tv The Presidency Theodore Roosevelt Tribute CSPAN April 13, 2019 12:44pm-1:01pm EDT
announcer: we have just heard about theodore roosevelt's role in creating the national war college in washington, d.c. next, on the presidency, tweed roosevelt placed tribute to his great-grandfather with remarks in the college rotunda. he speaks in front of a marker commemorating the 1903 construction of roosevelt hall. this is 15 minutes. >> first of all, welcome everybody. this is our second -- this is going to be an annual event. the theodore roosevelt association, which was created shortly after tr died to commemorate his memory, and one of the things we do is we have established a new relationship with this institution.
every year, the leading prize that goes to students is called the theodore roosevelt prize, and i was honored to come down here last year where we gave the first award. it was a huge challenge for students here. we cannot allow this to happen again. he must have given a lot of -- or something. he is a wonderful guy. our annual meeting is held in
october. it is a great honor for the tra to establish this relationship. we have relationships with other military operations. i am a little disheveled. anyway. i don't have to say how this was founded. i think everybody knows. but the relationship between theodore roosevelt and the various branches of the military, these are some little-known facts. i was going to talk about three of the services. in tr's time there was no air force.
i will mention planes, and we won't forget the coast guard. are you ready? i thought i would start with the army. a few of you may recall tr did have a relationship with the u.s. army. he was a colonel in san juan hill. i'm not sure so many of you know he was also new york state militia second lieutenant first, after four years became a captain. between chester arthur and today, there have been only two presidents who served in the state national guard.
tr was obviously one of them. anyone know who the other was? bush was, too. does anyone know the other? truman. you got it. tr was in the state militia between 1882 and 1884. he started out as a second lieutenant and rose to the exalted position of captain by the time he got out. one thing that was interesting about tr and the army, as i'm sure ever be knows, when tr came into office, there were no higher level military schools of any kind.
he created the army war college, which most of you know, -- he built this building. interestingly also, his first message to congress when he became president, one of the most important things he was talking about, he talked about the importance of military education. from there, he built this a norma's university and all the other pieces of it. it was not just a one-off. it came from a real understanding of how much he could do about it. he did a lot.
the navy and tr's relationship is well known to you. after college he published his first book on the naval history of the war of 1812. he had a long-term interest in the navy. a number of people in the family have been involved in the united states navy. he built this beginning thing. he was assistant secretary of the navy. he went on to san juan hill. tr -- i'm trying to remember.
tr heard -- this is before the first plane went into the air. he had heard a fellow on the west coast was designing an airplane. he saw that this might be really an interesting and he saw the possibility of what he felt was pretty certain this would happen. when was that? anyways, a letter to various people in the navy saying this is an extraordinary invention about to happen. this is going to be very important for the navy. he was ahead of his time. another area he was ahead of his
time was submarine. one of the first of his period submarines came up to oyster bay where his house was. he insisted he wanted to go see it. the secret service, it was a bad day. heavy wind. secret service would not let him go. he snuck out the back door, went down to the beach, got in a rowboat, road -- rowed out, there he is all alone and the storm is blowing and everything, all of a sudden this rowboat comes up to the submarine about the length of this hall, and
there is the president. he insisted on letting him drive it. he drove it around in long island sound. secret service by that time was going crazy. he was so impressed by the danger of being a crewmember on a submarine that he said all submariners will receive special danger pay all the time. that is still true today. it's a little bit daunting to talk about the military in front of some of the most
knowledgeable and best military historians and so on. anyway, the navy league was founded by his sister and a bunch of other people. tr won the nobel peace prize and that came with a hefty financial gift, if you will. tr felt it was not appropriate for him to accept the gift because he had done it on the part of the american people. he donated a significant portion of that, what today might be -- $5,000 to help fund the navy league. the navy had not forgotten about tr.
what some of you may not know is anyone know when navy day is? october 27. birthday of theodore roosevelt. that is no accident. let's talk a little about the marines. the first foreign engagement, not counting the philippines of course, was when the whole thing was happening about the panama canal. this is a long story. it amounted to us having a marine landing on the coast. they were really helping local insurgents. it is a complicated story.
santa domingo, the dominican republic, just maybe a year after that, i think it was 2004, -- 1904, there was a revolution going on. we wanted to stay away from it. unfortunately, there was a young sailor who was shot and killed by the insurgents, which put tr in a difficult position. after that, the insurgents fired on our naval vessels. this was a very serious situation. tr did not want to get into it. the last thing he wanted was for us to take on another colony, so to speak. his description was, he said i
have about as much interest taking over the dominican republic as a boa constrictor has swallowing a porcupine rear end forward. the marines did go in. we managed to get out of that without acquiring the country. i think tr was pleased with that. i've covered all the branches except the coast guard. i'm hoping somebody in this room will know some thing about how the coast guard and tr interacted. all i know is the navy league also includes the coast guard as well as the marines. if somebody wants to enlighten me, go ahead.
that's really all i'm going to say. i know i'm standing between you and getting another drink, but i'm happy to have a job here. we are going to raise, always take the limelight ifyou can. i think we should all raise a toast to theodore roosevelt and what he did for the military. >> hear, hear. >> do you want me to answer questions or was that it? >> let's mix and mingle. >> ok. thank you everybody.
>> on american history tv, and lectures in history, the legal history of abortion in the u.s. sunday, space scientist recalls his work on the apollo missions and a discussion on the presidents retreat tv,ext on american history the u.s. commission on civil rights host a talk on early 20th century immigration policy, and the nazi era refugee crisis of the 1930's and 1940's. the u.s. holocaust memorial museum historian, rebecca, describes the immigration act of
the quota system impacting the crisis. american racism played a role in limiting the arrival of jews in america. this is about an hour. >> this meeting of the commission comes to order at 1:30 p.m., march 22, 2019. the meeting takes place at the commission's headquarters. i'm chair catherine lehman. the commissioners who are dennis are vice chair understand one of our commissioners is on the telephone, can you confirm? >> i am. >> the quorum of the commission is present. as the court