American Conversations with the Archivist of the United States

A Chronology of Freedom: A Talk with Lynne Cheney

Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein talks with author Lynne Cheney about the way Americans have come to perceive their past.

Her recent book, A Time for Freedom: What Happened When in America, is an extension of her longstanding interest in the education of young people in American history.

(American Conversation recorded Wednesday, November 30, 2005.)


00:00:12:00 00:00:14:25 [Allen Weinstein] Ladies and gentlemen, good
evening,
00:00:14:26 00:00:17:13 welcome to the National Archives.
00:00:17:14 00:00:18:08 I'm Allen Weinstein, I'm the Archivist
00:00:18:09 00:00:21:05 of the United States, and welcome to the first
00:00:21:06 00:00:23:00 of our American Conversations.
00:00:23:01 00:00:26:19 They keynote speaker on this evening will be
00:00:26:20 00:00:28:15 Lynne Cheney.
00:00:28:16 00:00:30:27 Dr. Cheney is a distinguished historian,
00:00:30:28 00:00:32:21 and as you well know, the second lady
00:00:32:22 00:00:35:14 of the land, the wife of the Vice President.
00:00:35:15 00:00:36:20 We are delighted to have her here,
00:00:36:21 00:00:38:21 but I have one request to make of all of you.
00:00:38:22 00:00:41:15 Would you please, please, please, please,
00:00:41:16 00:00:45:06 please turn off your cell phones,
00:00:45:07 00:00:47:11 your pagers, anything else you have
00:00:47:12 00:00:48:28 that turns on, turn it off,
00:00:48:29 00:00:50:09 [laughter]
00:00:50:10 00:00:51:10 and we'll proceed.
00:00:51:11 00:00:52:27 If you can do that, we'll get started.
00:00:52:28 00:00:54:07 Thank you very much, and we'll be starting
00:00:54:08 00:01:02:03 in just a minute.
00:01:02:04 00:01:05:27 [low audio]
00:01:05:28 00:01:07:00 [Female Speaker #1] All right, so we're ready to
go?
00:01:07:01 00:01:08:04 [Allen Weinstein] Ready to go.
00:01:08:05 00:01:09:12 [Female Speaker #1] All right, here we go.
00:01:09:13 00:01:10:16 [low audio]
00:01:10:17 00:01:17:29 [applause]
00:01:18:00 00:01:18:21
00:01:18:22 00:01:23:08 [Lynne Cheney] Thank you.
00:01:23:09 00:01:28:00 [Allen Weinstein] Dr. Lynne Cheney, University of
Wisconsin?
00:01:28:01 00:01:29:09 I guess so.
00:01:29:10 00:01:31:02 [Lynne Cheney] My PhD was from Wisconsin.
00:01:31:03 00:01:32:27 [Allen Weinstein] Okay, good, good.
00:01:32:28 00:01:35:12 Chairman of the National Endowment for the
Humanities
00:01:35:13 00:01:41:02 from 1986 to 1993, the author of nine books?
00:01:41:03 00:01:42:06 [Lynne Cheney] Some of them were co-authored.
00:01:42:07 00:01:44:10 Dick and I wrote one together called,
00:01:44:11 00:01:45:27 "Kings of the Hill," about the House
00:01:45:28 00:01:47:09 of Representatives.
00:01:47:10 00:01:48:27 [Allen Weinstein] I was an early reader of that
one.
00:01:48:28 00:01:50:14 [Lynne Cheney] Is that right? Good.
00:01:50:15 00:01:51:17 [Allen Weinstein] In manuscript.
00:01:51:18 00:01:52:12 [Lynne Cheney] That's right.
00:01:52:13 00:01:53:07 Well thank you for that.
00:01:53:08 00:01:54:13 [Allen Weinstein] You're welcome.
00:01:54:14 00:01:56:12 [Lynne Cheney] Allen and I have known each other
for quite a long time.
00:01:56:13 00:01:57:29 We don't want to say how long, exactly.
00:01:58:00 00:01:59:14 [Allen Weinstein] Don't ask.
00:01:59:15 00:02:01:20 But Dr. Cheney's latest book is "A Time Freedom:
00:02:01:21 00:02:05:00 What Happened and When in America."
00:02:05:01 00:02:07:21 And we're going to talk about that and about
history
00:02:07:22 00:02:09:09 and about many other things tonight.
00:02:09:10 00:02:11:27 She, I must mention, one of the things
00:02:11:28 00:02:15:24 of her long and very distinguished career,
00:02:15:25 00:02:17:28 she has two grown daughters, three granddaughters
--
00:02:17:29 00:02:19:09 three granddaughters or more, now?
00:02:19:10 00:02:20:21 [Lynne Cheney] Three granddaughters and a
grandson.
00:02:20:22 00:02:22:06 [Allen Weinstein] And a grandson.
00:02:22:07 00:02:24:07 We who have only one, have an envy of people
00:02:24:08 00:02:25:08 who have more than one.
00:02:25:09 00:02:27:03 So, welcome.
00:02:27:04 00:02:35:06 [Lynne Cheney] Thank you.
00:02:35:07 00:02:36:29 [Allen Weinstein] So I don't know American
history.
00:02:37:00 00:02:37:21 [Lynne Cheney] Right.
00:02:37:22 00:02:38:16 [Allen Weinstein] So what?
00:02:38:17 00:02:39:25 What different does it make?
00:02:39:26 00:02:42:10 [Lynne Cheney] Oh, okay, this is a hypothetical.
00:02:42:11 00:02:46:19 [Allen Weinstein] It's equal time.
00:02:46:20 00:02:49:07 [Lynne Cheney] I often say, and I think this is
true,
00:02:49:08 00:02:52:06 that if you don't know the story of the country
00:02:52:07 00:02:55:24 and how it evolved and how it came to be what we
are,
00:02:55:25 00:02:58:10 you really don't understand how fortunate we are to
live
00:02:58:11 00:03:00:24 in America, and to be free.
00:03:00:25 00:03:02:22 There are so many points in our history,
00:03:02:23 00:03:04:27 as you well know, where things might have
00:03:04:28 00:03:07:26 gone another direction, where, at the beginning
00:03:07:27 00:03:10:22 for example, had we not had a great leader
00:03:10:23 00:03:13:21 like Washington, the revolutionary effort
00:03:13:22 00:03:16:26 might well not have succeeded, and one of the
stories
00:03:16:27 00:03:21:13 I've been most fascinated with is the Delaware
crossing.
00:03:21:14 00:03:24:12 The country was in a pretty sorry state
00:03:24:13 00:03:26:18 at that moment.
00:03:26:19 00:03:29:12 We had declared our independence from Britain,
00:03:29:13 00:03:32:17 but the British had just pounded us.
00:03:32:18 00:03:34:07 They had defeated us in New York,
00:03:34:08 00:03:38:04 driven us out of New York, driven us across New
Jersey.
00:03:38:05 00:03:45:16 Washington, his men ill clad, many of them had no
jackets,
00:03:45:17 00:03:47:23 many had lost their shoes, their shoes had worn
out,
00:03:47:24 00:03:51:03 they were marching with rags around their feet.
00:03:51:04 00:03:52:09 He crossed the Delaware in Pennsylvania,
00:03:52:10 00:03:56:29 where they basically collapsed without tents,
00:03:57:00 00:03:59:22 without blankets, and he did the most
00:03:59:23 00:04:00:27 amazing thing.
00:04:00:28 00:04:03:21 Under those adverse circumstances,
00:04:03:22 00:04:06:28 he decided that the best course was to attack.
00:04:06:29 00:04:11:01 So he crossed the Delaware again with his pitiful
band,
00:04:11:02 00:04:14:14 there were a couple thousand of them actually.
00:04:14:15 00:04:17:13 It was a stormy night, ice was gathering in the
river.
00:04:17:14 00:04:18:17 They did make is across.
00:04:18:18 00:04:21:04 He defeated the hetians at Trenton,
00:04:21:05 00:04:23:16 went on to defeat the British at Princeton,
00:04:23:17 00:04:27:16 and while the rest of the war was not easy,
00:04:27:17 00:04:28:25 while there were many setbacks,
00:04:28:26 00:04:32:14 he had essentially changed the tide of battle,
00:04:32:15 00:04:33:23 and he'd given Americans hope.
00:04:33:24 00:04:37:06 He'd given them the idea that they could win.
00:04:37:07 00:04:39:04 It's stories like that that I think help
00:04:39:05 00:04:42:03 us to understand how things might well be very
different
00:04:42:04 00:04:44:27 from the way they are, and I think we don't
appreciate
00:04:44:28 00:04:47:07 how fortunate we are to be Americans and to live
00:04:47:08 00:04:51:20 in the country we do, unless we understand the
tale,
00:04:51:21 00:04:54:08 the very exciting tale of how we came to be who we
are.
00:04:54:09 00:04:55:15 [Allen Weinstein] Indeed, indeed.
00:04:55:16 00:04:58:00 I have a question for you, but before the question,
00:04:58:01 00:05:00:03 in this building are the four pages,
00:05:00:04 00:05:02:04 the original parchment pages of the US Constitution
--
00:05:02:05 00:05:03:13 [Lynne Cheney] That's so exciting.
00:05:03:14 00:05:06:07 [Allen Weinstein] -- and not enough people know
00:05:06:08 00:05:08:19 that half of that -- two of those pages
00:05:08:20 00:05:09:23 deal with article I, the powers of Congress.
00:05:09:24 00:05:11:24 Why is that?
00:05:11:25 00:05:13:14 Well, obviously, because Congress was
00:05:13:15 00:05:14:24 the most influential branch at that time,
00:05:14:25 00:05:16:12 but the powers of the Presidency,
00:05:16:13 00:05:18:13 a much smaller section of the third page,
00:05:18:14 00:05:19:22 but it would have been even smaller had it not
00:05:19:23 00:05:20:28 been for Washington.
00:05:20:29 00:05:22:13 So my question to you, having nothing to do
00:05:22:14 00:05:27:02 with what I just said, is you're writing children's
00:05:27:03 00:05:29:20 American -- books for young people on American
history.
00:05:29:21 00:05:31:27 You can't call anyone a child anymore,
00:05:31:28 00:05:33:23 [inaudible] but young people.
00:05:33:24 00:05:36:00 What's the difference between writing history
00:05:36:01 00:05:36:27 for young people and writing history
00:05:36:28 00:05:40:19 for grownups?
00:05:40:20 00:05:43:04 [Lynne Cheney] Well, actually this book is more of
a family book.
00:05:43:05 00:05:45:03 This is a book that, you know,
00:05:45:04 00:05:46:12 I've used myself.
00:05:46:13 00:05:50:09 It's a great book to sit around the dining room
table with,
00:05:50:10 00:05:51:26 and say, " Well let's find out
00:05:51:27 00:05:53:05 what happened the year you were born.
00:05:53:06 00:05:55:26 Let's find out what happened the year I was born.
00:05:55:27 00:05:58:25 Let's look and see where our ancestors are in this
book."
00:05:58:26 00:06:02:06 And my ancestors are about 1710 in this book,
00:06:02:07 00:06:06:06 where indentured servants from Germany began to
come over.
00:06:06:07 00:06:08:24 People who came over who paid for their passage
00:06:08:25 00:06:12:10 by indenturing themselves to people who could
afford
00:06:12:11 00:06:16:10 to hire them in indentured servitude once they were
here,
00:06:16:11 00:06:18:28 so it's written more for families.
00:06:18:29 00:06:21:07 The difference is vocabulary.
00:06:21:08 00:06:22:08 You know, when I wrote this book,
00:06:22:09 00:06:24:12 I knew that it would be a family book,
00:06:24:13 00:06:27:00 and so I didn't worry about using a long word,
00:06:27:01 00:06:29:18 or a word that might seem exotic to a child.
00:06:29:19 00:06:32:03 I do worry about that more when I write for
children,
00:06:32:04 00:06:36:20 and I try to keep the language at a more basic
level.
00:06:36:21 00:06:37:15 [Allen Weinstein] [inaudible] beautiful --
00:06:37:16 00:06:39:27 [Lynne Cheney] But the concepts, I think are not
different,
00:06:39:28 00:06:41:18 and the other thing that's not different is I am
00:06:41:19 00:06:45:00 as careful in writing the children's books as I
have
00:06:45:01 00:06:47:13 ever been writing anything scholarly.
00:06:47:14 00:06:50:18 I think, you know, even little kids deserve
00:06:50:19 00:06:53:11 to have our history, our story presented to them
00:06:53:12 00:06:54:18 in as accurate a way as possible.
00:06:54:19 00:06:56:22 [Allen Weinstein] So what began your interest in
history?
00:06:56:23 00:06:57:17 Where did it start?
00:06:57:18 00:06:58:12 Why?
00:06:58:13 00:07:01:04 [Lynne Cheney] You know I'm just not sure of that.
