George Washington Rains and Confederate Gun Powder II

Lead: During the Civil War, the Confederacy faced serious challenges, not the least of which was having no source of gunpowder. To solve that problem, they turned to George Washington Rains.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The key ingredient in gunpowder is saltpeter, the general name for three naturally occurring nitrates, the most common in North America being potassium nitrate. Called by some niter, it was combined with sulfur and charcoal, and together they were rolled, pressed, crushed, granulated and dried in a process that was conducted almost nowhere in large quantities in the South prior to 1861. To defend itself the Confederacy would have to solve that problem. Ordinance chief Josiah Gorgas appointed Artillery Major George Washington Rains, third in his West Point class, who had served with distinction in the Mexican War.


George Washington Rains and Confederate Gun Powder I

Lead: When it became clear that the Federal government would not permit the South to depart without a fight in 1861, one of the most pressing needs of the newly formed Confederacy was gunpowder.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Despite its wealth of leadership and agricultural resources, the South in the 1860s was ill equipped to fight a war. What ordinance it had was confiscated from Federal arsenals in Confederate territory and was not nearly enough to prosecute the major campaigns that lay ahead. Few foundries could roll the iron that would be required. The South had provided mostly raw agricultural products to the factories of the North and the industrial mills of Europe. That it was able to field numerous armies, a credible naval effort, and a war machine that held the North at bay for the better part of three full years, is a testimony to the raw talent, dedication, and energy of its leaders, the many sacrifices of its white population, and, at least at first, the vigor of its free blacks and slaves. Yet in the end, the South had been bled dry, overwhelmed by the industrial might and superior numbers the North could bring to the conflict.  

First Ladies: Tyler Wives II

Lead: In 1844, within six months of the death of his first wife, the President was in pursuit of another.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After a lengthy marriage to Letitia Christian, John Tyler found himself a widower in the third year of his single term as President. Official mourning for Letitia was barely over when at a White House dinner party Tyler met his second wife, Julia Gardiner. She was born into a prominent Long Island family, was bright, lively, intelligent, and much sought after in Washington society. On the night of their meeting she played cards with the President and he fell hard for her. After two weeks of high pressure courting, John Tyler, father of seven, proposed to a woman thirty years his junior while they were dancing at the Washington's Birthday Ball. At first she refused, but she did not break off their relationship nor refuse his frequent and sentimental love notes filled with references to "raven tresses, brightest roses and stars peeping from behind their veils."

First Ladies: Tyler Wives I

Lead: The wives of President John Tyler were a study in contrast.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in 1790, Letitia Christian Tyler grew up on a rich plantation east of Richmond, Virginia. She married the future U.S. Senator, Governor, Vice-President, and President after a five- year courtship and in their thirty years of marriage remained a modest fixture in the background of her ambitious husband's busy life. When John served in the Senate, Letitia preferred to remain at home raising the children and managing the household. She did it so efficiently that John was free to pursue his political career. 

Bonaparte at Toulon II

Lead: In the fall of 1793, the army of revolutionary France was inspired by the leadership of a 23-year old artillery captain, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As the revolutionary Reign of Terror spread across France after 1793, many supporters of the Revolution grew disheartened. In Toulon, a port on the Mediterranean coast, they went so far as to ally themselves with the enemy, allowing the British ships to occupy the harbor and town. In response the Committee of Safety in Paris sent an Army to crush the rebels. Slowly, all during the fall, the revolutionary Army extended its control of the hills overlooking the City, preparing for an assault.

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Bonaparte at Toulon I

Lead: In the fall of 1793 at the southern French port of Toulon, a Corsican Captain of Artillery, Napoleon Bonaparte, began his climb to power.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: East of Marseilles on the Mediterranean coast of France lies the historic naval port of Toulon. Since before the Roman era the two nearly land-locked anchorages of Toulon have provided superb protection for commercial and military shipping. By the 1790s the city had been heavily fortified and was the headquarters of the southern fleet of Revolutionary France, yet in 1793 serious cracks had begun to appear in French political unity and Toulon became the center of great conflict.

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Lie Detector

Lead: Its advocates claim it can solve one of mankind’s great longings, the desire to know when a person is telling the truth, but the lie detector remains a controversial and constantly questioned tool in the fields of law enforcement, business, and national security.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The basic premise of a lie detector is that there is direct connection between physiological phenomena — heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, even perspiration — and intellectual response, specifically deception. While others had experimented in this field prior to 1917, many credit William Marston, a Harvard-trained lawyer and graduate student, as the inventor of the lie detector. He was certainly the earliest and foremost promoter of the techniques and technology of the polygraph, yet his unqualified and untempered enthusiasm and showmanship brought the so-called science of lie detection into question.