The Great London Fire I

Lead: During four days in the late summer of 1666 the medieval city of London was largely destroyed by fire.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Already reeling from another of the periodic outbreaks of the Black Death, the bubonic plague, the City of London in the summer of 1666 was weak and crowded and dirty. With a population of a half a million, London was the richest and most important city in the western world, but for most living there was no picnic.

 

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Maine: Birthplace of Legislative Prohibition

Lead: Carved out of Massachusetts and born of controversy the State of Maine early on exhibited a streak of moralistic reform. It was the first state to experiment with Prohibition.

Intro.: This is "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Neal Dow was a man with a purpose. He was convinced that spirituous liquors were at the heart of violence and poverty in his state. Maine's two leading industries, logging and fishing, kept men away from the restraining influences of home and exposed them to temptation. The result was a population given to drink and neglecting their families and work.

 

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Aborted 13th Amendment II

Lead: With seven states having already bolted from the Union, Congress in the winter of 1861 was desperate to save what was left.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: The repudiated James Buchanan was in the White House. Two blocks away in the Willard Hotel a minority President-elect, Abraham Lincoln was reluctant to do much of anything until his inauguration. In the resulting power vacuum, the moderate leaders of Congress were trying to figure out a way to soothe the fears of the slave-holding South and prevent additional states from pulling out. In the Senate the search for compromise was led by John J. Crittenden of Kentucky. His solution protected the property rights of slaveholders throughout the nation and placed into the Constitution the notion of popular sovereignty or squatter whereby states would be admitted without condition, leaving each to decide about slavery on their own. When this seemed to go nowhere he suggested the revival of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which permitted slavery only in new states south of Missouri's southern border. His proposals failed.

 

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Assassination of Huey Pierce Long

Lead: On September 8, 1935, Huey Pierce Long, United States Senator from Louisiana was assassinated in the State Capital building in Baton Rouge.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Carl Austin Weiss, in the mid-1930s, was one of best ear, nose, and throat physicians in Louisiana. He was a graduate of LSU and Tulane University medical school and shared a prosperous New Orleans practice with his father. Weiss was not a political animal and though he occasionally expressed disgust at the political circus being played out in the state at the time his main concern was his profession and his family. Yet, in the fall of 1935 he killed the most powerful politician Louisiana had yet produced and one of the most colorful in American history.

 

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Gandhi in South Africa II

Lead: Mahatma Gandhi first built his reputation as it led the movement to secure rights for Indian workers in sugar plantations in early twentieth century South Africa.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The cash crop of Natal province on the eastern coast of South Africa was sugar cane. Native Africans resisted working on the plantations and therefore thousands of emigrant workers were brought from India. Some went home after their contract expired, others stayed. In the 1880s torn between their need for Indian labor and fear of the growth of the Indian population, white South Africans of both Dutch and English heritage began to restrict Indian rights, this despite the stated British policy which accorded legal equality to all subjects of the Empire regardless of race or place of origin.

 

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Gandhi in South Africa I

Lead: In his campaign for Indian freedom in the 1940s, Mahatma Gandhi used skills and tactics he sharpened in a fight for justice in turn of the twentieth century South Africa.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Most people have an image of Gandhi as a shriveled figure dressed in traditional clothes whose use of non-violence helped drive the British from the Indian sub-continent. Few remember that he spent over twenty years as a lawyer in South Africa deeply involved in alleviating abuses direct toward the Indian emigrant community.

 

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Kennedy Gives LBJ the Nod

Lead: The nomination in hand the Senator from Massachusetts needed a running mate who would help him win.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Wyoming did it, the entire delegation at the 1960 Democratic Convention moved for Kennedy in a single vote and he went over the top. After short talk with his pregnant wife on Cape Cod, a brief appearance in the meeting hall, the nominee motored back through the streets of Los Angeles to his hide-a-way on North Rossmore Boulevard for a well-earned rest. While an aide fixed some eggs Jack Kennedy prepared for bed, the nomination for vice-President very much on his mind. He was a Senator from a northeastern state, perceived as a liberal with little experience. He had seized the nomination often ignoring the wishes of Party elders by a combination of hard work, careful strategy, and the generous distribution of his family's enormous financial resources. He needed balance and he needed it badly.

 

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Raphael Semmes, Rebel Sailor

Lead: Raphael Semmes sailed the Alabama out of Cherbourg, France to do battle.

Intro: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: On Sunday morning June 19, 1864, the Confederate States' steamer Alabama, the pride of the Confederate navy, had just been around the world on voyage of destruction that did serious damage to the United States Merchant marine. From Galveston, Texas through the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope, into the Indian Ocean, the Alabama had captured and destroyed 62 Union ships. At 900 tons and 230 feet long, she could make 13 knots between steam and sail, boasted 8 guns and cost $250,000 Confederate dollars. She was commanded by the Confederate navy's finest sailor, Raphael Semmes.

 

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