Mexican Muralism

Lead: At the root of the explosion of graffiti on American public spaces was the revolutionary artistic movement known as Mexican Muralism.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Murals have been around since prehistoric times, but the modern genesis of the term in part originated with the Mexican "muralista" art movement. In the years following the Mexican revolution, during the 1920s and 1930s, native art, often with a powerful political message, began to decorate blank walls all over Mexico. Varying in quality, murals helped turn the cities into works of art. Muralists used open public spaces to call attention to a troubled society’s dreams, needs and hopes, revealing the need for social transformation. These murals could not be quickly eradicated, though the authorities tried. They were in-your-face, provocative, and demonstrated insistent demands by the artists for social justice.

Eugenics II

Lead: From its start as an optimistic approach to improving the human condition, eugenics degenerated into a racist tool in the hands of bigotry and ultimately led to the gas ovens of the Third Reich.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The fundamental problem with eugenics, even as Sir Francis Galton articulated it in the 19th century, was that it focused primarily on inborn characteristics and almost completely disregarded social, environmental, educational, and physical factors when examining the human race. Basically, eugenicists advocated a form of genetic determinism. A person is born with a genetic imprint that determines the course of their lives. Not surprisingly these theories became a powerful tool in the hands of racists. It all depends on who is setting the standard. If society is to improve itself, it is said, it must eliminate genetic threats to racial purity. In the sad history of eugenics, a wide variety of groups have been singled out for social restriction, sterilization, or elimination. Feeble-minded or mentally ill people, habitual criminals, sexual libertines, Negroes, Native Americans or any non-whites, Jews, gypsies, and evangelical Christians have all fallen under the wary and sometimes fatal scrutiny of the eugenic mandate. They bore undesirable human traits.

Eugenics I

Lead: In the 19th and 20th centuries, theories about the way to improve the human condition spawned the pseudo-science of eugenics. Unfortunately, optimism about making mankind better degenerated into the darkness of racism.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sir Francis Galton confessed to having had a happy childhood. His upper-class parents gave him a Cambridge education though he never took his degree, and left him sufficient inherited funds so that he could avoid work and indulge his great love of travel. From 1845 to 1853 Galton explored parts of the Middle East and Africa, including a very careful but ultimately fruitless expedition from West Africa in search of Lake Ngami, which is in Botswana, north of the Kalahari Desert. After his marriage he turned to more scholarly pursuits producing books on a wide variety of subjects including fingerprinting, calculus, genetics and weather prediction. Galton is best known, however, for his advocacy of improving the human species through selective parenting, a process he called eugenics.

Dancing Stallions from Lipizza II

Lead: Bred as royal horses of the Austrian emperors, the beautiful and graceful Lipizzaner stallions were the subject of a spectacular rescue at the end of World War II.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Hapsburg emperors bred the Lipizzaners for their strength and intelligence. With the end of World War I, the empire was no more but the white stallions, in their home at Vienna's Spanish Riding School, continued the tradition of the precision riding originally developed as battlefield maneuvers against enemy soldiers.

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Dowager Empress Tzu-Hsi II

Lead: Always reluctant to surrender power, Tzu-Hsi, Empress Dowager of China, the mother of Emperor Kuang-Hsu, in 1898 led a palace coup to defeat attempts at reform and modernization.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1852 Tzu-Hsi, a delivered his only son to the emperor of China. At the old man’s death in 1861 the widow assumed control of the nation as regent. When her son died 15 years later, quite possibly by her order, she installed her nephew as emperor and continued to rule behind the scenes. This was a ruthless and intimidating woman who had under her spell the young emperor his court who lived behind the walls of the Forbidden City that secret royal enclave in heart of Beijing.

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Dowager Empress Tzu-Hsi I

Lead: Powerful, cunning and ruthless, Tzu-Hsi, Empress Dowager of China, effectively ruled the for five decades.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1852, at the age of seventeen, the young beauty Tzu-Hsi was conscripted from the lower middle ranks of Manchu society to become one of the concubines at court of the Emperor Hsien-Feng. Behind the walls of the Forbidden City she began to learn the arts of intrigue. There in sequestered luxury Chinese emperors lived among a vast retinue of submissive officials, eunuchs, concubines and servants. Tzu-His learned well. Through sheer force of character and cunning this ingenious woman became one of the most powerful women in the history of China.

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Japan Opens to the West III

Lead: In the summer of 1853, a reluctant Japan opened its doors to trade with the rest of the world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Matthew Calbraith Perry was 59 years of age in the year he led the expedition to Japan. He suffered from arthritis and spent much of the voyage in his cabin. He was the brother of Oliver Hazard Perry whose defeat of the British fleet secured Lake Erie for the United States in the War of 1812. Matthew's career included transportation of freed slaves to Africa after the founding of Liberia and combat command during the Mexican War. He had a regal bearing and was a very serious person. This formality stood him well in dealing with the traditionalist Japanese who were reluctant to give up their policy of non-involvement with the outside world.

Japan Opens to the West II

Lead: For centuries Japan had kept itself isolated from the rest of the world. That changed on a summer day in 1853.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For nearly half a century American clipper ships had dominated the oceans of the world. These fast, sleek, and graceful vessels had helped U.S. shippers maintain their lead in transport, but a clipper ship was merely the perfection of a very ancient technology and the Industrial Revolution had created a new source of power and made possible a more efficient way of shipping goods. By the 1840s British-built coal fired steamships were taking the lead from the American clipper ships on the Atlantic ferry.