tv Today in Washington CSPAN February 21, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm EST
on will be here, a longtime correspondent in beijing. by the way, a three-day weekend this weekend, washington's birthday. book tv on c-span2 is on the air for three days. if you are interested in books and books and authors, you can go to c-span2 and watched the. thanks for being with us. host: calle c-spa[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> you are watching c-span this
morning, created by the nation's cable companies and presented as a public service. up next, cspan's white house documentary takes to inside that nation's most famous residents prayed a little bit later, the recent presidential medal of freedom ceremony will honor bill russell. diversity in the u.s. court system after that. cspan paused book "abraham lincoln," is a unique contemporary perspective on mr. lincoln from $56, journalists, and writers. go to c-span.org/books.
>> i asked you to come here this evening so that we could immediately hear a firsthand report from the secretary of state regarding the negotiations that have been going on in your. >> you can look at this as an historical curiosity or you could look at this as a forerunner of today's managed news. >> find something you did not know about the 43 men who served as president of united states with the cspan video library. thousands of hours of president hu programming all free online. what what you want when you want. now, our feature documentary, " the white house." : inside america's most famous tom." home."
♪ awarem speaking to you how it worked since 1845 -- 190045. 45. >> this is a part of the white house where the president and his family lives. >> i never forget that i live in my house owned by all the american people and that i have been given that trust. >> there are temporary occupancy who live for a
continuity of providence. >> this is a public house and a wonderful private home for our president. >> it is the people's house which means we want to make sure that we leave this place under the extraordinary condition we founded. it. >> this is the symbolic, the american people, alive with activity and quiet at times when you feel the presence of the past. it is a public museum with a collection that helps tell the story of those who have lived here.
an office building where momentous decisions are made and announced to the world and a private residence where first families can retreat as an ever- increasing spotlight is shown on them, created by the founders of the symbol of a newfound democracy and its freedom. it is bill bite freedman and slaves alike. -- it is built by three men and slaves alike. >> this white house has withstood war and bulldozers just as it is inhabitant's has. >> it is the story of a house that in many ways no longer exists. the insides have been burnt, gutted, and rebuild. even those parts of it that have become landfill or that we now see only in faded photographs are part of our nation's collective memory and our national heritage.
and now, we walk inside the white house and through time into its grand floors where the rooms and faces all tell stories of the past. [applause] and where history still unfolds. past the velvet robes of public tours to those places you get to see. as we export presidents and first families who have changed this home into what it is today. ♪ >> it is a place cub read on
based on the first family. >> there's a tremendous urgency about the white house. you have the tranquil state rooms and nothing else is tranquil . >> the tour will take place at 11:00 a.m. >> when they are here, activity hits its peak from the west wing, the business of the executive branch is conducted and transmitted to the world by the ever-present media. in the east wing, the first lady's staff plans private and official events down to the minute details. in the center, the resident staff works behind the scenes to ready the white house for those events. ♪ >> the house is a metaphor for the country. it is roughly as old as the country but it is as relevant as this morning's headlines. it receives a fresh injection of life with every family that
moved zen. >> when the family is away, there are no events, but changes that the first lady wants to the historic rooms in the house get carried out. five days per week, along with all the other demands on the home, a constant stream of visitors come into this american house museum that stands as the symbolic home to the people of a nation. >> every time i am in here, it is still a thrill to see the beauty and simplicity of it and the knowledge of what took place in these rooms. for those of us who love history, the layers of history that are still alive make a magnificent then you walk up the driveway towards the front of the white house and every time i do that, i am in awe. suddenly, i become a little kid. for me, it is that what that allows you to go in that often says," this house really can be open to everybody."
♪ >> sitting in the middle of 18 acres known as the president's park, the white house has been home to each of america's chief executives since john adams. the west and east wings were added and has undergone many changes. the court house remains the place all of them would recognize, divided into public and private sections. the ground and first floor are open for tours from above that are the private quarters of the family. inside the central, there are 132 rooms. there is a floor plan that unites the ground, estate, and second floor with a centrally located old-shaped room. on the ground floor, is the diplomatic reception room. there is a map room, library, and china out rooms complementing the style. one floor up it is anchored by
the blue room in the center with the state dining room at one end of the hall, the east room at the other and the red and green room off to either side of the blue state room. on the second floor, the yellow oval room is the central space. it is bordered by the treaty room, the lincoln bedroom, and the queen's room to the east of it. presidential bedroom and study, the west sitting hall and the family's private dining room to the west. >> if you took the white house and pulled up out of the ground, it would be huge. you could not imagine how enormous it could be. two basement floors, the west wing with sellers and basements, the east wing with all that and under that a bomb shelter. you would probably have a six- story building. >> stretching from the west wing
to the east, the white house complex is over 300 feet long. it is equipped for a huge political staff as well as the permanent staff of just about 100 who help run the central mansion barracks it was not always this way. >> tonight, sitting at my desk in the white house, i make my first grade your report to the people. >> franklin roosevelt arrive for his first day in office in march of 1933, the white house is 133 years old and has been home to 30 presidents before him. perhaps the chief executive before or sense paid closer attention to physically transforming the buildings and grounds here than roosevelt, its longest resident. >> the roosevelts' together revolutionized how we see the white house and its occupants am faced with the challenges of the
great depression and world war two, fdr expands the role of the federal government and along with it, increases the size of the white house complex to what we see today. on one side, he adds on to the west wing, bringing it to its current size. inside, and he has a new all of us build in the location that all presidents since that you started outside, he hires famous landscape architects to design the current look of the south grounds. it has beautiful gardens and grows and historic trees. on the other side of the complex, he builds up the east wing to its size today. >> i wish very much that i could be out there rolling eggs with all of you this afternoon. i had my eggs for breakfast. [laughter] >> he loved the white house itself. he was interested in it. he had years of planning and work with the country was
paralleled by endless work with the white house. he had an architect up at 7:00 every morning and they had a new project every day. he created the white house library, the east wing, he could not get the money from congress but he built it for war purposes. he was collecting things to go in the museum. he was an amateur architect. i think roosevelt enjoyed his life there. everyone came to him. he would not have been happy in a rocking chair on the porch at hyde park. >> why should i use a pussyfoot [inaudible] >> you can see roosevelt standing at a podium but those who live and work at the white house review in either in a wheelchair or as this are rare film footage reveals, in a metal leg brace he wears the remainder of his adult life after contracting polio in 1921 para partly because of his limited mobility, the white house is the center of the roosevelt
presidency and he uses it and a handful of rooms inside it to his advantage i am happy to address this evening in this unique manner. >> utilizing the growing power of radio and film technology, fdr transformed how the building is seen by the nation. he increased visibility far beyond any president before him them of franklin d. roosevelt had an acute awareness of the power of the white house. >> just below the south portico from where fdr addresses the nation is the entrance to the white house reserved for presidents, first ladies, and their guests. it leads into the first room and on basie, the diplomatic reception room. look it on the ground floor, it is beyond the bounds of public tours. it is made famous by fdr. >> never before since jamestown and plymouth rock -- >> fdr made the first of many