00:07:01:05 00:07:02:19 I think if I had known better, I probably would
have been
00:07:02:20 00:07:04:01 a history major.
00:07:04:02 00:07:05:18 I grew up in a small town in Wyoming,
00:07:05:19 00:07:06:27 and I don't think I ever understood
00:07:06:28 00:07:08:03 that was a possibility.
00:07:08:04 00:07:10:24 I knew about English, you know,
00:07:10:25 00:07:13:18 so I majored in English, but my PhD is in
00:07:13:19 00:07:16:00 19th century British literature.
00:07:16:01 00:07:17:09 I think that, you know,
00:07:17:10 00:07:19:19 I sort of took a historical direction,
00:07:19:20 00:07:23:16 even absent the real conviction that one could
major in history,
00:07:23:17 00:07:25:28 but I've had this passion for a very long time.
00:07:25:29 00:07:28:22 [Allen Weinstein] How did you choose the episodes
in this latest book?
00:07:28:23 00:07:30:12 What was the criteria?
00:07:30:13 00:07:32:22 [Lynne Cheney] That's very subjective.
00:07:32:23 00:07:34:29 This is a book that -- Simon & Schuster
00:07:35:00 00:07:37:28 is my publisher, and we talked about his,
00:07:37:29 00:07:39:07 and I said, " Sure, I'll do that,
00:07:39:08 00:07:40:27 that sounds easy.
00:07:40:28 00:07:42:17 I can do that in a couple of months."
00:07:42:18 00:07:44:19 Well, it was not a couple of months,
00:07:44:20 00:07:46:11 it was much longer.
00:07:46:12 00:07:49:11 I was working long hours.
00:07:49:12 00:07:50:25 I think Dick thought I'd lost my mind.
00:07:50:26 00:07:52:13 You know, what was I undertaking this
00:07:52:14 00:07:56:04 great and heroic effort for right after the
campaign?
00:07:56:05 00:07:58:19 Why not take a little bit of a break.
00:07:58:20 00:08:01:23 But it was very rewarding to do,
00:08:01:24 00:08:05:01 and as I work through it, it just seemed to me
00:08:05:02 00:08:08:05 there are some incidents and episodes that stand
out
00:08:08:06 00:08:09:20 that we all should know about.
00:08:09:21 00:08:12:02 Perhaps we don't have to know the exact date and
who
00:08:12:03 00:08:16:13 the actors were, but there are also places
00:08:16:14 00:08:18:28 in American history where there are just
00:08:18:29 00:08:20:19 quirky facts that are so much fun,
00:08:20:20 00:08:22:17 and so interesting, and I learned things.
00:08:22:18 00:08:25:16 I didn't know -- I hate to confess ignorance,
00:08:25:17 00:08:28:24 but I didn't know until I wrote this book that not
all
00:08:28:25 00:08:30:20 the pilgrims were pilgrims.
00:08:30:21 00:08:35:03 Well, they were all pilgrims, but there were
saints,
00:08:35:04 00:08:39:17 as the people who wanted to separate from the
Church
00:08:39:18 00:08:41:18 of England called themselves, and there were
strangers
00:08:41:19 00:08:44:15 as people who came with the saints,
00:08:44:16 00:08:46:19 but who really had no interest in church matters,
00:08:46:20 00:08:48:28 or at least in separating themselves from the
church
00:08:48:29 00:08:50:27 were called.
00:08:50:28 00:08:54:02 And only about half the people on the Mayflower
were saints,
00:08:54:03 00:08:55:27 were the separatists which is very interesting.
00:08:55:28 00:08:58:24 [Allen Weinstein] That percentage was decreased in
subsequent sailings.
00:08:58:25 00:09:00:27 [Lynne Cheney] Is that right?
00:09:00:28 00:09:01:28 [Allen Weinstein] Fewer saints, more sinners.
00:09:01:29 00:09:02:28 [Lynne Cheney] I see.
00:09:02:29 00:09:04:21 [laughs]
00:09:04:22 00:09:05:25 [Allen Weinstein] But you know, we all have --
00:09:05:26 00:09:08:16 those of us who become historians normally have
00:09:08:17 00:09:11:15 some episodes in our background that are very,
00:09:11:16 00:09:14:14 very special, where the world outside
00:09:14:15 00:09:17:24 of our lives suddenly impinges on the world inside
00:09:17:25 00:09:20:12 of our small world, whatever that is.
00:09:20:13 00:09:22:05 In my case, my first such episode
00:09:22:06 00:09:24:01 was the death of Franklin Roosevelt,
00:09:24:02 00:09:26:18 at eight years old in 1945, I didn't know we could
00:09:26:19 00:09:28:03 have another president, so I was very puzzled
00:09:28:04 00:09:30:23 until I could find someone to talk to about that.
00:09:30:24 00:09:32:13 I thought the president was dead, well that --
00:09:32:14 00:09:33:14 [Lynne Cheney] That's the end of that.
00:09:33:15 00:09:34:23 [Allen Weinstein] That's the end of that.
00:09:34:24 00:09:37:17 I think most Americans felt that way
00:09:37:18 00:09:39:15 when John F. Kennedy was assassinated,
00:09:39:16 00:09:41:28 and subsequent events of that kind.
00:09:41:29 00:09:43:24 What are those events in your life?
00:09:43:25 00:09:47:18 [Lynne Cheney] Well, the first President I ever
saw as Harry Truman,
00:09:47:19 00:09:49:13 and as I said, I grew up in a small town
00:09:49:14 00:09:51:20 in Wyoming, and he came to Wyoming
00:09:51:21 00:09:54:28 to dedicate a dam, but before he went out
00:09:54:29 00:09:57:10 to the countryside where the dam was located,
00:09:57:11 00:09:59:21 he stopped in Casper, where I grew up,
00:09:59:22 00:10:02:08 and made a speech at the local high school,
00:10:02:09 00:10:03:28 and I didn't have a ticket to the speech.
00:10:03:29 00:10:06:22 My family was not influential enough to,
00:10:06:23 00:10:07:28 you know, get into the high school,
00:10:07:29 00:10:10:16 but we did have a friend who had a house
00:10:10:17 00:10:12:12 right on the route he took to the high school,
00:10:12:13 00:10:15:14 so I sat with my friend Linda Bowman on her front
porch,
00:10:15:15 00:10:18:02 and we waived as he passed by, and I thought it was
00:10:18:03 00:10:20:25 such an amazing thing to see a President in the
flesh.
00:10:20:26 00:10:23:02 [Allen Weinstein] Was there an event in your life
where suddenly the world
00:10:23:03 00:10:25:09 outside suddenly seemed very close and very --
00:10:25:10 00:10:26:18 what was the first such event of that kind?
00:10:26:19 00:10:28:05 [Lynne Cheney] You know, that's such a serious
question,
00:10:28:06 00:10:31:08 but I have a funny story I have to share.
00:10:31:09 00:10:31:21 [Allen Weinstein] Good.
00:10:31:22 00:10:33:14 [Lynne Cheney] And I've got to think of the year
here.
00:10:33:15 00:10:40:29 It must have been 1948, and I was a great fan of
radio.
00:10:41:00 00:10:43:28 Of course we had no television in 1948,
00:10:43:29 00:10:47:11 and one of my favorite programs was "Queen for a
Day."
00:10:47:12 00:10:49:21 Now, most of you here will never had heard of
00:10:49:22 00:10:51:13 "Queen for a Day," but anyone in my generation --
00:10:51:14 00:10:52:17 [Allen Weinstein] How many of you have heard of
"Queen for a Day?"
00:10:52:18 00:10:53:15 None of them.
00:10:53:16 00:10:54:21 [Lynne Cheney] All right. [laughter]
00:10:54:22 00:10:56:28 I mean, it was just a terrific program.
00:10:56:29 00:10:58:12 [Allen Weinstein] [inaudible] a "Queen for a Day"
audience.
00:10:58:13 00:10:59:08 [laughter]
00:10:59:09 00:11:01:05 [Lynne Cheney] They selected, as you who've heard
it know,
00:11:01:06 00:11:03:20 they would select people to be on this program
00:11:03:21 00:11:05:22 who wished for something, you know.
00:11:05:23 00:11:08:04 They might want to put their feet in the cement
00:11:08:05 00:11:10:14 at Grauman's Chinese Theater, or they might want a
new suit
00:11:10:15 00:11:14:17 for their mother-in-law, and then the crowd voted
00:11:14:18 00:11:17:07 who should get to be the queen.
00:11:17:08 00:11:18:13 Well, I was enchanted by this program.
00:11:18:14 00:11:20:01 I listened to it everyday.
00:11:20:02 00:11:23:14 And then in 1948, there were two conventions,
00:11:23:15 00:11:25:26 the Republican Convention and the Democratic
Convention,
00:11:25:27 00:11:28:03 and "Queen for a Day" went off the air,
00:11:28:04 00:11:31:02 and this was quite a trauma for me,
00:11:31:03 00:11:33:03 and maybe the first time politics seriously
interfered
00:11:33:04 00:11:33:29 with my life.
00:11:34:00 00:11:35:10 [laughter]
00:11:35:11 00:11:36:03 [Allen Weinstein] Right, well how many of you know
--
00:11:36:04 00:11:37:26 how many of you have heard of Grauman's Chinese
Theater?
00:11:37:27 00:11:39:10 Now let's really test -- look at that,
00:11:39:11 00:11:40:22 look at that.
00:11:40:23 00:11:43:15 It's a historian's audience, what can I tell you.
00:11:43:16 00:11:44:25 Let me try a little [unintelligible]
00:11:44:26 00:11:46:26 test with you.
00:11:46:27 00:11:51:04 I'll say something, tell me what comes to mind.
00:11:51:05 00:11:53:17 Favorite president.
00:11:53:18 00:11:54:23 Other than --
00:11:54:24 00:11:56:27 [Lynne Cheney] I can't say Washington or Lincoln?
00:11:56:28 00:11:57:22 Or I could?
00:11:57:23 00:11:59:06 [Allen Weinstein] You could.
00:11:59:07 00:12:00:23 [Lynne Cheney] You know, Washington and Lincoln
00:12:00:24 00:12:04:26 simply loom above everyone else, and if you go
beyond
00:12:04:27 00:12:09:01 Washington and Lincoln, I think I might choose
Polk.
00:12:09:02 00:12:10:26 [Allen Weinstein] The person you would most like
to have been
00:12:10:27 00:12:14:10 in American history other than Lynne Cheney.
00:12:14:11 00:12:15:22 [Lynne Cheney] Elizabeth Katie Stanton.
00:12:15:23 00:12:18:07 [Allen Weinstein] Really? Why?
00:12:18:08 00:12:23:24 [Lynne Cheney] She just had a wonderful,
productive life in many ways.
00:12:23:25 00:12:25:22 She had seven children, for one thing.
00:12:25:23 00:12:27:26 I'm a bit of a piker, I only have two.
00:12:27:27 00:12:33:28 But she really started the women's movement in 1848
00:12:33:29 00:12:37:14 with the convention at Seneca Falls.
00:12:37:15 00:12:39:29 She later took up with her friend Susan B. Anthony,
00:12:40:00 00:12:41:19 and the two of them changed the course of history.
00:12:41:20 00:12:44:15 When our Constitution was written,
00:12:44:16 00:12:49:27 everyone thinks immediately of the fact that it
allowed,
00:12:49:28 00:12:52:06 though it did not mention slavery,
00:12:52:07 00:12:54:16 and so people who were African American and
enslaved
00:12:54:17 00:12:58:16 were not free, but it's also the case
00:12:58:17 00:13:01:25 that women were not really recognized under the
law,
00:13:01:26 00:13:03:06 once they were married.
00:13:03:07 00:13:06:16 [Allen Weinstein] To say the least, say the least.
00:13:06:17 00:13:08:01 [Lynne Cheney] They couldn't go to school, they
couldn't go to college,
00:13:08:02 00:13:10:14 certainly, they couldn't own property once
00:13:10:15 00:13:11:09 they were married.
00:13:11:10 00:13:12:18 They couldn't participate in athletic events.
00:13:12:19 00:13:14:22 They certainly couldn't vote.
00:13:14:23 00:13:16:12 And they were -- once you were married,
00:13:16:13 00:13:18:19 you really disappeared, almost,
00:13:18:20 00:13:23:00 and Elizabeth Katie Stanton in 1848 began to put
00:13:23:01 00:13:27:25 into process a series of events that culminated in
the vote
00:13:27:26 00:13:29:20 for women in 1920.
00:13:29:21 00:13:31:13 it was a 70-year process.
00:13:31:14 00:13:34:24 Think how long that took, but she did it,
00:13:34:25 00:13:36:08 and at the same time, can you imagine
00:13:36:09 00:13:37:14 she had seven kids?
00:13:37:15 00:13:39:22 I just can't believe how she did everything she
did,
00:13:39:23 00:13:42:04 and she was a prolific writer, and a good one too.
