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United States Senate special election in South Carolina, 1918

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The 1918 South Carolina United States Senate special election was held on November 5, 1918 simultaneously with the regular senate election to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina to serve the remainder of the term for the 65th Congress. The election resulted from the death of Senator Benjamin Tillman on July 3, 1918. William P. Pollock won the Democratic primary and was unopposed in the general election to win the remaining four months of the term.

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>>Good afternoon and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater here at the National Archives. I'm David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States. I am delighted to welcome you to today's program in honor of John F Kennedy's centennial, JFK: A Vision for America. Whether you are here in the McGowan Theater or watching on YouTube or C-Span thank you for joining us. Before we get started I would like to tell you about two upcoming programs here in the McGowan Theater, tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. author David Dalin will speak about the 8 Jewish men and women who have served or currently serve as justices of the United States Supreme Court a topic he explores in his new book the Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court from Brandeis to Kagan Their Lives and Legacies, on Tuesday May 23 at noon Murray Jenkin Schwartz will be here to discuss her latest book Ties that Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves. Schwartz examines the relationships that developed between the earliest first ladies from Virginia and enslaved persons in their households. A Book signing will follow that program also. To learn more about these and all of our public programs and exhibits consult our monthly calendar of events in print or on‑line at There are copies in the lobby as well as a sign-up sheet where you can receive it by regular mail or e‑mail. Another way to get more involved in the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation, the foundation supports all of our education and outreach activities and there are applications for membership in the lobby. When John F Kennedy was born May 29, 1917, the second of nine children. The young 20th century wasn't that different from the late 19th century. Automobiles and airplanes and motion pictures were still novelties and Civil War veterans were still meeting for reunions. The United States had just entered World War I and American doughboys would soon be shipping off to France. Jack Kennedy’s life time saw some of the most extraordinary rapid changes in American life. His generation, as he declared at his presidential inauguration, was a new generation of American's unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed. Today's guests, President Kennedy’s nephew, Steven Kennedy Smith and historian Douglas Brinkley have brought together JFK's most important speeches covering topics that still resonate today, civil rights, the environment, scientific exploration and national security and much more. Throughout this centennial year organizations and individuals across the country will observe this milestone anniversary and reflect on Kennedy's legacy. The John F Kennedy presidential library in Boston is taking the lead with a major exhibition opening on May 26th and a calendar full of events and activities. Here at the National Archives building we’ve installed a special display upstairs in the Public Vaults about President Kennedy’s creation of the Peace Corps which I hope you will take a look at before you leave today. In fact hanging outside my office is a letter that I wrote to JFK in 1961 asking for information about the proposed Peace Corps. I never got a response. And to find out more about these JFK centennial activities, check the JFK Centennnial website Today we are privileged to here from President Kennedy’s own nephew Stephen Kennedy Smith and historian Doug Brinkley about JFK's Vision for America. Stephen Kennedy Smith is a lecturer at the Sloan School of Management at MIT as well as a a fellow at the Connection Science group also at MIT. He's a board member of the JFK library and the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation and has served on the staff of the senate judiciary and foreign relations committee and is a three-time recipient of the Danforth Award for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard where he taught at the Harvard law school. Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University, the CNN presidential historian and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Autobahn. He is the author of a number of best-selling books including Cronkite. Which won the Sperber Prize in journalism and the Great Deluge which won the Robert F Kennedy Book Award. Brinkley has also written books on Theodore Roosevelt, John F Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. He has often appeared on our stage. Our Moderator, Susan Swain is the President and co-CEO of C-Span she helped launch the Washington Journal, Book TV and American History TV. She’s been involved in the creation of numerous C-Span history series such as American Presidents and the Lincoln-Douglas debates and First Ladies. She's a two-time winner of the Vanguard Award the cable industry’s highest professional recognition and has also been recognized by her industry as a cable TV pioneer. Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Stephen Kennedy Smith, Douglas Brinkley and Susan Swain. >> Good afternoon every and thank you for being here. I should also add to Doug Brinkley’s credit is that for almost 25 years he's been working with C-Span on the number of presidential historical projects most recently our third survey of Presidential leadership done by presidential historians. I am delighted to be back working with and have just met Stephen Kennedy Smith I am looking forward to learning more about your scholarship on your uncle. Before we get started would you raise your hand if you were born after 1960, for you John F Kennedy is an entirely historical figure. Great, that gives us a sense of perspective as we start out here. I want to start with you Doug Brinkley because for the past two weeks or so all the folks in this room and watching us on video have been bombarded with one hundred day marker stories for our current President. In John F Kennedy's time was there a hundred day metric? >> There was a hundred day metric and it's wonderful to be back at the National Archives. It's one of the great institutions in America and Susan thank you for being the interviewer. A hundred days came out of Franklin Roosevelt’s remarkable period. We used to do presidential inaugurations in March not January. So in March 1933 FDR when he gave his famous we have nothing to fear but fear itself address. He then went into a frenzy really. Some people would call the alphabet soup of the new deal of doing programs to start stimulating American pride and working their way out of the great depression. For example he did the civilian conservation corps in his first hundred days unemployed men an women