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.

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.



The Blue Riband III

Lead: Having lost the competition to build the fastest ships on the transatlantic route, the United States regained the lead only to witness the end of the regular ocean passenger service.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the mid-1800s the major maritime powers, Britain and the United States, were locked in a fierce competition to provide regular and fast shipping service on the Atlantic routes for passengers, mail, and cargo. As the contest intensified the swiftest ship could claim the Blue Riband, the mythic reward for the fast Atlantic crossing. British shippers led by Samuel Cunard's sail and steam side-wheelers took the lead from the Americans because of generous subsidies from Parliament and because they were quicker to take advantage of innovations in ocean transport. Soon the Brits were launching all steam ships with iron hulls, swamping their American rivals. By the 1860s, distracted by a decade of Civil War and recovery and reluctant to spend tax-payers money subsidizing the Atlantic Ferry, the United States largely dropped out of the transatlantic routes and the race for the Blue Riband. The prize was mostly traded back and forth by several British lines.

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The Blue Riband II

Lead: One of the most interesting developments in the history of transport was the role of government in subsidizing the pursuit of the Blue Riband.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the coming of the global economy in the 1900s speed in ocean transport became one of the vital goals of shippers. No prize was more valued than the Blue Riband, the mythic reward for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic. At first American ships dominated the route between New York and Liverpool, England, but in the 1840s British ships, especially the Cunard steam and sail side-wheelers began to take the lead from the all-sail American packets. The foundation of Cunard's initial success was the mail subsidy. Parliament voted a large cash payment for regular transatlantic service to carry the mail. Ships could then carry cargo and passengers for a lesser fee than if they had to charge actual cost of transport. Speed and regular service were the key to obtaining the government subsidy. The faster the better.

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The Blue Riband I

Lead: The dream of transatlantic shipping companies was to build a ship able to capture the Blue Riband.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the coming of the global economy in the nineteenth century, the element of speed of transport began to acquire more and more importance. The success of a manufacturing plant in Manchester, England depended on how quickly it could get its products to customers in Sacramento, California or Buenos Aires. Because it had no fighting navy to protect its worldwide shipping, and because it was nearly always being caught between one or another of the warring nations of Europe, the United States soon after independence began to take the lead in building very fast light ships that could run blockades and elude captors.

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Peter Paul Rubens

Lead: The 16th-century Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens is best known for his vivid joyous murals filled with voluptuous women and fleshy cupids. He was also a hard-nosed businessman and successful diplomat.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Son of an Antwerp lawyer, in 1600 at the age of 22 Rubens went to Italy to complete his training as an artist. A chance meeting brought him into the service of the Duke of Mantua who used him not only as a painter but also as an advisor and informal representative. Rubens used his time in Italy well, studying the work of Italian painters and absorbing the decayed culture of Italy's classical past. He returned to Antwerp in 1608 and was hired as court painter to the Hapsburg Archduke Albert of the Spanish Netherlands.

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