Suez Canal III

Lead: Facing almost universal skepticism, the Suez Canal Company under Ferdinand de Lesseps raised the money and dug the Canal.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Prime Minister Palmerston of Britain called him a swindler and a fool. Bankers such as Baron de Rothschild rejected his pleas for capital. Yet, de Lesseps succeeded against all odds. Raising money from small investors and operating with a design approved by the International Commission for the Piercing of the Isthmus of Suez, he broke ground in 1859 near the future Port Said. It took ten years to construct the canal. At any given point 30,000 workers were employed often under harsh, forced conditions. More than a million were so engaged and thousands of laborers died on the project. Progress was often delayed by labor disputes and the outbreak of diseases such as cholera, but in the end the canal was completed primarily due to the importation of giant French-designed steam shovels and dredges.

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Suez Canal II

Lead: In 1869, finally, the land bridge between Egypt and Suez was pierced with a canal, thanks in large measure to Ferdinand de Lesseps.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: He was no engineer, had no great fortune, had no access to capital, and was in no way an effective administrator, unanimated by tedium. Yet, if anyone might be called the Father of the Suez, it was de Lesseps. Other than his indefatigable energy and dedication to the project, he largely succeeded in building the canal because of his personal connection to two people.

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Suez Canal I

Lead: In 1869 French engineers and Egyptian laborers completed work eliminating one of the world’s two great blocks to navigation. They opened the canal at Suez.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until the 19th and 20th centuries there were two significant places in the world where the passage of oceangoing commerce and transportation were impeded by relatively short land bridges. The Isthmus of Panama fell before the assaults of U.S. doctors and engineers in 1914. Creating a passage between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea was much longer in coming. It had attracted the attention of rulers such as Ramesses II of the 12th Egyptian dynasty in the 2nd Millennium BCE and Persian conqueror Darius I. They built narrow canals from the Nile to the Red Sea but these soon fell into disuse.

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Struggle for Missouri II

Lead: In the late spring of 1861, Missouri's fate hung in the balance. Would the state secede or remain loyal to the Union?

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Congressman Frank Blair faced a difficult task. Despite the fact that a majority of Missourians preferred to remain in the Union, Governor Claiborne Jackson, most of the Missouri legislature, and a substantial minority of the state's most powerful leaders had Southern sympathies and were working actively to pull the state out. Both sides assumed that the key to winning Missouri was the Federal Arsenal at St. Louis. There thousands of weapons and tons of ammunition were available to arm one side or another.

 

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Struggle for Missouri I

Lead: In the early days of the Civil War the destiny of Missouri was very much in doubt.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: From the beginning, Missouri was something of an oddity. There it sat, a state in which slavery was permitted, jutting up into the Midwest, surrounded north, east and west by free territory. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 allowed it to become a slave state but decreed that no other territory north of the line running along its southern border could enter the union as a slave state. It was a brilliant solution but a temporary one. In the years running up to the Civil War, life in Missouri reflected the deterioration of national civility and illustrated the tensions that were about to carve the nation into warring camps.

 

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Carry Nation, Reformer

Lead: At six feet tall and 175 pounds, Carry Nation organized the shock troops of the temperance movement.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Carry Amelia Moore was born in Garrard County Kentucky in 1846. Her education was limited though she held a teaching certificate. She left her first marriage because of her husband’s alcoholism and soon married David Nation, a lawyer, journalist and minister. Religious convictions drove her deeper and deeper into opposition to the sale and consumption of alcohol. For Carry Nation, drinking liquor was a moral question and fighting it became for her a crusade.

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Morrill Act (Education)

Lead: In 1862 higher education in the United States received a boost from the gentleman from Vermont, Justin Morrill.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Before Justin Smith Morrill was elected to Congress on an anti-slavery ticket in 1854 he had been a store clerk, merchant and a farmer. As a congressman he shifted to the new Republican Party and gradually moved up in the leadership, serving as Speaker of the House beginning in 1865. Moving over to the Senate he represented Vermont in that body for 31 years before his death in 1898. In the Senate he was Chairman of the Finance Committee and there insured the completion of the Washington Monument and a major expansion of the Library of Congress.

 

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Battle for Color TV II

Lead: In the 1940s two corporate giants, NBC and CBS, fought over the means of broadcasting television in color.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After World War II, NBC under its chairman, David Sarnoff, had begun commercial black and white television broadcasts and was selling TVs by the truckload. Its great rival, William Paley’s CBS, was producing Black and White shows such as Ed Sullivan but at the same was experimenting with color television in hopes of getting a jump on the competition. The problem was the CBS color system used a spinning wheel with color filters in the camera and in the TV set and produced a signal which could not be received by existing black and white TVs without a relatively expensive converter. Sarnoff had too many sets out there to give up his advantage and began a campaign to smear the CBS system. NBC was working on an all-electronic color system, without the cumbersome spinning wheels, but which they thought would not be ready for years. By 1950 CBS was ready and had applied to the Federal Communications Commission to designate its system as the only standard. Both sides were at it now. Secret meetings with congressmen, lobbying, accusations in the media. Millions were at stake. Finally, the FCC approved CBS color in October 1950 and the courts struck down NBC’s court challenge. The problem was, not a single CBS color set had been sold, just a lot of useless black and white sets.

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