Major Andre I

Lead: In the Spring of 1779, the chief of British Intelligence in New York City, received a shocking message.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Except for occasional partisan raids, by 1780, military action in the American Revolution had largely shifted to the south where the British and American forces exchanged victories in the months leading up to the climactic British surrender at the Battle of Yorktown. In the northern colonies, the opposing armies stared warily at each other from behind lines often separated by stretches of neutral territory. One such was divided region was the Hudson Valley of New York. From his headquarters in New York City, British General Henry Clinton had developed an extensive spy network throughout the Valley, probing for weaknesses in the American line and stirring up trouble among the many in the area that quietly supported the British cause.

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The Miranda Case

Lead: In 1966 John Flynn, a public defender from Arizona argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that his client was not given a clear description of his legal rights. The case was an important milestone in American justice.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Ernesto Miranda was a confessed rapist and kidnapper incarcerated in the state prison in Florence, Arizona. He had signed a confession acknowledging his legal rights, but had not specifically been told he had the right to counsel. Working for the American Civil Liberties Union, John Flynn appealed Miranda's conviction to the Supreme Court. Writing for the Court majority, Chief Justice Earl Warren insisted that prosecutors must provide certain safeguards to defendants before statements taken in custody can be used as evidence in a trial. From that point, those placed under arrest in real life or in countless television and movie presentations, had to be read their rights often from a so-called Miranda Card: to remain silent, that anything they say may be used as evidence, that they have the right to an attorney.

 

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Lane and Quantrill III

Lead: In the bloody run up to war during the 1850s the Territory of Kansas attracted its share of drifters seeking to take advantage of the conflict over slavery. One of those was William Clarke Quantrill.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in Ohio in 1837, Quantrill taught school in Illinois and Indiana before moving to Kansas. He tried farming to no great success and opened a rural school in the free soil community of Osawatomie. Neither venture lasted long and by 1860 Quantrill had joined a band of drifters whose allegiance was to the anti-slavery side but whose real occupation was petty theft and murder.

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Lane and Quantrill II

Lead: In the years leading up to the American Civil War the territory of Kansas was the scene of extensive guerrilla warfare. James Henry Lane led a band of free-soil raiders.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Lane grew up in Indiana, studied and practiced law there and as a colonel distinguished himself leading Indiana regiments in the Mexican War. Returning home he served as lieutenant governor and as a Democratic representative to the Congress of 1853. In Washington he was known as a pro-slavery democrat and supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This was a legislative compromise on the question of slavery that enshrined the principle of squatter sovereignty. Whether slavery would be permitted in Kansas was to be determined by the majority of settlers. The group, pro-slave or free, who got there first with the most made the decision.

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Lane and Quantrill I

Lead: In the years before the Civil War bleeding Kansas produced two guerrilla leaders who laid waste to the countryside inflaming passions on either side of the question of slavery, James Henry Lane and William Quantrill.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The survival of the Federal Union has proven to be the great question of United States history. Among the issues that divided the regions none more threatened the life of the Union or proved to be more incendiary than slavery. As an institution the practice of human servitude was a running sore infecting national life, striking at the heart of those principles upon which the Republic was established. The Founder's put off a final decision about slavery and as the years passed tensions grew around this issue. Soon compromise was replaced by violence and that matter along with the larger one of state's sovereignty was finally settled as blood soaked the battlefields of Fredericksburg, Antietam, and Sharp's Landing.

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FDR and Court Packing IV

Lead: Emboldened by the most powerful election victory in memory, Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to invalidate a hostile majority on the Supreme Court by packing the Court with new Justices.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Court majority led by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes was opposed to a significant number of Roosevelt's New Deal laws and declared them unconstitutional. Instead of trying to amend the Constitution to get his legislation through, the President decided to pack the Supreme Court with several new justices more attuned to his way of doing business. It was a political disaster.

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FDR and Court Packing III

Lead: With a hostile Supreme Court majority, Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced the real possibility that the New Deal would be destroyed.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Under the United States Constitution, it is given to the U.S. Supreme Court, the responsibility to interpret provisions of the constitution and judge the validity of laws passed by state and federal governments. In 1935 and 1936 the Supreme Court began taking apart the New Deal. At first, the damage was only theoretical. The Court upheld, but only barely, Roosevelt's 1933 termination of gold convertibility.

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FDR and Court Packing II

Lead: With the New Deal set at peril, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced a U. S. Supreme Court that was decimating his legislative agenda through the process of judicial review.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In over two centuries of sometimes radical social and economic change, the United States Constitution has remained relatively undisturbed. It is essentially the same document ratified by the infant nation in the late 18th Century. After the Bill of Rights, only sixteen times has use been made of the intricate amending procedure proscribed in Article V. Constitutional change by amendment is possible but not easy, therefore other techniques have been used to adapt constitutional structures to the needs of a changing world.

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