Sir Francis Drake I

Lead: Part scoundrel, part tyrant, part patriot, Francis Drake, for generations of his countrymen, was the symbol of England’s greatness.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Drake was born in Devonshire, southwestern England in the early 1540s, the last years of the reign of King Henry VIII. His father was a tenant farmer, but also an ardent Protestant lay preacher. In 1549 the family had to flee to southeast England during one of the Catholic uprisings common to the West Country. In those the years the nation was struggling over whether to stay with Protestantism or return to the Roman Catholic Church. Drake’s lifelong and enthusiastic commitment to the Protestant faith and apparent delight in tweaking the tail of Catholic Spain may be traced to the experiences of his troubled youth.

Surplus Wars II

Lead: Faced with mountains of surplus war matériel after World War II, the U.S. government had to figure a way to get rid of the stuff.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Everything from toothpaste to fully-equipped Sherman tanks lay in storage depots from Germany to remote islands in the South Pacific. Of first concern to the American public was to get the boys home. Politicians and leaders were under constant pressure to demobilize the troops, and at first little thought was given to the millions of tons of supplies with which the war had been won. In the rush to feed, house, clothe, and arm 15 million active duty personnel, few plans had been laid dispose of the matériel they had used in the fight.

Surplus Wars I

Lead: To get a victory in World War II, the United States sacrificed the lives of nearly a quarter of a million of its sons and daughters, but at the Japanese surrender the war against a huge collection of surplus stuff had just gotten started.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the summer of 1940 the German war machine was nearly everywhere triumphant when Prime Minister Churchill of Britain began to warn that his country could no longer comply with the U.S. law requiring cash payment for arms purchases. To rectify this problem, President Franklin Roosevelt suggested the idea of Lend-Lease and began sending ancient naval destroyers to the beleaguered and isolated British. This was just a small component of the preparations the administration was making for war. Long before Pearl Harbor, the United States was gearing up for the greatest conflict in its history. In purely economic terms, it was a war that was to consume three times the gross national product of 1940 or in excess of three trillion 1997 dollars as adjusted for inflation.

History’s Turning Points: Ambitious Corporal II (Bonaparte)

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: the ambitious corpora1’s legacy.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Napoleon Bonaparte was a daring and effective military commander, yet his lasting legacy may have been off the battlefield. He continued the destruction of aristocratic rule that began with the French Revolution in France and wherever his armies conquered. Though he created a modified aristocracy loyal to him and made himself Emperor of the French, this artifice collapsed when he was defeated and exiled. The Congress of Vienna 1815 tried to put the pieces back together again, but if anything the decades after Napoleon demonstrated a steady collapse of autocracy and the steady flowering of democracy.

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History’s Turning Points: Ambitious Corporal I (Bonaparte)

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: the ambitious corpora1.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: French historian and romantic author, Francois-René Vicomte Chateaubriand, wrote of Napoleon Bonaparte, “the mightiest breath of life which ever animated human clay.” He can be forgiven a flight of hyperbole, but for the first decade of the 19th century there is little doubt that Bonaparte straddled the wide continent of Europe virtually unimpeded. He was the Corsican corporal whose ambition made him Emperor of the French and whose military genius and daring shattered all before him. Yet, perhaps it was not his conquests which were fleeting or his empire which faded at his fall which set Napoleon firmly astride one of history’s great turning points. It was the system of aristocratic rule that he wounded, the legal system that he established wherever his armies conquered, and the dark and vicious concept of nationalism that lingered long after its author perished on St. Helena. Those things transformed him from transitory tyrant to a figure whose influence approaches the eternal.

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Shanghai (Sailors)

Lead: During the nineteenth century, if a ship captain found himself short of sailors, he might have to make up his crew by shanghaiing.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the important irritants that led to the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States was impressment. A British Captain, short of sailors, would stop an American merchant ship, sometimes at gunpoint, land a party of toughs and drag off a few unwilling Yankee sailors to fill up his own crew. Despite the part this practice played in bringing on the war, at the time of the peace negotiations, very little was said about it. Britain, an island nation, had to maintain a superior Navy. Long tradition and ancient laws permitted the Royal Navy to force sailors into service by any means possible. After the war, impressment faded as an issue, but the practice continued, by mid-century acquiring a more colorful name, shanghai.

Sinking of the USS Thresher II

Lead: In April 1963, USS Thresher, a nuclear attack submarine engaged in trials after an extensive overhaul, sank in the Atlantic off Cape Cod with the loss of 129 lives.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Thresher was a new class of sub designed to hunt and destroy Soviet nuclear submarines. Therefore, it was able to go deeper and faster than any of its predecessors and carry 23 torpedoes at 28 knots per hour down to a test or maximum depth of 1300 feet below the surface. It was a deadly package but this vessel had catastrophic defects.

Sinking of the USS Thresher I

Lead: Just after 9:00 AM on the morning of April 10, 1963, a pipe burst in the engine room of the nuclear submarine USS Thresher floating 1000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic off Cape Cod. Within minutes the vessel had been transformed into a twisted metallic tomb for 129 men.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Thresher was a new type of submarine, one designed specifically to hunt, attack, and destroy Soviet atomic-powered submarines. The need for such a vessel was demonstrated by USS Nautilus, launched in 1954, it was the world’s first nuclear submarine. Nautilus was so quiet and powerful and so good at making kills and getting away without detection that the Navy was forced to change its strategy. Convinced that the Soviets would soon have the same deadly capability, designers came up with a killer submarine specifically to hunt other subs.