American Revolution: Second Continental Congress: The Early Months II

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: While a martial spirit attended the opening of the Second Continental Congress, there were deep divisions among the representatives about whether the Congress should pursue reconciliation with Britain or choose a separate course for the nation. Chief among those independence skeptics was John Dickinson, author of Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania. He represented one part of what was clearly a Congress that was gripped by directional schizophrenia. While preparing for war it hoped for peace and reconciliation before both Britain and America stepped off the precipice into blood and fire. Dickenson was not happy. He wanted reconciliation but the grounds for such an enterprise did not seem to exist. It was clear the British had engaged in "the butchery of unarmed Americans." ‘Should we recommend affection for the monarch or the mother country?’ “No. While we revere and love our mother country, her sword is opening our veins.”

American Revolution: Second Continental Congress: The Early Months I

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: On May 10, 1775 the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia attended by the pomp and enthusiasm that anointed its sibling gathering the previous year. Some members expressed embarrassment at the outpouring of unnecessary admiration, but others were clearly pleased at the seeming overt joy attending their return to the work. While the majority had been members of the First Congress, there were some notable additions. Benjamin Franklin from Pennsylvania, John Hancock from Massachusetts, and, somewhat later, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. New York enlarged its delegation that now included five new members led by Robert Livingston. Georgia still declined to send an official representative but one parish commissioned Lyman Hall as representative.

Political Parties, New Hampshire and the First Presidential Primary – II (see also 13-137)

Lead: Since the 1920s New Hampshire has held the first presidential primary in each electoral cycle. It achieved this distinction by accident but today guards its status with great vigilance.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Primaries, preliminary nominating elections at local, state and national levels, have been around since the first part of the 20th century. They arose because of the needs of political parties to vet or recruit attractive candidates that could win in the general elections. Whichever party or was the most unified and focused had a better chance of winning in November.

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Political Parties, New Hampshire and the 1st Presidential Primary I

Lead: As American political parties have evolved, they have struggled to vet or recruit attractive and effective candidates that could win in general elections. One of the ways to do this was to organize caucuses, some of which then turned to primaries.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Primaries, preliminary nominating elections at local state and national levels, have been around since the first part of the 20th century. They arose because of the needs of political parties. They wanted to win elections. Primaries help them do it.

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Presidential Wit: John Fitzgerald Kennedy II

Lead: After gaining the White House, Jack Kennedy's wit helped win over a deeply divided electorate still skeptical about his qualifications for high office.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Kennedy used humor as a weapon against his opponents and as a means of diffusing uncomfortable issues about himself. One of the most important aspects of this campaign was his calculated seduction of the press, not newspaper or television management, but working reporters whom he cultivated diligently. As a former reporter himself, he knew the habits and needs of journalists, their ever-present deadlines and their habit of using humor to deal with the often seamy and depressing reality of the world they had to cover. Kennedy's use of the press was nowhere better demonstrated than at regular live Presidential press conferences. There, in a rehearsed, orchestrated fashion, the elegant Kennedy was on display to his best advantage.

Presidential Wit: John Fitzgerald Kennedy I

Lead: Faced with an image problem, politicians often use humor to win over the electorate. Few public servants were as adept at diffusing their critics with humor as John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: “Humor is a form of voter seduction that is more insidious than dirty tricks and much more amusing.” Clever politicians wield humor as a weapon to make fun of their opponents or as a means of giving themselves a more sympathetic and down-to-earth image. Since the 1960s when television first began to dominate the political arena, qualities such as wit and charm began to play a much more important role in the electoral process. No longer could a successful politician rely on political contacts, personal character and executive skill, he or she had to possess at least a measure of telegenic charisma.

American Revolution: Ticonderoga 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: In spring 1775 perceptive minds all over New England and the middle states were focused on Fort Ticonderoga, a frontier fortress built between Lake Champlain and Lake George in the upper Hudson River Valley of New York. Capturing that fort could thwart attempts by the British to cut off New England from the lower colonies by taking the Valley. The colonial capture of that fort introduced two fascinating characters in the Revolutionary drama, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold.

American Revolution: Ticonderoga II

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: By the spring of 1775, with war at hand, and with blood staining the precincts of Lexington and Concord, perceptive colonial leaders were beginning to have to think strategically. Britain’s North American colonies were grouped into sections: New England, the middle colonies, and the south. On the land side they were divided by great river valleys ranging south to north, with the Savanah River dividing Georgia and South Carolina, the Pee Dee River valley bisecting North and South Carolina, the James River Valley in Virginia, the Potomac River Valley between Virginia and Maryland, the Delaware River Valley cutting into the Pennsylvania heartland, and perhaps the most strategic waterway, the Hudson River Valley of New York which, with interconnecting lakes, went all the way to the border of Canada. One could make a case that contention for control of these river valleys formed the basis of military strategy on both sides during the course of the Revolution.