Suez Canal III

Lead: Facing almost universal skepticism, the Suez Canal Company under Ferdinand de Lesseps raised the money and dug the Canal.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Prime Minister Palmerston of Britain called him a swindler and a fool. Bankers such as Baron de Rothschild rejected his pleas for capital. Yet, de Lesseps succeeded against all odds. Raising money from small investors and operating with a design approved by the International Commission for the Piercing of the Isthmus of Suez, he broke ground in 1859 near the future Port Said. It took ten years to construct the canal. At any given point 30,000 workers were employed often under harsh, forced conditions. More than a million were so engaged and thousands of laborers died on the project. Progress was often delayed by labor disputes and the outbreak of diseases such as cholera, but in the end the canal was completed primarily due to the importation of giant French-designed steam shovels and dredges.

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Problem with Charles Lindbergh II

Lead: Charles Augustus Lindbergh, the Lone Eagle, inspired the world with his solo Atlantic flight in 1927. In the years leading up to World War II, he became a figure of great controversy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Lindbergh was the son of a U.S. Congressman. He dropped out of college to pursue his love of the airplane. After his stunning flight he was nearly everyone's hero. An intensely shy man, after his marriage to Anne Morrow, he moved his family to rural New Jersey. Their son was kidnapped and murdered in the early 1930s. After the trial and execution of the killer, they tried again to escape the public eye, this time in Europe.

 

 

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Problem with Charles Lindbergh I

Lead: After his solo flight in 1927, Charles Augustus Lindbergh was arguably the most famous man in the world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Lindbergh spent his youth in Little Falls, Minnesota and in Washington where his father, for five terms, represented the sixth district of Minnesota in Congress. He tried college, but dropped out of Wisconsin after his sophomore year to pursue a growing fascination with aviation. Stunt flying in a World War I Curtiss Jenny through the south and Midwest was followed by army flying school and a service as airmail pilot between St. Louis and Chicago. During this period he convinced a group of St. Louis businessmen to back him in the competition for the $25,000 prize offered by French-American hotel owner Raymond Orteig for the first nonstop New York to Paris flight.

 

 

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Amelia Earhart II

Lead: Her name was famous around the world and not just for her epic flying accomplishments. She was a consummate believer that women had an equal place with men, and then over the Pacific in 1937 Amelia Earhart was lost.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Though she grew up in a more conventional Victorian era, Earhart was in spirit a child of the twentieth century. A strong promoter of women’s rights, from childhood she had participated in those arenas usually reserved for boys and then men. She believed that notions of retiring femininity were outdated and everything she did paved the way for women to follow: athletically, professionally, and personally. Her position on the faculty of Purdue University, advising on aeronautics and women’s career opportunities, allowed her to influence a new generation of women leaders.

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Amelia Earhart I

Lead: Among pioneer aviators, only Charles Lindbergh exceeded the fame and accomplishments of Amelia Earhart. She was a model and inspiration for millions, including millions of women.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in Victorian-era Kansas in 1897 of a prosperous family, Earhart early on demonstrated an independent spirit, an inclination toward adventure, and robust imagination. She refused to be trapped in the usual roles reserved for girls and then later women, playing a variety of sports and showing a remarkable curiosity about all things mechanical. Yet, Earhart read voraciously and had little difficulty succeeding in the affairs of the mind.

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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 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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