Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Betty Friedan Fought for Women's Rights" from VOA

I'm Faith Lapidus. And I'm Steve Ember with PEOPLE IN AMERICA in VOA Special English. Today we tell about Betty Friedan. She was a powerful activist for the rights of women.

Betty Friedan is often called the mother of the modern women's liberation movement. Her famous book, "The Feminine Mystique," changed America. Some people say it changed the world. It has been called one of the most influential nonfiction books of the twentieth century.

Friedan re-awakened the feminist movement in the United States. That movement had helped women gain the right to vote in the nineteen twenties. Modern feminists disagree about how to describe themselves and their movement. But activists say men and women should have equal chances for economic, social and intellectual satisfaction in life.

Fifty years ago, life for women in the United States was very different from today. Very few parents urged their daughters to become lawyers or doctors or professors. Female workers doing the same jobs as men earned much less money. Women often lost their jobs when they had a baby. There were few child care centers for working parents.

Betty Friedan once spoke to ABC television about her support for sharing responsibility for the care of children:

"If child-rearing was considered the responsibility of women and men or women and men and society, then we really could pull up our skirts and declare victory and move on."

Betty Friedan was born Betty Goldstein in nineteen twenty-one in Peoria, Illinois. Her immigrant father worked as a jeweler. Her mother left her job with a local newspaper to stay home with her family.

Betty attended Smith College in Northhampton, Massachusetts. It was one of the country's best colleges for women. She finished her studies in psychology in nineteen forty-two.

After college she attended the University of California at Berkeley to continue her studies. But her boyfriend at the time did not want her to get an advanced degree in psychology. He apparently felt threatened by her success. So Betty left California and her boyfriend. She moved to New York City and worked as a reporter and editor for labor union newspapers.

In nineteen forty-seven, Betty Goldstein married Carl Friedan, a theater director who later became an advertising executive. They had a child, the first of three. The Friedans were to remain married until nineteen sixty-nine.

When Betty Friedan became pregnant for the second time, she was dismissed from her job at the newspaper. After that she worked as an independent reporter for magazines. But her editors often rejected her attempts to write about subjects outside the traditional interests of women.

In nineteen fifty-seven, Friedan started research that was to have far-reaching results. Her class at Smith College was to gather for the fifteenth anniversary of their graduation. Friedan prepared an opinion study for the women. She sent questions to the women about their lives. Most who took part in the study did not work outside their homes.

Friedan was not completely satisfied with her life. She thought that her former college classmates might also be dissatisfied. She was right. Friedan thought these intelligent women could give a lot to society if they had another identity besides being homemakers.

Friedan completed more studies. She talked to other women across the country. She met with experts about the questions and answers. She combined this research with observations and examples from her own life. The result was her book, "The Feminine Mystique," published in nineteen sixty-three.

The book attacked the popular idea of the time that women could only find satisfaction through being married, having children and taking care of their home. Friedan believed that women wanted more from life than just to please their husbands and children.

The book said women suffered from feelings of lack of worth. Friedan said this was because the women depended on their husbands for economic, emotional and intellectual support.

"The Feminine Mystique" was a huge success. It has sold more than three million copies. It was reprinted in a number of other languages. The book helped change the lives of women in America. More women began working outside the home. More women also began studying traditionally male subjects like law, medicine and engineering.

Betty Friedan expressed the dissatisfaction of some American women during the middle of the twentieth century. But she also made many men feel threatened. Later, critics said her book only dealt with the problems of white, educated, wealthy, married women. It did not study the problems of poor white women, single women or minorities.

In nineteen sixty-six, Betty Friedan helped establish NOW, the National Organization for Women. She served as its first president. She led campaigns to end unfair treatment of women seeking jobs.

Friedan also worked on other issues. She wanted women to have the choice to end their pregnancies. She wanted to create child-care centers for working parents. She wanted women to take part in social and political change. Betty Friedan once spoke about her great hopes for women in the nineteen seventies:

"Liberating ourselves, we will then become a major political force, perhaps the biggest political force for basic social and political change in America in the seventies."

Betty Friedan led a huge demonstration in New York City for women's rights. Demonstrations were also held in other cities. A half-million women took part in the Women's Strike for Equality on August twenty-sixth, nineteen seventy. The day marked the fiftieth anniversary of American women gaining the right to vote.

A year after the march, Friedan helped establish the National Women's Political Caucus. She said the group got started "to make policy, not coffee." She said America needed more women in public office if women were to gain equal treatment.

Friedan wanted a national guarantee of that equal treatment. She worked tirelessly to get Congress and the states to approve an amendment to the United States Constitution that would provide equal rights for women.

The House of Representatives approved this Equal Rights Amendment in nineteen seventy-one. The Senate approved it the following year. Thirty-eight of the fifty state legislatures were required to approve the amendment. Congress set a time limit of seven years for the states to approve it. This was extended to June thirtieth, nineteen eighty-two. However, only thirty-five states approved the amendment by the deadline so it never went into effect.