planting trees across America, and the like. It was a successful first hundred days people would have to say how does your stack up. Truman and Ike didn't play ball on that 100 days thing although Eisenhower knew he had to get us out of the Korean war pretty quickly. Because he had made a kind of promise he said he would go to Korea in my first months in office to solve it. He did eventually solve it post a hundred day in June of ’53. Kennedy started playing as a Democrat and try to capture the new frontier and modeled of of the new deal and maybe doing the big hundred days. Richard Neustadt at Harvard warned let's talk about the spirit of the hundred days, let's not get too much into the policy weeds because we don't want to be compared to FDR too closely. On the end John F Kennedy, after his first 100 days, left office get a ready for this guys he had an 83% approval rating John F Kennedy and that was in the middle of that first hundred days when he had the Bay of Pigs, which many historians think was a fiasco, Kennedy took blame for the failed exercise in Cuba and nevertheless why? Why did he have such a high because he reached out across the aisle and he launched the Peace Corps on May 1st of 1961 an incredible program for young people. He started with the alliance for progress and he engaged in the space race. Allen Shepard came in during that first days of Kennedy’s administration and went in space and space race was on and by May 25th 1961, not long after that hundred day marker that's when John F Kennedy went to a joint session of Congress and said we are going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Sort of using the moon shot to kind of pull Democrats and Republicans, alike, together and said let's do something -the big American can-do project. >> So, Stephen, just some additional comments from you about that it's a very close election that brought John Kennedy into office. How did he manage you think in that short period of time one hundred days to turn around in the public perception after the hard election? >> So President's Kennedy’s approval rating, average approval rating was 70%. I think that the reason the approval rating was so high is because he gave Americans a framework for understanding their relationship to the country and the world. If you look at the new frontier speech he says that is the old ways will not do and that we need to, you know, have a new frontier in this country of innovation of imagination and decision ‑‑ he talked about the pioneers who are not prisoners of their own price tags. He talked about society that was not every man for himself involved for the common cause. So he set the tone for the nation he gave people a story to understand their world. I think that coherent philosophy that he had was you know unifying for people and in the absence of such a philosophy you have which I said in the introduction to the book you have vague emotions and spasmodic impulses. So you have an incoherent approach you if don't really think about what you vision is for the future and I think the other thing that's interesting about President Kennedy he was a decorated combat veteran. He did believe in a strong military but he had a much broader conception about what American identity really was. For him he drew this conception from American history and from his readings of Greek history and Roman history and this notion that all great civilizations have great arts. They have great science and advancements in technology the Romans built the roads. The Greeks had great architecture. And so, he wanted America to be that kind of society and conceived to the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities. He conceived of the space program. He wanted America to be a just society and he conceived the civil rights movement. >> By the way I didn't say at the outset one of the things always interesting about doing programs here at the National Archives is they are meant to be interactive so at the 45 minute mark if you have questions that is you are thinking about that are microphones at the end of each of the staircases here so you can be involved in it. So many thing we are talking about are so still important in our national dialogue today it will be interesting see your questions and comparisons to the times we are living in right now. And with that in mind, for both of you only Ronald Reagan is the only other modern President that has been granted in an official centennial celebration. Can you talk about the background bringing us all together. How can that did that all get generated in Congress and was it a bipartisan effort. The centennial. >> So two of our book contributors are John McCain and Henry Kissinger who are both obviously, Republicans. John McCain was a sponsor of the legislation and Ed Markey was a sponsor in the senate. We had a reception last night at the Smithsonian for the opening of this photographic Exhibit which is based on the book. One of the remarkable things about JFK is that he named Republicans to his cabinet. He appointed Doug Dillon as treasury secretary and Henry Cabot Lodge as UN ambassador. He was somebody who did as Doug said reach out across the aisle. He was not always beloved by liberals in his own party because he was very non-ideological and pragmatic about you know how he thought about making decisions. So I think we had you know senator McCain spoke last night he was stationed on an aircraft carrier battle group in the Cuban missile crisis. He sat on an aircraft carrier off Havana and listened to President Kennedy give his speech to the nation and about the Cuban missile crisis where he said we would never back down necessarily from confrontation where freedom was at stake, so you know he has inspired Nancy Pelosi told me last night she was inspired to go into public life by President Kennedy. So we had broad support for the centennial legislation. >>And there’s a big kick off at the Kennedy library this coming Sunday and lots of events going on across the country. >> President Obama will be there and Vice-President Biden will be there. >> So, Doug Brinkley, about this project, people are looking at the book, as the reason we are gathered here. It's a different kind of concept. It's photographs and essays what is was the thinking about it. How did the two of you begin to collaborate. >> This is Stephens project from the heart. He recognized that John F Kennedy was going to be a hundred birthday and we needed to do the right thing to honor it. He grabbed the reins and it's really his book where he started conceiving of the idea which he presented me with it I lit up because I thought is was a fine idea, take building a narrative around the speeches of John F Kennedy and then getting a who’s-who of Americans to contribute to this. People that are busy, like Jimmy Carter and his holiness, the Dahli Lama, or Senator McCain, Maureen Dowd, Dave Edgars the great novelist and it's a slew of incredible people and he was able to the fact that he had friendships to get everybody to say yeah. Let's do this and there's a guy named Lauren Shiller who was great friends I knew from Norman Mailer the novelist and Larry worked many years for magazines and how to do photos and do layouts properly, it’s like a lost art form, the layout for these kinds of books. So