Sinking of the Patria

Lead: In late 1940, 267 Jewish refugees desperately trying to enter Palestine died when the ocean liner Patria was sabotaged in harbor of Haifa.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the dark early days of World War II, many Jews sensing the closing trap of Fascist hostility and the strange hesitation to provide a haven for Jews that seemed to grip the United States and England, tried to emigrate to Palestine. This region, at that time, was administered under a League of Nations mandate. Holding the mandate was a highly conflicted Great Britain. Sympathy for the plight of European Jews over the centuries had led to the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which committed Britain to work for a refuge for Jews in Palestine. This was almost immediately neutralized by a Foreign Office White Paper, which recognized the legitimate rights of Arab Palestinians. As the power of Fascism in Germany and Italy grew so did the flood of Jewish immigrants trying to escape. War in 1939 made the need to flee more desperate and various Zionist groups such as Hagana and Mossad, organized transports which illegally smuggled refugees by sea into Palestine.

 

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Plains of Abraham, Quebec, 1759

Lead: The Plains of Abraham were an abandoned farmer’s field that lay between Quebec City and bluffs that rise 200 feet above the St. Lawrence River. There in September 1759 Britain cemented its colonial control over North America.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The struggle for European continental dominance between England and France was matched in North America beginning in the 1600s. A century later France controlled New France, a vast claim north and west of the British colonies that hugged the American east coast. Both powers looked with lust on the fertile Ohio Valley. Technically, the French were already there, had established trading posts and fortifications and were doing a brisk business with Native Americans.

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Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Pharos – The Alexandria Lighthouse

Lead: Designed to protect commerce sailing in and out of the port of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Pharos, the Alexandria lighthouse has proven to be the model for most lighthouses built since.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Almost as if anticipating a modern list of curiosities such as Ripley’s Believe it or Not, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was a constantly varying and occasionally updated list of architectural accomplishments maintained by historians such as the Greek scholar Herodotus and Antipater (An-TI-pa-tor) of Sidon. Revisions to the list were made almost into the modern era as structures disappeared or new ones were built. On nearly all the lists was the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria built on the island of Pharos just off the port in about 290 B.C.E.

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Virginia Dare

Lead: On August, 18, 1587, the first child of English parentage was born in the New World. The fate of tiny Virginia Dare is caught up in one of history’s great mysteries – The Lost Colony.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Optimistic about successful colonization of the New World, one of English Queen Elizabeth’s favorites, Sir Walter Raleigh, attempted expeditions to Virginia in the 1580s. The first failed but he sent a second in 1587. This group of 117, including men, women and children, departed Plymouth on May 8th. Their intended destination was further north in the Chesapeake region, but for reasons not completely clear, possibly due to hurricane season, the pilot refused to continue, and in mid-July dropped them on Roanoke Island just off what would become the Carolina mainland.

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Cajuns in Louisiana II

Lead: Expelled by the British from the eastern maritime provinces of Canada, many settlers of French descent and language migrated southeast down the Mississippi to Louisiana. The Cajuns had arrived.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the Expulsion of 1755, French immigrants were attracted to Louisiana because they thought it was a French colony which was willing to provide material assistance to the early newcomers the first of whom arrived in 1763. The colony’s resources were quickly depleted, however, and subsequent waves of the so-called Cajuns found little help. They also experienced downright hostility from the already established French residents known as Creoles. In addition they discovered to their surprise that they had immigrated into Spanish territory when a shift in international fortunes made New France into New Spain under the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762).

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Cajuns in Louisiana I

Lead: Cajuns who fled Canada and emigrated to Louisiana beginning in the 1700s added a rich variety to the culture and politics of that already exotic region.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Cajun was originally a derogatory name, similar to Injun, the name given to Native Americans by Europeans. It referred to French Canadian immigrants who made their way south into Louisiana after being forcibly removed by the British in the Expulsion of 1755. Originating in the maritime provinces of northwestern France, Normandy, Picardy, Brittany, they settled in La Cadie, an area surrounding Canada’s Bay of Fundy, territories that became New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Isle, and parts of Maine. Their wilderness isolation from French colonial areas in the St. Lawrence Valley and from France itself created a unique culture unlike that of New France, almost an eastern frontier sensibility, independent, egalitarian with distinct speech, and dependence upon family and clan rather than nationality.

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Santa Anna II

Lead: On April 21, 1836 the surprise defeat of Santa Anna by Sam Houston at San Jacinto assured the independence of Texas.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In early 1836 Mexico’s president and military general Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna marched his army into Texas, then part of Mexico, to quell a rebellion of settlers who were fighting for Texas’ independence. At the Alamo Santa Anna issued a “take no prisoners” order and word of the resulting massacre began to spread. 1,400 new volunteers swelled the ranks of Sam Houston’s rag-tag army. Through artful maneuvering, Houston was able to avoid direct confrontation while he built and trained his men in anticipation of the showdown with Santa Anna.

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Santa Anna I

Lead: In February 1836, Mexican troops, led by General Santa Anna, surrounded, attacked, defeated and killed a group of rebellious Texans at the Alamo.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was born in Jalapa, Mexico, in 1794. He began a long and controversial military career at the age of 16 gaining prestige when he led Mexican resistance to Spain’s 1829 attempt at re-conquering the country. Four years later he was elected President. Gaining a reputation as an erratic leader, he then led a coup against his own government and established himself as dictator. The colorful, flamboyant Santa Anna loved glory, luxury, ceremony, beautiful women and opium. Not necessarily in that order.

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