tv Elise Lemire Battle Green Vietnam CSPAN September 26, 2021 4:30am-5:36am EDT
♪ ♪ you could be a part of the national conversation by participating in c-span student competition. if you are a middle or high school student were to ask you to create a five -- six minute documentary that answers the question how does the federal government impact your life? you documentary must show opposing points of view on a program that affects you or your community using c-span video clips which are easy to find and access at c-span.org. c-span student can competition has $100,000 in total cash prizes. give a shot at when the grand prize of $5000. entries must be received before january 20, 2022. for competition rules or how to get started visit our website student cam.org. >> a greetings and welcome everyone. i am allison showing the
senior program officer here at the museum. i'm pleased to welcome you to today's form on her newest book the battle of vietnam the 1971 march on concorde lexington and boston. doctor lemaire is well known in concorde for her book slavery and its aftermath and concentration which brings to life the experiences of enslaved in black families in the 18th and 19th century as well as how it's the larger story of slavery throughout england. concorde has played a role during pivotal moments of our nation's history from the embattled farmers who fired the shot heard around the world, being the birthplace of american others were the 19th century spent two years, two months in two days living deliberately on the shore of walton pond. today doctor lemaire is showing another pivotal moment in our nation story that starts in concorde. on memorial day weekend covid
1971 more than 200 vietnam veterans march the battle road from the northbridge through lexington green before gathering on boston common were supporters and onlookers about 3000 people and all protested the war from which they had recently returned. doctor lanier tells extraordinary story of what became the largest in massachusetts history the perspective of six people who play a central role of the event. we are lucky enough to be jointly with one of the figures it was one of the organizers of the famous march and camped out in the field adjacent to the northbridge in concorde it was later arrested on lexington green. our moderator this evening is tom putnam the executive director of the concorde museum. as always we think everyone is tuned in to watch the program. if you want to submit a program in trenton question
please submit and i'll relay those tour speakers, thank you and hope you enjoyed the program. >> thanks allison. it is a privilege to be with you. i look forward to the conversation. annalisa really enjoyed the book. i read it closely over the weekend it's a fascinating story in its own right. we'll talk in a minute about the weight you frame it in terms of protest. i thought we might start there and if you don't mind and i'll hand it to you to give us a brief overview. you write about how in this protest the american entry war the vietnam veterans grabbed the national spotlight by mobilizing to powerful tools place in performance. as elise said the protest was
in the spirit of our revolutionary forbearers you compare it to the boston tea party of 1773 which also captured the attention of both the british and their fellow columnists. and again to give a little bit of background the spring of 1971 in the aftermath of what's become known as the massacre and other atrocities in this contingent of antiwar vietnam veterans led by others drew on place and by organizing this march on the sacred site where their forefathers had laid down their lives for the cause of freedom. maybe you could tell us the subject of the book and a little bit about the research and writing of it. >> first of all thank you so much for having me tonight and
for organizing in the concord museum for hosting. thank you for joining us. i also want to mention i read a book the history of slavery, when i finish that in 2010 i was thinking a lot about practices at concord. we think of the famous minuteman on the bridge, we'll be assert the idea all of the farmers were suspicion, they were all white in my book makes very clear the wealthiest farmers were enslaved. i'm really interested in memorialization of the stories. it was about that time when i literally stumbled upon an image, a photograph by the very renowned massachusetts photographer for
my hotel of lincoln massachusetts. it appeared in the neh sponsored mask history.org i think. it's a website about massachusetts history. it's a picture with a hat on and arms are raised in the air flashing the peace sign. i immediately knew i would write a book not sound strange but i immediately have to understand this is about. i thought they understood the process of concord and lexington but when you see a real soldier whatever origin stories those memorials are telling you, all of the site and tell a very different story. they're telling you americans
are only violent collectively. but it's lingering because he wants to return this was making very clear i could no longer think of americans as defined by their reluctance to beat violence. i can no longer think of americans always imperialists which is another tool at the old north bridge. i just started to research and i first went to the museum which is in washington d.c. as they house all the photographs. one i saw very early on was of a vietnam veteran who had been previously wounded. he was in a wheelchair. all the sudden are these minuteman statues.
