1968: Biafran Terror Famine I

Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control.

Content: Almost from the time of Nigerian independence in 1960, Biafra, an oil rich region in the eastern part of that West African nation, began agitating for its own independence. By 1968 the region was engulfed in a full-blown civil war. That was not the way it was supposed to be. In the years immediately following freedom from Great Britain, Nigeria seemed to be on the verge of accomplishing something rare on the African continent. It appeared to be shaping itself into an ethnically diverse democracy. Soon, however, this idyllic dream began to fall apart with conflicts arising between regions and the 250 ethnic groups in the country.

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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.

Coretta Scott King II

Lead: In the years before and after the assassination of her husband, Coretta Scott King provided strong leadership within the civil rights movement.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It was not easy residing at the center of the maelstrom, raising a large family, taking a supportive role at the side of one of humanity’s most consequential figures, but, nevertheless, Coretta King rose to take the role of leader. She escaped and stood strong when white supremacists directed violence against their family. When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Peace prize, she was by his side.

Coretta Scott King I

Lead: In the pantheon of the civil rights movement Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife, Coretta Scott King, shine most brightly.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As the issue of African-American Civil rights forced itself onto the American national agenda, it is not surprising that the prosperous, educated, black upper-class should feel most acutely the second-class status which America’s white majority enforced so vigorously to keep them in their place.

Mujeres Libres II

Lead: During the Spanish Civil War, a women’s liberation movement, Mujeres Libres, free women of Spain, pushed for a far more radical social revolution for women than even their male allies on the left were willing to tolerate.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Even by contemporary standards, the condition of Spanish women in the 1930s was pitiful. Clearly oppressed, women’s wages were half that of men, daughters were handed over to husbands as property, divorce was illegal. Women could not be out at night without a chaperone. Until the War, women’s rights groups focused on minor adjustments such as legalizing divorce, but during the liberating early days of the civil conflict, women’s organizations, allied with anarchist political groups, began to press for serious social change.

Mujeres Libres I

Lead: The Spanish Civil War provided a window of opportunity for the reformation of society. Among the most aggressive groups seeking fundamental change was a feminist organization emerging from Spanish anarchism, Mujeres Libres, free women of Spain.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Political parties in the United States traditionally have been big tent consensus parties. While extremism left and right has certainly been a part of the American political spectrum, the nature of politics here pushes this sentiment to the margin. Extremists have influence, but must become a part of one of the major parties to exercise power. In Europe the development of democracy allowed a much more brilliant display of political variety, particularly up to the middle of the twentieth century. Political parties proliferated and often reflected narrow, extreme opinion.

Bayeux Tapestry II

Lead: To commemorate its victory on the battlefield at Hastings in 1066, the Norman aristocracy used a wonderful work of art, the Bayeux Tapestry.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The generations that followed the Norman invasion were not easy ones for England’s new rulers. Despite connections of blood between King William the Conqueror and the old Saxon royal house, most native Englishmen and all of the supplanted Saxon aristocracy considered William and his house to be usurpers, illegitimate pretenders to the throne. The Normans resorted to harsh tactics to bring the Saxons into line, ruthless suppressing land claims and planting armed garrisons all around the country.

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Bayeux Tapestry I

Lead: Propaganda comes in many forms. One of the most elaborate pieces of propaganda, this one from the 11th Century, was stitched.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The islands of Great Britain and Ireland have been immigrant destinations for centuries. Since before Roman times, wave after wave of continental invaders have braved the treacherous waters of North Sea or Channel to find habitation on the main island or the Emerald Isle just to the west. The white cliffs of southern England shimmered just at the edge of sight and Roman, missionary, Viking, Briton, Angle, Saxon, and Jute established homes and fortunes only to be challenged to defend their inheritance from subsequent marauders.

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