1968: The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. I

Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control.

Content: The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his short career fighting for equality for blacks and for the poor. By the late 1960’s he had endured attacks from nearly every entrenched part of the American establishment. He was under relentless surveillance by the FBI. Director J. Edgar Hoover saw him as a threat to the nation’s stability and, inaccurately, as a closet communist. The Bureau went so far as to send King fabricated death threats and regularly spied on his private life.

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Integration Comes to Little Rock

Lead: Opposition to the desegregation of Central High School was the beginning of a decade of resistance in the South.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1954 the Supreme Court of the United States decided in Brown vs. The Topeka Board of Education that separate but equal schools were unconstitutional. In the wake of the subsequent decree that instructed parties to pursue desegregation with "all deliberate speed," the Little Rock, Arkansas School Board a fairly progressive body at that time began planning to desegregate the schools.

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Trail of Tears II

Lead: Despite their willingness to become more like the white majority in the 1830s the Cherokee were removed from the mountains of the South and sent to Oklahoma.

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

Content: In 1802 the state of Georgia gave up its claims to Alabama and Mississippi territory. In return, the federal government promised to resettle Native Americans in the West. By the late 1820s this had not been done and newly elected President Andrew Jackson was sympathetic with Georgia's position. In his first message to Congress asked that it to provide for the removal of the Cherokee. Sensing victory the state of Georgia passed a series of laws that abolishing Cherokee government and dividing Cherokee land to be distributed by lottery to Georgia citizens. The Cherokee took their case to the Supreme Court and the Court declared in favor of the Indians. Georgia refused to recognize Supreme Court jurisdiction and Jackson refused to enforce the law.

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Trail of Tears I

Lead: Often a nation's actions don't live up to its ideals.

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

Content: The record of the United States in dealing with Native Americans is a mixed one. National policy toward the Indians, often idealistic and well-meaning in its intention, has been punctuated with broken treaties, untruths and often intentional disregard for human and property rights. The experience of the Cherokee was particularly dramatic. More than any most tribes, the Cherokee attempted to adjust themselves to the ever expanding American culture.

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The Know-Nothing Party II

Lead: Formed to resist the flood of immigrants in the 1850s, the Know-Nothing Party made prejudice pay big dividends at the ballot box.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By 1853 the Order of United Americans had chapters in towns all over the country. Riding a wave of resentment against the huge influx of German and Irish immigrants, the Order was better known as the Know-Nothing movement. Legend says that it took its name from what members said to questions about the Order's secret meetings - "I know nothing."

The Know-Nothing Party I

Lead: In 1854 the Know-Nothing Party riding a wave of anti-immigrant prejudice, rolled up victory after victory. Except for the pre-Civil War Republicans, it was the best third party showing in American history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The United States is nation of immigrants. Beginning with the Jamestown Colony in 1607, successive waves of aliens have sought a new life and prosperity in what they considered to be a land of opportunity. Crowding out the original Native Americans, whose ancient ancestors actually may have themselves emigrated from the eastern Asia, more strangers arrived each decade in search of a new home. Within a couple of generations, their families now firmly established, many of the newcomers considered themselves "native Americans" and looked with barely tolerant superiority at the next batch of immigrants spilling onto the docks of Boston, Philadelphia, and New York

The Dreyfus Affair IV

Lead: Imprisoned for treason he did not commit, French Army Captain Alfred Dreyfus became the focus of a great national crusade.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Dreyfus was clearly innocent. His 1894 conviction was fixed by military authorities anxious to protect the Army from the embarrassing discovery of a German spy in the War Ministry, but they got the wrong man. While Dreyfus served his sentence on Devil's Island, the infamous French prison colony off the coast of South America, his family and a growing number of supporters worked to prove his innocence. Among the most prominent of the Dreyfusards were George Clémenceau, the future wartime Premier, and the novelist and left wing agitator, Emile Zola.

The Dreyfus Affair III

Lead: Accused of spying for the Germans in 1894, French Army Captain Alfred Dreyfus became the subject of a furious cultural struggle.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the last half of the 1900s France was a study in conflict. Little more than half the population even spoke the French language. Rural areas were suspicious of the more prosperous industrial cities. Railroads which would help bring the country together were delayed until late in the century. Many Frenchmen openly advocated a return to monarchy and deeply resented the so-called Third Republic, set up after the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Leading the call for monarchy were many Roman Catholics who felt threatened by republican attacks on Catholic schools.