Charles Franklin Kettering and the Auto-Starter II

Lead: In 1911 Charles Franklin Kettering put the final touches on his DELCO starter, the first automotive self-starter. Later he would call his motivation in problem solving, “intelligent ignorance.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the advent of the self-starter, the hand-crank became instantly obsolete. Even Henry Ford, whose Model-T was a symbol of stolid similarity, could not resist the constant demands of the public for innovation. For three decades he represented the spirit of invention that transformed the automobile from rich man’s toy to a part of the everyday life in the United States. Aside from Thomas Edison, he was America’s most prolific inventor being largely responsible for an easily applied and fast drying automobile paint, for tetraethyl lead which ended engine knock and made possible high-compression engines, and the first commercially viable diesel locomotive. He believe that the solution to a problem was in the problem itself and that it cried out to be discovered. Beginning with what he called “intelligent ignorance,” a refined form of intellectual curiosity, he would task his team with a problem and they would explore for the solution.

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The Brookes of Brunei

Lead: By a combination of daring and benevolent despotism, the Brooke family helped bring the Sultanate of Brunei into the modern era.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The tiny but independent state of Brunei lies surrounded by Malaysia on the northern coast of the ancient island of Borneo in the southwest Pacific. As early as the sixth century the area traded with and paid tribute to China. Until the influx of evangelical Islam in the 1400s, the majority of people were Hindu worshippers. European contact with the region began with arrival of the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan but intensified with the coming of Portuguese and Dutch traders. The presence of Western traders tended to reduce the influence of the local government dominated by the native Sultanate and by 1800 Brunei, which had been much larger, had shrunk to only a small section of northern Borneo.

Nebraska and the Homestead Act

Lead: Born of the slavery controversy, the State of Nebraska enjoyed explosive growth after the Civil War in large part due to a policy made in Washington.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1854 the Congress of the United States, in response to those desiring a railroad to the Pacific Coast, an expansion in the number of states, both slave and free, and a solution to the growing number of emigrants wishing to settle in lands west of the Mississippi, passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The legislation enshrined the concept of "squatter sovereignty," and created two new territories which could choose whether they would be slave or free states. Nebraska would enter the Union in 1867 but first it had to grow a bit. The two factors that contributed to its expansion were the construction of the railroads and an Act passed by Congress during the Civil War.

Australia’s Gold Rush

Lead: On January 20, 1788, six transports delivered 750 convicts to Botany Bay. Sixty-five years and 168,000 prisoners later, the practice of deportation to New South Wales was abruptly terminated.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In January, 1851 Edward Hargraves returned to Sydney, Australia. He had spent some time in the Gold Fields during the first years after its discovery in California. This reminded him of similar geological formations he had noted in territory along the Macquarie River northwest of Sydney two decades before.

American Revolution: Roots of American Exceptionalism II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The phenomenon of American exceptionalism, the idea that the British Colonies of North America and the United States that emerged from the Revolution, was a special place, derived from Americans' sense that despite the obvious cruelty of Native American near genocide and chattel slavery, they had carved a kingdom of liberty out of a wilderness. Yet, perhaps more important in the idea of exceptionalism was the conviction that Americans were on a divine mission, that they had been placed on the continent by the hand of Providence.

American Revolution: Roots of American Exceptionalism I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Since the 1700s, particularly during the revolutionary era, visitors to the British colonies of North America and later to the United States have remarked upon the high level of confidence expressed by the inhabitants in their unique accomplishments and their anticipated rich and prosperous future. Over the decades this has been often been described as a sense of American exceptionalism, the idea that America was a special place with an exceptional destiny. Some observers admire this quality. Others are offended by its seemingly arrogance. Yet, those who notice this phenomenon often express curiosity about the roots of such distinctive audacity.