00:13:42:05 00:13:45:11 [Allen Weinstein] Mr. Stanton was none too
helpful, either,
00:13:45:12 00:13:46:26 [inaudible] that's a long story.
00:13:46:27 00:13:48:00 [Lynne Cheney] It's interesting.
00:13:48:01 00:13:49:11 Mr. Stanton -- she got involved in
00:13:49:12 00:13:50:23 the women's movement because of
00:13:50:24 00:13:53:11 the anti-slavery movement, and so that may have
been one
00:13:53:12 00:13:54:12 of his big contributions.
00:13:54:13 00:13:56:04 He got her involved in the anti-slavery movement.
00:13:56:05 00:13:57:11 [Allen Weinstein] Worst American of all time.
00:13:57:12 00:13:59:04 [Lynne Cheney] The worst American of all time.
00:13:59:05 00:14:01:01 [Allen Weinstein] Right.
00:14:01:02 00:14:02:10 [Lynne Cheney] Oh gosh.
00:14:02:11 00:14:04:01 You know, I just think of one
00:14:04:02 00:14:07:08 of the assassins maybe, John Wilkes Booth,
00:14:07:09 00:14:08:20 Lee Harvey Oswald is sure right up there.
00:14:08:21 00:14:10:10 [Allen Weinstein] Sure enough.
00:14:10:11 00:14:12:17 A book you haven't written yet that you would like
to write.
00:14:12:18 00:14:14:15 [Lynne Cheney] I want to write a book about
growing up in Wyoming,
00:14:14:16 00:14:15:13 in a small town in Wyoming.
00:14:15:14 00:14:16:28 [Allen Weinstein] Okay.
00:14:16:29 00:14:19:05 Bipartisanship.
00:14:19:06 00:14:22:23 That's a ringer.
00:14:22:24 00:14:25:06 [Lynne Cheney] Sadly missing from our scene today.
00:14:25:07 00:14:28:05 [Allen Weinstein] Okay, fair enough.
00:14:28:06 00:14:29:25 Bloopers.
00:14:29:26 00:14:32:05 Worst -- giving examples, of your books,
00:14:32:06 00:14:34:23 the fact that young people know less American
history
00:14:34:24 00:14:35:23 today by and large than not.
00:14:35:24 00:14:36:18 [Lynne Cheney] Yeah.
00:14:36:19 00:14:37:16 [Allen Weinstein] What are your favorites?
00:14:37:17 00:14:39:01 [Lynne Cheney] Well, there's a professor.
00:14:39:02 00:14:41:05 Most of these are his examples,
00:14:41:06 00:14:43:12 or the ones I can think of are his.
00:14:43:13 00:14:45:10 He's in West Virginia, I believe,
00:14:45:11 00:14:47:23 and he's written a whole collection of things
00:14:47:24 00:14:51:25 that have appeared in student essays that he's
graded.
00:14:51:26 00:14:56:04 There's -- he graded one student essay
00:14:56:05 00:14:59:00 in which the student wrote about John F. Kennedy
00:14:59:01 00:15:00:22 and the Canadian Missile Crisis.
00:15:00:23 00:15:01:20 That's pretty good.
00:15:01:21 00:15:05:08 [laughter]
00:15:05:09 00:15:07:26 Suddenly, they've gone out of mind,
00:15:07:27 00:15:10:17 but I'll give you that one for my favorite.
00:15:10:18 00:15:12:19 [Allen Weinstein] Which of these would be your
favorites?
00:15:12:20 00:15:17:00 There was a Newsweek columnist many years ago
00:15:17:01 00:15:20:21 named Jamie O'Neill who wrote about his classroom
experiences,
00:15:20:22 00:15:23:06 and he came up with this.
00:15:23:07 00:15:26:05 He sampled -- he gave students a test --
00:15:26:06 00:15:27:23 Ralph Nader was a baseball player,
00:15:27:24 00:15:30:16 Charles Darwin invented gravity, J. Edgar Hoover
was
00:15:30:17 00:15:33:21 a 19th century president, Neil Simon wrote
00:15:33:22 00:15:35:25 "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest,"
00:15:35:26 00:15:39:04 "The Great Gatsby" was a magician in the 1930's,
00:15:39:05 00:15:40:21 Mark Twain invented the cotton gin,
00:15:40:22 00:15:42:03 Jefferson Davis was a guitar player
00:15:42:04 00:15:43:18 for the Jefferson Airplane,
00:15:43:19 00:15:45:14 [laughter]
00:15:45:15 00:15:49:19 but my very all time favorite was a fellow who was
a teacher
00:15:49:20 00:15:54:00 at St. Paul's School, whose name I'd better use,
00:15:54:01 00:15:56:15 because otherwise he'll sue us.
00:15:56:16 00:15:57:24 Richard Letter, " The World According
00:15:57:25 00:16:00:11 to Student Bloopers."
00:16:00:12 00:16:04:11 And what we get is this: " Delegates from the
original
00:16:04:12 00:16:07:07 13 states formed the contented congress."
00:16:07:08 00:16:08:28 [Lynne Cheney] That's good.
00:16:08:29 00:16:10:29 [Allen Weinstein] " Thomas Jefferson, a virgin,
00:16:11:00 00:16:13:00 and Benjamin Franklin were two singers
00:16:13:01 00:16:13:25 of the Declaration of Independence."
00:16:13:26 00:16:15:07 [laughter]
00:16:15:08 00:16:16:27 "Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his
clothes
00:16:16:28 00:16:18:26 in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm,
00:16:18:27 00:16:21:19 he invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards,
00:16:21:20 00:16:25:22 and declared a horse divided against itself cannot
stand.
00:16:25:23 00:16:28:15 Franklin died in 1790, and is still dead."
00:16:28:16 00:16:29:27 I'll give you one more and be done with it.
00:16:29:28 00:16:31:03 "George Washington married Martha Custis,
00:16:31:04 00:16:32:21 and in due time became the father of our country."
00:16:32:22 00:16:35:17 [laughter]
00:16:35:18 00:16:36:23 "Then the constitution of the United States
00:16:36:24 00:16:40:18 was adopted to secure domestic hostility,"
00:16:40:19 00:16:42:22 and finally about Abraham Lincoln,
00:16:42:23 00:16:44:29 "He became America's greatest precedent.
00:16:45:00 00:16:46:15 His mother died in infancy, and he was born in a
log cabin
00:16:46:16 00:16:48:00 which he built with his own hands."
00:16:48:01 00:16:49:00 [Lynne Cheney] That's good.
00:16:49:01 00:16:51:07 [laughter]
00:16:51:08 00:16:52:13 [Allen Weinstein] " Abraham Lincoln wrote the
Gettysburg Address while
00:16:52:14 00:16:53:22 traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back
00:16:53:23 00:16:55:04 of an envelope."
00:16:55:05 00:16:58:09 [laughter]
00:16:58:10 00:17:01:21 [Lynne Cheney] That's grammar. [laughs]
00:17:01:22 00:17:03:11 [Allen Weinstein] What do we do about all this?
00:17:03:12 00:17:05:01 [Lynne Cheney] Well, you know I've --
00:17:05:02 00:17:06:02 [Allen Weinstein] [unintelligible]
00:17:06:03 00:17:08:00 [Lynne Cheney] I've been worrying about it since I
was chairman
00:17:08:01 00:17:09:12 of the National Endowment for the Humanities,
00:17:09:13 00:17:11:19 and even before.
00:17:11:20 00:17:17:23 There are surveys that show that this kind of
humorous
00:17:17:24 00:17:20:22 situation is really quite profound,
00:17:20:23 00:17:22:26 and exists across the board.
00:17:22:27 00:17:25:09 The first survey that I remember was when
00:17:25:10 00:17:27:24 I was at the National Endowment for the Humanities,
00:17:27:25 00:17:29:11 and it showed that two thirds of the 17 year olds
00:17:29:12 00:17:32:16 in the country couldn't, on a multiple choice test,
00:17:32:17 00:17:34:23 pick out the 50-year block of time in which
00:17:34:24 00:17:37:25 the Civil War occurred, two thirds.
00:17:37:26 00:17:41:02 There were subsequent surveys, one of elite
colleges
00:17:41:03 00:17:45:02 and universities, seniors at places like
00:17:45:03 00:17:47:11 Yale and Princeton, who had not the slightest
00:17:47:12 00:17:54:11 concept of whether these words, " From each
according
00:17:54:12 00:17:57:07 to his ability, to each according to his need,"
00:17:57:08 00:17:58:10 they thought those words were from
00:17:58:11 00:17:59:22 the United States Constitution, and of course
they're
00:17:59:23 00:18:03:07 Karl Marx's words.
00:18:03:08 00:18:06:09 They thought that Ulysses S. Grant was a general
00:18:06:10 00:18:08:08 in the Revolutionary War.
00:18:08:09 00:18:13:03 So this kind of historical illiteracy is humorous,
00:18:13:04 00:18:16:24 but it's also a deep and prevailing fact.
00:18:16:25 00:18:20:29 I think great authors like David McCollough
00:18:21:00 00:18:25:10 go some way toward helping overcome the real lack
00:18:25:11 00:18:28:26 of knowledge we have by making history interesting.
00:18:28:27 00:18:32:12 I think all too many people, kids, especially even
00:18:32:13 00:18:34:27 on our schools even today, find history
00:18:34:28 00:18:35:28 their most boring subject.
00:18:35:29 00:18:37:18 If you ask them about history, they roll their
eyes,
00:18:37:19 00:18:40:00 and say, " Boring."
00:18:40:01 00:18:42:21 And I think really good writers are helping us
overcome that.
00:18:42:22 00:18:47:02 I've been reading H.W. Brand's book about Andrew
Jackson
00:18:47:03 00:18:50:02 just recently, it's a great read.
00:18:50:03 00:18:53:26 I've been trying to help by writing books for kids.
00:18:53:27 00:18:54:24 It's interesting to me.
00:18:54:25 00:18:58:26 I didn't know that there's a real paucity of books
00:18:58:27 00:19:03:14 on non-fiction subjects for children when I started
00:19:03:15 00:19:05:07 this process, but you know,
00:19:05:08 00:19:07:18 I think it's really good to present them history
00:19:07:19 00:19:09:10 in a way that's interesting that they can talk
about
00:19:09:11 00:19:10:08 with their parents.
00:19:10:09 00:19:12:17 [Allen Weinstein] Would you make history courses
required
00:19:12:18 00:19:13:26 in the schools?
00:19:13:27 00:19:16:12 American history --
00:19:16:13 00:19:17:21 [Lynne Cheney] Well, that would certainly be a
help.
00:19:17:22 00:19:20:09 They are required often in -- they are required
00:19:20:10 00:19:22:18 in grade school, and high school --
00:19:22:19 00:19:23:27 [Allen Weinstein] Longer than just civics courses
[unintelligible]
00:19:23:28 00:19:25:09 [Lynne Cheney] Well, that's a really good point.
00:19:25:10 00:19:28:17 At what point do we separate social studies from
history?
00:19:28:18 00:19:31:02 And in the lower grades, it particularly happens
00:19:31:03 00:19:34:04 that social studies takes over, so that instead of
getting
00:19:34:05 00:19:37:12 a chance to study history in a very pure way,
00:19:37:13 00:19:39:24 kids are studying, you know, how to write letters
00:19:39:25 00:19:42:23 to the city council, and worrying about ecology,
00:19:42:24 00:19:45:20 which is important, but it's not history.
00:19:45:21 00:19:47:04 Lots of other things, when they might be
00:19:47:05 00:19:49:03 studying history.
00:19:49:04 00:19:51:04 [Allen Weinstein] So you've written a history, and
this is in its own way
00:19:51:05 00:19:55:26 a history of the United States.
00:19:55:27 00:19:57:22 "Time for Freedom," and it is a family book,
00:19:57:23 00:20:00:03 it is more than a young person's book alone,
00:20:00:04 00:20:02:29 but is based upon a sense of American life
00:20:03:00 00:20:04:22 as a continual expansion of freedom.
00:20:04:23 00:20:05:17 [Lynne Cheney] Yes.
00:20:05:18 00:20:07:16 [Allen Weinstein] It's based upon the sense that
by and large
00:20:07:17 00:20:09:23 with all the detours, we've gone largely
00:20:09:24 00:20:11:13 in the right direction.
00:20:11:14 00:20:14:04 What do you say to critics who say,
00:20:14:05 00:20:17:06 "That's just half the story," that basically this
country
00:20:17:07 00:20:21:14 has displayed a history of oppression,
00:20:21:15 00:20:24:02 that basically the situation is much darker,
00:20:24:03 00:20:24:27 that we have to be totally candid,
00:20:24:28 00:20:26:27 we have to present that view of things.
00:20:26:28 00:20:28:27 What do you say to that?
00:20:28:28 00:20:30:27 [Lynne Cheney] Well, actually, this book was a
response
00:20:30:28 00:20:32:27 to that viewpoint.
