Transatlantic Cable

Lead: The first transatlantic telegraph linked Europe with North America in 1858. It quickly failed, but the prospect of near instant intercontinental communication was an idea that would not be allowed to die.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: The problem was primitive technology: cable construction, transmission equipment and laying apparatus. After the brief exchange between Queen Victoria and U.S. President James Buchanan in 1858, massive celebrations on both sides of the Atlantic heralded a new day in communications. The new day lasted 271 messages before the 1858 submarine cable sputtered out. Suddenly the temporarily cowed skeptics were in full cry and potential investment began to dry up. This did not discourage cable advocates, Charles Bright, William Thompson Fleeming Jenkins and New York businessman Cyrus Field. For them the expeditions of the 1850s served as laboratories from which they learned things about the infant science of electricity, submarine cable design and cable laying. They went back to work and by 1861, the Atlantic Telegraph Company and the British Board of Trade had produced an analysis of previous failures and a plan that led to success. More importantly, experience had convinced the government in London that submarine telegraphy would smooth governance of a vast Empire.

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Sun Yat Sen in London

Lead: A failure at revolution, Sun Yat-sen, was given the exposure he desperately required by a Chinese government who ordered him kidnapped in London, a half a world away.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the wake of the crushing defeat Japan handed China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1895. A young revolutionary, born in south eastern China made his first attempt at bring revolution to China.

Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Chinese Revolution, was actually educated in Hawaii. His brother, a prosperous rancher and planter was an ex-patriot. He sent for Sun and paid for his education at missionary schools in Hawaii. It was there he began to be attracted to Christianity and after further schooling in Hong Kong, he was baptized in 1884. Though he studied medicine his real attraction was to politics and in January 1895, when the Japanese were making short thrift of the Chinese government forces, Sun saw his chance for a coup. It was a miserable failure and Sun found himself on the run (good pun). Pursued by Chinese agents across the Pacific and through the United States, the aspiring revolutionary leader was coming to know the deep frustration that failure provides for those who taste its bitterness.

 

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British General Strike I

Lead: British Labor could not make up its mind. As during most of the modern era, conservative and radical impulses struggled in the General Strike of 1926.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The industrial revolution first began in Britain of the 1700s. Driven by the marvelous power of steam, textile and iron production, mining, and transportation were transformed and then helped drag a sometimes reluctant society into the modern age. The growing wealth of the lower and middle classes fueled the first mass economy. Well-made and inexpensive consumer goods were available for the first time in history to wide segments of society and to a world hungry for all sorts of high-quality manufactured items. By 1825, the phrase "Britain supplies the world" was no exaggeration.

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The Last Days of Citizen Romanov II

Lead: In just minutes it was over, the Romanovs were dead.

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

Content: On July 16, 1918, Nicholas Romanov the last of the Russian Emperors and his family were murdered by members of the Bolshevik secret police. Here's what happened. At four in the afternoon, the family went for their usual stroll in the garden. At 10:30 they went to bed. About midnight Yurovsky, the chief of the secret police detail awakened them and told them to dress quickly and come downstairs. He explained that an army opposed to the Bolsheviks was getting close to their prison in Ekaterinburg and the local Soviet had decided that they should be moved. The former tsar came down the steps carrying his son, the boy’s arms tightly wrapped around his father's neck. The rest followed. Young Anastasia held Jimmy, their small spaniel. Down they went to a small basement room, 16 x 18 feet. They were asked to wait, chairs were brought in and the tsar and his wife sat down.  

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Emery “Mule Shoe” Upton

Lead: Infantry tactics in the American Civil War were very slow to change in the face of improved killing technology. At Spotsylvania in May, 1864, Colonel Emory Upton tried something new.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Despite the advent of rifled muskets which could accurately kill at 900 yards, artillery that was devastating to mass assaults and the liberal use of pic, spade and ax to quickly create breastworks to repel attacks, infantry tactics in the American Civil War still mostly emulated those used by Napoleon Bonaparte earlier in the century. Both sides still used the tried and true horrific mass attack despite the enormous causalities and the effusion of blood that resulted from such tactics.

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American Revolution: Organizing the Continental Army III

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: As he attempted to shape the Continental Army into a fighting force capable of engaging the British Army that was locked up in Boston during summer 1775, George Washington faced a series of vexing problems. His men were ill-equipped and poorly trained, but as citizen soldiers on temporary duty in this the first great crisis of the Revolution, they were resistant to the order which characterized a regular army. Troops and their officers talked to British soldiers they faced across lines separating the two armies, many slept away from their units, often they abandoned their duty before being relieved, latrines were allowed to overflow, the camps were messy, food served the men was often rancid and noxious, and soldiers were given furlough freely which meant that units were almost always undermanned.

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American Revolution: Organizing the Continental Army 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: In July, 1775 George Washington arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts to take over command of the Continental Army. He was concerned that the fighting ability and physical condition of his troops would prove inadequate against the British Army, representing arguably the world’s most powerful military force. He revered the way in which this enemy, indeed all European armies were organized and employed, but his experience with the Virginia militia had convinced him that he would never have such an army and his pragmatism led him to conclude that he would have to fight with the army bequeathed him. He could improve their discipline and supply, but could not turn them into the ranks of human machines British officers had at their disposal.

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American Revolution: Organizing the Continental Army 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: George Washington arrived in Massachusetts in early July 1775 ready to take charge of the Continental Army. He found a militia-based army that was poorly led, poorly trained, and poorly disciplined. While he was generally pleased with the American performance at Breed’s Hill, he and his troops faced a British Army numbering 5000 that was fully equipped, well-fed and competently led. It may have been surrounded and confined in Boston but it was still a large, threatening force.

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