tv National Archives Foundation Honors Laura Bush CSPAN November 21, 2018 11:37am-12:12pm EST
van buren looks a lot like lot like and he acts a ehrenberg. sort of always trying to southerners and northerners in political alliances together. >> sunday night at 8 p.m. eastern on "q&a." >> the national archives foundation gave laura bush the record of achievement awards last month. before the presentation she sat down for a discussion with journalist cokie roberts. >> we give this award each year. we try to make a award something a special significance to the honoree. we understand that laura ingalls wilder is one of our honoree's authors. in2017 laura bush wrote that
west texas she tried to imagine being surrounded by tall pine trees and heavy snow and identified with the main character, a brown haired girl named laura. the 2018 record of achievement awards features a handwritten wilderby laura ingalls to a typescript draft of her , by thettle house novel shores of silverlake. this insert was added from an early draft and attempted to explain how mary, laura's older sister, had become since on the bakes of fun creek. these are books i haven't read, by the way. [laughter] >> but a lot of people have. >> this insert is that the herbert hoover presidential library and museum. and so what you have been waiting for now, best-selling her ownhistorian in
right, and our vice chair, cokie roberts, having a conversation with laura bush on her contributions to our society. thank you again for being with us. >> thank you. [applause] >> i did love the laura bush -- i mean laura bush, laura ingalls wilder books. this is a really wonderful gift, thank you, very much. i'm thrilled with it. thanks a lot. start.e things before we many former staff members are here. would you all please stand? we won't see you, but they will be in the video and here they are. >> thank you. [applause] course, you know how important they are to the work you have done. convincedn that you to start the national book
festival, the long-time librarian of congress. >> he was my partner at the book festival. thank you so much. >> he knew i had started the texas festival and he called me right after we moved to the white house and said let's have a national book festival. >> so, we all want to know, how was the wedding? and i have to tell you, as a reporter, keeping it secret, not good. how did you manage that? kept itink that barbara a secret. just so few people were invited. it was our family and it was craig's family. and it didn't include jeb or neil or anyone else. it really was just our family. she wanted to get married there because that's where her grandfather is and she wanted to be with him.
so we had a wedding outside looking at the ocean and then we went in and we had dinner at the dining room table. there were 20 of us. it was just perfect. it was barbara and craig, her new husband who we like a lot, his family and our family. the little flower girls were lee lusk, jenna's little girl, and, craig's niece, and of ring bearer was poppy. who was very proud to be the .ing bearer of course, the box was empty because they knew she couldn't really have the ring. craig had it in his pocket. poppy is the baby, the three-year-old. during the entire ceremony she walks around with the ring box to show it to everybody. >> my nephew did actually lose my ring. and it was founded by president johnson paz doctor with a lever light.
we had a a lot of fun, wonderful time. it was just this weekend. we flew from maine yesterday morning to washington. >> well, congratulations to everyone and we are all very pleased to see it but, as i say, a secret. i was just with you and your daughters and their cousins in barbara bush'sg heritage and we had a panel of grandchildren that was hysterical. one of the things that they revealed when they talk about going in for lunch was that you used to have at kennebunkport tocco sundays with barbara bush. >> as soon as she died we started having hamburger and hot dog sundays. president bush said he never did like those tacos.
all of those years he had put up with them. [laughter] the last time you were on this stage, or the last time i was with you on this stage, you were here with michelle obama, which you have done several times. i want to come back to that in a little bit, but first i want to talk about first ladies in general. we have kind of danced around it a little bit in the video, but it is such an interesting role and an important role and one that the american people are always kind of nervous about, you know? you have got a lot of power, you cannot be fired. they don't know what you are up to, you know? except what you choose to tell them. you said, and i'm quoting you ladies are much more complicated than they ever get treated in the media." i think what happens is a story goes up about them, a myth that
people stick to throughout all coverage of them forever after. happening?at >> of course, i was the quiet reader and librarian. i'm in i was that, there's no doubt about it, but all of our first ladies are more complicated and have been very constructive for our company -- country from the very beginning. >> one of the great myths is that they were sitting around pain -- pouring tea until eleanor roosevelt, makes me crazy. had,e bush center you just the library part of it is part of the national archives, you just had a first lady special exhibit. please tell me it wasn't about dresses. >> there were a few gowns, but no, it was not about dresses and we didn't want it to be about dresses. people want to come see the dresses and we had address show earlier when the library first opened, with some of nancy reagan's close.