these veterans were immediately exploding by the idea that american soldiers cannot be injured. and now all the sudden i have to admit to myself that war is a mutually injury that harbored philosophy tells us. so, it was a treat and i wanted to write a book about memorialization practices looking at the landscape to the eyes of veterans. but i don't tell from 10,000 feet. i want know who that man was. i met other veterans, all of them are still friends they put me in touch with each other. i wanted to tell in a way you are on the ground with them as they are repurchasing the memorial legacy.
>> enforcer we don't have enough time to have you tell the whole story, but we need to know a little bit about your decision to enlist in the marines. your experience in vietnam and newark getting involved in the vietnam veterans against the war. maybe give us that thumbnail sketch free. >> it be a thumbnail for sure. i just want to say, i respect so much of what is achieved in which the way in which she has made us i think more deep about the past and its relationship to the way in which we conduct today. in some respects, brief away that got me engaged, i spent four years in the marine corps as an officer. i enlisted in 1966. i was released in 1970 at the convenience of the military
after i had submitted a conscientious objector reclassification application having served 13 months in vietnam a comeback as a decorated officer. i started in ichor as an engineer. my experience was an accumulation of knowledge and emotional responses to what i found is engaged in. and some respects it was knowledge and emotional response to begin with. i was wanting and willing to fulfill my patriotic duty. i saw actually, when i finally realized what a misguided that adventure it had been and the lives that had misinforming, i continue to feel it was my patriotic duty to protest and then be a part of vietnam
veterans against the war. we came together as a group we had already spent a good part of the earlier part of the year in different forms of protest as an organization. most significantly done down on the washington mall or we spent a week prior to the may day events in the last week of april in which we participated in a variety of activist engagements with lawmakers and with the public trying to inform the willing and open public to the notion this work could no longer continue. it was illegal and immoral. and there was no justice to be achieved at all. very similar to the things we are talking about today. the action that was put together for the walk/mark
from concord through lexington and charleston and three days boston common was in a sense formed as a continuation of vietnam veterans against the war. it was sort of the rallying cry we could offer at a time in which the peace movement was fractured for a new voice to enter into the crime to end this war. we have been misled again by presidential campaign in which richard nixon had been running as a peace candidate, hard to believe. and the war continues. the bombing continued. henry kissinger and nixon and a variety continued to misdirect the way in which we were going to find ourselves
believing that particular part of the world and in their minds returned with honor. so after dooey canyon was the place to continue the energy that had been achieved in the national attention that had been achieved in the sense of the credibility that have been achieved by vietnam veterans against the war in the protest of washington. it was essentially to do a ride in reverse. utilizing the historical notion of a warning cry that paul revere and others had offered to a community that was prepared to resist. we felt that our community was prepared to resist if we could offer that warning cry.
>> the veterans marched the route in reverse to underscore the point that the united states needed to reverse course of vietnam. another lovely quote of yours, an important especially will make it to and again it will go at a moment, location by location. kind of the sacred nature. the march was highly unusual and breathtakingly creative. also dangerous is fars the officials and a good number of constituents on an unorthodox use of revolutionary war battlefield. the old north bridge you're right exists fixed in time, asked in the time of the sacred. talk about how that notion of these spaces becoming a
crucial conflict that will unfold over the next couple of days. >> first, i want to explain that the vietnam veterans are the first veterans to come home and protest the war in which they had served. i think because of that they were at risk as being called traitorous. if you want to correct anything i say just jump in. they worked hard to establish the idea they were patriotic a continuation of their service in the military. so, the national mall in washington d.c. for his chapters on marching concord to boston. it's also worth mentioning the fall before participated in a march from new jersey to valley forge, pennsylvania. in over 80 hour march conducted in three possibly
four days. the idea of really starting with to establish by going to sacred sites and establishing their sense of identification with our forebears. so moorestown, new jersey, the encampments by the continental army ever stayed. and standing on that piece of ground veterans are saying we are not, as thomas paine says. [inaudible] veterans against the war use that for the strength they had. the veterans cannot be conquered. the use of a sacred space particularly of a revolutionary war memorialized to say we are soldiers, and we are patriots. we are standing up for our
country we are still patriots. the other piece of it of course when you go to the sites matched what we have to do with the revolutionary war. these are places where memorial practices are intended to make time stand still. you do not see a telephone pole. you do not see anything modern. if you are meant to be transported clearly the landscape looks different because it's memorialized. veterans wanted to release that foundational energy. i think it's so brilliant of course americans are starting to participate in historical reenactment is not just veterans making this to boston they are resilient.
