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.

President Wilson and the League II

Lead: To secure support for the Treaty ending World War I, and, for Wilson, its most important provision, the League of Nations, President Woodrow Wilson had to overcome several hurtles. His biggest was the United States Senate.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: While most citizens were generally sympathetic with Wilson's goals, most Americans were still isolationists. The people were willing to go to a foreign war in a just cause, but fighting should be concluded as swiftly as possible and national attention allowed to return to domestic affairs.

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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.