End of US Slave Importation I

Lead: The founders thought they had a solution to the problem of slavery in the new United States. They thought it would make the thing go away. In this they were wrong.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the important debates at the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia in 1787 was over the question of slavery. Though the delegates were cautious men of property, anxious to preserve the prerogatives of wealth and status, many were disturbed about the institution of slavery. It was seen to do violence to the egalitarian principles on which the American Revolution had been fought, detrimental to the character of slave and slave-holder alike, a social and practical danger to society as a whole, and was at that time correctly thought to be economically inefficient.

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Michelangelo I

Lead: In 1508 Pope Julian II commissioned one of the most ambitious projects in the history of art - the painting of the unadorned ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in Caprese, Italy, in 1475. He spent his formative years in Renaissance Florence, one of Italy’s premier centers of artistic learning. At age 13 Michelangelo was apprenticed to a prominent painter and learned the skills of the fresco, the application of paint to a freshly plastered wall. Within two years he had shown such skill that he attracted the interest of a wealthy and powerful patron, Lorenzo de Medici, he of the most prominent banking family in Florence. Michelangelo was invited to study classical sculpture in the de Medici Palace, where he also met leading artists, philosophers and poets and had access to the family’s extensive ancient art collection. By age 16, Michelangelo had produced two marble relief sculptures and was fast on the way to establishing a reputation as a brilliant and creative artist. This was confirmed by his early works, such as the Pieta in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome and the powerful but somehow delicate David, his most famous sculpture, which was commissioned by the city of Florence.

 

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Michelangelo Part II

Lead: Between 1508 and 1512 Michelangelo Buonarrati painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of art.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Sistine Chapel, built in 1473 in the Vatican Palace, was named for Pope Sixtus IV. In 1508 his successor Julius II commissioned 33-year-old Michelangelo to paint the unadorned ceiling of the chapel, but the artist abandoned the original plan, which was to surround the twelve Apostles with geometric ornaments.

 

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American Revolution: Committees of Correspondence 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: When word emerged from the committee investigating the seizure and destruction of HMS Gaspee, a British Navy customs schooner in Rhode Island waters in 1773, that henceforth prisoners and witnesses would be taken to London for any trial, colonial newspapers began to openly speculate on the imminent future of American independence. The fact that contrary to ancient English tradition that one had to be tried by one’s peers was now being openly ignored by the Royal government, set colonial teeth on edge.

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American Revolution: Committees of Correspondence I

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: In the years following the 1765 Stamp Act, London struggled with only limited success in securing colonial cooperation in revenue schemes. Some colonists in North America were willing to go along but the majority were resistant either through a perception that such taxation was damaging economically, but also through a growing revulsion against these taxes because they felt it violated the rights of a class of Englishmen not represented in the Houses of Parliament. The London government could attenuate colonial resistance by reducing its demands, but could not make it go completely away because Parliament refused to give up on its claims of prerogative power. Significant Parliamentary majorities would and could continue to assert its claim to tax the colonies and beyond that, by the Declaratory Act, to command colonial obedience on “all matters whatsoever.” Its refusal to yield on this point kept the colonial pot of resistance simmering no matter how reasonable the level of taxation actually was. London could reduce the level or extent of taxation, but absent a complete reversal of policy, American resistance never completely went away.

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Oscar Wilde

Lead: He said, “There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about.” Oscar Wilde rarely gave anyone occasion not to talk.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Brilliant playwright, acerbic wit, his work required for inclusion in anthologies and reprised year after as part of the standard theater repertory, Fingal O’Flahertie Wils, Oscar Wilde, remains one of the most intriguing and yet tragic figures of the modern era. A man who some contend engineered his own destruction and then documented its leisurely pace in his usual dazzling manner.

 

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The Challenger Disaster

Lead: In early 1986, after years of almost unblemished success in its space shuttle program, NASA got ready to launch number twenty-five. This time it would welcome the first civilian. School teacher Christa McAuliffe would ride into space on the Challenger.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The winter of 1985-86 was unusually cold on the central Florida Atlantic coast. During the night of January 27th Cape Canaveral was swept with an ice storm, but dawn on the 28th was clear and as the morning continued the sky became a brilliant cloudless blue. After fits and starts, McAuliffe and the other six members of the crew were photographed, climbed aboard the shuttle and prepared for launch.

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History’s Turning Points: The End of Chastity II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s turning points – conspirators in the death of chastity.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his 1960 novel Where the Boys Are, Clendon Swarthout mused that “virginity was not all that important…nor do I think a girl’s misplacing it somewhere is as catastrophic as the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Perhaps not, but for thousands of years prior, chastity was very important, for families, for religious institutions, for dynastic security. Men might not have to maintain theirs, a classic double standard, but much energy was expended to make sure that females were chaste. Yet, within just a few short decades, it just went away, something considered so precious in previous generations was abandoned with a near careless lack of restraint.

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