our part to be good publicist about what we are doing. we let people know we were coming to essentially rally as a silent majority in the suburbs. to join us in boston there is a very friendly, essential group of people that would be joining us. but i got a phone call state bullets to reach you. it's a very startling call and not anticipated such a reaction from somebody. it was clearly somebody who
was angry who instills to me my reaction was a great deal of fear, understanding we are in a situation were not everyone is a welcoming us come into their neighborhood. >> talk for a minute the process of how you and your peers, your colleagues made the decision was important to you. tell us the manner the face and lexington. a pretty complex question here. in some respects the leadership of the new england chapter was essentially an officer leadership. most of us were sort of
running the show were opposites. we are very well aware of the fact the command structure that had existed in the military, was something we did known to replicate in terms of the way we were acting and organizing and becoming activists in the community. the emphasis among all of us to ensure there is a very vivid, very visible expression of democracy. very slow, very deliberate, very efficient in terms of getting things done. in a sense we are in a territory that's unknown to us because we have no idea who's coming to support us.
suggested the ranks swelled not only terms of veterans they came to join us much the same way as the minutemen came out of the hills and the farms from communities all around. with townspeople for many different opportunities they swelled to over thousand. we still wanted to ensure it was an experience of a democratic participation directing the way in which we are going to make our decisions as we are going forward. there is a script it's only the beginning and end of march. the rest of it was unscripted and in some respects needed to be restricted or reinterpreted
along the way hour by hour. sort of day by day. that is what happened. what situations we were faced with and whether or not everyone in the community were comfortable with the risks that were involved. he was also an opportunity for us to hear the different ways people were thinking the protest was occurring, what they think about us is room for dissent. in disagreement about how we should move forward. generally speaking by the time we get to the moment which we are faced with actually breaking the law sort to speak, non- violent conscientious protesters, the degree to which we found a
support was almost unanimous. not completely but generally, generally speaking for groundswell support part of this answer is amongst the veterans that is the group i most able to speak for, we did not agree on why we got in the military. we did not agree on why we got out. we did not agree on how the war had been conducted or how should be ended. we did agree that we, as vietnam veterans were opposed to the war in the way in which she was being handled at this particular time. and we needed to end our involvement in southeast asia. that was the one unified
manner that kept us together. from that came in agreement of nonviolence. and that was to be true throughout the entire four days of our march. three nights of encampment and four days of movement. that was expressed at the beginning but was not necessarily expected always. there is no indication was going to be anything other than the nonviolent participation amongst all the veterans. >> we don't have time to do justice to the full story which is why people should get the book so they can read the whole book. were going to wrap up concord by saying it does go somewhat according to the script. able to stay at the part i'll be curious today don't think they would allow it today, it was allowed than.
not to defend or say that it was right or wrong, but explain now the position of the men at the time and lexington especially the chair. what position did they take when it comes to them about the veterans being able to camp out a lexington beach. >> they used to be called select men as part of the town council. what you need to know about this march is that the national park service was leaping was continuing to leap and will leap in perpetuity. that is part of a 1959 park, minuteman historic national park. it's clearly followed what's happened in d.c. they knew the federal government were trying to oust the veterans from their encampment on the national mall.
