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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History’s Turning Points: Who Didn’t Discover America II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: who really discovered America.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Setting aside legendary, ethnic, and national enthusiasts, there are basically three candidates in the race for European discovery of the Western Hemisphere. Prior to the voyages of Columbus, who clearly laid the groundwork for the genocidal destruction of native-American culture and the colonization by Europeans of the western isles, the second group to settle parts of America were Norsemen from Scandinavia. Until the 1800s, most scholars confined the Norse sagas firmly to the realm of legend. Then archeological discoveries made it clear that part of their narrative was true. The first to land in the West was Bjani Herjolfsson who missed his landing on Greenland and briefly touched Labrador. He shared his discovery with Leif Ericson, and in several attempts the Vikings tried to settle the flat, wooded country they called Vineland, but the Norse were not colonizers. They lacked the capital necessary to establish permanent settlements and soon cold, wolves, and hostile natives caused them to abandon their attempts after about a dozen years.

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History’s Turning Points: Who Didn’t Discover America I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: who really discovered America.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The ongoing debate surrounding Columbus Day, the annual celebration in the United States of that fateful dawn in October 1492 when Italian explorer, in service to the Spanish crown, Christopher Columbus, made landfall in the Bahamas, is often quite lively. Yet, in reality this is essentially a Euro-centric argument. Scholars or ethnic advocates exercise their theories and marshal their evidence over which European or eastern explorers “discovered America.” Surprisingly, there are not a few ideas about who beat the Genoese sea captain to the Western hemisphere and they often originate with ethnic groups and their cheer leaders. Legendary black Africans were said to have made it to western shores in 1500 BCE followed by Phoenicians in 600 BCE and Roman explorers in 64 CE. One of the most interesting conjectures is that of a Chinese expedition led by Hoei-shin, sailing east across the Pacific in the year 499. The exotic legend of the Irish cleric St. Brendan who, with 17 monks, discovered a western island where birds actually spoke Latin before piloting their Celtic boat covered with skins back to Ireland.

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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.

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