Pete Rozelle and the National Football League

Lead: For 21st Century fans his name is a distant memory, but if you like NFL football, you can thank Pete Rozelle.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When Rozelle became NFL Commissioner in 1960, his part of professional football was a chaotic mess. It consisted of 12 teams owned by 12 megalomaniacs with the new American Football League threatening them all with competition and doom.

The Algonquin Roundtable – II

Lead: The years that followed World War I were optimistic and happy times, a new era of creativity in culture and letters. Leading the way were the members of the Algonquin Roundtable.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: They changed the face of American humor. “A hard-bitten crew,” said Edna Ferber, author of Giant, of her fellows at the Roundtable which met daily for lunch at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, “but if they liked your work they said so publicly and whole-heartedly.” They were fluent, fresh, acerbic, and tough. And could they make you laugh. Ferber insisted that, “being an old maid is like death by drowning, a really delightful sensation, after you cease to struggle.”

Read more →

The Algonquin Roundtable – I

Lead: In the years following World War I, a group of future literary stars began to meet for lunch at the fabled Algonquin Hotel in New York.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: World War I helped transform society, culture, religion, manners and literary standards into what became the modern era. In America, New York was the center of this transforming spirit and for a decade in the 1920s driving this revolution in thought and energy was the Algonquin Roundtable or as one author has described them, “the vicious circle.” This informal lunch gathering got its start when writers John Peter Toohey and Dorothy Parker and columnist Franklin Pierce Adams organized a celebration and lampooning of the wartime service of their friend Alexander Woollcott, critic for the New York Times. He was so enthusiastic about his his service, that the duty of friendship required them to shut him up. The Algonquin, just off Broadway on Forty-fourth Street, was already a prestigious gathering place for actors and the literary set so it was a logical place for the event. When he found their friendly sarcasm hugely amusing, one of their number suggested that they meet daily for lunch and a historic tradition commenced.

Read more →

A House Divided: The Irresistible Force of Cotton

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the years leading up to the Civil War, there was some Southern investment in manufacturing and transportation, but the vast bulk of Southern capital, and there was plenty of it, was tied up and thrown into land and slaves. Historians are divided as to whether this uniquely southern obsession with owning slaves and the agricultural land on which they worked was rational from an economic viewpoint. A case can be made on either side of the issue. Discounting any moral argument, in the 1850s the average investment return on the purchase of a field hand has been calculated to have been around 8%, which is not too shabby in an era of low taxes. Nevertheless, such investment would hardly prepare the region to wage modern warfare. One frustrated Mississippi industrial promoter lamented that this was what drove the lawyer to pour over his books and the merchant to stretch his tape – to buy land and slaves.

A House Divided: The Southern Economy

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As the American sectional crisis loomed in the 1840s and 1850s, thoughtful Southern leaders were growing alarmed over the economic disparity between slave and free states. By nearly indicator, the region that would comprise the Confederacy was falling behind. Industrial canal mileage was just 14% of the national total. Southern railroads comprised about a third of the nation’s trackage. By the war years, Southern manufacturing capacity was less than a fifth of the national whole. For instance, a single Massachusetts town, Lowell, had more textile spindles in operation than all eleven Confederate states combined.

A House Divided: The South at the Beginning of the War – I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As the bonds that held the American Republic frayed and gradually reached the breaking point in the beginning of the 1860s, the two regions faced the prospect of separation and perhaps violent conflict. They were by no means equally matched.

Anthony Ashley Cooper III

Lead: In June 1666, while in Oxford seeking relief from an internal health disorder, Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper chanced to meet John Locke. Their friendship represented much that was good about the English patronage system.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Aristocratic societies have many major weaknesses. One of the chief of those was their inability to identify and make use of the talented people need to make things run right. Blood, wealth or rank are no guarantee of intelligence or leadership ability. These societies were bound not by the market or elections but by tradition to give control to aristocrats ill-equipped for such control, therefore there is often a talent deficit. Early Modern English society solved that problem with the patronage system. Talented people would be recruited by or attach themselves to wealthy individuals or families in a scheme of mutual benefit. Sometimes they were artists, who could express their talent while in the patron’s support. Often they would teach the children of the wealthy family in exchange for a living.

 

Read more →

Anthony Ashley Cooper II

Lead: Firmly out of royal favor, in the 1670s, English peer the Earl of Shaftesbury turned to politics to try and prevent a Catholic from sitting on the throne.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By the early 1670s, it was becoming clear that King Charles and his Portuguese Queen were going to be childless. This heightened the national concern over the issue of succession. With no royal heir, upon the King’s death, the crown would go to the King’s younger brother, James, Duke of York, a thorough-going Roman Catholic. Ashley, following the nation, opposed this vigorously in and out of Parliament. He supported the Test Act (1673) which required office holders, including the King, to take Anglican Communion. When James refused said communion at Easter 1673 and then married the Italian duchess, Mary of Modena, that same year, anti-Catholic fever began to grip the country. James’ first wife, Anne Hyde, had died in 1671, but their daughters and future Queens, Mary and Anne, had been raised Protestant.

 

Read more →