so, no one ever gets but the north bridge. i think the national parks service those men who serve their country are the exception. they allow them to stay. and also the concord police allow the veterans to have been on. we haven't talked about that yet, maybe we can talk about that later. the lexington is not part of the national minutemen historical park. for reasons it will not go into. it is controlled by a bylaw that gives he selects board the authority and indeed the responsibility to make sure any activities are appropriate for the sacred first but if you will. there is no return of fire the first time the militia was fired upon. and the select board on going to use that now is the modern term.
there selectmen took seriously their role in keeping that sacred time of 1775 that anyone visiting it can return to that sacred moment and be reversed. that is essentially what is supposed to happen. seeing the select board talks about their leader, there is fear of alcohol and drugs, their fear simone would have a heart attack, it's true the chairman was a supporter that three would be affected. but yet the select board did not want them to bear. probably because they did take seriously the role. most recently they did not allow their own groundskeeper together on the lexington green. and we probably agree after january 6 that's a good idea. they do take that role seriously.
what's really in critically important to me is the vietnam veterans did come as an anti- violent group. trained in peaceable protests. so they were going to break the law, they're going to break a minor law. but any moment in civil disobedience will type you are breaking a minor law for a higher reason and you're doing it peacefully and you're willing to pay the price of going to jail, paying whatever fines or whatever punishments there are that is a moral effect. it's something to do that just invokes. just a couple other things here, not only did not want the veterans on the green they did everything they could to get them off the green. including an advance in the district court that they were
being disorderly before they even arrived they decided they were disorderly. they obtained an injunction that would allow them to arrest the veterans. not just find them but arrest them. they cleared the garage so they had a make shift jail, they called all of their police officers in. they called police and from two neighboring towns. they called state police in. they took very seriously the roles of this sacred space. you have the veterans who are acting according to a higher moral law that is 1823 bylaw. ask again or rushing to the story. it leads to what is known as the largest mass arrest in the state's history. i was struck by, it happened
at 2:00 a.m. they could have just gone to bed and you all would have marched on the next morning. but it also reminded me of students of the 1960s now martin luther king almost worn him to do what he did. that brought attention to birmingham. were you hoping they would make this decision? you said you did not know. and did you think at midnight they're not going to do it? : : :
they'd deny denied that so after having denied that and after taking that opportunity to be welcoming to us, i think that changed think that changed her is the nature in which we began to because we had leverage yourselves but frankly i think we were hoping after midnight they would do the arrests because it was too our advantage for sure. the optics of it were going to be too our advantage put the national interest in this was going to be elevated. so i think they waited until two because there were so many
townspeople there that they wanted to at least reduce the number. they knew they weren't going to get rid of them that they wanted to reduce the number of townspeople so as it turned out many of the townspeople wanted them to be arrested and missed out on that opportunity. and in fact i think it got to a point that after the 400 plus member people that were arrested they had to tell the people we aren't going to arrest you. because we can't transport you and movie through the various different systems we have to move you through so i think it was in a moment of so-called victory not in a conflict sense of victory but in a sense of we had made the moral victory very apparent to whomever was
watching and at the same time the lease has very well described it. it was townspeople getting arrested in young kids getting arrested and all folks getting arrested. it was an embodiment of a whole group of people who came together for a common purpose and i think that provided essentially the recognition that we weren't going to sleep at night and we'd stay up all night but i wasn't convinced it was going to happen but in hindsight i'm thankful that he did. >> and also thankful that it did remain peaceful. you had colleagues and peers