fireside chats to the nation during his presidency. >> i want to tell you what has been done in the last few days and why it was done and what the next steps will be. >> mainly through radio but sometimes allowing the newsreel cameras in four portions of this chat. like so many of the rooms, it has had very uses over the years and the connections between different presidents and first ladies are many. originally a furnace room, in 1902, fdr's cousin theodore roosevelt turned it into the diplomatic reception room as part of his work on the white house. as you look at it today, its main visual features are a legacy of first lady jacqueline kennedy as part of her restoration of the home. >> this is the room that the policy first when they come to the white house. everyone who comes to it comes through it and leads by it. i think it should be a pretty room. this is wallpaper that was
printed in france about 1834. it is all themes of america. and >> it is still fdr who has the biggest impact on the history of this space. >> we well know that we cannot escape danger. >> it is not only the president who is a master of public persuasion, mrs. roosevelt is the first first lady to hold regular press conferences. two days after her husband's swearing in on march 6, 1933, she walked into the red room with a box of candy which was passed around. she became the first first lady to have a press conference. there were no male reporters
allowed. >> as a result, these stuffy publishers around the country had to hire their first female reporter. they say a generation of female journalists got their job because of alan r.. she did her radio show from the white house and wrote her columns. >> the questions you sent me on the various stages of life and the white house -- >> world war ii, comes a need for secrecy inside the and with a transformation of another room inside the home, in part due to one of the most famous visit ever to the white house it is a dramatic ring of action in the white house. >> can winston churchill is here and after a jury 10-day trip from london. the british prime minister begins face-to-face meetings with president roosevelt that are arriving only weeks after pearl harbor, he works with roosevelt setting up temporary or headquarters inside the house influenced by churchill's
use of maps. fdr has to step assemble his own war room inside the home. located next to the diplomatic reception room on the ground floor, and with his physician's office on the other side, fdr's staff takes over what had been a lady's coat room and converts it into a hideaway office where he and a select few monitor and plan america's war effort. >> you feel that. in that room. it looks so radically different. it has things all over the walls and maps and a little path through an old beat-up oaken metal desks everywhere and filing cabinets. it was the brains, the communication brains of the white house for the president personally. >> entering the map room, you travel towards the center of the space imagining what it would
look like in his day. turning to the right and just above the fireplace, you see the last map made for president roosevelt. on that are the projected european troop movements in april, 1945. >> he was always interested in the maps that was of the locations of ships and was always interested in where his sons were in relation to the war. he was extremely interested and well informed on the movements of the military and the information came from their. >> key and churchill would spend time here. there is the story of alan are witnessing banbury she was not supposed to be in the room but she came in a couple of times. she saw them in the room playing with the pins on the wall and she said they look like two little boys playing soldier. they look like they're having a wonderful time and she said may too wonderful. she felt even though these two
great men are planning a war, they should not look like they're having fun peripatetic >> as president roosevelt grapples with the country at war, mrs. roosevelt wrestles with tensions inside the home. she and her head housekeeper believe that the service that would function better if it is all one color, they dismissed all white members and hired only blacks at a lower-cost. >> that darkie in uniform -- >> i like to talk about the white house because the white house is seen as the central american place. i want people to realize that part of that centrality is because it is a place that crumpled with questions of race and was reflective of its time. want people to realize that what the white house is, is the symbol of america for good and ill, a symbol of what is
possible and a symbol of america falling down and failing to meet its stated ideals. >> the employees today are diverse as the nation's population. working behind the scenes, they provide a continuity to the white house three different administrations. they make this place a home and stayed for presidential families. >> are we ready? >> they are part of a sense of privacy. you don't see them sharing all their stories. they feel part of their professional life is to do the work and what happens in the white house stays in the white house and they have been some of the guardians of tradition when it comes to keeping new administration's understand what the white house is and how to use it. >> the white house staff has figured out how to accommodate families and make them feel as normal as possible even though there are dozens of people around dropping off flowers and vacuuming and fixing things of
all the time. you begin to see them as family in so many ways. that is the beauty of this place. it is the staff will make a home for so many different families over the years. >> as they work here, the events they prepare for provide a window into the home today and it's unfolded history. some such as the work being done here in the chocolate shops offer a window into its storied past. suites of the executive mansion are being made for a dinner on drink -- on nur honoring the original architect of the white house. >> james hoben was george washington's manda. ♪ >> it is important to understand where the white house came from.
so many things that are there and are you make about the white house life and its usage comes from that time. >> the white house was sanctified by george washington's. it was he who never lived there who created the cornerstone. he had a major say in its design and location. >> with the capital scheduled to move to a new federal study on the potomac by 1800, in 1792, washington and thomas jefferson announced a design competition to build a president's house. after the selection of james hoben as the designer of -- an architect, problems soon arose between the president and the commission chosen to oversee the construction of bohol before the cornerstone is even laid. >> washington became impatient with the commission. they did not know where to put the cornerstone.
washington was an old survey are and took off his coat and drove the stakes in the ground for where it stands today. he had a certain taste that was out of style for the white house is very out of style by world standards report. it is loaded with carvings. washington ordered that. there is a 14-foot garland of roses that were carved. that was carved into the face of stone. it was not stuck on her it was carved into it. is 14-feet wide. he loved it but before he retired, he said there is not the case for ornament that there once was. >> entering the white house under washington's garland, you come into the state floor of the home. you come into a lay out that he
and other early presidents would all recognize. today, with its state dining room at the west and of all, red, blue, and green parlors off the main cross hall and a large publicly at the east end of the floor and as you walk down the corridor, you come into the east room, the most public and perhaps famous room in the house with a direct legacy to george washington. >> washington had an instinctive understanding of the foyer of leadership. the east room was something in which he took a particular interest. >> it is the grand ceremonial room of the white house. public history unfolds here in front of a nation. it has borne witness to historic treaty and bill-signing. weddings,use countless musical performances, this is by had said state and
the events celebrate its history. >> this house is forever renewed by the a's was fidelity of its founders and a boundless promise of a its futureheirs. >> is also a place where the nation mourned together serving as the remorse seven of the eight presidents who have died while in office had lain in state. more than a place of mourning, the east room and its events are symbolic of a home with the unfolding history of our country is represented and where george washington's idea of a public audience room connects to our nation's past. >> it is a room that has always been sanctified by the portrait of george washington it is kept company by a later portrait of martha washington figuratively, the washington's watch over this room which in so many ways he inspired. >> it is this painting of george washington that is the only portrait hanging in the white house on november 1, 1800. it is the day his successor,
john adams, becomes the first president to occupy the home. >> the house was incomplete. no rooms were furnished. very few rooms were plastered. the roof leaked and there was no running water. there was an outdoor privy next to the house. the grounds were littered like a construction site. you had to be careful walking around at night. there was no light. it was not a very little house >> inside the home, abigail adams use of the east room for anything but what washington envisioned. >> she used it as a drawing room. it was on finished. it was leaking like crazy. she set up the clotheslines in there, apparently. was constantly compared to george washington on favre blood. on favorably.
