Jamestown Journey: Separate but Equal

Lead: In 1892 a New Orleans shoemaker tried to roll back the onrushing tide of resurgent white supremacy and lost.

Intro.: Dan Roberts and A Moment in Time with Jamestown - Journey of Democracy, tracing the global advance of democratic ideals since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Content: Homer A. Plessy was born a month before the Union Navy took New Orleans out of the Civil War in 1862. His parents were free, French-speaking, Roman Catholic blacks, part of a racial and social mix that lent that port city such a rich cosmopolitan flavor. In few places in the pre-war Deep South were people of color offered the chances for advancement they had in New Orleans and in the two decades after the South's defeat these opportunities continued to grow.

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Woodrow Wilson and the Explosive Growth of Presidential Power III

Lead: Building on his own inclination toward extravagant claims for Presidential power, Woodrow Wilson used the war emergency to ramp up executive control over many parts of American life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As America’s involvement in World War I escalated in 1917, Wilson began a grand escalation of government control over the means of production and distribution; to bring those parts of the economy into support for the war effort. The President, however, was not content to simply subordinate the marketplace to his schemes. It was not just military or foreign affairs over which Wilson desired control. He went after American’s minds as well. He said, “There are citizens of the United States, I blush to admit, who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life. Such creatures…must be crushed out.”

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Woodrow Wilson and the Explosive Growth of Presidential Power II

Lead: Contrary to many assumptions, the extravagant expansion of Presidential power in America, came not during the Great Depression, but during World War I. It was driven by President Woodrow Wilson.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Except for a brief period in the 1790s and during the Civil War, the power of the American President, almost limitless in theory, had been restrained by universal fear of executive abuse, tradition, habit, and a very powerful Congress. During times of national emergency, however, if not restrained, and depending on the nature of the threat, the President in theory at least, can assume almost dictatorial powers over every area of life, not just foreign or military affairs. If the people and their representatives let it happen, the President will do it. Woodrow Wilson proved it. His inclination toward increased executive power, firmly established in his first term, saw exponential growth with the Declaration of War in 1917.

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Woodrow Wilson and the Explosive Growth of Presidential Power I

Lead: The power of the American President in theory had few limits. It grew slowly over the decades. That changed drastically when Woodrow Wilson entered the White House.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Considering his roots, Thomas Woodrow Wilson would hardly have seemed a champion of overweening Presidential power. Born in Staunton, Virginia in the years before the Civil War, he emerged from the Jefferson/Jackson tradition which placed high value upon state sovereignty, limited government, and confirmed trust in the wisdom of the people and its representatives in Congress.

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LaSalle Claims the Mississippi for France II

Lead: On April 9, 1682, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, after sailing most of the length of the Mississippi, claimed the entire River Valley for France. He named the region Louisiana, for his monarch, Louis XIV.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: La Salle was born in Rouen, France, in 1643. He was intelligent and curious, educated by Jesuit priests. He planned to enter the priesthood, but a great sense of adventure pulled him elsewhere and at 24 he set out for New France, the French Colony in North America.

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LaSalle Claims the Mississippi River for France I

Lead: By the mid-1600s the French, along with the English and the Spanish, had high hopes of a vast empire in the New World.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: The French founded Quebec in New France (present day northeastern Canada near the St. Lawrence River) in 1608, one year after the founding of Jamestown. French commerce was founded on the fur trade, which they expanded by moving deeper into the interior of North America. The French formed alliances with Native American tribes and eventually controlled the Great Lakes region, the Mississippi River Valley region including the two great tributaries – the Missouri and Ohio Rivers.

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J Edgar Hoover II

Lead: As director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover guided the Bureau into an organized, accountable, and well-schooled police and detective agency. What he did in secret was another matter entirely.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Hoover established the FBI academy at Quantico, Virginia, and through its training facility set high standards for performance, intelligence, and physical ability. He began the first systematic collection of fingerprints for the purpose of crime detection.

Yet, he maintained a life-long pursuit of people he considered suspect, Bolsheviks after World War I, Nazis, members of the Communist Party and suspected sympathizers during the 1940s and 1950s. When he encountered resistance to his tactics in the Executive Branch during the Truman Administration, he sought and found allies in Congress, such as members of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

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J Edgar Hoover I

Lead: Revered, reviled and feared, J. Edgar Hoover rose from a law clerk and file reviewer to help establish and then for decades direct the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: He started in the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation which was in 1917 little more than a detective agency. By 1924 Hoover was its director and under his leadership, the newly renamed FBI became the model of police organization, forensic science, and accountability for local and state police forces in both America and later the world. In the process, he gained a reputation for some as a champion of the American way of life and for others a villainous usurper of constitutional rights.

Hoover spent his whole life in Washington. He was born 1895 in his family’s white and black Victorian home at 413 Seward Square, a 5-minute walk from the Capitol. The neighborhood was white, middle class, Protestant and segregated.

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