the personal life and the official duties are always closely related. president franklin roosevelt's bedroom is next door. we use this room as a sitting room and office.
for us, it is the main drawing room. on winter evenings, the fire is a magnet for good conversation. traditionally, the yellow oval room has been used for entertaining and four receptions. in fact, this is where the first official reception ever held at the white house took place. here on a chilly january 1 in .her on a chilly january 1 in 1801, john and abigail adams received ministers and recognize this brand-new nation. soon today, this room offers soon today, this room offers hospitality to the visiting chiefs of state. this is where we invite the prime ministers or kings and their wives for that half hour or so before a state dinner. the earlier part of the day is filled with honors and formal ceremonies on the south lawn. sometimes a parade.
this has always been an impressive experience, a responsibility. i go to the third floor before the occasion and look at the great map case. i pulled down india. then i read some briefings on this country. i also try to go over the guest list a good many times before the state dinner, because hopefully you can say something more than just, "how do you do?" to our guests who come from all over the united states to meet the visiting head of state. and then, is a high moment when the color guard enters. the president escorts the wife of the visiting chief and i in turn with our guest. for a year, the marine captain who led the groove was chuck -- group was
chuck laub. he's terribly military and impressive. many months it passed before i realize i might be looking at our future son-in-law. we've had so many wonderful personal happy times in this room. here, lyndon and i celebrated just last year our 33rd wedding anniversary. the cake that linda planned hailed our time together one third of a century. what a day. it was our grandson's first it was our grandson's first birthday. on our birthdays, the climax was a cake for it is when provided us with a household crisis. in the end, the furniture didn't suffer one bit, but my nerves did. and then there was the christmas of '67.
my husband was taken through trip around the world. aspects were bleak for the prospects for christmas for the whole family together. i followed his headlines from australia to thailand to rome. and then, gloriously, he came home on christmas eve. that christmas we were seven. two sons-in-law and a new baby. unspoken was the thought that one would not be with us. it was a fragile happiness, like some lovely bubble.3 i think the room must have sensed it, for it was never prettier. it was our first christmas in the white house, a moment to catch and hold. it served to underscore my feeling that this house is only on loan to its tenants.
we are temporary occupants linked to a continuity of presidents who have come before us and who will succeed us. for only a brief time we serve as the extension of 200 million people holding that trust, working to fulfill it. >> the man who sits in his chair sits in the chair that has been occupied by less than 40 men. it long history of this great republic. he is selected by the votes of the majority of the citizens of this republic. he must execute the philosophy and the policies of the people of this nation, regardless of
his own personal feelings from time to time. he is the executor of the will of the people of this nation antiterrorism upon his shoulders day and night a burden that always seems at least to him too much to carry but only for him to carry. we will be leaving here shortly, after having spent almost 40 years in the federal service. we came to washington with some very deep set convictions.
we felt that we could contribute to making this a better country for all of our people. and some feel we have made great progress, education, health, housing. in some respects we have had many disappointments. but in the last few years in this house, in this office, we have had a chance to impress upon the people of this nation those simple convictions that brought us to this town and that kept me here for almost four decades. it is important to reflect and look back and see what has been done because there is no better way to judge a future than by the past. but the important thing that faces our country now is for a
new president to look at the new challenges and find new answers, find a means of communicating with our young and providing leadership and inspiration for them so that they will realize that we do care. find a way to help better understanding come to our races so that we can live together in peace and harmony and equality with justice to all. no president ever came to this office on a platform of doing what was wrong. most of us have made some decisions definitely wrong, and as we leave office most of the people seemed to feel that most of the things we have done have been wrong. but every man who is ever
occupied this office or set at this desk or reclined in his chair has been dedicated to doing what he believes was for the best interests of the people of this country. i'm utterly convinced that when any man takes the oath of office as president he is determined to do what is right as god gives him the wisdom to know the right. most people come into the office with great dreams and believe it with many satisfactions and some disappointments, and always some of their dreams have not come true. and i am no exception.
but i'm so grateful and so proud that i have had my chance. as to how successful have been doing the greatest good for the greatest number, the people themselves and their posterity must ultimately decide. i have the satisfaction and my family has a satisfaction that we gave it all we had. we think we provided some of the answers to the needs of our time. ♪
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