Anatomy of a Presidential Scandal (Cleveland) I

Lead: It is difficult to keep perspective at a time when passions are engaged and salacious revelations stir the body politic. Yet, such a time is the perfect occasion to examine the past to gain perspective by looking at the anatomy of a Presidential scandal.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Oh, to be a Democrat in the summer of 1884. Victory was in the air. For the first time since the nomination of James Buchanan in 1856 the Party had a real chance to take the White House. Every four years this ragtag collection of yellow dog dixiecrats and immigrant Yankees would drink and party their way to the nomination of a pair of political nonentities, who would then promptly go out and lose. Not this time. This time they had a winner.

 

First Ladies: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt III

Lead: After the death of her husband in 1945, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt began a life of vigorous support for those causes that animated the couple during their marriage.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Released from the political restrictions of the White House, Eleanor Roosevelt followed her heart. She served on the board of the NAACP, helped found the liberal social pressure group Americans for Democratic Action, and actively stumped for her friend Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson in two presidential campaigns. She continued to animate the faithful and irritate her enemies with a full schedule of lectures, writing, and activism. Her unconventional approach had made her a controversial First Lady, it didn’t stop after she left the White House.

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First Ladies: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt II

Lead: Beloved by millions and despised by many, in the White House Eleanor Roosevelt evolved into a most unconventional First Lady.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When she first moved into the Executive Mansion, the wife of Franklin Roosevelt shocked the staff by helping re-arrange furniture in the family quarters and insisting on operating the ancient elevator herself. That was just the beginning. She did the conventional, ceremonial duties, but unlike other First Ladies, she became involved in the administration’s policies, had her own very popular newspaper column, and lectured around the country on a wide variety of topics.

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First Ladies: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt I

Lead: As a young woman Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, daughter of rich and glamorous parents, was painfully shy, insecure and inarticulate. She overcame it all.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Eleanor Roosevelt, the niece of one Roosevelt president, the distant cousin and wife of another, grew up in the privileged society of New York’s elite. She was a disappointment to her handsome mother who considered Eleanor to be rather plain. Her father adored her but was too often absent from the family. She grew into a young woman with profound insecurities that began to dissipate only at the age of 15 when she was sent to a finishing school in a fashionable London suburb. The headmistress, the political and religious liberal Marie Souvestre, took special interested in Eleanor. In addition to strict discipline Mademoiselle Marie conveyed important social lessons. The girl emerged as a thoughtful gentlewoman with an appealing charm.

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The Conciliar Movement II

Lead: With the Church split into factions, with three popes claiming the obedience of Roman Catholics the leaders of Christian Europe met in the Swiss village of Constance to clean up the mess.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1409 at the Council of Pisa, the leaders of the church met to bring some kind of order out of the chaos that grew from having rival popes one in Rome the other in Avignon in the south of France. They were also trying to come up with way of governing the Church that broadened its leadership base. Many in the church led by Pierre D'Ailly of Bishop of Cambrai in France advocated a change in Church government that would retain the office of Pope but place him under a General Council of Bishops which would be the ultimate authority in the Church. At Pisa the Council deposed the rival popes and appointed one of their own. He soon died and his successor took the name John XXIII. The other popes refused to go, that meant there were three.

 

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The Conciliar Movement I

Lead: To a Europe beset by plague, war and economic depression, the Church offered precious little help.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the late 1300s Europe was in trouble. The Black Death was the in process of reducing the population by as much as a third. The Hundred Years' War between France and England was tearing up the French countryside and both countries’ economies. To make matters worse, the continent’s one unifying institution was itself in disarray. For seventy years Popes of the Roman Catholic Church lived in Avignon in southern France. Suspicious that the Church was then a pawn of the French king, English and German Catholics increasingly looked elsewhere for spiritual guidance.

 

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Whiskey Rebellion IV

Lead: In the winter of 1794 President George Washington sent an army into western Pennsylvania to put down a rebellion among farmers opposed to a federal tax on whiskey.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Passed to pay the lingering debts run up by the former colonies in the American Revolution, the excise tax on whiskey was deeply resented by farmers in the west who distilled spirits and used them for medicine as well as a form of money, trading whiskey for farm supplies, clothing and most other needed goods. When a citizen militia led by back country lawyer David Bradford threatened to sever western Pennsylvania from the rest of the state or perhaps even secede from the Union, President George Washington declared them traitors and sent a delegation to investigate and an Army to put down the rebellion.

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Whiskey Rebellion III

Lead: Aroused by the imposition of an excise tax on whiskey, farmers on the frontier of Western Pennsylvania took on the fledgling national government of George Washington.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1791, to pay off debts run up by the colonies in their fight for independence, the U.S. government, at the urging of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, passed a tax on whiskey. This tax struck at the livelihood of frontier farmers who could not get their grain east to market and so made it into whiskey, which they used for medicine and traded for all sorts of goods. It was their money.

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