Battle of the Sexes (Tennis) II

Lead: Drawn by rich prize money and the taunts of Bobby Riggs, Billie Jean King, the best woman’s tennis player at the time, agreed to a match, the so-called Battle of the Sexes.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: There was a record crowd, for tennis at least, in the Houston Astrodome on September 20, 1973. The television audience was said to exceed 48,000,000. His recent victory over tennis star, Margaret Court, and his arrogant confidence that he would emerge the victor over King, led Riggs and others who believed in him to place bets on the outcome. In part, King believed she could provoke a shift in attitudes toward women athletes if she were able to win. The event took on aspects of a publicity spectacle. King was carried to the court on a golden litter by four muscle-bound men. Riggs followed in a rickshaw pulled by Bobby’s Bosom Buddies, six amply endowed women in a grotesque display of misogyny.

Battle of the Sexes (Tennis) I

Lead: The 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs may have contributed significantly to the progress of women in sports and other parts of society.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The 1960s and 1970s were decades of gains for women. The founding of the National Organization for Women, the steadily increasing influx of women into business and the professions, and the passage of Title VII in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX in 1972, demonstrated the incremental progress of women in the workforce, domestic life, and sports. Despite this evolution old sentiments die hard. These attitudes were especially strong in the arena of women’s sports. Many felt that women were inferior athletes, unable to compete at the level of their male counterparts.

Sarah Bernhardt

Lead: On March 23, 1923, thousands of mourners lined the streets of Paris for the funeral procession of one of the leading actresses of the 19th century - “The Devine Sarah Bernhardt.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: She was born in Paris, France, in 1844 as Henriette-Rosine Bernard. Her Dutch mother was courtesan, a highly paid prostitute; her father was unknown. A sickly child, the girl was educated in a convent until one of her mother’s lovers, the Duc de Morny, Emperor Napoleon III’s half brother, arranged for the sixteen year old Sarah to attend the Paris Conservatoire, the government sponsored school of theatre.

 

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Lucille Ball

Lead: Her earliest dreams were of life on the stage, but Lucile Désirée Ball, aka Lucy Montana, aka Diane Belmont, succeeded beyond her remotest imaginings.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Her childhood was not an easy one. Her father died when she was three, her mother for a time abandoned her to the care of her new husband’s mother, a harsh disciplinarian, and then the reunited family lost their home in a legal action. Despite these hardships, Ball never left behind her desire to perform. She studied for a time at the Minton-Anderson School of Drama in New York City, but the introverted Ball, homesick and ironically, intimidated by the school’s star pupil, Bette Davis, departed but she did not give up and remained in the City. Odd-jobs and her own natural physical beauty led eventually to a relatively successful modeling career and finally an offer to film with Eddie Cantor a Hollywood movie, Roman Scandals. Six weeks in Hollywood led to a half century and one of show businesses most successful careers.

Thomas Edison’s Invention of the Phonograph

Lead: In 1877, Thomas Alva Edison stumbled upon his most original invention, the audio phonograph. He captured sound.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Most of Thomas Edison's inventions were either improvements on other ideas or adaptations of existing technology. His incandescent lamp was vastly more efficient than any before, making home lighting economically viable. His kinetoscope laid the foundation for the modern motion picture. It was with the phonograph, however, that Edison made his most creative contribution to modern life and its discovery was by accident.

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Video Gets Memory

Lead: In the early days, television was very exciting. It had one major problem. No memory. Once broadcast, a live television program was gone.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The networks had devised a way of filming live telecasts. The machine was a kinescope, actually a 35 mm movie camera which filmed live East Coast television for rebroadcast programs three hours later in the West. “Kines” were grainy, had trouble getting the television picture in sync with the movie camera, and were very expensive. By 1954 the networks were using more movie film than Hollywood.

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A Moment in Time Capsule 1970: The Beatles Disband

Lead: It almost seemed impossible. A world grown accustomed to Beatlemania would have to reconcile itself to reality. In early 1970 the Beatles, the most popular rock group in history, broke apart.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Almost from their beginnings as a group in working class Liverpool, England and Hamburg, Germany, The Quarrymen, who later changed their name to The Beetles or the Beatals or Johnny and the Moondogs or Long John and the Beetles, or The Silver Beatles, but by August 1960, The Beatles, pushed the edge of rock music. At the core of the group were John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney. Other artists had played with them, but they would emerge internationally soon after mid-1962 after they were joined by drummer and occasional soloist, Ringo Starr.

 

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Charlie Chaplin

Lead: Few people have left a greater impression on the development of the motion picture business than Charles Spencer Chaplin. He is considered by many to be the greatest comic artist of the screen.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Charlie Chaplin got started in vaudeville. Born in London before the turn of the twentieth century, Chaplin grew up in an acting family and by the age of 12 he was on his own, performing in music halls all over England. On a tour of North America in 1913, he was signed by Mack Sennett of Keystone Films to work in comic pictures at a significant increase in salary. He never looked back.

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