tv 60 Minutes CBS April 4, 2021 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
ims, he gotot paid befofore his neneighbor eveven got starar. bebecause doining right bybyr members,s, that's whwhat's rig. usaa. . what you'r're made o, we're mamade for. ♪ u usaa ♪ captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. and ford. we go further, so you can. >> still waiting in line for your vaccine? well, hollywood moguls, new york socialites and tourists from overseas didn't. they went to florida, posting on social media and sparking outrage. that's because, early on, there were no residency requirements to get vaccinated in the state. >> people were saying, "listen, this is a resource and i know it's out there and i'm going to use whatever leverage i have to get that resource." there were no rules. >> it sounds like "the hunger games." >> that's a pretty good way of putting it.
( ticking ) >> good evening! >> as ford foundation president, darren walker oversees a $14 billion endowment. he thinks philanthropy needs a major re-think. >> it has been normalized in american culture that you can work full time and still be poor, and lesley, this isn't just an issue for african americans and latinx people. we have, for the first time in america, a generation of downwardly mobile white people. ( ticking ) >> tonight, a story of solidarity, hope, and ultimately survival, in the face of adversity. it took place more than 50 years ago, but when it was rediscovered last year, it caused a sensation. it's a tale of a group of schoolboys stranded on a remote and deserted island for more than 15 months.
>> it was hard. and i always pray god and, and i promise him, "if you could get me back, i'll serve you." ( ticking ) >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm sharyn alfonsi. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories, tonight, on "60 minutes." ( ticking ) grabbibing a holdd of whahat matters.s. askiking for whahat we want. and neneed. anand we need d more time.. so, we wanant kisqali.i. liliving longeger is possisie and d proven witith kisqalai when takaken with fufulvestrat or a nonststeroidal aromatasase inhibitotor in hr, heher2- metaststatic brbreast cancecer. kikisqali is a approved for bothth pre- and d postmenopapausal women, and has exextended livives in m multiple clclinical trir. kisqali isis a pill ththat's sisignificantltly more effffee at delayaying didisease progogression versrsus a nonststeroidal aromatasase inhibitotor or fululvestrant a alone.
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>> sharyn alfonsi: this past week, president biden said 90% of u.s. adults will be eligible for the covid vaccine by april 19 and will be able to get their shots within five miles of their home. that will be welcome news to many in florida. for three months, we've been reporting around palm beach county, the third largest in the state. it's home to old-monied millionaires, but also some of the poorest day laborers and farm workers in america. during those months, we watched florida's vaccine rollout deteriorate into a virtual free for all and watched as some wealthy and well-connected
residents cut the line, leaving other floridians without a fair shot. this is the town of palm beach. privacy hedges hide beachfront mansions and a healthy share of billionaires. more than 80% of the town's seniors have been vaccinated. bram majtlis was one of the first. >> bram majtlis: i was the lucky one that had my phone in my hands, pushed the link to make the appointment, and had an appointment. >> alfonsi: on january 5, majtlis, a retired businessman, got his first shot at a fire station just a block from his home. a few days earlier, the town had been given 1,000 doses from the state. the vaccine was in short supply. residents were thrilled, but neighboring towns were upset that palm beach was the only town in all of palm beach county to get the life saving shots for their seniors. >> majtlis: i don't think that they got it for any other reason than being prepared.