00:20:32:28 00:20:34:25 I spent a lot of time worrying about what we teach
00:20:34:26 00:20:36:25 in our schools, and I discovered
00:20:36:26 00:20:40:15 that the book most often used to teach future
teachers
00:20:40:16 00:20:41:16 is Howard Zinn's " History of
00:20:41:17 00:20:42:17 the American People."
00:20:42:18 00:20:45:17 Now, this is really interesting for those of you
who
00:20:45:18 00:20:48:15 know that book, which presents a very dire
00:20:48:16 00:20:52:15 and dark picture of America.
00:20:52:16 00:20:55:19 His thesis is basically that we've made no progress
00:20:55:20 00:20:59:25 in this country at all, ever, that there's no
progress.
00:20:59:26 00:21:03:23 My idea of expanding freedom is simply not correct.
00:21:03:24 00:21:06:28 For example, he says that yes we ended
00:21:06:29 00:21:10:17 slavery, but we subsequently enslaved people
economically,
00:21:10:18 00:21:12:21 so that we were no better off.
00:21:12:22 00:21:15:09 I really wrote this book because I think the truth
00:21:15:10 00:21:18:22 is otherwise, and I don't think that
00:21:18:23 00:21:20:04 it's very hard to make the point.
00:21:20:05 00:21:23:25 You can tell the story, warts and all.
00:21:23:26 00:21:26:02 You know, slavery is in the book,
00:21:26:03 00:21:32:23 the fact that Indian populations were decimated is
in this book.
00:21:32:24 00:21:35:00 The fact that women were excluded for a long time
00:21:35:01 00:21:36:12 is in this book.
00:21:36:13 00:21:39:27 It's all here, but despite all of these
00:21:39:28 00:21:42:29 backward steps, sideways steps,
00:21:43:00 00:21:47:05 errors, grievous errors, we are the freest country
00:21:47:06 00:21:52:11 on the face of the earth, and our progress has been
00:21:52:12 00:21:53:25 toward more and more equality for more
00:21:53:26 00:21:55:27 and more of us.
00:21:55:28 00:21:57:08 [Allen Weinstein] We're certainly the most
self-corrective country
00:21:57:09 00:21:58:26 in the history of the world.
00:21:58:27 00:21:59:29 [Lynne Cheney] That's a good way to put it, too.
00:22:00:02 00:22:04:18 [Allen Weinstein] Our friend Pat Moynahan loved
that phrase,
00:22:04:19 00:22:06:08 and we are that, but at the same time,
00:22:06:09 00:22:10:13 what would you say to someone whose parents
00:22:10:14 00:22:12:14 had been born, or grandparents had been
00:22:12:15 00:22:14:10 born into slavery.
00:22:14:11 00:22:16:23 A woman whose grandmothers could not vote
00:22:16:24 00:22:17:20 or whose father could note vote.
00:22:17:21 00:22:20:17 It takes a long time, then.
00:22:20:18 00:22:22:18 And what -- part of Zinn's indictment,
00:22:22:19 00:22:24:08 as I understand it, and I haven't read
00:22:24:09 00:22:27:02 it in a few years, is the sheer duration
00:22:27:03 00:22:29:17 of the time it takes to get some of these things
dealt with.
00:22:29:18 00:22:33:03 70 years from the Seneca Falls Convention to
women's
00:22:33:04 00:22:34:04 right to vote.
00:22:34:05 00:22:36:08 [Lynne Cheney] Yes.
00:22:36:09 00:22:37:20 [Allen Weinstein] And how many years after that
until African Americans
00:22:37:21 00:22:38:17 in the south had a right to vote?
00:22:38:18 00:22:43:04 Another 50, basically.
00:22:43:05 00:22:46:17 How do people who are basically -- well,
00:22:46:18 00:22:48:29 whatever, centrist historians, I guess I'm part of
that
00:22:49:00 00:22:50:22 breed as well.
00:22:50:23 00:22:53:16 How do you address the complaints of more radical
00:22:53:17 00:22:56:04 critics about this process?
00:22:56:05 00:22:57:02 [Lynne Cheney] Well, you see, it's true.
00:22:57:03 00:22:59:06 It did take us too long.
00:22:59:07 00:23:03:27 But we did it, and it's hard --
00:23:03:28 00:23:08:25 human life is a -- human life is difficult.
00:23:08:26 00:23:13:03 Human life is fraught with difficulties and
problems,
00:23:13:04 00:23:15:27 and human beings find it hard to overcome them.
00:23:15:28 00:23:17:08 It should have been done faster, that's for sure.
00:23:17:09 00:23:19:01 It shouldn't have taken 70 years.
00:23:19:02 00:23:21:00 It shouldn't have taken Elizabeth Katie Stanton's
00:23:21:01 00:23:25:00 entire lifetime and beyond to achieve the vote for
women.
00:23:25:01 00:23:27:09 We tolerated slavery for too long,
00:23:27:10 00:23:30:28 and we tolerated inequality for too long after
that,
00:23:30:29 00:23:35:14 but we have made progress.
00:23:35:15 00:23:36:10 We have moved in the direction
00:23:36:11 00:23:37:16 of freedom, and it's hard to think of
00:23:37:17 00:23:39:14 another country we could cite on the face of the
globe
00:23:39:15 00:23:40:15 that has done as much.
00:23:40:16 00:23:41:24 [Allen Weinstein] Are we tolerating anything for
too long right now?
00:23:41:25 00:23:44:15 [Lynne Cheney] Probably.
00:23:44:16 00:23:47:03 I think one of the lessons that history teaches you
00:23:47:04 00:23:48:28 is that you don't understand your own time
00:23:48:29 00:23:51:14 as well as you should, or maybe you don't
00:23:51:15 00:23:53:18 understand your own time as well as you should
00:23:53:19 00:23:55:05 is not accurate.
00:23:55:06 00:23:56:20 I think it's very difficult to be historical about
00:23:56:21 00:23:59:08 the time you're living in, and it's one of the
things
00:23:59:09 00:24:00:22 that struck me again and again as I was writing
00:24:00:23 00:24:02:06 the timeline.
00:24:02:07 00:24:05:22 You know, you come across a year like 1968,
00:24:05:23 00:24:09:02 69, that era, where the country is totally
00:24:09:03 00:24:12:13 absorbed with Vietnam, where the Vietnam
demonstrations
00:24:12:14 00:24:16:18 are quite spectacular all across the country,
00:24:16:19 00:24:19:25 and at that time, the internet was invented.
00:24:19:26 00:24:21:18 Now, it's just amazing to think about that,
00:24:21:19 00:24:23:28 we all didn't know it.
00:24:23:29 00:24:26:19 You know, the most amazing event
00:24:26:20 00:24:28:07 of our lifetime was happening over here while our
attention
00:24:28:08 00:24:29:24 was somewhere else.
00:24:29:25 00:24:31:28 So I think it's very hard to be historical about
your
00:24:31:29 00:24:32:20 own time.
00:24:32:21 00:24:34:25 [Allen Weinstein] What would you say if the
moderator
00:24:34:26 00:24:37:29 of the program said that since Professor Zinn
00:24:38:00 00:24:41:04 has been criticized by his guest,
00:24:41:05 00:24:43:08 then he should offer Professor Zinn an opportunity
00:24:43:09 00:24:44:11 to come the program --
00:24:44:12 00:24:45:18 [Lynne Cheney] You should do that, I think that
would be great.
00:24:45:19 00:24:46:24 [Allen Weinstein] Okay.
00:24:46:25 00:24:47:19 [Lynne Cheney] You've got to be tough, though.
00:24:47:20 00:24:48:20 [Allen Weinstein] Well, I --
00:24:48:21 00:24:49:23 [Lynne Cheney] Tough as you are on me.
00:24:49:24 00:24:52:23 [Allen Weinstein] I'm not tough on you, I won't be
tough on him,
00:24:52:24 00:24:53:17 that's all.
00:24:53:18 00:24:54:26 We're all in this together.
00:24:54:27 00:24:56:03 You know, it's time for some questions
00:24:56:04 00:24:57:20 from the audience, so why don't we see
00:24:57:21 00:25:00:23 who'd like to -- do we have microphones set up,
00:25:00:24 00:25:05:27 or -- simply shouting. [low audio]
00:25:05:28 00:25:08:01 Well here's a gentleman over here who'd like
00:25:08:02 00:25:09:07 to ask a question. [unintelligible]
00:25:09:08 00:25:15:20 [low audio]
00:25:15:21 00:25:16:20 [Lynne Cheney] Well, --
00:25:16:21 00:25:18:24 [Allen Weinstein] Well, let me repeat the question
for those who didn't hear it.
00:25:18:25 00:25:20:20 The question was -- the questioner said that
00:25:20:21 00:25:23:19 James K. Polk is not normally mentioned in the same
breath
00:25:23:20 00:25:26:02 as President Washington or President Lincoln,
00:25:26:03 00:25:30:07 and yet Dr. Cheney had referred to him earlier,
00:25:30:08 00:25:32:20 allegedly in that connection.
00:25:32:21 00:25:34:10 [Lynne Cheney] Well, first of all, I think I'd put
all
00:25:34:11 00:25:36:28 of the founders in a separate category,
00:25:36:29 00:25:38:29 you know, Washington, Adams,
00:25:39:00 00:25:41:28 Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Quincy Adams
00:25:41:29 00:25:43:16 as well.
00:25:43:17 00:25:46:26 But then there's another level, and James K. Polk
is
00:25:46:27 00:25:49:05 truly admirable in my view, because he did
something
00:25:49:06 00:25:50:25 so extraordinary.
00:25:50:26 00:25:53:00 He said, " I'm going to be President
00:25:53:01 00:25:54:09 for four years, I'm going to accomplish
00:25:54:10 00:25:56:07 a set of things, and I'm going to go home."
00:25:56:08 00:25:58:25 And he did exactly that, and what he accomplished
00:25:58:26 00:26:00:09 is so spectacular.
00:26:00:10 00:26:03:11 He -- first of all, it was during his presidency
00:26:03:12 00:26:06:29 that the Mexican War occurred, and so vast
stretches of land
00:26:07:00 00:26:09:28 in the Southwest became part of the United States,
00:26:09:29 00:26:12:08 include -- California became part of the United
States.
00:26:12:09 00:26:14:09 When you say California, you don't just mean the
state
00:26:14:10 00:26:17:06 of California, you mean a vast territory
00:26:17:07 00:26:18:26 that includes, help me here Allen,
00:26:18:27 00:26:23:18 probably Nevada, California -- and then
00:26:23:19 00:26:25:00 Oregon territory.
00:26:25:01 00:26:26:23 That issue was settled with Britain,
00:26:26:24 00:26:29:16 so the whole entire western part of the United
States,
00:26:29:17 00:26:32:15 this great expansion of American territory.
00:26:32:16 00:26:34:11 [Allen Weinstein] Settled, it was settled all
right,
00:26:34:12 00:26:36:01 but it was settled by the Mexican War.
00:26:36:02 00:26:39:17 And I said what I would love to be at some point is
a fly
00:26:39:18 00:26:43:12 on the -- a fly on the wall when President Bush
00:26:43:13 00:26:46:08 and President Fox discuss the Mexican War.
00:26:46:09 00:26:47:14 [Lynne Cheney] Is that right?
00:26:47:15 00:26:49:13 [Allen Weinstein] Well, --
00:26:49:14 00:26:51:11 [Lynne Cheney] It looked quite different from the
Mexican perspective.
00:26:51:12 00:26:54:27 [Allen Weinstein] They lost half their country, we
gained it.
00:26:54:28 00:26:55:14 But there it is.
00:26:55:15 00:26:59:05 Next question.
00:26:59:06 00:27:00:22 Are there any other Polk fans in the audience?
00:27:00:23 00:27:01:22 [Lynne Cheney] Here comes some right here.
00:27:01:23 00:27:03:07 There you go.
00:27:03:08 00:27:09:22 [Allen Weinstein] All right. Here we are.
00:27:09:23 00:27:15:01 [Lynne Cheney] Oh, he's editing. [laughter]
00:27:15:02 00:27:16:18 [Allen Weinstein] If you had not chosen this
career,
00:27:16:19 00:27:20:01 what would you have done -- been doing instead?
00:27:20:02 00:27:22:00 [Lynne Cheney] I don't know.
00:27:22:01 00:27:24:26 I just think of myself now as a writer and a
historian,
00:27:24:27 00:27:27:03 and I can't imagine having done anything else.
00:27:27:04 00:27:30:05 I was a math major until my junior year in college,
00:27:30:06 00:27:32:09 but I don't know what I would have done with that.
00:27:32:10 00:27:34:05 Maybe statistical analysis of history,
00:27:34:06 00:27:35:11 do you suppose?
00:27:35:12 00:27:37:04 [Allen Weinstein] Why not?
