Dietrich Bonhoeffer I

Lead: The life of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer demonstrated the practical, as well as the dangerous, consequences of moral leadership.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his formative years, few would have considered Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a candidate for martyrdom. His upbringing and training, however, were of a somewhat more academic bent than most who aspired to service as German Lutheran pastors in the early twentieth century. His father was a professor of psychiatry at the University of Berlin and Bonhoeffer followed the academic path to Tübingen, Berlin, and New York’s Union Theological Seminary. Along the way, in addition to his scholarly pursuits, he served churches in Harlem, New York, Barcelona, Spain, and London. By 1931, as the political storm gathered in Germany, he was home lecturing and doing church work in Berlin.

Read more →

James Knox Polk and Hail to the Chief II

Lead: The use of the stirring, heroic melody, Hail to the Chief, was ritualized by First Lady Sarah Childress Polk, dealing with her husband’s public relations problems. The story behind the tune, however, is not very good news for a politician.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: James Knox Polk, Eleventh President of the United States, was short, usually unkempt and wore cheap, ill-fitting suits. He and Sarah were not universally popular in Washington society and he could walk into a room and be completely ignored. To call attention to his presence and increase respect, Sarah Polk decreed that he should have a theme song. Whenever he entered the room, the Marine Band was instructed to play Hail to the Chief.

Read more →

James Knox Polk and Hail to the Chief I

Lead: Frustrated that her husband was being ignored at social and political events, the First Lady determined that the president needed a theme song. Of such are traditions born.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: James Knox Polk was an unprepossessing man. He was short, he usually sported a bad haircut, and he wore cheap oversized suits. Often the President of the United States was ignored when he entered the room. In short, he was a public relation expert's nightmare. Nevertheless, Polk had a secret political weapon. It was his wife, Sarah.

Read more →

Missouri Compromise II

Lead: With the U.S. Senate in gridlock over the admission of Missouri to the union as a slave state, policy makers turned to Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky. He helped broker the Missouri Compromise, both of them.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until 1819 the national balance between slave and free interests had been maintained by equal representation of the two sides in the United States Senate. Slave and free states had been admitted in alternating rotation. In 1817 Missouri petitioned for admission as a slave state, but an amendment passed in the House threatening to bring slavery to an end in that border state.

Read more →

Missouri Compromise I

Lead: In 1820 Henry Clay helped broker a compromise that, for a time at least, calmed the growing sectional passion over slavery. It was in the prophetic words of Thomas Jefferson, “a reprieve only, not a final sentence.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The framers of the U.S. Constitution tried to put slavery to sleep. Compromises forecast an end to the external slave trade by 1808 and counted slaves as 3/5 of a human for the purposes of congressional apportionment. Most thought slavery was going to fade away. The eastern plantations were playing out and there loomed no cash crop on the horizon that would stimulate the demand for increased slaves. The following three decades were an era of population growth, heady nationalism and western expansion. The number of states had steadily grown. Sentiment against slavery had increased in the U.S. House of Representatives. This body reflected the increasing population in northern states where slavery was more and more held to be morally offensive. In the Senate a rough balance remained – eleven so-called free states, eleven slave states. This balance had been strictly maintained by alternating admissions, a slave state then a free state and so on.

Read more →

A House Divided: The Tide Turns IV

 

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The American Civil War, Phase One, 1860-1861, Confederate Consolidation; Phase Two, 1861-Spring 1862, Union Ascendancy, particularly in the West; Phase Three, Spring 1862 through Gettysburg, Confederate Ascendancy; Phase Four, July 1863 through Spring 1864, The Tide Turns; Phase Five, Stalemate in Virginia, Union triumph in the South and West.

A House Divided: The Tide Turns III

 

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Looking at the Civil War in Phases helps sort out the sometimes confusing course of events and demonstrates how the fortunes of Union and Confederacy ebbed and flowed. By May 1864 the Tide had turned and the power of Northern industrial and financial strength began to make possible significant Union progress. There was a new Yankee commander facing Robert E. Lee’s dwindling forces and increasingly narrow options. Ulysses S. Grant, determined to use his superior numbers and material resources, hammered away at Lee in the Overland Campaign. And though Lee was successful in the Wilderness, at Spotsylvania and in the terrible fighting at Cold Harbor, Grant refused to let up, wheeling around Lee’s right flank and soon the Southern miracle worker ran out of miracles and was slammed with his back on the defenses of Richmond and was forced to endure nearly a year of siege before Petersburg

A House Divided: The Tide Turns II

 

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: If one looks at the American Civil in phases, Phase One would be Confederate Consolidation ending at the First Battle of Bull Run, July 1861. Phase Two would be Union Ascendency August 1861 until May 1862 with Union forces rolling up victory in the West. Phase Three: Confederate Ascendancy – May, 1862-July 3, 1863. Union morale collapsed as rebel forces were victorious from Jackson’s valley campaign to the Seven Days, Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Only the strategic Union victory and reversal of the Lee’s first Northern invasion at Antietam and the Emancipation Proclamation strengthened Northern prospects. Lee’s victories tempted him north a second time toward the disaster of the third day at Gettysburg.