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tv   American Artifacts Richard Nixon Birthplace Museum  CSPAN  May 16, 2021 6:00pm-6:36pm EDT

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each week american history tvs american artifacts takes viewers into archives museums and historic sites from around the country. next a visit to yorba linda california and the birthplace home of president richard nixon docent darlene skye gave american history tv a tour of the house that rests on the ground of the richard nixon presidential library and museum the 37th president was born there in 1913 and he was late to rest near the house in 1994. welcome to richard nixon's presidential museum. it really is an honor having you here today and most fortunate to be able to share with you where our 37th president of the united
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states richard mille house. nixon was born and so if you look behind me, you can see this wonderful house. this is the birthplace of president nixon. i'm very excited and pleased to say you tell you that the most often asked question i get out here is the house ever been moved and no it's never been moved. it's always been on this spot. it's actually a kit house and please use your imagination for a moment because let's go back to 1912 in 1912, frank and han and nixon arrived in this area and believe it or not. there was only 200 people in population in yorba linda now there are thousands but if you look around you can see how beautiful the grounds are here today 1912. there is plenty of lemons and orange groves and frank and hannah and nixon arrived here. what a great place to raise a family so he literally frank nixon literally went through a catalog and it wasn't to sears roebuck catalog and it wasn't a montgomery ward catalog. we still don't know the
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identification of the manufacturer of this wonderful house and but we know that it was a kittow so he actually took his horse and buggy and drove it to the train station, and there's actually a section of the train still there on imperial highway that you can see frank nixon brought these boxes and crates back to this yorba linda site and he built this wonderful house and as you can see as i mentioned to you, it's never been moved now. it's interesting. you probably would like the story because it's kind of cute in 1990 when the library was being set up president nixon was approached by the architect and the architecture said president nixon. is it okay if we turn the house around, you know, so all the all the visitors can actually come in the front door and they can see the reflection pool. and all the beautiful gardens and president nixon just looked at at him said, you know what? please leave the house the way my dad built it because it meant
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so much to him and what an american dream as you look around to see that this the mill house nixon family came to this area to raise a family. so 300 orange a trees and 300 lemon trees were planted by frank nixon, but they did struggle financially and hannah nixon would actually walk to a packing house. there was two packing houses here in yorba linda and to help with the income. she actually would go pack lemons. she would walk over there and remember there was no concrete and there was no cement. it was lots of dirt lots of mud sometimes but she would walk there and put in lemons into a crate. you may find it interesting to know that president. nixon is a small child would attend the yorba linda elementary school and he was barefoot. there's a picture in the reader board. you want me to find the kind of leave it. it's cute to see that in the reader board in front of the
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classmates the picture you'll see him with no shoes barefoot. so there's probably how he went to school. i know you're very anxious to probably go inside and so am i but i must share with you that this wonderful california pepper tree is the original tree that frank nixon planted in 1912, and it's you can see a little help there. see what happens when you get old. you need a little help i guess but the wires up there, that's the original tree that the boys were known to the story is that they would hang a rope with the tire underneath and play under it and the other original landscaping is the palm trees. so how quite magnificent those palm trees, but those are from 1912. also president nixon was very proud this birthplace meant so much to him because his father built it, you know, the american dream the roots of working hard and working with the soil. he did plan his funeral when he way in 1994 of april and i
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wanted to share with you something quite interesting from the funeral that he wanted his casket placed in front of the birthplace and see how magnificent view that was and that shows you how important the birthplace was to president nixon. today in this service. we remember with gratitude his life his accomplishments and we give thanks to god for those things. he did to make our world a better place over 50,000 people attended his funeral to pay their last respects to him as you see reverend billy graham. he's giving the eulogy and it's for those of you who are very interested in history, and i know how magnificent this is. this is a wonderful opportunity for you to see the first time and only time in the history of