00:27:37:05 00:27:39:05 Can you comment on the responsibility
00:27:39:06 00:27:40:17 of the historian to the American people?
00:27:40:18 00:27:42:27 What are the top three rules or guidelines
historians
00:27:42:28 00:27:44:09 should follow?
00:27:44:10 00:27:46:07 [Lynne Cheney] You know, to my way of thinking,
00:27:46:08 00:27:49:15 the top rule is be accurate.
00:27:49:16 00:27:52:19 You know, check your facts.
00:27:52:20 00:27:58:01 Tell it as accurately as you possibly can,
00:27:58:02 00:28:00:26 and I've been interested, in the last three
00:28:00:27 00:28:01:27 or four books I'd written, because the internet
00:28:01:28 00:28:05:07 has become such an amazing resource tool,
00:28:05:08 00:28:08:20 you can find all sorts of primary documents,
00:28:08:21 00:28:10:16 the American -- the Archives website
00:28:10:17 00:28:12:20 is quite wonderful.
00:28:12:21 00:28:14:27 Library of Congress's website is wonderful.
00:28:14:28 00:28:17:26 There are many terrific places to go for
information
00:28:17:27 00:28:20:06 where you can actually read the primary documents.
00:28:20:07 00:28:22:04 This is -- this is a whole new world,
00:28:22:05 00:28:25:20 and -- but it's also a little dangerous.
00:28:25:21 00:28:27:24 Wikipedia, for example.
00:28:27:25 00:28:30:04 Now, do you all know what Wikipedia is?
00:28:30:05 00:28:32:22 It looks so authoritative.
00:28:32:23 00:28:34:23 It sounds like an encyclopedia, and the theory
00:28:34:24 00:28:38:04 behind it is great, which is it's all done
00:28:38:05 00:28:39:21 by the people.
00:28:39:22 00:28:41:22 Somebody writes the entry, and then if somebody
else
00:28:41:23 00:28:44:16 doesn't like it they correct it, and the idea is
that all of
00:28:44:17 00:28:46:20 these minds coming together will produce something
00:28:46:21 00:28:48:24 that's accurate.
00:28:48:25 00:28:51:18 Well, I fell into the trap a couple of times.
00:28:51:19 00:28:54:14 There was one instance I remember when I was
writing
00:28:54:15 00:28:57:16 about the Berlin Wall, and according to Wikipedia,
00:28:57:17 00:28:59:18 the first person killed trying to cross the Berlin
Wall
00:28:59:19 00:29:02:04 was a man named Peter Fechter.
00:29:02:05 00:29:03:27 So that sounded right to me,
00:29:03:28 00:29:07:10 and then I checked a second source,
00:29:07:11 00:29:10:04 and well indeed a man named Peter Fechter had been
quite
00:29:10:05 00:29:14:17 infamously killed crossing the Berlin Wall.
00:29:14:18 00:29:17:20 He was shot in the back by East Berlin soldiers,
00:29:17:21 00:29:21:14 and the Americans couldn't go into the no man's
zone
00:29:21:15 00:29:23:12 to rescue him, so he bled to death
00:29:23:13 00:29:24:27 while people watched.
00:29:24:28 00:29:27:04 It was really quite awful, but he was not the first
00:29:27:05 00:29:28:16 by any means.
00:29:28:17 00:29:32:15 There is just this error that exists out there in
00:29:32:16 00:29:34:14 the virtual world that you have to be very careful
of.
00:29:34:15 00:29:36:14 [Allen Weinstein] If you were writing your own
critique,
00:29:36:15 00:29:38:15 Lynne, of your own historical writing,
00:29:38:16 00:29:41:12 are there areas that you would find yourself at
fault?
00:29:41:13 00:29:43:10 [Lynne Cheney] Well, in this book I think I
probably should have
00:29:43:11 00:29:45:23 spent more time on culture.
00:29:45:24 00:29:47:26 I think, like a lot of people,
00:29:47:27 00:29:51:02 I let political history dominate my thinking,
00:29:51:03 00:29:55:26 and America is a very rich country in terms of
00:29:55:27 00:29:58:06 poetry and art, and that's not in here,
00:29:58:07 00:30:00:10 and I would fault the book for that,
00:30:00:11 00:30:02:00 though you can't do everything, would be my excuse.
00:30:02:01 00:30:03:29 [Allen Weinstein] No, you can't.
00:30:04:00 00:30:05:00 One of our questioners from the audience wants
00:30:05:01 00:30:06:11 to know have you ever been before tonight to
00:30:06:12 00:30:08:10 the National Archives?
00:30:08:11 00:30:11:28 Did you come here as a tourist or a researcher?
00:30:11:29 00:30:17:05 [Lynne Cheney] I have come as a researcher,
looking at Civil War records.
00:30:17:06 00:30:22:14 My husband had a grandfather, great grandfather who
was
00:30:22:15 00:30:25:07 with the 21st Ohio, and we were here looking
00:30:25:08 00:30:27:03 at those records, and I of course have come
00:30:27:04 00:30:28:17 just to look at the Constitution,
00:30:28:18 00:30:31:14 and brought my grandchildren.
00:30:31:15 00:30:33:10 I've actually been to a pretty nice dinner here
00:30:33:11 00:30:35:28 once or twice, too.
00:30:35:29 00:30:37:12 [Allen Weinstein] How many of you, by the way,
00:30:37:13 00:30:39:22 I know Dr. Cheney has seen this, how many of you
have seen
00:30:39:23 00:30:42:02 the public vaults, arguably the best exhibit
00:30:42:03 00:30:45:06 on American History anywhere in the world,
00:30:45:07 00:30:48:11 which is just down the hall?
00:30:48:12 00:30:50:29 Shame on you. [laughter]
00:30:51:00 00:30:54:23 Next question -- can freedom be given
00:30:54:24 00:30:57:22 by those in power as animals, slaves, or colonies
00:30:57:23 00:31:00:20 are "Set free?" Or is true freedom only won
00:31:00:21 00:31:02:13 by struggle or individual effort?
00:31:02:14 00:31:03:11 Good question.
00:31:03:12 00:31:05:15 [Lynne Cheney] I didn't understand that part about
animals?
00:31:05:16 00:31:07:11 What?
00:31:07:12 00:31:09:07 [Allen Weinstein] Well, it says, " Can freedom be
given
00:31:09:08 00:31:12:23 by those in power as animals, slaves, or colonies
--"
00:31:12:24 00:31:15:03 setting free an animal.
00:31:15:04 00:31:18:07 "Or set free, or is true freedom only won
00:31:18:08 00:31:22:13 by struggle or individual effort?"
00:31:22:14 00:31:25:01 [Lynne Cheney] That's such a deep question.
00:31:25:02 00:31:28:11 It really goes to the nature of human beings.
00:31:28:12 00:31:30:09 I think -- let's just turn the subject
00:31:30:10 00:31:31:27 to Iraq for a minute.
00:31:31:28 00:31:34:12 I think it's a little bit of both, you know?
00:31:34:13 00:31:37:08 The Americans are helping the Iraqis to be free,
00:31:37:09 00:31:39:27 but the Iraqis are fighting for their freedom
00:31:39:28 00:31:43:07 themselves, and without that happening,
00:31:43:08 00:31:46:00 the country will not be able to be the kind of
democracy
00:31:46:01 00:31:48:27 that I'm convinced it will be.
00:31:48:28 00:31:51:01 You mentioned the Constitution a while ago.
00:31:51:02 00:31:53:11 You know, the Iraqis are having their first free
00:31:53:12 00:31:57:05 election under the Constitution on December 15th,
00:31:57:06 00:31:59:17 and I've been thinking this is a teaching
opportunity
00:31:59:18 00:32:02:21 we ought to have in our schools, to talk about what
that
00:32:02:22 00:32:05:01 Iraqi people are doing, talk about how we have
00:32:05:02 00:32:09:17 helped them do it, but how admirable they have been
00:32:09:18 00:32:11:13 to come out and vote in the numbers that they
00:32:11:14 00:32:17:00 have under the kind of threats that they faced,
00:32:17:01 00:32:20:13 and to talk about how our own country and our
00:32:20:14 00:32:22:23 constitutional government and our Constitution
00:32:22:24 00:32:24:02 has served as a model, not only for Iraq,
00:32:24:03 00:32:26:17 but for nations all around the world.
00:32:26:18 00:32:28:16 Such a teaching opportunity, I've been thinking
maybe
00:32:28:17 00:32:30:25 we should have -- you know how the Iraqis
00:32:30:26 00:32:34:22 when they vote, they all have purple fingers
00:32:34:23 00:32:37:02 -- that maybe we should have a purple ribbon
campaign,
00:32:37:03 00:32:38:05 and on December 15th, you know,
00:32:38:06 00:32:41:21 declare it a time of solidarity with the Iraqi
people,
00:32:41:22 00:32:43:28 and a time to look back at our own history
00:32:43:29 00:32:47:05 and understand how we came to be the nation we are.
00:32:47:06 00:32:52:00 [Allen Weinstein] These good people in the
audience are my witnesses
00:32:52:01 00:32:53:26 that Dr. Cheney opened the subject of Iraq.
00:32:53:27 00:32:59:27 Professor Weinstein did not. [laughter]
00:32:59:28 00:33:00:19 [Lynne Cheney] Well, it wouldn't be the first time
I was asked about it,
00:33:00:20 00:33:01:11 if you should ask.
00:33:01:12 00:33:03:12 [Allen Weinstein] Well, apparently not the first
time today,
00:33:03:13 00:33:05:22 either, but let me pursue that a bit.
00:33:05:23 00:33:09:11 Not so much for -- Iraq can be a teaching lesson
00:33:09:12 00:33:12:04 in a variety of ways, and if we project
00:33:12:05 00:33:17:19 into the hearts of those who disagree with us on
the war,
00:33:17:20 00:33:19:20 how do we keep the country together in the midst --
00:33:19:21 00:33:21:08 two questions, how do we keep the country
00:33:21:09 00:33:23:20 together in the midst of such a divisive --
00:33:23:21 00:33:26:14 what has become a divisive war, whatever the rights
and
00:33:26:15 00:33:29:13 the wrongs of it are, and I don't necessarily
00:33:29:14 00:33:31:11 find myself disagreeing hugely with you on that,
00:33:31:12 00:33:35:12 but secondly, how do we address our own
00:33:35:13 00:33:38:28 responsibilities for maintaining comity,
00:33:38:29 00:33:40:20 civility, communications?
00:33:40:21 00:33:42:05 [Lynne Cheney] Well, that's the key.
00:33:42:06 00:33:43:23 I think one thing that is really important --
00:33:43:24 00:33:45:04 [Allen Weinstein] Third part.
00:33:45:05 00:33:46:19 [Lynne Cheney] Oh. [laughter]
00:33:46:20 00:33:48:07 But I'll forget the first two, but go ahead.
00:33:48:08 00:33:51:28 [Allen Weinstein] The third part is why, given the
--
00:33:51:29 00:33:53:26 what you've just -- how do you account for
00:33:53:27 00:33:56:23 the apparent disassociation or at least
disaffection
00:33:56:24 00:33:59:08 of the American people, a majority of them,
00:33:59:09 00:34:01:08 from support of the war at this particular moment?
00:34:01:09 00:34:05:03 [Lynne Cheney] Well, I think that last question is
probably the most important,
00:34:05:04 00:34:09:25 and the -- well, that disaffection you talk
00:34:09:26 00:34:14:28 about depends -- the degree of it depends upon
00:34:14:29 00:34:16:29 the question that's asked in the poll that you look
at.
00:34:17:00 00:34:19:09 The majority of the American people do not think we
00:34:19:10 00:34:21:21 should cut and run in Iraq.
00:34:21:22 00:34:24:21 There's a new poll, I think 54% say that would be
00:34:24:22 00:34:26:05 absolutely a mistake.
00:34:26:06 00:34:28:06 So it depends upon what question you ask,
00:34:28:07 00:34:31:14 what support of response you get to that question.
00:34:31:15 00:34:35:11 I think that probably politicians who are the kind
00:34:35:12 00:34:40:03 of leaders we want aren't poll driven in any case.
00:34:40:04 00:34:43:13 I think that even if there were a poll that said
99%
00:34:43:14 00:34:47:13 of the people in the world thought we should leave
Iraq,
00:34:47:14 00:34:50:07 if the president thought it was the right thing to
do,
00:34:50:08 00:34:51:24 not just this president but any president,
00:34:51:25 00:34:55:27 should he find himself in that kind of situation,
00:34:55:28 00:34:58:09 should do what he thinks is right,
00:34:58:10 00:35:01:24 as opposed to being driven by the polls.
00:35:01:25 00:35:03:17 Your question about comity is such a good one,
00:35:03:18 00:35:05:27 though, because when Dick and I first came to
Washington,
00:35:05:28 00:35:09:21 it was very common for people to be friends across
the aisle,
00:35:09:22 00:35:12:03 and you could disagree violently,
00:35:12:04 00:35:15:02 but still be friends and honor one another.
