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.

Read more →

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.

 

Read more →

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.

 

 

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.

Read more →

John Steinbeck and The Grapes of Wrath

Lead: In 1939 John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath, perhaps the major American novel of the Great Depression. Its publication, however, was not without controversy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: John Ernst Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, a rural community 100 miles south of San Francisco. As a child he observed the hard life of itinerant and migrant farm workers and his boyhood home became the setting of much of his work. Beginning in 1935 with Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, and Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck proved himself an acute observer of social conflict and pain. Yet it was with The Grapes of Wrath that he reached the pinnacle of his literary craft. Much of the material in the novel came from a series of investigative articles the author wrote for the San Francisco News on the plight of the “Oakies,” emigrants from the mid-west dust bowl – Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas. In The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck wove an elegant, semi-documentary narrative telling the story of the Joads, a 1930s Depression era farm family from Oklahoma. Seeking a better life, they had migrated to California only to find themselves caught in the same cycle of poverty and hopelessness they had left behind. The struggles and hardships of the working poor it seemed are rarely relieved by a change in geography.

Read more →

The Black Plague and The Decameron II

Lead: In 1348 the “Black Death” swept through Florence, Italy, and out of this chaos emerged a literary masterpiece – The Decameron.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio witnessed firsthand the devastating effect of the Plague, which killed nearly half the population of Italy. With the collapse of the social and economic order, and some believed a collapse of morality, the Plague stimulated writers to record the event and consider the role of God, man’s free will, and health practices in causing such a magnitude of human suffering.

Read more →

The Black Plague and The Decameron

Lead: In the summer of 1348 the “Black Death” swept through prosperous and beautiful Florence, Italy. The tragedy inspired one of the most important medieval literary works, Boccaccio’s The Decameron.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The fourteenth century European Plague or “Black Death” was actually two major bacterial epidemics which resulted in the death of more than 25,000,000 people or just short of a third of the population of Europe. It is believed the Plague originated in the eastern provinces of China and was carried by flea infected rats on board merchant ships sailing from the Black Sea westward to Mediterranean ports. It quickly spread through Western Europe.

Read more →