The Making of Santa Claus II

Lead:  It took 1,500 years and the customs and traditions from many lands to turn the mythical and vaguely historical figure of Saint Nicholas, into the beloved and legendary character we know today as Santa Claus.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Although the myth of Santa Claus has roots in a real person – a certain Nicholas, an early Catholic bishop from the ancient city of Myra in southwest Asia Minor – our modern-day Santa Claus is actually a blend of religious and secular customs and traditions from various parts of the western world.

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The Making of Santa Claus I

Lead:  One of the most beloved legendary figures of the western world is Santa Claus. His legend originated in 4th century southwest Asia Minor, which is present day Turkey.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The tradition of Santa Claus has its genesis in various customs of different cultures throughout the world. However, the great influence came from a real person - a young monk named Nicholas who served as a priest and later as a bishop in the town of Myra, on the Mediterranean seacoast.

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Huey Long II

Lead:  At the height of his political power, Louisiana Senator Huey Pierce Long, while making inroads on the national political scene, was struck down by an assassin’s bullet.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: While he was governor of Louisiana Huey Long himself adopted the nickname “The Kingfish”—based on a smooth talking scheming character from the Amos ’n Andy radio show.  He had campaigned for governor on the populist slogan coined by William Jennings Bryan, “Every man a king, but no one wears a crown,” and his populist attacks on the greed and privilege of the wealthy and big business struck a chord with the struggling poor of Louisiana during the Great Depression—mostly rural voters. He became a hero to many, even while his critics warned that his heavy-handed methods and corruption were more like a dictator than one who valued democratic means to get what he wanted.

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Huey Long I

Lead:  During the Great Depression, a flamboyant politician dominated state politics. Huey Long transformed a backward state and through the sheer force of his personality, compelled Louisiana into the twentieth century.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Huey Pierce Long was born on August 30, 1893, in Winnfield, Louisiana, in the north central region of the state. He was seventh of nine children raised in a farming family of modest means. The “Populist” movement was strong in his parish and Huey absorbed the ideas of the populists. Though his schooling was limited, he was bright, headstrong and very ambitious.

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Samuel Johnson and Patronage

Lead:  In Samuel’s Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language, he defines a patron: One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Eighteenth-century London was a magnet for aspiring writers like Samuel Johnson. He came to London from the midlands in 1737, penniless, ill-fed, and ill-clothed. He contributed to periodicals for a number of years, barely getting by, and after many years of obscurity, secured his reputation as a man of letters with the publication of his Dictionary of the English Language in 1755. For that accomplishment he was awarded a modest annual pension from the British government, and thus gained financial independence.

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Frank Capra and It’s a Wonderful Life II

Lead:  Following World War II, film director and producer Frank Capra resumed his career with a film that was a box office disappointment but is now considered his masterpiece – It’s a Wonderful Life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, has been embraced by millions and has become a staple in many households, especially during the Christmas season. Capra’s winning formula was consistent – nostalgic and sentimental portraits of common men in small town America who, through acts of great courage, triumph over injustice.

Frank Capra and It’s a Wonderful Life I

Lead:  One of the most beloved film classics of all time was a box office failure when it was released in 1946. It’s a Wonderful Life was a quintessential Frank Capra movie.         

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Frank Capra’s masterpiece, It’s a Wonderful Life, is ranked high on the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest Films of All Times. The film, however, did not have an auspicious start. It opened at the Globe Theatre in New York on December 20, 1946. Reviews were mixed and the film did not break even. Nevertheless, it was nominated for five Academy Awards, the post-war audiences had grown tired of his 1930s winning recipe.

Battle of Omdurman II

Lead:  In September 1898, Anglo-Egyptian, effectively British, control of the northeastern African nation of Sudan was secured by force of arms at the Battle of Omdurman.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: During the late nineteenth century, Great Britain and other European nations “scrambled for Africa.” This colonial expansion was motivated by geo-political reasons, religious reasons, but mostly by the economic hunger for trade and the chance to exploit the rich natural resources of Africa. After Britain occupied Egypt in 1882, Anglo-Egyptian forces reached south to absorb the Sudan, but kicked up a nationalist religious revolt that captured the Sudanese capital of Khartoum in 1885.