The defeat of the E.R.A. was a sad event for Betty Friedan, NOW and other activists.

In nineteen eighty-one, Betty Friedan wrote about the condition of the women's movement. Her book was called "The Second Stage." Friedan wrote that the time for huge demonstrations and other such events had passed. She urged the movement to try to increase its influence on American political life.

Typical 1950s Advertisement
with Homemaker Stereotype
Some younger members of the movement denounced her as too conservative.

As she grew older, Friedan studied conditions for older Americans. She wrote a book called "The Fountain of Age" in nineteen ninety-three. She wrote that society often dismisses old people as no longer important or useful. Friedan's last book was published in two thousand. She was almost eighty years old at the time. Its title was "Life So Far."

Betty Friedan died on February fourth, two thousand six. It was her eighty-fifth birthday. Betty Friedan once told a television reporter how she wanted to be remembered:

"She helps make it better for women to feel good about being women, and therefore she helped make it possible for women to more freely love men."

This program was written by Jerilyn Watson. It was produced by Lawan Davis. I'm Faith Lapidus. And I'm Steve Ember. You can download a transcript and audio of this show at Join us again next week for PEOPLE IN AMERICA in VOA Special English.


1. In the 1970s, Betty Friedan didn't believe that women _____________________ .
a: should have the power to choose to end their pregnancies if necessary
b: should have the availability of child care centers
c: should be involved in social and political change
d: should only write about clothing, cosmetics, and romance

2. "The Feminine Mystique" ________________ .
a: wasn't a huge success
b: didn't help change the lives of women in America
c: didn't consider the problems of poor or minority women
d: didn't inspire women to study traditionally male subjects like law and medicine

3. According to Friedan in an ABC interview in the 1950s, child-rearing should ___________________.
a: be mainly the responsibility of the mother
b: be shared by both the mother and the father
c: be primarily the responsibility of the government
d: be mainly the responsibility of the school and the baby sitter

4. In the 1950s, American women were expected to ____________________ .
a: stay home and take care of the house and their children
b: pursue degrees in law or business
c: join their husbands at their jobs
d: stay at the university and become professors

5. The Equal Rights Amendment failed to pass because _________________________ .
a: it lost in a general election
b: the U.S. Congress voted it down
c: the President wouldn't sign it into law
d: it needed 38 states to pass, and it only passed in 35 states.

6. Betty Friedan felt that it was possible for women to love men more freely if ________________________ .
a: they felt good about being women
b: they made better coffee
c: the Equal Rights Amendment could be passed
d: everyone read "The Feminine Mystique."

7. In Friedan's book "The Second Stage" she wrote that __________________________ .
a: there should be more demonstrations
b: no real progress for women had been made
c: influence on American political life should be increased
d: older women don't receive enough respect

8. When Betty Friedan was a young woman, her boyfriend _____________________ .
a: supported her desire to study psychology at U.C. Berkeley
b: left her and moved to New York to work for a newspaper
c: probably felt threatened by her intelligence and success, so he didn't want her to continue her studies
d: wrote a very influential book about the problems of men

9. In the 1950s, if a woman had a job and became pregnant, she usually _________________ .
a: lost her job
b: obtained paid maternity leave
c: was allowed to bring her baby to work
d: got a job in a day care center

10. In 1966, Betty Friedan became the first president of ___________________ .
a: her university's sorority
b: her neighborhood book club
c: The National Organization of Women
d: the Literary Society of New York

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"The Science of Snow" from VOA


This is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Shirley Griffith.


And I'm Steve Ember. Today, we tell you everything you ever wanted to know about snow.



Indianapolis, Indiana
Winter weather has returned to northern areas of the world. In much of the United States, winter means the return of snow. Snow is a subject of great interest to weather experts. Experts sometimes have difficulty estimating where, when or how much snow will fall. One reason is that heavy amounts of snow fall in surprisingly small areas. Another reason is that a small change in temperature can mean the difference between snow and rain.


Snow is a form of frozen water. It contains many groups of tiny ice particles called snow crystals. These crystals grow from water particles in cold clouds. They usually grow around a piece of dust.

All snow crystals have six sides, but they grow in different shapes. The shape depends mainly on the temperature and water levels in the air. Snow crystals grow in one of two designs -- platelike and columnar. Platelike crystals are flat. They form when the air temperature is about fifteen degrees below zero Celsius. Columnar snow crystals look like sticks of ice. They form when the temperature is about five degrees below zero.


The shape of a snow crystal may change from one form to another as the crystal passes through levels of air with different temperatures. When melting snow crystals or raindrops fall through very cold air, they freeze to form small particles of ice, called sleet.

