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tv   Reel America FDR and World War II  CSPAN  April 24, 2020 12:11pm-12:45pm EDT

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3. every saturday night american history tv takes you to college classrooms around the country for lectures in history. >> why do you all know who lizzy borden is and raise your hand if you ever heard of this murder, the jean harris murd trial before this class? >> the deepest cause where we'll find the true meaning of the revolution was in this transformation that took place in the minds of the american people. >> so we're going to talk about both of these sides of this story here, right. the tools, the techniques of slave owner power and we'll also talk about the tools and techniques of power that were practiced by enslaved people. >> watch history professors lead discussions with students on topics ranging from the american revolution to september 11th. lectures in history on c-span 3 every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv and lectures in history is available as a podcast. find it where you listen to podcasts. on april 12th, 1945,
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president franklin roosevelt passed away stunning a nation just as the war in europe was coming to an end. up next, a film that looks into his involvement in key wartime issues. world war ii began on september 1st, 1939 with the german invasion of poland. by the time the war ended in 1945, more than 60 million people had been killed and dozens of nations were destroyed. the ability of democracy to sustain and survive a direct attack had been put to the test and proven. across the globe the decade of the 1930s was a time of great unrest as economic depression caused widespread defair.
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some had gone with totalitarian leaders. in europe adolf hitler and mussolini promised prosperity based on military expansion. in asia they plotted a similar course. separated by two oceans, americans hoped to avoid involvement in yet another overseas conflict. at the time u.s. military ranked 17th in the world. they were hardly in a position to enter a world war, but some, including president roosevelt viewed events in europe and the pacific with increasing alarm. >> justification of any kind, civilians including vast numbers of women and children are being ruthlessly murdered with bombs from the air. >> at 2:50 a.m. on september 1st, 1939, president roosevelt was asleep at the white house when the phone by his bedside
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rang. the germans had invaded poland. as england and france had pledged to come to the offense, roosevelt realized a larger war was at hand. with the countries being overrun by the axis powers american's isolation permitted him from responding. there was little he could do. >> i ask this congress for authority and for funds sufficient to manufacture additional munitions and war supplies of many kinds to be turned over to those nations which are now in actual war with aggressor nations. our most useful and immediate role is to act as an arsenal for them as well as for ourselves. we shall send an ever increasing number, ships, planes, tanks,
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guns, that is our purpose and our pledge. >> on december 7th, 1941, debate over american involvement in world war ii ended abruptly when japan stages a surprise attack on pearl harbor, hawaii. >> important bulletin from the united press. >> japanese have attacked pearl harbor, hawaii, by air. and made on all naval and military activities on the island. >> yesterday, december 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy. united states of america was
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sudden and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of japan. >> i ask that the congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by japan on sunday, december 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the united states and the japanese empire. >> the attack was part of a larger military plan to seize control of oil and other critical resources in the pacific rim. japan's goal was to destroy our ability to stand in their way. four days later germany and italy declared war on the united
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states. roosevelt had believed for sometime that germany posed the greatest threat to america's long-term security. when hitler set their war machines against the united states his need to respond was obvious. as the united states entered the war, the situation was grim. japan had destroyed much of america's west coast fleet. and now controlled vast areas of the pacific. in the north atlantic german submarines continued deadly campaign against supply ships bound for great britain. and in europe german armies have invaded the soviet union. winston churchill, the prime minister of england, america's strongest ally, traveled to washington to meet with
