Anatomy of a Presidential Scandal (Cleveland) II

Lead: After being nominated for President by the Democrats in the summer of 1884, Grover Cleveland was publicly accused of fathering an illegitimate child.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Cleveland was able to negotiate the shoals of scandal for several reasons. First, from the beginning, he told the truth. About 1871, widow Maria Halpin came from Jersey City to Buffalo where she found work in the retail clothing trade. She was a tall, stunning beauty, spoke French and soon was seen in the company of several men, one of whom was Grover Cleveland. Their relationship was intimate and sexual. When her son was born in the fall of 1874, she named him Oscar Folsom Cleveland, in honor of Cleveland and his law partner. Cleveland accepted responsibility and provided for both mother and child. When the scandal broke, he confided the truth to a number of prominent clergy and political leaders.

Anatomy of a Presidential Scandal (Cleveland) I

Lead: It is difficult to keep perspective at a time when passions are engaged and salacious revelations stir the body politic. Yet, such a time is the perfect occasion to examine the past to gain perspective by looking at the anatomy of a Presidential scandal.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Oh, to be a Democrat in the summer of 1884. Victory was in the air. For the first time since the nomination of James Buchanan in 1856 the Party had a real chance to take the White House. Every four years this ragtag collection of yellow dog dixiecrats and immigrant Yankees would drink and party their way to the nomination of a pair of political nonentities, who would then promptly go out and lose. Not this time. This time they had a winner.

The Conciliar Movement II

Lead: With the Church split into factions, with three popes claiming the obedience of Roman Catholics the leaders of Christian Europe met in the Swiss village of Constance to clean up the mess.

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

Content: In 1409 at the Council of Pisa, the leaders of the church met to bring some kind of order out of the chaos that grew from having rival popes one in Rome the other in Avignon in the south of France. They were also trying to come up with way of governing the Church that broadened its leadership base. Many in the church led by Pierre D'Ailly of Bishop of Cambrai in France advocated a change in Church government that would retain the office of Pope but place him under a General Council of Bishops which would be the ultimate authority in the Church. At Pisa the Council deposed the rival popes and appointed one of their own. He soon died and his successor took the name John XXIII. The other popes refused to go, that meant there were three.

 

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The Conciliar Movement I

Lead: To a Europe beset by plague, war and economic depression, the Church offered precious little help.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the late 1300s Europe was in trouble. The Black Death was the in process of reducing the population by as much as a third. The Hundred Years' War between France and England was tearing up the French countryside and both countries’ economies. To make matters worse, the continent’s one unifying institution was itself in disarray. For seventy years Popes of the Roman Catholic Church lived in Avignon in southern France. Suspicious that the Church was then a pawn of the French king, English and German Catholics increasingly looked elsewhere for spiritual guidance.

 

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History’s Turning Points: Tentmaker from Tarsus

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. We examine history’s turning points: the tentmaker from Tarsus.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: He began life in his own words as “a Jew of the Jews.” Paul of Tarsus was a member of the Pharisees, a school of Judaism known for its zeal for orthodoxy. His early encounters with the emerging Jewish sect that would eventually separate into Christianity revealed his zealotry by going after the growing number of adherents of Jesus who were claiming that the crucified and very dead Nazarene had come back from the dead. Commissioned to attack the followers of Jesus in the city of Damascus, he wrote later that on the way he was felled by a bright light and what he described as the transforming voice of Jesus himself. This son of Judaism switched loyalties and was soon proselytizing alongside, though barely tolerated by, the understandably suspicious original disciples, those who had actually known Jesus. And in this came one of history’s turning points.

Sir Francis Drake III

Lead: His voyage around the world behind him, Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth's Golden Admiral, intensified his campaign to make miserable the life of the King of Spain.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Returning from the East in 1581, Drake made Plymouth his home and was elected mayor of the town. He served with distinction, revamping the municipal water system with such care that his improvements lasted for decades. Ever restless, he returned to the sea which was both the love of his life and source of his fortune. In 1585 Elizabeth sent Drake back to the Caribbean where, over a period of months, he renewed his reputation as the scourge of Spain. His occasionally brutal capture and sacking of Cartagena in Columbia, St. Augustine in Florida, and Santo Domingo, combined with attacks on the Cape Verde Islands, were not as successful or lucrative as previous forays, but caused enormous financial distress to the Spanish and confirmed their hatred for el draque or the dragon, as he was coming to be known. This campaign and other conflicts with England so incensed Spanish King Philip II that he made the fateful decision to assemble a huge naval Armada to invade the island kingdom.

Sir Francis Drake II

Lead: Commissioned by Queen Elizabeth to forage and loot the lands of the Spanish King, Francis Drake embarked on a voyage that took him around the world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1572, after a lengthy apprenticeship, Drake took two tiny ships on a cruise into the Caribbean. His vessels may have been small but his ambition was hefty. He attacked the town of Nombre de Dios in Panama and though not completely successful since he was wounded in the attempt, the foray netted substantial plunder and made him a rich man. Ever the adventurer, he and a small group of his men crossed the Isthmus of Panama and from a high western ridge vowed that he would someday explore the vast Pacific Ocean that lay before him. Elizabeth was engaged in one of her occasional diplomatic flirtations with the Spanish government and, while privately pleased at Drake’s success, could not acknowledge him publicly. For several years, he dropped out of the public eye, quietly helping to suppress a rebellion in Ireland.

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.