Groups of frozen water droplets are called snow pellets. Under some conditions, these particles may grow larger and form solid pieces of ice, or hail.



When snow crystals stick together, they produce snowflakes. Snowflakes come in different sizes. As many as one hundred crystals may join together to form a snowflake larger than two and one-half centimeters. Under some conditions, snowflakes can form that are five centimeters long. Usually, this requires near freezing temperatures, light winds and changing conditions in Earth's atmosphere.

Snow contains much less water than rain. About fifteen centimeters of wet snow has as much water as two and one-half centimeters of rain. About seventy-six centimeters of dry snow equals the water in two and one-half centimeters of rain.


River Running with Melting Ice

Much of the water we use comes from snow. Melting snow provides water for rivers, electric power centers and agricultural crops. In the western United States, mountain snow provides up to seventy-five percent of all surface water supplies.

Snowfall helps to protect plants and some wild animals from cold, winter weather. Fresh snow is made largely of air trapped among the snow crystals. Because the air has trouble moving, the movement of heat is greatly reduced.

Snow also is known to influence the movement of sound waves. When there is fresh snow on the ground, the surface of the snow takes in, or absorbs, sound waves. However, snow can become hard and flat as it becomes older or if there have been strong winds. Then the snow's surface will help to send back sound waves. Under these conditions, sounds may seem clearer and travel farther.


Generally, the color of snow and ice appears white. This is because the light we see from the sun is white. Most natural materials take in some sunlight. This gives them their color. However, when light travels from air to snow, some light is sent back, or reflected. Snow crystals have many surfaces to reflect sunlight. Yet the snow does take in a little sunlight. It is this light that gives snow its white appearance.

Sometimes, snow or ice may appear to be blue. The blue light is the product of a long travel path through the snow or ice. In simple terms, think of snow or ice as a filter. A filter is designed to reject some substances, while permitting others to pass through. In the case of snow, all the light makes it through if the snow is only a centimeter thick. If it is a meter or more thick, however, blue light often can be seen.



Snow falls in extreme northern and southern areas of the world throughout the year. However, the heaviest snowfalls have been reported in the mountains of other areas during winter. These areas include the Alps in Italy and Switzerland, the coastal mountains of western Canada, and the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains in the United States. In warmer climates, snow is known to fall in areas over four thousand nine hundred meters above sea level.

Omaha, Nebraska


Each year, the continental United States has an average of one hundred snowstorms. An average storm produces snow for two to five days.

Almost every part of the country has received snowfall at one time or another. Even parts of southern Florida have reported a few snowflakes.

The national record for snowfall in a single season was set in nineteen ninety-eight and nineteen ninety-nine. Two thousand eight hundred ninety-five centimeters of snow fell at the Mount Baker Ski area in the northwestern state of Washington.


People in many other areas have little or no snowfall.

In nineteen thirty-six, a physicist from Japan produced the first man-made snow in a laboratory. During the nineteen-forties, several American scientists developed methods for making snow in other areas. Clouds with extremely cool water are mixed with man-made ice crystals, such as silver iodide and metaldehyde crystals.

Sometimes, dry ice particles or liquid propane are used. Today, special machines are used to produce limited amounts of snow for winter holiday ski areas.



Snow is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people in the United States every year. Many people die in traffic accidents on roads that are covered with snow or ice.

Others die from being out in the cold or from heart attacks caused by extreme physical activity. Last month, two major snow storms caused serious problems in most of the United States. In the East, one storm dropped lots of snow on communities from North Carolina to the New England states on the weekend before Christmas. The Associated Press reported that at least seven deaths were linked to the storm. Most involved automobile accidents.

The weather caused cancellation of thousands of flights along the East Coast. About one thousand two hundred flights were cancelled at New York City's three major airports.

The storm gave two airports in the Washington, D.C. area their highest one-day snowfall totals for December. The most snowfall was reported in nearby Wintergreen, Virginia, where more than seventy-six centimeters fell. And, the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received its second-biggest snowfall since record-keeping began.


People may not be able to avoid living in areas where it snows often. However, they can avoid becoming victims of snowstorms. People should stay in their homes until the storm has passed. While removing large amounts of snow, they should stop and rest often. Difficult physical activity during snow removal can cause a heart attack.

It is always a good idea to keep a lot of necessary supplies in the home even before winter begins. These supplies include food, medicine, clean water, and extra power supplies.


Some drivers have become trapped in their vehicles during a snowstorm. If this happens, people should remain in or near their car unless they see some kind of help. They should get out and clear space around the vehicle to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide gas poisoning.

People should tie a bright-colored object to the top of their car to increase the chance of rescue. Inside the car, they should open a window a little for fresh air and turn on the engine for ten or fifteen minutes every hour for heat.

