Quest for Mt. Everest I

Lead: The highest point on earth is the peak of Mt. Everest, part of a geologic eruption along the crest of the Himalayas on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Until 1953 no one had been able to go up there.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It is known as Chomolungma, Goddess Mother of the World, and it towers 29,035 feet above sea level, dwarfing the glaciers that wrap themselves around its base. Until 1852 when its true height was determined at a distance by an India surveyor, the mountain was known simply as Peak 15. In 1865, it was named for Sir George Everest, previously Surveyor General of India.

The Nez Perce War II

Lead: Considered among the most cooperative and adaptable of the Native American tribes in the western territories, in the summer and fall of 1877 a part of the Nez Perce stopped being cooperative.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For many years the Nez Perce had inhabited tribal homelands in Eastern Oregon and Washington and western Idaho. Under the pressure of white ranchers and miners their hunting and grazing lands reserved by treaty with the United States had been shrinking. In 1877 they were about to shrink again this time under force. Chief Joseph, leader of a clan who had yet to participate in the treaty process and whose ancestral home along the Wallowa River in Eastern Oregon was about to disappear, had at last reluctantly agreed to move his people to the reservation in Idaho.

The Nez Perce War I

Lead: Faced with an order for their removal, part of the Nez Perce tribe left their reservation in western Idaho and made a break for freedom.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: From their first contact with Lewis and Clark in 1805, the Nez Perce, who adopted the name pierced nose, given them by French-Canadian traders, had good relations with their white neighbors. They were considered a quiet, civil people and many were converted to Christianity in the 1840s by American missionaries. Often the Nez Perce were allies with United States forces in subduing other tribal groups.


Surplus Wars II

Lead: Faced with mountains of surplus war matériel after World War II, the U.S. government had to figure a way to get rid of the stuff.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Everything from toothpaste to fully-equipped Sherman tanks lay in storage depots from Germany to remote islands in the South Pacific. Of first concern to the American public was to get the boys home. Politicians and leaders were under constant pressure to demobilize the troops, and at first little thought was given to the millions of tons of supplies with which the war had been won. In the rush to feed, house, clothe, and arm 15 million active duty personnel, few plans had been laid dispose of the matériel they had used in the fight.

Surplus Wars I

Lead: To get a victory in World War II, the United States sacrificed the lives of nearly a quarter of a million of its sons and daughters, but at the Japanese surrender the war against a huge collection of surplus stuff had just gotten started.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the summer of 1940 the German war machine was nearly everywhere triumphant when Prime Minister Churchill of Britain began to warn that his country could no longer comply with the U.S. law requiring cash payment for arms purchases. To rectify this problem, President Franklin Roosevelt suggested the idea of Lend-Lease and began sending ancient naval destroyers to the beleaguered and isolated British. This was just a small component of the preparations the administration was making for war. Long before Pearl Harbor, the United States was gearing up for the greatest conflict in its history. In purely economic terms, it was a war that was to consume three times the gross national product of 1940 or in excess of three trillion 1997 dollars as adjusted for inflation.

The Knights Templar II

Lead: Beginning in 1307, jealousy, envy, desire to appropriate its vast assets and the waning purpose for its existence, brought arrest, torture, trial and eventual dissolution to the Knights Templar.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: Born of crisis in the years following the First Crusade, the Knights Templar was also known as the Temple. It was an order of warrior monks assigned to defend the Holy Land from Muslim forces. To finance its military and charitable mission, the Temple took donations of cash and real estate from all over Catholic Europe and the Mediterranean. The Templars even developed a rudimentary form of banking which permitted east-bound pilgrims to deposit funds in, say, Spain and to carry a letter of credit which they could cash when they reached the Holy Land. All this was making the Templars very very rich.

Read more →

The Knights Templar I

Lead: In October 1307, King Philip IV rounded up members of the Knights Templar in France. Of those captured, many were examined under torture, tried, convicted and executed. The Order was then disbanded.     

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.            

Content: The French King was in heavy debt to the Templars so his actions and similar strikes elsewhere in Europe were an attempt to crush and appropriate the assets of one of the most successful medieval Catholic holy military orders. Philip wanted the order’s financial stake, but he was also attacking an institution that was at once secret, rich, powerful, and perceived as a threat to powers of church and state.

Read more →

History’s Turning Points: Japan Discovers the Gun II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: Japan rediscovers the gun.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In 1543, visiting Portuguese explorers jumped from the deck of a Chinese commercial ship into Japanese shallow waters and with their muskets shot a duck. The unfavorable results on the duck were duly noted by Lord Tokitaka, who purchased from the Portuguese two guns and commissioned his swordsmiths to copy these new weapons. Within a century firearms were playing a widespread, destructive role in the dynastic and feudal warfare consuming the Japanese upper class. These weapons were very good, indeed the Japanese significantly improved on comparable European designs. One such innovation was waterproof rain protection for the ignition platform, but soon the Japanese abandoned firearms and mostly returned to hand-held weapons such as the sword and the bow and arrow.

Read more →