Spy Satellites

Lead: It was mid-August 1960. In a White House ceremony, President Dwight D. Eisenhower displayed a United States flag that been recovered from an environmental satellite orbiting the earth. He wasn’t exactly telling the whole truth.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Actually, the flag had been carried into orbit aboard Discoverer XIII and was returned to earth in an ejected capsule which was then recovered from its splash down point northwest of Hawaii by a Navy taskforce. It was the first time an object had been catapulted into earth orbit and brought back without mishap, but this exercise was far more than patriotic chauvinism. The Discoverer program was a ruse, a clever cover-up for a secret reconnaissance operation known as Corona.

Flying Wedge

Lead: On the last Saturday before Thanksgiving 1892 at Hampton Park in Springfield, Massachusetts, 21,500 fans watched the annual Harvard-Yale football game. After a scoreless first half, the Harvard team surprised its opponents with one of the most spectacular and controversial plays in football history. The "flying wedge" was born.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As it emerged in the late 19th century, the new American sport of football combined features of English rugby and soccer. Gradually, under the leadership of Walter Chauncey Camp who coached the Yale team from 1888 through 1892, the game adopted many of its distinguishing rules. Yet, from the beginning, football had a reputation for rough, even brutal competition. This was defended by many, including future President Theodore Roosevelt who wrote Camp in March, 1895 that he would not change the game's brutality. Football produced leaders and leaders can't be efficient unless they are manly. To him, rough football produced masculine vigor.

Electric Chair

Lead: Caught up in the frenzy of competition in the early days of electric power, Thomas Edison gave impetus to development of the twentieth century’s most fearsome form of judicial execution, the electric chair.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the 1880s, inventor Thomas Edison and industrialist George Westinghouse were locked in a fierce competition over the future of electric power. The issue was transmission. Edison championed direct current, Westinghouse, in alliance with the brilliant and erratic Nikola Tesla, was an advocate of alternating current. Westinghouse eventually prevailed because AC, with its more efficient distribution over longer distances, was clearly the superior choice.

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.

Dedication of the Vietnam Memorial

Lead: In 1982, the nation dedicated the Vietnam War memorial in Washington. It became one of the ways healing over the war came to America.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The war in Vietnam divided the United States, politically, philosophically, and socially. Yet many, indeed 58,000 warriors, paid the ultimate sacrifice in support of America’s fight for the independence of South Vietnam. In the late 1970s, the nation moved to recognize their sacrifice. Even as the war, the memorial was a source of controversy. Out of 1420 submissions, that of Yale student Maya Lin was selected. It was strikingly different from other memorials. A v-shaped wall of black stone with the names of the dead carved in chronological order, it lacked the heroic sculpture of other monuments. This choice aroused powerful opposition which argued that it was an inappropriate honor. The sometimes vicious and personal criticism of Lin was so intense that her name was ignored when the memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982.

Folies Bergere

Lead: Historically, the human desire for diversion and entertainment, like religion, morals and politics, is always nearly subject to evolution and changing tastes. Consider as an example if you will the Parisian Folies Bergère:

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: When it comes to entertainment, with apologies to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the French are not like you and me. From the middle of the 19th century until surpassed by American culture in the age of mass communication, the undisputed pace setter in entertainment was France. French theater was considered by many to be indecent, even obscene; it was certainly provocative and pushed the edge of the envelope in morals and taste. For most of that period, since its founding in 1869 as the Folies Trevise, both taking their names from nearby streets, the Folies Bergère always strove to be out front, slightly racier than the competition.

 

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History’s Turning Points: Tentmaker from Tarsus

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. We examine history’s turning points: the tentmaker from Tarsus.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: He began life in his own words as “a Jew of the Jews.” Paul of Tarsus was a member of the Pharisees, a school of Judaism known for its zeal for orthodoxy. His early encounters with the emerging Jewish sect that would eventually separate into Christianity revealed his zealotry by going after the growing number of adherents of Jesus who were claiming that the crucified and very dead Nazarene had come back from the dead. Commissioned to attack the followers of Jesus in the city of Damascus, he wrote later that on the way he was felled by a bright light and what he described as the transforming voice of Jesus himself. This son of Judaism switched loyalties and was soon proselytizing alongside, though barely tolerated by, the understandably suspicious original disciples, those who had actually known Jesus. And in this came one of history’s turning points.

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American Revolution: British Constitutional Debate III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: As First Minister to King George III, George Grenville was the author of the Stamp Tax passed by the British Parliament in 1765 to secure money to pay for British troops stationed in America. This tax provoked widespread resistance and even rioting in the colonies because of the conviction that, since Americans were not represented in Parliament, Parliament had no right to tax them. When William Pitt rose in Parliament to agree with the American position and urge repeal of the tax, Grenville responded with vigorous denunciation of the rebellious attitude and lack of appreciation in the colonies for the protection Britain afforded with troops on land and for American commerce on the open seas by the British Navy. “Protection and obedience are reciprocal,” he roared, “Great Britain protects America; America is bound to yield obedience.”