Guernica II

Lead: In April 1937 the town of Guernica in the Basque region of Spain was virtually leveled by German bombers in a brutal act of terror bombing.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Spanish Civil War pitted the Nationalist rebels under General Franco against the Republican Army, but it revealed many of the divisions in Spanish society. The fighting was brutal and atrocities were committed by both sides. Thousands died during the three-year conflict and many more were executed in its aftermath. What made the war especially harsh was outside participation.

Guernica I

Lead: It was not the first terror bombing in the twentieth century, nor the last, nor the worst, but that day in Guernica in 1937 remains a lasting symbol of brutality.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Civil wars are not very civil. Somehow the struggle of neighbor against neighbor, brother against sister, friend against friend, ratchets up the intensity of a conflict. The presence of common ancestry, religion, language, and ethnicity aggravate the normal emotions present when people make war on one another.

Red Scare II

Lead:  After World War I, America found itself in the grip of anti-communist hysteria. The so-called Red Scare grew out of economic and social disruption caused by the war and its end. It went away when things got better.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In June 1919, the home of US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer was bombed by an assailant who blew himself up when he tripped on the front steps of the Palmer house. Neither Palmer nor his family were harmed. Bombs also had been mailed to the mayor of Seattle and to the Atlanta home of former US Senator Thomas W. Hardwicke of Georgia. Eighteen similar packages were intercepted. Counting these with the 16 that had been embargoed because of insufficient postage, the picture began to emerge of a coordinated attempt to kill state and federal officials who were deemed opposed to radical causes.

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Red Scare I

Lead: Immediately after World War I, the United States endured a period of sharp hostility toward immigrants, blacks, and Bolsheviks. Called the Red Scare, it was not the first time it had happened nor would it be the last time.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In May 1919, at a celebration for the wartime success of the victory loan program in Washington DC, for one reason or another, a man failed to rise for the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." When the anthem was over, a sailor boiling with rage over the spectator’s alleged un-patriotism, fired three shots into his back to the cheers of the on-looking crowd. Such incidents were not rare in the 18 months just following the end of World War I.  

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Muslim Conquest of Spain II

Lead: Following the expansionist inclination of the Umayyad caliphate of Damascus, evangelical Islam by 714 had conquered almost all of the Iberian peninsula. In Spain they created a brand new society.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Disunity among Christians, powerful armies, and a sense of spiritual inevitability compelled the armies of God north through Spain and into central France. Everywhere Islam swept all before it. Not until the Christian Franks outflanked and defeated the Muslims at the first Battle of Poitiers in 732, did the Islamic tide recede and retreat.

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Muslim Conquest of Spain I

Lead: The expansion of Islam in the centuries after the Prophet Muhammad’s death flowed east to India and west to the Visigothic kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula. Spain had powerful Moorish rule for more than seven centuries.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: From 712 to 1492 some part of Spain was under Muslim control. At high tide, Arabs ruled almost all of Iberia. In the end, only Granada, dominated by the massive Alhambra fortress, could resist the Reconquista, the re-conquest of the peninsula, led finally by Christian forces united under Ferdinand and Isabella. The city surrendered in the year Spain turned its attention outward and sent Christopher Columbus on his journey to a new world..

Eugenics II

Lead: From its start as an optimistic approach to improving the human condition, eugenics degenerated into a racist tool in the hands of bigotry and ultimately led to the gas ovens of the Third Reich.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The fundamental problem with eugenics, even as Sir Francis Galton articulated it in the 19th century, was that it focused primarily on inborn characteristics and almost completely disregarded social, environmental, educational, and physical factors when examining the human race. Basically, eugenicists advocated a form of genetic determinism. A person is born with a genetic imprint that determines the course of their lives. Not surprisingly these theories became a powerful tool in the hands of racists. It all depends on who is setting the standard. If society is to improve itself, it is said, it must eliminate genetic threats to racial purity. In the sad history of eugenics, a wide variety of groups have been singled out for social restriction, sterilization, or elimination. Feeble-minded or mentally ill people, habitual criminals, sexual libertines, Negroes, Native Americans or any non-whites, Jews, gypsies, and evangelical Christians have all fallen under the wary and sometimes fatal scrutiny of the eugenic mandate. They bore undesirable human traits.

Medical Miracle in Panama I

Lead: Before breaching the Panamanian land bridge, the builders of the Isthmus Canal knew they first had to deal with disease.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After his brilliant construction of the Suez Canal, Ferdinand de Lesseps set out in the 1870s to duplicate his achievement by crafting a shipping canal across the Isthmus of Panama. He failed. De Lesseps underestimated the enormity of the task, his technology was much too primitive, and the French design for a sea-level canal was fatally flawed, but much of the failure can be attributed to a deadly pair of diseases. Malaria and yellow fever took thousands of lives and put many more in bed for weeks of convalescence and depression. Engineers freshly graduated from the École Polytechnique in Paris would arrive in Colon filled with enthusiastic anticipation and die within a week. Thousands of manual laborers recruited from Caribbean islands fell victim in this grim harvest of death.