Massachusetts Colored Regiment I

Lead: During the Civil War, the south was not the only region of warring America where blacks faced a struggle to overcome racism. One way they fought for their place as citizen’s was to fight.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the early days of the Civil War African Americans in the north and in areas liberated by Union armies were not allowed to fight for the Federal cause. When a group of blacks tried to form a local militia in Cincinnati they were told, “we want you damned niggers to keep out of this, this is a white man’s war.” The vast majority of Northerners were just as bigoted, just as prejudiced as Southerners. Yet, slowly this began to change. Abraham Lincoln grew in his understanding of the nature of conflict in which the nation was locked. White abolitionists worked tirelessly for full citizenship participation for Africans. In addition, many blacks were willing to sacrifice their lives on the battlefield. As a result, stereotypes were destroyed, prejudice was challenged, and free blacks and freedmen contributed much to the defeat of the Confederacy and the end to slavery.

Read more →

High Octane/High Test Gasoline

Lead: In the 1930s, oil companies were struggling to boost the octane of gasoline. Eugène Houdry’s catalytic cracking process made it possible and may have helped win World War II.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When it comes from the ground, crude oil is almost useless, a mixture of thousands of different types of hydrocarbons: asphalt to gasoline to natural gas. Each has a different molecular weight, therefore, crude oil must be refined to pull out the impurities such as sulfur compounds and separate different components such as kerosene, gasoline, fuel oil, and so forth.

Juan Garcia (Garbo), WW II Spy II

Lead: One of the most important factors leading to the success of the Normandy invasion in June 1944 was a network of double agents, loyal to Britain, who deceived the Germans about Allied plans.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: During World War II, the British Double Cross system, counter espionage operations, worked successfully to mislead the German intelligence organization – the Abwehr. One of the most successful British double agents was Spaniard Juan Pujol Garcia, codenamed Garbo, the ultimate “actor.”

Juan Garcia (Garbo), WWII Spy I

Lead: In July 1941, Spaniard Juan Pujol Garcia, operating out of Lisbon and then London under the codename “Garbo,” began his career as a double agent for the Allies.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Juan Pujol Garcia believed that Franco’s fascist rule would bring Spain to ruin and that an Allied victory was the only means of deposing him. At first Garcia offered his services to British intelligence and was rejected, so he turned to the German Embassy in Madrid, where he was signed up by the Abwehr, the German military intelligence organization.

Virginia House of Burgesses II

Lead: In 1619 the Virginia General Assembly first met in the Jamestown Church. Despite war, privation, and a name change, this institution has continued to provide the Commonwealth with representative and often wise governance.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Before Jamestown became a royal colony in 1624, it was owned by a royal stock enterprise, chartered by King James I, The Virginia Company of London. Finding neither instant riches nor the hoped for Northwest Passage to China, the hapless colonists barely survived the struggles of the early years. In 1619, however, in an effort to transform the colony into a more profitable enterprise, a series of reforms was instituted to improve stability and profitability. One of the reforms permitted the colonists to elect a representative body. This body, modeled after English Parliament, was called the House of Burgesses. A Burgess was an elected citizen representative from a particular borough or settlement.

Virginia House of Burgesses I

Lead: On July 30, 1619, the Virginia Assembly first met in Jamestown. It was the first legislative assembly in America and in one form or another it has been meeting ever since.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By the end of 1619, the young Jamestown colony had over one thousand settlers, even though only about one in five survived the colonial experience in the early years. By the end of 1619, both African slaves and women had arrived helping to bring stability to the fledgling colony.

The Last Full Measure – Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time (is presented by the people of _________ and) is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose sacrifice gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Content: From the opening of hostilities at Lexington and Concord in 1775 until signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the Revolution was America's longest war until the Vietnam conflict. While tension between Loyalist and Patriot sympathizers continued throughout the former colonies, active fighting for the most part had shifted to the South after 1779. First Savannah, then Charleston fell, and British forces under Lord Cornwallis began a series of raids into the interior culminating in the Battle of Camden, South Carolina in August, 1780. Patriot forces under the command of General Horatio Gates suffered a disastrous defeat. After that there appeared almost nothing standing in the way of ultimate victory for the British commanders. In 1780 the fleeting hopes of American Independence were kept alive in the South by partisan guerrillas.

 

Read more →

Howard Aiken – Computer Wizard

Lead: Though he organized the design and application of one of the world’s first modern computers, the Mark I, Howard Aiken is often left out of the story.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When Howard Aiken arrived in Cambridge in 1933, he was much older than the average Harvard graduate student. Born in 1900 his early life was not easy. Just as he was to start high school his father left home never to be seen again and Howard had to work nights in order to support his mother and grandparents and still go to high school and then college. During the next decade he rose to ever higher, but increasingly less satisfying management positions in the electric-power industry. He spent a discouraging year at the University of Chicago, but had more success at Harvard getting his Ph.D. in physics in 1939, joining the faculty, eventually rising to full professor.

Read more →