>> alfonsi: to be prepared, you have to have resources. and so, i think a lot of people look at palm beach and say, "well, they got the vaccine because they're a rich community." >> majtlis: i really think it has nothing to do with the resources. in this particular case, absolutely not. >> alfonsi: the palm beach fire chief said they spent months training staff and setting up locations to administer the vaccine quickly. but a bridge away in west palm beach, they say they were just as prepared. you were ready in west palm beach for the vaccine? >> keith james: absolutely, and i even put my signature on the letter to let the governor and the county know the we were ready, willing and able. >> alfonsi: keith james is the mayor of west palm beach, which is not on the beach at all, but the intercoastal waterway. the median income in west palm beach is about $28,000 a year, compared to $70,000 in the town of palm beach. james told us after he and other mayors complained about the town of palm beach getting the 1,000
doses, the county's health director took the blame, calling it a "miscommunication." >> james: listen, the county health director has fallen on the sword on that and said it was her bad. her organization's bad. they made a mistake. but isn't it funny that these mistakes only happen in commun mistakes only happen in communities that have that kind of wealth? they didn't make a mistake and send 1,000 doses to the poorest communities in our county? >> alfonsi: mayor james is among a number of community leaders who say the state's vaccination rollout has favored the wealthy. florida's rollout started pretty typically. the first doses were given to healthcare workers and nursing home residents in early december. but then, a few weeks later, governor ron desantis, breaking from c.d.c. guidelines, announced he would not vaccinate teachers and essential workers next, but instead put "seniors first," making anyone 65 or over eligible for the vaccine, the first in the country to do that. desantis said seniors were at
highest risk. >> ron desantis: they will have priority over ordinary workers wo are under 65. and i think that that's the appropriate way to do. >> alfonsi: florida's 4.5 million seniors started competing against each other for the vaccine. >> stay in line and stay socially distanced! >> alfonsi: in the rush, public health department phone lines failed and computer sites crashed. >> kara macsuga: internet issues are my biggest problem. >> alfonsi: kara macsuga, a teacher, tried to increase the odds of getting her mom an appointment. >> macsuga: so, i have a school- issued chromebook. i have my own personal laptop. i have my husband's ipad. i have my ancient ipad. and all four of those screens. it's very deflating, i missed it again today. >> alfonsi: in some places, seniors waited 17 hours for a shot, but not everyone was so patient. almost immediately, the line jumping started. >> james: it was incredibly frustrating.
>> alfonsi: in west palm beach, mayor james says he was still trying to secure vaccines for his town's firefighters when he learned that at a nursing home in town, some board members and their wealthy pals got vaccinated. even though those doses were only supposed to be given to elderly residents and staff. then, the private jets started arriving. hollywood moguls, new york socialites and tourists from overseas were getting vaccinated in florida, posting on social media and sparking outrage. early on, there were no residency requirements to get vaccinated in the state. >> james: people were saying, "listen, this is a resource and i know it's out there and i'm going to use whatever leverage i have to get that resource." there were no rules. >> alfonsi: it sounds like "the hunger games." >> james: that's a pretty good way of putting it. and those who had the fiscal resources were going to use them in whatever way they could to get this vaccine. >> alfonsi: by february 1, casualties of the chaotic
rollout became clear. state data revealed of the more than 160,000 residents in palm beach county who'd been vaccinated, only 2% were black and 3% hispanic, even though minorities make up almost half the county. state representative omari hardy, a democrat, says it's all about access. >> omari hardy: at the beginning of this pandemic, black people, hispanics, people of color, we bore the full force of this pandemic. over-represented in the hospitalizations. over- represented in the deaths. and now, on the back end of the pandemic, we're bearing the full force of it as well, because we don't have the same access to the vaccine. >> alfonsi: some people have said that the minority community is distrusting of the vaccine and doesn't want the vaccine. what do you think of that narrative? >> hardy: that's an excuse for people who don't want to do the work required to ensure that the distribution of this vaccine is equitable.
>> alfonsi: and nowhere was that more challenging than here. this is the glades. it's 44 miles west of the town of palm beach, also in palm beach county. 31,000 people call the glades home. rivers of sugarcane line the roads, and the air is thick with the smell of molasses. about 90% of residents are black and latino. many live below the poverty line. by march, 11 weeks into the rollout, more than half the seniors in the glades had still not been vaccinated. >> tammy jackson-moore: have they taken the vaccine yet? are they interested in the vaccine? >> alfonsi: for months, tammy jackson-moore, a community organizer, has been going door to door trying to fix that. we were with her when we met 91- year-old annie-pearl cornelius on her porch. do you drive? >> annie-pearl cornelius: no, ma'am. >> alfonsi: do you have a computer? >> cornelius: no, ma'am. >> alfonsi: annie-pearl told us she wanted to get the vaccine for months, but couldn't make an appointment.
