FDR and Court Packing I

Lead: In 1935 and 1936 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down important pieces of President Franklin Roosevelt's legislative agenda. The New Deal was in peril and FDR decided to take on the Court.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Franklin Roosevelt came to his political majority during the heady adolescence of progressivism in America. Under his Presidential cousin Teddy and Woodrow Wilson, the constitutional power of the President was interpreted broadly and the role of the Federal government was expanded. Anti-trust legislation to a certain degree began to reign in the power of corporations, with the Interstate Commerce Act the government began to regulate the passage of goods within the nations, and the Federal Reserve began to introduce some regulation to the banking system.

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Somer’s Mutiny III

Lead: In the fall of 1842 the sailing brig USS Somers was in mid-Atlantic on the homebound leg of a officer training cruise. The stench of mutiny was in the air.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Captain Alexander Slidell Mackenzie received word of the threatened mutiny when the ship was ten days out of St. Thomas. The conspirators were Midshipman Philip Spencer, Petty Officer Samuel Cromwell and Seaman Elisha Small, plus an undetermined number of apprentices Spencer, as the conspiracy's leader, had been recruiting.

For some time the officers had been noting a change in attitude. Orders were obeyed grudgingly and in a surly manner. On November 25th Spencer approached the purser's steward, James W. Wales with the details of the plot. On a night during his turn as officer of the watch, Spencer planned to kill the officers and turn the Somers into a pirate ship operating out of the Isle of Pines off Cuba. He had a list of the crew divided by their disposition toward the conspiracy. Those who failed to go along, unwilling sailors and useless boys, just like the dead officers, were to be tossed overboard as shark bait.

 

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Somer’s Mutiny

Lead: In the fall of 1842, the sailing brig USS Somers with 121 officers and crew began its training voyage to the west coast of Africa. Within a week of sailing the seeds of mutiny were planted.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Midshipman Philip Spencer was the son of one of the finest families of New York. His father was Secretary of War under President John Tyler. Despite his genteel upbringing, Philip was a constant source of annoyance. Bounced out of more than one college, through his father's political influence he had received a midshipman's warrant in the Navy. There he quickly established a reputation for insubordination and troublemaking. He twice struck a superior officer before being shipped out on USS John Adams bound for Brazil. During a month at Rio de Janeiro, Spencer spent most of his time in brothels and taverns often coming back to the ship completely drunk. Commodore Morris of the Brazil Squadron probably feared that if he properly punished the boy he would get himself in political trouble, so he had Spencer shipped back to New York.

 

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Somer’s Mutiny I

Lead: The most notorious mutiny in the history of the United States Navy grew out of Matthew Perry's desire to reform the training of young officers.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Matthew Calbraith Perry, the younger brother of War of 1812 naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry, had a long, illustrious career in the Navy. Through his forceful diplomacy in the 1850s, the younger Perry opened Japan to trade with the outside world. He also displayed a talent for administrative innovation and in the early 1840s came up with a new way of training officers. In the early years of the United States Navy, in a custom carried over from British naval tradition, certain ship's boys with leadership potential were designated midshipmen and received the special training necessary to become officers.

 

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Paul Revere’s Ride II

Lead: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow captured the excitement and import of Paul Revere's famous ride, but on that night’s events the poet did not get his facts quite right.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sometime in the evening of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere discovered that his best laid plans were falling apart. It was discovered that the British had dispatched several hundred troops to capture colonial ammunition stored at Concord, Revere had pre-arranged a signal to fellow patriots waiting for news of the British route so the alarm could be spread. When Revere went over to Charlestown to check whether word had been sent, he discovered that his men were confused by "one if by land, two if by sea," and no one was doing anything. Revere borrowed a horse and was off.

 

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Atomic Dawn V (Nuclear Age)

Lead: With Harry Truman's decision to release the first atomic bombs for use, the Manhattan Project prepared for its climactic task.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Trinity Test in the desert of New Mexico on July 16, 1945 had proven the design put together by Robert Oppenheimer's scientists and Captain Deak Parson's team of ordinance specialists. During the previous year, Parsons, anticipating its use, had been assembling the unit which would deliver the bomb. His choice to lead the group was Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr. a veteran bomber pilot. Tibbets squadron, at its heart fifteen B-29 bombers modified to carry and drop the new bombs, began secret rehearsals at Wendover Field in Utah in the Fall of 1944. They would test drop dummy bombs and send the results back to the headquarters of the Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico. Any needed modifications would be made and the testing would resume.

 

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Atomic Dawn IV (Nuclear Age)

Lead: On July 16, 1945 in the high desert of New Mexico, near the small village of Los Alamos, the first atomic bomb was exploded. The thing worked. Harry Truman had to decide what to do with it.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: On the day of the death of Franklin Roosevelt, just after taking office, President Harry Truman was approached by Secretary of War, Henry Stimson. The latter spoke briefly of a new weapon, nearing completion, a new explosive of almost unbelievable power. Truman did not know what he was talking about. Roosevelt had kept his Vice-President in the dark about a subject that was to provoke one of the earliest and most important decisions of Truman's Presidency, whether to use the Atomic Bomb on Japan or not. As the days passed and more information was made available, Truman slowly realized that within months he would have to determine how this new weapon would be used

 

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