Christmas Story

Lead: For 1500 years, most Christian believers have celebrated the nativity or birth of Christ on December 25th assuming that he was born on that day. They are almost certainly wrong.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Before and after the adoption of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine of the Roman Empire around 300 of the Christian Era, the early Church faced threats even as the early church’s numbers and influence were increasing. The flood of new converts brought with them behaviors, traditions and beliefs that the church found hard to digest. From almost the beginning and for several centuries thereafter, the Christian Church struggled to define orthodoxy and rid its richly diverse growing membership of pagan beliefs and habits. One of the earliest leaders, Paul of Tarsus, grumbled in his pastoral letter to Galatia, that Christians were turning back to their bondage to the observation of “days, months, and seasons,” (Galatians 4:8-11).

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1808 End of Slave Trade II

Lead: The issue was whether the U.S. Constitution would permit the continued importation of slaves. They came up with a compromise, but on the long-term future of slavery it was largely fruitless.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until its complete abolition at the end of the Civil War, slavery was a moral, legal, and economic sore that festered on the American body politic. Once slaves had become an integral part of the colonial economy and social fabric in the 1600s it would be a source of great reward and great offense. As the delegates gathered in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to craft a better way of building national unity, the problem of slavery reared its terrible head. Divisions were on predictable lines, northerners wanted to bring the practice to an end, southerner wanted to protect their interests. Yet, surprisingly, even southerners were aware that the institution had deleterious effects on the character of slave and slave-holder, violated the principles on which the new republic was founded and was becoming economically unprofitable.

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Dorothy Dix I

Lead: She came from a life of wealth and social prominence, but Dorothea Dix devoted her life to good causes, especially helping to improve the treatment of the mentally ill.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Dorothea Dix’s early years were not happy. Her father was the estranged son of a prominent Boston family. An alcoholic who suffered religious delusions, Joseph Dix barely kept his family out of starvation. Dorothy refused to live in such conditions and eventually, at the age of twelve, fled to Boston where she lived with relatives for the next several years.

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Joan of Arc I

Lead: In 1420 Joan a young French peasant girl, in the throes of religious ecstasy, altered the affairs of great nations at the cost of her own life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Joan was born in the village of Domremy, France, in 1412. She lived in final stages of the so-called Hundred Years’ War, a series of sporadic conflicts fought on French soil between England and France from 1337 to 1453. Beginning with the Norman Invasion in 1066, the monarchs of England were French, often more interested in pursuing their destinies and expanding their territory on the continent than in England itself. Through marriage, the royal houses of the two countries had become linked and it was inevitable that at one point an English King would be able to make a convincing claim to the throne of France. In the 1330s it happened. With the death of French King Charles IV in 1328, the Capetian dynasty came to an end. Sixteen-year-old King Edward III of England had a strong claim to France through his mother, the dead French king’s sister. By artful manipulation French nobles blocked Edward’s claim and installed in his place a royal nephew, Philip of Valois. Edward acquiesced but in 1337 Philip confiscated the rich Duchy of Acquitaine, Edward’s vast holdings in southwestern France

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Court Martial of Billy Mitchell I

Lead: Billy Mitchell’s experience as Army air combat commander during World War I showed him that future success in warfare depended on air power. His problem was that he just couldn’t keep quiet about it.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Before the war Mitchell had a limited view of the airplane’s potential. He was in the Signal Corps and believed flying machines were primarily useful only for reconnaissance, flying behind and over the battlefield, spotting artillery, tracking enemy maneuvers, and aiding in fast communication and travel. As the months in Europe passed, his perspective began to change. He started to fly battle missions beside his pilots and eventually rose to be leader of the Army’s air arm. Under actual combat conditions additional powerful possibilities for the airplane began to emerge. Tactically, warplanes could support troops fighting on the ground and strategically, planes could help destroy enemy installations behind the lines.

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Construction of the Panama Canal III

Lead: In 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt had to find a replacement for John Frank Stevens. He assigned the completion of the Panama Canal to George Goethals,

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts,

Content: French engineers had attempted the construction of the Panama Canal in the 1870s. As Colonel George Goethals of the Army Corps of Engineers took over, digging proceeded at an amazing pace with workers removing more dirt each day than the French did in an entire month.

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Nat Turner Slave Rebellion I

Lead: In August 1831 the southside Virginia county of Southhampton was convulsed by the deadliest slave rebellion in North American history. One of roots of the rebellion was southern white ambivalence about slavery.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Despite the growing economic dependence upon slave labor in the American south after the Revolution, there was powerful ambivalence among many Southerners about the institution of slavery. It mocked the philosophical foundation of the republic itself, violating the principles animating the Declaration of Independence. Many religious groups were increasingly vocal about the immorality of slavery. Quakers, anti-slavery Baptists, and before 1800, Methodists vigorously denounced the practice and encouraged slave owners to manumit their slaves. In the north, slavery was gradually eliminated by custom, sentiment and legal prohibition, so that the south became increasingly isolated in the national debate.

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Dorothy Dix II

Lead: A chance encounter in the East Cambridge Jail in 1841 gave Dorothea Dix a cause to pursue, a focus for her intellect and considerable energy, and a passion which would consume her for the rest of her life.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Dorothea Dix, daughter of an alcoholic itinerant minister, but granddaughter of a prominent and wealthy Boston physician, in her early years was a devout Christian. She believed her affluent, cultured upbringing and her faith placed powerful requirements on her life. She felt compelled into a life of service to those in society less fortunate, less wealthy, less healthy, less indulged than she.

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