FDR Friendly Conspiracy with the Press

Lead: Few people knew that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a man of immense energy and enthusiasm, in the prime of life, was crippled by polio.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: FDR was an up-and-coming politician. He had been the Assistant Secretary of the Navy during World War I, received the Democrat nomination for Vice-president, campaigned vigorously with James M. Cox and with him was buried in the Republican landslide of 1920. Then a painful tragedy struck his life and interrupted his steady political assent. While vacationing on Canada's Campobello Island in August, 1921 he was stricken with a severe case of poliomyelitis, for a time was almost completely paralyzed, and lost the use of his legs.

The Roosevelt Wedding

Lead: In 1905 Franklin Delano Roosevelt married his cousin Eleanor. The guests almost ignored the bride and groom.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sara Roosevelt was a dominating mother. Hovering over her son, Franklin, Sara at nearly every stage attempted to rule his life with an iron hand. When Frank began his courtship of his cousin Eleanor, Sara put her foot down but her reasons were hard to argue. She could hardly object to the girl on social grounds. As a distant member of the family, Eleanor was orphaned and lived with relatives Manhattan as part of one of first families of New York. If that were not enough, she was the favorite niece of another cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt. Her objections were to their relatively young ages. He was 21, she, 19, and MaMa extracted a promise that the engagement had to be kept secret for a year.

First Ladies: Mary Todd Lincoln II

Lead: Already the subject of much public abuse, Mary Lincoln began to come unglued with the death of the couple’s young son, William.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Not until Eleanor Roosevelt did a First Lady have to endure the carping of critics as did Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the 16th President of the United States. She was vilified as being generous, stingy, energetic, retiring, patriotic and treasonous, all at the same time. But it was the death of her middle son, Willie, which set Mary Lincoln on the path to emotional disintegration. Willie contracted typhoid fever, and died in February 1862. Both of the Lincolns were shattered, but Mary seemed close to mental collapse. She had convulsions, stayed in bed for days, and began attending séances in hopes of making contact with him.

First Ladies: Mary Todd Lincoln I

Lead: Mary Lincoln was the first Presidential wife to be center of ill-deserved, widespread, and sometimes bitter controversy.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: When Mary came with her husband to Washington, the city was gloomy with the prospect of civil war. Lincoln’s election in November had provoked the deep South to secession. She was hopeful that she and her husband might help reduce tension, but she was disappointed. Not until Eleanor Roosevelt was a First Lady subjected to the abuse Mary Lincoln was forced to endure.

Presidential Wit: Richard Nixon

Lead: Humor is the ready partner of many successful politicians, but humor never came easy to Richard Nixon. He succeeded largely without it.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: To evaluate the wit of Richard Nixon is difficult. There is Watergate. There is a widespread but inaccurate perception that Nixon had no humor at all. His sense of humor was real, but it reflected the darkness of his emotional apparatus, the demons and hostility that plagued him.

A House Divided: (50) The Martyr of Harper’s Ferry – 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: After capturing the Federal Armory in Harper’s Ferry in October, 1859, John Brown awaited the arrival of the authorities. They came in form of a detachment of marines commanded by Col. Robert E. Lee of Virginia. They stormed the engine house, captured a slightly wounded Brown and in less than 40 hours his grand illusion had fallen apart.

A House Divided: (49) The Martyr of Harper’s Ferry – 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: He was a murderer whose grand scheme included a vast destruction of white southerners in a slave uprising, but in the white hot discourse that was the national conversation in America of the 1850s, he became for many opposed to slavery a martyr to the cause.

Samuel Tilden and Tammany Hall II

Lead:  The power of the Tammany political organization in New York City was broken when one of its former allies, Sam Tilden, joined the forces of reform.

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

Content: Samuel J. Tilden rose to prominence as one of the first great corporation lawyers in America. He made a fortune representing railroad interests in New York and his ambition carried him to the chairmanship of the New York State Democratic Committee, a term as governor of New York, and to the threshold of the White House.

 

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