President Grover Cleveland Under the Knife

Lead: In the summer of 1893, with the country in a financial panic, President Grover Cleveland underwent a secret cancer operation.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As both Governor of New York and President, Cleveland had a reputation as a corruption fighter and political independent. He was the only United States President elected to two nonconsecutive terms in 1884 and then again in 1892 and the first Democrat in the White House since James Buchanan in 1856. Under the President who served between Cleveland's terms, Benjamin Harrison, Congress had passed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. Western farmers were in favor of this believing that with more money in circulation, loans would be cheaper and life easier for the average American. The problem was that the government had to buy silver with treasury gold causing reserves to drop below the $100,000,000 required by law. People panicked and began to demand gold in exchange for paper money. Banks failed in this the so-called Panic of 1893 and the country was thrown into a short but violent economic depression.

 

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The President’s Lady (Jackson) – I

Lead:  Rachel Donelson was quite a catch. In the Tennessee wilderness of 1784 her family was prominent and she a very attractive young lady.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: On a trip to Kentucky from their home in Nashville she met and fell in love with Lewis Robards. Soon they were inseparable and when her family returned home she remained and married him. Their happiness was short-lived. Robards became abusive and promiscuous and soon the marriage was over in reality if not in fact. After four hard years, Rachel's brother came to Kentucky and brought her home.

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Presidential Wit: Abraham Lincoln

Lead: Of the weapons available to the politician, among the most powerful is humor. No one was better at wielding that weapon than Abraham Lincoln.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Few politicians can survive if they become an object of laughter and ridicule. On the other hand, those seeking office who have the ability to use humor as a weapon against opponents or as a means of giving themselves a more sympathetic and down-to-earth image, go a long way to winning the support and perhaps the affection of the electorate. A sense of humor is not required for election, but it helps, both to soften the blow of losing or, even better, to keep political success in correct perspective.

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Woodrow Wilson and the Explosive Growth of Presidential Power III

Lead: Building on his own inclination toward extravagant claims for Presidential power, Woodrow Wilson used the war emergency to ramp up executive control over many parts of American life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As America’s involvement in World War I escalated in 1917, Wilson began a grand escalation of government control over the means of production and distribution; to bring those parts of the economy into support for the war effort. The President, however, was not content to simply subordinate the marketplace to his schemes. It was not just military or foreign affairs over which Wilson desired control. He went after American’s minds as well. He said, “There are citizens of the United States, I blush to admit, who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life. Such creatures…must be crushed out.”

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Woodrow Wilson and the Explosive Growth of Presidential Power II

Lead: Contrary to many assumptions, the extravagant expansion of Presidential power in America, came not during the Great Depression, but during World War I. It was driven by President Woodrow Wilson.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Except for a brief period in the 1790s and during the Civil War, the power of the American President, almost limitless in theory, had been restrained by universal fear of executive abuse, tradition, habit, and a very powerful Congress. During times of national emergency, however, if not restrained, and depending on the nature of the threat, the President in theory at least, can assume almost dictatorial powers over every area of life, not just foreign or military affairs. If the people and their representatives let it happen, the President will do it. Woodrow Wilson proved it. His inclination toward increased executive power, firmly established in his first term, saw exponential growth with the Declaration of War in 1917.

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Woodrow Wilson and the Explosive Growth of Presidential Power I

Lead: The power of the American President in theory had few limits. It grew slowly over the decades. That changed drastically when Woodrow Wilson entered the White House.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Considering his roots, Thomas Woodrow Wilson would hardly have seemed a champion of overweening Presidential power. Born in Staunton, Virginia in the years before the Civil War, he emerged from the Jefferson/Jackson tradition which placed high value upon state sovereignty, limited government, and confirmed trust in the wisdom of the people and its representatives in Congress.

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Douglass and Lincoln

Lead: Abraham Lincoln did not always hold the views about freedom and equality he championed during the Civil War years. There is evidence he was pushed in that direction by an ex-slave.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time  with Dan Roberts.

                Content: When most people hear the names Lincoln and Douglass they immediately associate the Civil War president with the Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas with whom Lincoln debated and politically struggled in the years running up to the Civil War, but there was another Douglass in Lincoln's life.

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Cal Coolidge Quits

Lead: With the nation in the midst of unprecedented prosperity, Cal Coolidge quit.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Successful politicians are often very clever in their ability to entertain the electorate, usually with vivid, inflammatory rhetoric. Legend has it that the City of Chicago is known as the Windy City, not for the breezes coming off Lake Michigan, but from the political winds heaved up by the City's politicians. Yet, every once in a while, an office-seeker connects with the voters simply because he or she is not captivated with the sound of their own voice. Consider if you will the case of John Calvin Coolidge.

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