00:35:15:03 00:35:17:23 And I've been struck in the debate about the war,
00:35:17:24 00:35:18:15 particularly in the last few months,
00:35:18:16 00:35:20:08 how that has disappeared.
00:35:20:09 00:35:21:26 You don't just assume that the other person
00:35:21:27 00:35:23:04 is honorable.
00:35:23:05 00:35:25:08 You assume if they disagree with you,
00:35:25:09 00:35:27:07 they must be dishonorable, and that is a great
loss.
00:35:27:08 00:35:29:00 [Allen Weinstein] On both sides, would you say?
00:35:29:01 00:35:33:05 [Lynne Cheney] Well, from my perspective it
doesn't look so two sided,
00:35:33:06 00:35:35:06 but I'll grant that from another perspective
00:35:35:07 00:35:36:21 it might.
00:35:36:22 00:35:40:29 [Allen Weinstein] Well, we had on this stage about
a month or two months ago
00:35:41:00 00:35:44:15 the Majority and the Minority Whips
00:35:44:16 00:35:46:11 in the House of Representatives, Steney Hoyer,
00:35:46:12 00:35:47:12 and Roy Blunt, both of whom are friends
00:35:47:13 00:35:48:29 of mine, both of whom I think
00:35:49:00 00:35:51:14 are friends of yours, and they presented one of
00:35:51:15 00:35:54:13 the most extraordinary hours of serious dialogue
and comity --
00:35:54:14 00:35:55:14 [Lynne Cheney] That's terrific.
00:35:55:15 00:35:56:12 [Allen Weinstein] that I have ever heard.
00:35:56:13 00:35:58:18 When they talked about the nature of governance
00:35:58:19 00:36:01:19 in the House of Representatives, and the Congress
generally,
00:36:01:20 00:36:02:28 the problems, the difficulties,
00:36:02:29 00:36:07:06 the complexities, and that seemed to me
00:36:07:07 00:36:10:00 almost a model for what one is looking for.
00:36:10:01 00:36:11:15 I couldn't agree -- and the President agrees
00:36:11:16 00:36:14:14 with you on that score as well, which is to say --
00:36:14:15 00:36:17:13 there's a line of F. Scott Fitzgerald's
00:36:17:14 00:36:21:10 that I've always valued.
00:36:21:11 00:36:22:11 He said that the test of a civilized intelligence
00:36:22:12 00:36:24:01 is the ability to keep two opposed ideas
00:36:24:02 00:36:25:10 in the mind simultaneously, and yet retain the
capacity
00:36:25:11 00:36:28:09 to function, and the fact of the matter is,
00:36:28:10 00:36:30:08 support for the war or opposition to the war
00:36:30:09 00:36:32:20 is one element of that, but the fact that
00:36:32:21 00:36:34:24 we're all involved in this conflict right now,
00:36:34:25 00:36:37:21 we hosted wounded war veterans from the Iraq war
00:36:37:22 00:36:41:06 at the Fourth of July celebration last year.
00:36:41:07 00:36:42:21 They read from the Declaration of Independence,
00:36:42:22 00:36:46:12 and 5,000 people in the crowd bawled like babies,
00:36:46:13 00:36:49:00 as I did, because this was -- no one asked whether
00:36:49:01 00:36:51:21 they were for the war or against the war.
00:36:51:22 00:36:55:07 I think there's enough -- I'm not sure I disagree
--
00:36:55:08 00:36:57:11 or I agree with you that things have proceeded
00:36:57:12 00:37:00:21 beyond control, because when you think
00:37:00:22 00:37:02:00 of the reaction to the Vietnam War,
00:37:02:01 00:37:03:17 and you think of the reaction to some earlier wars,
00:37:03:18 00:37:05:02 even World War I.
00:37:05:03 00:37:08:23 How many people did we jail in World War I
00:37:08:24 00:37:10:16 for just expressing opinions of one sort of
another.
00:37:10:17 00:37:11:11 We're not jailing people, by and large,
00:37:11:12 00:37:12:09 for expressing opinions anymore.
00:37:12:10 00:37:13:18 So things have improved.
00:37:13:19 00:37:16:22 I'm quoting the Cheney thesis, things have gotten
better.
00:37:16:23 00:37:20:01 But to the extent that this country cannot,
00:37:20:02 00:37:22:07 on both sides, cannot marshal the wagons
00:37:22:08 00:37:24:03 around in a circle, we'll be better off for it
00:37:24:04 00:37:25:06 [unintelligible]
00:37:25:07 00:37:26:24 [Lynne Cheney] But I would disagree with -- not
you,
00:37:26:25 00:37:29:20 but with F. Scott Fitzgerald about the essence
00:37:29:21 00:37:31:07 of high intelligence being able to hold two
opposing ideas
00:37:31:08 00:37:34:29 in your mind simultaneously.
00:37:35:00 00:37:37:16 I think that there are things that are right and
00:37:37:17 00:37:39:02 things that are wrong, and I think that staying
00:37:39:03 00:37:41:14 in Iraq is the right thing to do.
00:37:41:15 00:37:45:16 I don't see any basis for needing to say,
00:37:45:17 00:37:47:07 "Well maybe it is and maybe it isn't,"
00:37:47:08 00:37:49:02 because it is the right thing to do,
00:37:49:03 00:37:52:21 to stay in Iraq, to finish the course we're on.
00:37:52:22 00:37:55:15 Dick and I have been privileged to have wounded
veterans
00:37:55:16 00:38:00:19 to the Vice President's house, and I'm struck again
and again
00:38:00:20 00:38:03:23 by how some young person who's been grievously
wounded
00:38:03:24 00:38:07:06 will say that he or she wants to get better so he
can go back
00:38:07:07 00:38:11:14 and finish the job.
00:38:11:15 00:38:14:00 [Allen Weinstein] Well, I suppose I don't disagree
there,
00:38:14:01 00:38:17:07 but I would -- I guess hide behind
00:38:17:08 00:38:20:03 the President on this one, and the President has
been
00:38:20:04 00:38:21:21 eloquent in terms of indicating that from his point
of view,
00:38:21:22 00:38:23:11 he doesn't object to opponents of the war,
00:38:23:12 00:38:24:06 he doesn't object to --
00:38:24:07 00:38:25:24 [Lynne Cheney] Well, that's exactly right.
00:38:25:25 00:38:26:18 [Allen Weinstein] All right, he doesn't object
00:38:26:19 00:38:27:27 to people criticizing it --
00:38:27:28 00:38:30:04 [Lynne Cheney] No, and indeed my whole point
00:38:30:05 00:38:33:06 was that you should grant the other person
00:38:33:07 00:38:37:14 the idea that he or she is proceeding honestly,
00:38:37:15 00:38:40:00 and that has certainly been missing from much
00:38:40:01 00:38:41:25 of the rhetoric on the other side,
00:38:41:26 00:38:43:15 lately.
00:38:43:16 00:38:44:27 [Allen Weinstein] Sometimes, things are not
publicized well enough.
00:38:44:28 00:38:49:25 For example, the anniversary of the voting rights
act,
00:38:49:26 00:38:52:16 the 40th anniversary, which came earlier last year,
00:38:52:17 00:38:54:09 earlier this -- actually earlier this year,
00:38:54:10 00:38:56:02 passage of it.
00:38:56:03 00:38:57:25 The Attorney General of the United States,
00:38:57:26 00:39:00:09 a Republican, an appointee of this administration
00:39:00:10 00:39:03:17 showed up at the Lyndon Johnson Library,
00:39:03:18 00:39:06:21 the National Archives oversees the presidential
libraries,
00:39:06:22 00:39:08:11 to give the most eloquent speech imaginable
00:39:08:12 00:39:09:15 on that subject, praising Lyndon Johnson
00:39:09:16 00:39:12:05 for his courage in doing this at the time.
00:39:12:06 00:39:14:29 It was an amazing display of bipartisanship
00:39:15:00 00:39:17:28 and patriotism that this country can use more of in
my view.
00:39:17:29 00:39:19:27 [Lynne Cheney] Oh, you and I are not disagreeing.
00:39:19:28 00:39:21:17 [Allen Weinstein] He's -- the Attorney General is
coming here on
00:39:21:18 00:39:24:27 Bill of Rights day, on the 15th of December,
00:39:24:28 00:39:28:13 when we have a ceremony every year where we --
00:39:28:14 00:39:31:18 the Chief Judge of the US District Court
00:39:31:19 00:39:33:19 swears in new Americans.
00:39:33:20 00:39:35:20 We have a whole bunch of new Americans sworn in.
00:39:35:21 00:39:37:13 I'd like to know why that ceremony isn't going
00:39:37:14 00:39:38:17 around the world.
00:39:38:18 00:39:40:10 How many countries swear in new citizens every day?
00:39:40:11 00:39:41:22 [Lynne Cheney] Oh, that's a really good question.
00:39:41:23 00:39:44:07 How many countries -- in how many countries
00:39:44:08 00:39:48:26 is it possible to become a full citizen
00:39:48:27 00:39:51:06 by taking a short course of study and taking the
oath?
00:39:51:07 00:39:54:22 You know, Ronald Reagan used to
00:39:54:23 00:39:57:07 make the point that America is about ideas and
ideals,
00:39:57:08 00:40:00:20 that in some countries you can never become a full
citizen,
00:40:00:21 00:40:04:22 just by declaring your fealty to the ideas and
ideals
00:40:04:23 00:40:07:02 of that country.
00:40:07:03 00:40:10:04 [Allen Weinstein] Let me raise a few more
questions from the audience.
00:40:10:05 00:40:11:11 What advice do you have for an aspiring author?
00:40:11:12 00:40:13:29 I knew that one was coming.
00:40:14:00 00:40:17:03 [Lynne Cheney] You know, keep at it.
00:40:17:04 00:40:20:02 Anybody who has written, I suspect has received
00:40:20:03 00:40:23:27 rejection slips, and I'm certainly among them.
00:40:23:28 00:40:26:00 And maybe find out what you're best at.
00:40:26:01 00:40:28:24 It took me a long while to find out that
00:40:28:25 00:40:30:25 I'm really best at writing history.
00:40:30:26 00:40:34:00 [Allen Weinstein] Really?
00:40:34:01 00:40:38:08 In writing your chronology of US history,
00:40:38:09 00:40:38:26 did you decide not to include certain events or
persons?
00:40:38:27 00:40:39:26 If so, why?
00:40:39:27 00:40:42:19 [Lynne Cheney] Well, I can't think of anybody I
specifically left out.
00:40:42:20 00:40:48:26 You know, I'm sure I did,
00:40:48:27 00:40:51:25 but at the moment it doesn't occur to me,
00:40:51:26 00:40:55:11 because what I tried to do was pick
00:40:55:12 00:40:57:15 what was most important, not just in terms of the
time,
00:40:57:16 00:41:00:22 but in terms of what followed on.
00:41:00:23 00:41:02:15 [Allen Weinstein] Is the written word in jeopardy?
00:41:02:16 00:41:04:24 Is television supplanting the book?
00:41:04:25 00:41:06:20 Is this a bad thing?
00:41:06:21 00:41:07:07 [Lynne Cheney] You know, I'm not sure
00:41:07:08 00:41:08:07 if it's television.
00:41:08:08 00:41:11:04 It might be television, but the internet,
00:41:11:05 00:41:16:21 and communications over the internet, email.
00:41:16:22 00:41:20:05 You must think about this, because what kind of
00:41:20:06 00:41:22:00 archival records are you going to have when
everybody
00:41:22:01 00:41:23:09 is doing email?
00:41:23:10 00:41:25:16 [Allen Weinstein] Well, your White House is now
producing twice as many
00:41:25:17 00:41:28:01 or three times as many emails as the last White
House.
00:41:28:02 00:41:28:29 [Lynne Cheney] Is that right?
00:41:29:00 00:41:30:00 [Allen Weinstein] That's right, that's right,
00:41:30:01 00:41:32:12 and we are in the midst of developing an electronic
00:41:32:13 00:41:33:16 records archive.
00:41:33:17 00:41:36:04 We've just signed an agreement with a company
00:41:36:05 00:41:37:27 to work with us on this process.
00:41:37:28 00:41:40:01 It's been years in the making, and we hope that by
the end
00:41:40:02 00:41:40:26 of this administration,
00:41:40:27 00:41:42:08 there will be the beginnings of an answer to that
problem.
00:41:42:09 00:41:46:02 [Lynne Cheney] But there you have a system in
place for capturing it.
00:41:46:03 00:41:49:09 In the case of someone who's going to be,
00:41:49:10 00:41:54:02 say, President in 2032, what kind of record are we
00:41:54:03 00:41:56:06 going to have of that person's life,
00:41:56:07 00:42:02:20 up to the point where they become part of the
official area
00:42:02:21 00:42:03:29 that's captured by the National Archives?
