Stephen Ramseur Witnesses the Death of the Wooden Navy

Lead: On two days in 1862, Steven Ramseur witnessed the death of the wooden Navy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Ramseur was a 24-year-old major of artillery who in his service with the Confederacy rose to the rank of major general, the youngest West Pointer to receive that rank in Confederate service. He happened to be in Norfolk on court-martial duty in March 1862 on the day the CSS Virginia went out to attack the northern blockade fleet. Three days later he sat down to write his brother-in-law and describe the exciting battle. What he witnessed was no less than the transformation of naval warfare.

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U.S. Supreme Court Deals with School Prayer

Lead: In 1962, the Supreme Court of the United States ignited a firestorm of controversy when it abolished officially endorsed prayer in the public schools.

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

Content: The prayer in question was that sponsored by the New York Board of Regents. It was not mandated but made available to local school boards. Some required their teachers to use it, others did not. It read, "Almighty God, We acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg thy blessing upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country." The prayer itself was rather innocuous; little more than tipping one's hat in God's direction. Any religious sentiment expressed was only of the palest variety. It was a pretty artless attempt at compromise between those who would not imagine something as important as the public schools without a reference to the Deity on one hand and those who would insisted that the presence of such a prayer was an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

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Edgar Allan Poe

Lead: After a life of brilliant dissipation Edgar Allan Poe, whose lyrical musings delved deep into the dark precincts of the soul, died on October 7, 1849.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After a classical education in Europe, further stumbling attempts at Virginia and West Point came to grief. Gambling and especially drink were the scourge of Poe's life. Despite his inner struggles and unrealized potential, Poe's intellectual radiance and unique ability to describe the fears and desires of the human condition could not but break through. Living the life of the gypsy author he wandered the East Coast seeking patrons and work, all the while churning out a prodigious and increasingly popular collection of detective stories, poems, narratives, stories of supernatural horror, dark journeys of inner terror that all too often seemed autobiographical.

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Lucrezia Borgia I

Lead: Lucrezia Borgia was either one of the most immoral women in history or she was a pawn in the never-ending game of late Italian Renaissance family intrigue. Or maybe she was both.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At the heart of late Italian Renaissance brilliance, culture, and corruption was the family Borgia. This clan, whose members exploited an already decayed Catholic moral structure and who defined the era's worldliness and ambition, originated in Spain.

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History’s Turning Points: The Black Death I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. We examine history’s turning points: Consider the Black Death.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In early October 1347, a ship left the city of Caffa in Southern Russia, bound for the Sicilian port of Messina. Along with its cargo it played host to its usual compliment of migratory black rats. They in turn were infested with tiny fleas bearing the deadly bacillus, identified finally in 1800s as pasteurella pestis, the bubonic plague.

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Whitefield and Franklin II

Lead: In the middle of the Great Awakening a religious revival in 18th Century Colonial America, two men formed a strange alliance. George Whitefield needed publicity for his revival meetings, Benjamin Franklin was out for profits.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The two men at the opposite ends of the religious spectrum. Franklin was a deist, whose skepticism about matters religious was widely known. For the publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazzette and Poor Richard's Almanac, at best, religion was ethics and promoted hard work and civic morality. Whitefield was an Anglican priest caught up in the religious ferment of the 1700s, an itinerant evangelist whose preaching missions in England and America drew vast crowds to hear his message of the "new birth" in Jesus Christ and the need to go beyond mere agreement with doctrine.

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