Gas Warfare in WWII- Part II

Lead: Outlawed by international convention in the 1920s, carefully banned by the warring powers from combat operations during World War II, gas warfare found a grizzly application in the final solution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: There was considerable debate in the highest allied circles during World War II about the feasibility of using gas weapons. This dispute arose after the tenacious Japanese defenses of Iwo Jima and Okinawa were seen to be a mere dress-rehearsal for Japan’s threatened last-ditch defense of the home islands. Nevertheless, President Roosevelt steadfastly refused to authorize the use of gas, fearing retaliation by the axis powers and the moral implications of the use of such a terrifying and condemned class of weapons.

 

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Gas Warfare in WWII- Part I

Lead: Poison gas was used widely for the first time during World War I. So horrific was this experience that most countries drew back from its use, but that was not exactly the way it turned out.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1925 the major powers outlawed the use of gas warfare in the Geneva Protocols. The United States Senate never ratified this treaty, but Presidents Harding, Hoover and Roosevelt accepted the principal that the use of gas in warfare was immoral and committed the United States to abiding by the treaty. The vivid images and bitter memories of the use of gas on the battlefields of France were enough to compel public and official opinion into a firm determination that America would not be the first to use such a debilitating and morale destroying agent of destruction. Even so, the United States did not draw back from manufacturing or stock-piling these weapons, just in case.

 

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The Election of 1980- II

Lead: In the presidential election of 1980, incumbent President Jimmy Carter attempted to fend off the attacks of his Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. Reagan's victory is considered by many to be a turning point in American political life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1980 the United States was in a recession -- suffering from high interest rates and high inflation, economic struggles and what some characterized at the time as a “malaise,” in the electorate. The Republicans nominated for president the former governor of California, Ronald Reagan. Although President Carter had several significant foreign policy accomplishments to his credit, including the Camp David Accords and the Panama Canal Treaty, these seemed diminished by the continuing hostage crisis in Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a domestic energy predicament and the lackluster economy. Carter even had to beat back a serious primary challenge by fellow Democrat, Senator Ted Kennedy.

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The Election of 1980- I

Lead:  The presidential election of 1980 is often called a “realignment election,” one of several in United States history. It represented a dramatic shift in political power.        

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: A “realignment election” is a plebiscite on the current party or philosophy dominating the national conversation. The American people decide they want to choose a new direction. These elections, 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932, and perhaps 1980, demonstrate a shift in political orientation due to new geographic bases of power and/or new philosophical coalitions. This change or “realignment” of political power results in a new status quo and resonates in the political climate for decades. For example, historians generally agree that the presidential election of 1932 was a classic realignment election. An alliance of interest groups - labor unions, racial and ethnic minorities, and white southerners – united behind the Democratic Party and the policies of FDR and dominated U.S. politics for the next fifty years - from the New Deal to the Great Society.

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The Battle of New Orleans- II

Lead: On December 24, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed in Belgium. The treaty ended the war of 1812 and jump-started the political career of Andrew Jackson.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The greatest American victory, though, the Battle of New Orleans, which was fought on January 8, 1815, occurred fifteen days after the treaty of peace was signed. Both the United States and Great Britain were eager for peace after negotiations had gone on for several months with little progress, and the war seemed to draw to a stalemate. The treaty ended the fighting and pretty much restored the pre-war status quo with few policy changes, territorial gains or concessions from either side. John Quincy Adams, a chief negotiator for the United States, later recorded, “I hoped it would be the last treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States.” 

The Battle of New Orleans- I

Lead: The biggest American victory of the War of 1812 was won after the war was over. The Battle of New Orleans put an exclamation point on the conflict days after a peace treaty brought hostilities to a conclusion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In Fall 1814, a large British fleet left Jamaica. Its goal: gain control of access to the Mississippi River. To accomplish this, the Brits needed to assault and take the City of New Orleans located on the decisive bend in the great river not far from its mouth.

Louisa May Alcott II

Lead:   It took two and a half months, but with poverty knocking on the family door, Louisa May Alcott finally delivered to her anxious publisher a “story for girls.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At first, Alcott balked at her publisher’s assignment, saying she had “never liked girls or knew many except my sister…” The novel, which was loosely autobiographical, was set during the Civil War and describes the domestic experiences of the Marchs, a New England family of modest means. It examines the lives of four sisters, Meg, , Beth, Amy and Jo, as they wrestle with their own character flaws and each other’s. The literary world was entranced. The novel was hailed for its simplicity and realistic depiction of the struggles of adolescence.

Louisa May Alcott I

Lead:   In December 1862 an unknown writer from Concord, Massachusetts, got her start as an author nursing soldiers at the Union Hotel Hospital in Washington.            

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1832, but spent the bulk of her life in eastern Massachusetts. Louisa’s father, Bronson Alcott, was a self-educated philosopher, education reformer and leader in the transcendentalist movement. Louisa’s mother, Abigail May, was well educated and hailed from a prominent Boston family. Bronson Alcott worked sporadically – having several unsuccessful experimental educational ventures and a brief period as a communal farmer. His professional drift kept the family in virtual poverty, but apparently Louisa and her three sisters had a happy childhood. The Alcott’s circle of friends included some of the notable thinkers of the time – Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne and especially, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson occasionally helped the struggling family and became one Louisa’s mentors.