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our country that five presidents and five first ladies attended president nixon's funeral president reagan and this photo got sick just directly after that. so that was the last time they were together and you can recognize president clinton president bush senior president reagan president carter president ford and their lovely lovely first ladies speaking of first ladies. we have a gardens here a first lady gardens many people come here just to visit the gardens and every first lady has a rose named after her and i'm proud to say that pat nixon has a lovely rose so many of you who are interested in gardens to please come here. what a great place to stress reduce and relax just by the gardens because pat nixon has a beautiful rose come and see it. it's a deep all red rose and quite beautiful, but we have the lincoln rose magnificent garden, so i do hope you come to see the gardens. we will go inside now because i
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know you're just very thrilled to see the birthplace of president nixon. person and nixon mentions in his audio that when he lived here. he would hear the train whistle all the time and he would dream of being a train engineer because of it. welcome to president nixon's birthplace. i hope you can smell history because when i tell my visitors that visit the library, please smell history because the majority of the furniture is in this house. clara nixon the sister-in-law of president nixon is still alive. she's 91 years old and i got to see her the other day and she's just sprite and a beautiful lady still at 91 and she shared with me the fact that i said to clara. how did you get to save all the furniture and she said to me darlene? i was just lucky and i and i she said that when president nixon's mother passed away just before he was elected. she put all the stuff in storage. and what does treasure we have
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today? it's so exciting. so the majority of the furniture is original, please use your imagination for a moment. can you hear a baby cry? true story a bouncing baby boy by the name of richard mille house. nixon was born in this bedroom, and that original bed. isn't that exciting as a matter of fact the doctor that delivered president nixon january 9th 1913 said it was most loudest cry he ever heard of all the babies that he delivered and he put the baby in wrapped him up in a blanket and put them in a basket to keep them warm because the reason hannah nixon you know, she had five sons there was five nixon boys the reason nixon mrs. nixon mrs. hannah nixon gave birth to richard milhouse nixon and this room and in that bed is because it was so cold that day. i know it sounds silly. i'm originally from chicago and
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i know what cold is but hand and nixon said that was one of the coldest days of the year here in california, so she gave birth to that baby in here interesting to know please look at the wonderful blankets the quilts the friendship quilt and the blanket look 1837, ohio, isn't that amazing to know like these are the original blankets that we're given to hannah nixon? for her wedding day when she met frank nixon within three months. they got married look at the special frames that are made on those two pictures. those frames were made by hand by richard nixon when he was a small boy and he surprised his mother and gave it to hannah nixon as a gift. please notice the title of one on the left says mother's boys. it's a beautiful poem and hannah nixon cherished it because she had five sons directly to the right of that frame see a lovely picture of the four boys.
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it's a great picture to see because he i will explain to you all the four boys that were born in here, but the fifth boy was born later in 1930. he never lived in this house. so, but please direct your attention now to the dress of the dresser was made by hand by richard nixon's uncle and the wonderful photograph how wonderful it is to have a photograph of sarah. and sam wadsworth nixon the paternal grandparents of richard nixon to the right of that is the bible that bible belonged to the firstborn harold nixon one of a treasures. there's many treasures, but please notice the fan. this fan was the graduation of hannah nixon when she graduated in school from school in 1906 as we walk across here a little bit and don't laugh when you hear the i don't know if you noticed the the floor. it's almost 100 years old. you can hear it squeak.
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so i always think the floor is talking to me. that's the original floor that was built in 1912. wonderful exciting take a moment and treasure that high chair that high chair had all five. nixon boys in that high chair if it could speak what a story it would tell in fact one of my favorite stories from ed nixon because he's still alive and he's in the 80s and he's very kind to have some conversations with me. in fact, he wrote a book the book that he wrote is called nixon's and it's a great book to give you more history about the family, but he mentioned to me a great story. aha when he was little how he would be put in that high chair and it was sometimes pinches fingers because the boys his older brothers would put them in and what they were in a hurry so as a cute little story of that high chair one of my favorites is the table in the chairs here. it's a true story and richard nixon's memoirs.
