tv American History TV CSPAN May 2, 2015 4:47pm-5:01pm EDT
on history books have come here from the country's best-known american history writers of the past decade every saturday at 4:00 p.m. to watch these programs anytime, visit our website. you are watching american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3. >> american history tv is joining our caucus cox communication partners to learn more about topeka, kansas. to learn more, visit www.c-span.org. this is american history tv on c-span3. >> the state capitol was built
over 37 years, which is unusual for capitals but they started in 1866 after the civil war was over. we became a state in 1861. that makes us when hundred 50 four years old. they were not able to start on the building because of the civil war. they built it in sections. we are laid out like the u.s. capitol. they started with the east wing with the senate chamber. they did the south wing, the former supreme court room. the north wing has the state library. finally, the dome. that did take every seven years at a cost of $3.2 million. it was quite a bit of money but they did spread it out over the 37 years and we are one of the few capitals were all of the
money was raised before they built. no debt associated with building the capital itself. when kansas was about to enter the union, there were equal numbers of free and slave states. kansas would break the tie. i believe that is where the state motto comes from. it stands for "to the stars through difficulties in her." no matter what happens, they will make it through. >> we are currently on the second floor of the kansas state capital. this floor has the most famous mural on it in our capital, the tragic related painted by john stewart curry and the late 1930's. when he was painting, he was commissioned to paint the story of kansas.
coronado was in that painting showing the early days and the first person who described the area. the buffalo hunters who were clearing the way for the railroads. he included some covered wagons. the covered wagons are painted heading west, representing the westward expansion. at one time, kansas was the frontier. we worth the last civilization before people headed to california. the main figure is john brown 12 feet tall in the painting. he is surrounded by the two sides of the civil war, the north end south. -- and south. there are two dead soldiers that rest at his feet and they represent everyone who died
during the civil war. there is a gentleman hidden in the background with a top hat and there's some discussion that might have been abraham lincoln. he wouldn't have been president at that time since this was all prior to the civil war. it is maybe some foreshadowing. he included a tornado and a prairie fire, which represented the death and destruction associated with war, becoming storms of war, at the natural disasters we faced. a lot of symbolism there. he also includes the western meadowlark come our state bird. some people say was a martyr,
some say he was a terrorist. here he is our famous painting and people can come. you can interpret how you would like. the state library is in the north wing. that was the last place completed in the capital building. at the time, it was 1900. any diggs what these -- was the -- annie diggs was the state librarian. when you first walk in, it is very welcoming. when you look up, there is a pineapple scenttencil all over. then there are bird faces eating
berries on the sides of the walls. she is credited -- she was a populist. kansas was the only state beverly had populism. we had a couple populist governors and big figures. she reminded them at some point the bookshelf will be holding a lot of books so they did reinforce the floor knowing at some point there would be books on all of those shelves. there is a glass floor. at that time, a lot of libraries had that. and people got electricity, they got rid of those glass floors. we kept ours. the glass goes around the bookcases and you can see between. we had to original book lifts
that librarians can still make today to move the books up and down. we also have the dome tour that you can climb 200 96 steps and go to the top of the building. we have taller than the nation's capital by 18 feet. we are one of the few capitals that can go to what we consider our seventh floor. not many go to the top. we can go outside on the balcony at the top and you can see about 40 miles. a beautiful view number matter what the season. it is all very fun to look at there. winter is probably when you can see the furthest. it is open to the public you
look up and you think you are looking at the top but you are not. that is the dome tour. is a great tour. if you are scared, we don't make you go all the way to the top. with the recent renovations, we were able to add on quite a bit of space at the ground level. the historic society was given a nice visitor center area. we have john brown's sort on permanent exhibit. it was his. we don't know if he used it for anything except he did carry it with him. we also have the original constitution. the first page of the kansas constitution that made us a
state is housed in the building. white a wonderful come original article. kids can see it. we try to share that with everyone. it is how -- house in the center of the building on the ground level. when you are at the top of the capital, you can go out on the balcony and look and see for about 40 miles. if you lean back on one of the four corners, you can see ad astra, an indian warrior. he is 22 feet, two inches tall. he is a bronze statue and even though i mentioned earlier that it took us 37 used to complete
the capital, some people might say wasn't completed until 2002 because that is the year we put the chief on top of the building. there were notes that there should be a statue on top of the building. the goddess of agriculture was considered too promiscuous for the state of kansas so she was not chosen. it is an iconic tribute to the original people who were here first. there was a big ceremony when he was placed on top of the building. a tie in for the old and the new. >> throughout the weekend, american history tv is featuring took the cake, kansas. our cities tour staffers only
traveled there to learn about its rich history. learn more about topeka at www.c-span.org/citiestour. you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> 150 years ago this weekend from a grieving nation gathered along the route of abraham lincoln's funeral train as it made its way from washington d.c. do is final resting place in springfield, illinois. this sunday afternoon on c-span3, we are alive from oak ridge cemetery to commemorate the anniversary of resident lincoln's funeral with over 1000 reenactors and every creation of the 1865 eulogy, speeches, and musical performances. historians and authors and a tour of the newly re-created lincoln funeral car. also this weekend tonight at 8:00, the festivities of the state visit of japanese prime
minister including his arrival at the white house and the toast at the dinner in his honor. sunday morning, the supreme court has arguments on the issue of same-sex marriage. on c-span two this weekend tonight at 10:00, peter's love and looks at the life of our first lady. sunday at noon, our live three-hour conversation with jon ronson, who has written many books. join the conversation. we will also be taking your phone calls e-mails, facebook,, tweets. get the full schedule at www.c-span.org. >> up next, national park
service ranger we can hallow -- lincoln hallowell. miss how low argues these woman perform the most dangerous jobs in the military and their work this event was cosponsored by the new york public library and the roosevelt historical society. it's about an hour. >> first of all, on behalf of the national parks service, i would like to thank roosevelt island historical society and the new york a look library for hosting us and giving us this opportunity to talk to you a little bit about our national park, which is gateway national recreation area. my name is lincoln hallowell.