Moscow Show Trials – II

            Lead: During the late 1930s in a series of Show Trials and secret trials and executions Josef Stalin at last eliminated all opposition to his personal domination of political life in the Soviet Union.

            Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

            Content: Having eliminated his rivals in the Politburo and crushed resistance to agricultural collectivization through the Terror Famine in which as many as 15 million peasants were either starved or slaughtered, Joseph began to find himself under quiet attack from within the party. In 1932 his critics began circulating a long and detailed critique of his economic policies and incompetent leadership. Stalin struck back and directed the secret police to find out who wrote the document, determined who had even read the document and purge them all from the party. In 1934, Serge Kirov, the party boss in Leningrad and a rising star in party politics was assassinated, probably by agents of Stalin. The dictator used the crisis as an excuse for a severe nation-wide cleansing, that has come to be known as the Great Purge.

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Moscow Show Trials – I

Lead: To eliminate opposition to his personal domination of the Communist party indeed, all of the Soviet state, Stalin perfected a new twentieth century art form: the show trial.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: V.I. Lenin, author of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet state, after a series of incapacitating strokes, died in January 1924. Already the struggle for succession was under way. This struggle would last until the eve of World War II. The leading candidate for leadership was Leon Trotsky, but Trotsky had problems. He was not a modest man, was a relatively late convert to Bolshevism, and his strong ties to the Red Army, which he had sculpted nearly from scratch in the early 1920s, made the rest of the party clan very nervous. His chief rival was Josef Vissarionovich Stalin, who, after abandoning seminary preparation for the Orthodox priesthood, made his initial mark in party circles as a bank robber. Lenin had given Stalin charge over the central party machinery and the Georgian bureaucrat took to this less than desirable task with relish. He gradually came to dominate the secret police and re-shaped the party in his own image, removing allies of his rivals and installing his own supporters in places of authority.

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Nancy Randolph – III

Lead: After a sensational Virginia trial in the spring of 1793, aristocrats Richard Randolph and his young sister in law, Nancy Randolph, were acquitted of the murder of her newborn baby.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: The two were accused of adultery and a brutal act of infanticide to conceal an incestuous affair. Pleading the defense were former Governor Patrick Henry of “Give me liberty or give me death,” fame, and Randolph family cousin John Marshall, who later became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Randolph family members testified both for and against the defendants. Much of the testimony involved intimations that Nancy and Richard had an intimate relationship, but the most critical evidence was never brought to light. Virginia law prohibited slaves from testifying against whites, and it was plantation slaves who allegedly tended to Nancy while she was in labor and discovered the corpse of a white baby on the woodpile. Since no white person or member of the Randolph family testified they had ever seen a baby’s corpse, the charges were dropped.

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Nancy Randolph – II

Lead: In spring 1793, a sensational trial packed the Cumberland County courthouse. The accused were first family Virginians – Randolphs – Nancy and her brother-in-law Richard. They were accused of adultery and murder.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: Richard and Nancy Randoph were first cousins, descendants of the same family of wealthy Virginia tobacco planters. Nancy lost her mother as a young girl and settled with her older sister Judith and Judith’s husband Richard at “Bizarre,” one of the Randolph family plantations on the Appomattox River near Farmville.

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Nancy Randolph – I

Lead: In 1790s Virginia was scandalized by the sensational trial following a story of alleged adultery, murder, and deception involving one of the oldest aristocratic families in the Commonwealth. 

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: Beginning in the 1650s, a group of planters, emigrants from England began to dominate the Virginia tidewater. Among the earliest of the Virginia gentry were the Byrds, Beverleys, Carters, Masons and Randolphs. These protestant, so-called first families of Virginia, obtained huge tracts of land on navigable rivers in the Chesapeake region. They built plantations and successfully cultivated tobacco for a growing world market. Many of the same planter families continued to exercise social and political power well into the twentieth century, but their dominance was not universal, particularly as the fulcrum of power shifted to Richmond and as the back-country filled up with those no longer beholden to these clans and their allies and resentful of first family status.

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Spanish Civil War (Francisco Franco) – III

Lead: Both during and after the Spanish Civil War, Francisco Franco led the nationalists. He and his allies were determined to halt Spain’s drift into the modern world, but they failed.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: In July, 1936 conservative generals led by Francisco Franco attempted a coup d’etat against the elected government of Spain’s Second Republic. Their goal was a quick and bloodless take-over using rebellious army units. To their surprise the government did not roll over, but stood firm. The Spanish Civil War lasted for three years, produced horrendous casualties, and created tension divides Spanish society to this day.

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Spanish Civil War (Francisco Franco) – II

Lead: The driving force behind the nationalists in the Spanish Civil War was General Francisco Franco Bahamonde. He lived in the world of the past and devoted his life to keeping Spain there as well.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: Franco was born in 1892. Spain at the time was conservative, Catholic, and nursed a waning, but powerful imperial memory. No longer the center of the world and soon to have Cuba and the Philippines, its two remaining colonial jewels, taken in the Spanish-American War, Spain needed to move quickly to exploit its rich natural, political and human resources, but it did not. That Spain would be denied its rightful place in the ranks of modern, democratic, and progressive societies until the 1970s, was in good measure the result of the life work of Francisco Franco.

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Bozeman Trail

Lead:  Perceived as a short cut to Montana gold and Oregon settlement, the Bozeman trail cut almost three months off the journey, but there was one major problem.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: The premier immigrant trail running through the upper Midwest to Washington and Oregon was the Oregon Trail or Overland Trail. Traced in the 1830s and heavily traveled through the 1850s it provided a rough and dangerous alternative to sea travel It went up the North Platte River through South Pass, the Snake River Valley and the Blue Mountains and into the Willamette Valley. Yet the Oregon Trail was by no means an easy route and during the Civil War, with the discovery of gold in western Montana, word began to circulate of a new trail, a short cut, with better water for the stock and better grades that could eliminate time and distance in the journey west. The problem was it cut across territory jealously guarded by a normally fractious and loose federation of clans Lacota, Cheyenne and Arapaho. Their repeated attacks on miners and wagon trains gave the Trail its nickname, “Bloody Bozeman.”

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