Battle for Color TV I

Lead: If Peter Goldmark had had his way, television would have never been broadcast in black and white.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By the late 1920s most of the technical problems of TV broadcasting were solved. A way had been found to convert light into electricity. The transmission of this electrical signal would be done just like radio, but the major obstacle proved to be the way in which the signal would picked up or scanned. Television is in many ways similar to a motion picture. Characters in a movie don’t move. Motion picture film is simply a series of still photographs put end to end and run so fast across the screen that the mind of the viewer gets the impression of movement. Television operates in basically the same way. Hundreds of frozen images per second are picked up or scanned by the camera, converted to electricity, and then sent on to the TV set which sits the next room or fifty miles away and reconverts the signal.

Madame Tussaud

Lead: Despite the advent of television and the internet, the biggest tourist attraction in Britain remains a bizarre collection of wax figures imported to England two centuries ago for a temporary stay.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Marie Tussaud (nee Grosholz) did her apprenticeship with Philippe Curtius in the heady revolutionary days of Paris, 1789. Crowds of the curious flocked to their salons to see exhibits featuring among other oddities, King Louis XVI and his Queen Marie-Antoinette eating their inedible dinner in frozen solitude. The most avid interest then and now continues to be the Chamber of Horrors, the waxed collection of notorious murderers caught in the act of taking their victims.

Folies Bergere

Lead: Historically, the human desire for diversion and entertainment, like religion, morals and politics, is always nearly subject to evolution and changing tastes. Consider as an example if you will the Parisian Folies Bergère:

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: When it comes to entertainment, with apologies to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the French are not like you and me. From the middle of the 19th century until surpassed by American culture in the age of mass communication, the undisputed pace setter in entertainment was France. French theater was considered by many to be indecent, even obscene; it was certainly provocative and pushed the edge of the envelope in morals and taste. For most of that period, since its founding in 1869 as the Folies Trevise, both taking their names from nearby streets, the Folies Bergère always strove to be out front, slightly racier than the competition.

 

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The Panic Broadcast Part II

Lead: As the CBS broadcast of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds progressed, many in the audience began to take it seriously and fell into panic.

 Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: Orson Welles' career as a radio actor included the role of Lamont Cranston in the mystery series The Shadow but his greatest fame came when he brought his Mercury Theater company to Columbia Broadcasting for a series of radio dramas based on famous novels. For Halloween Eve, October 30, 1938, the company chose Wells' science fiction nightmare War of the Worlds, the dramatic description of an invasion by hostile Martians who destroy the earth.

 

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The Panic Broadcast Part I

Lead: On Halloween Eve, 1938, invaders from Mars landed on a truck farm east of Princeton, New Jersey.


Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: The invasion was harmless, one of the CBS Sunday night broadcasts of the Mercury Theater on the Air, a dramatic re-telling of Herbert George Wells' novel, War of the Worlds. Wells completed his story in 1897 and immediately it was a huge success. Orson Welles, the young director of the Mercury Theater, had for some time been interested in adapting the story as a radio drama and settled on broadcast within a broadcast as the plot. News reports and live, on-the-scene accounts breaking into what seemed to be an ordinary evening of musical entertainment, created a vivid realism that convinced many listeners they were witnessing an actual extra-terrestrial invasion by hostile visitors from Mars.

 

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Battle of the Sexes (Tennis) II

Lead: Drawn by rich prize money and the taunts of Bobby Riggs, Billie Jean King, the best woman’s tennis player at the time, agreed to a match, the so-called Battle of the Sexes.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: There was a record crowd, for tennis at least, in the Houston Astrodome on September 20, 1973. The television audience was said to exceed 48,000,000. His recent victory over tennis star, Margaret Court, and his arrogant confidence that he would emerge the victor over King, led Riggs and others who believed in him to place bets on the outcome. In part, King believed she could provoke a shift in attitudes toward women athletes if she were able to win. The event took on aspects of a publicity spectacle. King was carried to the court on a golden litter by four muscle-bound men. Riggs followed in a rickshaw pulled by Bobby’s Bosom Buddies, six amply endowed women in a grotesque display of misogyny.

Battle of the Sexes (Tennis) I

Lead: The 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs may have contributed significantly to the progress of women in sports and other parts of society.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The 1960s and 1970s were decades of gains for women. The founding of the National Organization for Women, the steadily increasing influx of women into business and the professions, and the passage of Title VII in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX in 1972, demonstrated the incremental progress of women in the workforce, domestic life, and sports. Despite this evolution old sentiments die hard. These attitudes were especially strong in the arena of women’s sports. Many felt that women were inferior athletes, unable to compete at the level of their male counterparts.

Sarah Bernhardt

Lead: On March 23, 1923, thousands of mourners lined the streets of Paris for the funeral procession of one of the leading actresses of the 19th century - “The Devine Sarah Bernhardt.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: She was born in Paris, France, in 1844 as Henriette-Rosine Bernard. Her Dutch mother was courtesan, a highly paid prostitute; her father was unknown. A sickly child, the girl was educated in a convent until one of her mother’s lovers, the Duc de Morny, Emperor Napoleon III’s half brother, arranged for the sixteen year old Sarah to attend the Paris Conservatoire, the government sponsored school of theatre.

 

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