but we wanted this to be substantive because we knew that decides wearing lovely gowns that our first ladies had made so many contributions to our country. -- one g-- down own that i thought was interesting was from dolly --ison, drapes that she made dress from drapes. a copy of it. but we talked about the contributions that each first lady had made and it was a show that we get ourselves. this does give me the chance to thank the national archives. because of course the national archives administer the president's papers and the president's papers are seen as belonging to the people of the united states and as archives administer those papers. the national archives is a very
of the busht library. the museum part and of course the stories of all the papers that are there. so, i want to thank the national archives, the archivists, and everyone here for your work. and of course, those employees at the bush library, archivists who are employees of the government. >> you talked about the roles that first ladies played. you had a very interesting kind , for those of us who are historians, as you were leaving the white house, so i have written down every word. about time i spoke out something come even heart disease, i would be surprised again how many people heard me. i would often use lady bird johnson's wrote about the first lady having a podium and while here, i've decided to use it. you quoted her often about that.
did, you did take that to heart, decided to use it. >> we knew lady bird. she was the texas first lady. when she opened the wildflower center outside of boston, we hosted the governor on the lawn of the governor's mansion at the picnic for the opening of the wildflower center and then we went out that night to the opening gala of the national wildflower center and i always really admired lady bird johnson because she thought the way that we were, all of us in our everywhere around the country was enough and that it was beautiful as it was naturally. >> she didn't like the billboards. >> no billboards. that was very difficult to get rid of. i think only two states actually managed it, to not have billboards anymore. i was with the governor of
when george ran for president the first time and he said that they had stayed in suits until just recently in order to be able to outlaw billboards. >> you started using that podium, at first, for things that you had done before. the book festival, literacy. you did a big conference on development and early childhood. and on your way to the capitol hill, you testified before the senate education committee. why people thought you were not out there, i don't know. you had heard that the first plane had crashed into the world trade center. >> that's right. everything i had done a until then had been that weekend before september 11. we hosted the first state dinner for mexico. we were neighbors, mexico and texas.
expected our interests in other countries to be centered around our hemisphere and mexico. those things had happened and i was on capitol hill in senator ted kennedy's office, about two brief his senate committee on early childhood education when we got the word that the planes had flown into the world trade center. thought it was some odd accident and then when we heard the second one we knew it was not an accident. so, then of course everything changed for me. the things i had expected to work on, i still did work on, there were things i never expected to work on, like supporting afghan women. i had done a six great report on afghanistan but i never thought i would go. ,> that surprises me, your name
i had to pick from last name. [laughter] it on.n you really took first of all, i should say, by the way, that this is bush and senator kennedy were together you werech all day as trying to figure out what was going on. and senator kennedy later said that you get to know somebody in a situation like that and he said that she was steady, assured, and elegant. >> that was sweet. but he kept up a steady stream of smalltalk. he showed me everything on his office walls. he read me a letter that his brother, jack, had written to his mother saying that teddy was getting fat and he left that it. [laughter] i never knew if that was the way that he had to deal with the trauma, because he had had so many in his life, or if he thought that i would fall apart? and he just felt like he had to
keep up this, you know, smalltalk. and then senator judd gregg joined us, for new hampshire. one of our best friends still. we see him a lot. we are going to have dinner with him next weekend, his son moved to fort worth. we sat there while senator kennedy talked, telling stories, telling us things about his office. i don't know if he did it because that was the way he reacted or if he thought he needed to for me. but anyway then we went out and we talked to the press and we told them that the briefing had been canceled, postponed. -- you can'tdy stop us, we will do it later. his whole personality, became very serious and perfect for the press under
the circumstances, really. i briefed the senate committee a couple of months later. >> but you said you grew in both of the realization that you had a podium and also the expectation on the national issues that you didn't come to the white house with and that really did change a lot of your focus. you went to afghanistan i think three times when you were in the white house? more.ok on more and i think you went to 76 countries? while you were first lady? africa, asia, the middle east. part ofwas very much your portfolio, saving millions and millions of lives and africa. talking about breast cancer and the middle east, where it wasn't so much talked about so it couldn't be treated. .eart disease, all of it >> gosh, i did a lot. [laughter]
>> you did a lot. actually, that was a great exhibit, the first lady's red dress exhibit on heart disease. you did also, and this is one that always just gob smacked me, you took on the military government of irma. [laughter] big-time. >> i did. i was a secret friend of aung where i would get messages of things that she wanted, like seaweed. i think she liked to eat it or drink it or something. i would always send her hate book.- center a a book that i would like or maybe one i thought she would like. all of these years i have this friendship with her and i would send her various items and pay a lot of attention to her. when we left she was under house years.for all of those by the time that we left, she had you know, been able to be
the leader of burma. but now as we are watching i don't know if it's the military, who always really were the ones time,er during the whole even though she had been elected president, i don't know if it's a military thing or if she is compromised by the military, i'm not sure, because now i'm not in contact with her anymore. >> but you went to the press room, the briefing room, you were on the way to the wedding, as i recall, had a few things to do on the home front, but you went into the press room. no first lady has ever done that before or since. you grabbed the microphone and basically you denounced the military rule in burma because they were not responding to a cyclone where they had not even accepted american aid. and yet you were described as prim. how do you account for that?
