William Jennings Bryan and Cross of Gold II

Lead: Embittered by what he considered lack of recognition of his clearly superior leadership and bravery in battle, Benedict Arnold embarked on a course that made him the most famous traitor in American history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the fall of 1777, Connecticut native Benedict Arnold was recuperating from a serious leg injury received at the Battle of Saratoga. In that most decisive American victory in the Revolution, Arnold’s leadership had been critical, but his commander Horatio Gates and the Continental Congress were tardy in according him proper recognition. This was not the first time Arnold had felt passed over for promotion and slighted by his superiors. Nevertheless, he had earned the great admiration of George Washington and eventually Congress recognized him for his role at Saratoga and restored his rank.

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City Point Explosion II

Lead: In the dank summer of 1864 what appeared at first to be a huge accidental explosion rocked the wharves and storehouses of the Union Army at City Point, Virginia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In mid-1864 General Ulysses S. Grant established his headquarters and supply depot in the village of City Point at the confluence of the Appomattox and James Rivers 10 miles northeast of Petersburg, Virginia. From there he conducted siege operations in front of Petersburg, which guarded the vital rail links between Confederate capitol Richmond and the rest of the beleaguered South.

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City Point Explosion I

Lead: On a hot sultry August afternoon in 1864 a huge explosion wracked the wharves at City Point, Virginia, filled as they were with goods supplying Union forces at Petersburg. The Federals thought it was an accident.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: City Point was a quiet and peaceful village roughly 10 miles northeast of Petersburg. Today it is a part of Hopewell, Virginia, but for a brief period in 1864 and 1865 it seemed the center of the American universe. Determined to break the supply line between the rest of the Confederacy and its capital at Richmond, General Ulysses S. Grant, had besieged Petersburg which lay at the head of that vital web of railroads spreading south and west. City Point became Grant’s headquarters and its wharves, old and improvised, soon filled with Union food, medicines, supplies and, dangerously, as it would develop, munitions, guns, armament, and gunpowder in huge quantities.

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Joseph McCarthy I

Lead: In February 1950, an obscure U.S. Senator from Wisconsin shocked the nation. His charge: the State Department harbored 205 Communist traitors.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It was the era of the cold war. Russia had exploded an atomic bomb, the Chinese masses were then ruled by a communist regime, Berlin was under siege and many Americans were concerned that Marxism was on the path to worldwide triumph. Into that atmosphere of panic strode the junior senator from Wisconsin Joseph Raymond McCarthy. His meteoric rise to prominence and spectacular decline into disgrace is a useful reminder of the power of the demagogue, the effectiveness of unexamined innuendo, and the ability of the media to give power and then to take it away.

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Johnstown Flood II

Lead: At the end of May 1889 the small industrial city of Johnstown east of Pittsburgh was nearly destroyed in America’s greatest man-made disasters.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Fourteen miles above Johnstown lay Lake Conemaugh. It was a exclusive private recreational lake created by a dam thrown across the South Fork of the Little Conemaugh River. The 30,000 residents of Johnstown were threatened by a dam problem. Part of the old Pennsylvania Canal system the dam had long before fallen into serious disrepair and its owners at the time, the wealthy industrialists and social families that made up the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, had done little to keep it up and had increased the threat by raising the water to dangerous levels.

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Johnstown Flood I

Lead: In the late spring 1889 the dam holding the waters of a private recreational lake east of Pittsburgh collapsed. Johnstown’s nightmare had begun.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Lake Conemaugh was created by an earthen dam thrown up across the South Fork tributary of the Little Conemaugh River in the 1840s as a part of the intricate Pennsylvania Canal system, carrying goods and passengers east and west across the state. After the arrival of the railroad the lake was abandoned to recreational purposes, eventually being bought by the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. Used as a fashionable private retreat by members of Pittsburgh’s elite families, its membership list counted among its illustrious names that of Frick, Carnegie, Phipps, and Mellon.

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Edgar Allan Poe

Lead: After a life of brilliant dissipation Edgar Allan Poe, whose lyrical musings delved deep into the dark precincts of the soul, died on October 7, 1849.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After a classical education in Europe, further stumbling attempts at Virginia and West Point came to grief. Gambling and especially drink were the scourge of Poe's life. Despite his inner struggles and unrealized potential, Poe's intellectual radiance and unique ability to describe the fears and desires of the human condition could not but break through. Living the life of the gypsy author he wandered the East Coast seeking patrons and work, all the while churning out a prodigious and increasingly popular collection of detective stories, poems, narratives, stories of supernatural horror, dark journeys of inner terror that all too often seemed autobiographical.

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Sacco and Vanzetti III

Lead: The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti has continued to spark controversy long after their execution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: This much is certain. On April 15, 1920 a payroll clerk and his guard were robbed and killed in South Braintree, Massachusetts. There were three involved and two more in the getaway car, a Buick. Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian immigrants, friends involved in anarchist politics, were arrested after trying to pick up a similar car from a local garage. Harassed by the mechanic, they fled in a suspicious manner. After that the case is powerful but largely circumstantial.

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