History’s Turning Points: The End of Chastity II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s turning points – conspirators in the death of chastity.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his 1960 novel Where the Boys Are, Clendon Swarthout mused that “virginity was not all that important…nor do I think a girl’s misplacing it somewhere is as catastrophic as the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Perhaps not, but for thousands of years prior, chastity was very important, for families, for religious institutions, for dynastic security. Men might not have to maintain theirs, a classic double standard, but much energy was expended to make sure that females were chaste. Yet, within just a few short decades, it just went away, something considered so precious in previous generations was abandoned with a near careless lack of restraint.

History’s Turning Points: The End of Chastity I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s great social turning points – the death of chastity.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The expectation that a woman had to remain chaste, a virgin, until marriage or at least until engagement, had been around for millennia. The purpose of sex had been to make babies, propagate the species, extend the family, and in that process women were seen to play the essential role, the depository of the seed of life. It was thought that female chastity was essential. That the other half of the population, the male half, was not expected to maintain quite the same level of virtuous existence became increasingly seen as a double-standard in the modern era. Suddenly women had an ally, a tiny chemical wafer – the Pill - that helped redress an ancient gender imbalance. Now the act of sex could be severed from procreation. The rules governing chastity were being repealed. The invention and wide availability of the Pill sat upon one of history’s great turning points.

History’s Turning Points: The End of Chastity II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s turning points – conspirators in the death of chastity.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his 1960 novel Where the Boys Are, Clendon Swarthout mused that “virginity was not all that important…nor do I think a girl’s misplacing it somewhere is as catastrophic as the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Perhaps not, but for thousands of years prior, chastity was very important, for families, for religious institutions, for dynastic security. Men might not have to maintain theirs, a classic double standard, but much energy was expended to make sure that females were chaste. Yet, within just a few short decades, it just went away, something considered so precious in previous generations was abandoned with a near careless lack of restraint.

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History’s Turning Points: The End of Chastity I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s great social turning points – the death of chastity.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The expectation that a woman had to remain chaste, a virgin, until marriage or at least until engagement, had been around for millennia. The purpose of sex had been to make babies, propagate the species, extend the family, and in that process women were seen to play the essential role, the depository of the seed of life. It was thought that female chastity was essential. That the other half of the population, the male half, was not expected to maintain quite the same level of virtuous existence became increasingly seen as a double-standard in the modern era. Suddenly women had an ally, a tiny chemical wafer – the Pill - that helped redress an ancient gender imbalance. Now the act of sex could be severed from procreation. The rules governing chastity were being repealed. The invention and wide availability of the Pill sat upon one of history’s great turning points.

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Bonnie and Clyde II

Lead: On May 23, 1934, the law finally caught Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. The long ride and the acclaim came to an end.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At the time of their deaths, the pair, known popularly as “Bonnie and Clyde,” were a legend in the depression era. Americans were appalled, yet fascinated by the crime spree, the narrow escapes, and the embarrassment the two were causing the law enforcement establishment. For over two years. Bonnie even sent terrible poems and tacky pictures to the press. Many were actually published in national newspapers, thus creating a pair of celebrity outlaws.

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Bonnie and Clyde I

Lead: In 1932, during the Great Depression, Bonnie and Clyde, a team of Texas robbers, captured the public imagination in long bloody crime spree.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, were both born in Texas, in 1909 and 1910, respectively. By the time the couple met in 1930, Clyde Barrow, who grew up in poverty, had already been involved in car thefts and robberies since age fifteen. Bonnie Parker, although a successful student and winner of prizes for writing, had a difficult home life and married at age sixteen. When she met Clyde Barrow in 1930, she was permanently separated from her imprisoned husband.

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Michelangelo II

Lead: Between 1508 and 1512 Michelangelo Buonarrati painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of art.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Sistine Chapel, built in 1473 in the Vatican Palace, was named for Pope Sixtus IV. In 1508 his successor Julius II commissioned 33-year-old Michelangelo to paint the unadorned ceiling of the chapel, but the artist abandoned the original plan, which was to surround the twelve Apostles with geometric ornaments.

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Michelangelo I

Lead: In 1508 Pope Julian II commissioned one of the most ambitious projects in the history of art - the painting of the unadorned ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in Caprese, Italy, in 1475. He spent his formative years in Renaissance Florence, one of Italy’s premier centers of artistic learning. At age 13 Michelangelo was apprenticed to a prominent painter and learned the skills of the fresco, the application of paint to a freshly plastered wall. Within two years he had shown such skill that he attracted the interest of a wealthy and powerful patron, Lorenzo de Medici, he of the most prominent banking family in Florence. Michelangelo was invited to study classical sculpture in the de Medici Palace, where he also met leading artists, philosophers and poets and had access to the family’s extensive ancient art collection. By age 16, Michelangelo had produced two marble relief sculptures and was fast on the way to establishing a reputation as a brilliant and creative artist. This was confirmed by his early works, such as the Pieta in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome and the powerful but somehow delicate David, his most famous sculpture, which was commissioned by the city of Florence.

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