Sputnik I

Lead: Looking back, the achievement was not that significant, but at the time the weak, raspy signal of Sputnik seemed a dire warning to a complacent America.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The International Geophysical Year, from 1957 to 1958, was intended to promote peaceful research and foster scientific projects between scholars of various nations. One such field of inquiry was the upper reaches of earth’s atmosphere and beyond. Both the Soviet Union and the United States had announced their scientists, working independently, would launch an artificial satellite during the IGY.  Americans scoffed at the notion that the Russians could put a satellite into to orbit. On October 4, 1957 the laughing stopped. At 6:00 PM EST the Associated Press announced that the Soviet Union had launched an earth satellite. Almost overnight, essayists Edwin Diamond and Stephen Bates write, the self-assured center of American culture began coming apart.

 

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Anti-Semitism: Kielce Pogrom II

Lead:   On July 4, 1946 in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, the most egregious act of genocide in human history, Polish citizens massacred hundreds of Jews in Kielce, Poland.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At the outbreak of World War II, Poland apparently happily hosted the second largest Jewish community in the world with a population of 3.3 million. During the inter-war years, Jews had thrived in commerce and culture. Yet, as in Germany to the west, there was a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the 1930s. Many Poles did not consider Jews to be part of their national identity.

 

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Anti-Semitism: Kielce Pogrom I

Lead:   “Pogroms” – organized attacks on Jews stirred by anti-Semitic sentiment - broke out across Russia in 1881. It was not the first time and most certainly would not be the last.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The word “pogrom” comes from the Russian word meaning “riot or wreak havoc.” A pogrom is a riot directed against a minority group – distinctive because of their religious or ethnic heritage. At times the attacks are led, encouraged and condoned by government authorities often to deflect public anger from leaders facing charges of incompetence or corruption.

 

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The Women’s Movement Pre-Revolutionary Russia – II

Lead: During the twenty-six year reign of Russian Czar Alexander II, which began in 1855, three major women’s movements arose to challenge the status quo.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

                Content: Romanov Czar Alexander II, part of the Romanov line of Russian rulers, is known as the “czar liberator” because of his reforms and his emancipation in 1861 of 23 million Russian serfs - about half of the peasant class.

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The Women’s Movement Pre-Revolutionary Russia – I

                Lead: In 1861 Czar Alexander II of Russia freed the serfs. This act of emancipation helped fuel one of the most unlikely women’s liberation movements in  the nineteenth century. 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Until the 1900s the legal and social position of women in Russia, indeed in most of the European world, was suppressed. A broad general belief, held by both sexes, was that men had the God-given right of dominion over women and children. This control, it was generally believed, provided structure for the family and a firm foundation for state and church order.

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Ilya Metchnikoff and the Immune System

Lead: Arrogant, opinionated, and much impressed with his own intellectual superiority, Russian biologist Ilya Metchnikoff (Maych-nikof) stumbled across the immune system.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As an undergraduate at the University of Karkov Metchnikoff bragged that he would one day be recognized as a great scientific genius. He possessed a photographic memory and an insatiable curiosity about nature but in his pursuit of fame he reached conclusions about his so-called discoveries that often had to be revised or retracted. As a graduate student he was always getting into terrific quarrels with his professors and leaving in a huff to move on to some other school.

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The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk – Part II

Lead:  When Lenin and the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in October, 1917, the most important task before them was to stop the war.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: World War I went badly for the Russians. Continued defeat and incompetence had brought down the Czarist regime and the provisional government that followed it. In their place were Lenin and the Bolsheviks. He knew if their regime was to survive, they had to have peace, no matter what it cost.

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Treaty of Brest-Litovsk – Part I

Lead:  After nearly four years of fighting Russia desperately needed peace - at any price.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By March, 1918, years of warfare had finally taken their toll on the Russian people. The war had gone badly, with German forces racking up one victory after another. There were two million Russian casualties in 1915 alone. Czar Nicholas II had proven to be a profoundly incompetent war leader, so anxious to maintain supreme royal power that he ignored the Duma, the elected legislature. In 1916, no longer willing to listen to the Duma's criticism, he adjourned it and went to the front. His wife, Czarina Alexandra, tried to rule in his absence, but she was equally incompetent and brought scandal to the government by her emotional dependence on the mystic priest Rasputin. His murder by three discontented aristocrats did little to improve the morale of the country and in March, 1917 severe food shortages brought an abrupt end to the famed Russian tolerance of misfortune. The nation snapped. Food riots led to revolution. When the soldiers sent to quell the riots joined in, the Duma declared a provisional government and three days later the Czar abdicated.

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