Voltaire I

Lead: In 1791 the body of François Marie Arouet was interned in the former church of Saint-Geneviève in Paris. There at the newly designated Panthéon, vast crowds witnessed the homecoming of Voltaire.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Arouet originally intended to pursue a law career. Born of middle-class parents, he received a Jesuit education steeped in the classics. A clever and bright spirit with a powerful sense of humor and keen ability as a poet, despite his youth, he left school at the age of 16. Arouet was soon in great demand in sophisticated Parisian circles. Sometime in 1717 he tossed off a lyrical satire ridiculing the French government, was arrested and spent eleven months in the Bastille. There in prison he wrote his first tragic drama, Oedipe, and produced it the following year under the pseudonym Voltaire. A pronounced success, for its day, the play was a daring examination of unjust destiny with a artfully veiled thrust at organized religion, a subject to which Voltaire would return over and over for the rest of his life.

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Eugenics II

Lead: From its start as an optimistic approach to improving the human condition, eugenics degenerated into a racist tool in the hands of bigotry and ultimately led to the gas ovens of the Third Reich.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The fundamental problem with eugenics, even as Sir Francis Galton articulated it in the 19th century, was that it focused primarily on inborn characteristics and almost completely disregarded social, environmental, educational, and physical factors when examining the human race. Basically, eugenicists advocated a form of genetic determinism. A person is born with a genetic imprint that determines the course of their lives. Not surprisingly these theories became a powerful tool in the hands of racists. It all depends on who is setting the standard. If society is to improve itself, it is said, it must eliminate genetic threats to racial purity. In the sad history of eugenics, a wide variety of groups have been singled out for social restriction, sterilization, or elimination. Feeble-minded or mentally ill people, habitual criminals, sexual libertines, Negroes, Native Americans or any non-whites, Jews, gypsies, and evangelical Christians have all fallen under the wary and sometimes fatal scrutiny of the eugenic mandate. They bore undesirable human traits.

Eugenics I

Lead: In the 19th and 20th centuries, theories about the way to improve the human condition spawned the pseudo-science of eugenics. Unfortunately, optimism about making mankind better degenerated into the darkness of racism.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sir Francis Galton confessed to having had a happy childhood. His upper-class parents gave him a Cambridge education though he never took his degree, and left him sufficient inherited funds so that he could avoid work and indulge his great love of travel. From 1845 to 1853 Galton explored parts of the Middle East and Africa, including a very careful but ultimately fruitless expedition from West Africa in search of Lake Ngami, which is in Botswana, north of the Kalahari Desert. After his marriage he turned to more scholarly pursuits producing books on a wide variety of subjects including fingerprinting, calculus, genetics and weather prediction. Galton is best known, however, for his advocacy of improving the human species through selective parenting, a process he called eugenics.

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Medical Miracle in Panama III

Lead: Sanitation made possible the construction of the Panama Canal.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the years following the Spanish American War, Army Surgeon Dr. Walter Reed had transformed the city of Havana, Cuba, virtually eliminating the tropical diseases of malaria and yellow fever. He did so by rejecting the common medical wisdom of the time that such illnesses were caused by bad air or swamp gas. Reed went after the mosquito which, some scientists at the time believed, transmitted the diseases when it fed upon a victim. Reed cleaned up the city. Malaria and yellow fever were almost completely eradicated.

Medical Miracle in Panama II

Lead: Before they could build the Panama Canal, American engineers had to eradicate malaria and yellow fever.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Attempting to duplicate their triumph in the construction of the Suez Canal, French engineers were defeated in great measure by two deadly diseases. Malaria and yellow fever had for time immemorial been the curse of the tropics. Thousands died before the French gave up the quest in the 1880s.

Medical Miracle in Panama I

Lead: Before breaching the Panamanian land bridge, the builders of the Isthmus Canal knew they first had to deal with disease.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After his brilliant construction of the Suez Canal, Ferdinand de Lesseps set out in the 1870s to duplicate his achievement by crafting a shipping canal across the Isthmus of Panama. He failed. De Lesseps underestimated the enormity of the task, his technology was much too primitive, and the French design for a sea-level canal was fatally flawed, but much of the failure can be attributed to a deadly pair of diseases. Malaria and yellow fever took thousands of lives and put many more in bed for weeks of convalescence and depression. Engineers freshly graduated from the École Polytechnique in Paris would arrive in Colon filled with enthusiastic anticipation and die within a week. Thousands of manual laborers recruited from Caribbean islands fell victim in this grim harvest of death.

The Last Full Measure – Captain John Smith

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 devotion gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Content: Perhaps no early leader was as instrumental in saving and prospering the Jamestown colony than mercenary soldier, adventurer, explorer and mapmaker Captain John Smith.

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The Last Full Measure: Leathernecks

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 devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose devotion gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: From dimmest memory US Marines have been called "leathernecks." Members of the Corps bear that designation with pride but the term actually began as one of derision. The history of the term goes back to the 1700s. In the Prussian military, officers wore a neck cloth made of silk, velvet or black ribbed leather.

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