Building a Submarine II

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time is presented by the people of General Dynamics and is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose sacrifice gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the arrival of electric and diesel propulsion, the necessary components for a successful submarine were in place. Two of the main inventive rivals in the early years were John Philip Holland and Simon Lake. Eventually, Holland won the competition as the U.S. Navy built its craft using his designs, but he had a worthy opponent in his rival on submarine construction, Simon Lake.

Building a Submarine I

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time is presented by the people of General Dynamics and is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose sacrifice gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Though there had been attempts to create an underwater craft since as early as the 1500s, the modern submarine did not take shape until the late 19th century and then was designed primarily for military purposes. The design of a submarine is far more complex than a surface vessel. In balance, maneuver, life support and propulsion, a submarine operates in a different environment requiring different construction principles. Attempts to build underwater craft span the modern period. As early as 1578, William Borne, an English writer on naval matters, proposed an enclosed wooden vessel, rowed underwater. His idea was brought to reality by Dutch inventor, Cornelius van Drebel, in service to King James I of England. His craft operated 12 feet below the surface of the Thames River, was covered with greased leather and propelled by oars extending through tightly bound leather flaps.

Lost H-Bomb

Lead: In January 1966, at the height of the Cold War, an armed U.S. Air Force B-52 crashed during a routine refueling over the Mediterranean coast of Spain. In the process, it lost a hydrogen bomb.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The giant B-52 was part of the Strategic Air Command’s regular flights to the edge of Soviet air space. Fully loaded, it held four H-bombs, each 100 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. To make such a long trip from the continental United States required refueling, and as it approached the KC-135 jet tanker on January 17, 1966, the bomber accidentally rammed the refueling boom, destroying both planes. Aircraft parts and radioactive debris rained down on the Spanish countryside. Three bombs were recovered, but the United States had to endure the embarrassment that a fourth went missing. It had lost a nuclear bomb somewhere over Spain.

 

Leadership: Brian Lamb and C-SPAN

Lead: Some of the most effective leadership is hidden. Consider the influence of one of the most “invisible” visible men in early twenty-first century America, the founder of C-SPAN, Brian Lamb.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: He was not the best history student at Purdue University, but after graduation and a stint in the U.S. Navy, Brian Lamb embarked on a career that would bring a heightened interest to that discipline, politics, and to national affairs in general. In 1977, with his business partners, he founded C-SPAN, Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network. It went on the air in 1979. At that time, three major broadcast networks dominated the airways and provided programming for the vast majority of listeners. Cable television, which was then in its corporate infancy, was seeking programming alternatives that would give it an edge in the coming struggle with broadcast television.  

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The History of the Internet – Part III

Lead: In the 1960s, scientists for the defense department began developing a de-centralized and indestructible data network designed to survive a nuclear war. That was the birth of Internet.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Most U.S. military research and development since World War II has been done by universities and contractors such as the RAND Corporation. They worked on everything from missiles to mashed potatoes. One of the jobs assigned to these contractors was to develop a communications system that would keep commanders in touch with units on the battlefield even after the destruction of a nuclear war. The Defense Department also funded this to help researchers share the few supercomputers around at the time. The network first connected four locations in 1969: UCLA, UC-Santa Barbara, Stanford and Utah. Gradually more and more locations, now called nodes, were brought into the Defense research network. By 1977 scientists had sent from a van traveling on a San Francisco freeway computer data over radio, satellite, and landlines 94,000 miles out and back again instantly.

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The History of the Internet – Part II

Lead: As the tiny signals from Sputnik warned of the Soviet Union's growing scientific and military power in 1950s, defense officials in the U.S. raced to protect their ability to communicate. The Internet was born.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Soviet achievement, with its parallel space race and missile gap, gave the scientific research and development work of the Defense Department an alarming urgency. While colleges increased their math and science requirements, the military services created a department devoted to high-tech experiments, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA. It was obvious that to meet the growing Soviet threat, the work of computers had to be made available to units on or close to the battlefield of the future. This was clearly impossible. In the days before the microchip, computers were huge, mainframe devices filled with bulky vacuum tubes and then transistors. Therefore they had to figure a way for portable terminals to communicate with main computers hundreds or thousands of miles away. Existing telephone lines were too unstable. Vital voice or data messages could be interrupted by accident or wartime destruction. The new system had to be virtually indestructible.

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History of the Internet – Part I

Lead: Born of Cold War desperation, the Internet now represents the free-wheeling spirit of the anarchist future.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The excitement generated in the last decade of the twentieth century surrounding the Internet, the world-wide-web of inter-connected businesses, educational institutions, governmental organizations and individuals, who find themselves just one click of the mouse away from each other on has roots that go back to World War II.

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The Blue Riband – Part III

Lead: Having lost the competition to build the fastest ships on the transatlantic route, the United States regained the lead only to witness the end of the regular ocean passenger service.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the mid-1800s the major maritime powers, Britain and the United States, were locked in a fierce competition to provide regular and fast shipping service on the Atlantic routes for passengers, mail, and cargo. As the contest intensified the swiftest ship could claim the Blue Riband, the mythic reward for the fast Atlantic crossing. British shippers led by Samuel Cunard's sail and steam side-wheelers took the lead from the Americans because of generous subsidies from Parliament and because they were quicker to take advantage of innovations in ocean transport. Soon the Brits were launching all steam ships with iron hulls, swamping their American rivals. By the 1860s, distracted by a decade of Civil War and recovery and reluctant to spend tax-payers money subsidizing the Atlantic Ferry, the United States largely dropped out of the transatlantic routes and the race for the Blue Riband. The prize was mostly traded back and forth by several British lines.

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