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roosevelt. together they planned a strategy to combat the axis powers. this began to pay off in june of 1942 as the alleys slowly stopped the expansion of the axis powers and began to take the offensive. in the epic battle of midway in june of 1942 was a major turning point. the u.s. navy destroyed four japanese aircraft carriers and ended japanese dominance. a month later they invited the island of gado canal and a step called island hopping, an island by island advance. in europe the situation improved. british forces defeated the german africa core in egypt. and a force landed in north africa to clear the continent of axis forces. and the german advance in the soviet union was stopped in a series of hard fought battles. in 1943 the tide of battle continued to turn in favor of the allies as they gained
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greater and greater control of the fighting in both europe and the pacific. the soviet union turned back the german invasion and began driving hitler's army westward. in july the allies invaded sicily. the invasion led to the overthrow of mussolini and italy surrendered soon after. the campaign to end the german submarine men as in the ocean began to turn in allies favor as well. they needed to eliminate the threat to begin the giant buildup of men and supplies in great britain needed for the invasion of northwest europe. from 1942 to 1944 the allies pondered when, where and how a second front in europe could be opened. this thorny issue caused considerable friction between the big three as roosevelt, churchill and stalin each had their own ideas concerning the plan of attack. stalin demanded that allies strike quickly in northwestern europe to distract and draw off a portion of the german forces
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attack the ussr. roosevelt favored an assault on northwestern europe but realized the attack would require time for carefully planning and preparation. there was an attack along the edges of the axis november. not until november 1943, where the allied leaders were able to agree to a spring 1944 invasion. though the war was far from won, the talks also included discussion of a post war united nations organization. soviet fears of a resurgent germany led the russians to demand territorial adjustments in europe to establish a larger post war buffer zone between germany and the ussr and the allies would accept nothing less than an unconditionable surrender from the axis powers. as dawn broke on june 6th, 1944,
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the largest force in history mast in the waters of the english channel. the long awaited invasion of northwestern europe, a second front was underway. code named operation overlord, the massive invasion had taken years to organize. hundreds of thousands of men and millions of tons of weapons and equipment were transported across the atlantic ocean to britain. the invasion consisted of americans, britain ans and canadians. and in the tense early hours of the assault fdr monitored reports from the front. that evening he delivered a statement to the american people. it took the form of a prayer which he read on national radio. >> almighty god, our sons, pride of our nation, this day of set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization and to set free a
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suffering humanity. lead them straight and cruel. give strengths to their arms. stoutness to their hearts. steadfastness in their faith. >> the normandy invasion left them trapped in a vice fighting and expanding anglo american canadian force in the west and the soviet red army in the east. the allies began to tighten the vice. by 1945 time was running out for the german and japanese forces. the year before the allied forces had pushed deep into japan's pacific empire, by autumn of 1944 the liberation of the philippines was underway and american bombers had began a fire bombing campaign from basis in the mariannas. in some of the bloodiest fighting, marines landed on the island of iwo jima. america was now in a position to begin the end game and the war against japan and germany.
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franklin roosevelt lived long enough to know that victory was assured but on the morning of april 12th, 1945, as the world war continued, an exhausted president roosevelt woke in his to the cottage at the presidential retreat in warm springs georgia, worn down by heart disease, he had gone there for a brief vacation. at 1:00 p.m. he was studying papers an sitting for a portrait when he complained of a headache and then collapsed. within hours the commander-in-chief was dead of a massive stroke. less than a month later hitler committed suicide in his berlin bunker and on may 8th, 1945 germy surrendered to the allies. after suffering atomic bomb strikes on hiroshima and nagasaki japan submitted in a ceremony in tokyo bay. world war ii, the most important
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and terrible event of the 20th century was over. but it changed economic, political and social relationships that continue to influence the world we live in today. >> we are now in this war. we're all in it. all the way. every single man, woman and child is a partner in the most tremendous undertaking of our american history. we must share together the bad news and the good news. the defeats and the victories. the changing fortunes of war. >> to fight a global war the united states needed to mobilize the entire population along what became known as the homefront. the government turned to ordinary citizens and leaders of large corporations to help lead the mobilization effort.
