Admiral Grace Hopper – Teaching Computers to Speak

Lead: When Grace Hopper got into the business in 1944, the number of people who had ever heard the word computer could not fill a small room. She stayed with it until she died.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content:. When the United States was sucked into World War II, Vassar College Professor Grace Murray Hopper could have avoided military service. She had a Yale PhD and was in a vital profession, a college math teacher barred from military service, but Grace Hopper loved the U.S. Navy. Her great-grandfather had been a rear admiral, and she battered the doors down and finished first in her midshipman class. The Navy wanted her mind, specifically, her ability to calculate and help operate the new generation of mechanical calculators that would be required if modern weapons were to reach their destructive potential.

George Washington Rains and Confederate Gunpowder – II

Lead: During the Civil War, the Confederacy faced serious challenges, not the least of which was having no source of gunpowder. To solve that problem they turned to George Washington Rains.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: The key ingredient in gunpowder is saltpeter, the general name for three naturally occurring nitrates, the most common in North America being potassium nitrate. Called by some niter, it was combined with sulfur and charcoal, and together they were rolled, pressed crushed, granulated and dried in a process that was conducted almost nowhere in large quantities in the South prior to 1861. To defend itself the Confederacy would have to solve that problem. Ordinance chief Josiah Gorgas appointed Artillery major George Washington Rains, third in his West Point class, and who had served with distinction in the Mexican War.

 

George Washington Rains and Confederate Gunpowder – I

Lead: When it became clear that the Federal government would not permit the South to depart without a fight in 1861, one of the most pressing needs of the newly formed Confederacy was gunpowder.

 

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

               

Content: Despite its wealth of leadership and agricultural resources, the South in the 1860s, was ill equipped to fight a war. What ordinance it had was confiscated from Federal arsenals in Confederate territory and was not nearly enough to prosecute the major campaigns that lay ahead. Few foundries could roll the iron that would be required.  The South had provided mostly raw agricultural products to the factories of the North and the industrial mills of Europe. That it was able to field numerous armies, a credible naval effort, and a war machine that held the North at bay for the better part of three full years is a testimony to the raw talent, dedication, and energy of its leaders, the many sacrifices of its white population, and, at least at first, the vigor of its free blacks and slaves. Yet in the end, the South had been bled dry, overwhelmed by the industrial might and superior numbers the North could bring to the conflict.

A House Divided: (61) Cracker Secession – II

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the most intriguing questions to emerge from the Civil War involved the willingness of lower class whites, whose connection to the slave economy was distant at best, who never could ever have dreamed of even owning a slave, threw themselves into the war effort of the Confederacy, many paying the ultimate price for their loyalty. It is not an easy question, but some factors are economic, social, and regional.

A House Divided: (60) Cracker Secession – I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the months leading up to the first large military engagement of the civil war, both North and South were gripped by war fever. All the romance and illusion of a people that had known little but peaceful development came spilling out on both sides of the divide. The righteousness of the cause of each region was taken for granted.

A House Divided: (56) – Fleeting Myth of Southern Unionism – II

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By the early months of 1861 seven states had clearly committed themselves to a course of disunion and the Confederacy, but hope that the upper South could resist the forces of secession was ripe in both North and South. This proved illusory because it was based on the ability of the country to avoid the use of force.

A House Divided: (55) – Fleeting Myth of Southern Unionism – I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the election of Abraham Lincoln, it seemed that the die was cast. The South would leave the United States and seek a future in a southern Confederacy. Yet, breaking the bonds of Union proved strangely difficult for many, particularly in the upper South. In early February 1861, several states met in Montgomery, Alabama to craft a new nation, but only seven slave states showed up, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Texas. Over the next several weeks it seemed possible to develop a strategy to keep the remaining seven from joining their fellow slave states in disunion.

A House Divided: (54) – Election of 1860 – IV

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: 1860. Four parties. Four candidates. Southern democrats nominated John Cabell Breckinridge and carried most of the states in the south. Breckinridge may have sucked enough votes away from the regular Democrats to give the Republicans pluralities in California and Oregon.