Eleanor of Aquitaine I

Lead: At her father's unexpected death in 1137, fifteen-year-old Eleanor, daughter of Duke Guillaume of Aquitaine, found herself heiress to a huge region of western France. It made one of the most eligible catches in Europe.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In a long and busy life Eleanor would be Queen of France and England, either marry or closely advise four kings, conduct romantic dalliances, engineer rebellions, rule England directly for long stretches of time and this in an era in which women were generally considered at best attractive appendages to their husbands and sons.

America’s First Century: Transatlantic Cod Bridge

Lead: In the decades before Columbus returned from his accidental discovery of the Caribbean in 1492, Basque fishermen, from the northern part of Spain, may have beat him to the New World.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Writing in his elegant and fascinating Cod: The Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, Mark Kurlansky presents strong evidence that Christopher may have been a Johnny-come-lately.

Along the southwestern slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France Spain lies Basque Country. None of multitude of ethnic groups that make up Spanish society have been more resistant to assimilation than the Basques. Spanish kings and Spanish dictators have tried to homogenize Basque culture and language but have largely failed. They are a hearty people and jealous, sometimes violently jealous, of their independence.

Juana La Loca, Queen of Castile I

Lead: Ignored by her philandering husband, imprisoned by a calculating son, few figures in modern European royalty equal the tragic misery of Juana La Loca, the Mad Queen of Castile.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Juana or Joanna was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of the united Spanish kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. She was the third child and surviving heir to the dual kingdom. Her younger sister, Catherine, became the Queen of England, married to and then controversially divorced from King Henry VIII.

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Battle for Color TV II

Lead: In the 1940s two corporate giants, NBC and CBS, fought over the means of broadcasting television in color.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After World War II, NBC under its chairman, David Sarnoff, had begun commercial black and white television broadcasts and was selling TVs by the truckload. Its great rival, William Paley’s CBS, was producing Black and White shows such as Ed Sullivan but at the same was experimenting with color television in hopes of getting a jump on the competition. The problem was the CBS color system used a spinning wheel with color filters in the camera and in the TV set and produced a signal which could not be received by existing black and white TVs without a relatively expensive converter. Sarnoff had too many sets out there to give up his advantage and began a campaign to smear the CBS system. NBC was working on an all-electronic color system, without the cumbersome spinning wheels, but which they thought would not be ready for years. By 1950 CBS was ready and had applied to the Federal Communications Commission to designate its system as the only standard. Both sides were at it now. Secret meetings with congressmen, lobbying, accusations in the media. Millions were at stake. Finally, the FCC approved CBS color in October 1950 and the courts struck down NBC’s court challenge. The problem was, not a single CBS color set had been sold, just a lot of useless black and white sets.

Creation of the United Nations II

Lead: Determined to avoid the mistakes of the League of Nations, the founding states of the United Nations met to draft a charter in San Francisco in the Spring of 1945.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the factors complicating the establishment of the United Nations was that its Charter provisions were hammered out when the primary concern of the founders was the defeat of the Axis. Nothing could be allowed to deter the Allies from this task. Therefore the negotiations proceeded with a certain delicacy.

Creation of the United Nations I

Lead: In October 1945, the victorious World War II Allies met in San Francisco to establish the United Nations. It was the 20th century’s second multi-purpose world-wide international organization and emerged from the failures of the first.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the charter members met in spring 1945, they were determined to steer clear of the fatal weaknesses that proved so damaging to the U.N.’s predecessor, the League of Nations. In many ways the failures of the League insured the success of the United Nations. The League came to grief in part because one of its great champions, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, despite a prodigious public relations campaign that probably undermined his health, failed to convince the Senate, led by conservative Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, to ratify the Versailles Treaty (1919) a section of which established the League. That meant the up-and-coming international power during the 1920s and 1930s would not be a full player in League debates or diplomatic efforts. The League also lacked an independent enforcement mechanism, and when Germany, Italy and Japan began their pattern of aggression that ultimately led to World War II, and the major Allies refused to act, the League was powerless and therefore discredited.

Savonarola II

Lead: At the height of the Renaissance in Florence, Fra Girolamo Savonarola thundered against corruption, ostentation, and vanity in civil affairs and in the life of the Roman Catholic Church. He paid for his meddling with his life.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Savonarola was born into privilege in 1452. Educated to follow his father as court physician in Ferrara, Italy, he turned to the Dominican priesthood, and served in various assignments with increasing scholarly reputation. It was in Florence, however, at the Monastery of San Marco after 1489, that he developed the passionate preaching style that compelled him into prominence and popularity.

Savonarola I

Lead: In the Renaissance capital of Florence, Italy, the terrible and powerful voice of Fra Girolimo Savonarola was raised against corruption in both church and state. He also raised powerful enemies.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having helped create and nurture European civilization in the long centuries since the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Church of Rome by 1500 was the single unifying institution on the continent. Millions, high and low, saw in the Church the path to eternal salvation, worshipped in her precincts, contributed to her their treasure, and sought solace from a life that Thomas Hobbes would later describe as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Despite the devotion of countless numbers, there was trouble in Zion. With clear justification, many considered the Church to be set at rot, absorbed by worldly obsessions, ensnared by political and military ambitions, hopelessly and morally bankrupt.