we became a bit of a team. This is Stephen’s passion and he made all of this happen. We never had any problems working together. It's been great fun. I would write, wrote, text that goes with the you know the book and then we would, you would be amazed that had the contributors were just a minute ago talking about Barack Obama and asked a sitting President wrote an essay we weren't allowed to use in a book for ethical reasons because he was still sitting President and it’s a trade book, et cetera. Everybody you asked said yes sign me up. I want to be part of it. He was the magician that made all of this happen. >> We are showing one of the photographs behind us right now that’s in the book, too. How did this photograph come together how did you select those. We had a team of five people who were working on this we had folks at the Kennedy library helping us. And then, of course, I actually, Lauren Shiller who worked with us on the photo selection I had seen a book he had done previously on JFK. I thought it was so good and I wanted him to work with me on this. So he came on board and really we have over five hundred photos in here and many of them never seen before. This is America's great era of photo journalism. This is Mount Olympus. These guys are the Rolling Stones and Beatles of photography. We have Cornell Capa and Burton Berinsky and Jacques Lowe, Henri Dauman and if you know photography these are the photographers’ photographers, and some of them are still alive and but some of the photos in the book are just stunning. >> I could just say, since he is naming the photographers, historians participated in line a lot. Some of my friends and heroes and the people like Michael Beschloss who is a great friend of mine a wonderful Kennedy scholar, and David McCullough, and Robert Dallek who in my mind has written the best single volume book on Kennedy’s presidency to-date, some of the best Kennedy scholars in my field, history, are involved with the book also >>We will have copies available afterwards. They are all short essays punctuated by photographs in the era so you work through the arc of John Kennedy’s life through the essays included in the book. >> We also have Conan O'Brien for those of you who are born later than me. He wrote a fantastic essay on JFK’s sense of humor. He said that Abraham Lincoln and John F Kennedy are the two funniest Presidents. >> I’m going to jump around because I had a question about humor in politics, because when you read throughout the essays, including the Conan O’Brien essay, the thought of easy wit as an aspect of John Kennedy's personality and public life keeps being reinforced. How important to a successful Presidency, Doug, is humor and do we still have it in our politics today. >> Well, it's in a different way we do. Now, it's the President as the butt of all national satire, but John F Kennedy was a very funny guy. He was funny when he was young. He was a prankster, liked high jinx, he saw the absurdity of life. He was a little bit of the leader of the misbehaved gang in prep school somewhat that way when he was at Harvard. The men when he was in the Navy during World War II loved him because of his sense of humor and when he started running for politics in Massachusetts 1946 running for Congress, um getting elected humor was a big part if you were here to hear John F Kennedy he would have such a quick wit you would remember two or three things he said. It became one of his hallmarks he had an amazing ability to be self deprecating which everybody likes. By the time he becomes President, I think successful presidents use humor combined with communication to create an image. Theodore Roosevelt was fantastic at this. People would crowd around and he’d story tell and laugh and FDR used to come and tell more corn ball jokes to be honest. TR's was quick and witty and FDR's a little cornier his humor but it worked and then Ronald Reagan I once edited a book called The Notes. Reagan would take file cabinets and put each joke and have it perfectly organized so let's say you had to give a speech to a Kiwanis club. He’d have a speech but the pull out the note cards and put an arrow to say tell the joke there, tell the joke there. So when Reagan was done he laughed. People wanted a dinner speech full of laughs. Humor is essential. Kennedy, then, the last point would do the press conferences. Everybody here has seen him. And Helen Thomas, they famously would get into a whole thing. But can you imagine it wasn't. People would leave JFK press conference laughing even though they were dealing often with very serious points of view so I think if you took the charm wit and humor away from Jack Kennedy it would have been a different being they were part of his essence being that way. >> So one thing they asked him when they got into office is whether he was surprised by anything and he said the only thing I was surprised by the things were just as bad as I said they were. (laughter) >> Which is the more humorous way of a similar message we are getting out of our current President. It's the way things are communicated that has effectiveness in the public sphere. I wanted to talk about that concept of the new frontier and reference FDR as well as the new deal and Presidents are framing their messaging around a consistent theme. We just been through a campaign where make America great again was a regular campaign for the Trump administration and it was successful, so how long has President tag lines for want of a better word marketing tag lines on their governing principles and how does it work with the public? >> It works really well. It's a staple of American politics from the 19th century until today and you come up with a slogan like William Henry Harrison in 1840 ‘keep the ball rolling’ and we use that phrase now. They would take a large ball of twine and kind of spin it. They rolled it all the way from Ohio to Washington to kind of keep the ball rolling for William Henry Harris and the whole log cabin kind of at the one can go on and on but in modern times 20th century meaning you know Theodore Roosevelt with the square deal, I think, really started it all off and then he started preaching the real new nationalism and a later incantation in his life. FDR picked it up from his fifth cousin. He called him uncle Theodore even though it was a fifth cousin. Of course you got the new deal, and the new deal, it worked. Everybody talks about the new deal, where's the new new deal so Presidents since then have tried to find a moniker and Kennedy was keen on doing so. Harry Truman did the fair deal. He didn’t want to do deal again. So he played off the word, deal had been done. He put up the word new. We all know when you run for president they are are looking for change or you know and so the new frontier on the frontier was space, the frontier was the ocean and the frontier was technology and science and it worked. I thought it was a great slogan I still do. People that loved Kennedy started defining themselves as new frontiersman. There's was a whole group of senators that can be determined if they were part of the new frontier team like Frank Church of Idaho or Clinton Anderson of New Mexico. When that phrase became the cornerstone of the Democratic convention in 1960 when John F Kennedy took the