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tv   Reel America Home Front 1917-1919  CSPAN  June 24, 2017 8:00am-8:21am EDT

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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] this film examines how the war was sold of the american public through the efforts of the committee on public information and how dissent was discouraged and outlaud. and it led to a booming industrial economy. his is about 20 minutes. notice -- ♪
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narrator: on the eve of grave decisions on april 2, 1917, an anxious president woodrow wilson voices his forebodings. lead his people into war, and they will forget there was ever such a thing as tolerance. to fight, you must be reported and ruthless. conformity would be the only virtue. ♪ days later, with the president leading as he must, america now at war. all separate voices drowned out
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by the great chorus of the war effort. do your bit for the boys over there. the spirit of 1917 on the american home front, a nation rallying to the war. behind them keeping the spirit moved is the machinery of government, a new agency set up by the government, with a committee on public information, which will grow from a handful to 150,000. he tackles the war effort as a plain publicity proposition. the world's greatest adventure in advertising. it will be an all-star production, offstage and on. ♪
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the march king, john philip sousa, drumming up sales of liberty mobs, was the star of he metropolitan opera. ♪ bats tarkenton, author of a bestseller, writes on american facts and german propaganda. a young novelist turns out press releases for allies. mary pickford and other stars of the infant medium, the movies, make appearances as salesman for uncle sam. a warning to the kaiser.
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to weld the people of the united states into one white-hot mass, with determination and deathless determination. the country's artists are told, raw 'til it hurts. the draft, starting in july 1917, makes potential heroes of some 3 million men who will be called on to do their bit in uniform. the national league outfielder turned evangelist towards the country with inspiring sermons. rout the enemy, upset autocracy and forge liberty throughout the world.
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the president who suffered such forebodings at the prospect of war calls for force. force without stint or limit, righteous and triumphant force. untouched by battle, the american landscape is altered by the war. washington, once described as a drowsy capital, becomes a boomtown in 1917. this is the time in american istory when government grows into big government, spending almost as much on the 20 month more as in the previous century and a quarter of its history. dozens of new agencies, a federal payroll that nearly doubles from 500,000 employees to almost one million. not to mention in the unpaid volunteers. liberty bonds, allied relief,
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red cross -- scores of wartime auses. arrator: for just one dollar per year, government secures the services of some of its most distinguished citizens, an army of businessmen, like thomas edison. one observer calls washington a atriotic madhouse. one of the new faces in government, herbert hoover, organizer of war worldwide relief for belgium in 1915, now summoned to run the full program at home. battalions of volunteers, work forms plant war gardens to feed the nation and allies. for housewives, the words are "save food." out in the field for women and youngsters, the slogan is "do a an's job."
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♪ narrator: love may not change, but motherhood will never be the same after this war. america's women taking on a man's job make up new arguments to support for the vote, demands that will be fulfilled in a constitutional amendment after the war. how are you going to keep them out of the voting booth after they helped win the war?
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along with its heroes and heroines, the war effort produces new villains. this scene takes place in birmingham, alabama. a slacker german out of town by his neighbors, with the draft strictly policed, the penalties of being a slacker are severe. slogans grow into passions. a hatred of all things german. a harvard professor finds in wagner's music the traits of war, lust, and cunning. jobs owned by german-americans are wrecked. sauerkraut becomes liberty cabbage. in the schools of 14 states, teaching german is banned. president wilson worries that the war spirit may become the mob spirit. 9 months of american participation in the war, 4
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whole divisions shipped overseas, more units leaving every week, and no visible impact on the stalemate of the western front. stalemate on the western front. the public has only received reports of the first american deaths. the spirit of over there is becoming muted. the farewells grow somber. the material of the homefront is installed in a transit as the nation's railroads further strained by labor shortages and strikes, finally break down. even on the home front, every day is a battle.