that will follow that counsel in the police officers and turned and there was a mutual respect the police officers were just doing their job and they were following orders that they had gotten from their chief of police. let's take a moment for you to talk about the role of the townspeople and especially the women of concord and lexington who played an important role. >> i don't think we can understate the amount of work that went into pulling off a march of as many people that went through multiple jurisdictions. it was 120 miles but they were going through various towns. everyone needed to have food so the amount of preparation that
went into this was intense. christopher gregory one of the friends and colleagues told me they left late at night. it was a lot of work and as someone from lincoln so many local women wanted to help and did help and i think it has to do with the fact that the second wave of feminism was coming and whether that was appropriate or not. they were victims of the federal government but at any rate >> they are gold mothers there as well. >> we want to make sure we talk to -- who is on the call tonight and i definitely want to talk about her but just to say government was being supported
and these are civilian troops and betty levin was someone who was working very hard on the civilian side and she was just one of the many women who left. it's betty levin threw them national park service and national parks and it's betty who put the people who helped those in charge that but he had to work with local people. i mean even down to one when the veteran scott arrested betty levin said someone has to call the company and it's these kinds of things that people love to do and it's a lot of work and a lot of coordination. a lot of these people that help for women i know so that was
great for me. margaret flint senior and we all know margaret jr. her daughter was against the war so to honor both of those views she came and sat with the veterans on the street. so a lot of this is going on and how many veterans told me what that meant to them. at least the veterans i talked to didn't ask about their experiences and didn't want to know what happened over there and what they were being asked to do so have this outpouring of support in the form of food and welcome and breaking the law with you i think for a lot of veterans it was very meaningful because it was the kind of public announcement of the anchor that people had about the war that they represented a
large portion of the public. and just to talk about the people and the nature of it this is a much different conversation making sure that everyone stay calm. people were angry and frustrated and it's easy to flash back and maybe get into the moment and it could have turned badly so easily so in hindsight we are talking about one of wonderful event it was. in light of what happened in chicago for example this happened because so many people were behind the veterans and the veterans were so on top of it and there was a script from the beginning in a scripted and. started off when they left and said you can't come.
now they changed and when i committed to civil disobedience disobedience -- they they are taking on the role of the british. they are shape-shifting and mobilizing them as they make these changes so lulac really surfaces which is why i think it's a very creative protest. >> i would add there is also a parade and a parade is where you get feedback back and forth. those who are watching get something back and there was clearly that kind of an exchange taking place. >> this is why the most successful protests are parade protests. because you have a chance to get feedback and interaction with so many different committees.
>> were going to switch to a little bit of humor in the script as we make this transition. when arrested a number the veterans would would give names like john parker or sam adams and list their birthday this april 19, 1775 and we should just note there was an arrest in the veterans were released to continue with the margin we are going to talk about that in a moment but why don't we start here elise. there were three pictures of cram.
we will see a picture of one of the women who helped him collect the money so the veterans would have to pay the fines themselves. i show these pictures the cause it's so important to understand that people went through this incredible transformation from having the shorthair required of them in the military and then embracing a message of love. here we have a picture of bestor cram where he had grown out his hair and has a beard. a beautiful photograph of a vietnam bread -- vietnam veteran. and that's you with your wife penny on the left? >> that's right. we are still competing to see who can get the longest hair. >> i will say when the public
for so veterans which was the first time they grab the national spotlight it became clear that this was a combination that had never been seen before. they have the long hair that says -- with the hippies and this is a new model that the country is not seen before. she talks about this new aesthetic so will talk a little bit more of about that per day of another slide here of bestor cram's compatriot and -- come patriotism. this was the rhode island chapter and that's bestor cram with the coordinators. they invited the chapter.