People living in areas where winter storms are likely should carry emergency supplies in their vehicle. These include food, emergency medical supplies, and extra clothing to stay warm and dry. People in these areas should always be prepared for winter emergencies. Snow can be beautiful to look at, but it can also be dangerous.



This SCIENCE IN THE NEWS was written by George Grow. Our producer was Brianna Blake. I'm Shirley Griffith.


And I'm Steve Ember. You can comment on our stories at our Web site, Join us again next week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of America.


1. Changes in ______________ can mean the difference between snow and rain.

a. prediction
b. temperature
c. wind velocity
d. cloud moisture

2. People who live in places where snow is likely should carry _____________ in their vehicles.
a. emergency supplies
b. radio equipment
c. umbrellas and raincoats
d. children story books

3. Columnar snow crystals form when the temperature is about ____________.
a. fifty degrees
b. thirty two degrees
c. five degrees below zero
d. twenty degrees below zero

4. A snow flake is formed when _____________ come together.
a. dust particles
b. water droplets
c. ice pellets
d. snow crystals

5. Melting snow is very important for the country's _______________ .
a. recreation
b. water supply
c. fisheries
d. wild rivers

6. Snow contains _______________ water than rain.
a. less
b. more
c. as much
d. too much

7. When there is fresh snow on the ground, the surface of snow ____________ sound waves. That's why it sounds very quiet and still after a snow storm.
a. reflects
b. absorbs
c. amplifies
d. mixes up

8. Although snow mostly falls in the extreme north and south, the heaviest snow can be found in _________________ regions of the world.
a. mountainous
b. below sea level
c. sub tropical
d. oceanic

9. Another name for this article could be __________________ .
a. "Snow on the East Coast"
b. "California Weather Patterns"
c. "What Exactly is Snow?"
d. "The Formation of Crystals"

10. This story is mainly about _________________ .
a. the dangers of snow storms
b. the beauty of snow landscapes
c. the nature and behavior of snow
d. the difficulty of predicting snow storms

This is a film of a snow storm in progress.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"On Trial" from Edcon Publishing

You know you're not guilty, but can you convince the court?

After all this time it doesn't seem possible, but finally the trial is about to begin. Your lawyer, Mr. Barton, tells you the delay has been to your advantage because he needed the time to gather facts and prepare your defense. He spent weeks trying to find witnesses who might testify in your favor. You don't bother to point out to him that few such witnesses have turned up. You were in a book store fifty miles away at the time of the robbery but the clerk doesn't remember you. You remembered him only because his ears stuck out at nearly right angles to his head. When they brought the clerk to see you, he stared hard at you and shook his head.

"Maybe I saw this person before, maybe not," he said. "And even if I did, I certainly couldn't tell you when it was."

In your anguish, you envied him his outstanding ears, wishing for the first time in your life that you had some obvious feature which might stick in a person's memory. The jury members, eight men and four women, are sitting solemnly in the jury box and a few even seem a bit frightened. You wonder what they have to be scared about, knowing for certain they can go home again when this is all over.

"I'm sure we'll get a fair trial and a just decision," Mr. Barton told you last night with his customary cheerfulness. "We've got a good jury."

If it isn't a good jury, it's not through lack of effort on Mr. Barton's part. You never realized before how lengthy a process choosing a jury could be. Mr. Barton and the opposing lawyer, Mr. Dunn, questioned each candidate closely and rejected many. You were amazed to discover how many people had read about you in the newspaper, discussed your case with others and already decided whether you were guilty or innocent.

Now you lean forward, tense and expectant, as Mr. Dunn begins his opening statement. He tells the jury he will prove that the accused - he looks at you and says your name - is guilty as charged. The eight men and four women are all looking at you. A few curious strangers, who sit in the public section, also stare at you.

Trying to ignore them, you concentrate on Mr. Dunn who is giving a brief description of the testimony to follow, which he claims will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you are the person who robbed the First Federal Bank. He tells what witnesses he will call and what evidence he will give.

Mr. Barton nods to you, tapping his pen on the papers before him to remind you that he is prepared. To emphasize the point, he leans over and whispers, "No surprises so far."

The first witness, Officer Owens, is called and sworn in. You listen as he tells how he recognized you from the photograph taken by the bank's hidden camera. The photograph itself is introduced as evidence. You know, of course, that the person in the photograph cannot possibly be you, but you must admit the resemblance is strong enough to create suspicion.

Officer Owens goes on to describe the navy blue parka you were wearing when he arrested you. Mr. Dunn asks if it looked like the one worn by the person in the photograph. Mr. Barton objects, but the judge tells Officer Owens to answer.

"Yes," Officer Owens says, "it looked just like that."

Now Mr. Dunn comes to the matter of the money. "Isn't it true, Officer Owens," he asks, "that at the time of the arrest, the accused was carrying a large sum of money?"