nomination in Los Angeles. He had beat out Hubert Humphrey and Lyndon Johnson and Adali Stevenson, beat out Stuart Symington and he ran for years trying to get that Democratic nomination the term new frontier stuck and it still has a lot of credence to it because it capture that was there was something different going on in the early 60's. It was the time the new generation the lieutenant junior grades of World War II were coming in and the younger turks replacing someone like General Eisenhower who was of an older generation. >> In your introduction, Stephen, you related to this you talk about John Kennedy's skillful use of narrative in politics explain what that concept is? >> I think I was talking about it before. I think every President does try to capture the zeitgeist of the nation. Also, tries to direct that and in the direction they feel they want to go. So I think in Kennedy's case you have the largest generation of Americans ever born after World War II and they were coming onto the scene and he obviously had served in combat himself, and then you have this you know the really the rise of globalization and you had the rise of mass technology so he and his advisors for reading books like David Reeseman's A lonely Crowd. And these other books which were, which, as American industrial power grew they were thinking about how do we organize this in a way that's good for the nation and also how do we cope with our rise really at the pre-imminent international power. If you look at his life from 1917 to 1963 it spans the rise of America as a great international power. At the time he was killed we were probably at the height of our popularity in the world. He was able to use this idea of the new frontier you know to kind of galvanize people to really want to do something for their country and you know that, the quality of youth is that they want to make their mark and so David McCullough told me he left his job in New York working for I think it was Random House or somebody and went to Washington with the young family with no idea what he was going to do because he wanted to work for JFK. He ended up working in the United States information agency which has been kind of leading the charge against how do we promote American ideals against communism. He had that narrative of the young generation rising. He also had the narrative of that free society was a better way of governing and more aligned with fundamental human interests better than totalitarian or communist societies. I think he was right about that. Reagan of course shared that had viewpoint and ultimately Kennedy went to Berlin and gave his Berlin speech and Reagan went again when the Berlin wall was eventually torn down. And so he had both of those narratives going the narratives of national energy and national anti-communism and the third narrative he had was he went to Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He gave the speech called The Age of of Interdependence which was in the book. He said the American revolution was the revolution 1776 which was the age of independence but it was also the revolution of was the age of independence and there was also the revolution of 1787 which was the revolution of 1776, there was also the 1787 which was the revolution of interdependence when we formed the Constitution it became a national and powerful society. And he said this is what we are facing globally now. We have to build the global institution like the European union and others that will lead to greater cooperation and prosperity to everyone. In that sense you know if you look at his inaugural and the Trump inaugural like the last of JFK's inaugural. Form an alliance North south and east and wester against the common enemies of man, tyranny, disease, you know war itself. Trump's inaugural. America first, America great, America. That's the difference between JFK and Donald Trump. He believed in a strong national power but he understood that we are interdependent. >> So Stephen Kennedy Smith refers to a book that President and members of his advisors were reading together. I know that Barack Obama was quite a reader, George W Bush doesn't get as much credit for it but in fact he was quite a reader of history and policy books in the White House. How important is it for a President to be well read? >> I think it's essential and most presidents are exceedingly well read in presidential history. Harry Truman ranks very high on our C-Span poll as one of the great presidents didn't have a college degree but he would read biography and read deep into American history. Books by the hundreds of biographies of everybody from van Houston or Abraham Lincoln to . Robert E. Lee to Robert Fullton. He had a such a sense of breadth of American history. That's why Truman loved the painter Thomas Hart Vent, who did big portraits and murals of American history and that's someone without a college degree but he knew history could help with decision making. John F Kennedy, for example, he read ‑‑ Barbara Tuchmans’ Guns of August which was a warning about how big war could happen by strange little events that is seem minor but a chain of them can lead to something horrific. You know the you know the behavior of the Kaiser Wilhelm and its the kind of the fecklessness that took over Europe that was an important book in the Kennedy years. Barbara Tuchman’s classic at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. So having it be a reader mattered. I recently found out in 1962 Rachel Carson published the great book Silent Spring which gave birth to the environmental movement, Kennedy read her articles in the New Yorker and on a press conference was asked about it and he said Carson we are going to look and the like. Previously he read her books or at two of the three of the Sea trilogy about the oceans that she had written in the 50’s. Rachel Carson would go over to Jackie Kennedy in Georgetown with other women, new frontier people and talk about books that mattered. So when Kennedy comes ins he has Robert Frost give the inaugural and they start honoring Karl Sandberg. These weren’t just poets sneaking in for a second it became a big deal. Barack Obama tried to continue that. He would have a group of historians, David McCullough, myself, Robert Caro , Michael Beschloss and others meet quite frequently a number of times at the White House to talk just history with President Obama. George W Bush reads very deeply in history. His favorite books are about the Kings Ranch and a book call The Raven by Marcus James about Sam Houston and George W became a huge Abraham Lincoln reader just like Barack Obama loved Lincoln. >> So President Kennedy gave the commencement address at Harvard at 1956 Andrew Faust, the President of Harvard, who is also a great historian, wrote about it in the book. It's unusual for politicians to quote Bolingbroke,Montesquieu. and Goethe in the same speech. It was called the Politician and Intellectual. He said our nation’s first politicians were also our nations great writers and scholars books were their tools not their enemies. We need to this disinterested viewpoint of the scholar to prevent us from being imprisoned in our own slogans. This his view of importance of learning an reason in American politics and of course he was a historian himself. He