Crash of the Hindenburg IV

Lead: On May 6, 1937 the German airship Hindenburg, filled with 97 passengers and crew and tons of highly flammable hydrogen gas, was preparing to land at the U.S. Naval Station at Lakehurst, NJ at the end of an uneventful first transatlantic trip of the season.

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

Content: Herbert Morrison was an announcer for WLS in Chicago. He was in Lakehurst to describe to a live radio audience the arrival of the Hindenburg on that overcast May afternoon. This is the voice of Herbert Morrison.

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Crash of the Hindenburg III

Lead: Expanded to huge dimensions and filled with highly flammable hydrogen gas, German airships became an important element of Hitler’s propaganda machine.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 one of the most important champions of the German Airship was Hitler's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. The Fuhrer himself was not impressed and refused to set foot in a dirigible, feeling them a creation contrary to nature. Without Goebbel’s enthusiasm the Zeppelin program would probably have died since the construction of a large airship was as costly as that of a heavy battleship.

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Crash of the Hindenburg II

Lead: Used as bombers during World War I, giant German lighter-than-air ships called Zeppelins were turned to commercial uses in the 1920s and 1930s.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: If one wanted to travel between continents in the early 1900s, there was one choice. You had to go by ship. While the dream of flight had been realized first by balloons and then by the Wright Brothers’ airplane, aircraft engines were not strong, efficient, or safe enough to lift cargo and passengers over long distances. For just over two short decades from World War I to the eve of World War II, the dirigible seemed to be the solution to fast intercontinental travel.

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Crash of the Hindenburg I

Lead: The destruction of the dirigible Hindenburg brought to a halt this method of realizing man's dream of flying.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Beginning in the 1700s, men had begun to break the restraints of gravity and soar into the air using lighter-than-air craft, namely balloons lifted by heated air. At first the heat came from earth bound fires and then means of carrying the heat source along for the ride extended the time of the flight.

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Boston Tea Party III

Lead: On December 17, 1773 approximately sixty men boarded three merchant vessels anchored in Boston Harbor. They tossed into the water, 340 chests of prime Cantonese tea belonging to the British East India Company.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Earlier that year the British Parliament had passed the Tea Act. It had three purposes. First, it gave a monopoly on tea shipped to the American colonies by the financially strapped British East India Company. Read more →

Boston Tea Party II

Lead: The Boston Tea Party was the result of attempts by the government of Great Britain to collect taxes, but also to protect the tea monopoly.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The circumstances producing conflict are rarely simple. For generations Americans have been told the story of the Boston Tea Party as the desperate act of a tiny group of frustrated patriots striking out at an oppressive British government bent on revenue enhancement at the colonies’ expense, “taxation without representation.” Yet, that was not all the story. Read more →

Boston Tea Party I

Lead: On a cold December night in 1773, a small group of men disguised with printer’s ink and paint vandalized three cargo ships lying at anchor in Boston Harbor. The so-called Boston Tea Party was a milestone on the road to Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It was all about business and taxes. Monopolies and taxes. Representation and taxes. People hated and were resigned to them at the same time. In the years leading up to the American Revolution, Britons paid a lot of taxes, Americans very little. England, distracted by a century and a half of civil war, religious dispute, and continental military adventures, largely had left the colonies to fend for themselves. The distance was too great and communications too slow for effective colonial administration. During this period the white colonists of British North America had grown increasingly accustomed to self-rule. On average, aside from the Dutch, they were the richest people in the world. They had evolved a system of representative government which varied from colony to colony, paying homage to the British monarch, but for the most part they conducted the affairs of the colonies as if that ruler did not exist. 

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Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay I

Lead: The prisons of England were just too crowded: something had to be done.

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

Content: To solve the problem of a growing prison population in England, the government began in 1718 to deport or transport prisoners to the colonies in the American South. They were sold to shipping contractors who would sell them to plantation owners as workers on the coastal estates. This method of transportation ended with the coming of the American Revolution and the population of the prisons began to creep back up.

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