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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 13, 2009 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT

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he died had four different states. he had his american the state, which he left with jefferson, that he wanted him to use to buy in freese layed spidey also had an estate in poland which he left with his sister and his sister's children and said, i want you to take that land. you can have that land under the condition that you free the serfs and they are no longer slaves in poland. then the money that kosciuszko was given by bizarre in london, he never touch that money because he felt that was blood money, so in the end he wrote a will giving some of it to a friend and some of it to what one of zeltner's daughter's. he also had money in paris and switzerland and he said that money saved common use in give it to peasants in switzerland who are going to carry me to my grave.
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[inaudible] was he given last rites by the catholic church in poland, considering his differences with the church end poland is so catholic. >> he was given last rites. in the end he was 71 and he was riding a horse and he fell off the horse and was injured. they brought them back to the room where he was staying. he was given last rites before he died. he ended up dying of a stroke. ..
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that's it. thank you very much. [applause] >> alex storozynski is the executive editor and president of the foundation. he was formerly contributing editor to the new york sun and was an editorial board member at the new york daily news. for more information, visit
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kristin downey former staff writer for "the washington post" recalls the life of frances perkins, fdr's secretary of labor and first female cabinet secretary. during her tenure frances perkins was responsible for promoting public works and implement projects which included the mandating of the 40 hour work week, the creation of social security and child labor laws. the event hosted by the library of congress in washington, d.c. is just under one hour. >> i'm so pleased to be here today. i love the library of congress. i spent many hours doing research, and i have made some very fine and amazing finds. often people are very interested in the big collections libraries have but at the library of congress it sometimes was the less known collections that
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proved so fruitful and i will mention one thing because i don't want to forget and i have got other things we are going to be talking about in the collection of an obscure new yorker named john king sperry stored away in boxes in the outer suburbs of maryland the library of congress staff kind we kept bringing back to me i found a yellowing paper hand written in pencil with kings. describing how teddy roosevelt is perkins to head the committee on safety after the trinkle short ways fire. i frances perkins ties to roosevelt went far back but that tied her closely to teddy roosevelt and was even a big surprise to the scholars that learned about it after i found it and discuss it with them. let me start by asking you all a question. how many of you have heard of
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the frances perkins and know who she is? wow, that's great. first of all, this is wonderful. i have got a great audience. and i also have a fairly rare audience in that most people in america have no idea who frances perkins ase, and i know that myself because when i started on this road i didn't know who she was either. i came from a family that didn't care much for roosevelt and i kept stumbling across her name again and again over the years and finally it was almost like a doorbell that kept ringing and i had to answer it. let me -- one of the things i feel is important is that it's almost a difficulty to even say all the things frances perkins state, and i would like to start with a short reading, and it's just two pages.
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i won't drag it out too long but they are important pages because they will give you a sense of the breadth of the things that she did and then i'm going to tell a few other things and then i would like to turn the talk over to how she did it. how this woman accomplished so much. when i started out on this book i thought that she was probably one of the most important american women in american history and by the time i was done with the research and began writing i had come to the point she was probably one of the most important progressives in american history and that her sex was just a coincidence were a fact in her life. but let me start by giving a sense of some of the breadth of the things she did. >> on a chilly february night in 1933 a middle-aged woman waited to meet with her employer on east 56th streets of new york city. she clutched a scrap of paper with hastily written notes and
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finally ushered into the study the nervous brushed aside her nervousness and spoke confidently. they bantered casually as well as their style then she turned serious. her dark eyes holding his gaze. he wanted her to take an assignment but she decided she wouldn't accept unless he allowed her to let her own way. she held a piece of paper and he motioned for her to continue. she tipped off the items. authority hour work week, minimum wage, workers' compensation, unemployment compensation, federal law banning child labor, direct federal aid for unemployment, social security, revitalize public employment service and health insurance. she watched his office to make sure he was paying attention and understood the implications of each demand. she braced for his response often a man he chose political expediency over idealism and was
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capable of callousness even cruelty. the scope of her list was breathtaking. she was proposing a fundamental restructuring of american society with enactment of historic, social and welfare walls, to succeed she would have to overcome opposition from the courts, business, labor unions, conservatives. nothing like this has been done before in the united states, you know that, don't you? the man set across from her in a wheel chair and soon he would head to washington, d.c. to be sworn in as the 32nd president of the united states. he would inherit the worst economic crisis in the nation's history. an era of rampant speculation had come to an end. the stock market collapsed, investments aimless. people were stripped of their lifetime savings. about one-third of workers were unemployed, wages or falling, tens of thousands were homeless. real-estate prices had plummeted
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and millions of homeowners faced foreclosure. his choice of labor secretary would be one of his most important early decisions. his nominee must understand economic and employment issues that be equally effective as a coalition builder. he was a handsome man with aquiline features and he studied the plame woman before him. no one was more qualified for the job. she knew as much about the labor law as anyone in the country. he had known her more than 20 years. the last in albany where she worked at his side. he trusted her and never knew that she would betray him. but placing a woman in the secretary's job expose him to criticism and ridicule. her list of proposals would stir heated opposition even among loyal supporters. the eight hour day was a standard plank of the socialist party. on implant insurance seemed improbable. direct aid to the unemployment would camp in his -- threaten
