House Divided: Collapse of the Confederacy I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As the terrible, cold, wet winter of 1865 slowly blended into spring, the dreams of Southern independence flickered and then died. What began with such great hopes just four years before, sustained by enormous white sacrifice, enduring in the face of almost irresistible opposition and odds, teetered on the precipice of historical reality. The South had sought to arrest or at least block the revolutionary changes, in population, industrialization, urban life and in shifting attitudes toward a more powerful Federal engagement in the lives of citizens that, in Southerners’ views, had infected other regions. The southland’s preference for aristocratic social structure, family, religion, rural life and, most of all, the institution of slavery, were under assault. To save its society and particularly its peculiar tradition of human bondage, the South would break the sacred bonds of Union and strike out on its own.

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Sunni and Shi’a Muslims: Differences in Degree II

Lead: After the death of the Prophet Muhammad disputes within and with members of his family created a severe and long lasting division among Muslims. The Sunni and Shi’a split continues to divide that faith into the modern era.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Shi’a revere the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law Ali who claimed the mantle of his kinsman, but who was assassinated in disputes that firmly established the split between his followers and the vast majority of adherents to Islam known as the Sunni.


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Sunni and Shi’a Muslims: Differences in Degree I

Lead: One of the great religious divisions in world history has sundered Islam. Originating almost at the beginning, the divide between Sunni and Shi’a encompasses gaps that are ethnic, political and religious.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In day to day religious practice the differences between the two great Muslim sects, Sunni and Shi’a, are negligible. Yet, in reality, this unity of devotion to Allah masks powerful religious and political variance within Islam and even within two great traditions themselves.



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Jan Comenius, Pastor and Educator

During the European religious wars of the early 1600s, Jan Amos Comenius, a Czech Protestant pastor, forced to flee his homeland, gained international reknown as one of the founders of modern education.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Unity of the Brethren was one of the communities that grew from the teachings of early Czech reformer Jan Hus. After Hus’ execution for heresy by the Roman Catholic Church in 1415 at the Council of Constance, small groups of the faithful, such as the Brethren, kept alive Hus’ teachings until they found wider acceptance in the Lutheran reformation a century later. After initial gains by Protestants in northern Germany, by the 1570s a re-invigorated Roman Church was determined to reverse the course of reform by any means, spiritual or violent. The conflict between Protestants and Catholics came to climax in the horrendous violence of the Thirty Years War that consumed central Europe from 1618-1648. One of the hot spots of fighting was the Bohemian province of Moravia and it was from that sad, beset land, that Bishop Jan Amos Comenius led a small band of Brethren into Poland and what would be for him a life of exile.

Democrats & 1964 Convention IV

Lead: The decline of the Democratic Party in the late 20th century can be attributed in part to its decision to champion black civil rights. This offended many racist Southern whites who migrated into the Republican Party.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party emerged from voter registration efforts in the summer of 1964. One of its goals was to present a competing delegation to the Convention in Atlantic City in August. When the two groups arrived, the Party was in a quandary. Here was one group claiming the moral the high ground; some of its members, directly touched by the bloody Mississippi violence of that summer. The other group represented the vast majority of white Mississippians most of whom were opposed to black progress. Even party liberals, such as Senator Hubert Humphrey were conflicted.

Democrats & 1964 Convention III

Lead: The slipping fortunes of the Democratic Party in 1990s can be seen in part to result from its decision to champion black civil rights. This trend was confirmed at Atlantic City in August 1964.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Lyndon Johnson, told one of his aides, Joseph Califano, “I think we’ve delivered the South to the Republican Party for your lifetime and mine.” While his accurate prediction was decades off the mark, the process that led to that Democratic Party implosion was confirmed at the quadrennial party gathering in Atlantic City that summer. One of the persons responsible for the party’s moral triumph, but steady political decline, was a soft-spoken, intellectual schoolteacher from New York named Bob Moses.

Democrats & 1964 Convention II

Lead: At the Democratic Convention of 1964, competing visions over how to eliminate overt racism in America, secured an electoral triumph but laid the foundation for the precipitous decline of the Party over the next three decades.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: Hubert Horatio Humphrey was a classic liberal, economically and socially. He led the charge to firmly establish the national Democratic Party on the side of African Americans in their quest for freedom. At the Convention in 1948 Humphrey argued for a much stronger Civil Rights plank in the platform and prevailed. This angered many southerners who felt that any progress by blacks was a threat to white supremacy. Led by then Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, many southerners bolted the convention. Thurmond ran for President, but the election was Harry Truman’s in 1948. The southerner, however, would have his revenge

Democrats & 1964 Convention I

Lead: At the Democratic Convention of 1964, Lyndon Johnson was overwhelmingly nominated for President, but those brief days in August confirmed a tectonic shift taking place in American politics.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.Content: When the Democrats assembled in the decaying resort of Atlantic City in the late summer, the outcome was never in doubt. President Johnson would be the nominee. The party was still reeling from the assassination shock of the previous year and would go on to crush the Republicans in an electoral tsunami that would sweep away the conservative challenger Barry Goldwater and dozens of GOP congressmen and Senators. Yet, the events of that August week would seal the fate of the Democrats and make possible the Republican revolution that transformed national politics three decades later.

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