-- unfavorably. john adams would stand next to the portrait. he did not have many tea. he smoked his pipe. he would stand the heat that portrait -- he would stand beneath that portrait. >> the brief occupancy of the white house is one of political defeat and personal tragedy. within days of moving into this house, the president learned that his tenure would be brief because he had been defeated for reelection by no other than his former friend, thomas jefferson. to make matters worse, he learned within days of bad news that their son, their alcoholic son had died. it was a house of great gloom for the remainder of their terms. up adams' they were holed
inside the white house. >> i pray to heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house. may none but honest and wise men ever ruled ro thisof. roof. it is the lasting gift of john adams to thomas jefferson and all presidents who have lived here. >> this is one of three monuments and the white house. >> as visitors go through the state floor today, they have a president to bank for allowing the public to come in for taurus. his presence is felt throughout the rooms and parlors on this floor. >> everywhere you have seen today as a specific purpose and the white house t. >> the white house was first opened in the spring of 1821.
♪ >> there is a particular feeling in the green room to me of jefferson of an everyday dining room where he had his round table and he did all the talking. i can imagine him with thomas paine. that is where most of his dinners took place. there were relatively small and political but people came to call them what he was famous for having these meals where he invited everyone he knew who was brilliant to come to the white house. president kennedy said in the east room, never has so much talent been assembled in the white house at one time except when thomas jefferson dined here alone. there is american furniture from 1800s 1810. that is right in the jefferson to.
teterm. the furniture is probably better than jefferson could afford to put in the white house during his term. there is a wonderful portrait. there is a silver plated coffee urn owned by john adams. it was not too long after the declaration of independence. there's a scene of philadelphia in the mid-19th century. it chose independence hall. you are talking about the great people who had something to do with the declaration of independence and the early government and the constitution. >> here is enormous symbolism in jefferson's use of the white house. he became the first president to
shake hands. talk about something we take for granted but that was a defining gesture. >> in addition to his symbolic impact, thomas jefferson as the first president to change the structure, adding colonnades of each side for stables and servants' quarters. the college to the west of the home are still standing today. -- the columns to the west of the home are still standing today. he brought in slaves to a home partially built by enslave labor. as was the capital blocks away been a slave labor was involved in the construction of the white house. it was involved in the maintenance of the white house. it was always there. it was a land of the free and these people were enslaved. >> when the white house was built like when the capitol was built, the labor in america was provided by african americans. it was labor that was finding the stones that were used or
working as carpenters or laborers. african-americans are such a part of the fabric of america. they help to build everything even in the building of the white house, you have the kind of contradictions at the heart of america. these are contradictions of equality and opportunity and erase. from day one, the white house is a symbol of all that was good and all that needed to be >> addressed> > for any american the understand complex history of this country, and you feel it special when you look at the drawings of how this home was built. you can see many slaves who could not enter the building but helped create the building. some of those folks could be my ancestors. there is a profound power that comes with the fact that we are the first african american family to occupy this resident.
ce. that is our history. >> the white house, america's most famous son was one of three original documentaries from cspan included in the american icons dvd collection. get your copy for $24.95. you could order c-span.org it at/store. for more information, interviews with historians and curators and other video resources on the history of the presidency, and c-span.org go to/white house. abraham lincoln, great american historian is a unique contemporary perspective on mr. lincoln from $56, journalists, and writers from his early
years to his presidency during one of our nation's most troubled times and is relevant today. for present day and while supplies last, the publishers are offering the hardcover edition of the book for the special price of a $5 plus shipping and handling. go to c-span.org/books. at the promotional 'licoln' checkout. ♪ >> designed by washington, added onto by jefferson, and bill to its current size by fdr, it is a home of constant growth and change. when president never orders a hammer lifted to alter the
structure changes it forever. it is the window where he asked the band to play dixie as he speaks to a crowd gathered. ♪ the room inside the white house where he writes and signs documents that change our nation. here is where he comes to grieve on thursday afternoon following the death of his beloved son in this room. and here, where his body lay in state. >> physically, the lincolns left a political imprint on the white house. in every other sense, they left perhaps the greatest imprint of any president. >> the mystique of the white house counsel per lincolniod. >> the house at 31 rooms of
which only six or seven or set aside for use by the lincoln family. there were on the second floor. >> these are the private quarters where cameras are rarely allowed. the entire floor is set aside for family use. in lincoln's time without a west wing yet health, family life and the demands of the presidency shared this same space. the bedrooms were at one end of all the presidents' offices and staff at the other end. it is here where you will find the most famous room in the house. >> i remember walking upstairs and turned the corner and i saw the lincoln bedroom. i went in the place where lincoln actually sat and wrote and where he drafted parts of the emancipation proclamation and the gettysburg address. for me, any other place in the white house, that is a sacred
place. ♪ >> the most famous room and a home today is a bedroom but in lincoln's time, it was anything but a place for rest. >> this room was the office and cabinet room. he got here around 9:00 and worked through the day under the most trying circumstances and under the most demanding routine that can be imagined. it was nothing like eric chief executive normally subjects himself to. -- it was nothing like our chief executive normal subjects himself to. there was a constant flow of people. >> he would meet with members of the public. somehow, he managed to maintain his sense of humor. one office-seeker can to gripe
and complain and denounce the president to his face. he said he helped put him there. lincoln said yes, and what a master got me into. >> it is here where he finds the emancipation proclamation on new year's day 1863 following a lengthy recession downstairs. he had shaken some money has that when you went to his office to sign the emancipation proclamation, his own hand was shaking. he put the proclamation down. he said if ever my soul was in an act, is this act. he put the pan down until he could pick up and sign with a bold plan >>. with the emancipation side, the battle of gettysburg still looms in the room today is one of the five original copies of lincoln's historic speech at the dedication of the cemetery
there and the only one side by the 16th president. >> it seems to encapsulate the genius of the man. it is a sample space. it was not much appreciated when it was given current it is one of the great speeches in the history of the world. it reflects about lincoln and his gear and what he did for history in general. >> every once in awhile, but i will sneak re-toothpi read thend at the gettysburg address core it was only three minutes long. when i get long winded, it is useful to look at that piece of genius. >> i can imagine the troubled lincoln had trying to figure out how to make decisions when your country is about to splinter. how do you make decisions of war? how'd you make decisions around questions of race and slavery?
