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tv   William Jennings Bryan House  CSPAN  June 14, 2015 3:51pm-4:01pm EDT

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aditional powers, emerging powers can manage to have no conflict with this post-cold war . of a remarkable lack of violence by historic standards community that can continue. that is my one ray of hope. mr. cortright: let's thank the panel. [applause] these historical and oral debates are still very alive and active. let's take a 10 minute break. we'll have a reception later. a short 10 minute break, and we will have our keynote presentation. >> you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-span history.
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>> this year c-span is touring cities across the country, exploring american history. a recent visit to lincoln nebraska. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> i can conceive of a destiny were the responsibility of the days are measured not others. these of tomorrow. a golden republic, resting securely upon the mountains of internal hope. a republic that has a self-evident proposition that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with inalienable rights, that governments are instituted by men secure these rights, and that government derives just powers from the consent of the government.
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>> mr. hester: william jennings bryan is probably most famous for the fact that he was nominated by a major party three times, the democratic party, but he lost the election all three times. he moved to lincoln in 1880 7. he was a lawyer in central illinois. he had a law practice in central and illinois and he went into kansas to collect some debts. he stopped in lincoln to visit an old friend from a law school in chicago. and he saw where lincoln and the state of nebraska, which was just booming, he saw a weak democratic party, so he sought some opportunities there.
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there started construction of this house in 1901 and he and mary would drive out into the country in a buggy and they fell in love with the hill that the house was built on. construction was started in 1901. it took two years to build it they moved in in 1902, and construction was finished in 1903. 11,000 square feet. mrs. bryant's budget was $10,000. she may have spent as much as $17,000. it's a beautiful house. the main area was used for political events, receptions etc. they would host a number of even world leaders would come here, but all kinds of political leaders. i guess the most prominent being that woodrow wilson came out here to get bryant's support for the 1912 convention.
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which he did get his support. there were a lot of people, national and international leaders that would stop by and see him. right now we are in the lower level, where really the main activity of the family took place. we are in the office area right now, and this is where bryant and mary had their office and did their work and she was a very active partner in his career. very accomplished lady. valedictorian of her college class. got her law degree from the university of nebraska. she studied german so she could read the european newspapers to see what they were saying about bryan. she was a very active participant in his political career. this desk is a replica of the desk that was in his study, and you can see the two chairs. bryan sat in one chair and mary
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sat in the other, reflecting the team they were in his political career. there were a couple of telephones over there. i would point out at the time there were two independent telephone companies in lincoln. if you just subscribe to one you could not talk to someone who just subscribe to the other, so they had to subscribe to both, of course. here is an example of a political newsletter they published for close to 20 years, which is similar to the standard or the nation or the national review. had a huge circulation. probably adjusted for population changes, probably greater than any of those magazines i mentioned. and he got a chance to tell his political views and that circulation. he is also famous for being one of the greatest orators of the time.
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the most famous is a speech he gave at the democratic convention, the famous cross of gold speech, which really earned -- turns that nomination over to him. bryan: that we cannot have it. we require instead a gold standard, but then let england have that goes the united states has. if they dare to come out and say the gold standard is a good thing, we will fight, having behind as the masses of this nation and the world, supported by their commercial interest the laboring interests, we will demand the answer for a gold standard by saying to them, you
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shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold. mr. hester: bryan has this huge voice you could hear all over the hall. in those days, there were not any microphones and he was in a huge hall. welsh speakers cannot be heard by a lot of the people, but he had this booming voice, so they could hear him and he gave this rousing speech, the final line being, thou shalt not crucify mankind on a cross of gold. again, the main issue in that election was monetary policy and whether we stay on the gold standard or at silver to the money supply. after he made that speech, people got so excited, they carried him out on their shoulders.
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he was the presidential nominate at the age of 36. the impact that bryan had on public policy in this country -- i think very few people realize the impact he had on the democratic party and also policy in general. when he came on the scene, the democratic party was the more conservative party. bryan was very conservative in his religion, but liberal in his politics. he turned the party on his head and has never come back. he was a predecessor to franklin roosevelt, the new deal, and president johnson's great society and the wall street journal, they had a feature article comparing obama to bryan . income redistribution for the of
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government. >> wrote the weekend, american history tv is featuring lincoln nebraska. we traveled there to learn about its rich history. for more popular stops on her tour at the /citiestour. each week american history tv's railamerica bring to archival evidence that provides you historical context for public policy issues of the history. this documents the training of iraqi enemy police department. as with the annual day that raised funds for the insurance of police officer's. ♪


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