Teapot Dome Scandal III

 Lead: In 1922 Interior Secretary Albert Fall leased to his friends oil-rich land in California and Wyoming. He was on the take.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Government experts suspected that oil was being drained from government land into private wells on the edge of national oil reserves in the west. To protect these reserves, oil was being pumped out under contract and resold to the government for above ground storage. In trouble financially, Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall in the spring of 1922 arranged private leases in exchange for cash, bond, and interest-free loans of $400,000 in cash or bonds.

Teapot Dome Scandal II

Lead: Trusted by his friend President Harding, Secretary of Interior Albert B. Fall brought disgrace to the administration and served time for his trouble.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1921 Interior Secretary Fall convinced Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby to transfer control of naval oil reserves to his Department. It was government policy to hold oil-rich land for national defense purposes. Since Navy ships were propelled by oil-fired engines it was in the national interest to hold this land in reserve. During war the oil could be pumped out for emergency purposes. Some Navy experts believed that reserves in places such as Elk Hills, California and Salt Creek, Wyoming were being drained by private oil wells on the edge of government land, and they insisted that this endangered reserve should be immediately pumped and stored above ground.

Woodrow Wilson Moves On

Lead: Often disappointments in one career lead to great success in another.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: When Woodrow Wilson came to be President of Princeton University in 1902 he wanted to make it the finest in America. First, he loosened the college's Presbyterian ties, breaking the control of fundamentalist ministers and laymen over the Board of Trustees. Wilson then set out to build the strongest faculty possible. The first Jewish professor was appointed in 1905, the first Catholic in 1909. Attracted by his reputation and drive, senior scholars from schools all across America were lured to Princeton.

 

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The Amazing Congress of 1912

Lead: Defeated in the Civil War, economically devastated, occupied during Reconstruction, the South required a long period of time to pick itself up.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When it returned to participation in the life of the nation, it did so with a vengeance. That the South was able to make such as impact on national life in the early 20th century was due to one of the least agreeable parts of southern history, the elimination of blacks from participation in politics. By passing a series of Jim Crow laws, Southern Democrats effectively eliminated black participation in political life and thereby eliminated their Republican allies. In politics from 1880 on, the only game in town was in the Democratic Party. Now there were severe divisions within the Democrats, very bitter ones, but once the winnowing process had taken place, those politicians who came to be associated with Progressive wing of the Party, generally tended to drift toward national service as Congressmen and Senators. Because of the one party South once they were elected they tended to be re-elected. Thus by the 20th century and thus by the seniority system in the United States Congress, they tended to rise to positions of influence and leadership.

 

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Teapot Dome Scandal I

Lead: One of America's greatest political scandals had at its heart the character of Warren Gamaliel Harding.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1920 the people of the United States voted for a return to normalcy. After a decade of political innovation and war the nation selected as its President an Ohio newspaperman turned politician, Senator Warren Harding. An affable and popular man, Harding rode the public's good feeling into office. Within a short time the burdens of the Presidency and personal disappointments had brought him to the brink of death. A year after that political scandal had so clouded his reputation and that of many of his associates that his administration is almost universally associated in the common memory with corruption.

Harry Truman’s Change of Address

Lead: Harry Truman began to run down Statuary Hall, shoes pounding the marble through the crypt, past the barber shop, then up the steps. In minutes, he was on his way to the White House. It was about 5:15 in the afternoon.

Later he said that he thought he was going to meet the President, but the haste in which he moved out Sam Rabin's office and back to his own to pick up his hat indicated that he may have been the product of his greatest fears. It took 10 minutes but soon the black Mercury turned off Pennsylvania and came to a halt under the North Portico. The time was 5:25. Historian David McCullough describes the scene, the ushers took his hat and escorted him to the elevator installed during Theodore Roosevelt's administration and very slowly it went to the second floor in the private quarters across the hall, Mrs. Roosevelt was waiting. Steve Early, the Press Secretary, a daughter, Anne, and her husband. Mrs. Roosevelt stepped forward and put her arm on Truman's shoulder. "Harry, the President is dead." Truman was unable to speak. "Is there anything I can do for you?" he said at last.

 

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Harry Truman’s 1948 Dilemma

Lead: When refined and elegant Vice-President Chester Arthur became president after James Garfield’s assassination in 1881, the White House was such a mess, he refused to move in.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Although Americans regard the White House as an elegant and stately mansion and a symbol of democracy, by 1881 the house was a mess. In such a state of neglect that Chester Arthur, also known as “Elegant Arthur” for his fine tastes in food, clothing and décor, refused to move into the barn. He considered to be dark, dreary and distasteful, with decaying septic pipes, rotten wood, and a crumbling basement. He declared that unless the “shabby” house need to be cleaned out and renovated. If Congress would not appropriate the funds, “I will have it done and pay for it out of my own pocket.”

 

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The Humanity of Robert E. Lee

Lead: With the exception of George Washington, Robert Edward Lee is quite arguably the most popular general in American history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Lee was usually pretty careful with the lives of his men and had an almost infallibly good sense on choosing subordinates. Combine these with an intimate knowledge of the Virginian countryside and a real genius for tactics, and it small reason why General Lee was one of the foremost military leaders the nation has produced.

 

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