America’s First Railroad

Lead: Far from the industrial North, America's first railroad began at Charleston, South Carolina.

Content: In 1828, Horatio Allen, an American engineer, became fascinated with the new means of transportation known as the railroad. He paid a visit to England to study the few railroads then in existence. He was very impressed. So much so that he bought four locomotives and had them shipped back across the Atlantic.

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Thomas Edison’s Invention of the Phonograph

Lead: In 1877, Thomas Alva Edison stumbled upon his most original invention, the audio phonograph. He captured sound.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Most of Thomas Edison's inventions were either improvements on other ideas or adaptations of existing technology. His incandescent lamp was vastly more efficient than any before, making home lighting economically viable. His kinetoscope laid the foundation for the modern motion picture. It was with the phonograph, however, that Edison made his most creative contribution to modern life and its discovery was by accident.

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Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Lead: Yes, it's true. The cow did kick over a lantern and Chicago went up in flames.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In the fall of 1871 the city of Chicago was the focus of enormous amount of political activity, the junction of numerous railroads, home of countless commercial enterprises. The city was young and brash and rich, an exciting place to be, and in that October lay along the shores of Lake Michigan, a ready victim for one of the largest municipal fires in American history.

On Saturday the 7th of October, a fire between Clinton St. and the River had destroyed nearly a million dollars worth of property, The fire department had finally extinguished it but though it was the largest thus far witnessed in Chicago, it was just a preview of what was to follow.

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Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech II

Lead: In March, 1945 Winston Churchill gave his famous "Iron-Curtain" Speech in Fulton, Missouri. It was not given as an idle gesture.

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

Content: In the days after World War II, the United States began to explore the path of accommodation with the Soviet Union. Under the new President, Harry Truman, and Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, America began to draw away from the British, who were increasingly isolated and under Soviet pressure in the Balkans, Iran and the Mediterranean. Truman was following the course laid out by his predecessor, Franklin Roosevelt, but as 1945 drew to a close, important elements of public opinion began to criticize this policy. Secretary of Defense James Forestall and other military leaders were fearful of Soviet power and expansion and urged the President to a more militant approach to the Russians. This was echoed by certain key Republicans such as Senator Arthur Vandenberg and influential shapers of opinion like Henry R. Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, and the editors of the New York Times.

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Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech I

Lead: On March 5, 1946 at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill delivered one of the most important speeches in post-World War II history. It signaled the beginning of the Cold War.

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

Content: The alliance of necessity between the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union began to show signs of decay with the defeat of Germany in April, 1945. The traditional American isolationism and reluctance to be drawn into permanent foreign entangling alliances was, in the absence of an immediate perceived enemy threat, rearing its head. Americans were tired of war and many were not as fearful of growing Soviet power as were their British cousins. This tended to counter the pressure of those advisors surrounding the new and inexperienced President Truman who would have the United States take vigorous leadership in international affairs. Some close to the President actually advocated closer Soviet/American ties. All of this meant the British felt themselves increasingly out in the cold and under pressure from the Soviets in many places such Iran, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean.

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Vatican Museums II

Lead: One of the world's greatest art collections was inaugurated by Pope Julius II five hundred years ago with the purchase of a white marble statue of an ancient Trojan priest, Laocoon.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Within the walls of Vatican City is a group of connected buildings collectively known as the Vatican Palace. This complex houses several museums and galleries, a vast library, and the departments and administrative offices of the Papal bureaucracy. Since the time of Pope Julius, at the beginning of the 1500s, however, popes have also commissioned and purchased the finest art work, from antiquity to the Renaissance to modern religious art for Vatican collection. The finest architects and artists of the Italian Renaissance designed the buildings and filled the interiors with statuary, rich ornamentation and frescoes. At the center of Vatican City is St. Peter's Basilica. It can hold 60,000 people and was constructed with significant contributions by Bramante, Raphael, Bernini, and Michelangelo. Perhaps, the greatest artistic treasure is Michelangelo’s -- the frescoes on the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  

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Vatican Museums I

Lead: The smallest independent nation-state in the world was created in 1929. The 110 acres of Vatican City house the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With a steady population of about 1,000 residents - clergy, lay people, 100 Swiss Guards and their families - Vatican City is the official residence of the pope and is the governing and religious heart of Roman Catholicism. Its unique status as an independent state resulted from the Lateran Treaty of 1929 in which the papacy gave up its ancient claims to vast areas of central Italy, the so-called Papal States, in exchange for a section of Rome that would be completely sovereign territory -- Vatican City.

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Charlie Crocker’s $10K Bet (Transatlantic Railroad)

Lead: Charlie Crocker's men lay ten miles of track and won for their boss a $10,000 bet.

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

Content: It all started in late October 1868. Thomas C. Durant, of the Union Pacific Railroad, had just witnessed his own men laying 7 3/4 miles of track, a record for a single day's work. He then cabled Charlie Crocker, chief engineer of the Central Pacific working eastward on the first continental rail link. He wagered $10,000 that the Union Pacific's record could not be broken surpassed. Crocker thought he could beat it, accepted the bet, and bragged that his crew could lay ten miles of track in a single day.

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