Thomas Aquinas

Lead: Italian priest and theologian, Thomas Aquinas, was one of the most prolific writers of the Middle Ages and a major influence on western thought.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Aquinas was born in southern Italy sometime around 1225 in Castle Roccasecca (‘roka seeka) near the small town of Aquino, between Rome and Naples. He was a bookish child, and at the age of fourteen began his studies at the University of Naples. Thomas was greatly influenced by the Dominican religious order, a mendicant society, which he joined in 1243, by taking his vow of poverty. His family was none too pleased with his decision to become a Dominican friar. His brothers even kidnapped him and held him in the castle tower for almost a year. Thomas, however, could not be persuaded otherwise and was later ordained.

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First Allied Jet Aircraft in World War II

Lead: During World War II, the development of an allied jet aircraft lagged behind the Germans. This meant that jet to jet combat would not come until Korea.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Although the British were the first of the allies to develop jet aircraft this advance had to overcome initial doubt in the Ministry of Defense as to whether turbojet aircraft were practical or even possible. The pioneer of allied jet aircraft was Lt. Frank Whittle, later Sir Frank Whittle. He had to overcome the conviction in the Royal Air Force that “gas turbines don’t work.” Fortunately, his persistence was rewarded and on the eve of war the engine design of Whittle’s company, Power Jets, Ltd., was married to the airframes being built by George Carter at Gloster Aircraft Company.

 

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Mexico: Mexican-American War 1846-1848

Lead: Beginning in April 1846, the United States, the clear aggressor, and Mexico fought a war over territory. The result was the largest U.S. expansion since the Louisiana Purchase.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By the 1840s the United States and Mexico had achieved their independence, both by colonial wars from their European founders. Mexico, however, was in debt, had deep class-based social divisions, and suffered acute political instability. Thus, it was difficult for Mexican leaders to govern and populate the huge territory recently won from the Spanish in present day California and the southwestern United States. On the other side of the border, ambitious Americans, hungry for land and trade in the Pacific rim, were migrating westward in increasing numbers. 

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Mexico: The Second Empire- French Rule in Mexico

Lead: From 1864 to 1867 Mexico was under French Rule established by Emperor Napoleon III. This infamous, yet brief, period is known in Mexican history as the Second Empire.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The French first arrived in Mexico in 1862. Poorly run national finances meant Mexico had amassed substantial foreign debt with Spain, Great Britain and France. Under a huge economic strain, Mexico, under liberal President Benito, stopped making payments. France’s ruler, Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, sought not only to collect the debts owed to France but to promote French interests by expanding French presence and influence in the markets of Western Hemisphere and, thus, to help recapture the past imperial glory of earlier Napoleonic times. After years of political unrest, violence and revolution in Mexico, a conservative faction in the Mexican ruling class, supported the French intervention and the installation of a monarch, believing it would improve political and economic stability.

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Gas Warfare in WWII- Part II

Lead: Outlawed by international convention in the 1920s, carefully banned by the warring powers from combat operations during World War II, gas warfare found a grizzly application in the final solution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: There was considerable debate in the highest allied circles during World War II about the feasibility of using gas weapons. This dispute arose after the tenacious Japanese defenses of Iwo Jima and Okinawa were seen to be a mere dress-rehearsal for Japan’s threatened last-ditch defense of the home islands. Nevertheless, President Roosevelt steadfastly refused to authorize the use of gas, fearing retaliation by the axis powers and the moral implications of the use of such a terrifying and condemned class of weapons.

 

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Gas Warfare in WWII- Part I

Lead: Poison gas was used widely for the first time during World War I. So horrific was this experience that most countries drew back from its use, but that was not exactly the way it turned out.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1925 the major powers outlawed the use of gas warfare in the Geneva Protocols. The United States Senate never ratified this treaty, but Presidents Harding, Hoover and Roosevelt accepted the principal that the use of gas in warfare was immoral and committed the United States to abiding by the treaty. The vivid images and bitter memories of the use of gas on the battlefields of France were enough to compel public and official opinion into a firm determination that America would not be the first to use such a debilitating and morale destroying agent of destruction. Even so, the United States did not draw back from manufacturing or stock-piling these weapons, just in case.

 

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Time Capsule 1950: North Korea Invades South Korea, June 25, 1950

Lead: In an attempt to unite a Korea divided along ideological lines, in June 1950, forces of the People’s Democratic Republic invaded the south. At first, they were nearly everywhere successful.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At the Yalta and Potsdam Peace Conferences near the conclusion of World War II, the allied powers divided the world into spheres of influence. Though its participation in the Pacific theater had been minor, the Soviet Union demanded a say in the future disposition of the Korean peninsula. Korea was divided along the 38th parallel. Initially, the west anticipated that there would be national elections, but in 1948 the powers established rival governments in North and South Korea.

Time Capsule 1960: Greensboro Sit-Ins begin February 1, 1960

Lead: Beginning in early 1960, attempts by black college students to integrate the lunch counter at the Elm Street Woolworth’s Department Store in Greensboro, N.C. gave start to the sit-in movement.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Since the Brown v. Board decision by the Supreme Court in 1954, pressure had begun to build in the black community to take direct action to end segregation in other parts of society. Particularly galling were the laws providing for “whites-only” public accommodations such as eating establishments. Department and drug stores such as Woolworth’s, Kress, Walgreen’s and Thalheimer’s in towns and cities across the south provided quick food and cheap eating services, usually lunch counters as a convenience for customers, students or workers on lunch breaks. African-Americans were denied access to these counters despite the fact that they were loyal customers in other parts of the stores.