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.

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Senator Benton’s Conspiracy

Lead: Thomas Hart Benton had a vision of a vast expansion United States to the West, the problem was that nobody wanted to go there.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Thomas Hart Benton, the Senator from Missouri in the 1830s, wished to push the border of the United States 1000 miles beyond the crest of the Rockies to the Pacific, unfortunately several things stood in the path of his goal. First, Native Americans had rather enjoyed their homelands for centuries and didn't wish to be pushed aside. Second, Mexico controlled vast sections of southwestern North America and were understandably reluctant to turn it over to the United States. Finally, the British shared with the United States, joint occupancy of Oregon territory. The biggest problem however was American apathy. The risks associated with settling the west appeared too great.

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America’s First Century: The Mother Country, 1607 II

Lead: The England that sent out the first colonists on the Virginia Adventure in 1607 still very much saw itself as a part of The Great Chain of Being, a society ordered top to bottom from God to dirt. Virginia helped break the chain.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In the 1700s European writers spoke of a Great Chain of Being, an idea which had been around at least since Greek civilization and which described the universe as a hierarchy with God at the top, in His heaven and all creation, in perfectly ordered ranks descending down, down, down to inanimate stones. This world view emerged from the military requirements and feudal realities of the medieval period and was ideally created to bring order out of chaos. Even by 1600 most Englishmen, obsessed with regulation and stability, thought they fit somewhere in that comfortable arrangement. The higher one’s station or status in society, the closer one was to God, thereby meriting deference and respect. The King was higher than nobles, masters over servants, husbands over wives, men over women and so on. Wherever one fit on the chain was his or her allotted place in life and they should be content in there in their place. If, by some good fortune, either, financial, military or political, one moved up the chain, then it was a clear sign of God’s favor and blessing.

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America’s First Century: The Mother Country, 1607 III

Lead: Changing economic conditions and social challenges laid the foundation for England’s colonial enterprise. Seeking new markets and new fortunes adventurers found their way to places like Virginia.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Since deep into the medieval period, the basis for England’s national wealth had been wool. Over the centuries, tons of raw wool had been harvested on English hillsides and shipped to the Continent where it was fashioned into cloth, but by 1600 the wool trade was on the wane. Markets had been disrupted by religious and economic conflict in Europe and there had developed a glut of wool in France and Holland the traditional buyers of England’s raw goods. The Crown, which derived much of its income from import and export taxes on foreign trade, encouraged merchants and traders to find new markets for English wool.

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America’s First Century: The Mother Country, 1607 I

Lead: Nearly four centuries have passed since a fledgling English outpost barely clung to life on the rim of the vast Chesapeake Bay. Yet, the survival of Jamestown reflected a new place for England in the world.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Europeans were not the first humans to inhabit North America, nor were the English the first Europeans to settle the New World. Norsemen, Basque fishermen, the colonial Spanish and Portuguese, a few lost Englishmen, and, of course, of most ancient vintage, Native Americans had visited, hunted, fished, mined, pillaged, cultivated, or settled North, Central and South America for centuries. Long before the three little ships of Christopher Newport’s armada dropped their human cargo on the misty peninsula in the Powatan estuary in 1607, the so-called Western Isles supported, in some places, quite brilliant human civilization.

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Discovery of Cuba – II

Lead: The first major discovery of Christopher Columbus after his initial landfall in autumn 1492, was Cuba. He then turned his attention elsewhere and not until 1508 was Cuba even determined to be an island.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: The early development of Cuba by Europeans was a much-delayed thing. This was primarily due to the premier motivation for Spanish exploration in the so-called New World. Spain wanted a route to the rich spice islands of East Asia and it wanted gold and silver. It soon became obvious to most observers that the islands and mainland of the new lands were not Asia. Columbus died still convinced America was Asia but he was in a growing minority. It also became clear that the islands forming the eastern border of the Caribbean had only tiny deposits of precious metals. The search for gold went west into Mexico and South America.

 

European Discovery of Cuba – I

Lead: The first voyage led by Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought Europeans to the Caribbean. One of his most significant discoveries was the largest island in the Antilles, Cuba.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: After decades of frustration, the Italian sailor and visionary, Christopher Columbus finally convinced the ruling house of Spain to commission him for a voyage of exploration out across of the Western Ocean in search of a water bridge to East Asia. King Ferdinand and his bride and fellow monarch Queen Isabella, had just achieved a seven-century long goal of the Christian kingdoms of Spain. They conquered Grenada, the last remaining Islamic kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula.