Wright Brothers: The Birthday of Powered Flight – Part II

Lead:  Living in cramped quarters on the wind swept coast of North Carolina and existing on short rations, Orville and Wilbur Wright brought their years of experiments to climax. The thing actually flew.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For several years the Wrights, inventors and bicycle mechanics from Akron, Ohio, had been toying with the idea of powered flight. They achieved their goal by first experimenting with gliders. The Outer Banks of North Carolina afforded them an excellent place to do this work. In 1903 during their annual fall trip to Kitty Hawk, they worked on a previous year's machine on good wind days and in the shop on a new machine on rainy and calm days.

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Wright Brothers: The Birthday of Powered Flight – I

Lead:  In 1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright, bicycle mechanics from Akron, Ohio, solved the problem of powered flight.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At the dawn of the twentieth century men and women were still tied to the earth. Except for those short trips that could be achieved using gliders and the limited flight time of heat-fired balloons, the sky was an unwelcome place. These scant incursions into the air above served only to tantalize scientists and others who dreamed of a day when the sky would play host to a new and swift way of escape and transport. Samuel P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Museum, had been conducting experiments in powered flight. His aerodrome tests in the Potomac River seemed to be going nowhere in 1903 when word came that two obscure inventors from Ohio had breached the wall and achieved powered flight. Without government help, with little scientific training, the two had isolated and solved the basic problems associated with manned flight and put the thing in the air.

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The Great Trek – Part IV

Lead:  Their governor killed and the Zulu clan in open resistance to their invasion of tribal territory in Natal, the Afrikaners emigration known as the Great Trek, was in the winter of 1839 in serious danger of collapse.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Trekking to escape what they considered the pollution of British colonial rule, white South Africans of mostly Dutch descent called Afrikaners moved in covered wagons during the late 1830s northeast away from the Cape of Good Hope in two streams. One headed for the African heartland the other up over the Drankensburg Mountains down into the coastal area of Natal, into Zulu country. They believed the land was theirs for the taking. In the conviction that was common among most white colonials of that era, British and Afrikaner, the superiority of the white race was assumed and land, even though it had been a part of native African holdings for generations, was a ripe target for takeover.

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The Great Trek – III

Lead:  In the 1830s, the migration of white Afrikaners away from what they considered the pollution of British civilization in South Africa brought them into conflict with black native African tribes with powerful military traditions, among the most aggressive were the Zulu.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Almost from the beginning, the Great Trek was divided in its destination. Eventually, the majority of Afrikaaners would settle in the region northeast of the Vaal River in the African heartland, but early on a substantial segment tried to alight in the lush coastal province of Natal. This was Zulu territory and the province of Zulu King Dingaan who looked with increasing alarm at the arrival of the Afrikaner families on their swift horses, brandishing the firearms which could make short work of his theretofore formidable military machine.

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The Great Trek – II

Lead:  The challenge to their way of life becoming unbearable, South Africans of Dutch ancestry in the 1830s moved away from the Cape Colony in the Great Trek.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the British took control of the Cape of Good Hope in the early 1800s, they instituted changes increasingly considered unacceptable by settlers on the fringes of the colony of mostly Dutch ancestry who called themselves Afrikaners. Disputes over the treatment of native black and mixed race Africans many of whom the Afrikaners held in slavery, the new charges for land which theretofore had been free, and the inability or unwillingness of the British to provide the Dutch security from attack by natives from across the colony's frontier, intensified the Afrikaner desire to get away from the colony and live on their own.

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The Great Trek – I

Lead:  To escape what they considered to be invasions of their privacy and polluting influences, South Africans of Dutch ancestry in the 1830s began to migrate northeast away from the Cape Colony in what has come to be known as the Great Trek.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The earliest Europeans to settle the Cape of Good Hope at the southern-most tip of Africa were placed there by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. Their purpose was to provide a haven and provisions for ships carrying goods back and forth between Holland and southeast Asia. Until the beginning of the 1800s the Company had ruled the colony with a light hand leaving the settlers mostly to their own devices. During the wars against Napoleon, Britain secured the Cape Colony and looked up it as an important outpost on the colonial lifeline to India.

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Edmund Ruffin the Fire-Eater

Lead:  On April 12, 1861 Edmund Ruffin leaned forward and fired the cannon. It was aimed at Fort Sumter far out in the harbor channel in Charleston, South Carolina. It was the first shot of the Civil War. For Ruffin, it was a long time coming.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Edmund Ruffin inherited a plantation in Tidewater, Virginia. He was a diligent and efficient planter and was among the first to apply the principles of scientific farming to his acreage. Using fertilizers, rotation of crops, and periodically idling his fields, he became a rich and prosperous planter with numerous slaves and multiple plantations. As a lecturer and writer advocating scientific agriculture, his reputation spread all over the South. During one of his trips he became friends with Governor James Hammond of South Carolina one of the earliest southern leaders to think the unthinkable, he advocated secession. Ruffin was soon converted to the cause of Southern Independence.
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The President’s Lady (Jackson) – Part II

Lead:  To get at Andrew Jackson during the campaign of 1828, his political opponents accused his wife Rachel of bigamy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the early 1800s divorce in America was rare and socially scorned. First married to Lewis Robards, an abusive and promiscuous husband, Rachel Donelson Jackson left him. When Andrew Jackson heard that Robards had filed for divorce, the young Tennessee lawyer, deeply in love with the beautiful and vivacious Rachel, quickly married her. The problem was Robards had only filed for divorce and in the two years they before the decree was granted, Jackson and Rachel had been co-habiting, though in ignorance of her legal standing, while she was legally married to another man. When the divorce came through, the shocked couple were quickly re-married, this time legally, but the damage had been done. Thus, from the beginning their marriage was tainted with scandal.

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