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the response was astounding. american wartime production produced more than 299,000 aircraft, 630,000 jeeps, 88,000 tanks, 1,500 naval vessels, 6.5 million rifles and 40 billion bullets. by 1945 the united states was providing 60% of all allied nations and 40% of all weapons. products ranging from gasoline to sugar were rationed. civilians drove less, ate meat less, and often drank less coffee. children organized drives to salvage rubber and metal for war industries while their parents planted victory gardens and purchased billions of dollars worth of war bonds. millions of americans began paying federal taxes for the first time and to control inflation the government put limits on wages, prices and
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rents. president and mrs. roosevelt were at the forefront of this national mobilization effort setting priorities and focusing attention on the goals of total victory. they purchased war bonds and blackout shades were on windows and had war time rationing. the four sons all served in america's military. during the war mrs. roosevelt continued the activism that had long marked her as america's most public first lady. she was outspoken in her support for racial and gender equality. she championed the tuskegee airmen and women into armed services and the right of workers to organize. in 1942 they visited england to offer support to allies and returned with detailed reports for fdr. a year later she conducted a 25,000 mile tour of the south pacific as a representative of the american red cross. the first lady traveled in military transports putting herself at risk to visit
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hospitals, military camps, and red cross clubs. during her trip she saw an estimated 400,000 american servicemen and women. it created economic opportunities for women and minorities and advanced the cause of the two major social movements. after being threatened by black leaders with a march on washington, fdr moved to confront racial discrimination in the defense industry by issuing executive order 8802 which barred racial discrimination in war planes and created the fair employment practices commission. many women during the war found employment opportunities held by men were reluctant to return to the traditional role of home-maker. the opportunities oepd for african-americans and women during the war contributed to the post war civil rights and women's rights movements. >> grant us victory over the sort and slave all free men and nations.
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grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace, that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, and equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands but throughout the world. and in that faith let us march toward the clean world all our hands can make. >> world war ii was the most important and terrible event of the 20th century. it profoundedly changed global economics, politics and social relationships and continues to influence the world we live in
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today. in the uncertain weeks after pearl harbor, as japanese forced expanded across the pacific and southeast asia, many americans, particularly those on the pacific coast, feared enemy attack and saw danger in every corner. these war tooirm fears combined with racial prejudice led to great injustice. early in 1942 civilian and military leaders complained that members of the region's large japanese american community might be working with the japanese military to plan acts of sabotage. though no serious evidence existed they pushed the roosevelt administration for action. on february 19th, 1942, fdr issued executive order 9066 which led to the forced relocation of japanese americans living on the west coast. they were con fined to
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internment camps. abruptly forced to abandon or sell homes and businesses, many lost everything that they owned. similar wartime fears led canada and nations throughout latin america to adopt comparable expulsion of those of japanese ancestry. yet they remained loyal and some japanese americans from the camps served in the's military where they distinguished themselves with extraordinary valor in combat. the supreme court upheld the president's order in two wartime cases but in the 1980s the congress acknowledged this a violation of the civil liberties and voted to provide financial compensation to individuals confined to the camps. the supreme court also vacated the earlier wartime rulings. ♪ ♪ during world war ii millions of
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americans took up arms to fight totalitarianism and racism abrought but america was a deeply racist nation and the military like many other institutions was largely segregated. throughout the war reformers worked to end racial discrimination in the military. with congress largely controlled by powerful southern democrats who staunchly supported racial separation, fdr felt he could not broadly challenge military segregation. yet world war ii provides fdr with opportunities to take action against discrimination without going to congress and to create an environment in which minorities could advance in the military. during the war, blacks were admitted to the marine corp for the first time and the arm a air corp ended the ban on black pilots. with strong public support of first lady eleanor roosevelt nearly 1 million were trained at the alabama tuskegee institute and many served in kbat in the
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all black squadron. none of the bombers escorted by the unit was ever lost to enemmy fire. >> here for the first time, negro aviation events are being grown to fly war planes which present a unit. the 99th squadron. >> americans of mexican, latino and asian descent and native americans were given opportunities in the nation's military. >> a pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. and to the republic for which it stands, one nation,in divisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> long before america entered the conflict, fdr began to frame
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world war ii in more un anniversariversal terms and it came on january 6th, 1941 annual message to congress. in the future days which we seek to make secure, he declared, we look forward to a world founded on four essential human freedoms. >> first is freedom of speech and expression, everywhere in the world. the second is freedom of every person to worship god in his own way, everywhere in the world. the third is freedom from want. which translated in the world terms means economic understandings which will secure
