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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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.

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Yugoslavia II

Lead: In the years after World War II, Yugoslavia was able to find a rough unity because of the power and personality of war hero and national Marxist Josip Broz Tito.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the Axis invasion in 1941, Yugoslavia was split between the invading powers. Bosnia was a German province and the rest of the country was divided between Germany, Bulgaria, Italy and Hungary. Croatia attained special status as a Nazi satellite state ruled by the Ustaše, formerly a fascist party. With German backing the Ustaše dominated Croatia and as many as 500,000 people, mostly Serbs, were executed, an atrocity that remains a source of resentment in a region noted for its long memory.

 

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Yugoslavia I

Lead: Yugoslavia was an artifice, pan-Slavic construct in Southern Europe. It was a dream in the minds of its creators that failed to set aside the centrifugal force of nationalism.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Balkans are roughly ranged along the ancient tectonic line of division between the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, but the ethnic, religious and nation divisions that animated that troubled region go back even further. In the heady days at the end of World War I, with empires crashing, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was formed to bring together into a national entity all the rich variety of ethnic groups in the region, eventually including Bosnians, Serbs, Croats, Albanians, Slovenes, Hungarians, Macedonians, and Montenegrins and by this hopefully tamp down some of the tensions that, in part, dragged Europe into that most terrible, and some might say useless, of conflicts in 1914.

 

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Oregon Boundary Treaty: Negotiations

Lead: In 1845 because of his campaign promises, newly elected President James Knox Polk faced the daunting possibility of war with both Britain and Mexico at the same time.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1845, it was clear that acquiring Texas was going take the nation into war, it was less clear that war with Britain would be required to resolve their differences over the Oregon border. Polk was willing to back off from the extravagant claims that many expansionists made that American territory should go all the way to the 54th parallel, deep into what is now Canada. In this formulation was the heart of a compromise.

 

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Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Statue of Zeus at Olympus

Lead: Intimately associated with the ancient Olympic games, the gold and ivory Statue of the chief Greek god Zeus was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The early history of the games is shrouded in mystery and myth. One legend says they marked the ascension of Pelops, for whom the Greek Peloponnesus island system is named, to the throne of Pisa.  He achieved that distinction by defeating the prior king in a chariot race, or perhaps the games began at the funeral of some great dignitary, perhaps even Pelops. Whatever the cause, sometime around 776 BCE, athletes began regularly gathering for games, not at the home of the gods, Mount Olympus in Thessaly, but at Olympia on the western coast where Pelops was enshrined.

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A House Divided: Lincoln’s New Haven Speech

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 late 1860, Abraham Lincoln the little known prairie lawyer from Illinois, burst on the national scene with a powerful speech in Manhattan at Cooper Union Hall. The full text was published in major newspapers, and soon invitations began to flood. After the speech Lincoln took a few days to visit his son, Robert, who was attending Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and then toured New England for two weeks, speaking at rallies to boost Republican Party candidates and generate party enthusiasm. On March 6, 1860, Lincoln toured the Sharps Rifle Works and Colt Armory in Boston, then took the train to New Haven and spoke at Union Hall that evening. Many students from Yale attended and reacted enthusiastically to the speech.

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