Battle of the Coral Sea I

Lead: In what may have been the first truly modern naval engagement, Japanese and American carrier aircraft fought over the Coral Sea in May, 1942. No surface ship in either navy sighted the enemy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Japanese forces sought to take advantage of allied confusion and their own stunning success in the early days of the war in the Pacific. They upgraded their Strategic Plan to include strikes toward the central Pacific island of Midway and south toward New Guinea and Australia. Midway in June 1942 would prove to be perhaps the decisive defeat for the Japanese Navy in World War II, but the Coral Sea engagement a month earlier, even though it has been considered a draw, stopped the southern advance of the Japanese juggernaut and laid the foundation for the subsequent U.S. victory at Guadalcanal the following winter.

Read more →

Nat Turner Slave Rebellion II

Lead: Even as a child, people could tell Nat Turner was exceptional. His intelligence and physical presence marked him for leadership in the slave community of south-side Virginia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Benjamin Turner owned a small plantation outside the town of Cross Keys in the Virginia county of Southampton, nestled on the North Carolina border 70 miles southeast of Richmond. His land was heavily forested and only about 100 acres were under cultivation. It was enough, however, for him to afford to keep slaves, the mark of status in the south and in 1799 he bought a slave woman freshly arrived from Africa. He named her Nancy and in the next year she gave birth to Nathaniel.

Read more →

Construction of the Panama Canal I

Lead: Malaria and yellow fever were rampant. Workers were deserting in droves. It was the summer of 1905 and Teddy Roosevelt was scrambling to save the Panama Canal.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With no one to lead one of the nation's most challenging engineering feats, President Roosevelt turned to an unlikely advisor, railroad magnate and fervent Democrat James J. Hill. Hill suggested John Frank Stevens, a man largely responsible for the success of the Northern Pacific Railway.

Read more →

Court Martial of Billy Mitchell II

Lead: In the 1920s, the U.S. military was hampered by severe budget cutbacks and a debate on the future of the airplane. One persistent, prophetic, but on more than one occasion obnoxious voice in the debate was General William “Billy” Mitchell.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Billy Mitchell’s father and grandfather were congressmen. He thus grew up in the circles of power and expected people to listen when he spoke, but his habit of going public with his ideas and tendency to browbeat his opponents, diminished his influence with the Army. Mitchell’s experience as head of Army air combat forces in Europe during World War I led him to conclude that the warplane was the key to victory in future conflicts and he went on a crusade to prove it. He was particularly adept at using the press to further his ideas. He arranged a series of highly-publicized tests in which his bombers spectacularly sank several surplus battleships thus proving their vulnerability and increasing obsolescence.

Read more →

Justice Joseph Story & Federal Power

Lead: One of the important issues left for future resolution by those who crafted the U.S. Constitution in 1787 was the balance of power within the federal scheme. Mr. Justice Joseph Story helped clear up that issue.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Joseph Story was perhaps the most brilliant legal mind of his generation. He grew up in Massachusetts, studied at Harvard, read for the law, and worked his way up the ladder of Commonwealth politics while gaining the reputation as a Jeffersonian Republican. Some of his political colleagues, Jefferson included, suspected that Story was really a closeted federalist, whose sentiments, once released on the federal level, would resolve the hanging question of sovereignty against the states. It turned out they were correct.

Read more →

Christmas Story

Lead: For 1500 years, most Christian believers have celebrated the nativity or birth of Christ on December 25th assuming that he was born on that day. They are almost certainly wrong.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Before and after the adoption of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine of the Roman Empire around 300 of the Christian Era, the early Church faced threats even as the early church’s numbers and influence were increasing. The flood of new converts brought with them behaviors, traditions and beliefs that the church found hard to digest. From almost the beginning and for several centuries thereafter, the Christian Church struggled to define orthodoxy and rid its richly diverse growing membership of pagan beliefs and habits. One of the earliest leaders, Paul of Tarsus, grumbled in his pastoral letter to Galatia, that Christians were turning back to their bondage to the observation of “days, months, and seasons,” (Galatians 4:8-11).

Read more →

1808 End of Slave Trade II

Lead: The issue was whether the U.S. Constitution would permit the continued importation of slaves. They came up with a compromise, but on the long-term future of slavery it was largely fruitless.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until its complete abolition at the end of the Civil War, slavery was a moral, legal, and economic sore that festered on the American body politic. Once slaves had become an integral part of the colonial economy and social fabric in the 1600s it would be a source of great reward and great offense. As the delegates gathered in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to craft a better way of building national unity, the problem of slavery reared its terrible head. Divisions were on predictable lines, northerners wanted to bring the practice to an end, southerner wanted to protect their interests. Yet, surprisingly, even southerners were aware that the institution had deleterious effects on the character of slave and slave-holder, violated the principles on which the new republic was founded and was becoming economically unprofitable.

Read more →

Dorothy Dix I

Lead: She came from a life of wealth and social prominence, but Dorothea Dix devoted her life to good causes, especially helping to improve the treatment of the mentally ill.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Dorothea Dix’s early years were not happy. Her father was the estranged son of a prominent Boston family. An alcoholic who suffered religious delusions, Joseph Dix barely kept his family out of starvation. Dorothy refused to live in such conditions and eventually, at the age of twelve, fled to Boston where she lived with relatives for the next several years.

Read more →