in this space, he wrestled with so much of that. >> is here in the most historic room in the house or one firstly will leave her biggest imprint on the future of the white house. she reclaim as part of the past and connects lincoln to his successor. ♪ subsequent presidents continue to use the room as their office until 1902 when the west wing was completed. it would be decades later until harry truman had the idea for a bedroom dedicated to lincoln. >> when truman redid the house in the late 1940's and early 1950's, he set up that room, the room we now call the lincoln bedroom, to commemorate the fact that it was lincoln's office for it was the room that he signed the emancipation proclamation. the room itself is a shrine to american history. >> the lincoln bedroom has
undergone a variety of changes per a. gears for the administration's presented in different ways but the first major renovation of the room was under the guidance of first lady laura bush. >> the carpet was over 50 years old. i worked with the white house historical association. i work with furniture curators and art historians and other specialists. we looked back at wallpaper lincoln had in his office. we looked at the carpet he had in his office and we did reproductions of those. >> the bed dates back to 1861. it was bought by mary todd lincoln as part of her white house refurbishing. it is 8 feet long, 60 white, made of carved rosewood. >> mary todd lincoln's strength, the lincoln bed, the victoria
and decorating, the bed is still dressed the way we did that so we did that again. >> it is this bad bought by mary lincoln and the most well-known piece of historical furniture in the house that holds the key to understanding the lincoln family's time there. >> the famous bed that was one of mary lincoln's many extravagant purchases as she began a campaign when she got here to redecorate this entire bedroom. >> she spent so much money and he saw the bill and flew into a rage. he said the soldiers needed blankets. >> the ethical thing about this bed is that it is where in february, 1862, lincoln wi sonlly died after a bout with typhoid fever. after that, mary would never go
into his room again. she never looked at the bed again. >> she never was able to absorb the sun's death. lincoln finally said to her when he took her to the window and made her look across the river at the mental hospital, st. elizabeths. he said if you don't get a hold of yourself, you will be put there. now is the time to absorb it. upthe president's would hole room, often on a thursday, the day he died off and to grieve. how lincoln's handled their grief goes to how we see them today. in the case of mary, it unhinged her. it was the final. blow. the warm all the disparate
elements of lincoln's personality. his law is overwilly morphed into a nation's sense of loss of millions of homes throughout the union. >> the presence face showed the war, relief finally comes to a white house that has been home to not only a family but to union troops for the past five years. peace between the north and south comes in april, 1865. with the civil war at an end, president lincoln appears at dusk before a crowd gathered on the north lawn of the white house. he looked up from the center window. he asks the marine band to play"dixie." >> lincoln's last speech was made from that window.
the marine band was on the porch. he was making a conciliatory speech. he through the pages on the floor and t his sonad was picking the >> month. in the speech, he talked about the fact that voting rights should be extended somehow to especially blacks who could read and write and two soldiers who have fought in the war. >> there was someone in the audience that night on along the was listening, who turned to his friend and said," did you hear that? that means negro citizenship. that is the last speech he will ever make and that man was john wilkes booth. three nights later he shot lincoln at ford's theatre. >> it catapulted into an assassination. that night is considered one of the turning point. when i think about that speech and the second-floor window, that is what i think about. ♪ >> without the link a melodrama,
the white house would not be there today. -- without the link in melodrama, the white house would not be there today. the president themselves found a certain comfort and a certain assistance in having that house. >> in the decades following lincoln, the white house is once again draped in black following the assassination of james garfield in 1881. inside, the hong grows dark. it reflects the victorian tastes of the tie. the building stays the same sized for the country is growing and the demands on the office and home expand. just after the peace treaty ending the spanish-american war signed in the white house, president william mckinley will be mourned in the east room after being gunned down by an anarchist and buffalo, new york. the white house needs an injection of life and a new
president and his family were about to give it just that. [applause] >> welcome everyone to the white house. thank you for joining us tonight to celebrate the teddy roosevelt 150th birthday. president roosevelt once said i don't think that any family has ever enjoyed the white house more than we have. >> no greater champion of the presidency ever existed and theodore roosevelt. >> he had an entertaining family. his children roller skated in the east room. there was a surge of energy. his children got into the act.
>> some of the stories after roosevelt became more extravagant. i have trouble imagining some of them. the roosevelts were extremely conscious of propriety. >> if you want to ask yourself to whom does a modern white house over the most, it was roosevelt. he was in direct responsible for the west wing. >> the white house is just over 100 years old when the roosevelt arrived. upstairs, edith roosevelt draws this map showing how crowded things are with the family and the offices of the president still sharing space. the needs of a large family collided with a growing responsibilities of the presidency. the presidential suite of
offices on the second floor where lincoln had worked are converted into family bedrooms on the east end of the house. it has stayed that way ever since. when looking for a space to put the president and his staff, roosevelt has his own ideas about what to do with the greenhouses and conservators to the west about home that had been started during the buchanan's presidency. >> t.r. took the buchanan conservatories and smashed a glass houses. it indicated he was getting rid of anything that reminded people of james buchanan. the glass houses disappeared. on this site was the west wing. >> considered temporary at the time, the new executive of is building is one story tall. it is a rectangular office for
the president where theodore roosevelt and the portrait of his favorite predecessor. >> he said there are two kinds of president, lincoln types and you can types and there is no doubt which type he himself belongs to. it is no and accident thatt.r. puts lincoln's portrait in a place of prominence. he often asked himself what he would have done. on the day he was sworn in as president, in march, 1905, theodore roosevelt had a lock of lincoln's hair. >> as the west wing is being built in a four-month period, t.r. and edith are busy making over the transforming the state floor into a style more
appropriate for a growing international power. >> out went the potted palms and a huge stained-glass screens and the victoriana. he took a back 100 years to the austerity of the federalist times. it was as if washington or jefferson or adams had walked into the house, they would have felt at home. >> uc roosevelt legacy on the hall. one of the state floor, he takes the east room back in time and that the other, he modernizes the state dining room to fit his needs for a place to hold bigger offical dinners. it is the same size today. >> when you walk into that state dining room, it was simple but on another level it was grandly simple. ♪
>> it is hard for people to imagine that the dining room was not larger than it was when it opens. >> eliminating this staircase, 140 people can be squeezed in but it created a much more impressive place for state dinners or occasions of state. >> the wall paneling is almost all original. the only thing that teddy roosevelt would not recognize is that walz in his day were oak paneling and they were dark brown. he had animal had hung around the room. if he saw the white walls, it would not be awake he left it. >> the dominant feature over the mantle is the greatg.p. healey
portrait of a thoughtful and perplexed abraham lincoln. it is a very powerful image. >> that portrait was bequeathed to the white house by mrs. robert taught lincoln in 1939 . >> it is fitting that below the portrait is a lasting american image on the fireplace mantle left her by president roosevelt and still seen today. >> the buffalo heads are there because of theodore roosevelt. the mantelpiece is not the original but it is a copy of the original which was put there after the 1902 renovations with lions on the front. roosevelt had a thing about lions. he disliked them all. he thought b americanison -- he
thought the americans bison should be there. they were carved on the mantelpiece. >> looking down from the state dining room through the parlors, use the portrait of theodore roosevelt hanging in the east room that george washington designed. part of this renovation of the white house, he revived vest that when i look at the portrait, theodore roosevelt did not get along with p stateainter. roosevelt got impatient and finally, roosevelt stops and put his hand on the new will post and the painter said that was it. he painted that on the landing of the stair with the shades pulled. that is how that portrait of roosevelt was done. it shows is power on a wall.
