Guernica II

Lead: In April 1937 the town of Guernica in the Basque region of Spain was virtually leveled by German bombers in a brutal act of terror bombing.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Spanish Civil War pitted the Nationalist rebels under General Franco against the Republican Army, but it revealed many of the divisions in Spanish society. The fighting was brutal and atrocities were committed by both sides. Thousands died during the three-year conflict and many more were executed in its aftermath. What made the war especially harsh was outside participation.

Guernica I

Lead: It was not the first terror bombing in the twentieth century, nor the last, nor the worst, but that day in Guernica in 1937 remains a lasting symbol of brutality.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Civil wars are not very civil. Somehow the struggle of neighbor against neighbor, brother against sister, friend against friend, ratchets up the intensity of a conflict. The presence of common ancestry, religion, language, and ethnicity aggravate the normal emotions present when people make war on one another.

Stephen Ramseur Witnesses the Death of the Wooden Navy

Lead: On two days in 1862, Steven Ramseur witnessed the death of the wooden Navy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Ramseur was a 24-year-old major of artillery who in his service with the Confederacy rose to the rank of major general, the youngest West Pointer to receive that rank in Confederate service. He happened to be in Norfolk on court-martial duty in March 1862 on the day the CSS Virginia went out to attack the northern blockade fleet. Three days later he sat down to write his brother-in-law and describe the exciting battle. What he witnessed was no less than the transformation of naval warfare.

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GI Bill of Rights

Lead: Originally conceived as a way of keeping unemployed ex-servicemen off the streets, the GI Bill transformed the campuses of American colleges.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Fearful that returning veterans would not be able to find jobs after World War II, Congress passed the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944. The main feature of the bill was a provision for unemployment benefits at the rate of $20 per week for a year. Almost as an afterthought, the bill's sponsors tossed in a section guaranteeing any qualified veteran the chance to attend college for 48 months, at least in part, at government expense.

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Battle of Marathon II

Lead: The victory of the Greek forces at the Battle of Marathon helped set the course of western development.

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

Content: The ever-expanding Persian empire under Cyrus the Great, Darius and Xerxes came to a halt as it collided with the Greek city-states and their colonies on the Aegean Sea. A powerful invasion force landed at the Bay of Marathon, twenty miles northeast of Athens, in the fall of 490 BC. As was often the case, the democratic Athenians were busy arguing who would command their army even as the Persians were at the gates. Finally, one of the generals, Miltiades, persuaded Callimachus, a civil official, to break the impasse and vote to attack the Persians first. Apparently there was evidence that some Athenians were sympathetic with the invaders and if the City waited too long the seeds of betrayal would undermine its resistance.

Battle of Marathon I

Lead: On the plain at Marathon, Greek armies met a much larger Persian invasion force. For a time, the outcome was in doubt.

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

Content: In 500 BCE the Persian Empire stretched from India to the shores of the Black Sea. From their capital at Persepolis, Cyrus the Great and his successors, Darius and Xerxes, extended the borders and generally benevolent rule of Persia to most of the civilized world. As they moved west the Persians began to encounter those regions colonized by the major city-states of Greece.

Court Martial of Billy Mitchell II

Lead: In the 1920s, the U.S. military was hampered by severe budget cutbacks and a debate on the future of the airplane. One persistent, prophetic, but on more than one occasion obnoxious voice in the debate was General William “Billy” Mitchell.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Billy Mitchell’s father and grandfather were congressmen. He thus grew up in the circles of power and expected people to listen when he spoke, but his habit of going public with his ideas and tendency to browbeat his opponents diminished his influence with the Army. Mitchell’s experience as head of Army air combat forces in Europe during World War I led him to conclude that the warplane was the key to victory in future conflicts and he went on a crusade to prove it. He was particularly adept at using the press to further his ideas. He arranged a series of highly-publicized tests in which his bombers spectacularly sank several surplus battleships thus proving their vulnerability and increasing obsolescence.

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Court Martial of Billy Mitchell I

Lead: Billy Mitchell’s experience as Army air combat commander during World War I showed him that future success in warfare depended on air power. His problem was that he just couldn’t keep quiet about it.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Before the war Mitchell had a limited view of the airplane’s potential. He was in the Signal Corps and believed flying machines were primarily useful only for reconnaissance, flying behind and over the battlefield, spotting artillery, tracking enemy maneuvers, and aiding in fast communication and travel. As the months in Europe passed, his perspective began to change. He started to fly battle missions beside his pilots and eventually rose to be leader of the Army’s air arm. Under actual combat conditions, additional powerful possibilities for the airplane began to emerge. Tactically, warplanes could support troops fighting on the ground and strategically, planes could help destroy enemy installations behind the lines.

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