Officer Owens says that you were, and Mr. Dunn loses no time in asking him what statement you made regarding employment. When Officer Owens finishes speaking, Mr. Dunn nods wisely.

"Didn't it seem strange to you, Officer Owens, that a person who admits to having no regular income, no visible means of support, should be carrying that amount of cash?"

Mr. Barton is on his feet shouting, "I object! I object!"
The judge rules that this question not be considered part of the testimony. That's fine, you think, but the jury has already heard it and a search of their twelve faces does not relieve your anguish. Will they believe you're guilty of this crime?

Once, when you were about twelve years old, you let a group of friends dare and bully you into taking a candy bar from a store. You felt disgusted with yourself for days afterward and decided you could do without friends like that. How could anyone think you, of all people, capable of robbing a bank?

Then, as you've done so often during these difficult weeks, you try to see yourself as the others must see you. Here you are, a stranger in this town, with no job, a wallet full of big bills and a face similar to that of a person photographed in the act of robbing a bank. How could they feel anything toward you but suspicion and doubt?

Mr. Dunn has finished questioning Officer Owens. "Your witness," he says to Mr. Barton, who now steps forward to cross-examine.
Under questioning by Mr. Barton, Officer Owens admits that he can't identify you positively from the photograph. Yes, he agrees, many people wear navy blue down-filled jackets. Yes, though you did say you had no job, you told him the cash you were carrying was payment for a piece of sculpture you had sold to a private collector.

Mr. Dunn calls more witnesses. The bank teller and others who were in the bank, all testify that you look like the robber. They do not change their minds when Mr. Barton cross-examines them and you feel quite discouraged. Will our system of justice, which Mr. Barton thinks is so wonderful, allow you to be sent to prison?

At last Mr. Dunn has presented all his witnesses and evidence and now the defense will have its turn. Mr. Barton makes an opening statement, as Mr. Dunn did, and calls wealthy old Mrs. Greenwood to testify. Though nearly ninety and not always cooperative, she is the only one who knows about the money.

"Yes", she says in her hoarse old voice, she knows the defendant. Her hand shakes as she points you out across the courtroom, but she describes in perfect detail the sculpture you did for her and the amount she paid you.

On cross-examination, Mr. Dunn tries hard to emphasize her age and suggests that she might be forgetful or confused. Mr. Barton objects but the judge allows Mr. Dunn to make his point. Mrs. Greenwood says, "I object, young man!" which draws laughter, even from the judge.

There are a few other witnesses, but there isn't much they can add to your defense. In his closing statement, Mr. Barton emphasizes the difficulty of identifying someone you've seen only once: the ease with which a mistake could be made. Then Mr. Dunn makes a closing statement, the judge says a few words to the jury and they go out.

You try to ignore both hope and fear until they return. As they file into the expectant silence of the courtroom, you study their faces. One of the women nods and smiles. So you know, even before you hear the words "Not Guilty" that Mr. Barton was right about justice.


1. The person from the bookstore who stared at the individual on trial, was
a. a clerk.
b. a customer.
c. the owner.
d. a salesman.

2. Mr. Barton was the lawyer who
a. wanted to put the person on trial, in jail.
b. was defending the person on trial.
c. was a witness for the person on trial.
d. served as a judge for the trial.

3. Although the person on trial had no job,
a. he was caught with the bank's money.
b. he had a lot of money on him when he was arrested.
c. he had many workers to act as witnesses for him.
d. he knew all along the jury favored unemployed people.

4. The first witness called was
a. Mr. Dunn.
b. Mr. Barton.
c. Officer Owens.
d. an old lady.

5. From this selection, we may infer that
a. the person on trial was unsure about his fate.
b. the person knew all along he would be freed.
c. the jury was unfair to the person on trial.
d. Officer Owens was the most important witness for the defense.

6. This selection leads us to believe
a. Mr. Dunn was a better lawyer than Mr.
b. the judge favored the defendant.
c. there was not enough evidence to convict the defendant.
d. Mrs. Greenwood couldn't help the defendant.

7. The author's purpose for writing this selection was
a. to describe a struggle between lawyers.
b. to explain what lawyers do.
c. to show how justice is fair.
d. to let us know how juries react.

8. Mrs. Greenwood was an important witness because
a. she was an old lady who was funny.
b. she explained why the person was carrying so much money.
c. she wanted to free the person on trial because they were related.
d. she was good at describing statues for lawyers, judges and juries.

9. Another name for this selection could be
a. "Mr. Barton Defeats Mr. Dunn."
b. "Big Bills Mean Big Trouble."
c. "Mrs. Greenwood's Explanation."
d. "Justice at Work."

10. This selection is mainly about
a. how officers make mistakes, too.
b. why carrying lots of money is bad.
c. why having a job is important.
d. how a man is proven innocent.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Danger in the Desert" from Edcon Publishing

Making the wrong decision can be a fatal mistake.

