Baseball and Cuban Independence – Part II

Lead: The game of baseball fed the dreams of Cuban independence.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: "Public festivals have an enormous importance in the life of each nation and offer one of the clearest indicators of the level of civilization at which each is found." So said Cuban philosopher-poet, Enrique Jose Varona. He was comparing bullfighting to baseball. One is a spectacle of blood inclining the watchers to homicidal passion, the other a symbol of moral progress.

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First Ladies: Hannah Van Buren

Lead:  Like Jackson before him and Jefferson at the beginning of the century, in 1837 Martin Van Buren came to the White House a widower. Very little is known of Hannah Van Buren.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in 1783 she was the first President's wife to be born a United States citizen. They grew up together in Kinderhook, New York, attended the same school and were married in 1807. Martin read for the law and was county attorney, then they moved to Albany, the state capital where he served as state's attorney. The first year the family was in Albany was a very severe one and she developed tuberculosis, became an invalid and this mother of five sons died in 1819 at the age of thirty-six.

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The Fall of William Durant

Lead: Whatever might be said of him, William Durant was an incredible salesman.

Intro:  A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The founder of General Motors was a high school drop-out who landed his first job as a cigar salesman. It was in this capacity that he learned that he could sell just about anything to anyone. He once took a ride in a horse cart and noticed that the ride in this particular carriage was very smooth, not like the usual jolting. He looked underneath and found a totally different suspension system. He located the inventor and with borrowed money bought him out. The Durant-Dort Carriage Company was a huge success and by 1900 the biggest in the country.

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Amerigo Vespucci- Part II

Lead: Catching the fever of exploration, a Italian merchant banker Amerigo Vespucci, has one of most famous names in the world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Vespucci was the manager of an agency in Seville, Spain that financed and equipped ocean-going vessels. The company was owned by the Italian banking firm of the de Medici family and had assisted Christopher Columbus in preparing for three of his voyages. On the last Vespucci and Columbus became personally acquainted. Perhaps at that point the banker decided to become an explorer.

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Amerigo Vespucci – Part I

Lead: The continents of the western hemisphere are not named for the primitive tribes of Native Americans who first settled them eons ago or for the Norsemen who braved the ice flows of the North Atlantic or for Columbus. They bear the name of an Italian banker, Amerigo Vespucci.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the wake of his historic voyage of 1492, Christopher Columbus announced to the world that he had discovered a western water passage to Asia. He never wavered in that conviction. After four journeys of discovery he still maintained that he was picking around the edges of the East Indies. However, there was a growing suspicion among the explorers that had followed behind that they were not rounding out their knowledge of Asia at all. By the late 1490s landing had been made in Venezuela, Honduras, Newfoundland, and what would later be called the mainland of North America.

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Victoria’s Secret (Views) – Part II

Lead: Queen Victoria of Britain and her family have often been portrayed as the perfect example of high morality and warm family values. The Queen's letters to daughter Vicky reveal something quite very different.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1840 the British monarch married her cousin, Prince Albert of the German state of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. She was deeply devoted to him and came to lean on him for advice on matters of state. By 1845 Charles Grenville could write, "it is obvious that while she has the title, he is really discharging the functions of the Sovereign." Her dependence on Albert was due in large part to the fact that for the better part of two decades, Victoria was producing a huge family. The Queen presented nine children in 17 years. In 1858 she wrote a series of letters to her newly married daughter, Victoria, wife of Crown Frederick of Prussia. They reveal a different side of this woman who has come to symbolize the Victorian era.

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Victoria’s Secret (Views) – Part I

Lead: Europe, Britain and the United States in the last half of the nineteenth century have been described as living in the Victorian era. This age is alternately hated and admired.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Victorian morality has been described in various ways. Admirers look back with reverence to that era's emphasis on family values and duty to God and country, the absence of divorce, the devotion to liberal politics, the free market economy, and the spread of democratic institutions around the world. Detractors look back with less enthusiasm pointing most often to Victorian morality as a veneer covering a rather seamy society where all the human vices continued, they were just not talked about.

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The Missing Day – Part II

Lead:  Returning in 1522 from the first round-the-world voyage, Antonio Pigafetta, companion of the late Ferdinand Magellan, was puzzled to find that his daily journal was a day off.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Both Pigafetta's record and log of his ship, the Victoria, the only remaining of the five ships Magellan took with him, read September 6th on the day of their arrival, but calendars in the southern Spanish port of San Lucar de Barrameda read September 7th. Word of the ship's arrival after its three year voyage and the difference in dates spread around Europe. At first, scholars were as confused as Pigafetta. In the end, the world was changed.

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