and they say add more people and add more veterans but this is just another wonderful thing that shows the changing sense of who they were between when they went to vietnam and when they came home and the third one you can see is the advancement. you can see it again and again and that's arthur johnson with the macramé belt on. it's in is u.s. marine corps shirt so with his long hair peace and love but it's i'm a soldier and if you want to know what's going on in vietnam talk to me because i've been there and then you see others who have passed away but at part of this
march. and then on the far right isn't don pardo with other people but working with the local women on that. and i think on the next slide i wanted to say something about not telling people about the war but showing them in making it them feel it emotionally. the veterans on saturday morning comes to monument square. all of a sudden these men caring very real looking m-16s walk on the square and start taking prisoners and targeting them. this is in fact this particular
picture is gorilla theater in boston. this is maybe five or six days before they went to d.c. to raise awareness. this doesn't make the front page of the news. when i go to d.c. that's when they get into the national spotlight. and the next slide also speaks to protest theater and having props that make clear these are soldiers. these are real soldiers and they know what they are talking about when they talk about what's going on in vietnam and here they are driving the family's land rover and took the doors off an outlook like a military jeep. this pulled in to concord the morning of the march's
commencement and with the veterans are going for here is for civilians to say wow this is what the vietnamese must feel like images on to take a moment to say that while it may seem like it was embracing patriotism as a core of their message it's a very cosmopolitan group. it's not just we care about ourselves, we care about the vietnamese so in performing theater what they are asking to do with how would you feel if your sitting at home in some other country and you don't have any say in this and the next thing you know you are shot dead. these props are very powerful. in the next lighter one to show the veterans using the landscape. the veterans have mobilized on the minuteman statue and bestor
sends the press to the other side so they get a shot of the marchers and what he did with the wound its permission was to put them first because this is theater but i don't mean that in a light way this is serious theater. look what this war is done to us. the minuteman statue is based on an militiaman but you don't celebrate that at all. in fact that's not really what happens. this was planned on the cover the "boston globe." a very powerful image and you can see right on the left side veterans flowers. they have decorated themselves with flowers so they very much embraced flower power and the
next slide is another photograph and i think the reason so many photographs of the footage is because people are absolutely captivated by what the veterans were doing. lots and lots of photos and you see the leaders of the march are wounded. i think in the next picture did want to show some of the women. this is her daughter who sadly passed away from cancer way too early. the idea was if you're going to portray revere's ride you need someone to be revere. again the number of people who got involved. and in the next image bestor maybe you can say a little bit about it.
>> she was in a sense a spirit leader for all of us in the chapter. she provided the backbone for organization but also a compelling sense of being on the front lines and giving truth to power. a marvelous woman with a great sense of what the price of justices that one needs to pay and i think we have all learned from her immensely. static in your shoes collecting money from residents owns amazing photograph as well. the last photo i believe the next slide i don't have one to share with you but i don't believe she lived in concord at
the time as she does live in concord now. i want to share with you that her son was killed in vietnam within three weeks of writing there but she told me when he was 18 he feel it felt like he needed to go to prove his manhood and this is a story we hear over and over again. he knew the war was morally wrong and his mother talked to people and he said your son wants to be teacher probably not a good idea. she subsequently talked to -- stood up in the middle of a firefight and didn't want to kill anyone. sorry, that really gets to me but at any rate later when she heard of vp8 w. some of whom
like bestor were working on this project that help g.i.s figure out how to get out and they knew the law they knew was possible. so she goes to d.c. at arlington national cemetery not for the americans but for the vietnamese and then when it comes time to march in concord through boston she says i will speak and she spoke and she has devoted her life to being an advocate. anyway this is a photo of some of the women in town with the poster of a gold star mother and all the women signed it. i wanted to be sure to mention
her. she led such incredible support for the veterans. they were standing with her. >> thank you. >> and i have one more slide. i just wanted to give everyone a sense of the scale and because the press followed us and i was on the cover of all the newspapers for days running at least 3000 people came and maybe i have time to save the performance aspect of the protests continued with the ceremony during what should veterans broke into fragments. and then there were some speeches and look how many people came.
