The Smoke-Filled Room I

Lead: Nominated on the ballot in a previously dead-locked convention, rumors began to spread that the choice of Warren Gamaliel Harding at the 1920 Republican Convention was brokered in a smoke-filled room.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In early 1920, months before the convention, Harry M. Dougherty, Harding's campaign manager, seeing the possibility of a dead-lock between front-runners Leonard Wood and Frank Lowden, engaged in a little political speculation which probably gave birth to the myth of the smoke-filled room. He said in an interview, "I don't expect Senator Harding to be nominated on the first, second or third ballot, but I think ... that about eleven minutes after two o'clock on Friday morning at the convention, ...fifteen or twenty men, somewhat weary, ...sitting around a table, ...one of them will say: 'Who will we nominate?' At that decisive time the friends of Senator Harding can suggest him." It was pure speculation but of such are myths born.

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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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Flu Epidemic of 1918 II

Lead: Contracted from pigs, in 1918 influenza began to spread through U.S. troops called up for service in World War I. Soon the disease had become an epidemic that spread through a world population already weakened by four years of war.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Many experts believe the flu virus exists naturally in birds and is then transmitted to pigs where it mutates into a virulent form that in an infected human body causes fever, chills, weakness of the muscles and nausea. The virus makes its way through the air to its victim’s respiratory apparatus. It is a swift, clever, and sometimes deadly agent, a survivor of great tenacity. Influenza requires little more than a population weakened by hunger, other diseases, or war, to transform itself from a localized irritant to an epidemic of global proportions. In 1918 the world was ripe for the picking. 

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