Booth’s Preview

Lead: Six weeks before he killed President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth had a perfect opportunity to strike.

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

Content: It is indeed a remarkable photograph. The scene: the United States Capital on March 4, 1865. Photographer Alexander Gardner made several exposures of Abraham Lincoln taking the oath in his second Inauguration. One of the plates was damaged, a smudge appeared right over Lincoln, and the tall, gaunt figure of the President is obscured. The crowd is gathered closely around, filling every available space in front of the incomplete Capital Building.

 

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The First TV Debate

Lead: Neck and neck in the polls, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon arrived in Chicago for their first televised debate.

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

Content: Television had been a part of presidential elections for a decade but lacked the powerful influence that later years would give. When the two candidates began this series of four debates they hoped to sharpen the issues they considered vital but each candidate also hoped to gain a favorable advantage before a large national audience.

First Ladies: Lady Bird Johnson

Lead: Her time in the White House began with the tragic assassination of President Kennedy, but Lady Bird Johnson’s service as First Lady was many decades in the making.

 

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

Content: Few politicians of his generation could match the white, hot ambition of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He pursued power with a steady and furious determination and at times evidenced a stormy and occasionally abusive personality when dealing with enemies but also colleagues, subordinates, friends and even his family. In the middle of all that sound and fury resided his wife from 1934, Claudia Alta Taylor, whom he always called by her nickname from birth, Lady Bird.

 

The U-2 Incident II

Lead: On the morning of May 1, 1959, Francis Gary Powers piloting a U-2 spy plane was shot down by elements of the Soviet Union's Air Defense Force.

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

Content: The fallout from the incident went far beyond the fate of Francis Gary Powers. He was tried, convicted and then exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Able in 1962. Khrushchev went to the Paris summit conference on the 15th of May and disrupted it completely, using the U-2 incident as an excuse.

In fact from the very beginning, the Administration had known about the flights and the President had authorized them. The CIA had assured the Administration that no one could survive an attack by a surface to air missile, but had then provided a parachute for the pilot. 

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The U-2 Incident I

Lead: The capture of Francis Gary Powers set back U.S.-Soviet Relations for a dozen years.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: On the morning of May 1, 1959, Francis Gary Powers, an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency climbed into his reconnaissance aircraft and prepared to take off. His aircraft was the U-2, was black and cigar-shaped. Its wings were very long and designed to enable the plane to fly high in rarified atmosphere above 50,000 feet. On the ground the wings had to be supported or the plane would tip over. As the ungainly but somehow elegant U-2 took off into the morning sky over Turkey, neither Powers or his handlers would know that this flight would result in a international incident that would begin the slide of a Russian leader from power, further the chance of change of American administrations and bring a dozen years of icy relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States.

 

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The Mayflower Compact III

Lead: In the movement toward representative government in the English and American experience there were bumps in the road. Despite their intentions as expressed in the Mayflower Compact the Pilgrims’ settlement in Massachusetts did not lead to greater democracy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The main problem for the Pilgrims, the first of the puritan sects to immigrate to Massachusetts Bay after 1620, was that they needed the talents and participation of all who settled there. Originally the voters in town meetings and eventually the General Court of the colony were called freeman, but being a freeman carried important obligations. You had to show up at the annual meeting of the Court to vote. To miss this resulted in a heavy fine. As the colony spread out and distance became an issue, it became clear that many settlers could not or would become freeman. Anxious to hold the loyalty of all colonists, in 1638 The General Court voted to allow communities to elect representatives or deputies to conduct the business of the colony. Though only freemen could serve as deputies or colonial officials, all male colonials who had taken a loyalty oath and were head of a family could vote.

The Mayflower Compact II

Lead: The Mayflower Compact of 1620 committed the Pilgrims to a just and equal government in their new colony on Massachusetts Bay. Its roots can be traced in surprising directions, but its legacy probably did not lead to increased democracy.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the fascinating characteristics of democracy as it developed in England and the United States is that democratic institutions resist ideology and tend to promote consensus. Among the early proponents of freer representative government were religious ideologues such as the Puritans. They championed the parliamentary cause in two civil wars against King Charles I in the 1640s and many fled to the colonies of Massachusetts Bay after 1620. Their purpose was to secure the right to worship as they chose and to create a godly commonwealth.

The Mayflower Compact I

Lead: One of the icons of American democracy is the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrim’s signed commitment in November 1620 to justice and equality in local government. The chance to govern themselves and pursue their religious impulses was a long time coming.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the tiny square-rigged Mayflower delivered its human cargo of 102 settlers out of their long, difficult Atlantic crossing into what would become the Cape Cod harbor of Provincetown in late 1620, the leaders of the expedition, later called Pilgrims, were nearing the end of a long sojourn. They were Separatists and represented a tiny radical outgrowth of the English puritan movement, an informal network mostly worshipping within the Church of England. Puritans were vigorous proponents of the doctrines articulated by John Calvin and wished to “purify” and remove all remaining vestiges of Roman Catholicism within the Anglican structure.