if theodore roosevelt was to step out of that portrait, he would look around the room and say that was the east room. it is largely unchanged since the 1902 renovation. after 100 years of that room being kept up to date and it got progressively more victorian and exotic, he thought it should be more stately, more something a european would understand as a diplomatic set piece where he could do his business with foreign visitors. though it was gutted in the truman renovation, the work was copied to reproduce what was done in 1902. there were gold drapes and white walls. theodore roosevelt would feel extremely comfortable and
pleased that when he left office, he got the american institute of architects to write a letter saying that the white house should be left as teddy roosevelt created it. it was presumptuous to think that no present or first lady would have a say and how it would love. ok. ♪ >> on the state floor, tourists can see the in fact of t.r. and other presidents on the public part of the house. his lasting imprint is what he leaves on part of the home that only the first family and invite guests will ever get to see. ♪
♪ ♪ >> it is the second floor private residence of the white house. since the executive offices were moved out during the time of the roosevelt, the entire floor was reserved for family use. it is here where they all come to live private lives out of the public spotlight. >> the white house has always been a place that had attention. it was the tension between being a public site and being someone's home. that tension plays out all the time in every administration. the visibility that they constantly face is part of the stress of being in that house. one of the challenges is to make peace with that, to recognize that to survive, you have to realize that it is okay that
part of your life is public even when you come home. the other part is to find that space that protect you. find those things that allows you the privacy that you need but also allows you to revel in the house you are in. >> i tell people it feels like you are living in this beautiful hotel. the ground floor is the lobby and when you step out, you will interact with a range of people, maybe a group of tourists or staff members or special visitors. you feel like greeting them and you get into the elevator and go into your quiet private space and it feels very much like you are the only people living there. ♪ >> it is the best public housing in america. it has always been that way. i assume the occupants of that house pinch themselves every day it.
the first ever white house reception. it is here when fdr spends more time than in any other room in the white house during his presidency. >> that was where roosevelt could go and relax. he loved to play cards there. he would play poker, games with cabinet officers. there is a wonderful as story that he had a traditional poker game monday night the senate was set to return. whoever was a head at the adjourning would win. on monday occasions, the secretary of the treasury was way ahead sir roosevelt takes the fun and pretends it is someone else on the line. they kept playing and playing. at midnight he pulls ahead and whispers, "mr. speaker, you are adjourning? and i am ahead."
he loved to read in that room. it was really where he could relax. >> this is a warm house which is decorated. this is the south facing room. even on a cold january day, the sun pours in through these beautiful windows. a lot of the room was done this way by jackie kennedy. we did have a luncheon for queen elizabeth and prince philip the day of their state visit here. we were able to point out the mantel sat, the cock and two chairs there that were her gift from her father, king george, to president truman when she visited the white house as princess elizabeth. there are years of history in nearly everything in this room. >> for more information about
the white house including a virtual tour of the building, interviews with historians and curators, and other information, log onto c-span.org/whitehouse. to get our documentary, log onto c-span.org/store. the set of three is $24.95. >> i ask you to come here this evening so that we could immediately hear a report from the secretary of state regarding the negotiations about what is going on in europe. >> you can look at this as we look at this which is, in many ways, a forerunner of today's managed news. >> finds in the new did not know but the 43 men who have served as president with the c-span
video library. all free and on line. watch what you want, when you want. we now return to c-span's feature documentary, "the white house -- and said america's most famous tom." -- inside america's most famous home." >> it is a houseful of history and the stories of those who have lived here and have altered this, over time. while some residents there early enjoy their time here, others claim to have not can still leave a lasting impression on the white house. >> you better start studying the presidency because one of you one of these days will the president of the united states. if you ever get there, the happiest day i ever spent in my life for the day i left the
white house. >> when the germans moved in, the president was determined to make the house a home for his family but the home they move in is 145 years old and beginning to show its age. >> when bess truman's saw the white house on a tour after their taking over after fdr died, they were appalled. the carpet was threadbare and she could not imagine living in that gloomy place. >> they brought in 13 van load of furniture and they were very big accumulators. it looked like an old motel with a big cracks. it was beginning to creep tandoori people. >> in the east room, the ceiling was sagging and plaster was falling. it was deemed a fire hazard. it was obvious that drastic changes were needed everywhere
in the white house. the first alteration truman made was to add an amenity to the family quarters enhancing private life at the white house. as in the get film of the white house shot by president truman from the south portico is missing one key feature that you see today. it is something controversial during his time but cherished by all first family's sense. located just off of the yellow oval room, the truman balcony is where families can come to relax while looking out over the south lawn without having to go through the public part of the house downstairs. something president truman deems essential. >> he wanted the balcony for convenience. the living in a cage was not terribly appealing. everyone who lived there loved it. the have a beautiful view and
they remember watching the fireworks. mrs. reagan elected. the trumans love it. everyone in the world enjoy it. >> it is a magnificent place to spend time. our family uses it often. it seems to be that no matter what the weather is coming a can get pretty oppressive in the summer. it seems like there is always a beautiful, cool breeze on the balcony that makes it just a joy especially as you watch the sun go down in the lights on the monument start to come up. it is breathtaking. >> utilized by all first family since its completion in the night -- 1948, truman is criticized for changing the architectural look of the white house. >> something new and in this town. something that had never been done before that will desecrate a national treasure. it was very characteristic of
harry truman. he saw the comfort, the relaxation that it would provide and everyone has been grateful to harry truman for making it a little bit more livable. >> i did not understand what all of the fuss is about. all of the innovations in the white house and they cause trouble. they insisted on for a bathtub in the white house and you never saw as much fuss raised in the should read the paper about that day and what a time it was. they never could catch up so they did not get to. i have put a lot more bathtubs in there when i repeated the white house. >> the white house today is a reflection of harry truman's work there. after adding the balcony, a complete reconstruction of the home was necessary due to the
structural weaknesses after 138 years of years. volume in the walls built, president truman mandates that they stayed on touched but authorizes the gutting and rebuilding of the entire inside of the white house. it would take almost four years to complete. >> how they did it was an engineering masterpiece. the court first deal legs like an ounce -- like an elevator shaft to hold up the top floor all the way below the basement to the subbasement. they emptied the house and brought all the parts in and cleaned up in and dug out. they were about to chop the
doorway wider. they said they could not get the dump truck and the bulldozer in there so they took them apart. that is what they do. they build them up again and put in the subbasement and the driveway. it really was an empty vessel. >> truman build the white house for the future for applying the inside with steel and set of web. -- fortifying it the inside with steel instead of wood. he makes a change that and that's an important part of white house ceremony thereafter. in a historic event, he shows up the newly rebuilt white house in the first-ever televised tour of the mansion in the 1952 beating the program by coming down the
