Edgar Allan Poe

Lead: After a life of brilliant dissipation Edgar Allan Poe, whose lyrical musings delved deep into the dark precincts of the soul, died on October 7, 1849.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After a classical education in Europe, further stumbling attempts at Virginia and West Point came to grief. Gambling and especially drink were the scourge of Poe's life. Despite his inner struggles and unrealized potential, Poe's intellectual radiance and unique ability to describe the fears and desires of the human condition could not but break through. Living the life of the gypsy author he wandered the East Coast seeking patrons and work, all the while churning out a prodigious and increasingly popular collection of detective stories, poems, narratives, stories of supernatural horror, dark journeys of inner terror that all too often seemed autobiographical.

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George Sand

Lead: In November 1830 in a chateau in central France, an unhappy 26-year-old woman discovered in her husband’s desk a fat envelope on which was written her name and the words, “Only to be Opened After My Death.” For the Baroness Aurore Dudevant it became cause for her declaration of independence.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the packet, her husband Casimir had poured out volumes of bitterness and rancor built up in their years of marriage. For Aurore the role of dutiful wife and mother of their two young ones had never been particularly agreeable and the letter seemed good cause to break away from a man with whom she had little in common and whom she considered a drunken idler. Though her inheritance had provided the family its income, a married women in that era had little rights to her own money therefore when Madame Dudevant left for Paris she had to make her living as a writer.

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The Odyssey of Ezra Pound

Lead: When Cardinal Hildebrand became pope in the year 1073, he took the name Gregory VII. He was a stubborn man and probably more than the average pope enjoyed the role the church claimed for him as God's representative on earth.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Once he came to office he began to attack the practice of lay investiture. When a bishop took office he was invested or given the symbols of that office, usually a ring or staff, by the king or duke who controlled the area in which he would serve. Gregory wanted to stop that, he felt that only Churchmen should invest Churchmen with these symbols of office. In February 1075, the pope decreed that clerics who accepted investiture from laymen were to be thrown out of office and laymen who invested clerics were to be thrown out of the church..


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.

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Mary Wollstonecraft II

Lead: For ten years after 1787, Mary Wollstonecraft, exercising a gentile emancipation, alternately affronted and fascinated a generation of literary cognoscenti. She helped inspire the women’s rights movement.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After a difficult childhood, Wollstonecraft enjoyed a decade of literary success and social notoriety. She broke into the wide public imagination with an angry polemic, a vigorous critique of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. He had championed the American rebellion, she reasoned, and now was recanting his enthusiasm for liberty because of skepticism over the French experiment. She followed this Vindication of the Rights of Men, with her best known work, a companion volume, Vindication of the Rights of Women, the core of which was an attack on the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He decreed that women were tools for pleasure, moral privilege, political deference and education were wasted on women. The rights of man should actually be the rights of humanity, she asserted, and the most supreme right is that of thinking. This work made Wollstonecraft a European celebrity.

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Mary Wollstonecraft I

Lead: While she did not found the women’s right’s movement, Mary Wollstonecraft, inspired those who did. She helped people begin to understand that the limits of liberty could be cast widely, even to women.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: She grew up in the home of a prosperous weaver, the oldest daughter among six children. As the years passed Edward Wollstonecraft evolved into a drunken lout who beat his wife, offspring and even the family dog, but as her mother faded into hopeless denial, Mary kept the family intact, resisting her father’s violence while she devoted her childhood to raising her younger siblings. A brief formal education ending in her fifteenth year was soon married to her native intelligence, inquisitiveness, and resolve and Mary began the long path of disappointment and work that led to that brief but brilliant writing career that opened minds and sensibilities to new role for women in the modern age.

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Herman Melville

Lead: After early acclaim as a young writer, Herman Melville, the author of the majestic novel Moby-Dick, passed many years in relative obscurity.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The second son of eight children, Melville was born into an old and prominent American family. One of his grandfathers, disguised as a Mohawk, helped plan and execute a certain tea party of historical renown in Boston harbor during the run-up to the American Revolution. Jerked into real life by the bankruptcy and death of his father, Melville shipped out as a sailor, spending several years in various vessels including time spent on a whaler in the Pacific.

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Paul Revere’s Ride II

Lead: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow captured the excitement and import of Paul Revere's famous ride, but on that night’s events the poet did not get his facts quite right.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sometime in the evening of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere discovered that his best laid plans were falling apart. It was discovered that the British had dispatched several hundred troops to capture colonial ammunition stored at Concord, Revere had pre-arranged a signal to fellow patriots waiting for news of the British route so the alarm could be spread. When Revere went over to Charlestown to check whether word had been sent, he discovered that his men were confused by "one if by land, two if by sea," and no one was doing anything. Revere borrowed a horse and was off.


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