Marie Sklodowska Curie

Lead: Winner of two Nobel prizes, the French physicist Marie Curie, born Maria Sklodowska near Warsaw, Poland, helped advance the understanding of radioactive substances.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Learning was a lifetime passion for Marie Curie. Her parents lived and taught in a private school and as a child she demonstrated a remarkable memory in academic matters but hers was not a purely abstract scholarship. During Maria's childhood, her native Poland could not be found on the maps of eastern Europe. For centuries Polish territory had been parceled out to hostile neighbors and in 1863, due to an abortive revolt, Poland had become little more than a Russian province. The Polish language was suppressed. As a teenager she took part in the secret nationalist "free university" where she taught the Polish language to women workers.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [7.98 KB]

Emma Lazarus

Lead: At first reluctant, Emma Lazarus gave in and wrote the words that helped build the symbol of America's welcome.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: The money wasn't coming in and Joseph Pulitzer was becoming very frustrated. Publisher of the New York World, a Hungarian immigrant who fought in the Civil War, Pulitzer had taken, as his personal crusade, the task of raising money to build the pedestal on which the colossus was to rest. The arrangement was that France would supply the statue if the United States would build the base. Work in Paris was on schedule but in America, people did not seem to be very concerned.

 

Read more →

Maginot Line – II

Lead: Intended to prevent an invasion from the east, the Maginot Line did not. In 1940 the Germans just went around it.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The French were horrified by the destruction of World War I and so in the 1930s they began to build a series of underground fortifications along the German border to keep what they called “the beast that sleeps across the Rhine” from invading. The Line was named for War Minister Andre Maginot, and was built along what was considered to be the most vulnerable part of the German-French border. However the French High Command made a series of strategic errors that turned out to be fatal. These errors made the forts almost useless.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [66.82 KB]

Maginot Line – I

Lead: The French were determined that it should never happen again. They would prevent a repeat of the carnage of the Great War by keeping the Germans out.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Over a million Frenchmen died in World War I, northeastern France was devastated by four years of fire and bloody battle, and the nation was a financial corpse. Two times in fifty years German armies had boiled across the eastern border, first time in victory, second in defeat, both times inflicted horrific damage to life, property and French pride. Plus jamais ça., Frenchmen said, "never again." They set out to build a wall so formidable, so impregnable, that their Teutonic neighbors in the east surely would come to bitter grief trying to breech it.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [67.76 KB]

Ferdinand de Lesseps III

Lead: In 1879, having completed one of the greatest engineering projects in history, the Suez Canal, Ferdinand, Vicomte de Lesseps, set out to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama. For de Lesseps, it was one canal too many.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The completion of Suez would have been the accomplishment of a lifetime for most people, but Lesseps was restless. This time it would be Panama. He was confident he could pierce the tropical land bridge as he had the Egyptian desert. In 1879, to gain credibility for the project and to aid in the sale of stock, Lesseps hosted a meeting of the International Congress of Geographical Sciences. The conference endorsed the idea of a sea-level canal running through the heart of Panama, which at that time was a province of Columbia. Swayed by de Lesseps' charisma and reputation, the Congress ignored the prophetic recommendation of Adolphe Godin de Lepinay for a canal utilizing a system of locks on either end of a giant artificial lake. Lesseps' experience at Suez combined with an innate stubbornness, prevented him from considering that his plan might be headed for disaster.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [6.36 KB]

Ferdinand de Lesseps II

Lead: Run out of a brilliant career in the French diplomatic corps by an ungrateful government, Ferdinand de Lesseps embarked on the great creation of his life: the Suez Canal.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For centuries the ocean transport of goods between Europe and Eastern Asia had stumbled over the land bridge at Suez. National rulers as well as merchants had dreamed of cutting a waterway through this relatively short stretch of empty desert. Until such a canal was built, traders would bring merchandise or passengers from East or West and be forced to disembark, carry goods overland, and load them on other ships for the final journey. This bottleneck was irritating, cumbersome and expensive.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [6.22 KB]

Ferdinand de Lesseps

Lead: Born in the heady days of Napoleon's Empire Ferdinand, Vicomte de Lesseps was for many the symbol of French ingenuity and enterprise.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: de Lesseps hailed from a family with a history of long and distinguished government service, mostly diplomatic, and after education in Paris and military service he was posted as minor representative to Portugal in 1825. Lesseps was no faceless bureaucrat. Throughout his life he made strong and lasting positive impressions and numerous friends because of his personality and character. He was gifted, passionate, loved books, music, horses, his work, and his seventeen children by two wives.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [6.25 KB]

The Salon of Madame Geoffrin

 

Lead: In Paris of the 1700s, leading figures of the French Enlightenment would gather to discuss
important topics of the day in the salon of Madame Geoffrin.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the years before mass media captured, some would say numbed, people's minds and imagination, often great pleasure was derived from simple conversation. Groups would gather, either on small town front porches or in more sophisticated surroundings and talk to each other. The examination of new ideas, the cultivation of wit and the clever turn of phrase demonstrated that a person was civilized, cultured, intelligent. In the years running up to the French Revolution, often such discussion groups would gather in the parlor or salon of a socially prominent hostess. There the ideas of men and women such as Isaac Newton, Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, Voltaire and his mistress Madame du Chatelet, were tossed about and discussed and in the salons of Paris, some said, there was hatched up a Revolution.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [5.55 KB]