In late July, Mr. Leak, his wife, and two sons drove through the bleak landscape of the Arizona desert. They had left Ohio five days ago and hoped to reach California by Saturday. Air conditioning kept them cool and relaxed. It was hard to believe that outside the car the thermometer's mercury showed 110 degrees. Mr. Leak marveled that the pioneers, cowboys, and prospectors of a hundred years ago had been able to walk or drive mules and wagons across such a scorching, barren waste.

In their car, Mr. Leak and his family could cover a distance in three or four hours that those earlier travelers spent days, and even weeks, traveling. And years ago, those who crossed the desert had been able to find little water or food for themselves or their animals. How those people must have dreaded the dull landscape of nothing but rocks, sand dunes, and desert bushes!

Mr. Leak was glad that the man in the last gas station had told him about this shortcut across the desert. It would save at least an hour's time, and it was a good road with scarcely any traffic. In fact, another car hadn't passed for the last forty-five minutes.

Mrs. Leak sniffed the air. "Ralph, do you smell something burning? I do."

Mr. Leak glanced at his heat indicator and saw that the engine was much too hot. Quickly, he steered the car onto the shoulder of the road and stepped out. Raising the hood, he discovered that a radiator hose had broken and couldn't be repaired.

"What will we do, Ralph?"

Mrs. Leak wondered. "Hours might pass before anyone passes on this road. We'll wilt in this heat."

Mr. Leak made a quick decision. "I know of only one thing to do. I'll walk back to the highway and flag someone. You and the kids wait in the car, even if you do wilt a bit."

After leaving his shirt in the car, Mr. Leak set off down the road.

Two hours later, a pickup truck stopped near the Leaks' stalled car. The driver found Mrs. Leak and the boys inside, hot and thirsty, but safe. After climbing into the truck, they all drove to the nearest town.

Mr. Leak, however, had chosen the wrong option by leaving the car to search for help. The desert's heat dazed him after he had walked three miles, and he wandered off the road. A sheriffs patrol found him several hours later. Ralph Leak no longer needed help; he had died of heat exhaustion.

Mr. Leak had felt toward the desert as the early travelers did; he just wanted to cross it fast. Today, many people have attitudes toward the desert different from those of the early travelers. More and more of them consider the desert a place for enjoyment. Some like to utilize their four-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, and dune buggies for fun. Others prefer exploring old mines and ghost towns, or studying desert plants and wildlife. Still others enjoy collecting rocks.

Mrs. Jacks is a rock collector who had lived near the desert only three weeks when she almost became a victim of her new surroundings.

Having recently moved from the East Coast, she was anxious to explore nearby areas for unusual specimens to add to her collection. On a warm June day, Mrs. Jacks, her daughter lill, and Jill's friends, Pam and Doris, planned a morning of rock hunting. Mrs. lacks had learned of a little-known spot that was covered with unusual rocks. She drove into the desert and turned from the main road onto a rough, unpaved one. After a few miles, the car hit a soft spot and stuck in the sand. Mrs. 1 acks tried driving backward and forward, but the tires sank deeper into the sand. The chances of Mrs. lacks and the girls freeing the car were bleak as they had nothing to utilize for digging around the wheels. Scooping sand with their hands accomplished little.

"Girls," said Mrs. lacks, wiping her forehead with a handkerchief, "we have only one option. We must walk back to the highway for help. We haven't any water, so we can't stay where no one will find us."

Mrs. lacks and the three girls left the car and started walking. After a half hour, they tried to rest in the shade of some desert bushes, but these didn't offer much relief because their leaves were so small. In another half hour, when Jill collapsed from the heat, they had to stop again. Mrs. lacks was frightened now as she realized how desperate their situation was.

"Mrs. lacks," said Pam, "my father told me to use some kind of signal if I was ever in trouble or lost. He said that I should stay with the signal and not move until help arrived."

"How can we signal?" asked Mrs. lacks.

"Have you any matches in your purse?" the girl wanted to know.
Mrs. lacks searched her pocketbook and found a pack.

"Have you a mirror too?" asked Pam.

Mrs. lacks searched her bag again and handed Pam a compact. "Here's a small one," she said.
While Mrs. lacks cradled Jill's head and fanned her with a handkerchief, Pam and Doris gathered dead twigs from around the bushes for a fire. Pam also broke green twigs from the bushes so the fire would be a smoky one.

During the afternoon, the girls lighted five different fires and flashed the mirror again and again. At sunset they felt discouraged, thinking that no one had seen their signals. As the girls were collecting twigs for one last fire before dark, they heard a car approaching. Their distress signals had been noticed and a sheriff drove the exhausted group back to their homes.

Mr. Leak and Mrs. lack had made serious errors in their desert journeys.

