The Parthenon

Lead: Etched on the Athenian skyline, the Parthenon has been subjected to abuse by a succession of regimes, but throughout even in ruin has retained a profound elemental dignity.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the formal cessation of hostilities between the city-states of Greece and their Persian antagonist in 449 BC, the citizens of Athens and their formidable leader Pericles returned to pursuits of peace. He wished to make Athens a center of culture and intellect and began with a comprehensive program of construction and refurbishment. Pericles first project was a magnificent new structure that would dominate the Acropolis, the magnificent Temple of Athena Parthenos.

 

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The Founding and Early Years of Jamestown – II

Lead: On May 14, 1607, English colonists made their way ashore sixty miles upriver from the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. On that peninsula, now an island, they built Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Unfortunately, the settlers placed Jamestown in the wrong place. The leaders of the colony, sent out by the London-based Virginia Company, fearing an attack by the Spanish, placed their palisade on a peninsula thinking it would be more easily defended, but from the beginning the settlement was plagued with disease, starvation, dissension and Indian attacks.

 

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The Founding and Early Years of Jamestown – I

Lead: On the evening of December 19, 1606, in London, England, 144 men boarded three ships. Their destination: Virginia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having failed to plant a colony on Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks, with mounting anxiety by 1606 England was determined to gain a grip on the land they claimed in North America. They called it Virginia (in honor of Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen).  Three ships set sail that December, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. Their voyage was a long one 5000-miles the company commanded by Captain Christopher Newport.

 

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Wilhelm’s Great Fleet – III

Lead: Having set out to build a large battle fleet, in the early 1900s Kaiser Wilhelm II and his German advisors sparked a naval construction race that helped bring the world to war.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the late 1800s the still unchallenged dominant world power was Great Britain. Its empire covered a quarter of the globe, but this empire was a sea empire made possible by the greatest navy the world had known to that time. This navy provided security for international commerce, protected the imperial lifeline to the Far East and shielded the home islands from invasion. When in the 1890s the German Emperor and his ministers set out to build a Navy to rival his British cousins, without realizing it, they threatened the very survival of Britain.

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Wilhelm’s Great Fleet – II

Lead: Already wielding dominant military power in late 19th century continental Europe, German leaders, especially Kaiser Wilhelm II, began to plan for global power projected by a great battle fleet.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1890 the President of the U.S. Naval War College, Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, published The Influence of Sea Power in History, 1660-1783. In this volume and its sequel he made two arguments. First, he implied that dominant seapower from the Romans to the British made for strategic economic, political and military supremacy. Secondly, he claimed such power only could be achieved with a heavily armed battle fleet. One of Mahan’s most enthusiastic students was the young emperor of Germany, Wilhelm II. His fascination with naval power, especially British naval power, was fired when he spent many youthful summers visiting his grandmother, Queen Victoria, at her summer home, Osborne, on the Solent near the great Portsmouth Naval Base in the south of England. Wilhelm’s began to dream of a German Navy to rival that of his British cousins.

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Wilhelm’s Great Fleet – I

Lead: Of the many complex causes of the Great War, none was more catalytic than the enigmatic, insecure, brilliant yet erratic Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As the nineteenth century drew to a close the great powers of continental Europe were coming to grips with growing popular political aspirations. Mass democracy taking its inspiration from the French Revolution, from the writings of liberals and socialists and from the experience of the North American colossus was forcing the ruling dynasties and their attending aristocrats to surrender an ever-growing  portion of their power. Some leaders, such as German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, understood how to manipulate this new force. Others, such as the young Kaiser were soon captured by it.

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Florence and the Black Plague – Part II

Lead: In the summer of 1348, the Black Plague swept through populous Florence, Italy, killing over one half the population.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Black Plague or Black Death was actually two major bacterial epidemics. The Bubonic Plague, the most common, was spread by fleas from person to person and involved “buboes,” (Latin for swollen lymph glands) which could swell to the size of eggs, giving the infected a grotesque appearance. The Pneumonic Plague (involving the lungs) was less common, occurring in about one in four plague cases, and was spread by respiratory droplets from an infected person. Because the victims of the plague often turned a purplish color due to broken blood vessels (causing bruises) or respiratory failure, which changed the color of the complexion, the term “Black Death” or “Black Plague” was used to describe the epidemics. After an abrupt onset of symptoms, which included chills, fever, nausea, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes in the upper thigh, armpit, and neck, death usually resulted in about four days.

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Florence and the Black Plague – Part I

Lead: In During the summer of 1348, the growth and activity of the most celebrated city of the Italian Renaissance came to a sudden halt due to an epidemic called the Black Plague (or Black Death).

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Picturesque Florence, Italy, located in the province of Tuscany at the foothills of the Apennines Mountains, is divided by the Arno River. In the early history of Florence, during the Roman rule, Julius Caesar (in 59 BC) named the small colony he set up on the Arno “Florentia,” Latin for blossoming.

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