America’s Revolution: George Washington Strikes the Spark II

 

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

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Sent by the Governor of Virginia to build and defend a fort on the Ohio River at present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in spring 1754, young militia Lt. Colonel George Washington helped kick off the first true world war. As he approached the site of what he would name Fort Necessity, he discovered the presence of a French scouting party. Fearing treachery, on May 28th Washington and his Indian allies ambushed and captured the French led by Ensign Joseph Coulon de Jumonville. Washington, who spoke no French, was struggling to interrogate Jumonville who spoke no English. While they thrashed about the interview, in one of history’s murkiest events, apparently Washington’s Indian confederate Tanaghrisson murdered Jumonville.

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America’s Revolution: George Washington Strikes the Spark I

 

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

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: When King George III of Britain and his advisors heard the news that George Washington had been appointed commander of what would become the victorious Continental Army in 1775, they were quite familiar with the name and reputation of the Virginian. Washington had been a major international player for over two decades since a little known event on the frontier of Pennsylvania in May 1754 gave the 22-year old Lieutenant Colonel of the Virginia Militia the beginning of an outsized status. His exploits that spring became the catalyst of the first real world war, known in Europe as the Seven Years’ War and in America as the French and Indian War.

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The Haunted Major (Rathbone) II

Lead: Caught by history when invited to join President and Mrs. Lincoln in their theater box on the night of Lincoln's assassination, Major Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris begin a journey of great tragedy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Harris sprang to the President's aid and attempted to grab the assassin John Wilkes Booth but was stabbed and shoved aside as Booth made his escape. The blood from Rathbone's wound covered the dress of his escort, Clara Harris, the daughter of New York Senator Ira Harris and Mrs. Lincoln mistook Rathbone's blood for her husband's. It is said that the sight of that bloody dress caused great emotional anguish in the President's widow contributing to advancing mental unbalance later in life.

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The Haunted Major (Rathbone) I

Lead: On a spring evening in 1865, Major Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris received an invitation for the theater.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Henry Rathbone was an U.S. Army officer with a promising career. On the evening of April 14, 1865 he and his friend Clara Harris, daughter of United States Senator Ira Harris were invited to join President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln for the performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater in Washington. Several couples had been invited including House Speaker Schyler Colfax, but had declined and the two young people were visibly excited and honored to spend this time with the Lincoln's. As this was a social event Major Rathbone was not in uniform, neither was he armed. The euphoria surrounding the South's defeat had apparently muted concern for the President's safety and that night in the president's box were only the Lincoln's, Clara Harris and Henry Rathbone.

 

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