wrote a very good review of the Adams papers he won the Pulitzer prize for history. He certainly believed as Doug said in reading Barbara Tuchman’s book that history mattered in presidential decision making. >> When we are talking about media. Let’s talk about the press. John F Kennedy came into the White House the dawning of the age of television and he also had a press corps that was very very different from the press corps that the President faced today at a news cycle that was so very different. How did he, I will just ask this generally what was his relationship with the press? How did he use the news media to his advantage to advance policy? >> He was a journalist as been mentioned after World War II he wanted to really be a journalist and he was, you can look up the old articles he would write. He covered the UN creation at the San Francisco conference, it appeared in papers all over the country. He was at Potsdam writing articles, so keep that in mind about John F Kennedy he had this great love of books, but television is a game changer in politics. In 1952 when CBS news decided to cover the convention. It used to be smoke filled ‑‑ it started becoming infomercials for the parties. You had to be telegenic. That became a new phrase. My research on Walter Cronkite I was astounded to learn that he was looking to make extra cash on the side for CBS and he gave a quick seminar in how to look and sound on TV and Sam Rayburn and John F Kennedy took his course and you know who didn't? Richard Nixon. Meaning by Kennedy started recognizing that new medium in the way Donald Trump recognized the power of twitter. He did recognize TV was a big big deal so by the time we cut to the debates of 1960 you realize that's the first time we had a presidential debate in the United States was then we never had one before 60. Susan Swain has done the Lincoln Douglas debates for C-Span that was the course about Illinois politics even though at a national ramification. It got televised and it's almost an old saw at this hand. People that listened to Richard Nixon on radio thought he won the debate. People that watched on TV said John F Kennedy won and once he came in CBS and NBC recognized that this, just like now, my network CNN we are becoming Trump all the time. The networks started thinking let's cover John F Kennedy. They started going to Hyannis Port. They started covering Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Gus Grissom as must watch TV events during the Kennedy years an press conferences became a big to use television to advance your public policy concerns. >>Okay, time is going to evaporate pretty quickly here. I have got some big issue that is were very much a part of the administration that I would like you to talk, at least generally, about, one is Vietnam. How does the book handle Vietnam which framed the entire baby-boomer generation >> I actually have on my wall at home a note that Jackie gave me after President Kennedy was killed, from his desk, and all it says on it Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam this was something that he was thinking about in the book George Packer who wrote a great book on Iraq writes about President Kennedy and Vietnam and he cites Fred Logevall’s book called Embers of War which won the Pulitzer prize which was about Vietnam. Fred is the professor at Harvard and I had lunch with him to talk about this issue. Fred Logevall feels and I think the majority of scholars to look at this field that Kennedy would have gone from Vietnam after ’64 and that's what Packer sort of says, the reality is nobody knows you can never know what the future will hold. Arthur Schlesinger, who was a close friend of our family felt the same way, but you know we will never know how Kennedy would have handled Vietnam. I think my own personal belief if he had been President he would have done it very differently than Lyndon Johnson it would have everted very acrimonious and difficult and demoralizing experience for America. That I think is one of the great tragedies of losing JFK. He was unbelievably knowledgeable about foreign policy. Most of his great speeches were about foreign policy. He traveled in Asia before the war and saw Hitler and Churchill speak, so this was a person who really really understood where the world was going, and I think he would have handled that situation quite differently. >> Doug do you want to add a few words? >> Just that we will never know, what we do know is that Cronkite interviewed right before JFK’s assassination, Walter Cronkite went to Hyannis Port and interviewed John F Kennedy at their home. He was intimating that he wasn't going to get roped into a long war over-commitment into Vietnam so people that agree with what Stephen just said will point that that Cronkite interview. There's some documentation feel that we were going to no matter what. We don’t know, ’64 would have been an election year. How would Vietnam played out in that election. We know what Lyndon Johnson did in ’64. He did the gulf of Tonkin because he wanted to show tough foreign policy and anti-cold war credentials heading into the election even though we look like he was going to have a landslide victory over Barry Goldwater. He didn't want to seem be a weak, so we just don't know what John F Kennedy would have done in Vietnam. He did get us involved to a degree with military advisors and CIA of course during his presidency you have the assassination of Diem there are some new tapes coming out. Believe it or not, the Kennedy library is still bringing out new tapes dealing with Vietnam and JFK. So I think it is a story that is going to evolve. I am personally curious to see how Ken Burns deals with it in his Vietnam war series. Which will be hitting the public soon. I have a feeling it's going to be one of constant debate. The evidence of why Kennedy would not have in to Vietnam Kennedy was in a real peace mode at the time of his senseless death. He was doing missives with Kruschev privately to say how can we be the generation that brings true global peace to do a one offer in Vietnam while he was trying to do this grand you know he got the nuclear test treaty passed. Even in the big speech here at American University to stop testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere and had countries sign on that is sort of the mode he was in at the time of his death but alas we will ever know. That’s what if history. >> Let's talk about Russia. We reference the Bay of Pigs Cuban missile crisis, it certainly framed the early part of his presidency. Here we are worried about U.S.