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his pledge. it was a job she prepared for all her life. she changed her name, appearance, even her age to make herself more effective labor advocate. she studied helm and fink said they could better succeed in a man's world. she had spent decades building alliances, still, she told the president-elect she needed more time to make her decision. the next day she visited her husband, the patient in a sanitarium. he was having a good day and understood when she told him about the job offer. his first impulse was to ferc for himself asking how this job might affect him. when she assured him he could remain where he was and her weekend visits would continue, he gave his permission. that night in bed, a woman cried in deep waling sobs that frightened her teenage daughter. she knew the job would change her life forever. she would open herself to constant media scrutiny, harsh
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judgment from her peers and criticism for doing a job no woman had ever done before. yet she knew she must accept the offer. as her grandmother told you, when every door opens to you you have no choice but to walk through. the next day she called franklin roosevelt and accepted the offer. frances perkins would become the nation's first female secretary of labor. well, we know what happened. the social security act passed in 1935 and a deep loss of unemployment insurance, social security and the welfare system which became aid to dependent children originally designed to help the children of mothers who were left to care for their children alone. these were mostly widows at the time. the fair labor standards act passed in 1938 set authority hour work week to prevent
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workers from becoming broken from exhaustion. it set a minimum wage to make sure they receive at least a minimum level of compensation. there was a ban on child labor and they created the concept of overtime pay and which workers who are asked to work longer hours can receive higher pay for doing so. but that isn't all she did. she was a major supporter of the fha insurance, which has provided housing over the years to millions of american families. she was a primary architect of the civilian conservation corps which became one of the most popular early programs of the roosevelt administration, universally popular, almost universally popular. [laughter] and she was the largest single supporter of the works progress administration which led to vast expansion of public works projects, highways, tunnels, schools, and art projects all
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across the country that provided a lot of the basic infrastructure on which our country expanded its economy dramatically in the 50's and gave people enough money to feed themselves until the economy recovered on its own. it really is an extraordinary list of accomplishments and that isn't all. the immigration department was then part of the labor department, so frances perkins also played an international role in the 1930's as the world move towards a global war, and she had -- she was a proponent of bringing refugees laws she could and interpreted in ways she could and in consequence, hundreds of thousands of people actually made it to safety in the united states before much of the world went up in flames.
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national health insurance, it never passed. there was too much opposition from american medical association. whose members said they would kill social security if that is always needed to prevent socialized medicine. fdr backed off the national health insurance to save social security. frances perkins achieved almost all of her agenda. she became the most successful social progress of an american history. how did that happen? >> over the years it's been very difficult to get progress of legislation passed in the united states like the kind they have in europe. there are many obstacles. frances perkins was one of these people from a very young age found a path through obstacles and a way to get things done. coming here as i first came to washington, d.c. in 1988 as a reporter for "the washington post" and i didn't know who frances perkins was myself and i
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took a tour of the sites of d.c. and one of the things that stuck in my mind is this huge labor department building named after frances perkins and i thought there are not that many government buildings named after women so i sort of stored away in my mind and in a little while as we continue in the trip along the mall tour bus driver said he had a joke and it was one american woman had the worst child birth experience? a long pause, frances perkins. she spent 12 years in labor. [laughter] this is how much the tourists new and were informed about what frances perkins has done and you can only imagine how many people were collecting social security checks, maybe the and free time to be on the tour bus because they were collecting on employment and had no idea who had allowed for the creation of
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those benefits. one of the things that makes frances perkins extraordinary is the time she was born and she did this at that particular time, she was born in 1880 in a time of great transformation. she was descended from revolutionary war patriots and always considered herself a the way older and was proud of her new england heritage. her stoicism and strength in the face of adversity that turned out to be enormously valuable when she got to washington. she grew up middle class. by the time she was born the industrial revolution was in full swing. the gap between rich and poor was growing larger and larger, and a huge surge of immigration changes the country. it wasn't really that great of the time to be a woman. women didn't have the right to vote in fact frances perkins was 40-years-old before she had the
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right to vote. when she went to college only 3% of american woman got college educations so it is extraordinary that she had the self-confidence to take on things that she did. fact people were even afraid of when getting higher education fearful they would become intellectuals and injured themselves. [laughter] after she frances perkins went to work at very hall which is a woman's college in lake forest. the rules were rigid. even the teachers work required to live on campus and their lives are circumscribed like the students pushing managed to get over the house where she became a close ally of jane addams and the whole house women and became a very big advocate of the house movement. she learned a lot and learn a lot from them but also learned a lot about. they were very effective raising
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consciousness and making people aware of problems but they didn't have a lot of success in implementing legislation that could change some of those problems and provide solutions. she began to think early now in her mid-20s that she needed to bring in new ways to solve some of these problems and one of the first things that she did is began to change who she was herself. she wasn't born frances perkins. she was born frannie perkins. it would have been hard for frannie to become secretary of labor. [laughter] and in fact for the rest of her life when someone wanted to make fun of her they would start to call her fanny but she began to call herself frances perkins and people wondered why. she never said why she chose that name. some people thought she loved monogrammed linens and wanted her initials the same, that might have been part of it.