new grand staircase that he designs. >> president truman thought it was awkward to go down. teddy roosevelt had built it. he would strike down those stairs and he thought it was awkward. he had it redesigned. there is a lot of thinking over that to the stairs that always provide the photo ops. >> there is no doubt that harry truman's white house is a stage house. one of the most important is the grand staircase which is the most important used for state visits and state dinners for the president, first lady, and their guests make a ceremonial procession down the staircase to the first floor of the white house before going into the state dining room. it is interesting when you think
of harry truman in the ways he permanently affected the white house, he gave us the balcony so presidents could relax and the give us the grand staircase which is anything but relaxing. >> he really preserved the white house for all time. it was truman made it possible for the president to stay there and the president will stay there. it was lucky that what happened when he was there because he had the vision and more of a sensitivity to objects and historical things. any less than the white house would not be usable. more than one century before harry truman rebuild the winehouse, another president and first lady bo have a similar
task before them. in the spring of 89, rebuilding the home is the furthest thing from their mind. ♪ ♪ it is the red room. this is where dolly madison holds her parties to bring together politicians and other influential washingtonians. >> she was very cagey. she was extremely gracious and well received, but she was a smart political wife and she was good for president madison who is known not to be the greatest orator. she treated these parties and got people together probably would never have been caught in the same room. she had both sides of the aisle, diplomats who are not
necessarily speaking to each other and brought them together. they just could not resist her. she was just sort of a character. she was the consummate hostess but in a really clever way for the business of the presidency. her portrait hangs in the red room in a red chair and fabrics of always accommodated the fabric to her chair. she is in an inspiration. the red room was actually yellow. the red color was introduced in the the 1820's to the furniture of the. . is now american empire furniture from about 1810-1830. there is a loan peace from napoleonic france. there are classical figures,
serpents, dolphins, things like that. two of the most interesting art objects in the room are the bust of martin van buren and the portrait of his daughter in law, angela, that is painted in the background and the fact that dolly madison is connected to that story year later when president van buren was inaugurated in 1837, president madison had died the year before. she was the most important woman in the washington and president van buren was a widower. dolly madison introduced angelico to her husband to become the president's eldest son. she became the de facto host this of the white house. she is not strictly a wife, but largely as a result of dolly
madison's matchmaking. >> directly east from her room is the blue room. when she stands here in the late afternoon of august 24th from 1814, dinner was set of the party coming was not invited. two years into the war of 1812, british troops entered the city at 7:30 p.m. that evening rating the unfinished capital first down pennsylvania avenue. they had towards the white house. >> it is one of the most dramatic moments of the white house. she is there with her telescope seeing the smoke from the battle and soldiers approaching. she was terrified. no one thought they would burn the building. there is last one we know ever saw the white house.
they said danner said 440 people. dolley madison was an the table -- the dinner was set for 40 people. they left and locked the doors befor the -- before the british came and they finished the dinner. they had 22 javelins all lit and threw into the open windows. it burned and burned until the rain storm put the fire out. it was a big stone box with ashes. it was a jolt to the american people. it was the angriest moment of the war. >> sheet famously helped to save the portrait of washington, her
reputation in the immediate aftermath could not be haven -- saved. >> they were considered terrible cards for running. -- cowards for running. >> the war comes to aclose on a triumphant note and helps restore the madison's reputation. >> it will be rebuilt as it was. >> you can see the original burn marks left from the inferno. the house was rising again, designed washington it. james and molly would not be around to see it finished.
it was time for a new president and his wife to make their marks on the home. [clock ticking] >> there are some of the oldest remaining items. they were brought to the white house by president and first lady his influence is seen all- around home but centered in the boiler room. -- blue room. ♪ >> the blue room is the man rose and one of the most authentic in the house.
i would probably go back to the monroe. after the war of 1812. it began to come to life. monroe thought the era of good feeling would last forever. people began moving west in bigger numbers. nor lands develop and so forth. -- the new orleans developed and so forth. >> they were very into french everything. they lived in france. they wanted all the furniture from france and he spent a lot of money bringing these things, like these clocks. these things are still in years. many of the things he acquired are still in years. -- these things are still in use. >> many are in the blue room.
we have the gilt chairs and sofa. he was criticized for buying french things and not american. congress said the furniture in the white house must be from an american manufacturer if practicable. this is the same period as the furniture, the portraits, and it is a place they would feel the most comfortable like teddy if whe were to go into the east room. this wallpaper is of their vintage. >> the blue is my favorite space because the view onto the south lawn is one of my
favorites in the city. it's incredibly versatile. we can also transform this into a very intimate setting. it's very peaceful. it's calming. i love teh shape -- the shape of it. it's unique. >> this is a french empire style. it was made in france in 1817. >> it is a museum that helps tell the story of this house and it is a private home adorned in a style that reflects its past. for much of its history, the furniture and objects you see here today were sold off at auctions. one presidential couple began to
bring it all back to celebrate the history of the bypass and change its future as well. -- history of the white house and change its future as well. [bagpipes playing] >> the administration produced a concept of how the white house could be done to convey and empower the message of its distinguished past. the white house had become very, very old. to convey this, the thinking behind the concept is that is hard for bush people to think of it. how to make something special. they made the definition visual. >> the thing i care about most is to make it more of a museum with the more pieces of beautiful furniture that belong
to all the president's. there is a lot of antique furniture here now. >> in 1962, a record of television viewers watch as jacqueline kennedy shows offer efforts to bring back the history of the white house by gathering pieces of presidential history in the home. she makes it into what we see today and sets the precedent for future first ladies. >> every piece of furniture here has a meaning. there's a story. it goes back for generations and generations. that is why i encourage people to do the chores and take time to listen to the curators because there is a font of information the people have in every single stage -- stitch. everything has a meaning and it's hard to keep up with. >> every first lady has a significant impact.
and mrs. kennedy's case, she can with a vision of a white house as something more than a house. they were having 1 million visitors to see where the president lives and works which is the most interesting part to the public. i do not know if everyone is interested in furniture when they go into the green room. that is one of the key elements. she wanted to give it a new importance by being the museum as well. >> in addition to enhancing public spaces at the white house, mrs. kennedy leaves her mark elsewhere in the home. as the top of the grand staircase that harry truman built, at the top people enter the treaty room. it was given its name president and mrs. kennedy. today it is the private office and the president inside the family quarters.
in 1962, it was only an idea. >> on the treaties have been signed in this room. there is an attraction on the mantelpiece that says it was first used for the meetings of the cabinet during the administration of president johnson. >> after dedicating the newly refurbished room with as -- with the johnson, history would soon unfold once again. >> for the first time, an agreement has been reached by bringing nuclear destruction under international control. this treaty will not halt the production of nuclear weapons, but it is an important first step, a step towards peace.