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he mentions how he got the joy of debate. this is the original tear table and the chairs and richard nixon has a small boy would sit here and his father frank nixon would debate with him and say oh richard. what do you think about this or how do you think of the days of of what's going on in the history? and guess what richard nixon they debate back and forth and he said i got it. that's what i want to be when i grow up. it happened here in yorba linda at this table at these chairs now if you look around and i know you've been looking you can see all the computers richard nixon had the telephone the televisions the radios. he had. i'm just kidding. i'm just joking because you know what? he didn't have any of those things. he didn't have a television. he didn't have radio. what did he do with this time? well, i will show to you as i indicate over here something quite magnificent. maybe many of us don't see this
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enough nowadays. do we our treasure of books president? nixon is a small child would read a lot. in fact, it was very known that his grandmother. elmira would give him a gift and the other boys also for any holidays or birthdays books to read instead of toy sometimes an apple or an orange but a book and that was considered a treasure for richard. nixon is growing up his favorite author was leo tolstoy. that was his favorite author a fun little photograph just above the books. i need to point out to you because it's such a treasure richard and pat nixon had a lovely family of two daughters and they have four beautiful grandchildren, but you can see a nice picture of julie and trisha nixon when they were quite young and it's a picture of the grandparents so you can see frank and son the grandparents
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there and a beautiful poem by julie nixon on the left and i think she even got an a on that one. so it's entitled beauty. so it's a great little story to show you the wonderful family of the nixon's and also the fact that they were very well read and all one of the exciting things. i'd like to share with you is the fireplace now to supplement the income frank nixon did they did struggle a little bit financially, but this is a handmade fireplace and our lovely curator here at the library actually told me one day and said darlene, you know what i can drive around your belinda some of the older homes and pick out the chimneys. isn't that need to go? oh, that's that's a freight nixon chimney, so it's pretty neat to have that with us today and above the mantle there. you can see a wonderful wedding photograph of frank and hannah nixon when they got married in 1908. i always a beautiful wedding
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dress she had and she had that fans. she has a fan in her left hand how beautiful the wonderful clock in the middle is the original clock believe it or not 1908 that was given to frank and han and nixon is a wedding present from frank nixon's parents and to the left a wonderful photograph. i think it's such a kick to know that hand and nixon that's a pretty picture of hannah nixon the back but she had five sisters and one brother growing up and then guess what god blessed her with five nixon boys here. i always think that is quite interesting. so this is a great photograph if you take a moment to look all of the nixon boys were named after english kings except the one in the center. he was named after his father francis donald. in fact, he's the one that married claire and nixon later in life. and is sprite young person at 91 that has such.
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a treasure of information for us at all times, but the firstborn here is harold. nixon harold. nixon was 23 years old and suffered a long time from tuberculosis as a matter of fact hannah nixon did for several years take her son to arizona and she even helped three other young men who had tuberculosis and struggled so so many years to to keep him alive and what a tragedy and the family harold nixon did pass away when he was 23 years of age nixon line. i'm sure you can guess this wonderful picture. this is our future 37th president richard milhouse nixon and over here in the sailor outfit over there is arthur nixon arthur nixon. i'm sorry to say past when he was seven years old he woke up one day with the headache and he goes, oh mom, he goes. i don't feel good. and so it's in several days. what a tragedy in the family.
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so many people don't know that richard mille house. nixon didn't lose two brothers at a very early age and many people say perhaps it's what gave him the drive and the ambition to do something with his life last but not least. i'm very happy to say that ed nixon is still alive as i told you because he's the author of the book the nixon's and he was born in 1930. so he never lived here, but such great stories. he can tell you about when richard nixon did ask him to take him a cross country ride in the car and he was able to drive the car and one of the favorite things. i kind of like a nixon shared with me is he said to me darlene one of our favorite foods that dad would make for us was beef stew the best beef stew ever. that was so succulent with the vegetables at the beef would just melt in your mouth. he said the best speaking of food hannah nixon was a wonderful baker a wonderful cook and i will tell you more. out that when we go into the
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kitchen, but i want to mention to you about this wonderful magazine. now how many of you've read this magazine? it's a great magazine because at that time the national geographic magazine was a great way to open up the world to so many people and as you know president nixon wanted to be remembered as a peacemaker while he traveled to all continents except antarctica, and he was the most well-traveled statesman for the history of our country for that time. so many people say perhaps that was from the national geographic because we didn't have the internet then did we wow, i am very excited and happy to share with you that these instruments president nixon as a small child played five instruments. he played the saxophone the clarinet the piano the accordion and the violin i always say hi i play the radio. i don't know if that counts but it just kind of gives you the impression of what a great musician that president nixon was.
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and just a little reminder of history president nixon played the piano in the east room of the white house for duke ellington and when he played the piano it was happy birthday to duke ellington's the violin is the original violin also and when you take a close look at that violin how beautiful it was in clara nixon told me how she had it restrung because it was so well worn president. nixon is a small child did live a few months with his uncle griffith milhouse who gave him violin lessons and also gave him piano lessons. so what a great musician he was and he sometimes joked that he liked music so much that if there was a good rap music then he maybe would have been a rap artist. so that would have been fun and interesting the religion of the nixon family was quakers. i don't know too much about the quaker religion, but it's very
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interesting now president nixon shares and his memoirs that when hannah and nixon his mother would go off to sew and there's the sewing room off there that that's where she would pray. so it's very interesting to know the privacy of the family and the richness of all the treasures here and little did they know that their son would grow up to be the 37th president. so thank you when we're now going to go our head our way into the kitchen, except. i have a little fun thing to share with you because many times when i give tours people will ask me they'll say gee how come hand and frank did not have a curtain or you know a door on the bedroom in those days. it was the only source of heat the fireplace that i was telling you about. so if they put a door up here, they wouldn't be able to get heat. however for privacy sake a rod would put up and maybe a sheet hanging here, but this was usually open now the boys they slept upstairs so you can see the vents up there. on the ceiling and that was a
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source of heat from the fireplace. isn't that fun? so boy how they got along, you know in our days of microwave ovens and all the fancy kitchen utensils. they had hannah and nixon and frank nixon race four boys here richard. nixon was about 10 years old when they did go to whittier and they opened up a gas station and a market there and it's only was because they kind of struggled financially, but they did really well there so we will walk into the kitchen. please imagine hannah nixon cooking for her four sons and her husband in this little quaint little kitchen now the stove and the icebox are not original, but it's something similar to what hannah nixon would have cooked on but i bet you don't know why this number is in the window believe it or not hand and nixon would put safe for today 20 pounds of ice a truck would pull up and the truck driver would know she wants 20 pounds of ice he would take the tongs. come up to the site here.