>> jackson-moore: a lot of people still have flip phones. so, there were a lot of challenges in our community as it relates to people trying to make appointments for vaccinations. >> alfonsi: but the biggest challenge for residents of the glades wasn't just making appointments, it was getting to them. that's because, back in january, the governor made another game- changing move. he announced he was partnering with publix grocery stores across the state to distribute the vaccine in their pharmacies. but as part of the program in palm beach county, most seniors could no longer get vaccine appointments though their public health departments. they had to go to publix instead. >> jackson-moore: i was shocked because i know that we don't have a publix in our community. and then i got angry, because i personally knew three people that had passed from covid. and i knew that this was not going to be good for this community. >> hardy: belle glade is one of the poorest communities, not just in palm beach county, but
in the state of florida. so, you have lots of folks who don't have cars. >> alfonsi: how far would someone from belle glade have to go to get to a publix? >> hardy: the nearest publix to belle glade is about 25 miles. >> alfonsi: that's pretty significant if you don't drive. you have to catch two buses to get to the nearest publix from the glades. it's 34 stops-- more than two hours round trip. a daunting task in the middle of a pandemic, especially if you're elderly. so, why did the governor choose publix? campaign finance reports obtained by "60 minutes" show that weeks before the governor's announcement, publix donated $100,000 to his political action committee, friends of ron desantis. julie jenkins fancelli, heiress to the publix fortune, has given $55,000 to the governor's pac in the past. and, in november, fancelli's brother-in-law, hoyt r. barnett, a retired publix executive,
donated $25,000. publix did not respond to our request for comment about the donations. governor desantis is up for re- election next year. i imagine governor desantis's office would say, "look, we privatized the rollout because it's more efficient and it works better." >> hardy: it hasn't worked better for people of color. before, i could call the public health director. she would answer my calls. but now, if i want to get my constituents information about how to get this vaccine, i have to call a lobbyist from publix? that makes no sense. they're not accountable to the public. >> alfonsi: distributing vaccines is lucrative. under federal guidelines, publix, like any other private company, can charge medicare $40 a shot to administer the vaccine. we wanted to ask governor desantis about the deal, but he declined our requests for an interview. we caught up with him south of orlando. publix, as you know, donated $100,000 to your campaign.
and then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccination in palm beach county. >> desantis: so, first of all, that-- what you're saying is wrong. that's-- >> alfonsi: how is that not pay to play? >> desantis: that-- that's a fake narrative. i met with the county mayor. i met with the administrator. i met with all the folks in palm beach county and i said, "here's some of the options. we can do more drive-thru sites. we can give more to hospitals. we can do the publix." and they said, "we think that would be the easiest thing for our residents." >> alfonsi: but melissa mckinlay, the county commissioner in the glades, told us the governor never met with her about the publix deal. the criticism is that it's pay to play, governor. >> desantis: and it's wrong. it's wrong. it's a fake narrative. i just disabused you of the narrative. and you don't care about the facts because, obviously, i laid it out for you in a way that is irrefutable. >> alfonsi: well, i-- i was just talk-- >> desantis: and, so, it's clearly not. >> alfonsi: isn't there the nearest publix-- >> desantis: no, no, no. you're wrong. >> alfonsi: 30 miles away? >> desantis: you're wrong. you're wrong. yes, sir? >> alfonsi: that's actually a fact. a federal complaint raises other questions about the governor's vaccine distribution decisions, and alleges governor desantis
was discriminating when he hand picked communities for pop-up sites across the state. one of those communities was lakewood ranch in manatee county, just south of tampa. in february, the governor announced he was giving 3,000 doses to the community. >> desantis: we saw a need, we want to get the numbers up for seniors. >> alfonsi: but what the governor didn't mention was that lakewood ranch developer pat neal has donated $135,000 to the friends of ron desantis pac-- or that only residents from two zip codes would be allowed to get ththe shots, and those two zip codes have some of highest income levels and lowest covid infection rates in the county. when the governor was questioned about it, he threatened to take all the vaccine back. >> desantis: i mean, if manatee county doesn't like us doing this, then we are totally fine with putting this in counties that want it. >> alfonsi: annie-pearl cornelius got her first shot last month at a weekly vaccination site the state set up in the glades. the local cvs and walgreens have been given vaccine, too.
