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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Ellis Island II

Lead: Of the 12 million immigrants processed through Ellis Island in New York Harbor between 1892-1924, 250,000 were rejected.               

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Many immigrants arriving in New York Harbor were not aware that they would need to pass medical and legal examinations before they were granted permission to enter. The first test came even before the steamship docked. U.S. government doctors would board the ship and check for contagious diseases: smallpox, yellow fever, measles. Infected passengers were removed (taken to hospitals) and the ship was quarantined until it was safe. After docking in Manhattan, ferryboats or barges would transport immigrants to Ellis Island. There they were tested to determine if fit to enter America.

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Ellis Island I

Lead: Between 1892 and 1924, during the peak years of immigration to the United States, twelve million immigrants entered America through Ellis Island.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Ellis Island is a small spit of territory, one mile south of Manhattan in New York Bay. It was named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who for a short time in the 18th century owned the island. On January 1, 1892 it became an inspection station for immigrants coming through the port of New York. Tougher restrictions after 1924, sharply reduced the number of immigrants entering the United States and the immigration center was used for various purposes until it was closed in 1954. Today forty percent (or 100,000,000 Americans) can trace their roots to Ellis Island. On a busy day, as many as three to five thousand immigrants were processed.

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Mexico: Miguel Hidalgo

Lead: In 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo led an uprising against Spanish colonial rule in Mexico. Although he was defeated, he became a symbol of Mexican Independence.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.             

Content: Miguel Hidalgo was born in 1753 in the central highlands of Mexico near Guanajuato. Hidalgo was a “criollo” – born in Mexico but with Spanish ancestry. He studied in Valladolid, now Morelia in central Mexico, at first with the Jesuits, and, after their expulsion, at the College of San Nicolas Obisbo where he earned a degree in theology, philosophy and the liberal arts. He was most certainly influenced by the subversive ideas of the Enlightenment. Ordained a Catholic priest in 1778 he taught as well as doing parish work. Hidalgo was a most complex man, some would say poorly managing his passions. He loved gambling, owned multiple haciendas, and fathered several children, but at the same time combined his spiritual duties with a keen sense of social justice. In 1803 Father Hidalgo moved to Dolores, a town in the Mexican highlands of mostly poor indigenous people. He introduced new farming techniques and helped to develop a brick-making and pottery industry.

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Mexico: La Malinche

Lead:  Reviled as a traitor, La Malinche is alleged to have served as a translator and mistress to Conquistador Hernán Cortés and became the mother of his first son.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Although she lives in folklore and legends, there is actually little known about the life of La Malinche, and the derivation of her name is uncertain. Some historians believe Malinche was a corruption of her given Nahua name – Malintzin.

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The End of Smallpox

Lead: The last known case of naturally occurring smallpox in the world was reported in Somalia in 1977. Edward Jenner would have been pleased.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Smallpox, or variola, has been one of the most feared diseases in history. This viral infection with its weeping, scarring pustules, by the 1700s was claiming one out of three urban children during epidemics. It was transmitted through the air so it was not necessarily a disease of poverty or poor sanitation and its victims included the great as well as the humble. From the poorest farm child to Peter the Great of Russia, from the town crier to Queen Elizabeth I.

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Samuel Johnson: His Great Dictionary

Lead: In 1755, Samuel Johnson published the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language. Although recognized by scholars as a serious work, in places it was kind of quirky.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: During the 1700s the English middle class grew exponentially. With that expansion there was also a surge in the literacy rate, with a corresponding demand for books and newspapers. While enjoying this new interest in their stock in trade, scholars, booksellers and publishers were becoming increasingly alarmed about the lack of rules and increasing incorrect usage.

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Eleanor Gwyn II

Lead:  In the aftermath of the puritan ascendency, in the 1660s England re-opened its theaters. There on the stage of King’s Theater on Drury Lane, acclaimed comedienne Eleanor “Nell” Gwyn auditioned for her greatest role.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After nearly two decades of Puritan rule, the revival of English theater gave opportunity to actresses such as Nell Gwyn. By the age of 15, she had extracted herself from a dead job serving drinks at her mother's brothel and become England's most acclaimed comedienne. She captured the hearts of audiences and, eventually, that of the kingdom's most renowned theater lover, Charles Stuart, King of England.

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