-Russia relationship again. What will you say that has resonance for people today about the approach of Kennedy and his administration took toward dealing with the Russians. >> I think what is interesting about reading through these speeches and the history what's interesting to me about President Kennedy is that as his presidency goes on he learns from his mistakes and he deepens as a person. So he starts out more as a fervent cold warrior. He comes to the edge of the nuclear abyss, potentially 50 to 100 million people killed, and he's skillfully gets out of that situation by offering the Russians an opportunity to back down without losing face. Later when he gives the American University speech, he says explicitly, I think this is more reagent to North Korea, but he says never put your adversary in a situation where they either have to face a humiliating retreat or confrontation. So I think that's so on the one hand he became you know less of a less of a fervent cold warrior but more of an advocate for peace, as Doug said. Alsoon civil rights he was tepid on civil rights at first. I think when it came down to it he and Robert Kennedy made the decision that even though it cost them the election they were going to give them the civil rights address. In fact, when he gave the address his popularity went down by 30 points. The Democrats have not won this out since that address. I think on the issue of Russia you know the thing that is relevant with JFK is that he always kept the option for dialogue open and he never was naive about the intentions of the Russians he didn't characterize them in ways that is were very positive. Although he did also characterize the Russian people in the positive way. I think that you know he had to balance idealism without illusions idealism on one hand. You have to deal with them on the other hand don't characterize the Russion leader in ways that are overly complimentary. >> To add to very briefly exciting thing is new documents are coming out all the time. We are here at the National Archives there are new Kennedy tapes coming out. A Fellow, Tim Naftali is working on the U.S.-Soviet because we got Russian documents and archives opening up which will shed new light on the United States and Russia's relations. The question that I asked about 1960 election a man named Herb Gelman is writing a book on Kennedy and Nixon. He as a more favorable view of Nixon but he does this impeccable scholarship. It's a fluid field Kennedy studies right now. Documentation strictly for cold war countries start coming into play and we could see what was really happening from outside of our borders. >> We have about five or six minutes for our conversation. Then we will have time for questions if you are thinking about a question might be expedient to make your wayover to one of the microphones. Let me turn to some personal sides of this. We have got a photograph from the Look magazine if we can get it on the screen the cover of Look magazine which includes you I think Stephen Smith, my question when I look at that is since the assassination there's been so much mythology around in this country about John F Kennedy what can you tell us about the personal John Kennedy that is different or larger than or more important than the public image mythology. >> I was only six when my uncle… >> Where are you in there, by the way. >>That's me in the front seat. If you look closely I look concerned. Because I am concerned because we are heading for a very large hill at a high rate speed. In a small overloaded golf cart driven by a guy who wrecked his PT boat during the war. >> You knew that at age six? >> (laughter). >>You know what he would do? We would all get on that golf cart and we would drive for this hill. He would come down also out of the you know what we call the whirrly bird, right, through those choppers those Marine choppers on the lawn and he would come out and we would all run over to meet him. He got a big kick out of that. And I think he got a big kick out of riding around on the golf cart scaring everybody to death. So I have great memories of my uncle. Caroline and I were very close, we went trick-or-treating in the White House. My mother and Jackie would go trick or treating in Georgetown while she were first lady. They just put silk bags over their heads with little eyes so nobody would know twho they were. I actually have pictures, we could have shown one. It was a little scary. He was very much with children like he was with adults, engaging, warm, fun, funny. You really get a sense of a person as a child and I have some wonderful letters on my wall. One of them is a letter that he wrote to my grandfather about how essentially he enrolled in the military even though he was basically physically unfit to do so. He wanted to fight in combat and so they have to communicate with each other about his health condition in ways that is the censors wouldn't understand because they didn't, they didn't want them to know that he was not doing well, so they made up a name for him and they would write letters to each other under that alias. I have one of those letters on my wall. That shows you you know the ethic of this generation of 19 million American's who all went to war together and served together whether they were mechanics or barbers or whether they came from the Kennedy family. I think that's what we are missing in America right now. We need to create some kind of program of national service or something that gets this all together as a nation in the same way that President Kennedy did. >> Last question for me before we go to our audience questions. You I know, have a particular interest in first ladies could you talk about the JFK Jacqueline Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis relationship. What role she played in politics, one thing that's interesting is, Melania Trump is criticized for not spending time in the White House ‑‑ Jacqueline Kennedy spent a lot of time away from the White House. Concerned about her children. intact, if you go to Middleburg there's a plaque recognizing how much time she spent out there on the farm. Would you talk about the approach to her role of the first lady. Eleanor Roosevelt also would be gone all the time away from FDR I think Melania Trump in New York raising her child is honorable. I don't ever have any qualms with that. Jackie Kennedy created as we all know a huge impression on our country part of it was her fluency in language and when she went to France for example she spoke French and Charles DeGaulle, of all world leaders wanted to meet her almost more than her husband. She was very popular in Europe she had an innate sense of fashion. Even recently at the inaugural We saw Melania Trump being almost conscious of dressing in a kind of Jackie look if you like. She was a mother and she was raising two little children. They had a miscarriage before and she wanted to raise those kids right in life just like the Obamas had to do with their kids and it's well and wonderful both and Jackie's children turned came out to be. I think beyond that she had a sense of decor. She liked modern art. She loved writers. I recently read all of her correspondence with John Steinbeck. Steinbeck wrote Jackie a most heart breaking letter that your husband will live on right after his death. She was engaging with Steinbeck and he was talking about king Arthur and European history and what a hero means and why a hero history is bigger than a politician or states person what is a hero and so writers loved her, artists loved her and the country loved her and she create a kind of modern first lady by doing things the way she wanted to do much more visible than say Bess Truman or Mamie Eisenhower ever were. >> Let's start over here, sir. >>I heard Theodore Sorenson the speech writer for President Kennedy speak here at the National Archives once he was very quick to make sure that everybody knew that President Kennedy's speeches were President Kennedy's speeches and they weren’t his