00:42:04:00 00:42:05:13 I think it's going to be very little.
00:42:05:14 00:42:07:29 [Allen Weinstein] Since none of us write too many
letters anymore.
00:42:08:00 00:42:10:05 [Lynne Cheney] No, people don't write letters
anymore.
00:42:10:06 00:42:12:12 [Allen Weinstein] I quite agree.
00:42:12:13 00:42:13:05 This is an interesting one.
00:42:13:06 00:42:15:09 Is your interest in history limited to the US
borders?
00:42:15:10 00:42:17:21 If not, what other nations' histories interest you?
00:42:17:22 00:42:20:06 [Lynne Cheney] Mostly, I am interested in American
history,
00:42:20:07 00:42:22:13 I have to confess.
00:42:22:14 00:42:24:20 I have a daughter who is very interested
00:42:24:21 00:42:25:29 in the middle east who works at the State
Department
00:42:26:00 00:42:28:23 on the middle east desk, and through her,
00:42:28:24 00:42:33:04 I've learned to really appreciate and value
00:42:33:05 00:42:35:02 the cultures of that part of the world.
00:42:35:03 00:42:37:28 I went through a period where the history of Asia,
00:42:37:29 00:42:42:04 and Japan in particular was of great fascination,
00:42:42:05 00:42:44:16 but lately it's just been American history for me.
00:42:44:17 00:42:46:01 [Allen Weinstein] What are your favorite history
books,
00:42:46:02 00:42:49:11 and who are your favorite historians?
00:42:49:12 00:42:51:07 [Lynne Cheney] That's always a tough question,
because it tends
00:42:51:08 00:42:54:15 to be the book I'm reading most recently,
00:42:54:16 00:42:58:01 and so I mentioned H.W. Brands' "Andrew Jackson."
00:42:58:02 00:43:02:08 That's terrific.
00:43:02:09 00:43:04:17 I'm also reading Thomas Fleming on Washington
00:43:04:18 00:43:06:21 at Valley Forge, and that's very good,
00:43:06:22 00:43:09:12 and I just finished Joseph Ellis, "His excellency,
00:43:09:13 00:43:10:29 George Washington."
00:43:11:00 00:43:12:06 So I guess I've been going through
00:43:12:07 00:43:14:05 a Washington phase here.
00:43:14:06 00:43:16:08 [Allen Weinstein] Or a Revolutionary period phase.
00:43:16:09 00:43:17:23 [Lynne Cheney] Maybe so, yeah.
00:43:17:24 00:43:19:05 [Allen Weinstein] Is your -- in your experience
00:43:19:06 00:43:21:12 as an author and historian, what period in American
history
00:43:21:13 00:43:23:02 deserves more coverage?
00:43:23:03 00:43:26:15 Very interesting point.
00:43:26:16 00:43:29:06 [Lynne Cheney] Well, I think the founding period.
00:43:29:07 00:43:31:18 It is just so remarkable, and when you think
00:43:31:19 00:43:38:03 about it and you try to understand how these
people,
00:43:38:04 00:43:40:27 these few people had such brilliance.
00:43:40:28 00:43:42:28 When you try to account for a James Madison,
00:43:42:29 00:43:46:22 you know growing up on a plantation in Virginia,
00:43:46:23 00:43:49:08 sort of a little bit of an outsider,
00:43:49:09 00:43:51:00 he was sick most of the time, so he didn't go
00:43:51:01 00:43:53:27 out and ride horses with everybody else,
00:43:53:28 00:43:56:12 read in his father's library, made friends
00:43:56:13 00:43:58:10 with Thomas Jefferson later in his life,
00:43:58:11 00:44:00:16 so he got more and more books to read.
00:44:00:17 00:44:02:23 Jefferson would sent him books from Europe.
00:44:02:24 00:44:04:22 He undertook this course of study that resulted
00:44:04:23 00:44:07:24 in the US Constitution, and it's just astonishing
when
00:44:07:25 00:44:10:17 you think about it.
00:44:10:18 00:44:12:13 [Allen Weinstein] May I respond to that earlier
question
00:44:12:14 00:44:13:19 of yours, you couldn't understand how
00:44:13:20 00:44:16:10 I could see both sides of the Fitzgerald quote?
00:44:16:11 00:44:17:28 [Lynne Cheney] You're still worrying about that,
huh?
00:44:17:29 00:44:20:18 [Allen Weinstein] I'm still chewing on it, that's
all.
00:44:20:19 00:44:22:20 We historians like to chew on things,
00:44:22:21 00:44:25:16 as you know.
00:44:25:17 00:44:27:14 The President of the United States has the
responsibility,
00:44:27:15 00:44:31:00 obviously, of protecting national security,
00:44:31:01 00:44:33:02 and in his judgment, the war was based upon
00:44:33:03 00:44:35:28 measured judgment of the need to go to war in order
to protect
00:44:35:29 00:44:38:05 American national security.
00:44:38:06 00:44:39:20 The President also has the responsibility of
defending
00:44:39:21 00:44:42:19 the constitution, in all of its provisions,
00:44:42:20 00:44:44:20 including all of those which guarantee the
individual
00:44:44:21 00:44:46:18 rights of Americans.
00:44:46:19 00:44:48:11 In every wartime situation that I'm aware of from
00:44:48:12 00:44:50:18 the time of Hammurabi up to the present,
00:44:50:19 00:44:52:28 those two rights, even in democracies,
00:44:52:29 00:44:54:24 are in jeopardy. [unintelligible]
00:44:54:25 00:44:56:28 [Lynne Cheney] Well, not in jeopardy, but in
tension.
00:44:56:29 00:44:57:29 [Allen Weinstein] But in tension, I meant to say
00:44:58:00 00:44:59:05 in tension.
00:44:59:06 00:45:02:06 Those two rights have to be balanced.
00:45:02:07 00:45:04:26 We did a -- candidly, a very lousy job
00:45:04:27 00:45:07:25 of balancing those rights in both the Revolution
00:45:07:26 00:45:09:19 and the Civil War.
00:45:09:20 00:45:11:14 [Lynne Cheney] When Lincoln suspended Habeas
Corpus.
00:45:11:15 00:45:13:27 [Allen Weinstein] Well, when the Tories were
driven out of this place,
00:45:13:28 00:45:17:10 and the patriots out of that place and so forth.
00:45:17:11 00:45:19:14 World War I was hardly any better.
00:45:19:15 00:45:20:26 World War II had the Japanese American internment,
00:45:20:27 00:45:23:22 it was better in some ways, but not too many.
00:45:23:23 00:45:27:02 The Vietnamese War, was in those terms,
00:45:27:03 00:45:30:02 marginally, I think better.
00:45:30:03 00:45:32:00 How would you see the situation today?
00:45:32:01 00:45:33:04 How would you see the President balancing
00:45:33:05 00:45:34:24 off those two?
00:45:34:25 00:45:36:28 Is he doing an effective job for [inaudible]
00:45:36:29 00:45:37:03 [Lynne Cheney]
00:45:37:04 00:45:38:01 Very carefully.
00:45:38:02 00:45:38:21 [Allen Weinstein] Okay.
00:45:38:22 00:45:40:08 That was my only point.
00:45:40:09 00:45:42:04 So I do think they're in balance.
00:45:42:05 00:45:46:18 Your appearance here is an indication of that.
00:45:46:19 00:45:48:22 Yes sir?
00:45:48:23 00:46:03:11 [low audio]
00:46:03:12 00:46:04:20 I'm not sure if you all heard that.
00:46:04:21 00:46:07:13 The gentleman is imagining a history tournament
amongst
00:46:07:14 00:46:10:29 the four individuals in 20th century history
00:46:11:00 00:46:13:09 that Dr. Cheney would find to be most important,
00:46:13:10 00:46:17:00 is that -- most important, and after that,
00:46:17:01 00:46:19:24 who would her winner be?
00:46:19:25 00:46:22:09 Or you don't need a winner, you just want to know
00:46:22:10 00:46:23:24 that top four.
00:46:23:25 00:46:25:00 This isn't Letterman, so we're not asking
00:46:25:01 00:46:26:09 for top ten, we just want four.
00:46:26:10 00:46:27:15 [laughter]
00:46:27:16 00:46:33:25 [low audio]
00:46:33:26 00:46:36:05 [Lynne Cheney] I can come up with a top three.
00:46:36:06 00:46:41:11 Roosevelt, Reagan, and Martin Luther King.
00:46:41:12 00:46:43:12 Who would I -- help me.
00:46:43:13 00:46:46:09 Who should I have had in there for that fourth
person?
00:46:46:10 00:46:49:24 [Allen Weinstein] Roosevelt -- what did you say?
00:46:49:25 00:46:51:00 [Lynne Cheney] Who?
00:46:51:01 00:46:53:02 Oh, I'm sorry, I was doing American history
00:46:53:03 00:46:54:16 [low audio]
00:46:54:17 00:47:00:14 [Allen Weinstein] [inaudible] American history
here. [low audio]
00:47:00:15 00:47:01:20 [Lynne Cheney] There we go, the American half
00:47:01:21 00:47:03:15 of Winston Churchill.
00:47:03:16 00:47:05:14 [Allen Weinstein] You may get an argument tonight
when you go home
00:47:05:15 00:47:06:17 on that listing of the three.
00:47:06:18 00:47:09:17 You've left out a Cheney.
00:47:09:18 00:47:11:01 [Lynne Cheney] Well, I did, that's true.
00:47:11:02 00:47:13:16 [Allen Weinstein] Okay, so present company
excluded.
00:47:13:17 00:47:16:07 [Lynne Cheney] I think Franklin Roosevelt towers
above,
00:47:16:08 00:47:19:23 and I think that Ronald Reagan towers above,
00:47:19:24 00:47:22:28 and it is hard to dispute the accomplishments
00:47:22:29 00:47:24:04 of Martin Luther King.
00:47:24:05 00:47:29:13 You mentioned that the King papers were --
00:47:29:14 00:47:33:21 [Allen Weinstein] Well, we're supporting all
efforts to make those --
00:47:33:22 00:47:35:06 [Lynne Cheney] Make those widely available.
00:47:35:07 00:47:36:04 [Allen Weinstein] Widely available.
00:47:36:05 00:47:39:06 [Lynne Cheney] That would be terrific.
00:47:39:07 00:47:41:18 [Allen Weinstein] Fourth -- that's an interesting
question.
00:47:41:19 00:47:42:18 Some people are shouting out names.
00:47:42:19 00:47:43:27 Shout out a few.
00:47:43:28 00:47:44:17 [Lynne Cheney] I didn't have a woman.
00:47:44:18 00:47:45:18 You know, who should I have picked?
00:47:45:19 00:47:47:19 [low audio] Well I'm sorry,
00:47:47:20 00:47:49:23 I thought we were doing 20th century,
00:47:49:24 00:47:52:09 that was my difficulty. [low audio]
00:47:52:10 00:47:57:20 But she was dead by then. [low audio]
00:47:57:21 00:48:01:02 Alice Paul -- do you know that
00:48:01:03 00:48:03:20 I actually interviewed Alice Paul.
00:48:03:21 00:48:07:17 She was very old, but she was living
00:48:07:18 00:48:09:05 in the house on Capitol Hill, the National Women's
00:48:09:06 00:48:11:28 Party's House.
00:48:11:29 00:48:15:03 She was very, very old,
00:48:15:04 00:48:17:04 and it was early 70's when the Equal Rights
Amendment
00:48:17:05 00:48:18:27 came up, and of course that had
00:48:18:28 00:48:20:17 been a cause of hers.
00:48:20:18 00:48:24:06 [Allen Weinstein] Well, I met Mrs. Roosevelt once,
and --
00:48:24:07 00:48:25:12 [Lynne Cheney] Mrs. Franklin?
00:48:25:13 00:48:28:10 [Allen Weinstein] Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
00:48:28:11 00:48:31:15 She was aged by then, and -- this is back
00:48:31:16 00:48:34:11 in the Precambrian era when I was very young.
00:48:34:12 00:48:38:08 It was 1960, and this was right after
00:48:38:09 00:48:40:26 her favorite granddaughter or grandniece had fallen
00:48:40:27 00:48:43:09 off a horse, and she was haggard,
00:48:43:10 00:48:46:05 she hadn't slept in days, apparently, and the
question
00:48:46:06 00:48:48:18 that came up in this group that I didn't belong to
00:48:48:19 00:48:52:23 as to whether she might have an interest in
postponing
00:48:52:24 00:48:57:15 an appearance she'd agreed to make politically,
00:48:57:16 00:48:58:13 and to give a speech, and she looked at me as if
00:48:58:14 00:49:00:22 I was the strangest creature in God's universe.
00:49:00:23 00:49:02:20 She had a public commitment to do it.
00:49:02:21 00:49:04:13 How on earth could she let private affairs
interfere
00:49:04:14 00:49:07:12 with that?