in a lot of ways, i think it is how we treat first lady's. isn't the little first lady nice? [laughter] >> bless her heart. >> really, think about lady bird theson, who was one of founders of an environmental movement. people say -- isn't that nice that she likes flowers? >> she hated the word beautification, in fact very but you, you, you kept at it after you left office. keeping these causes going, particularly afghan women. but also in africa. i want to come back to you and michelle obama together. at the firstigned lady ladies of africa summit, which in itself was just wildly interesting. but then you discover that the
obama's just happened to be on the continent at the same time as you and you invited her to come. >> that's one of those things we done through the bush library, the first lady initiative. working with first ladies who in of theses and parts world had the same platform that american first lady's had it. we worked with first ladies to give them the chance to build that kind of platform. they could work on issues that their husbands aren't working on and the very first thing that we african first lady's conference when we were in africa. we worked with the first ladies themselves, but our staff worked with their staff to try to figure out ways to set up their ladies so that the first could be more effective. but when you have both leaders, the husband and the wife, working, you can do twice as much. first lady's conference was hosted in africa.
and michelle obama was there so she could come to it. >> but it was better than that. i had the great honor of being able to interview the both of them. they asked if i could be and tanzania next weekend i said no, and my husband said -- why not a short so off i went. it was first of all such an important symbol for the first ladies of africa. they said this, in many cases they would never speak to the leader before them, because they were corrupt or there was some other recent. they would never have that ourinuity that we had with former first lady, former president. it is can of like a club. just like you view a chance to giving you as,
chance to know what's going on, it's really helpful i think for andt ladies to be together i think it's a great example for america to see for people in other countries see. >> but i remember when i asked at that point, you have basically said to mrs. obama to .ome and do everyone she could have hijacked it, frankly. [laughter] >> she wouldn't. >> i know. and you knew that. she wanted to be a conversation with you. as i was having the youersation, mrs. obama, wanted to be in this conversation. she reached out her hand to you and said i love this woman. was such a moment of just making you feel good about the country. and again here the following year.
bringing the african first lady's here. when the york, spousal's were in new york for hostederal assembly, we an event. >> and then you did an event here, maybe just this year, over years?t year? two my goodness, time flies. [laughter] >> this is what happens when you get old. >> she was first lady. [laughter] >> military spouses, right? , do you continue that work together? >> no, not really. not since they left. sometimes we do stuff together, but not really. at funerals, them as you know. >> it was by the way press that president bush gave her an outside. altoid.
[laughter] that was considered i don't know what. but you do say there is a bond between the first ladies? like andw what it's they are friendly with each other. maybe not if they ran into each other i remember interviewing president bush 41 soon after he left office. he said i can't imagine i would be friends with clinton the way ford and carter are. and then he became the fifth son. -- >>s he is so courtly he is so courtly -- you know, that is the way he is.
