Quest for Mt. Everest II

Lead: The challenge of Mt. Everest was clear from the time its height was determined in the 1800s, but attempts to reach the summit are not known to have begun until the 1920s.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The peak of Mt. Everest is one of earth’s most hostile places. The air is thin. No crops can be grown there. No domestic animals can live there. Any attempt on the summit would require taking along those things necessary to sustain life. Long months of adaptation to the high altitude, supplementary oxygen in tanks, food and water would have to be dragged up nearly impassible terrain which, in the early days, no one had ever crossed. The key to the eventual success of the assault on Everest was a nomadic people, Tibetan-speaking clans who struggled for survival on the lower slopes of the mountain by trading and herding livestock. These are the Sherpa. They were capable of carrying the large loads of supplies that made the climb possible.

Quest for Mt. Everest I

Lead: The highest point on earth is the peak of Mt. Everest, part of a geologic eruption along the crest of the Himalayas on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Until 1953 no one had been able to go up there.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It is known as Chomolungma, Goddess Mother of the World, and it towers 29,035 feet above sea level, dwarfing the glaciers that wrap themselves around its base. Until 1852 when its true height was determined at a distance by an India surveyor, the mountain was known simply as Peak 15. In 1865, it was named for Sir George Everest, previously Surveyor General of India.

Making Pictures Talk II

Lead: Making pictures talk, putting sound with film, took decades to develop. It required a whole new kind of technology.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The problem was synchronization and sound quality. Essayist Curt Wohleber writes that even if an inventor could have gotten lips to synch with pictures of the person speaking, turn of the century sound reproduction was so bad that it would have ruined the effect. Yet, by 1910, the tools were in place which would ultimately solve the problem. Alexander Graham Bell and his telephone had demonstrated that sound could be converted into an electric signal. Then Lee de Forest developed the audion, a vacuum tube that amplified and manipulated recorded sound. By 1920 De Forest had developed a new system, which converted sound into light. Processed by an audion, light was shined through a thin slit and recorded on the movie film at the exactly the right time, therefore speaking lips fit with spoken words.

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Making Pictures Talk I

Lead: Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph and the motion picture. Putting them together proved to be extraordinarily difficult.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1877 Edison introduced his first sound recording, his own voice reading "Mary Had a Little Lamb." A dozen years later, with an improved version on the market, he started work on method of recording and reproducing moving photographs.

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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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Mr. Watt’s Slight Innovation

Lead: There was not much of an Industrial Revolution until a slight improvement by the Scottish inventor, James Watt.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Industrial progress is marked by long series of bottlenecks overcome by small but clever innovations. For centuries the main product of England was wool. First in raw form, cut from English sheep and shipped to the factories of the Netherlands, and later fabricated in English shops into simple woolen clothing. By 1700 the added popularity of cotton clothing created an opportunity. Already the machinery had been invented which could take raw cotton and wool and make cheap clothing for the mass market, but to operate those machines required energy. Primitive factories used water wheels turned by swiftly moving streams and rivers but there were just so many usable water sources around. Perhaps it was thought this first great modern energy crisis could be resolved by steam power.

Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment III

Lead: A single vote saved Andrew Johnson from disgrace.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1865 President Johnson wanted to quickly ease the South back into the national mainstream, but his stubbornness and irascible disposition complicated his ability in facing an array of opponents, the most formidable of which were the Radical Republicans. Led by Benjamin Wade and Charles Sumner in the Senate and Thaddeus Stevens in the House, the radicals were determined to treat the South as if it were conquered territory. In addition, they wished to force full citizenship for blacks on a South filled with whites who up to then considered African Americans to be hardly human beings, much less persons worthy of civil rights. Also, the radicals knew that Southerners, many of whom had advocated secession and brought about the war, would probably help elect a Democratic majority in Congress, which would defeat the radical program.