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to every nation a healthy, peacetime life for its intolerance, everywhere in the world. the fourth is freedom from fear, which translated in world terms means a worldwide reduction of armaments, to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor anywhere in the world. [ applause ] >> during the final year of the war in europe, allied forces began overrunning camps to carry out the horrific final solution, the effort to eliminate the
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jewish population, known today as the holocaust. the final solution was rooted in nazi ideology which held that jews were inferior and threatened the nazi concept of racial purity. this systematic effort by the nazi state resulted in the murder of approximately 6 million jews and murdered millions of political dissidents and physically and mentally handicapped and others considered undesirable. after coming to powner 1933, adolf hitler began the population as a way out. but american immigration laws were complicated and often harshly administers. germany's armed expansion during the late 1930s and world war ii led to enormous growth in german controlled territory that put vast numbers of european jews
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under control and greatly diminished prospects for escape to safety. persecution escalated to mass murder involving millions of jews across the entire continent. what is the final solution to the jewish question is a effort to maximize the killing and destroy every jew they could find. >> without regard for human life is the german -- how otherwise can we explain the reports of sending numberless jewish people from berlin and other cities that are now packed like cattle in trains with their destination either poland or some part of occupied russia. >> the scale and depravity of the final solution was staggering. reports of mass killings began reaching the allies almost as soon as they happened. the response of president roosevelt and others within the
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american government and society has sparked heated scholarly argument in recent decades. historians debate whether fdr and other american decision-makers might have done more to admit jewish refugees and might have undertaken policies including the bombing of the rails to auschwitz that could have saved lives. [ explosion ] on october 11th, 1939, economyist alexander sacks delivered a letter frommal beert einstein to franklin roosevelt at the white house. in the letter the distinguished
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physicist described the potential for an atomic weapon and warned that nuclear research was underway in germany. roosevelt responded to einstein's letter by authorizing a scientific community to discover whether it was approved and later approved the manhattan project to build an atomic weaponch at a conference in hyde park in september of 1944, fdr and winston churchill agreed to keep the bomb project code name tubaloyes secret from jose stalin and russian spies were keeping stalin informed about the progress. fdr was prepared to use atomic
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bombs against germany and japan but a bomb was not ready for testing until after his death and germany surrendered. in july 1945 president harry s. truman authorized the use of atomic bombs against japan and bombs were dropped on japanese cities of hiroshima and nagasaki.
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the most important legacy franklin roosevelt left the world was the united nations organization. from the earliest days of world war ii, fdr worked to create a post war organization dedicated to global cooperation and peace through collective security. on january 1st, 1942, he welcomed representatives of 250 allied nations to the white house to sign a declaration pledging each to defend life, liberty and independence and religion freedom and to preserve human rights and justice. fdr called this wartime coalition the united nations and later led efforts to expand it into a post war international organization. >> i'm returning from this trip that took me so far refreshed and inspired with a firm belief that we have made a good start on the road to a world of peace. and i'm confident that the
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congress and the american people will accept the results of this conference at the beginnings of our permanent structure of peace upon which we can begin to build under god that then a world war in which our children and grandchildren, yours and mine, the children and grandchildren of the whole world must live and can live. and that, my friends, is the only measure i could give you. but i feel very deeply that i know that all of you are feeling it today and are going to feel it in the future. [ applause ] >> roosevelt imagined an organization of nations dedicated to equality and mutual security with the institution's backbone being the four policeman, the united states,
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great britain, soviet union and china who would enforce the peace. fdr died days before addressing the opening session of the conference that created the united nations. on the day before his death he labored over a speech about the post war world. the mere conquest of our enemies is not enough. we have the science of human relationships the ability of all peoples of all kinds to live together and work together in the same world at peace. ♪ ♪
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you're watching a special edition of american history tv. during the week while members of congress are in their districts due to the coronavirus pandemic. tonight we look back at presidents who faces crises while in the white house. starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern with a 2003 program from c-span book note series. john seeing enthraller talked about james k. polk who conducted the war against mexico. enjoy american history tv, now and over the weekend on c-span
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3. >> every saturday night american history tv takes you to college classrooms around the country for lectures in history. >> why do you all know who lizzy borden is and raise your hand if you ever heard of this murder, the jean harris murder trial before this class. >> a deepest cause where we'll find the true meaning of the revolution was in this transformation that took place in the minds of the american people. >> so we're going to talk about both of these sides of the story here, right. the tools, the techniques of slave owner power and we'll also talk about the tools and techniques of power that were practiced by enslaved people. >> watch history professors lead discussions with their students on topics ranging from the american revolution to september 11th, lectures in history on c-span 3 every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv and lectures in history is available as a podcast. find it where you listen t


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