Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay I

Lead: The prisons of England were just too crowded: something had to be done.

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

Content: To solve the problem of a growing prison population in England, the government began in 1718 to deport or transport prisoners to the colonies in the American South. They were sold to shipping contractors who would sell them to plantation owners as workers on the coastal estates. This method of transportation ended with the coming of the American Revolution and the population of the prisons began to creep back up.

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Alaska’s Great Shock

Lead: Five years after it became the 49th state, Alaska experienced the shock of a lifetime.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: On March 27, 1964 at 5:36 in the afternoon, North America's greatest recorded earthquake shattered the towns of Anchorage, Valdez, and Kodiak, Alaska. Measuring between 8.3 and 8.6 on the Richter scale and lasting for three remarkable minutes, the Great Alaska Earthquake released twice as much energy as the earthquake that destroyed San Francisco in 1906. Hundreds of homes and structures were blown apart, and the town of Valdez was inundated by a huge tidal wave.

American Revolution: Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer 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: In 1767 Philadelphia lawyer John Dickinson began a series of essays decrying the Townshend taxes on lead, glass, paper, and tea passed by Parliament not long after it repealed the Stamp Tax. The essays were published in serial form in newspapers all across America and were called Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania (1767-1768). He was clear that he opposed the tax scheme because of its violation of the British Constitution’s prohibition of taxing people not represented in Parliament, but he did it such a mild, gentle, submissive fashion that it failed to spark a plan of action though it did probably provide some level of satisfaction to Americans already weary of the continuing conflict between Britain and its North American colonies.

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American Revolution: Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer 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 his long political career, Philadelphia lawyer and Delaware planter John Dickinson demonstrated a consistent moderation that often spoke to the heart of American popular sentiment which often reflected fatigue in the long decades of revolutionary upheaval, dispute and war. He drafted the ultimately ineffective Articles of Confederation (1776) and then joined in calls for a stronger central government, represented Delaware at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and then worked for the passage of the Constitution. In the debates on independence he held out the hope for reconciliation with Great Britain and refused to sign the Declaration, but he was not a coward. He became the only founding father to manumit or free his slaves in the years between 1776 and 1787, a dangerous and potentially destructive act of moral and political courage.

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American Revolution: Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer 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: In many ways the Stamp Act crisis of 1765-1766 was exhausting for Americans. The riots, petitions, newspaper arguments, endless debate, and economic dislocation caused by the drop-off in trade was bad enough. Even worse were the peculiar and uncomfortable emotions generated by this new and disquieting estrangement from Britain. This negative political energy produced a sense of confusion and weariness. And when Parliament proved its determination to force its will on the issue of taxation by passing a new round of import duties, the Townshend Acts, Americans were slow in reacting. There seemed to be a genuine doubt in some circles as to whether these taxes were in technical violation of the principle that had aroused such resentment and opposition during the previous year. Clearly many Americans were tired of the conflict and wished it to go away. Into this uncertainty stepped a heretofore unknown voice, Philadelphia lawyer, John Dickinson.

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John Paul Jones in Russia

Lead: After the Revolution the United States greatest war hero, John Paul Jones was out of a job.

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

Content: In the euphoria following the defeat of British forces in the Revolution, Congress declined to maintain a navy and the officers who served in the wartime navy were out of work. Among them was John Paul Jones the most prominent naval commander in the War for Independence, who distinquished himself even as he lost his ship, the "Bonhomme Richard" in the fight with the British cruiser, "Serapis" in September, 1779. Jones carried the fight and captured the enemy vessel off the coast of northeast England.

 

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Mary Walker

Lead: Brilliant, stubborn, and independent, Mary Walker led the way in more ways than simple fashion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: “Why don’t you wear proper clothing? That toggery is neither one thing nor the other!” General William Tecumseh Sherman to Mary Walker, who was the first woman to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. In her long life Mary Charles Walker rarely bent to society’s demands. She became one of the first women physicians in the U.S., served as an army combat surgeon, and was a life-long participant in the fight for women’s rights. Women need two things, she thought, the right to vote and the right to wear any clothes they desire. She was almost always wore trousers.

Ed Sullivan

Lead: For twenty years from 1948 to 1971 one man helped define American popular culture. Millions tuned in at 8:00 on Sunday night to consume the fare served up by Ed Sullivan.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Ed Sullivan was born in the age of Rag, came to maturity in the frenetic jazzy 1920s, and helped establish Rock and Roll as the medium of expression for a generation of restless baby boomers. He got his start in the newspaper business, writing first sports and then gossip columns for a variety of sheets. In the depth of the Great Depression he was hired by the New York Daily News to write his "Little Old New York" strip. These notes on New York society life would continue for the rest of his life.