Francis of Assissi II

Lead: Born into a prosperous commercial family Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone, Francis of Assisi, in 1208 answered a spiritual call to a life of poverty and service. His movement brought repentance and reform to a church in deep need of renewal.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Struggling to maintain its authority the face of a growing challenge from newly emerging nation states, the Roman Catholic Church was focused on institutional survival. Many ordinary believers, however, were convinced the Church had lost its way and were turning elsewhere for spiritual solace. Into such a environment came Francesco di Bernardone. A popular youth, he was raised in the central Italian town of Assisi, north of Rome in the Umbrian hills. In 1208 he had a spiritual crisis which, in turn, drew him into a life of pious service. Francis was a layman, whose spiritual journey included preaching and a life of consistent imitation of Christ. He celebrated poverty and stripped himself of all possessions and worldly encumbrances; he never insisted that personal poverty was the Christian ideal, but invited his followers to such a lifestyle. He considered that all nature reflected the divine and called all creatures his brothers and sisters.

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Francis of Assissi I

Lead: In 1210, responding to the prompting of a lay preacher, Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone (informally Francesco), Pope Innocent III established the Order of the Friars Minor. Francis of Assisi had the vehicle by which he could spread his message of sacrifice and salvation.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Religious institutions are social organisms. They go through periods of robust energetic growth and spiritual enthusiasm then decline into periods of corruption and stasis, when the ideals of the faith dim and require reformation. Having preserved what remained of civilization and order in Western Europe in the centuries following the collapse of the Roman Empire, by the 11th century the Roman Catholic Church was locked in a bitter struggle for pre-imminence with the newly re-emerging and secular national states of England, France and Germany. The focus of this struggle was the authority of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. It was a struggle the church would eventually lose, but this decline would take another three centuries and culminate in the rending of the unity of Christian Europe in the Protestant Reformation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beria (Russia) III

Lead: After clawing his way to the top of the ailing Joseph Stalin's pyramid of bureaucratic terror, Lavrentiy Beria seemed set to succeed the maximum leader.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1938 Stalin brought him to Moscow after Beria had distinguished himself as the bloody enforcer of the Great Purges in Georgia and other southern Soviet provinces near the Caucasus Mountains. He became assistant to Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD, in the waning days of the purge, and after Yezhov's fall from power and execution, Beria took his place. He became a candidate member of the Politburo and during World War II he sat on the five-member State Defense Committee, which, with Stalin, directed the war effort. Beria was responsible for internal security as well as foreign intelligence operations and the network of forced labor camps he ruled, the Gulag Archipelago, turned out much of the raw material for the Soviet war industry.

Beria (Russia) II

Lead: Of the henchmen of Joseph Stalin, none struck fear in the hearts of Russians quite like Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born of Georgian peasant stock in 1899, Beria became a Marxist sympathizer while attending technical college in Azerbaijan. At the fall of the Russian monarchy, Beria dropped out of school to join the Army, apparently to spread Communist ideas and help undermine morale. When the Bolsheviks overthrew the Provisional government in the October Revolution, Beria returned home to finish his studies but was soon caught up in his party's counterintelligence service, the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counterrevolution and Sabotage, or CHEKA.

Beria (Russia) I

Lead: In a history punctuated by rulers noted for their villainy, Russia produced few leaders as efficiently cruel or as feared as Stalin's exterminator, Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his long rule over the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin acquired a reputation for ruthlessness and near barbarity in the pursuit and maintenance of his power, yet it was some of his henchmen, anxious to do his bidding and please him, who brought a whole new dimension to the practice of state sponsored terrorism.

New Jersey Gives Women the Vote

Lead: In its 1776 constitution, almost by accident, the state of New Jersey gave women the right to vote.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The New Jersey Constitution was a hastily assembled affair, put together under the pressure of wartime. Its only requirement for suffrage was a property requirement. The franchise was extended to all inhabitants who were worth £50 or more. This included women and, for that matter, free blacks who were able to muster the financial assets. This did not mean that women voted in large numbers at first. Few married women owned property independently from their husbands. That left prosperous single women and widows who were not in abundance.

 

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Mexico: Monarch Butterfly

Lead: Monarch butterflies are strikingly beautiful, with brilliant orange and black wings, but it is their migration habits over thousands of miles that distinguish this remarkable species.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Each winter, the Oyamel tree forest in central Mexico becomes home to millions of hibernating monarch butterflies. The trees there are large, coniferous and grow at a high altitude. In February/March the hibernating Monarchs come down from the mountains and begin their flight north. In fields and meadows along the way, they lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves of milkweed plants. It takes about a month for an egg to complete four stages of development and become a mature adult. During the caterpillar stage, the Monarch feeds on the milkweed, absorbs certain toxins and this makes them poisonous to predators. This first generation of Monarch butterflies will live for about three to six weeks and continue the northern migration.

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Quest for Mt. Everest III

Lead: After repeated pre-war attempts, in the early 1950s Mt. Everest finally bent to repeated assaults. The mountain was scaled by New Zealand beekeeper, Edmund Hillary, and Sherpa guide, Tensing Norgay.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: After World War II, Communist China invaded Tibet and blocked exploration of Everest from the North. The southern approaches were taken through Nepal and a reconnaissance expedition was mounted by that route in 1951 by the Brits. The following year two strong Swiss teams attempted to scale the mountain in the Spring and Fall but were stopped by severe weather both times just short of the summit.