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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Harriet Beecher Stowe

Lead: She was Harriet Beecher Stowe, the little lady who made the big war.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1850 a series of laws were passed by the Congress of the United States that came to be known as the Compromise of 1850. This secured relative peace between North and South and delayed by a decade the coming Civil War. One the parts of the compromise was a strengthened Fugitive Slave Law. It was passed to block the growing campaign by abolitionists and others opposed to slavery who were trying to help slaves escape captivity.

 

 

Samuel Johnson and the Enlightenment in England

Lead:  Samuel Johnson lived during the European Enlightenment and therefore believed that ideas should be expressed freely. He once said, “The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With roots in the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, Enlightenment thinking advocated the use of reason to challenge existing doctrines and traditions. The result: significant reforms in government, religion, economics, philosophy and education and important advances in humanist principles – freedom, individual rights, liberty and equality. 

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Samuel Johnson and the Scots

Lead:  One of the regular targets of the wit of Samuel Johnson, eighteenth century England’s man of letters, were the Scots. He once said, The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content:  Since 1603 England and Scotland had been governed by the same monarch, yet relations were often strained and Scotland remained an independent state until the Act of Union in 1707 merged the two states as the United Kingdom of Great Britain. It is from that point that the two nations were merged and became British rather than English or Scottish. Over the next century, Britain surged ahead of the world in industrial development, established its dominance over the sea lanes, built and lost its first empire, and grew itself into the wealthiest power in the world with London as the worldwide center of commerce, trade and culture.

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Samuel Johnson’s Birthday

Lead:  Samuel Johnson, England’s great man of letters and author of the first important English dictionary, helped organize and define the language that comes as close as any to the universal language, was born three hundred years ago.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In London, and Johnson’s hometown of Lichfield as well as in universities and societies throughout the world, celebrations, conferences, lectures and festivities throughout the year have celebrated the life and works of the father of the English dictionary…known to his contemporaries simply as “Dr. Johnson.”

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Samuel Johnson and Tavern Life

Lead:  Samuel Johnson’s love affair with London was nurtured in taverns. He loved the company, fine food, lively conversations and intellectual stimulation found there. He once said, “the tavern chair was the throne of human felicity.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In eighteenth century London, coffee houses and taverns provided a social setting where one could broaden one’s intellectual horizons. Taverns served food and drink, most often being wine. Beer, for those slightly lower on the social pecking order, could be had at alehouses. People gathered for conversation and entertainment over dinner. Clubs and societies (many by invitation only) were organized and met regularly in taverns.

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LFM – Walt Whitman

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose devotion gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Though he is perhaps best known as the “Poet of Democracy,” chronicling the lives of working men in whose vocations he apprenticed as a youth and later, Walt Whitman also portrayed the heroic and tragic adventure of war, detailing the crushed dreams, lingering hopes and heartbreak of soldiers, North and South, in the Republic’s greatest epic, the American Civil War.

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Samuel Johnson: His Great Dictionary

Lead: In 1755, Samuel Johnson published the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language. Although recognized by scholars as a serious work, in places it was kind of quirky.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: During the 1700s the English middle class grew exponentially. With that expansion there was also a surge in the literacy rate, with a corresponding demand for books and newspapers. While enjoying this new interest in their stock in trade, scholars, booksellers and publishers were becoming increasingly alarmed about the lack of rules and increasing incorrect usage.

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