Quest for Mt. Everest III

Lead: After repeated pre-war attempts, in the early 1950s Mt. Everest finally bent to repeated assaults. The mountain was scaled by New Zealand beekeeper, Edmund Hillary, and Sherpa guide, Tensing Norgay.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: After World War II, Communist China invaded Tibet and blocked exploration of Everest from the North. The southern approaches were taken through Nepal and a reconnaissance expedition was mounted by that route in 1951 by the Brits. The following year two strong Swiss teams attempted to scale the mountain in the Spring and Fall but were stopped by severe weather both times just short of the summit.

Quest for Mt. Everest II

Lead: The challenge of Mt. Everest was clear from the time its height was determined in the 1800s, but attempts to reach the summit are not known to have begun until the 1920s.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The peak of Mt. Everest is one of earth’s most hostile places. The air is thin. No crops can be grown there. No domestic animals can live there. Any attempt on the summit would require taking along those things necessary to sustain life. Long months of adaptation to the high altitude, supplementary oxygen in tanks, food and water would have to be dragged up nearly impassible terrain which, in the early days, no one had ever crossed. The key to the eventual success of the assault on Everest was a nomadic people, Tibetan-speaking clans who struggled for survival on the lower slopes of the mountain by trading and herding livestock. These are the Sherpa. They were capable of carrying the large loads of supplies that made the climb possible.

Quest for Mt. Everest I

Lead: The highest point on earth is the peak of Mt. Everest, part of a geologic eruption along the crest of the Himalayas on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Until 1953 no one had been able to go up there.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It is known as Chomolungma, Goddess Mother of the World, and it towers 29,035 feet above sea level, dwarfing the glaciers that wrap themselves around its base. Until 1852 when its true height was determined at a distance by an India surveyor, the mountain was known simply as Peak 15. In 1865, it was named for Sir George Everest, previously Surveyor General of India.

America’s First Century: Baron de la Ware

Lead: Thomas West was well-connected. He was the Queen’s cousin, had survived the aborted Essex coup d’etat in 1601, and was a large stockholder in the Virginia Company. In 1610 he came to the Chesapeake to rescue his investment.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The English settlement of North America was supposed to be a business operation. Settlers and investors were encouraged by promises of rich harvests, hidden mineral treasures such as gold and silver, and friendly aborigines willing to trade the products of an abundant interior. Almost all of this was quickly proven an illusion after the colonists established their little fort on a bluff above the James River at Jamestown in 1607.

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The Day the Incas Died II

Lead: Aided by internal divisions among the Incas, Francisco Pizarro hauled a small band of adventurers and a few cannon over the coastal sierras into a three-mile high valley deep in the Andes in the fall of 1532. He was there seeking gold, most especially that which was controlled by the Incan ruler, Atahaulpa.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

After an initial contact which demonstrated how easily the Incans could be terrified, Pizarro readied his men by hiding them out of sight in the buildings that surrounded square of the royal retreat at Cajamarca. Atahaulpa interpreted this as fear on the part of the Spaniards ignoring the possibility of ambush. Late in the afternoon the emperor came into the city accompanied by thousands of his followers. The king's litter was placed in the center of the square and a lone Spaniard came forward to greet the King of the Incas. 

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The Day the Incas Died I

Lead: Francisco Pizarro had been nibbling around the edges of the west of coast of South America for years.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Rumors of vast stocks of gold and silver owned by native tribes living in the mountain passes of the Andes in what is now Peru pulled Pizzaro and a small band of adventurers on a series of ever-southward voyages from 1524 until the fall of 1532. 

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Apollo I Tragedy II

Lead: Faulty design and a hasty schedule driven by domestic and cold war politics led in early 1967 to the greatest disaster in America’s race to the moon.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Late in the afternoon of January 27, 1967 three astronauts, Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were locked in the Apollo Command and Service Module atop a Saturn IB rocket high above the scrub oaks and swamps of the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s east coast. They were at the end of a relatively routine test of the launch system. Suddenly, the test stopped being routine. There was fire in the cockpit.

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Apollo I Tragedy I

Lead: In the winter of 1967, the race to the moon was on. The pressure on the Apollo program was enormous. Faulty design and careless construction led to a disastrous fire.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: From the moment the first signals of Sputnik alerted the world to a new era of space exploration, it seemed that the United States was nearly always behind. The Soviets achieved the first dog in space, the first manned flight, the first man in orbit, the first woman in orbit, the first space walk. America’s stumbling space program seemed always two steps behind, never quite able to surpass its geopolitical rival. By 1966 President John F. Kennedy’s goal of reaching the moon before the decade seemed illusive.

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