00:49:07:13 00:49:11:23 I was properly chastised, and slunk away,
00:49:11:24 00:49:13:22 but the fact is that I would add Eleanor Roosevelt.
00:49:13:23 00:49:17:10 My four would be Roosevelt, Reagan, Eleanor
Roosevelt,
00:49:17:11 00:49:21:08 and Martin Luther King, in no particular order,
00:49:21:09 00:49:23:09 for a variety of different reasons.
00:49:23:10 00:49:24:21 [low audio]
00:49:24:22 00:49:25:24 [Lynne Cheney] That's an idea.
00:49:25:25 00:49:30:28 [Allen Weinstein] Rosa Parks, well -- all right,
00:49:30:29 00:49:32:15 that's it.
00:49:32:16 00:49:36:11 [low audio]
00:49:36:12 00:49:38:24 Well, it's a little hard for people of my
00:49:38:25 00:49:40:28 ethnic background to vote for a known
00:49:40:29 00:49:43:02 anti-Semite, so I'll pass on Ford,
00:49:43:03 00:49:44:28 but in any event.
00:49:44:29 00:49:46:18 [Lynne Cheney] Who declared that history was bunk,
00:49:46:19 00:49:48:17 right?
00:49:48:18 00:49:50:10 [low audio]
00:49:50:11 00:49:51:16 [Allen Weinstein] Right.
00:49:51:17 00:49:53:06 Yes sir.
00:49:53:07 00:50:04:27 [low audio]
00:50:04:28 00:50:07:15 [Lynne Cheney] Well, Mark Twain should be in here.
00:50:07:16 00:50:09:08 Emily Dickinson should be in here.
00:50:09:09 00:50:10:09 You see, but I'm big on literature,
00:50:10:10 00:50:12:27 I'm not so good on the arts.
00:50:12:28 00:50:14:17 Walt Whitman, actually, is in here.
00:50:14:18 00:50:18:20 One of my favorite parts of this book is on page
100,
00:50:18:21 00:50:21:10 where Abraham Lincoln has been killed,
00:50:21:11 00:50:25:07 and Walt Whitman pens, " O Captain, My Captain,"
00:50:25:08 00:50:27:22 which is just, well it's so amazing.
00:50:27:23 00:50:29:07 It's --
00:50:29:08 00:50:30:19 [Allen Weinstein] Why don't you read it?
00:50:30:20 00:50:35:14 [Lynne Cheney] It's just wonderful.
00:50:35:15 00:50:37:18 But -- " O captain my Captain!
00:50:37:19 00:50:40:11 Our fearful trip is done, The ship has weathered
00:50:40:12 00:50:42:16 every rack, the prize we sought is won,
00:50:42:17 00:50:44:25 The port is near, the bells I hear,
00:50:44:26 00:50:48:00 the people all exulting, While follow eyes
00:50:48:01 00:50:50:12 the steady keel, the vessel grim
00:50:50:13 00:50:52:28 and daring; But O heart,
00:50:52:29 00:50:57:09 heart, heart! O the bleeding drops of red,
00:50:57:10 00:50:59:15 Where on the deck my Captain lies,
00:50:59:16 00:51:02:25 Fallen cold and dead."
00:51:02:26 00:51:05:16 Now Whitman -- I'm hard put to know
00:51:05:17 00:51:09:15 whether Whitman or Dickinson is our greatest poet,
00:51:09:16 00:51:14:08 but certainly they're both amazing gifts
00:51:14:09 00:51:16:20 to our cultural history.
00:51:16:21 00:51:20:00 As I say, Mark Twain should be in here,
00:51:20:01 00:51:22:12 and who would be the fourth one I would add?
00:51:22:13 00:51:25:03 So many to choose from.
00:51:25:04 00:51:26:09 Maybe Robert Frost.
00:51:26:10 00:51:29:03 I guess I do poets more than I do prose writers,
00:51:29:04 00:51:32:05 but Frost is -- Frost is irreplaceable
00:51:32:06 00:51:33:11 in history."
00:51:33:12 00:51:34:13 [Allen Weinstein] " [inaudible] the heart of man
00:51:34:14 00:51:35:21 is it ever less than a treason, to go with the
drift of things,
00:51:35:22 00:51:37:11 to yield with the grace to reason,
00:51:37:12 00:51:41:00 and accept the end of a love for a season."
00:51:41:01 00:51:41:25 It's in Frost somewhere, I don't --
00:51:41:26 00:51:42:26 I can't remember where.
00:51:42:27 00:51:43:29 [Lynne Cheney] Well that's Frost I haven't gotten
00:51:44:00 00:51:47:10 in my memory banks, so thank you.
00:51:47:11 00:51:48:15 [Allen Weinstein] The heart can think of no
devotion --
00:51:48:16 00:51:50:11 don't start me -- Frost is one of
00:51:50:12 00:51:53:02 my favorites, too.
00:51:53:03 00:51:53:22 Anyway, anything else?
00:51:53:23 00:51:55:09 Yes.
00:51:55:10 00:52:05:23 [low audio]
00:52:05:24 00:52:06:26 [Lynne Cheney] Oh, that's so good.
00:52:06:27 00:52:09:12 Well, first of all, require it.
00:52:09:13 00:52:12:25 I think that a good history course is a demanding
00:52:12:26 00:52:15:13 history course, and it's expecting a lot
00:52:15:14 00:52:18:21 of young people to take a demanding course
00:52:18:22 00:52:20:22 where they might not get, you know,
00:52:20:23 00:52:23:07 a good grade easily, if it's not required.
00:52:23:08 00:52:24:02 So require it.
00:52:24:03 00:52:25:22 Require American history.
00:52:25:23 00:52:27:01 This is, I think,
00:52:27:02 00:52:28:13 you know, the last I looked,
00:52:28:14 00:52:30:14 maybe 5% of the colleges and universities
00:52:30:15 00:52:32:27 in the United States require an American history
course.
00:52:32:28 00:52:34:14 I think, require it.
00:52:34:15 00:52:37:07 A larger percentage, maybe 10,
00:52:37:08 00:52:39:28 15% require a history course, but most require
00:52:39:29 00:52:42:02 no history at all.
00:52:42:03 00:52:45:27 So it seems to me that if we are convinced that
knowledge
00:52:45:28 00:52:49:01 of the past is important to understanding the
present
00:52:49:02 00:52:51:19 and shaping the future, the least we could do is
ask
00:52:51:20 00:52:55:25 our most educated young people to study it.
00:52:55:26 00:52:57:23 [Allen Weinstein] And what you've seen today,
unfortunately we've run out
00:52:57:24 00:53:00:19 of time, but what you've seen today,
00:53:00:20 00:53:02:23 this evening, on this stage is someone
00:53:02:24 00:53:04:27 who has moved from past to present and back
00:53:04:28 00:53:08:16 with extraordinary grace and elegance,
00:53:08:17 00:53:10:11 and one of the things one would like to see
00:53:10:12 00:53:11:20 in the universities more, I would like to see more
00:53:11:21 00:53:14:03 in universities, are people who have made
00:53:14:04 00:53:15:07 history going back into the universities to
00:53:15:08 00:53:17:05 share their experiences.
00:53:17:06 00:53:21:10 Whatever the spectrum of folks involved,
00:53:21:11 00:53:23:14 so it comes to have an immediacy,
00:53:23:15 00:53:25:18 a relevance, God help the word,
00:53:25:19 00:53:27:28 but there it is, that will attract more
00:53:27:29 00:53:32:26 people to the craft of history that both my guest,
00:53:32:27 00:53:35:02 Dr. Lynne Cheney and I, value so much.
00:53:35:03 00:53:36:06 Thank you very much for your
00:53:36:07 00:53:37:07 [inaudible]
00:53:37:08 00:53:38:02 [Lynne Cheney] Thank you.
00:53:38:03 00:53:39:05 It's been a pleasure to be here.
00:53:39:06 00:53:41:23 [applause]
00:53:41:24 00:53:46:26 Thank you.
00:53:46:27 00:53:50:12 [Allen Weinstein] [unintelligible] publicly,
00:53:50:13 00:53:52:03 Lynne, this is --
00:53:52:04 00:53:53:22 [Lynne Cheney] Oh, I get a certificate to take
away.
00:53:53:23 00:53:55:07 [Allen Weinstein] This is Sam Anthony, who is --
00:53:55:08 00:53:56:19 [Lynne Cheney] Did I pass, is that the --
00:53:56:20 00:53:57:28 [Allen Weinstein] Mr. Anthony is responsible for
the research
00:53:57:29 00:53:58:28 on all of this.
00:53:58:29 00:54:01:04 [Lynne Cheney] Thank you Mr. Anthony.
00:54:01:05 00:54:02:19 What is it?
00:54:02:20 00:54:06:02 [Allen Weinstein] This is the 1860 and 1870
census,
00:54:06:03 00:54:08:04 and they're apparently are people who are related
to you,
00:54:08:05 00:54:11:05 from the family of Charles Vincent.
00:54:11:06 00:54:13:12 [Lynne Cheney] In Utah.
00:54:13:13 00:54:16:20 [Allen Weinstein] And there's Charles Vincent and
his family in 1860.
00:54:16:21 00:54:17:26 [Lynne Cheney] Well, that's wonderful.
00:54:17:27 00:54:20:06 [Allen Weinstein] And there's Charles Vincent and
his family in 1870.
00:54:20:07 00:54:21:23 [Lynne Cheney] Could I just tell this crowd for
one minute
00:54:21:24 00:54:23:02 about Charles Vincent?
00:54:23:03 00:54:23:24 [Allen Weinstein] You can tell it for more than
one minute,
00:54:23:25 00:54:25:06 you --
00:54:25:07 00:54:26:16 [Lynne Cheney] Actually, I want to tell you about
his wife,
00:54:26:17 00:54:28:05 Katura. [spelled phonetically]
00:54:28:06 00:54:33:05 Katura was born in Carmarthenshire,
00:54:33:06 00:54:36:27 in Wales, and as a young woman in the 1850's,
00:54:36:28 00:54:38:22 she converted to Mormonism.
00:54:38:23 00:54:40:21 She was one of the early Mormon converts.
00:54:40:22 00:54:42:25 The Mormons, even before they were
00:54:42:26 00:54:43:29 well established in this country,
00:54:44:00 00:54:47:06 began to send missionaries to other countries.
00:54:47:07 00:54:51:14 So Katura converted, married a man who converted,
00:54:51:15 00:54:53:10 she's 23 years old, the two of them --
00:54:53:11 00:54:56:09 she'd never been out of Carmarthenshire.
00:54:56:10 00:54:58:27 They got on a ship, crossed the Atlantic
00:54:58:28 00:55:01:00 to New Orleans, got on a steamship
00:55:01:01 00:55:04:11 and headed up the Mississippi River,
00:55:04:12 00:55:08:01 got on another steamship to go up the Missouri,
00:55:08:02 00:55:10:00 and cholera struck.
00:55:10:01 00:55:12:21 Almost half the passengers on the boat died,
00:55:12:22 00:55:15:22 including her husband, and no one would let the
boat
00:55:15:23 00:55:17:15 go ashore, because they didn't want
00:55:17:16 00:55:20:23 all these cholera-ridden people ashore.
00:55:20:24 00:55:24:12 Finally, at Council Bluffs, the Mormon elders
talked
00:55:24:13 00:55:28:17 the Mormon community there into welcoming them
ashore.
00:55:28:18 00:55:32:11 Katura had a baby who died a few months later.
00:55:32:12 00:55:34:12 So here's this young woman, she's been transported
00:55:34:13 00:55:36:00 from Wales, she's in Council Bluffs,
00:55:36:01 00:55:40:19 Iowa, she's widowed, she's lost her child.
00:55:40:20 00:55:42:21 Four years later, she crosses with 900
00:55:42:22 00:55:46:01 other Mormons to Utah, where she meets and marries
00:55:46:02 00:55:51:18 Charles Vincent, and there their eldest son
00:55:51:19 00:55:53:25 was my great grandfather.
00:55:53:26 00:55:55:18 So, isn't that a wonderful story?
00:55:55:19 00:55:57:14 And I encourage everybody to learn as much as they
can
00:55:57:15 00:55:59:23 about their past, because of these really
00:55:59:24 00:56:01:26 heroic stories that all of us have.
00:56:01:27 00:56:02:27 [Allen Weinstein] And there's no better place to
do that,
00:56:02:28 00:56:04:01 I'm sure you would agree than the National Archives
00:56:04:02 00:56:05:07 [inaudible]
00:56:05:08 00:56:06:04 [Lynne Cheney] No place better.
00:56:06:05 00:56:07:00 And I will treasure this.
00:56:07:01 00:56:08:00 Thank you very much.
00:56:08:01 00:56:09:22 [applause]
00:56:09:23 00:56:10:28 That's really special.
00:56:10:29 00:56:11:21 Thank you.
00:56:11:22 00:56:16:03 [applause]
00:56:16:03 00:57:56:05

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