Armed Forces Radio II

Lead: During World War II the British Broadcasting Corporation and the American Forces Radio (AFN) had to be forced to work together in support of the Normandy invasion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Required to give up its monopoly on radio broadcasting in Britain during World War II, the BBC welcomed the fledgling GI network with surprising grace considering its previous opposition. BBC helped AFN with studios, engineering assistance and expertise, but it was not easy. The Brits strove for scrupulous accuracy in their broadcasts and were offended at the informal American broadcast style and occasional willingness to use questionable sources and interpretation in news reporting. They considered AFN to have accomplished a great deal, but that it was really little more than a small town operation, with announcers that were illiterate, unresourceful, and couldn't even read scripts very well.

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Armed Forces Radio I

Lead: During World War II, to the lonely GI, Armed Forces Radio was a welcome reminder of home. It is a part of the war that continues to this day.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1942 Allied forces began to assemble for the Normandy invasion in bases throughout the English countryside. For many, this was the first time away from home and they missed it. To pass the time they listened to the radio, and for that the only choice was the British Broadcasting Company. This was the heyday of the BBC. All over Europe, indeed, all over the world, those who could listen were dependent on the BBC for news that was largely free from bias, very accurate, and absent the hopeless propaganda that poured out of Berlin, Rome and Tokyo. To the American ear, however, the BBC was deadly dull. The music was boring, the humor dry and out of context, the announcers starchy and pretentious.

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The Great Eastern (Luxury Liner)

Lead: In November, 1857, Isambard Kingdom Brunel tried to launch his magnificent creation. Great Eastern, the heaviest object anyone had ever attempted to move, got stuck.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Brunel was one of the most successful engineers of his day. He constructed what was at that time, the world’s longest tunnel, several unusual railroad bridges, and finally, Great Eastern. Conceived as the first luxury liner, the ship was designed to carry 4,000 passengers in complete comfort, haul enough coal for a non-stop round-trip from England to Australia, and earn her inventors’ money back in a couple of years. No such luck. No profit was ever made with Great Eastern.

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New York City’s First Subway

Lead: New York needed a subway. Alfred Beach was ready to supply it.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By 1870 the need to move people quickly around the City of New York was apparent to all. The streets were clogged with pedestrians and horse-drawn vehicles and the steam and smoke put out by locomotives. Alfred Ley Beach, editor of the Scientific American and an inventor in his own right, had been experimenting with pneumatic propul-sion, the use of air pressure to force a cylinder through a tightly sealed tube.

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Crash of the Hindenburg IV

Lead: On May 6, 1937 the German airship Hindenburg, filled with 97 passengers and crew and tons of highly flammable hydrogen gas, was preparing to land at the U.S. Naval Station at Lakehurst, NJ at the end of an uneventful first transatlantic trip of the season.

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

Content: Herbert Morrison was an announcer for WLS in Chicago. He was in Lakehurst to describe to a live radio audience the arrival of the Hindenburg on that overcast May afternoon. This is the voice of Herbert Morrison.

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Crash of the Hindenburg III

Lead: Expanded to huge dimensions and filled with highly flammable hydrogen gas, German airships became an important element of Hitler’s propaganda machine.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 one of the most important champions of the German Airship was Hitler's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. The Fuhrer himself was not impressed and refused to set foot in a dirigible, feeling them a creation contrary to nature. Without Goebbel’s enthusiasm the Zeppelin program would probably have died since the construction of a large airship was as costly as that of a heavy battleship.

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Crash of the Hindenburg II

Lead: Used as bombers during World War I, giant German lighter-than-air ships called Zeppelins were turned to commercial uses in the 1920s and 1930s.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: If one wanted to travel between continents in the early 1900s, there was one choice. You had to go by ship. While the dream of flight had been realized first by balloons and then by the Wright Brothers’ airplane, aircraft engines were not strong, efficient, or safe enough to lift cargo and passengers over long distances. For just over two short decades from World War I to the eve of World War II, the dirigible seemed to be the solution to fast intercontinental travel.

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Crash of the Hindenburg I

Lead: The destruction of the dirigible Hindenburg brought to a halt this method of realizing man's dream of flying.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Beginning in the 1700s, men had begun to break the restraints of gravity and soar into the air using lighter-than-air craft, namely balloons lifted by heated air. At first the heat came from earth bound fires and then means of carrying the heat source along for the ride extended the time of the flight.

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