Huey Long II

Lead:  At the height of his political power, Louisiana Senator Huey Pierce Long, while making inroads on the national political scene, was struck down by an assassin’s bullet.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: While he was governor of Louisiana Huey Long himself adopted the nickname “The Kingfish”—based on a smooth talking scheming character from the Amos ’n Andy radio show.  He had campaigned for governor on the populist slogan coined by William Jennings Bryan, “Every man a king, but no one wears a crown,” and his populist attacks on the greed and privilege of the wealthy and big business struck a chord with the struggling poor of Louisiana during the Great Depression—mostly rural voters. He became a hero to many, even while his critics warned that his heavy-handed methods and corruption were more like a dictator than one who valued democratic means to get what he wanted.

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Huey Long I

Lead:  During the Great Depression, a flamboyant politician dominated state politics. Huey Long transformed a backward state and through the sheer force of his personality, compelled Louisiana into the twentieth century.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Huey Pierce Long was born on August 30, 1893, in Winnfield, Louisiana, in the north central region of the state. He was seventh of nine children raised in a farming family of modest means. The “Populist” movement was strong in his parish and Huey absorbed the ideas of the populists. Though his schooling was limited, he was bright, headstrong and very ambitious.

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Cuban Missile Crisis I

Lead: In the fall of 1962 the United States, Cuba and the Soviet Union crept up to the nuclear precipice and nearly jumped after the discovery of offensive Russian missiles in Cuba.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The three main players in this drama which brought the world so close to war, faced unique problems that governed the role they would come to play. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy considered himself very vulnerable on the question of Cuba. Having scorched his opponent Richard Nixon in the 1960 election accusing the Republicans of allowing communism to fix itself in Cuba, Kennedy was himself was accused of weakness by throwing away an opportunity to take Cuba back at the aborted Bay of Pigs exiles invasion in 1961. When the missiles appeared in late summer 1962 it was clear that the U.S. was facing a new and serious threat very close to his southern border.

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Cuban Missile Crisis III

Lead: Faced with the presence of offensive Soviet missiles in Cuba in the fall of 1962, President John Kennedy assembled his advisors. Their task: get the missiles out without going to war.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For six days Kennedy and the so-called Ex-comm, an ad hoc group of political, diplomatic and military advisors, had the luxury of deliberation before the world found out about the missiles. At first an invasion of Cuba or a surgical air strike was considered but there was little time to mount an invasion and no guarantee that striking by air would be surgical enough. In the end the administration decided on a blockade, quaintly called a quarantine, to prevent further shipments of missiles and it began a furious diplomatic dialogue with the Soviets.

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Cuban Missile Crisis II

Lead: In the late summer and fall of 1962, the Soviet Union secretly began installing intermediate range ballistic missiles on the island of Cuba. It was an uncharacteristic act of daring.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having successfully masked his communist leanings during the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, soon after coming to power, began to reach out to the Soviet Union. He needed an ally as a counterweight to the United States whose policy was increasingly focused on restoring freedom to Cuba. Despite its failure, the Bay of Pigs invasion in the spring of 1961 was a clear signal that the U.S. wanted Castro out. He needed support.

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Nellie Ross

Lead: In 1924 Wyoming became the first state to elect a woman to the office of Governor. Nellie Tayloe Ross served for two years and went on to distinguished national service.

                 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                 Content: With the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in August 1920, the right to vote became a national right for women. The question remained whether women, now able to vote, would also attain full parity in political participation. When would women be elected to local office or congress in numbers comparable to their percentage in the population? The answer was not too soon. Decades would pass before women would step forward to assume a leadership role anything close to that of men in commerce, social life and politics. Progress was slow. One exception was Nellie Ross.

The Election of 1980- II

Lead: In the presidential election of 1980, incumbent President Jimmy Carter attempted to fend off the attacks of his Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. Reagan's victory is considered by many to be a turning point in American political life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1980 the United States was in a recession -- suffering from high interest rates and high inflation, economic struggles and what some characterized at the time as a “malaise,” in the electorate. The Republicans nominated for president the former governor of California, Ronald Reagan. Although President Carter had several significant foreign policy accomplishments to his credit, including the Camp David Accords and the Panama Canal Treaty, these seemed diminished by the continuing hostage crisis in Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a domestic energy predicament and the lackluster economy. Carter even had to beat back a serious primary challenge by fellow Democrat, Senator Ted Kennedy.

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The Election of 1980- I

Lead:  The presidential election of 1980 is often called a “realignment election,” one of several in United States history. It represented a dramatic shift in political power.        

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: A “realignment election” is a plebiscite on the current party or philosophy dominating the national conversation. The American people decide they want to choose a new direction. These elections, 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932, and perhaps 1980, demonstrate a shift in political orientation due to new geographic bases of power and/or new philosophical coalitions. This change or “realignment” of political power results in a new status quo and resonates in the political climate for decades. For example, historians generally agree that the presidential election of 1932 was a classic realignment election. An alliance of interest groups - labor unions, racial and ethnic minorities, and white southerners – united behind the Democratic Party and the policies of FDR and dominated U.S. politics for the next fifty years - from the New Deal to the Great Society.

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