Suez Canal II

Lead: In 1869, finally, the land bridge between Egypt and Suez was pierced with a canal, thanks in large measure to Ferdinand de Lesseps.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: He was no engineer, had no great fortune, had no access to capital, and was in no way an effective administrator, unanimated by tedium. Yet, if anyone might be called the Father of the Suez, it was de Lesseps. Other than his indefatigable energy and dedication to the project, he largely succeeded in building the canal because of his personal connection to two people.

 

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Suez Canal I

Lead: In 1869 French engineers and Egyptian laborers completed work eliminating one of the world’s two great blocks to navigation. They opened the canal at Suez.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until the 19th and 20th centuries there were two significant places in the world where the passage of oceangoing commerce and transportation were impeded by relatively short land bridges. The Isthmus of Panama fell before the assaults of U.S. doctors and engineers in 1914. Creating a passage between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea was much longer in coming. It had attracted the attention of rulers such as Ramesses II of the 12th Egyptian dynasty in the 2nd Millennium BCE and Persian conqueror Darius I. They built narrow canals from the Nile to the Red Sea but these soon fell into disuse.

 

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Building a Submarine II

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 General Dynamics and is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose sacrifice gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the arrival of electric and diesel propulsion, the necessary components for a successful submarine were in place. Two of the main inventive rivals in the early years were John Philip Holland and Simon Lake. Eventually, Holland won the competition as the U.S. Navy built its craft using his designs, but he had a worthy opponent in his rival on submarine construction, Simon Lake.

Building a Submarine I

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 General Dynamics and is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose sacrifice gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Though there had been attempts to create an underwater craft since as early as the 1500s, the modern submarine did not take shape until the late 19th century and then was designed primarily for military purposes. The design of a submarine is far more complex than a surface vessel. In balance, maneuver, life support and propulsion, a submarine operates in a different environment requiring different construction principles. Attempts to build underwater craft span the modern period. As early as 1578, William Borne, an English writer on naval matters, proposed an enclosed wooden vessel, rowed underwater. His idea was brought to reality by Dutch inventor, Cornelius van Drebel, in service to King James I of England. His craft operated 12 feet below the surface of the Thames River, was covered with greased leather and propelled by oars extending through tightly bound leather flaps.

Copernicus and the Church II

Lead: The year was 1540. Nicolaus Copernicus’s controversial theory that the planets revolved around the sun instead of the Earth was about to become public.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1540, a student and supporter of Copernicus, Rheticus, published Naratio Prima, otherwise known as A First Account. This encouraged the aging astronomer to print his own theory. A devout Catholic, Copernicus had struggled for many years between his loyalty to the Church and his scientific theory that asserted heliocentrism, that the sun was the center of the solar system. He decided it was finally time for the world to hear his opinion of the truth. Three years later, just prior to his death, Copernicus published his treatise De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.

 

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Copernicus and the Church I

Lead: Often requiring discipline, compassion, and self-denial, religion can be a powerful force for good, but religious institutions can also be short-sighted, conservative, willing to throw themselves across the path of progress.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Nikolaj Kopernik was born on February 19, 1473 in Thorn, Poland. He was raised by his maternal uncle following the death of Nicolaj’s wealthy father. His uncle convinced the young student to attend the University of Krakow. Caught by the spirit of the Italian Renaissance, with a name now latinized to Nicolas Copernicus, he continued a continental education, excelling in medicine, law and the liberal arts. While not abandoning his church calling, he actively practiced medicine, studied economics, and surrendered to a life-long fascination with astronomy.

 

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Lost H-Bomb

Lead: In January 1966, at the height of the Cold War, an armed U.S. Air Force B-52 crashed during a routine refueling over the Mediterranean coast of Spain. In the process, it lost a hydrogen bomb.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The giant B-52 was part of the Strategic Air Command’s regular flights to the edge of Soviet air space. Fully loaded, it held four H-bombs, each 100 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. To make such a long trip from the continental United States required refueling, and as it approached the KC-135 jet tanker on January 17, 1966, the bomber accidentally rammed the refueling boom, destroying both planes. Aircraft parts and radioactive debris rained down on the Spanish countryside. Three bombs were recovered, but the United States had to endure the embarrassment that a fourth went missing. It had lost a nuclear bomb somewhere over Spain.