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war production spotters under a variety of handicaps. competing for materials and manpower or any reasonable substitute, government falters nder committees. washington's patriotic madhouse has become a bureaucratic madhouse. an economic czar is empowered by wilson took it the war industry out of its doldrums. by government fiat, production gets rolling. the war industry board, armed with extraordinary powers, reporting directly to the president, keep the economy
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disciplined with a tough regime of priorities. it is a pattern alien to american. business by government regulation. less steel for auto parts, none or corsets, more for guns. less cloth for blouses, more for irplane fuselages. even with the speed up, industry will never quite catch up with the war. in a single ceremonious day, fourth of july, 1918, 95 ships re launched. but none will cross the atlantic by the time of the armistice. nor will any american-made tank get into action. the american expeditionary force will fight with french and british tanks and artillery, while the bugs are being worked out over here.
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it is late in the war before the arsenal of democracy is geared up for the business of war. its problems of manpower and material settled. one new source of industrial manpower is the negro. ecruited by the south of the thousands, giving of jobs for the prospect of higher paid war work in the north. the migration, which will have a profound effect on the course of american life, is accompanied by conflict. race riots in northern communities like philadelphia, chicago, and east st. louis illinois, where 37 americans are killed, white and negro.
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another kind of disease is loose in the land, suspicion, attacking all forms of dissent. vigilantes operating in the name of patriotism pursuing their own blacklist of enemies, draftdodgers and war bond slackers, pacifists who condemn war, labor groups that insist on voicing discontent, the oreign-born. wilson's fears of a brutalized conformist america loom over the nation. the government acts to take the law out of the hands of the mob. the wilson administration seeks nd gets tough new laws suppressing freedom of speech and opinion.
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one controversial labor group, the industrial workers of the world, the wobblies, is violently suppressed by mob and overnment. in arizona, 1200 members are xpelled to an army post in new mexico, where their preachings of strike with anarchist overtones. iww offices are raided and its members arrested, including bill haywood. their leading figure. socialist party leader eugene v. debs, who got one million votes for president of the united states in 1912 is arrested for objection to the war effort and is sentenced to 10 years in jail. prosecution of dissidents, wilson has both crushed the antiwar spirit and appeased the xtremists.
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america's answer to the threat from abroad, the threat of the german armies, also becomes more vigorous in the summer of 1918. doubts of national conscience, fears about security, are dimmed by triumphant scenes from the western front. the aef is in action to the hilt, driving back the german's last offensive.
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narrator: woodrow wilson, who feared that war would prove an enemy of liberty, has compromised with that enemy. in the promising autumn of 1918, the nation has not sensed this. what americans feel is an irresistible strength of purpose. the army is on the march in france. the nation is in step over here.
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music] on the civil 00 war. >> remember, lee's terms, the terms had surrendered his army. they had said nothing about the
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clearing the conif he had rassy defumbingt. there had been no peace treaty. as of may 9, jefferson davis remained on the run. >> at 8:00, on lectures and history, the university of notre dame professor on the east texas oil boom of the mid 20th century and the expansion of businesses to saudi arabia and canada. >> the geeologist framed the theory saying that american oil reserves were going to really collapse or -- by 1970, forcing the country into a difficult situation. so there was a kind of apocalyptic fear of america losing its oil sources is going to drive exploration abroad. >> sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on reel america. the 1979 united nation's film the palestinian people do have rights. >> violence breeds hatred, etaliation brings only further
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retaliation, an eye for an eye is often paid at high interest rates in our day and age. >> at 6:30 president reagan's speech writer and former u.s. ambassador recall reagan's 1987 trip to berlin and the brandonberg gate speech. >> we knew it was a great applause line and i knew it was authentic ronald reagan. but history, as president obama said, has an arc. of course we would never celebrate that famous speech if in fact the events of 1989 had ot transpired the way they did. >> c-span, where history un folds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your
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cable or satellite provider. >> next, texas a&m history professor discusses u.s. diplomacy during the cold war. during the cold war. he's the author of "hearts, minds, voices: u.s. cold war public diplomacy and the formation of the third world." this event was cohosted by the woodrow wilson center, the american historical association, and the natural history center. it about an hour and a half. -- it is about an hour and a half. mr. kennedy: i think we will start today's session. i am director of the natural history center. i should explain that our regular coke conveners are both away. one of them, christian osterman from the wilson center, is ill today. eric from washington university is traveling, so i am filling in, which i am delighted to because jason parker is a good


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