speeches, what do you know about the process that they worked together in coming up with their speeches not just the wording but also the substance of it as well. >> So Dick Goodwin was also a speech writer for President Kennedy. He worked on the City on the Hill speech that famously JFK you know said we will be judged by the answer to four questions were we truly men of judgment, were we truly men of integrity, were we truly men of dedication? What's the last one Doug? Dick describes the process and basically says you know JFK asked him to look at Lincoln's second inaugural. They talked about the ideas that President Kennedy wanted in the speech. He would come up with a draft and then President Kennedy would mark up the draft and come back with another draft and frequently Kennedy would mark that one up as well, so I think it was a collaborative process obviously no President can write all of his speeches and JFK had gifted people. Arthur Schlesinger,Dick Goodwin, and Ted Sorenson. I did put that quote from Ted Sorenson in the introduction actually that these were Kennedy's ideas. Because they weakly were. Kennedy was incredibly well read and had very obscure knowledge of history. He directed Dick to John Winthrop’s sermon to the puritans at that time it was not well known. It became well known after Reagan again quoted it. It was Kennedy who first surfaced that and directed Dick Goodwin to read and come back with a draft. >> One of the points made in the book, which had escaped my knowledge before was that was that jack Kennedy as a younger man was not a good speech maker and it was a skill that he had to learn to acquire for himself. It's interesting when we think about the soaring rhetoric now carved into buildings. Yes sir, you are next. >> issue of his catholicism is frequently dealt with, my mother had a bug-a-boo against Jack because he appointed his brother as attorney general. The current President has redefined nepotism. How big of an issue was this during Kennedy's day or was it something that people really didn't care about? >> I remember he said to Robert Kennedy when they were walking out to give the press conference ‑‑ Stop smiling Bobby, you will look happy. So I think it's legitimate issue. Fortunately Robert Kennedy was fairly well qualified,he had served on the rackets committee in the senate, he had run a presidential campaign, you know there is legitimate concern about appointing your relatives to office. I think partially what should be considered is how qualified are these people anyway to do what they are assigned to be doing right? If someone is well qualified for the job they shouldn't necessarily not be able to do it. I think it's a legitimate concern. >> Didn't Congress change the law after… >> Yeah they did. The Anti-nepotism law after the fact that Robert Kennedy. The problem with Robert Kennedy, he did a remarkable job as attorney general, but the danger is when you are in a meeting room people are afraid to maybe criticize or yell at that you can imagine with Donald Trump now who wants to yell at Ivanka, in front of her father disagree openly. It does create a different dynamic. On the Ivanka issue I am perfectly fine if she feels that there will be Jared Kushner they need to they are part of that circle. I don't have a too big of problems with it. With that said we got to keep our eyes on that nepotism law and make sure that it doesn't get shattered. >> You are up next sir. >> Thank you for being here and thank you for sharing the vision of John F Kennedy and especially this particular month. My interest is seemingly so many writers have written about President Kennedy as a liberal. Certainly when he first came on the scene when he announced in 1946 his July 4th speech at Nathanial Hall ‑‑ he was very much conservative. That's seemingly has been lost an even you know the first few years of the presidency he was much more conservative than Richard Nixon was. If you put that on a continuum Nixon is more of a liberal than Kennedy is. I am just kind of curious how you would respond to you know today's President with respect to foreign policy as well as you know tax reforms and certainly one of the issue that the President, the President occupant at the White House is looking at is tax reform and looking at President Kennedy's version of tax reform as well. >> President Kennedy cut at the time that he cut taxes it is highest marginal tax rate with people making over 140, 000‑dollars a year 91%. He cut it to 67% so the idea that a tax cut now is equivalent with that is ridiculous. Secondly you know I think what is useful for the Democratic party to consider from JFK is that he put the civic identity first in other words our family were Irish catholic but we were Americans first. He thought about himself and his family as Americans and I think that Democratic party has overemphasized the social category as identity and politics at least it's perceived that way by a lot of people. I think JFK was a centrist Democrat and he appointed Republicans to his cabinet, Doug Dillon and Henry Cabot Lodge. If the Democratic party wants to win another election they could take a page from John F Kennedy's book and think about how they could be more pragmatic and inclusive you know of a kind of a larger message. >> George Bundy National Security advisor was a Republican that worked for Henry L Stinson and Robert McNamara, while a democrat, came out of the corporate culture with Ford motor company and was very conservative person in many ways. You are right we sometimes misthink of the JFK years as sort of a fashionable liberalism and that might be because Ted Kennedy has a long liberal career that people just morph all Kennedy thinking into one. Jack Kennedy had a brand of leadership and American identity I think that was slightly different, perhaps, than Ted Kennedy. Look at Arthur Schlesingers’s book the Vital Center, Arthur Schlesinger, Junior, with talking about the need for liberals to be anticommunists fierce anticommunist and what it needs to be a centrist American and you will start getting close to where John F Kennedy's philosophical thinking on this is. >> He also gave a speech, which is in the book, E.J. Dionne wrote about that speech John Alter, called Definition of a Liberal. He said basically that liberalism is a belief in the possibility of society to improve itself. That's why he was pro-government because he felt that we could actually accomplish things together that versus conservatism which tend to try to protect what has already been established, so in that sense he was a true liberal. He did believe the government could be effective. That's the primary idea that he had. He thought that the government could do the space program he proposed medicare and medicaid, he proposed changes in immigration law that to the 1965 immigration act made America a more diverse country, so I think in the sense that he was a can do person he was a liberal and he wasn’t, he wasn’t dogmatically, programmatically liberal. >> So you are our last question. >> Hi, Karl (inaudible) when I was five or six years old I was privileged with my family to watch the fire works from the White House lawn on the fourth of July my father was a space advisor in the President’s science advisory committee right next door in the