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put it in this wonderful ice box and when the ice would melt would be down here and the tray would open and would be full of water. and that was one of richard nixon's chore is to actually water the plants on the side here by the door left and right to see i have to show you what a beautiful view to it is out this way when you can see the beautiful gardens. we're trying everyone to to see it's so stress reducing and relaxing just the aroma if you notice the reflection pull the reflection pulls a reproduction from at washington dc so reflects the birthplace on one side and the lobby on the other side of the museum. very beautiful. this is hannah nixon's utensils the pan and the greater and the colander. these are all her heart cooking utensils and baker and she was a very good baker richard dixon as president wrote in his memoirs. he said, of my favorite was the
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angel food cake my mother hannah nixon in this house. so use your imagination. she would take this batter and it was really important to her. and this may be a little hint for those cooks out there. she'd open the door walk outside and whip up this batter and she always believed this fresh air of the batter actually made the angel food cake delicious and ed. nixon said to me too the other day, which was cute. he said my mother ham and nixon she made the best pie such great crust the best crust in the in the world. it was always very thin and very crispy. and in fact, it was one of the biggest sellers when they did move to whittier his in the market she would make the pies and everything. that was one of the favorites the pies over here is a cookbook interesting. you may find the presidential white house cookbook hannah nixon actually had a cookbook from the white house.
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um that she loved to use and interestingly enough. did she know that her son? maybe it was from her cooking. he became the 37th president of the united states. very interesting now. i know you're all going to get a great laugh about the pantry because there's a bathtub in there. that bathtub is a favorite of all the guests and visitors that come from throughout the world and i think what's so neat visitors from around the world come here and they visit and they connect so much with this birthplace because no matter where you live somebody else say, that's the bathtub. i remember that when i was growing up. well the story goes the cleanest boy would go in first the dirtiest last. so how silly that is and boy wouldn't she want to stay clean to be the first one in the bathtub sounds like a good plan to me. the story also goes in the house in a cute story about when hannah and nixon would bake or cook and the boys are the family would be sitting maybe the table
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would be directly beyond that window many people believe it's for the breeze, but sometimes she would pass some players of food through the window. it just made it easier. of having to go back and forth and it's such a beautiful and that's the original window there as you walk over here. what i think is so outstanding now visitors are not allowed to go upstairs on this kitaus and it's so quaint. it's so full of love like i told you even though president nixon would say even though they lift poor the glory of it is that they never really knew because there were so much love in the american dream of the hard work and and just aspiring to always to do their best and that's what happened in this house even they didn't have so many things. i love this entrance way going upstairs notice. it's 22 inches wide quite narrow, so that's why the fire department doesn't let us go up there because it could be dangerous, but those boys two boys to each bed up there but
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upstairs in the bedroom president nixon will share in his memoirs that he would get together with this brothers up there have some bites and they got along pretty small up there, but he would hear the train whistle up there and he dream of being a train engineer. so interestingly enough the concept of railroads and trains were such a big part of president nixon's life the memorial gardens interestingly enough are just steps away from his birth place the memorial gardens have the grave sites of president and nixon and his lovely wife patricia ryan nixon president nixon passed away in 1994 and his wife a year early in 1993. she passed from cancer and he passed away from a result of a stroke. we usually take.