there is no shortage of takers. >> today was my day of luck. >> alfonsi: state democratic leaders are calling for the justice department to investigate whether governor desantis was rewarding high dollar donors with special access to the vaccine. >> hardy: this is a once in a century pandemic. someone shouldn't have a better chance to survive because they have money, or because they can write a check to someone, or because they have access to powerful people. ( ticking ) >> a retired nfl star helps his hometown get vaccinated. >> next thing you know, we had a site. >> at 60minutesovertime.com. cag but your first treatment could be a chemo-free combination of two immunotherapies that works differently. it could mean a chance to live longer. opdivo plulus yervoy is for a adults newlwly diagnod withth non-smallll cell lung cancecer that hasas spread anand that ts posisitive for p pd-l1
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>> lesley stahl: imagine if your >> lesley stahl: imagine if your job were to give away upwards of $500 million a year trying to make the world a better place. that is the enviable-- or perhaps unenviable-- task of darren walker, president of one of this country's largest and most prominent philanthropies, the ford foundation. a gay black man who grew up poor in a single-parent home in rural texas, darren walker is probably not who henry ford would have chosen to give away the proceeds
of the family fortune. walker believes that in this time of stark and growing inequality, of staggering wealth for a few, but stagnation for far too many, philanthropy needs a major rethink. and he's using his checkbook and his charm to make the case that generosity is no longer enough. >> darren walker: so good evening! >> good evening! >> walker: i'm darren walker, and i have... >> stahlhl: as ford d foundation president, darren walker oversees a $14 billion endowment and a landmark headquarters building in manhattan where more than 1,500 grants are made each year to non-profit organizations in the u.s. and around the world. its grants helped create giants like public broadcasting and "sesame street," human rights watch, and head start, a program walker says made a huge
difference in his own life as a poor kid in east texas. he was in its very first class. were you even aware, did you even know what the ford foundation was? >> walker: i had no idea what the ford foundation was. i didn't know what policy was. but i knew that i was a lucky child. and i always felt my country was cheering me on. >> stahl: walker fears that kids living in poverty now don't feel cheered on by their country. so, after he was chosen to lead the foundation in 2013-- he'd been a vice president before that-- he did something radical: >> walker: all of our grant making in the u.s. and around the world... >> stahl: he announced that every ford foundation grant moving forward would have as its mission fighting inequality in all its forms. >> walker: inequality is the greatest harm to our democracy
because inequality asphyxiates hope. >> stahl: his argument is that generosity is insufficient. the real goal of giving should be justice. what's the difference between generosity and justice? >> walker: generosity actually is more about the donor, right? so, when you give money to help a homeless person, you feel good. justice is a deeper engagement where you are actually asking, "what are the systemic reasons that put people out onto the streets?" generosity makes the donor feel good. justice implicates the donor. >> stahl: because you're telling the donor they're going to have to change themselves. >> walker: and that they contribute. you're the person who won't let a homeless shelter come into your neighborhood. >> stahl: makes you uncomfortable. >> walker: that's the point. >> at the ford foundation, we know that ininequality limits te potential of all people... >> stahl: as part of the
foundation's new direction, walker changed how it invests its endowment, moving a billion dollars into what are called mission related investments-- like companies building affordable housing. he reduced funding to marquis names like lincoln center, while increasing grants to the apollo theater and studio museum in harlem. >> a $1 billion initiative... >> stahl: another innovation, a new program called build, which gigives a billllion dollars in grants to non-prprofits and d as them to decide how to spend t te money... >> thehe organizatation is alwln the e driver's seat. >> stahl: ...even if it's on adding staff, or new computers. this is counterintuitive, because i think most people really want to know that the vast majority of the money they give is going to the program itself. >> walker: all of the unexciting parts of a nonprofit has to be paid for-- technology and