>> i wanted to talk a little bit about bar. >> i would like to tell you a few things about her. funeral, it was televised . she'd caught out the word that she would not have anymore treatment so everyone stood writing her obituaries before she died. so she got to read them. they were all, of course, very laudatory. -- asked
so we drove there and we had a police escort and they would stop the cars at the access roads before they got on. he didn't really hold up a lot of traffic. the texans would be out of their cars. those texas men would have the cowboy hats over their hearts. it was really sweet. when we get to texas a&m, we 700ed with the casket by saluting texas a&m cadets. it was really lovely. way. was perfect in every i was covering it on television, weeping my way through. but happy tears. >> she was ready to go.
she had fallen. we had been in houston. the crown prince of saudi arabia was in the u.s. while bar was in the hospital because she had fallen, so george and i went by to see her. george called her and said, mother, you are a wonderful mother and i am so glad you were my mother. thank you for everything. i love you. she said i love you, too, george. you're my favorite son. [laughter] on the phone [laughter] so she stayed funny and quick until the end.
he turned out this way. >> we saw her after we saw the crown prince. we did not realize she was about to die. even when she said she would not , we did noteatment know it was that soon. when she was in the hospital and jordan went to see her, she said, you know why george turned out the way he did? why?he doctor said, no, she said, because i drank and smoked while i was pregnant with him. [laughter] should end on a somewhat serious note, about education. education.
our children don't learn it. it is wonder when we -- wonderful when we have these .aturalization ceremonies here >> we need to teach it more. i think we went through a stage where we were embarrassed about ourselves, like we were trying like we are better or something. the fact is that we are so, so lucky to have inherited the a situations that we inherited. it's really important for people to know about them and to be proud of it. why not be proud of it?
they don't have the institutions to support democracy and it has been very hard. in our country, it sort of slid back. we inherited those institutions. we did not have to do anything for them. we are just lucky to get them. it's important for people to know that. the reason why we can have a democracy is because we have those institutions. the free press. the independent judiciary. all the things that we have. it is important that we teach that. we need to go back in a bit embarrassed about teaching it. >> they need to get it on the test. >> that's right. if it is on the test, they will teach it. >> thank you for all of your teaching. and the wonderful work that you continue to do. and congratulations. >> thank you for your support for the national archives. to the you to give more foundation. thank you, thank you very much.
>> thank you for allowing us to and dryer recession. and thank you for your service to our country. and for helping build a better world. thank you. [applause] now, we are interested in photos, i will invite all of you to join us upstairs in the rotunda gallery for our gala dinner. thank you again, all of you. [applause]
collects tonight on c-span, steve bannon, a former strategist for president trump and david frum, a former speechwriter for george w. bush disguise the rise of population -- the populism in western nations. >> 60% of our jobs are subsistence jobs. it wasn't on a trump. it wasn't the populace. the populist movement, the nationalist movement is not a product of that. donald trump's presidency is not a cause of that. it is a product of that. when i stepped into the campaign americant, 70% of the evil believe for the first time in our history that the country
was in decline and the elites were ok with that. it was donald trump the turn that around. it is the party -- [laughter] this is a very tough crowd. >> the conceal of the discussion between steve bannon and david from tonight at 8:00 eastern. is topic of this debate there is rising populism mean change in politics are just a passing phase? >> coming up on thanksgiving weekend, c-span, thursday at 8:00 in eastern, supreme court justice elena kagan followed by chief justice john roberts. eastern, 8:00 p.m.
chris christie and others discuss the opioid epidemic. saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, journalists talk about their favorite photographs taken on the campaign trail in sunday at 6:30 p.m., gun laws and self-defense. c-span 2, stanley mcchrystal talks about 13 great leaders. derek hunter. or photographer lindsay addario. sunday at 9:00 p.m. on vargasrds, hosea antonio . on american history tv on c-span 3, thursday at 5:30 p.m., on american artifacts, celebrating the first in was thanksgiving at berkeley, virginia, near jamestown in 6019. friday, reflections on former
first lady barbara bush. eastern,at 8:00 p.m. how the pilgrims became part of america's founding story. and sunday at 9:00 a.m., constitutional scholars talk about how the u.s. constitution defines impeachable offenses for the president. thanksgiving weekend on the c-span networks. >> up next on my conversation about cancer research and treatment. gottliebear from scott . from the washington post, this is about two hours, 15 minutes.