Diderot’s Encyclopedie

Lead: There is no doubt. In the 1700s the best-selling book was the multi-volume Encyclopédie, edited by Jean d’Alembert and Denis Diderot.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: This massive compendium of knowledge actually got its start as a failed attempt at a French translation of Englishman Ephraim Chambers Cyclopedia in 1745. Chambers’ work was a well-respected summary of human knowledge popular on both sides of the English Channel, but the translators did a poor job. To save the project the printer sought out d’Alembert and Diderot, two of French society’s most respected young intellects. The printer had salvage on his mind, the two future collaborators had something far ambitious on theirs. They set out to assemble a exhaustive presentation of universal facts based on a new way of thinking.

 

Read more →

Attempted Arrest of the Five Members

Lead: In early 1641, Parliament and King Charles I of England had reached a dangerous impasse.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Taxation, the war with Scotland, the rights of Parliament, and royal manipulation of the courts were among the subjects of a contentious and sometimes bitter struggle between a majority of the House of Commons and the government of Charles I, but it was religion that generated much of the passion of those years. For nearly a century, the Puritans, a minority in the Church of England, had been agitating for an end to corruption in the clergy, a simpler form of church worship, and greater control of congregations by the local churches.

Read more →

Confederados III

Lead: After the Civil War many Southern diehards, instead of submitting to federal occupation, migrated to Brazil.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the spring of 1972, then Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter made an official visit to Brazil. One of the most interesting parts of his tour was the City of Americana, with a modern population of 160,000. There Mr. Carter was greeted by descendants of the town founders, Confederates who came south after the U.S. Civil War. He gave a speech at a cemetery where American, Brazilian, and Confederate flags were displayed prominently.

Read more →

Confederados II

Lead: Horrified at the prospect of defeat, emancipated slaves, economic devastation, and Yankee occupation, in the years following the Civil War some Southerners emigrated to Mexico, to the Caribbean, and to South America.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: While most leaders such Robert E. Lee counseled gracious acceptance of defeat and accommodation to the New South, others were bitter and determined to leave. They were animated by the sentiments expressed in a song popular among whites in the South in the years following the war, a verse of which reads:

Read more →

Confederados I

Lead: As the dreams of an independent Confederacy crumbled under the relentless assault of the Federal war machine, people North and South began to imagine what life would be like in a Southland humbled by defeat.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Union leaders given to mercy and forgiveness like Abraham Lincoln were prepared to accept the Southerners as if they had never been away. Lincoln, the long-suffering leader of a victorious cause, just might have been able to pull it off. He wanted to quickly restore the South to full participation in the life of the Republic with as little damage as possible beyond that directly associated with the military campaigns.

Read more →

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Lead: In 1930 Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing about her childhood experiences on the American frontier. The result was classic literature read by young people and adults throughout the world.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: The inspiration came from her daughter, Laura Lane, a San Francisco journalist. Then in her mid-sixties, Laura Wilder, writing on school tablets and using pencils, created eight loosely autobiographical novels, known collectively as the “Little House Books,” published between 1932 and 1943. They have been praised as vividly detailing frontier domestic life, seen through the eyes of a young girl.

 

Read more →

Guillotine

Lead: One of the most fearsome and famous methods of capital punishment was actually developed as a more humane and democratic way of execution. It is named for an obscure member of the French National Assembly, a young physician, Joseph-Ignace Guillotine.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Decapitation as a means of execution has been a part of the human experience since the dawn of time. The quick easy removal of the victim’s head brought a swift conclusion to their earthly journey; a sharp blade, a heavy well-placed blow brought matters to a timely end. Mechanical devices for execution may have used in various European countries before 1300, but there is no evidence for this prior to the execution of Murcod Ballagh near Merton Ireland in 1307. By 1564 in Scotland such a mechanism was in common use. It was called “The Maiden,” and consisted of two grooved upright posts held together at the top by a cross-member and at the bottom by diagonal supports. The person to be offed was trussed-up, laid faced down with their neck lined up with the grooves. At the moment of execution a very heavy oblique, steel-clad, iron blade held in lead-lined wooden casing would be released and the victim’s head would be quickly and painlessly severed from his torso.

Read more →

Boxer Rebellion III

Lead: Chinese hatred of foreigners in 1900 exploded in the Boxer Rebellion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Many Chinese resented the presence of western soldiers, diplomats, merchants, and missionaries. The weak Imperial government seemed impotent to face powerful outside forces and by the end of the 1800s bitterness became violence. Chief among those opposed to the foreign devils was a secret fraternity named I Ho Chuan, the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists, or Boxers. Part of their ritual was a set of physical and spiritual drills in which they would sink into a trance and there battle imaginary demons. Waking, they seethed with hatred for all things foreign.

Read more →