Halifax, Nova Scotia Great Explosion II

Lead: The chance collision of two merchant ships and a subsequent huge explosion in December 1917 nearly destroyed the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Canadians and the world helped bring it back.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the early morning hours of December 6, 1917, Imro, a Norweigian ship headed to pick up relief supplies for the suffering in Belgium, sliced into the side of the French freighter, Mont Blanc, in the narrow Halifax harbor channel leading to the open sea. Mont Blanc was load with tons of explosives and extremely flammable benzol. The encounter loosed the benzol and sparks, caused by scraping metal, set it ablaze. The ship drifted into the crowded docks of Halifax and at about 9:06 Mont Blanc blew up. The ship simply disintegrated and sent a fireball and mushroom cloud miles into the air.

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Halifax, Nova Scotia Great Explosion I

Lead: In December 1917, Halifax, the capital of Canada’s maritime province of Nova Scotia was nearly leveled by the greatest man-made explosion prior to Hiroshima.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Established as a military outpost in 1754, by the turn of the twentieth century Halifax had become one most important commercial centers on Canada’s east coast. During World War I, ships, thousands of them, crowded the city’s harbor and narrow channel, the staging area for east-bound convoys bringing much needed supplies and munitions to the allies fighting in Europe.

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LaSalle Claims the Mississippi for France II

Lead: On April 9, 1682, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, after sailing most of the length of the Mississippi, claimed the entire River Valley for France. He named the region Louisiana, for his monarch, Louis XIV.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: La Salle was born in Rouen, France, in 1643. He was intelligent and curious, educated by Jesuit priests. He planned to enter the priesthood, but a great sense of adventure pulled him elsewhere and at 24 he set out for New France, the French Colony in North America.

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LaSalle Claims the Mississippi River for France I

Lead: By the mid-1600s the French, along with the English and the Spanish, had high hopes of a vast empire in the New World.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: The French founded Quebec in New France (present day northeastern Canada near the St. Lawrence River) in 1608, one year after the founding of Jamestown. French commerce was founded on the fur trade, which they expanded by moving deeper into the interior of North America. The French formed alliances with Native American tribes and eventually controlled the Great Lakes region, the Mississippi River Valley region including the two great tributaries – the Missouri and Ohio Rivers.

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American Revolution: Invasion of Canada III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: On the last day of 1775 an outnumbered force of American troops attempted to capture the City of Quebec and solidify Yankee control of Canada. Led by Colonel Benedict Arnold and General Richard Montgomery, about 1000 troops attacked from two directions. Their object was Lower Town at the borders of which the British had erected two rough barricades. The main part of the city was surrounded by a high wall and cliffs such as Diamond Point which soared high above the St. Lawrence River.

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American Revolution: Invasion of Canada II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: For many Americans the possibility of making Canada an ally in the Revolution seemed a live one. In June 1775 Congress ordered an invasion in two separate thrusts. Benedict Arnold led 1000 men in an heroic winter crossing of the Maine wilderness. The men endured terrible privation and the expedition substantial losses due to the cold and wet weather, the harrowing cross-country trek and the departure of a third of Arnold’s command. They arrived at the gates of Quebec in early December.

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Frederick Banting and the Cure of Diabetes

Lead: His intuitive guess led to the cure of diabetes and a Nobel Prize for an obscure Canadian country doctor, Frederick Banting.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: In 1920 Banting was a surgeon in a small Canadian town. After service on the French front in World War I, he returned home to find the market glutted with doctors. He set up practice in London, Ontario and waited 29 days for his first patient. Probably the most the most enticing proposal to come his way in the first six months was the chance to teach a weekly class on internal medicine at the local university. He was up late on the night of October 30th preparing for a lecture on the pancreas, a subject about which he knew practically nothing. This ignorance led him to make an amazing and simple conjecture.

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St. Lawrence Seaway

Lead:  In 1749 Father Pere Francois Picquet, a Sulpician missionary, recommended to French King Louis XV that the St. Lawrence River be made navigable for seagoing ships. King Louis was strapped for cash. 210 years later they finished the job.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The St. Lawrence Seaway was one of the most expensive public works projects ever attempted. In the 760 miles from Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Canada's eastern coast are numerous locks, specially dredged channels, and hydroelectric dams providing cheap power for the region. Most of all, the seaway provides ready access for ships between the heart of North America and the Atlantic Ocean.

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