Mr. Leak failed to observe three basic desert safety rules. First, he should have continued driving on a well-traveled main highway where assistance could have been obtained more easily. Second, he should have stayed in his car, utilizing the only place for miles around that could provide adequate shelter from the sun. Third, with the mercury showing 110 degrees, Mr. Leak should have kept his shirt on and not risked losing precious body fluids faster than he would have if fully clothed.

Mrs. lacks and the girls made dangerous mistakes,too. First, they hadn't told anyone just where they were going and how long they planned to be gone. Search parties would have found them hours sooner had they known where to look when they realized that the group was late in returning. Then, although the rock collectors planned to spend several hours in the desert, they had not carried an emergency supply of water. They, too, traveled an unknown road, and they, too, showed poor judgment in leaving the shade of the car.

Mrs. lacks and the girls did follow two rules that possibly saved their lives: they stayed together as a group, and they signaled for assistance and remained with their signal until rescued.

The desert is an excellent choice for people seeking pleasure, especially from October to April when its heat is less intense. At any time of the year, though, the desert can become a deadly enemy for those who neither respect its demands nor follow basic rules of safety.

1. The Leak family was traveling to ______________________
a. California.
b. Arizona.
c. Ohio.
d. the East Coast.

2. They planned to journey ________________________
a. across the entire country.
b. across one entire state.
c. across more than half the country.
d. from the East Coast to the West Coast.

3. Ralph Leak had _______________________
a. found help.
b. died of heat exhaustion.
c. been found by a truck driver.
d. stayed in the car with his family.

4. Attitudes toward the desert _______________________
a. have remained the same over the years.
b. fill everyone with fear.
c. will never change.
d. have changed over the years.

5. Before Mrs. Jacks car hit a soft spot,_______________
a. her tires sank deeper into the sand.
b. she turned from the main road onto a rough one.
c. she and the girls scooped sand with their hands.
d. she tried to rest in the shade of some desert bushes.

6. Mrs. Lacks and Mr. Leak both __________________________
a. risked their own lives.
b. risked the lives of themselves and others.
c. did not risk any lives.
d. risked the sheriff's life.

7. The travelers described in the story would find the following book most useful:
a. Safety in the Desert.
b. The American West.
c. Rock Collecting.
d. Cross-Country Car Trips.

8. Mrs. Jacks planned a morning of _______________________
a. exploring old mines.
b. driving dune buggies.
c. setting smoky distress fires.
d. rock collecting.

9. Another name for this selection could be ______________
a. "Family Travel."
b. "The Desert - Safe at Last."
c. "The Desert - Handle with Care."
d. "The Desert from October to April."

10. This selection is mainly about ________________
a. the importance of staying away from
the desert.
b. the pleasure to be found in the desert.
c. enemies that are found in the desert.
d. the importance of following safety
rules when in the desert.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Republicans Say "Good-bye" in 1932

THE MAKING OF A NATION – a program in Special English by the Voice of America.

President Herbert Hoover worked hard to rescue the American economy following the crash of the stock market in October 1929. Within one month, he called the nation's business leaders to the White House. "Don't lower wages," the president told them.

Hoover called on the Federal Reserve Bank to make it easier for businesses to borrow money. He tried to provide funds to help farmers get fair prices for their crops. He pushed Congress to lower personal taxes. And above all, the president urged Americans not to lose hope in their economy or in themselves.

Bread Line in New York City
But it was no use. The economy was in ruins, falling faster with each passing day. The value of stocks had collapsed. Millions of workers lost their jobs. The level of industrial production in the country was less than half what it had been before the stock market crash.

Hoover's efforts were not enough to stop the growing crisis. In ever greater numbers, people called on the president to increase federal spending and provide jobs for citizens out of work.

But the president was a conservative Republican. He did not think it was the responsibility of the federal government to provide relief for poor Americans. And he thought it was wrong to increase spending above the amount of money that the government received in taxes.

The situation seemed out of control. The nation's government and business leaders appeared to have no idea how to save the dollar and put people back to work. Although Hoover did more than most presidents before him, he was not willing to take the severe actions that many Americans felt were needed.

Hoover would spend government money to help farmers buy seeds and fertilizers. But he refused to give wheat to unemployed workers who were hungry.

He created an emergency committee to study the unemployment problem. But he would not launch government programs to create jobs. Hoover called on Americans to help their friends in need. But he resisted calls to spend federal funds for major relief programs to help the millions of Americans facing disaster.

Leaders of the Democratic Party made the most of the situation. They accused the president of not caring about the common man. They said Hoover was willing to spend money to feed starving cattle for businessmen, but not to feed poor children.

Hoover fishing after a rough week
in Washington
Hoover tried to show the nation that he was dealing with the crisis. He worked with the Congress to try to save the banks and to keep the dollar tied to the value of gold. He tried hard to balance the federal budget. And he told the American public that it was not the responsibility of the national government to solve all their problems.

