First Ladies: Sarah Childress Polk

Lead: The wife of the tenth President of the United States was the ideal political spouse: devoted, principled, and ambitious.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1823 James Knox Polk was stuck in what he considered a dead end job as a clerk employed by the Tennessee legislature. He asked Andrew Jackson, just beginning his first run for the Presidency, what advice he would give for success in politics. Jackson told him, "stop this philandering...settle down as a sober married man." "Which lady shall I choose?" asked Polk. "The one who will never give you no trouble," replied Jackson, "you know her well." "You mean Sarah Childress?" Polk asked, thought a minute, went out and asked her to marry him. He never regretted the choice.

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First Ladies: Mamie Doud Eisenhower

Lead: Through the years of lonely separation and worry that are part of the life of a military spouse, Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower never liked it but loved her Kansas farm boy and was there for the long haul.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Dwight Eisenhower was a second lieutenant fresh from West Point when he first laid eyes on Mamie Geneva Doud, daughter of a wealthy Denver family who wintered in San Antonio. She was standing on the porch of the Officer’s Club at Fort Sam Houston when as Officer of the Day he walked by on his rounds. She thought he was the most handsome male she had ever seen; he was struck with her vivacious personality and attractive, saucy looks. They were married in the summer of 1916.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

Lead: She was Harriet Beecher Stowe, the little lady who made the big war.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1850 a series of laws were passed by the Congress of the United States that came to be known as the Compromise of 1850. This secured relative peace between North and South and delayed by a decade the coming Civil War. One the parts of the compromise was a strengthened Fugitive Slave Law. It was passed to block the growing campaign by abolitionists and others opposed to slavery who were trying to help slaves escape captivity.

 

 

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Pearl Buck

Lead: In 1938 an American woman was first awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Nobel Prizes were established in 1901 by the trust of the Swedish inventor and scientist Alfred Nobel. They are awarded annually to persons conferring “the greatest benefit on mankind.” To the prizes for chemistry, medicine, literature, physics and peace, a prize for economics was added in 1969, endowed by the Central Bank of Sweden. Two American women have won the prize for literature, Tony Morrison in 1993 and in 1938 Pearl Buck.

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Marie Sklodowska Curie

Lead: Winner of two Nobel prizes, the French physicist Marie Curie, born Maria Sklodowska near Warsaw, Poland, helped advance the understanding of radioactive substances.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Learning was a lifetime passion for Marie Curie. Her parents lived and taught in a private school and as a child she demonstrated a remarkable memory in academic matters but hers was not a purely abstract scholarship. During Maria's childhood, her native Poland could not be found on the maps of eastern Europe. For centuries Polish territory had been parceled out to hostile neighbors and in 1863, due to an abortive revolt, Poland had become little more than a Russian province. The Polish language was suppressed. As a teenager she took part in the secret nationalist "free university" where she taught the Polish language to women workers.

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George Sand

Lead: In November 1830 in a chateau in central France, an unhappy 26-year-old woman discovered in her husband’s desk a fat envelope on which was written her name and the words, “Only to be Opened After My Death.” For the Baroness Aurore Dudevant it became cause for her declaration of independence.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the packet, her husband Casimir had poured out volumes of bitterness and rancor built up in their years of marriage. For Aurore the role of dutiful wife and mother of their two young ones had never been particularly agreeable and the letter seemed good cause to break away from a man with whom she had little in common and whom she considered a drunken idler. Though her inheritance had provided the family its income, a married women in that era had little rights to her own money therefore when Madame Dudevant left for Paris she had to make her living as a writer.

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First Ladies: Barbara Pierce Bush

Lead: Only one other in American history was the wife and mother of Presidents of the United States. In the august company of Abigail Adams is Barbara Pierce Bush.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: She met her husband at a Christmas dance when she was sixteen. Both were children of privilege and were educated among the Eastern elite. They were married during George’s service in World War II, and after his graduation from Yale, they struck out for the west Texas oil patch and began to build a business and a family. The future President’s financial success led him into a prodigious political career and an unequaled resume. Six children and twenty-nine homes later, they moved into the White House.

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Carry Nation, Reformer

Lead: At six feet tall and 175 pounds, Carry Nation organized the shock troops of the temperance movement.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Carry Amelia Moore was born in Garrard County Kentucky in 1846. Her education was limited though she held a teaching certificate. She left her first marriage because of her husband’s alcoholism and soon married David Nation, a lawyer, journalist and minister. Religious convictions drove her deeper and deeper into opposition to the sale and consumption of alcohol. For Carry Nation, drinking liquor was a moral question and fighting it became for her a crusade.

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