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it was also a gender neutral name that allowed her to be not so obviously a woman at a time being a woman was such a handicap. she changed her religion. she had been raised as a congregational list in lake forest she changed to episcopalian as some. she was devout, truly devout and religion is a defining commissioner goodell. you can do what you want to do with michael vick, but it's a matter of if goodell will get him get on the field. >> coming up, how easily can luis castillo and the mets put last night's blunder in the bronx behind them? we have the latest from new york with scores and also an update on the situation there between the yankees and the mets and, of course. >> and west coast coverage, why peavy will not be p
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>> the eyes of the world will be on south africa next june. right now, it's the opening match of the fifa confederation cup. u.s.a.-italy, live monday at 2:25 eastern on espn.
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>> it's a great job for a lot of reasons. one reason, you gets to talk baseball with guys like buster olney. he will be on "baseball tonight" late ir. there's a lot going on for a saturday in june, specifically with one of the biggest names in baseball out up to three months, jake peavy. what does that mean for the padres and their cy younger? >> unless he has a miracle recovery, it will kill the trademark the for them. the padres wanted to move his contract, but let's face it, we're 50 days away until the trade deadline. he will not get healthy before that trade deadline enough so that any team would be willing to take a risk on his contract at this point, would be willing to give up prospects. so the padres will have to hope that he pitches well enough at the end of the year so he can re-establish his trade value so they can deal him in the wintertime. this is in keeping with what you are hearing from g.m.s. they don't think it will be a robust trade period because teams are not willing to take
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on money. even if jake peavy had been healthy, they hey have had a tough time trying to find a team to take him. roy halladay had to leave after three innings with a sore groin. what are you hearing? >> it's a mild groin injury. if they miss halladay at all, it's goes to hurt them. he's a hard worker. had a streak of goodness and in and wanted to participate in something better. frances perkins began at an early age to cultivate tammany hall. she becomes close friends with robert wagner who initially showed little interest in workplace legislation and the person so close to him they called him his twin, al smith. frances perkins is involved in
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helping both of those men advance their career. she orchestrates hearings on factory conditions where the men began to shine. robert wagner becomes a very important u.s. senator from, shapes labour legislation for decades to come. al smith becomit surprise you that he did that? having gotten to know mark, i would have been surprised if he didn't. when he was courting teixeira, cashman flew to washington, stayed at the ritz-carlton and met with teixeira for eight hours. he was blown away by his baseball i. q. and his preparation. everything that he does on a day-to-day basis has been in preparation for that day's game, so it did not surprise brian at all that he did the right thing on that play. >> one of his old teams, the
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texas rangers, taking the best team in the a.l., the dodgers. they won 6-0, shutting out one of the best offenses. is it time to start believing in texas? >> i think it has been for about a month. with the rangers, it will be a fragile equation, as with the jays, because they will have to overcome injuries, matt harrison and mccarthy. that's the question about texas. can they get enough starting pitching to hold off the angels. the good thing for the rangers, the teams chasing them have major issues. the athletics have had a tough time scoring runs. the angels sent down kendrick. sosa talking about shaking up their team as well. the thing about the rangers that you like, their defense has been more consistent than in the past. they also have had their success this year despite the fact that they haven't hit as well as they normally do. josh hamilton's missed some time. some other guys have struggled. certainly they had hoped for more out of jason davis at
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first base. so, absolutely, you look at the rangers, can they win this division? yes. >> buster olney, we're out of time. see you on "baseball tonight" on espn at 7:00 pacific and 9:00 pacific. we want to give love to the west coasters. >> east to west, it's a play you cannot see enough. >> absolutely not. >> how easily can castillo and bathroom more than ever? all: you're not alone. waking up a lot at night to go? stopping and starting? feeling that urgency? all: you're not alone. announcer: lots of guys get urinary symptoms due to bph...also called an enlarged prostate. and for many of these guys, prescription flomax reduces their urinary symptoms due to bph in one week. only your doctor can tell if you have bph, not a more serious condition like prostate cancer. avoid driving or hazardous tasks for 12 hours after your first dose or increase in dose, a sudden drop in blood pressure may occur,
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