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tv   The Presidency FDR Ike Relationship  CSPAN  November 7, 2021 10:18am-10:31am EST

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everything else, we know a lot more about the presidency with the information off of but we didn't know in the moment and we know it for more currently we can look back and know a lot more than maybe they could have some of these older presence afterwards so i think that will know less about the rehabilitation because i don't feel like there's as much information to come out. and that will not stick. >> quality work the other way, we won't have these revelations by kennedy and over the long-term we already know all of this. it and at the time, not years later. okay i will see you all on thursday.
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>> paul sparrow, the director of the fdr library. today we're going to talk about fkr's leadership and -- fdr's leadership and one of the major skills he had was picking the right person for the right job at the right time. particularly true among his military leaders. he put together an extraordinary team during world war ii, and sometimes ignoring seniority and protocol in the process of doing it. one of the questions we're going to ask is about the relationship between fdr and dwight eisenhower and specifically what was it about eisenhower's leadership that allowed fdr to select him for these incredibly important roles. joining us today to answer that question is dawn hammond. welcome. >> what a delight to be here with you today.
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>> so what do you think? what was the quality of eisenhower that made roosevelt choose him first for the his inveighs of south africa -- invasion. what was it about eisenhower that really attracted fdrsome. >> i think it makes sense to point out that eisenhower had an amazing relationship with general fox connor. and fox connor took him you should his wing and help -- under his wing and helped him develop some of his military lessons or his military knowledge. fox connor mentioned eisenhower to general marshall, and general marshall introduced eisenhower to fdr as well. >> marshall was the chief of staff and, of course, the point when roosevelt had to choose a leader for the d-day invasion, it ended up being eisenhower, so they had a complicated relationship. >> but i don't think that, the dr felt he could do without marshall in washington at that time. and marshall was an incredible
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administrator and sowning board for fdr -- sounding board. >> one of the first really important meetings between the two of them took place in casablanca after the north africa invasion. and it was a difficult time for eisenhower. he wasn't sure whether he was going to get fired or whether he was going to get promoted. >> it was quite a show after the invasion of africa, don't you think? have i wonder what it was like for eisenhower as he was going into that room with churchill and roosevelt and all those military leaders and having to justify everything that happened until then. >> one of the things i've been amazed about eisenhower is his ability to remain calm. don't get me wrong, he could lose his temper like the best of men, but when he really needed to be calm and smooth with his delivery, he was really masterful. so i'm sure that he was very, certainly very nervous about that -- internally very nervous ant that, but i bet he displayed
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himself in an amazing way. >> i think one of his most successful characteristickings was his ability to get along with a wide range of people and probably why he was given the title of commander for the d-day invasion. he had very, very difficult people to work for like bernard montgomery, george patton and, of course, winston churchill. churchill was, let's just say, in his face quite a bit. how did eisenhower manage to balance all of these competing egos and competing agendas and launch the most ambitious amphibious attack in the history of the world in. >> so i think it's a few things. number one, he was an incredibly humble man. he knew his talents, what he was good at, but he didn't have a big ego about it. but i think that he was able to establish this sort of diplomatic relationship within all of the other layers, all the
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other allied commands. churchill himself, i think his innate diplomacy really showed well during this time for him. >> you have new permanent exhibits at the eisenhower presidential library and museum, and one of the things you highlight there is directly connected to d-day. do you want to talk about that? >> we do, sure. we did a major renovation recently. it just opened to the public last fall, and we were able to sort of reimagine how we interpret d-day and eisenhower's involvement in the d-day planning. we have, as the eisenhower presidential library, we care for three pretty amazing objects related to d-day. one is one of the d-day planning tables, another is the in case of failure note that eisenhower penned -- or penciled, rather, and stuck in his pocket. and then the third is the model
