Sam Houston I

Lead: In the course of a remarkable career, Sam Houston was a war hero, a Governor, President of a sovereign nation, and member of the U.S. House and Senate. He was hated and loved – a true American original.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Born of prosperous planters in Rockbridge County, Virginia in 1793, at the death of his father, Houston migrated with his mother and siblings to Tennessee. He was ill-suited for farm life and after a brief turn at business, escaped into the woods where he began a life-long fascination with Native Americans and their culture. He spent three years with the Cherokee, was adopted by a highly respected clan chief and received the Indian name, The Raven. This sojourn with the Indians affected Houston profoundly in that for the rest of his life, despite his service in the Creek Campaigns of Andrew Jackson, his sympathies and concern would lie with the Indians in their losing battle against the onslaught of white civilization.

Spy Satellites

Lead: It was mid-August 1960. In a White House ceremony, President Dwight D. Eisenhower displayed a United States flag that been recovered from an environmental satellite orbiting the earth. He wasn’t exactly telling the whole truth.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Actually, the flag had been carried into orbit aboard Discoverer XIII and was returned to earth in an ejected capsule which was then recovered from its splash down point northwest of Hawaii by a Navy taskforce. It was the first time an object had been catapulted into earth orbit and brought back without mishap, but this exercise was far more than patriotic chauvinism. The Discoverer program was a ruse, a clever cover-up for a secret reconnaissance operation known as Corona.

First Human Heart Transplantation I

Lead: In December 1967, surgeons in South Africa performed the first human heart transplant. 53-year-old Lewis Washkansky survived for 18 days.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The work of Dr. Christiaan Barnard in transplanting the heart of 25-year-old auto accident victim Denise Durvall into Washkansky built on more than two centuries of experimentation in immunology and surgery. This progress was enhanced by the late 19th-century work on antibodies by Paul Ehrlich, the blood typing research of Karl Landsteiner in 1900, and Ilya Metchnikoff’s theory of host rejection.

First Human Heart Transplantation II

Lead: Building on two centuries of research and experimentation, South African Dr. Christaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Though he was the first surgeon to successfully transplant a human heart, Dr. Barnard was using a technique developed by an American team at Stanford University Medical Center, led by surgeon Norman Shumway, who was considered by many to be the father of heart transplantation. In 1958 Shumway had transplanted the first heart in a dog. He and his associates had spent most of the early 1960s developing heart-lung machines and progressively removing the obstacles to organ transplantation. By the middle of the decade only the issue of immunosuppression seemed to be blocking the way. The body of the patient had a natural tendency to reject donor tissue as an alien to be destroyed.

America’s Revolution: George Washington Strikes the Spark II


Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Sent by the Governor of Virginia to build and defend a fort on the Ohio River at present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in spring 1754, young militia Lt. Colonel George Washington helped kick off the first true world war. As he approached the site of what he would name Fort Necessity, he discovered the presence of a French scouting party. Fearing treachery, on May 28th Washington and his Indian allies ambushed and captured the French led by Ensign Joseph Coulon de Jumonville. Washington, who spoke no French, was struggling to interrogate Jumonville who spoke no English. While they thrashed about the interview, in one of history’s murkiest events, apparently Washington’s Indian confederate Tanaghrisson murdered Jumonville.

The Haunted Major (Rathbone) II

Lead: Caught by history when invited to join President and Mrs. Lincoln in their theater box on the night of Lincoln's assassination, Major Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris begin a journey of great tragedy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Harris sprang to the President's aid and attempted to grab the assassin John Wilkes Booth but was stabbed and shoved aside as Booth made his escape. The blood from Rathbone's wound covered the dress of his escort, Clara Harris, the daughter of New York Senator Ira Harris and Mrs. Lincoln mistook Rathbone's blood for her husband's. It is said that the sight of that bloody dress caused great emotional anguish in the President's widow contributing to advancing mental unbalance later in life.

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The Haunted Major (Rathbone) I

Lead: On a spring evening in 1865, Major Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris received an invitation for the theater.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Henry Rathbone was an U.S. Army officer with a promising career. On the evening of April 14, 1865 he and his friend Clara Harris, daughter of United States Senator Ira Harris were invited to join President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln for the performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater in Washington. Several couples had been invited including House Speaker Schyler Colfax, but had declined and the two young people were visibly excited and honored to spend this time with the Lincoln's. As this was a social event Major Rathbone was not in uniform, neither was he armed. The euphoria surrounding the South's defeat had apparently muted concern for the President's safety and that night in the president's box were only the Lincoln's, Clara Harris and Henry Rathbone.


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History’s Turning Points: Who Didn’t Discover America II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: who really discovered America.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Setting aside legendary, ethnic, and national enthusiasts, there are basically three candidates in the race for European discovery of the Western Hemisphere. Prior to the voyages of Columbus, who clearly laid the groundwork for the genocidal destruction of native-American culture and the colonization by Europeans of the western isles, the second group to settle parts of America were Norsemen from Scandinavia. Until the 1800s, most scholars confined the Norse sagas firmly to the realm of legend. Then archeological discoveries made it clear that part of their narrative was true. The first to land in the West was Bjani Herjolfsson who missed his landing on Greenland and briefly touched Labrador. He shared his discovery with Leif Ericson, and in several attempts the Vikings tried to settle the flat, wooded country they called Vineland, but the Norse were not colonizers. They lacked the capital necessary to establish permanent settlements and soon cold, wolves, and hostile natives caused them to abandon their attempts after about a dozen years.