The Mason-Dixon Line

Lead: The most famous boundary in United States history originated in a eighty year dispute between two colonies.

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

Content: One of last parts of Colonial Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay to attract settlers was northeast of present day Baltimore. The soil was there heavier and not as hospitable to the growth of tobacco as in the southern reaches of the Bay. This area was good for the cultivation of wheat and corn and as trade with the hungry West Indies expanded, the area began to draw more development. Unfortunately, this brought Maryland into conflict with Pennsylvania. Lord Baltimore's charter promised Maryland land up to the fortieth parallel which in 1632 was the southern border of New England, but in the meantime the government in London had made other promises particularly to William Penn and by the 1730s it was obvious that these grants were in conflict with the Maryland charter. For instance the principal city of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, was significantly south of the fortieth parallel.

Sacco and Vanzetti III

Lead: The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti has continued to spark controversy long after their execution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: This much is certain. On April 15, 1920 a payroll clerk and his guard were robbed and killed in South Braintree, Massachusetts. There were three involved and two more in the getaway car, a Buick. Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian immigrants, friends involved in anarchist politics, were arrested after trying to pick up a similar car from a local garage. Harassed by the mechanic, they fled in a suspicious manner. After that the case is powerful but largely circumstantial.

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Sacco and Vanzetti II

Lead: Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti emigrated to America to find a better life. The transition to their new home proved a difficult one.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Nicola Sacco came from a prosperous farm family in southern Italy. He arrived in the United States when he was seventeen and married Rosina in 1913. He was a hardworking shoe repairman who spent much of his spare time in his garden often giving excess produce to poor families in the area. He became attracted to the cause of anarchism and during World War I he fled the country to avoid the draft.

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Sacco and Vanzetti I

Lead: The trial and execution of two Italian immigrants in the 1920s exposed important fault-lines in the social fabric of twentieth century America.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: On April 15, 1920, F.A. Parmenter, paymaster of a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts and his twenty-eight year old security guard, Alessandro Berardelli were robbed and murdered during a routine transfer of payroll funds. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were arrested, tried, convicted, and eventually executed for the crime. That authorities settled on this pair said less about their guilt, which remains in dispute to this day, than it does to the circumstances surrounding their prosecution.

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