a step towards reason, a step away from war. >> it is a room still steeped in history, but as with many its use changes over time. >> it was an out of the way room and many never knew what to do with it. when president bush 41 came in, he converted back to a study. he made it into a steady and that is the president's office in the house among reworks -- where he works. >> you cannot help but feel the connection. behind duke is a portrait of mcanally watching a treaty being signed and then very desk. -- behind the desk is a portrait of president mckinley. you realize that several pieces of furniture were used by
ulysses grant and the picture is called the peacemaker. in late march of 1865, instructing generals and admirals to have peace with the south. these were his instructions to make sure that his great dream of the united states prevailed after the civil war. >> i consider our history to be a source of strength to us here in the white house and to what american people. anything which dramatizes the great story of the united states is worthy of the closest attention and respect by americans who live here, visit here, and are part of the citizenry. that is why i am glad that jackie is making the effort that she is making.
i know other first ladies have done it and those to come after us will continue to try to make this the center of the, in a sense, american historical life. >> there was a concept, the idea of the historic house that a young person could go in and see the red room and get an impression. that time in american history in which it was placed. "the white house, america's most famous home" is one of the documentary's from c-span. get your copy for $24.50 plus shipping and handling for more information about the white house including a virtual tour,
interviews with historians and curators, as well as other resources on the history it -- of the presidency, log onto c- span.org/whitehouse. >> on television, radio, and on line. c-span -- breaking public affairs to year. created by cable. washington your way. >> we now return to the feature documentary -- "the white house -- and said america's most famous,." most famouserica's home." >> johnson rather enjoyed being the center of attention. he wanted to make sure his time was chronicled. he had 20 to people whose job was to film, ted, photograph,
and preserve for prosperity the president did everything he did. but it is an unparalleled record for unparalleled presidency. >> lyndon johnson years as president has a profound effect on how we view the white house and how events kinship that area as well. aloi care -- cameras to film not only him but his family, receive a first family lives and helen pour in began an understanding of the most powerful office in the world. caught -- >> the lights may be on until 8:00 or 10:00. sometimes it does come home to dinner until after midnight. it is not very far for a man to commute, but in times of responsibilities, there is a great distance from here to there.
>> into the most powerful office in the world, the oval office. >> every man who has ever occupied this officer has been in this chair has been dedicated. >> the bill the first oval office in a different location. fdr relocated it to where it is today in part to make it more accessible for a president in a wheelchair. >> anything about how much of our world has this origin.
it makes this place special and almost personable in the emotions that it generates. >> people feel a certain reverence for the space because it symbolizes the president seemed and what has been the extraordinary record of -- the presidency and one has been the extraordinary record of the decisions made in this room. >> the paintings on wall, the carpet on the floor, it drags behind the desk and more often than not these change with each presidency. they reflect the first lady's taste and they are a mirror held up to the president's personality, talents, interests. what bus does he keep on the
credenza behind the desk? what heroes does he enshrine eager -- either in the statuary or portraiture? what books can be found in that room? all of those tell you about the man behind the desk. >> it is possibly the most piece of furniture that has seen more presidential history take place than any other. it is the resolute desk given to president rutherford -- rutherford b. hayes by queen victoria. used by president kennedy in the oval office. it travels around the country as a memorial to him until it is brought back to the white house. >> i see johnson crawling around like a caged tiger with his news
tickers, almost like a drug. his need for not only the news but how he is being portrayed in the nation's media. >> in those early years, he told me that when he knew he was in a good mood that the whole white house would reverberate with his vitality. he was such a big figure. when i think happened in those last years when vietnam took over, he felt his legacy was cut in two and it became more forbidding place. in those last months prior to his decision to withdraw from the race in march of 1968 that he used to have a recurring dream that he had become paralyzed and art said the door of a rumor he was in the red room, they were all dividing up his power without any consideration to him and he would wake up out of the dream, take his flashlight, and go look at the picture would wilson on the wall, a touch the picture
reaffirming that woodrow wilson was dead. >> imagine a man in the white house surrounded by protesters, some of them chanting famously, "hey, hey, lbj. how many boys did you kill today?" hearing the echoes of those chance, it is impossible to forget it. >> i shall not seek and i realized except the nomination of my party for another term as your president. >> with lbj's desk being readied for removal, the presidential desk is there signifying the timeless tradition of peaceful transitions.
>> it is an office he aspires to for much of his political career and a homeless history he laws. he and mrs. nixon greatly add to the museum collection. >> nixon's contribution to the white house physically is enormous. the nixon white house is in the state rooms. you could use it as a set for the nixon movie. >> have signed the gates, it is a home whose occupants are still under siege for massive -- much of his presidency. from the vietnam protesters to the watergate scandal at the end of his tenure. it becomes an insular place for president nixon and a place where he finds solace in one particular room. >> richard nixon cherished his solitude and his intellectual privacy. he liked to hold up in his favor room in the white house, the
lincoln sitting room. he led a fire in the fireplace. it was his habit to turn the air conditioning up as high as it would go and start a fire. it is important for every president to have not only a place but a time when he can think of. just think. for nixon, that is with the lincoln sitting room was about. it was a place of security as well as for memories. similarly, every president bonds with the lincoln. for nixon, he favors the compared himself to lankan in the sense that he justified actions and the abuse of power under the general heading of watergate with the wartime setting in which his administration could out. just about every president,
particularly those who have military actions during their term of office, do tend to get very close to lincoln's ghost. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states of america and mrs. nixon, mr. and mrs. david eisenhower. >> and so we leave with high hopes, in good spirit, and with the deep humility. always remember others may hate you. those who hate you do not win unless you hate them. then you destroy yourself. >> nixon's farewell was many things. it was a wrenching personal experience. it was a farewell to his staff.
it was also a peril to the white house family ended illustrated just how many roles the white house plays. >> even smaller countries are much. this is not the finest house, but this is the best house. >> it is interesting that richard nixon spoke about the house. by that, he meant the house on a personal level. the king is dead. long live the king. and also as a historical symbol. no one who spends time in that house until to appreciate your role -- either role. nixon was apologizing to the country for perhaps besmirching a little bit of the house and
its history. >> it is the best house because this house has a great heart. that heart comes from those who serve. >> the home undergoes yet another series of changes reflecting both the new family and the events in the world that will begin to shape the coming era in history of the white house. >> it is universally recognized as the symbol of democracy. most of all, however, it is a home. >> the first change the fords make is on the perception of the white house and its occupants. >> the fords were so normal. she did not to live in the white house if it meant giving up blue jeans. i am too old to change. take me as i am. >> the ford kids went on with
life. i do not think there is an example in the history of the white house where they seem less impressed by that. ♪ >> that was the great strengths that the ford brought to the white house. they were like us. at a time when the house was stained by scandal and public unrest. >> president ford makes a change to the white house that last until today. he removes the secret taping system in the oval office that played a role in bringing down his predecessor. >> they had all the tapes ripped out of the oval office had been in there since the 1930's. he found out later that they have not been removed and hit the ceiling big time.
