America’s Revolution: French and Indian War 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: It is remarkable but true. The vast majority of the millions of residents of the 13 North American colonies of Great Britain in 1770 considered themselves loyal subjects of King George III. Except for a few radicals, most Americans saw themselves as ordinary faithful Englishmen who just happened to live 3000 miles west of the Irish Sea. In just six years, a Congress of the Colonies had declared independence and had fielded an army to defend that declaration with the intent to banish the rule of King George forever. In that period a significant portion of that population was supporting an unprecedented violent revolution that crafted a successful grand strategy that would create the largest republic in human history to that point.

Flora McDonald

Lead: One of the heroines of the American Revolution was no patriot at all.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1745, the Highlands of Scotland rose against the English. The rebellion was called the Forty-five and, for a few months, the throne of King George II seemed threatened. Charles Edward Stuart, handsome, magnetic, and charming and rival heir to England’s crown, landed on the coast of Scotland. Charles Stuart marched south with a Highlander army, but his hesitation at the town of Derby, 100 miles from London, marked the high point of the rising. Stuart's retreat turned into a rout and in April 1746, the English destroyed the Highlander army at the Battle of Culloden. Its leader, with a bounty of £30,000 on his head, wandered around the Highlands of Scotland for months. He eventually got away, but only after receiving the aid of Flora McDonald. She disguised him as her maid and helped him escape to the Isle of Skye and from there to Europe.

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Sinking of the USS Thresher II

Lead: In April 1963, USS Thresher, a nuclear attack submarine engaged in trials after an extensive overhaul, sank in the Atlantic off Cape Cod with the loss of 129 lives.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Thresher was a new class of sub designed to hunt and destroy Soviet nuclear submarines. Therefore, it was able to go deeper and faster than any of its predecessors and carry 23 torpedoes at 28 knots per hour down to a test or maximum depth of 1300 feet below the surface. It was a deadly package but this vessel had catastrophic defects.

Sinking of the USS Thresher I

Lead: Just after 9:00 AM on the morning of April 10, 1963, a pipe burst in the engine room of the nuclear submarine USS Thresher floating 1000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic off Cape Cod. Within minutes the vessel had been transformed into a twisted metallic tomb for 129 men.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Thresher was a new type of submarine, one designed specifically to hunt, attack, and destroy Soviet atomic-powered submarines. The need for such a vessel was demonstrated by USS Nautilus, launched in 1954, it was the world’s first nuclear submarine. Nautilus was so quiet and powerful and so good at making kills and getting away without detection that the Navy was forced to change its strategy. Convinced that the Soviets would soon have the same deadly capability, designers came up with a killer submarine specifically to hunt other subs.

History’s Turning Points: Huckleberry Finn II

Historical study reveals twists in the human journey. Consider the continuing controversy over The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The publication of Huckleberry Finn was greeted with howls of derision by readers and institutions accustomed to the Romantic style of narrative. The author, Mark Twain, was a devotee of literary Realism, a movement within American and European literature that emerged after the Civil War and extended into the twentieth century. It may be defined as “the faithful representation of reality.” Authors such as William James, Rebecca Harding Davis, and Twain attempted in their writings to describe the lives and language of their characters as they really were. By the middle of the twentieth Huckleberry Finn was being hailed as a milestone in American literary progress.

History’s Turning Points: Huckleberry Finn I

Lead: Historical study often reveals twists in the human journey. Consider a literary turning point: Samuel Clemens’ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Mark Twain’s epic novel of journey and redemption started in dispute and has remained controversial into the 21st Century. The story of Huck Finn, the slave Jim, and the fascinating cast of characters they encountered along their way down the Mississippi was greeted with howls of priggish denunciation when it was first published. “Hackwork,” “rubbish,” “coarse” were just a few expletives directed toward the book. The Concord Massachusetts Public Library called it more suited to “slums than to…respectable people.”

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