infrastructure, paying the rent. it is both arrogant and ignorant to believe that you can give money to an organization for your project, and not be concerned about the infrastructure that makes your project possible. >> stahl: walker also made changes internally. he sold the foundation's old art collection, 400 works by white artists, all but one of them men, and bought new works by more diverse, contemporary artists like this kehinde wiley portrait of a woman from brooklyn depicted as royalty, which he put right at the foundation's entrance. walker comes from a large southern family, whose matriarch was the daughter of slaves. he grew up in rural ames, texas, the segregated part of a county ironically named liberty. covid prevented us from traveling to ames with walker, but a local camera crew was able
to find his first house-- now abandoned-- so he could give us a virtual tour. >> walker: this house was a little shotgun shack on a dirt road. the thing about a shotgun house, it usually has a door and two rooms. >> stahl: walker's mother, a nurse's aide, raised him and his younger sister on her own. did you ever meet your father? >> walker: i met my father once. i was about four years old and-- my cousin brought me by and said, "joe, this is your son, darren. and don't you want to say hello to him?" and he wouldn't come out of the house. i actually never saw his face because the screen door covered most of his face. >> stahl: that is so painful. >> walker: i think it's painful, but i think it's also-- there's
a resilience that comes from that. >> beulah spencer: i knew the lord had something good in store for darren. >> stahl: the resilience really came, walker says, from his mother, beulah spencer. >> spencer: education, education, education. >> stahl: who saved up to buy the encyclopedia brittanica for her kids, one volume at a time. what was darren like as a little boy? >> spencer: oh, my god, i had to pay him to stop talking so much. ( laughter ) i'd say, "darren, if you'd just be quiet for 25 minutes, i'm going to give you a quarter." >> stahl: he was a strong student, was elected to his mostly-white high school's student council, and attended u.t. austin on scholarship for college and law school. he moved to new york to work at a top law firm, then in banking, selling bonds, and met his decades-long partner david, who passed away suddenly two years ago.
walker put his younger sisters through college, then left banking to do community development work in harlem, and has been in philanthropy ever since. >> spencer: i'm just proud of him. very, very proud of him. >> stahl: especially so when that chatty little boy brought her to a state dinner at the white house, where it was she who didn't stop talking. >> spencer: i was talking to president obama and darren's standing at the background saying, "mother-- ( laughs ) --move, move." >> walker: but she broke protocol, lesley. >> stahl: what'd she do? >> walker: because-- ( laughs ) she was supposed to briefly greet the president and move on. she grabbed his hand-- >> stahl: ( laughs ) and held on? >> walker: --with her hands. ( laughter ) and wouldn't let go. >> stahl: but she had something to tell the president, right? >> spencer: yes. i told him we were praying for him. >> walker: hi bob steele, how are you? >> bob steele: i'm so much better now. >> stahl: if walker has a super-
power, it's being able to get along easily with just about everyone. pre-covid, he mingled comfortably with new york high society... >> walker: that was a different party... >> stahl: many his close friends. with a salary of almost a million dollars, he says he knows what it is to be in the bottom 1% and now the top. >> walker: let me be clear, lesley: i am a capitalist. i believe there is no better way to organize an economy than capitalism. >> stahl: but he says the system has gotten skewed, with the richest 90 people owning as much wealth as the bottom half of the country combined. >> walker: i want to challenge capitalism to do what it's supposed to do, and that is to provide opportunity. >> stahl: so he goes on business channels calling on corporations... >> walker: what happened to those profit-sharing plans for workers? >> stahl: ...to stop putting shareholders ahead of their workers. >> walker: it's unthinkable to me that it has been normalized in american culture that you can
work full-time and still be poor. that is antithetical to our idea of this country. and lesley, this isn't just an issue for african americans and latinx people. we have, for the first time in america, a generation of downwardly mobile white people. >> stahl: they're making less than their fathers did? >> walker: that has huge implications for our politics. >> stahl: what's interesting is that usually when change comes, the leader is outside the tent, shouting in. you're inside. you're going to all these galas. >> walker: as a person who is sometimes in the room, i think one of the things that i do in the room is to talk about uncomfortable truths. >> stahl: and often people in the room are swayed. walker pulled off a reconciliation between the ford
