Babylonian Captivity of the Church

Lead: With the Continent devastated, the one institution that might have helped was badly distracted.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time", with Dan Roberts.

Content: Beginning in 1348 the Black Death began to claw at the population of Europe. If the loss of as much of one third of its people in certain places was not enough, at the same time England persisted in its attempt to conquer France, to make matters worse, the Roman Catholic Church was deeply divided. From 1309-1376 the leadership popes of the church lived in the city of Avignon in southeastern France. This period has come to be known as the Babylonian captivity, taking its name from the 70-year exile of Hebrews in Babylon as described in the Old Testament.

 

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The U-2 Incident II

Lead: On the morning of May 1, 1959, Francis Gary Powers piloting a U-2 spy plane was shot down by elements of the Soviet Union's Air Defense Force.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: The fallout from the incident went far beyond the fate of Francis Gary Powers. He was tried, convicted and then exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Able in 1962. Khrushchev went to the Paris summit conference on the 15th of May and disrupted it completely, using the U-2 incident as an excuse.

In fact from the very beginning, the Administration had known about the flights and the President had authorized them. The CIA had assured the Administration that no one could survive an attack by a surface to air missile, but had then provided a parachute for the pilot. 

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Amistad II

Lead: When the schooner Amistad, filled with mutinous slaves, came to anchor off Long Island in August 1839, its passengers became pawns in a political struggle.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The slaves had been illegally imported from West Africa into Cuba. Purchased in the Havana slave market by planters Pedro Montes and José Ruiz, they were being taken to plantations on Cuba’s north coast. On July 1st during the night, the slaves broke free, killed the Captain, ran off the crew, wounded Montes and took command of the ship. Their leader was a commanding figure in his 20s whom the Spanish called Cinque. They demanded to be returned to Africa, but Montes tricked them, sailing east during the day and north at night. This explained the meandering course, which eventually brought them to Long Island by the end of August. When Cinque sent a party ashore there seeking food and water, only 43 of the original 53 slaves had survived.

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First Ladies: Lou Henry Hoover

Lead: Married to one of the most reviled and revered Presidents in U.S. history, Lou Henry Hoover considered it a privilege to stand in his shadow.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Lou Henry was a banker’s daughter and met her husband the future President in the laboratory of their favorite Stanford Professor, geologist John Casper Branner. He was shy but they hit it off right away and shortly after he graduated, Lou and Herb Hoover were informally engaged.

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1808 End of Slave Trade I

Lead: The founders thought they had a solution to the problem of slavery in the new United States. They thought it would make the thing go away. In this they were wrong.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the important debates at the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia in 1787 was over the question of slavery. Though the delegates were cautious men of property, anxious to preserve the prerogatives of wealth and status, many were disturbed about the institution of slavery. It was seen to do violence to the egalitarian principles on which the American Revolution had been fought, detrimental to the character of slave and slave-holder alike, a social and practical danger to society as a whole, and was at that time correctly thought to be economically inefficient.

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“Mad” King Ludwig II

Lead: European royalty in the 1800s was noted for its interesting characters but few equaled the eccentricities of allegedly “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm was born in the late summer of 1845. He would lead the southern German Catholic Kingdom of Bavaria through one of the most turbulent periods in its history and, while he left no heir to the throne, he created an architectural legacy that draws millions of admiring visitors. His strict father lavished no excessive luxury on Ludwig and his brother Otto. They were close to their mother Marie, but soon both boys gave evidence of mental peculiarities. Ludwig was moody and shy. He often retreated into a trance-like dream world fueled by his obsession for the racist romanticism of Richard Wagner’s operas. Therefore, he was ill prepared in 1864 at the age of eighteen when his father’s death brought him the crown.

 

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Amistad I

Lead: The passengers of the slave ship Amistad, remembered in print and film, were swept up into the caldron of national dispute as America decided what kind of nation it would be.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Unfinished business. When the founders of the United States declared their independence and then later established their national compact, they left several matters of great import for future generations to decide. Among the most important issues needing resolution was the running moral sore of slavery. To be fair, in the late 1700s only a very few, usually very radical thinkers even considered restricting the practice let alone advocating an end to slavery. It had been part of life since the beginning of human existence. 

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Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay III

Lead: Beginning in 1787 Britain sent or transported nearly 170,000 convicts from its overcrowded prisons to Australia. For some this meant a chance to start over in a new life. For others it was torture, pain and sometimes, death.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The average sentence involved 7-14 years of hard labor on a distant and primitive continent
with little promise of return to their homes. It was not easy, but the nature of the experience depended upon their own behavior and the character of their employers. Convicts were assigned either to private employers or put on labor gangs organized by the government for public works projects, building the colonial infrastructure: roads, bridges, and governmental buildings. Private employment could be somewhat easier, depending on the job and the boss, but regardless, it was hard work. Owners were required to feed, house and clothe the convicts or they reverted to state control.

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