Eisenhower building. My question isn’t space related, it is actually a two-part question. JFK versus the national security state or CIA which he wanted to rein in from it's entanglements in the affairs of other countries. I would point to ask your research please on this. Truman, moth after the assassination, in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post titled Limit CIA Role to Intelligence. He seemed well aware that the regime change activities and assassinations were creating a bad reputation for us around the world. What would JFK done if that respect. And also concerning the monetary system, As Andrew Jackson ended the second bank of U.S. Kennedy began to initiate a treasury note. One dollar note redeemable in silver which arguably began to undermine the expansion of the federal reserve which has become the enabler of the Pax-Americana enabled by U.S. weapons around the world that Eisenhower warned against and Kennedy warned against in his American University speech. Monetary reform and the national security state. >> I will take one part of that thank you for your service and did you work in the space world just your father did. I will talk to you later. >> Inaudible. >> His father has a crater on the moon named after, look the CIA of the 50's would do a lot under the Allen Dulles leadership they made a lot of Democrats very skeptical. This was an era where we would do in Guatemala we began with the coup and undermining situation in Iran. We were really using CIA and these covert operations including perhaps assassination as a mode of American cold war policy when Kennedy came in and inherited the Bay of Pigs plan that was an Allen Dulles, CIA vision of returning the Cubans from Florida that trained to go throw a coup infidel Castro’s Cuba and it failed, and Kennedy got egg on his face for that. He was really following what was the CIA program to fruition. He learned from that to have some skepticism of the CIA and it's power and how we can rein it in and limit it. Also at times of the U.S. armed forces. He did not always say yes to the generals. He was not over-enamored by brass. He in that way he was tough operator and he had enemies internally within DOD and CIA because he made it clear it’s civilian control of the military and he made the CIA we may look I'm not quite sure I fully trust some of the things you are doing abroad. >> Do you want to answer monetary policy question ‑‑ no. >> I will say what President Kennedy will say is no. >> I will close with just asking one question, the chapter on the assassination in the book is titled something that anyone that did not raise their hand in other words they were alive when President Kennedy died has asked that question, entitled Where Were you When? What was your choice in giving the assassination, really, very much asmall part of this overall book and the second part for both of you let’s wrap up by talking about how did the assassination change our view of this presidency and this legacy. >> I asked Don Delillo to write that essay because I think he is one of this nation’s most brilliant writers. He wrote a book about this topic. I think it's a stunning essay. I think you know we knew we knew we had to deal with the assassination and I think there's been too much attention paid to the assassination at the expense of considering what is really important and useful about President's Kennedy's ideas for today, so we deliberately have always celebrated his birthday right? I think we have to note that this was a national tragedy and a tragedy for a family. We also have to know that, as he said that a man may die and nations may rise and fall but an idea moves on. And so what we are trying to celebrate in this book is those ideas and those ideals because he really not only inspired us but confronted us with the opportunities and challenges of citizenship and we are certainly confronted with those things today. One of the things that he said in his last speech which he never got to give was you know in the future the policies of the United States should be governed by learning and reason otherwise those, these who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain popular ascendancy to seemingly quick and easy solutions to every world problem. There's a lot to learn from JFK. So that's really why we did the book. >> Last comment? >> I once interviewed Gerald Ford out at Rancho Mirage, California and after lunch I went in his office and he was on the Warren Commission of the fascination of JFK. We were talking I was writing about his time at NATO and, his presidency, Gerald Ford, not the Warren commission. he said, I want to show you something he said. It was like this stack. You see that stack I said yes Mr. President. And I said do you see this? These are the letters I have received this week about my roll in the Warren Commission. And this is who has asked me about my presidency? In this book we don't want to hone in on the assassination as Stephen writes, we celebrate a hundredth birthday of a major American President and anybody watching will agree whose legacies are going to go on an on and he is ranked is one of the top ten American Presidents in our history. So we, maybe wanted to focus sides of him, John F Kennedy and my essay in the book on creating Cape Cod National Seashore and Point Reyes in Marin California or South Padre Island and there are other area that kind of under-looked because so much scholarship goes into these fascination and Stephen got Don Delillo ‑‑ who's novel Libra is a masterpiece of literature what a genius move to get one of our finest novelists to have dealt with the assassination write the closing essay. I was pleased when that came in that day. >> The 100th anniversary this month the actual birthday is the 29th. Is that correct? There will be many events around the nation. We thank you for your interest in being here for one of them today. Our co-authors will be right outside after wards for a book signing. Thank you for your attention. >> applause<<


Democratic primary

The South Carolina Democratic Party held the primary on August 27 and William P. Pollock had a slight lead, but did not garner over 50% of the vote and was forced into a runoff election against Thomas H. Peeples. On September 10, Pollock won the runoff and was thereby elected for the short term in the Senate because there was no opposition to the Democratic candidate in the general election.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
William P. Pollock 38,816 34.9
Thomas H. Peeples 37,567 33.8
Christie Benet 34,807 31.3
Democratic Primary Runoff
Candidate Votes % ±%
William P. Pollock 49,920 62.4 +27.5
Thomas H. Peeples 30,044 37.6 +3.8

General election results

South Carolina U.S. Senate Special Election, 1918
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic William P. Pollock 25,733 100.0 N/A
Majority 25,733 100.0 N/A
Turnout 25,733
Democratic hold

See also


  • Jordan, Frank E. The Primary State: A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962. pp. 64–66. 
  • "Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina. Part II." Reports of State Officers Boards and Committees to the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume II. Columbia, SC: 1919, p. 43.
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