he had the engineers pull it out in his presence. they had to repaint the walls. >> the biggest change brought about during the ford administration and evidenced ever since is one left in 1975 after two assassination attempt on the president. >> the attempt on his life and problems abroad that the -- they restricted his presences. they would be held at the white house whenever possible. where people come to the by-than ever. the guards are in place and there's much more activity now than there ever was. >> with the president having more and more each center to accommodate security, the white house's history -- is busier than ever. two levels above all of this activity is the third floor of
the white house and it plans for first families to get away from what the demands of the public life below, a place in the home never before seen by television cameras. >> this has always been a particular favorite of first families. when you talk about the white house and particularly the era when you have 5000 people per day calling for the house, the furthest to can get away from men was the solarium. -- from them was teh solarium. it opened to the outdoors. very unofficial. it is a place to get away from it all. it is camp david inside the white house. being in that room was like being invited to the family's room. >> this el-erian famous they served as caroline kennedy's
kindergarten classroom and where president eisenhower barbeques on the patio. 25 years later, president reagan returned to the white house following the assassination attempt on his life and it serves as a place of recuperation. it was built during the coolidge administration. >> this el-erian was there because of coolidge -- deep solarium was there because of coolidge. the two alleged legacy is more than is often assumed. the third floor, the old attic where lincoln's voice had played, the roosevelt children had played, it was just storage space. every first family cents turned it into the solarium.
>> it is coming as it has always been a, a reflection of our country and the times in which we live. >> the secretary of the treasury to oversees the secret service will announce that from now on the two blocks of pennsylvania avenue in front of the white house will be close to motor vehicle traffic. this is a practical step to prevent against the type of attack we saw in oklahoma city. i will not allow the people's access to the white house to be curtailed. disclosing is necessary because of the changing nature and scope of the dreaded terrorist actions. >> 9/11 is what i will never forget. it changed working here. it changed the president. it changed our nation. we still feel it's a day. -- we still feel it today.
for those of us who were here, we will never forget. there was such a sense of hopelessness and a mission that you needed to accomplish. not knowing what was happening was probably the hardest part. 9/11 changed a lot of things here. if the president and first lady want to take a walk, they cannot. >> i remember when we first got elected, i would be running around the south lawn. there is a track that president clinton put in. there would be people lining defense there when you come down the hill. you could hear them yelling. after 9/11, if the president is outside, no one is on the fence. >> there are moments of loneliness. you are so aware of everyone who lived here before you and every
challenge our country has faced. you are encouraged to think there's also a feeling of encouragement, and a strong faith in the american people and in our ability as a people to overcome challenges. but >> the level of security dramatically increased -- decrease the amount of visitors. it dropped to zero for quite some time. the secret service commit to their credit, have found a way to safely allow visitors to come in late even though it is certainly more limited number. >> of the think about the impact of 9/11, there'd be an assessment of whether or not we overreacted. it was very important symbolically that as soon as the president and security from comparable that they began to open the white house again to tourism. the white house is all about
symbolism. it is not so much that it is business as usual but that we will continue to live our lives and not be held captive by whenever. >> today, after many months of anticipation, we celebrate the opening of the newly designed pennsylvania avenue. i know this process has not been easy. >> from the surrounding streets to the historic debate that has been here since andrew jackson, the white house will always be a work in progress. >> good morning. welcome to the white house. are you excited to be here? >> for the younger generation, the white house is still one of those symbols of america. people will continue to wrestle with that as long as the winehouse stands.
regardless of whether you are 20 or 55, the white house still has meaning. >> what is so special about this place is that when you are here, you feel connected to people who lived here a century ago. the fact that this is all in one house gives us an were exquisite glantz of the past, present, and the future. >> i think of personal stories from the lives of presidents who've lived here before us. everyone knows the white house as the major landmark and as both home and office to the president of the united states. i hope peace will -- people also know it as a personal home. >> we want to let people know that this is part of your legacy as an american citizen. >> the white house hopefully
always will be a place to which americans feel emotionally bonded. that is the case regardless of who happens to live there. that connection, that special aura, is something i think goes back more than 200 years and will grow to the passage of time. >> i am absolutely convinced the appearance of the white house as we know it will never change. it is too valuable and it exists too much, it means too much to the president. people will always be able to see the house for the fed said it will always be open in one way or another. the house will never be changed. it is better protected today than it ever was. i do not think any president would allow it touched. ♪ ♪
>> for more information about the white house including the virtual tour of the building, interviews with historians and curators, as well as other video resources on the presidency and the home, log onto c-span.org/whitehouse. to get your own copy of our documentary, "the white house -- america's most famous home," c- span.org/store. the set of three documentaries is $24.95. if you missed any of the documentary, we will reader the entire thing beginning at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. the c-span and recovered coverage of politics, public affairs, non-fiction books, and american history. all available on television, radio, on line, and of social media networking sites.
geithner content and intent to the c-span video library. we take c-span on the road with their digital bus. bringing resources to your community. washington your way -- the washington networks. available in more than 100 million homes. created by cable provided as a public service. here's what's ahead on this president's day. up next, the recent the medal of freedom surmounting honoring bill russell as well as others. then in the diversity in the u.s. court system. later, a discussion on presidential leadership. right now, president obama and first lady michelle obama helped to celebrate 15 medal of freedom recipients. from last week at the white house, this is just over 40 minutes.
>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and mrs. michelle obama. ["hail to the chief"] >> thank you so much, everyone. fees be seated. welcome to the white house. some of the have been here before. -- some ofyou have been here before. this is one of the things that i most look forward to every year. it is a chance to meet with, and more importantly honor, the most
extraordinary people in america and around the world. president kennedy once said during a tribute to the poet robert frost, "a nation reveals itself not only by the men and women it produces but by the men and women that it honors, the people that it remembers." i heartily agree. when you look at the men and women who are here today, it says something about who we are as a people. when we award this metal to congressman john lewis, it says that we aspire to be a more just, a more equal, and more perfect union. when we awarded to jasper johns, it says we value the zero original and the imagination. when we award it to warren buffett, it says we do not like to read so humble -- we like to
be so humble and wise and maybe make a little money along the way. when we awarded to president h. w. bush, it's as we celebrate the life of service and sacrifice. this year's recipients reveal the best of who we are in here we aspire to be. -- and who we aspire to be. the group that john adams co- founded, the national resources defense council, grew well beyond it. our first obligation is to the
environment, john once said. if people want to protect the environment, we will support their efforts. if not, we will play hardball. with more than 1 million members, the nrdc has helped to pass landmark bills to protect our forests and wildlife and keep our climate 6. as the rolling stone put it best, "if the planet had a lawyer it would be john adams." as a girl, marguerite johnson and george trauma and abuse -- endured trauma and abuse. as a performer and a writer, poet, maya angelou foudn her voice that -- foudn her voice that has spoken to