Gas Warfare in WWII- Part I

Lead: Poison gas was used widely for the first time during World War I. So horrific was this experience that most countries drew back from its use, but that was not exactly the way it turned out.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1925 the major powers outlawed the use of gas warfare in the Geneva Protocols. The United States Senate never ratified this treaty, but Presidents Harding, Hoover and Roosevelt accepted the principal that the use of gas in warfare was immoral and committed the United States to abiding by the treaty. The vivid images and bitter memories of the use of gas on the battlefields of France were enough to compel public and official opinion into a firm determination that America would not be the first to use such a debilitating and morale destroying agent of destruction. Even so, the United States did not draw back from manufacturing or stock-piling these weapons, just in case.

 

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New York City’s First Subway

Lead: New York needed a subway. Alfred Beach was ready to supply it.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By 1870 the need to move people quickly around the City of New York was apparent to all. The streets were clogged with pedestrians and horse-drawn vehicles and the steam and smoke put out by locomotives. Alfred Ley Beach, editor of the Scientific American and an inventor in his own right, had been experimenting with pneumatic propul-sion, the use of air pressure to force a cylinder through a tightly sealed tube.

Malcolm MacLean: Container King

Lead: The Ideal X moved out into the current from its birth in Port Newark, New Jersey. For Malcom MacLean it was a dream realized.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Malcom MacLean was a trucker. His first truck went on the road in 1931. Years of hard work and innovation enlarged that truck into a fleet of many hundreds. As the decades passed, MacLean grew adept at devising ways of getting around transportation bottlenecks. One of the most severe impediments to the shipment of goods was at the point where products were changed from one mode of transportation to another: from wagon to railroad, from railroad to barge, from barge to truck, from truck to ship.

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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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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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Mexico: Monarch Butterfly

Lead: Monarch butterflies are strikingly beautiful, with brilliant orange and black wings, but it is their migration habits over thousands of miles that distinguish this remarkable species.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Each winter, the Oyamel tree forest in central Mexico becomes home to millions of hibernating monarch butterflies. The trees there are large, coniferous and grow at a high altitude. In February/March the hibernating Monarchs come down from the mountains and begin their flight north. In fields and meadows along the way, they lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves of milkweed plants. It takes about a month for an egg to complete four stages of development and become a mature adult. During the caterpillar stage, the Monarch feeds on the milkweed, absorbs certain toxins and this makes them poisonous to predators. This first generation of Monarch butterflies will live for about three to six weeks and continue the northern migration.

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