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islands here many people ask me about the memorial gardens of president nixon and pat nixon. please notice the epitat that pat nixon the beautiful butterfly that just landed on the tombstone is an indications to me of how beautiful the gardens are here to remind you to come here. but so peaceful patricia ryan nixon. our first lady was a great ambassador. she traveled to 78 countries on our own and one most horrific one on the presidential helicopter to peru she was such a peacemaker in her own right, but she wanted everyone to know that even when people can't speak your language they can tell if you have love in your heart and please notice the epitat of president nixon his entitled the greatest honor history can bestow is title of peacemaker and the most important thing for him to be remembered at as or he wanted to be remembered as as a peacemaker. i've been here 13 years and it's
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amazing to me that we have people from so far away. they can go anywhere. they can go to yosemite they can go to grand canyon. where do they come to president nixon's museum and they have this connection. it's like amazing. i what i you know, most of the docents here will test to that that people find it a very warm friendly beautiful place and i was born and raised chicago and president nixon. i have to tell you right off the bat the the thing that i can remember immensely is how he made me feel safe as a teenager. my father was a chicago police officer. so the fact that in chicago and the late 50s or early 60s, it was really a tough time. so i remember sitting on the floor with a black and white tv and just seeing president nixon's voice coming across. you know, he gave the message of of keeping america safe and now that i moved to california, it was just a blessing in disguise that i could be part of such a
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historical moment of of being here at president nixon's museum. it's truly an honor and i appreciate the opportunity to share this with the viewers and i hope through this method that they know that the 37th president united states of america has a magnificent museum. there can be a connection to anybody who comes to visit because president nixon was so global. before the internet you can watch american artifacts and other american history tv programs anytime by visiting our website cspan dot org slash history. here american history tv is on
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social media follow us at c-spanhistory. each week american history tvs reel america brings you archival films that provide context for today's public affairs issues. in august 1957 levittown pennsylvania attracted international attention. when violence erupted as william myers jr. and his family moved into the
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three bedroom house at daffodil and deep green lanes. it almost all respects. the myers family is close to the levittown, norm. up three small children the youngest only one month old myers served for two and a half years in the army and was discharged as a staff sergeant. he works as a laboratory technician and the studying for a degree as an electrical engineer. his wife daisy is a college graduate. the myers home is modestly furnished and their late model family car was bought on time. they're very close to the levittown norm except in one respect. william myers, jr. and his family are negroes in an all white community. levittown reacted in a number of ways to the new arrivals there were several hundred who congregated on the street in front of the myers house. and there were those among them
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who felt strongly enough to throw a rock through the picture wounded. but there was another a large group who were repelled by this kind of behavior and organized to help levittown accept its first negro neighbors. did you select levittown to live we were looking for a place to buy a home? we looked at levittown and we like the homes here. we like the advantages at levittown seem to offer in comparison to other cities. and we understood that it was going to be all white. we were very happy to buy a home here. how about your children? have you talked with them about the myers we have tried to keep the discussions away from the children. i figure i feel that it's something that we adults should solve without bringing the children into it any more than we have to we're doing it for the children, but i don't feel that they are old enough to understand the problem as it is. do you think a negro family moving here will affect the community as a whole?
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definitely in what way i think that well the property values will immediate look go down if they are allowed to move here in any number. can you give a basis for that judgment? yes, we used to live in washington dc and we saw a very good example of that there. the repetition of an experience that was distasteful. is there to be no escape from living near negroes? and what if the dream of middle-class respectability? if a negro family can afford what you can afford. how do you justify your feeling of superiority? the illogic of one's own position becomes apparent and in self-justification the old tribal myths are invoked. what other objections aside from the effect on property values do you have against the mars? the whole thing centers around the word integration. well, almost mr. meyers said
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because his home has been anything but peaceful since he moved in. he's got three children. and evidently he feels that they will be accepted socially. and i don't feel that they ever will be. but the whole trouble with this integration business is that in the end it probably will end up with with mixing socially. and you will have well, i think their aim is mixed marriages and becoming equal with a whites. next philip zelikow talks about his book the road less traveled the secret battle to end the great war 1916 1917. it examines a five-month period during which the united states united kingdom and germany attempted to negotiate a peaceful end to world war. i almost two years before germany would sign in armistice agreement the wilson center hosted this event and provided
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the video and about one hour 30 minutes historical interpreter bill barker talks from mr. jefferson's porch on the subject of education and mr. jefferson's views of lifelong learning and creating an educated citizenry capable of self-government in about two hours 10 minutes. we'll see mr. barker welcome and abigail adams interpreter for a candid conversation. afternoon and welcome to the woodrow wilson international center for scholars woodrow wilson then and now series featuring philip zelikow of the university of virginia and his book the road less traveled the secret battle to end the great war in 1916 to 1917. the woodrow wilson international center for scholars, aims to unite the world of ideas to the world of policy by supporting preeminent scholarship and linking that scholarship to issues of concern to officials in washington. congress established the center in 1968 as the official national
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