family and the foundation after a nearly 40-year estrangement. a nearly 40-year estrangement. henry ford ii severed relations in the '70s after clashes over bringing women onto the board, and policies he considered too liberal. walker used that superpower of his and reached out to matriarch martha firestone ford, then convinced henry ford iii to join a far more diverse board. >> walker: henry, what do you have to say about this? ( laughter ) >> henry ford iii: it's pretty heavy, darren. >> stahl: this was the board's last in-person meeting before the covid-19 pandemic struck. then george floyd was killed, both thrusting issues of inequality to the center of the national conversation as never before, just as nonprofits, including those in the arts, were fighting for their lives. >> walker: theaters went dark. museums closed down.
all of the kinds of things that we support here at the foundation, were in need, so people were panicked. every one of you had a role to play. >> stahl: working from home, walker thought up a secret plan, something no foundation had ever done: raise a billion dollars by issuing bonds, so the foundation could double its payments to needy grantees in the arts and racial justice. the bonds were rated triple-a, and sold out in less than an hour. it had to be that your background suddenly came in, because you were a bond salesman. >> walker: to be totally candid, it was less my knowledge of the bond market, and more the urgency i felt to do something. >> stahl: walker is calling on everyone to do something. he's turned the ford foundation building into a vaccination site. and in a provocative "new york
times" op-ed, he wrote that people with wealth and power need to share some. you're asking people who are invested in the system as it is, that grants them all the privilege, to give that up. i don't know if it's within human nature. >> walker: i agree with you, lesley. it's not human nature to give up privilege, particularly if you feel it's hard earned. but at the end of the day, we elites need to understand that, while we may be benefiting from this inequality, ultimately, we are undoing the very fabric of america. we are going to have to give up some of our privilege if we want america to survive. ( ticking ) >> we lolove our newew home.
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weeknights on kpix 5. ( ticking ) ( ticking ) >> stahl: now, holly williams on assignment for "60 minutes." >> holly williams: tonight, we have a story of solidarity, hope, and ultimately survival in the face of adversity. it took place more than 50 years ago, but when it was rediscovered last year it caused a sensation. it's a tale of a group of schoolboys stranded on a remote and deserted island for more than 15 months. it might remind you of the famous novel, "lord of the flies," by william golding, but as you'll see, the outcome of this real-life story could not have been more different. the story begins in 1965. mano totau and five of his friends were studying at a
boarding school in tonga, an island nation in the pacific ocean. bored, rebellious, and yearning for adventure, they stole a traditional whaling boat and, with reckless abandon, they set off for fiji. did it have an engine? >> mano totau: no, no engine. >> williams: but mano, isn't fiji about 500 miles from tonga? >> totau: a little bit less. >> williams: did you have a map or a compass? >> totau: no. >> williams: the teenagers might have been brought up on the sea, but ththey soon fifigured out td made a a terrible e mistake. on the first night a violent storm ripped the sails from the mast and tore off the boat's rudder. for over a week, their crippled boat drifted aimlessly. 17-year-old sione fataua, the oldest of the group, told us they were convinced they'd die. >> sione fataua: no food, no
water. we was just drifting around by the wind. and after eight days we saw the island. >> williams: it was a volcanic island, jutting out from the sea. as the boat neared, a wave sent it crashing into the rocky shoreline, leaving it in pieces. the exhausted teenagers struggled ashore. >> totau: the only thing we do, grabbing each other together and say a prayer, "thank you, god." >> williams: the schoolboys later discovered they'd drifted 100 miles from where they'd set off and had landed on the island of ata. on maps, nothing more than an uninhabited speck. it was a story so remarkable that l later an auststralian telelevision crew w brought thee teenagers back to ata to re- enact their experience.
