The Saga of Leo Frank III

Lead: In 1915, Georgia Governor John M. Slaton commuted the sentence of Leo Frank, a man wrongfully convicted in the brutal murder of one of his employees, young Mary Phagan. That summer a mob broke into the prison farm where Frank was being held, took him out and lynched him.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Slaton said later he would have pardoned Frank had he been asked to, but the failure to request complete exoneration was the latest in a long series of blunders by Frank's defense teams and the ultimate triumph of a prosecution which conspired in what was little more than an official frame-up. Frank was convicted by the testimony of a black janitor who was almost certainly guilty of the murder himself. An ironic twist of American justice: anti-Semitic prejudice prevailed over anti-black bias. In 1942 Rev. L.O. Bricker, the Baptist pastor of Mary Phagan's parents, revealed the popular sentiment at the time, "My own feelings, upon the arrest of the old Negro night-watchman, were .... [that he] would be poor atonement for the life of this little girl. But, when .... the police arrested a Jew, and a Yankee Jew at that, all of the inborn prejudice against Jews rose up in a feeling of satisfaction, that here would be a victim worthy to pay for the crime."

The Saga of Leo Frank II

Lead: In 1913 Leo Frank, a leader in Atlanta's Jewish business community, was accused of brutally murdering one of his female employees, Mary Phagan. It has been called "one of the most shocking frame-ups ever perpetrated by American law and order officials."

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In order to obtain an indictment against Frank, Solicitor Hugh Dorsey withheld from the grand jury the key fact that he had another suspect, Jim Conley, a janitor from the factory. Conley had been seen washing blood from a shirt after the murder, he admitted writing two notes found near the body which, in nearly unintelligible language, attempted to shift the blame away from himself, and under strong pressure from police investigators, changed his story over and over. In retrospect, it is clear that the police were determined to get Frank's conviction and used Conley to do it.

The Saga of Leo Frank I

Lead: On August 17, 1915 in the small Georgia town of Marietta, a mob lynched Leo Frank. The story behind the murder of this clearly innocent young man may serve as a snapshot of social tensions in early 20th century America.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Leo Frank represented much that irritated Southerners or for that matter, most rural Americans. He was an outsider, a Yankee transplanted to a South still struggling to rise above the destruction and humiliation of the Civil War. Raised in Brooklyn, he came to Atlanta at the turn of the century to help establish a family business, the National Pencil Company. He was an urban industrialist come to bring change to the agricultural South, but most of all he was a Jew. For many white Christian Southerners, he represented a race that had rejected the True faith and killed the Savior. Jews were considered too bright, too aggressive, and much too rich. The life of Cornell graduate Leo Frank lay in the path of such envy and prejudice and for that he suffered and died.

The Haymarket Incident II

Lead: In early May 1886 in the Haymarket area of Chicago a bloody confrontation occurred between police and workers. There followed the first "Red Scare" in American social history.

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

Content: The violence occurred at the end of a theretofore peaceful rally called by the anarchist movement to protest the attack by police on strikers at the McCormick Reaper factory the previous day. Several of their number had been killed or wounded and union members were quite angry. As the meeting was breaking up the police arrived in strength. Someone tossed a bomb into the police ranks and they started firing, killing civilians and their own men as well.

 

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The Haymarket Incident I

Lead: In early May 1886 in the Haymarket area of Chicago a bloody confrontation occurred between police and workers. There followed the first "Red Scare" in American social history.

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

Content: The so-called Haymarket Affair began on May 3 when Chicago police attacked a crowd of strikers at the McCormick Reaper Works, killing and wounding several men. The next night anarchists held a protest rally near Haymarket Square in the commercial area of the City. Just as the meeting was breaking up because of the approach of a storm a squad of police arrived and ordered the crowd to disperse. The speaker Samuel Fielden protested but was getting down from the wagon to comply when someone threw a bomb into the police ranks. The officers lost control of themselves and started firing in all directions killing, and wounding civilians and policemen as well.  

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Sam Houston III

Lead: After leading Texas to its independence from Mexico, Sam Houston spent the rest of his life deeply engaged in the state’s affairs and finally achieved a measure of a happiness in his personal life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Houston was the overwhelming choice to be President of the new Republic when Texas achieved its independence from Mexico in 1836. Through two terms Houston conspired to have the United States annex Texas. It did not happen on his watch, but from the time it did transpire in 1845, Houston served Texas as one of its US senators. He was one of the few senators who consistently argued against Secession. Though elected once more as Governor in 1859, he was largely marginalized, and when, in March 1861, he refused a loyalty oath to the Confederacy, the Secession convention summarily deposed him.

Sam Houston II

Lead: His marriage to Eliza Allen in tatters for mysterious reasons and hounded by malicious gossip, Governor Sam Houston of Tennessee resigned in disgrace and headed west to pick up the pieces of his life.
Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan RobertsContent: As a youth, Sam Houston had spent three years with the Cherokees and grown to love their life and culture. With his 1829 marriage over and his political career imploding, Houston headed crossed the Mississippi into Arkansas, found healing in the company of many of his old Indian companions, particularly that of the stunning and lovely Tiana Rogers, ancestor of Will Rogers, but he also medicated himself against depression with lots of liquor. For a time the Indians took to calling him The Drunk.

Sam Houston I

Lead: In the course of a remarkable career, Sam Houston was a war hero, a Governor, President of a sovereign nation, and member of the U.S. House and Senate. He was hated and loved – a true American original.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Born of prosperous planters in Rockbridge County, Virginia in 1793, at the death of his father, Houston migrated with his mother and siblings to Tennessee. He was ill-suited for farm life and after a brief turn at business, escaped into the woods where he began a life-long fascination with Native Americans and their culture. He spent three years with the Cherokee, was adopted by a highly respected clan chief and received the Indian name, The Raven. This sojourn with the Indians affected Houston profoundly in that for the rest of his life, despite his service in the Creek Campaigns of Andrew Jackson, his sympathies and concern would lie with the Indians in their losing battle against the onslaught of white civilization.