Voyage of Death III (USS Indianapolis)

Lead: In the closing days of World War II, the cruiser USS Indianapolis, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Most of the 1100 sailors survived the sinking only to die floating in the open sea.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Once the survivors of the Indianapolis had been rescued from their five day ordeal, the U.S. Navy had a big problem. Critics in the general public, the press, and on Capitol Hill were asking how it was that the Navy could lose a major fighting ship and essentially consign 500 sailors to a watery grave. The criticism could not have come at a worse time. The war, which began with the sneak attack on a naval installation, was about to end amid swirling controversy over the most severe sea disaster in American naval history. To make matters worse the Navy was fighting for its independence. There were forces in the Administration and in Congress who wanted to combine the armed forces into a single Department of Defense. To combat this threat to naval autonomy the Navy did not need to be fending off accusations of negligence.

 

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Voyage of Death II (USS Indianapolis)

Lead: Having delivered components of the first atomic bomb to Tinian Island in the Pacific, the cruiser, USS Indianapolis, sailed west to its duty station near the Philippines. Its sinking by a Japanese submarine began the worst sea disaster in American naval history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After leaving Tinian, Captain Charles B. McVay, III, made a refueling stop at Guam before embarking on the final stage of the voyage. In the normal course of departing the port, McVay was not told that four Japanese submarines had been sighted in the area through which he must sail and that the destroyer USS Underhill had been sunk in an encounter with a sub in the same area. Also, General orders insisted that ships ziz-zag in war zones but since that maneuver on occasion might be more dangerous than speedy transit in a straight line, McVay and other commanders were given the option that if the weather were overcast or stormy they could choose not to execute the time consuming process of ziz-zagging.

 

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Voyage of Death I (USS Indianapolis)

Lead: At 8:00 AM on July 16, 1945 the USS Indianapolis, carrying components of the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima, glided through the Golden Gate. Destination: Tinian.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Captain Charles B. McVay, III was a graduate of the Naval Academy, the son of an Admiral. On short notice, he received orders to carry the nuclear cargo while directing the final stages of repair to damage inflicted on the Indianapolis in a nearly fatal kamikaze attack off Okinawa Island earlier that year. The ship was ready but the crew was filled with a large number of inexperienced new men. McVay wanted more time to train but the Navy needed a bomb delivered and his fast cruiser was available.

 

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Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Building Permanently

Lead: Unemployment. Hunger. Fear. America was in the grips of the Great Depression. In record time, the new Roosevelt administration created the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Corps was designed to put to work on public improvement projects a large number of young men facing bleak prospects for employment. By July, 1933 there were nearly 300,000 men at work in 1300 camps. Qualifications were that a man must be between 17 and 28 years of age, single, without a job, in good physical condition and in need. All participants were volunteers and signed up for a minimum of six months. They could stay, in most cases only for two years, and most stuck it out although the desertion rate ran about 5%. The men were paid $30 per month with most of it sent home to their families. By 1935 a half million were enrolled and in its nine years of existence, nearly three million served in the Corps.

 

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The Man Pursued by War (McLean) II

Lead: In 1861 the first major battle in Virginia took place in the front yard of Wilmer McLean along Bull Run Creek. Seeking to protect his family from the fighting he moved them to south central Virginia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It was not uncommon for civilians to remove themselves from areas of intense fighting. Up to this point war was, for the most part, left to soldiers. As the war intensified Federal generals such as Sherman in Georgia and Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley made destruction of civilian property a matter of military policy. Sherman, in particular, boasted that he had destroyed $100,000,000 in property during his dash from Atlanta to Savannah in the fall of 1864.

 

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The Man Pursued by War (McLean) I

Lead: In 1850 Wilmer McLean, a prominent merchant of Alexandria, Virginia married the widow Virginia Beverley Mason. They lived at her plantation, Yorkshire, in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: McLean was a son of one of the most prominent commercial families of Alexandria. His marriage to Virginia Mason, among Virginia's wealthiest women, brought him extensive responsibilities as manager of the family's holdings. Yorkshire was a 1200 acre tract close by the small creek known as Bull Run just outside of the village of Manassas Junction.

In the spring of 1861, the McLeans and their neighbors were well aware of the approach of war. The Confederate army stationed troops at Manassas to protect the area as it was a vital rail junction linking the principle north-south line with one that rest west into the Shenandoah Valley. This made the region a military target and on June 1st, General Pierre G.T. Beauregard arrived to take charge since in was becoming evident that Federal forces were beginning to move into the area with an eye toward taking the junction.

 

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Howard Carter and the Tomb of Tutankhamen IV

Lead: Five years of failure and disappointment flashed away as Howard Carter looked through opening he had made. The young King came alive.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The rule of Pharaoh Tutankhamen was a short one. He lived about 1350 years before Christ and died at seventeen, his rule brief, obscure and dominated by powerful advisors. He was buried and over the years the location of his small tomb was forgotten. Most Egyptologists had assumed the grave site to have been discovered but Carter and his partner George Lord Herbert Carnarvon thought otherwise and spent the five years before 1922 searching the Valley of the Kings near ancient Thebes for the young King's illusive tomb. After nearly giving up, on November 4th, workmen discovered a step cut into the rock of the Valley floor. Carter cabled his partner to come from England and Lord George arrived November 23rd. By that time a stairway and door were uncovered and Carter had found the name of Tutankhamen cut into the wall at several places. Two days later the corridor leading into the tomb had been cleared and he had reached a second door. At 4:00 PM Carter made a small hole in the door and looked in. Carnarvon recalled the scene. "Mr. Carter, holding a candle before him, put in his head." He did not say anything for two or three minutes, but kept me in rather painful suspense. I thought I had been disappointed again, and I said, "Can you see anything?" "Yes, yes," he replied. "It is wonderful."

 

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Howard Carter and the Tomb of Tutankhamen III

Lead: Howard Carter believed it was there and would not give up.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The rule of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen was a short one. He lived about 1350 years before Christ and died at seventeen, his rule brief, obscure and dominated by powerful advisors. He was buried and over the years the location was forgotten. Ironically, this anonymity probably saved his tomb from plundering by graverobbers. Wealthy Egyptians would fill their graves with rich articles supposedly for use in the afterlife. Thieves and even some of the priests who buried them would take note of the tomb's location, wait a day or so, break in and clean it out.

 

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