Gas Warfare in WWII- Part I

Lead: Poison gas was used widely for the first time during World War I. So horrific was this experience that most countries drew back from its use, but that was not exactly the way it turned out.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1925 the major powers outlawed the use of gas warfare in the Geneva Protocols. The United States Senate never ratified this treaty, but Presidents Harding, Hoover and Roosevelt accepted the principal that the use of gas in warfare was immoral and committed the United States to abiding by the treaty. The vivid images and bitter memories of the use of gas on the battlefields of France were enough to compel public and official opinion into a firm determination that America would not be the first to use such a debilitating and morale destroying agent of destruction. Even so, the United States did not draw back from manufacturing or stock-piling these weapons, just in case.

 

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Descartes

Lead: Considered by many to be the seminal modern thinker, René Descartes remains an integral part of the philosophical canon.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in 1596, the year of the Declaration of Nantes with which French King Henry IV laid the foundation of religious toleration in Europe, Descartes’ work came to symbolize a philosophical break with the way in which people fundamentally organized intelligence and considered the universe.

 

 

Napoleon at Waterloo IV

Lead: From 1793 Napoleon increasingly dominated the affairs of France and Europe and, though defeated and banished in 1815, Napoleon’s legend grew during his life and showed no signs of going away after his death.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Napoleon Bonaparte died in 1821 at his place of exile on the British island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Almost immediately authors and historians began to examine his life for clues as to Napoleon’s legacy. He had detractors and defenders as befit any colossal personality. His enemies sought to diminish his accomplishments, his allies, and particularly ambitious family members such as future Emperor Louis Napoleon, wished to enhance the luster of his name for their own benefit.

Napoleon at Waterloo III

Lead: In March 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte, deposed Emperor of the French, banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba, escaped, landed in southern France and attempted to reclaim his greatness. His daring quest ended at Waterloo.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The 100 days of Napoleon’s last campaign sent shivers of panic throughout a Europe which had thought itself rid of Le Petit Caporal. He landed at Cannes with his guard, won over the regiment sent to capture him, and was in Paris by March 20th. While the French people were weary of Napoleon and had acquiesced in his exile after his abdication in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, they were committed to the essential elements of the Revolution and resented the attempt by restored King Louis XVIII to set back the clock. Napoleon’s welcome was at best tentative as he also wished to turn back the clock to the Empire, something many of his former Republican allies were loathe to do. Also, he faced a daunting array of allied armies converging on France to stamp out permanently the menace he represented. Once again, he would have to fight for his place in the sun.

Napoleon at Waterloo II

Lead: Napoleon Bonaparte, humiliated and banished, attempted to win back his losses in a dynamic campaign that began with his dramatic escape from the island of Elba.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: It must have been very discouraging, living there on that tiny island just off the coast of west Italy. The Emperor of the French, whose power at its height, like a colossus stretched from Portugal to the Urals, from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, this larger-than-life personality, reduced to 86 square miles of rock. He said, upon his arrival, that he wished to live as a justice of the peace, but such resignation was hardly possible for a man of such restless vigor who had led millions in battle since he burst on the scene in 1793.

Napoleon at Waterloo I

Lead: Having built his political and military career on acts of daring and boldness, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, in 1814, attempted to resurrect and salvage his greatness at the Battle of Waterloo.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the second surviving child of a politically well-connected lawyer whose family emigrated to Corsica from Tuscany in North Central Italy during the 1500s. His father’s connections made it possible to send his sons to France for their education. Napoleon was not an exceptional student, graduating in 1785 42nd in a class of 58 from the Military Academy in Paris. Despite this lackluster record, however, he continued to develop his understanding of tactics and strategy by readings in the military masters and to hone his understanding of public policy while consuming the political works of Voltaire and Rousseau.

The Election of 1980- II

Lead: In the presidential election of 1980, incumbent President Jimmy Carter attempted to fend off the attacks of his Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. Reagan's victory is considered by many to be a turning point in American political life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1980 the United States was in a recession -- suffering from high interest rates and high inflation, economic struggles and what some characterized at the time as a “malaise,” in the electorate. The Republicans nominated for president the former governor of California, Ronald Reagan. Although President Carter had several significant foreign policy accomplishments to his credit, including the Camp David Accords and the Panama Canal Treaty, these seemed diminished by the continuing hostage crisis in Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a domestic energy predicament and the lackluster economy. Carter even had to beat back a serious primary challenge by fellow Democrat, Senator Ted Kennedy.

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The Election of 1980- I

Lead:  The presidential election of 1980 is often called a “realignment election,” one of several in United States history. It represented a dramatic shift in political power.        

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: A “realignment election” is a plebiscite on the current party or philosophy dominating the national conversation. The American people decide they want to choose a new direction. These elections, 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932, and perhaps 1980, demonstrate a shift in political orientation due to new geographic bases of power and/or new philosophical coalitions. This change or “realignment” of political power results in a new status quo and resonates in the political climate for decades. For example, historians generally agree that the presidential election of 1932 was a classic realignment election. An alliance of interest groups - labor unions, racial and ethnic minorities, and white southerners – united behind the Democratic Party and the policies of FDR and dominated U.S. politics for the next fifty years - from the New Deal to the Great Society.

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