in the film, sione, mano and their friends show how they survived. > they were able to salvage n oar and a piece of wire, and with this they set out to catch what they hoped would be theheir first meal in eight days. >> williams: they demonstrate how they ate the fish they caught raw, and quenched theheir thirst by raiding the nests of seabirds, drinking their blood and their raw eggs. any food, anything to drink? >> totau: any food. no matter how awful it is and how dirty it is, it's a very beautiful things to have it in that time. >> williams: when they regained enough strength, mano and sione told us, they climbed up to the island's forested platateau, whe they found a clay pot, a machete and chickens, all left behind by a small tongngan communityty tht lived on atata before beining rd from their h home by slaveve trs
a century earlier. but they told us everyrything changeged when they y finally me fire and began cooking hot meals. how did you stop it from going out? >> fataua: i tell the guys, everybody have a duty for the fire. you have to take care of the fire and you have to say prayer for that night, and get up in the mornining, it's stilill goi. >> williams: the teenage runaways showed remarkable resourcefulness, building a hut out of palm fronds, establishing a garden with bananas and beans, and setting up a roster to keep a lookout for passing ships. they even built a badminton court and a makeshift gym. they lived in harmony, they told us-- most of the time. but, come on, mano. you were teenage boys. you must have had arguments. >> totau: we did, and we disagreed. >> williams: they cooled off by walking to opposite sides of the
island, mano says, though sometimes things got out of hand. so, if there was a fight, how did you stop it? >> totau: you smack him or something like that, and tell him, "shut up and cool down, sit down, listen." >> williams: there must have been times when you were depressed, when you thought that you would never see your families again. >> fataua: it was hard. and i was pray god and-- and i promise him, "if you could get me back, i'll serve you, rest of my life." >> williams: for more than 50 years, the real-life story of sione, mano and their friends was little known outside of tonga, until dutch historian and best-selling author rutger bregman stumbled across it on the internet. he flew across the world to meet mano and made the story the cornerstone of his new book,
"humankind: a hopeful history." >> rutger bregman: and i just couldn't understand how this had not become, you know, one of the most famous stories of the 20th century. i just couldn't understand it, because it's just extraordinary. six kids on an island for 15 months. and d they survived. how? >> williams: like millions o of others, bregman had read the fictional tale of marooned scschoolboys, , "lord of the fl" which for generations has been taught in high schools around the world. >> i think we ought to have a chief to decide things. >> williams: the novel-- later made into a film-- is a nightmarish account of a group of british boys stranded on an uninhabited island. they divide into two compepeting tribes andnd descend i into violence, culminating in mayhem and murder. >> bregman: this is reallyly old theory in western culture, that
our civilization is just a thin veneer, just a thin layer. and that when something bad happens, say there is a natural disaster or you shipwreck on an island and you have the freedom to establish your own society, that people reveal who they really are. you know, people deep down are just selfish. >> williams: and you're saying that basic idea underlying the novel, "lord of the flies," is wrong? you're saying that would never happen? >> bregman: well, if tens of millions of children around the globe still have to read "lord of the flies" in school today, i think they also deserve to know about this one time in all of world history when real kids shipwrecked on a real island, because ththat's a very y diffet story. >> williams: a story of cooperation, hope and eventually salvation. in september, 1966, after 15 long months, australian lobster fishsherman peter r warner was
