Spruce Goose II

Lead: With Allied shipping in serious jeopardy due to German submarine attacks during the early years of World War II, military planners turned to aircraft manufacturers. Howard Hughes responded with the Spruce Goose.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Metal for the construction of experimental aircraft was scarce in 1942. Therefore, when the designers at Hughes Aircraft began their mock-up of the gigantic new cargo plane, they built their model using Duramold, lightweight plywood saturated with synthetic glue to make it waterproof and very strong. The basic airframe had no nails, screws or rivets, no metal at all. Skilled woodworkers crafted special joints that were bonded with glue for strength.

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Spruce Goose I

Lead: Of all the problems the Allies faced in the summer of 1942, none was more threatening than unrestrained submarine warfare. German U-boats were sinking transport ships faster than they could be built.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Fresh challenges seemed to inspire Howard Robard Hughes, Jr.. At the age of 17 he took control of the Hughes Tool Company upon the death of his father. This provided the financial base for Howard's other interests. In 1926 he migrated to Hollywood where over the years he produced numerous motion pictures and premiered actors such as Jean Harlow and Jane Russell. Hughes eventually owned and later sold RKO Pictures.

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Alan Turing III

Lead: After describing the modern programmable computer and helping break the German Enigma codes, British mathematician Alan Turing turned his attention to artificial intelligence.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the wartime emergency, Turing joined Britain’s National Physical Laboratory. There he helped finalize plans for an Automatic Computing Machine (ACE), which followed his 1937 theory advocating a device that could do many tasks depending on the information fed into it. Unfortunately, the National Lab was bogged down in bureaucratic inertia and, discouraged by the slow pace, Turing, in 1948, accepted a position at the University of Manchester.

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Alan Turing II

Lead: A brilliant, well-respected, but at times controversial academic mathematician, Alan Turing helped crack the German Enigma codes in World War II.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After study at King’s College, Cambridge and a Princeton Ph.D., Turning had laid the theoretical foundation for the modern programmable computer. In a dazzling insight, almost a casual aside, in a footnote, he described in theory that one might construct an automatic machine that given the correct input or instructions, could do just about anything requiring computation. The device, later dubbed the Turing Machine, would read a series of ones and zeroes recorded on tape. These numbers would tell the machine what to do to solve a problem or perform a task. In the rather rigid world of computer theory at the time this was revolutionary. Up to that point most computers were dedicated, they were designed for a particular, usually narrow purpose. Turing was suggesting another approach. Later his idea would come to fruit as engineers would create a universal piece of computer hardware that could be told to do many different tasks by its software.

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Alan Turing I

Lead: Brilliant and eccentric, English mathematician Alan Turing helped crack the Enigma Code during World War II, conceived of the modern programmable computer, and dreamed of artificial intelligence.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Alan Mathison Turing was born in London in 1912. His father was a functionary of the British
Civil Service in India. Turing’s parents considered life on the sub-continent unsuitable for their boys and left their raising to the care of relatives in England. Eventually, Alan was sent to boarding school, Shelbourne in Dorset, where a speech impediment and lack of proper training in Latin grammar made him the target of much cruel humor by the other boys. He was a loner and at Shelbourne first came to recognize and accept his homosexuality. He also showed an extraordinary capacity for mathematical reasoning and, perhaps because of his long periods of loneliness, began a lifelong fascination with the human mind and with what he considered its limitless capacity to create imagination, wonder, and beauty in the middle of an emotionally barren landscape.

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The Australian Gold Rush

Lead: On January 20, 1788, six transports delivered 750 convicts to Botany Bay. Sixty-five years and 168,000 prisoners later the practice of deportation to New South Wales was abruptly terminated.

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

Content: In January, 1851 Edward Hargraves returned to Sydney, Australia. He had spent some time in the Gold Fields during the first years after its discovery in California. This reminded him of similar geological formations he had noted in territory along the Macquarie River northwest of Sydney two decades before.

 

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Stamp Act Repeal III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Horace Walpole, son of Britain’s First Minister, Robert Walpole, a man of letters and member of Parliament from the rotten borough of Castle Rising, wrote, in his memoirs of the reign of King George III, that repeal of the Stamp Act before any serious attempt at enforcement and collection, stuck in the throats of a resentful and reluctant Parliamentary majority. “When do princes bend,” he opined, “but after a defeat?” His was a perceptive observation. Parliament did not like it, but First Minister Lord Rockingham who took over after the author of the Stamp Act, George Grenville, was removed by the King, faced a situation in America tantamount to open revolt and demands from a domestic constituency horrified by a severe downturn in commerce caused by a drop in American consumption of British goods. England’s merchants were up in arms and Rockingham recognized that he had a political alliance that could divert the debate from constitutional issues of Parliamentary and colonial rights, and push it the direction of practical economic survival. He used the near irresistible political pressure from the influential business community to secure repeal.

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Stamp Act Repeal II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: George William Frederick, King George III of Great Britain and Ireland, in a remarkable 60-year reign presided over the loss of Britain’s first great empire and helped lay the foundation for its next. Nevertheless, his reign was punctuated with long periods in which his hand on the tiller of the ship of state could best be described as tentative. He had health problems. He had mental problems. And he was too often whip-sawed by national and international crises complicated by personal insecurities and a weak leadership style.

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