History’s Turning Points: Ambitious Corporal I (Bonaparte)

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: the ambitious corpora1.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: French historian and romantic author, Francois-René Vicomte Chateaubriand, wrote of Napoleon Bonaparte, “the mightiest breath of life which ever animated human clay.” He can be forgiven a flight of hyperbole, but for the first decade of the 19th century there is little doubt that Bonaparte straddled the wide continent of Europe virtually unimpeded. He was the Corsican corporal whose ambition made him Emperor of the French and whose military genius and daring shattered all before him. Yet, perhaps it was not his conquests which were fleeting or his empire which faded at his fall which set Napoleon firmly astride one of history’s great turning points. It was the system of aristocratic rule that he wounded, the legal system that he established wherever his armies conquered, and the dark and vicious concept of nationalism that lingered long after its author perished on St. Helena. Those things transformed him from transitory tyrant to a figure whose influence approaches the eternal.

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1968: U.S. Cities Burn II

Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control.

Content: In the wake of the legal triumphs of the civil rights movement, many African Americans recognized that fundamental change was many years away. Some radicals in the black community were not shy about manipulating these frustrated expectations into violent acts of protest and destruction

1968: U.S. Cities Burn I

Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control.

Content: As a part of the social and political turmoil of the era that seemed to come to a climax in 1968, urban rioting, particular racial rioting, reached fever pitch in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April. For many blacks the hard reality of American racial polarization was breaking through the euphoria. Despite the legal triumphs of federal and state civil rights legislation, it was dawning on African Americans that real racial progress would take years, perhaps even generations.

Guernica II

Lead: In April 1937 the town of Guernica in the Basque region of Spain was virtually leveled by German bombers in a brutal act of terror bombing.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Spanish Civil War pitted the Nationalist rebels under General Franco against the Republican Army, but it revealed many of the divisions in Spanish society. The fighting was brutal and atrocities were committed by both sides. Thousands died during the three-year conflict and many more were executed in its aftermath. What made the war especially harsh was outside participation.

Guernica I

Lead: It was not the first terror bombing in the twentieth century, nor the last, nor the worst, but that day in Guernica in 1937 remains a lasting symbol of brutality.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Civil wars are not very civil. Somehow the struggle of neighbor against neighbor, brother against sister, friend against friend, ratchets up the intensity of a conflict. The presence of common ancestry, religion, language, and ethnicity aggravate the normal emotions present when people make war on one another.

First Ladies: Barbara Pierce Bush

Lead: Only one other in American history was the wife and mother of Presidents of the United States. In the august company of Abigail Adams is Barbara Pierce Bush.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: She met her husband at a Christmas dance when she was sixteen. Both were children of privilege and were educated among the Eastern elite. They were married during George’s service in World War II, and after his graduation from Yale, they struck out for the west Texas oil patch and began to build a business and a family. The future President’s financial success led him into a prodigious political career and an unequaled resume. Six children and twenty-nine homes later, they moved into the White House.

American Revolution: Mr. Seldon’s Penny II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In the Revolutionary Era, Americans were followers of John Locke. They believed with Locke that their property represented more than just material possessions, rather property symbolized and secured their lives, liberties, estates, and freedom. In all the colonies, property also bestowed on the owners the rights of a political man. In order to vote one had to possess real property, land. And leaders were those who owned lots of land or were engaged in profitable commercial enterprise. They received this idea from the ancient establishment of Parliament as representative and protector of those who owned property.

American Revolution: Mr. Seldon’s Penny I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In the 1760s and 1770s British colonists in North America struggled to justify or even to describe the foundation of their increasing discontent with their relationship with Britain. Eventually a full-blown constitutional argument or justification for liberation would find expression in the writings of Thomas Paine and in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, but in the wake of the Stamp Act Crisis of 1765 and 1766 colonial advocates were trying to find the ideas that might give respectability to their determination to protect their property from Parliamentary tax schemes. For colonial theorists, protection of property was not an idle exercise, not some exercise in selfish acquisition. Property for Americans represented the heart and soul of liberty. The very purpose of civil society was the “preservation and regulation of property.