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of the mulberry harbor. as you well know, it's the model that was used to explain the concept to churchill. churchill gave the model to president roosevelt, and the roosevelt presidential lie then transfer thed -- library then transferred it to the eisenhower presidential library. so we are very proud to share with -- this with the public. thank you. >> i think the table is one of those objects where you realize the history that happened right there, the men standing around the table making decisions with tens of millions of lives, and eisenhower writing a note saying if anything goes wrong, it's my fault. it's so dramatic. >> it really is dramatic. and you know that he wrote the rough date on that piece of paper, he wrote july 5th. no one really knows why. we don't know if it was they have beens or -- we just don't know. but to see that piece of paper, to see that graphite and know that it was written by his hand,
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it was from his heart, it's an incredibly moving piece of paper. >> so you put tremendous effort into developing and designing this new current exhibit at the library. what is your favorite part of it? >> i think for me the most important piece of our development is to share this story with a new group of people who don't have a personal connection to world war ii. how do we explain the whole time period9 that the war encompassed? how do we explain a global, global conflict? and to be able to figure that out and engage the visitor nor a different way was really important to us at the eisenhower presidential library. we have a film, we have two really great films actually. we have one film that's her of a graphic that shows the expansion and contraction of the land mass
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that's occupied by the allies or the axis powers, all of the battles. there's video within it to show some of the battles, and i think that's a real visual representation of a global war and how long it actually took. this film starts with manchuria. so i think it's been a great way for us to reimagine how to tell this tale, how to tell this incredible epic story to people who really just don't remember it. >> we find the same challenges with the roosevelt era, that it's ancient history to so many people today. of course, of the issues that they faced then we're once again facing now; economic upheaval, income inequality, environmental catastrophe. so it's very interesting that, you know, the issues that our presidents were dealing with 75, 80 years ago are once again confronting our leadership. but, now, i realized you're closed now like we are, but what
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about the public response when you first openedsome. >> we had -- opened? >> we had so many amazing comments. thank yous from veterans, families of veterans just delighted to see this story retold. a lot of our teacher guests told us that we really hit the mark for some of the educational pieces that we wanted to hit. we had a lot of gratitude. so we did have the accolades, which are lovely, but those people who came up to us and said thank you, thank you for doing this, those were really the meaningful comments. >> well, the question i always have about people when they're deeply immersed in one life of historic figures is what's the a part of his personality, what's the part of his story that you most relate to? >> the general knowledge that we all have -- he was astounding. he was amazing.
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but when i learned this very human aspect, it touched my heart more. so he was not a very good student, not when he went to west point. he graduated west point in the bottom middle of his class, he graduated with an awful lot of demeters because eisenhower had -- demerits because eisenhower had a playful streak. when he graduated, world war i begins, and he doesn't progress in his ranks as often or as quickly as some of his classmates. and we believe that he recognized and equated it with perhaps i didn't covery well in school -- do very well in school, and then he was never any less than number one this his class. so when he went on to the war college, when he went on to the command and general staff college, he was never less than number one in his class.
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and to me, that's really a very human moment of, you know, we can change things in our lives. we can recognize that i might not like whatever's going on, and i can fix it. >> that's great. so i want to end with one of my favorite photographs of roosevelt and eisenhower. there aren't that many photographs of the two of them together. it's very interesting. but at the big three conference with churchill and stalin when churchill and fdr committed to the may 1944 invasion of france, stalin said, well, who's going to be the supreme commander. they hemmed and hawed, they said we haven't selected one yet, and he said it's all nonsense until you select a supreme commander. and so on his way back to the united states, fdr says, okay, i get i've got to make a decision. and he flies to north africa, and he meets with eisenhower, and there's a photograph of the two of them in the jeep. and the expressions on their faces are so classic. and then this was one of these
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historic moments, you know? the fate of the war hung in the balance, who's going to be the commander. you see these two hen if realizing that they gave everything for their country. this is the moment that really captures it. >> i know that photograph well, and i love their faces. >> dawn, thank you very much for joining us today the here at home with the roosevelts, and i can't wait for you. >> masse mckinley, you are here because you worked of the organization and descendants of two presidents. tell me your family story. >> i'm related on my too ternal side to grover cleveland who is


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