>> elise you are so good about helping us understand the meaning of a lot of the events that took place both then as well as 150 years before then and it's one of the accomplishments of your book and your research. you always astound me because you remind me of things that i never really thought about his deeply as you have but the fact was we were all in an arena where we wanted to see -- take the ambiguity away from the world we lived in. we may have not been certain and we may not have understood each other but when it came to this war i think what we all recognize was there was an opportunity here for people to
recognize the experience that we as veterans had made as credible as storytellers ourselves and giving permission to wish to say okay i'm no longer willing to be ambiguous about this war. i'm going to take a stand. >> we are running out of time. elise not me asking you for a reminder you are professor of literature and you talk about one of the most admirable things about him and he's trying to inspire his generation as the civil war is approaching and born of the enlightenment of the past and people will awaken and
listen to hear the midnight message of paul revere. you remind us that there's no violence and there's no killing involved and that the veterans do is to remind us with what you just did with that very powerful story. you write about it so eloquently in the book. >> it's one of the most popular palms and because in part people were asked to memorize it and it had a nice meter that happen to sound like a horse. it was popular because i think it's a story about american creativity and bravery so how did we win the american revolution? we bravely rode a horse to
lexington and what he does as he essentially meets the violence and says you know the rest of the books you have read how they fled. in the beginning beginning of palm pieces listen my children and you shall hear the midnight rider pop repair. on the 18th of april april so he wants to remember the creativity of paul revere not the violence and when the veterans took that in their script it was a great move because immediately everyone knew the poem and they knew what town they were going to go to. everyone loves the poem because it's so full of creativity. in an ironic twist if he will land up taking this trip and
showing us and that's the take-away from for me about the march is the mobilization of symbols but at the same time it shows us they are men and war is not something we gloss over because it's left all of these young men unable to return to civilian life until the war is over. >> bestor i'm going to get the last word to you someone is served her country honorably and has studied history to eliminate our presence and before we went on air you were commenting a little bit about what you are thinking about what's unfolding in afghanistan and share
whatever you would like to for a final word and then i welcome back and close it up. >> well it turns to elise and a good deal of the work she does is to demystify it and recognizing that myths have so often misguided us and we are at a time right now where there is a myth of nation-building in a myth of our capacity to be able to make a change in the world and the way in which we conduct it oftentimes is clouded by misguided and misinformed actions that end up becoming myths and how we handle things. if we look at today and what's taking place in kabul and look at saigon we should think also a 20 year war in afghanistan was not that different from the 12
or 15 year over you want to count the number of years we spent in vietnam. so in some respects we deal with history and rave review the myths that of misguided us in terms of how we think about it is essential. the poem is a myth. it's a beautiful poem that celebrates so much about who we want to be as americans and yet it can leave so much out that helps us get through the hard parts of our history that we shouldn't forget. >> thank you. i thought it would end with the poem that elise has her book by archibald -- called the young dead soldiers do not speak.
nevertheless they are heard. they say we were young, we have died. remember us. our death are not ours, they are yours. they are deemed what you make them. whether our live senate as were for peace or for hope or for nothing we cannot say. we were young they say. remember us. elise lemire and bestor cram thank you for this wonderful conversation.
and they do. they are called the treaties of 1866. it's an official surrender as well as a reconstruction document. one of the most extreme items in the treaties is a section of land. they are forced to give up a majority of the land they had just moved on 30 years earlier. the other three big items in the treaty in our discussion today were to emancipate the people of the nation and indoctrinate the masses and so they had to give them lots of tickets on the choctaw nation had to give them specifically 40 acres of land. if you look at history in general you know how significant that 40 acres is. the u.s. bought that and i didn't get it so this is united states coming to another nation,
indian nation and supposed to have the right to create their own laws to be completely sovereign and just about every other way and the u.s. is saying we are going to force you to re-people but we ourselves cannot be part of the word we will force you to adopt them and give them the accompanying rights of citizenship that we ourselves have not yet done we will force you to give them land. now was this right? legally, no. cherokee nation had emancipation in 1863 so they were the only ones who decided to do this but all the others that creates seminoles chickasaw and chalk talks would not have without american intervention. after the emancipation they gave their citizens rights? prly
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