First Continental Congress – Part II

Lead: When in September 1774, the First Continental Congress met in Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia, tensions between Great Britain and her rebellious colonies had reached fever pitch. 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

                Content: After the Boston Tea Party the previous year the English Parliament passed what the colonists called the Intolerable Acts. In protest a convention of delegates from the colonies gathered in Philadelphia to organize resistance to the acts and to facilitate colonial unity. This convention came to be known as the First Continental Congress. It was made up of fifty-six delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies since Georgia’s royal governor had been able to block his delegates from attending. The convention met in September and October. Leaders of the congress included Samuel Adams, John Jay, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, John Adams, and Peyton Randolph of Virginia, who was elected President. With a few exceptions, those gathering in Philadelphia this time did not want  independence but rather used the meeting to express grievances against royal policy and persuade the London government to recognize the colonials basic rights. Read more →

First Continental Congress – Part I

Lead: In early spring 1774 the British Parliament angered over colonial insubordination passed a series of acts that would prove the law of unintended consequences. They would a revolution. 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Just before Christmas the previous year in Boston harbor, colonial agitators, disguised as native Americans, removed thousands of pounds of British East India Company Tea from cargo holds and threw it in the water. The Company was in debt and needed a political boost. It was able to persuade Parliament to permit the sale of tea direct to American consumers thereby undercutting local merchants. A tiny little import tax was assigned to the tea. Thus followed the Boston Tea Party. This act of defiance sent the House of Commons into a rage and in retaliation it passed what was known in America as the Coercive or Intolerable Acts. The port of Boston was closed until restitution was paid British East India, the independent legislative  powers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts were restricted, British officials, arrested in America, were removed from colonial jurisdiction and transported to England for trial and colonials were required to quarter royal troops in their homes.

Read more →

William Penn’s Holy Experiment – II

Lead: Quaker William Penn used a long overdue debt to establish a refuge for religious toleration in North America. His holy experiment became the colony of Pennsylvania. 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

                Content: Born in the heady days of puritan ascendancy in 1644, William Penn was the son of an ambitious parliamentary naval officer William Penn, Sr. His father’s victories and his secret correspondence with exiled royalists secured for the Admiral important posts after the restoration of King Charles II. Diarist Samuel Pepys, a neighbor of the Penns, recorded that the young man was a fun-loving, merry fellow but who possessed a principled stubborn streak that would later emerge when his interests turned to religion.

Read more →

William Penn’s Holy Experiment – I

Lead: Discouraged over the persecution of his fellow Quaker’s William Penn attempted to establish a godly refuge for them on the west bank of the Delaware. 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Of all dissenting groups tossed up in the heady days of religious experimentation during the English Civil War, the most unlikely victims of persecution were the members of the Society of Friends or, as they were derisively known, the Quakers. Most of the Friends had been somewhere else before they settled into the little groups of Seekers that gathered in private homes for prayer and meditation during the Civil Wars against English King Charles I. They had been part of the puritan movement – Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Baptists – and had despaired of what they considered the dry and tedious orthodoxy animating so-called normal puritanism. Rallying and uniting these small groups by the 1650s was the incendiary preaching of men such as George Fox, James Naylor, William Dewsbury, and Richard Farnworth. They claimed in their preaching, direct contact with God. Within a decade Quakerism had secured over 50,000 converts.

Read more →

Gregori Potemkin – II

Lead: In 1787 Russian Field Marshall Grigori Potemkin, organized a tour of southern Russia for his former lover Catherine the Great. It was among the most lavish royal tours in Russian history.                 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: Girgori Potemkin was a young ambitious military officer when he took part in the palace coup that deposed Peter III, the estranged husband of Catherine the Great. As a reward for his skill and loyalty, Catherine made Potemkin a member of her court. He became infatuated with her. In 1768, when the first war with Turkey broke out, Potemkin returned to the military and served in the cavalry, rising to the rank of major general. For his distinguished service at the end of the war, Catherine made Potemkin a count and the two began a two-year affair. She said of him, “He is one of the greatest, most bizarre, and most entertaining eccentrics of this iron age." Even after their romantic liaison ended, Potemkin remained one of Catherine's most powerful, capable and influential advisors. When Catherine annexed the Crimea thus expanding  Russia's borders on the Black Sea, Potemkin served as governor of the new province and developed its infrastructure. Anxious to demonstrate his expertise, Potemkin organized a visit by the Empress to the Crimea in 1787.

Read more →

Gregori Potemkin – Part I

                Lead: In 1762, Grigori Potemkin, and ambitious young officer, secured his political and affectional future leading the coup that overthrew unpopular Czar Peter III in favor of his wife. She became Catherine the Great Grigory became her lover.               

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

                Content: Grigori was born in 1739, studied at the University of Moscow and entered the military as quartermaster of horse guards. Catherine, ten years his senior was the daughter of a minor German prince married at age sixteen to Peter, heir to the Russian throne. Catherine on the other hand was ambitious, determined and bright and had acquired a brilliant education as young woman. By the time her husband ascended to the throne as Peter III in early 1762, Catherine disliked her husband intensely. He may have borne the name of his grandfather Peter the Great, but that is where the comparison ended. He was regarded as weak and incompetent and much of the court shared Czarina’s disdain for her husband. A mere six months after the coronation he was deposed in a palace coup d’etat and a short time later the Czar “died in an accident.” Actually he was murdered while in the custody of one of the conspirators. Power was handed to Catherine who ascended the throne with the support of her lover and chief schemer, Grigori Orlov.

Read more →

Reichstag Fire – II

                Lead: One of the most important events along Adolf Hitler’s path to power was the Reichstag fire. The cause of the fire remains a mystery, but one that is not without some powerful clues. 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

                Content: Almost immediately the Nazi propaganda operation blamed communist agitators. Several communist parliamentary deputies were in the building at the time of the fire and were arrested but no evidence could be traced to their involvement. A Dutch communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, was found near the building, half naked and clearly confused. He confessed to the crime and probably had something to do with it, but from the beginning doubts have been raised about his involvement.

Read more →

The Great Eastern

Lead: In 1933 the National Socialist Party was a minority in the German parliament, the Reichstag. Adolf Hitler needed some reason to declare marshal law. He found it in a fire.  

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

                Content: Despite his elevation to the office of Chancellor after the elections in November of the previous year, Hitler in 1933 was frustrated. His party was in minority status and other political groups in the Reichstag were effectively resisting his policies. He needed a lever to permit seizing ultimate power. The excuse came in late evening February 27th. Carefully set fires broke out in various parts of the Reichstag building, the seat of the national German parliament. Designed by Paul Wallot during the Imperial years of the previous century, the Reichstag was the living symbol of Weimar democracy struggling to establish itself in Germany, but soon to be destroyed. It was a perfect target and proved a perfect ruse for the Fuhrer’s grab for power.

Read more →