sailing near ata when he spotted a burned-out p patch. when he went closer, he was shocked to see a human figure. >> peter warner: and this first figure was swimming towards us doing the australian crawl, as i call it. and then another five bodies leapt off the cliff and into the water and followed him. >> williams: they clambered aboard and told the crew how they'd run away from boarding school and ended up shipwrecked. peter radioed to nuku'alofa, the capital of tonga, to check out their story. >> warner: and the operator very tearfully said, "it's true. these boys were students at this college. they've been given up for dead. funerals have been held. and now you've found them." so, that was a very emotional moment for all of us. >> williams: so you knew you were going home. >> totau: yes
>> williams: how did that feel? >> totau: like walking through the door to heaven. >> williams: but heaven would have to wait. when they arrived back in port they were immediately arrested. so, peter warner rescued you and took you back to nuku'alofa where everyone thought that you were dead. and then you were arrested? >> fataua: yeah. we are arrested because we stole the boat. ( laughs ) >> williams: peter warner told us he paid o off the owner of te stolen boat, and finally sailed the runaway schoolboys back to their home island, accompanied by the australian television crew that had flown in to film their story. they captured the teenagers' reunion with their families. >> our boyoys have come e back. >> fataua: my mom, she was swimming out before i get out the boat. i'm the first one going to the beach, and give me a hug.
>> never had there been such joy. >> warner: the whole population of this s little islanand were n the beach, hugging the boys. parents were crying. then the party started. six days of feasting. >> williams: the story has never been forgotten in these islands, but when a british newspaper published a chapter of rutger bregman's book last may, the tale of the tongan teenagers went viral. seven million people read it within days. hollywood studios got into a bidding war for the film rights. why were so many people all around the world surprised and captivated by your telling of the story? >> bregman: maybe we needed to hear it? maybe especially right now, in the midst of a pandemic, is that people were looking for a story that gave them hope about a
different way of living together, that a different society is possible, that it's not just violence and selfishness and greed within human nature, but that we can build on something different. maybe that's why. >> williams: it's been 55 years since the shipwrecked schoolboys were rescued. they've never had any doubt how or why they survived. >> fataua: i think the culture where we come from, we are close. really close family. we share everything. we poor, but we love each other. >> williams: the teenagers had no interest in going back to the classroom. at first they worked for peter warner, who set up a fishing business in tonga. sione, as promised, later became a minister. he's now the head of the church of tonga in america. mano trained as a chef and moved
to australia. for half a century, he and peter warner have been best friends. whenever they can they go out for a sail, forever pulled back to the pacific ocean where their friendship began. why do you guys get along so well, you know, all these years after the rescue? >> totau: i think that we feel strongly in us that we have something to helping one another. >> warner: yeah, and also-- >> totau: teaching one another on it. >> warner: and also, we have a common beliefs that got you through that trial on the island, you know, love, compassion and-- >> totau: yeah. >> warner: justice, unity. >> totau: we both believe in the same thing. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> williams: the teenagers composed a song when they were on the island of ata, "siosionoa"-- seeing nothing everyday.
it takes mano back to a time when they were longing for home, and before they could ever imagine that their story might have lessons for us all. ♪ ♪ ♪ ( ticking ) >> welcome >> welcome to cbs sports hq presented bying progressive insurance. minneapolis, ncaa basketball tourn began with 68 teams. we're down to two. last night the semi-finals recruit, and a classic game, in a buzzer beater that outlasted ucla in overtime. tomorrow night here on cbs, and trying to become the first team to go undefeated in 45 years.
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