The Great Eastern

Lead: In November, 1857, Isambard Kingdom Brunel tried to launch his magnificent creation. Great Eastern, the heaviest object anyone had ever attempted to move, got stuck.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Brunel was one of the most successful engineers of his day. He constructed what was at that time, the world’s longest tunnel, several unusual railroad bridges, and finally, Great Eastern. Conceived as the first luxury liner, the ship was designed to carry 4,000 passengers in complete comfort, haul enough coal for a non-stop round-trip from England to Australia, and earn her inventors’ money back in a couple of years. No such luck. No profit was ever made with Great Eastern.

Eleanor of Aquitaine II

Lead: Turned out by one royal husband, the King of France, Eleanor of Aquitaine married his rival, the future King of England.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Strong and independent, Eleanor resisted at each stage of her career the role of quiet docile wife. After a stormy fifteen years in 1152, Louis VII of France had their marriage annulled. Their four daughters remained with the King and Eleanor was sent home to Poitiers a very eligible lady, possibly the richest woman in Europe. Within two months she was married, this time to Henry Plantagenet, the namesake and grandson of the King of England who was at that time pressing his claim to inherit the Crown. A successful invasion of England and the death of his chief rival yielded him the throne. Henry and Eleanor became King and Queen of England in December 1154.

Eleanor of Aquitaine I

Lead: At her father's unexpected death in 1137, fifteen-year-old Eleanor, daughter of Duke Guillaume of Aquitaine, found herself heiress to a huge region of western France. It made one of the most eligible catches in Europe.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In a long and busy life Eleanor would be Queen of France and England, either marry or closely advise four kings, conduct romantic dalliances, engineer rebellions, rule England directly for long stretches of time and this in an era in which women were generally considered at best attractive appendages to their husbands and sons.

The Great Awakening

Lead: Out of the intellectual ferment of the Eighteenth Century Enlightenment emerged a rush of devout pietism. The Great Awakening helped transform American religious life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The wars of religion that convulsed Europe following the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Revival in the 1500s and 1600s provoked a growing revulsion among Europe’s intellectual elite against intolerance and sectarian violence. This, combined with the spreading awareness of the previous century’s scientific discoveries and progress, shaped a new way of thinking about the world. Less religious in its orientation with more emphasis on the accomplishments of man, the Enlightenment, through its major spokesmen, Frenchmen Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu and their many followers in western Europe and North America, stressed the importance of individual achievement, rational thought, happiness in this world not salvation in the next, and liberty.

Jamestown Journey: Bacon’s Rebellion

Lead: In the summer of 1676, the colony of Virginia, already locked in an Indian war, broke into the conflict later called Bacon’s Rebellion.

Intro.: Dan Roberts and A Moment in Time with Jamestown - Journey of Democracy, tracing the global advance of democratic ideals since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Content: Climactic historical incidents can sometimes act as a snapshot – of an era, a period, a personality. Few snapshots depict late 17th Century colonial Virginia as does Bacon’s Rebellion.

Crispus Attucks

Lead: On March 5, 1770, in Boston, Massachusetts, British soldiers led by Captain Preston fired into an unruly crowd of protesters. One of the first to fall was Crispus Attucks.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: All during the winter and spring of 1770, tension in Boston had been building between citizens and British soldiers sent there to prevent unrest and awe the population. Many American workers were resentful of the soldiers because they would take civilian jobs at cheaper rates when they were off duty. This plus the general indignation in the City over the presence of the troops set up one of the first bloody confrontations of the Revolutionary period.

America’s First Century: Transatlantic Cod Bridge

Lead: In the decades before Columbus returned from his accidental discovery of the Caribbean in 1492, Basque fishermen, from the northern part of Spain, may have beat him to the New World.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Writing in his elegant and fascinating Cod: The Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, Mark Kurlansky presents strong evidence that Christopher may have been a Johnny-come-lately.

Along the southwestern slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France Spain lies Basque Country. None of multitude of ethnic groups that make up Spanish society have been more resistant to assimilation than the Basques. Spanish kings and Spanish dictators have tried to homogenize Basque culture and language but have largely failed. They are a hearty people and jealous, sometimes violently jealous, of their independence.

Loving vs. Virginia III

Lead: In one of the most important decisions of his term as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Earl Warren struck down racially based anti-miscegenation laws.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: After being convicted of the violation of Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act (1924) Mildred and Richard Loving were banished from the Commonwealth. They contacted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to help them seek redress. ACLU lawyers Bernard S. Cohen and later Philip Hirschkop enthusiastically accepted the case to further the ACLU’s crusade against anti-miscegenation laws nationwide. Loving v. Virginia would be the signature case in that crusade.