Late in 1931, Hoover appointed a new committee on unemployment. He named Walter Gifford, the chief of the large American Telephone and Telegraph company, to be its head. Gifford did Hoover more harm than good.

When he appeared before Congress, Gifford was unable to defend Hoover's position that relief was the responsibility of local governments and private giving. He admitted that he did not know how many people were out of work. He did not know how many of them needed help. How much help they needed. Or how much money local governments could raise.

The situation grew worse. And some Americans began to lose faith in their government completely. They looked to groups with extreme political ideas to provide answers. Some Americans joined the Communist Party. Others helped elect state leaders with extreme political ideas. And in growing numbers, people began to turn to hatred and violence.

However, most Americans remained loyal to traditional values even as conditions grew steadily worse. They looked ahead to 1932, when they would have a chance to vote for a new president.

Leaders of the Democratic Party felt they had an excellent chance to capture the White House in the election. And their hopes increased when the Republicans re-nominated President Hoover and Vice President Charles Curtis in the summer of 1932.

For this reason, competition was fierce for the democratic presidential nomination. The top candidate was Franklin Roosevelt, the governor of New York state.

Roosevelt had been re-elected to that office just two years before by a large vote. He came from a rich and famous family, but was seen as a friend of the common man. Roosevelt was conservative in his economic thinking. But he was a progressive in his opinion that government should be active in helping citizens. He had suffered polio and could not walk. But he seemed to enjoy his life and his work.

World War I veterans demonstrate
in Washington.
Roosevelt's two main opponents were Al Smith and John Garner. Smith had been the governor of New York before Roosevelt. Garner, a Texan, was the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Together, they hoped to block Roosevelt's nomination. And they succeeded the first three times the delegates voted at the Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Roosevelt's chief political adviser, James Farley, worked hard to find Roosevelt the votes he needed at the convention. Finally, Farley found a solution.

He made a deal with supporters of John Garner. Roosevelt would make Garner the vice presidential nominee if Garner's forces voted to make Roosevelt the presidential nominee. Garner agreed. And on the next vote, the Democratic delegates nominated Franklin Roosevelt to be their presidential candidate. Al Smith was so angry about the deal that he left Chicago without congratulating Roosevelt.

Roosevelt wanted to show the nation that he was the kind of man to take action. That he had more imagination than Hoover. So he broke tradition and flew to Chicago. It was the first time a candidate had ever appeared at a convention to accept a nomination. And Roosevelt told the cheering crowd that together they would defeat Hoover.


The main issue in the campaign of 1932 was the economy. President Hoover defended his policies. Roosevelt and the Democrats attacked the administration for not taking enough action.

Roosevelt knew that most Americans were unhappy with the Hoover administration. So his plan during the campaign was to let Hoover defeat himself. He avoided saying anything that might make groups of voters think he was too extreme. But Roosevelt did make clear that he would move the federal government into action to help people suffering from the economic crisis.

He said he was for a balanced federal budget. But he said the government must be willing to spend extra money to prevent people from starving.

Americans liked what they heard from Franklin Roosevelt. He seemed strong. He enjoyed life. And Roosevelt seemed willing to try new ideas, to experiment with government.

"I would like your vote"
Herbert Hoover
Hoover attacked Roosevelt bitterly during the campaign. He warned that Roosevelt and the Democrats would destroy the American system. But Americans were tired of Hoover. They thought he was too serious, too afraid of change, too friendly with business leaders instead of the working man. Most of all, they blamed Hoover for the hard times of the Depression.

On election day, Americans voted in huge numbers for Franklin Roosevelt and the Democrats. Roosevelt won forty-two of the forty-eight states. The Democrats also gained a large majority in both houses of Congress.

The election ended twelve years of Republican rule in the White House. It also marked the passing of a long conservative period in American political life.

Franklin Roosevelt would become one of the strongest and most progressive presidents in the nation's history. He would serve longer than any other president, changing the face of America's political and economic systems.

We will take a look at the beginning of his administration in our next program.

You have been listening to THE MAKING OF A NATION, a program in Special English by the Voice of America. Your narrators have been Harry Monroe and Warren Scheer. Our program was written by David Jarmul.


1. Because Hoover was a conservative Republican, he didn't think he should ____________________ .
a: go to any parties during the depression
b: cut welfare for the poorest Americans
c: spend more money than the government received in taxes
d: fire any members of his administration

2. As the depression got worse, some Americans _____________________ .
a: completely lost faith in the government
b: turned to violence
c: joined the Communist Party
d: All of the above

3. Roosevelt came close to losing the nomination at the Democratic Convention. He lost the first three votes. But ________________________________ .
a: Al Smith gave Roosevelt the nomination because Smith felt that Roosevelt would be a better choice.
b: John Garner accepted an offer to be Roosevelt's Vice President
c: John Farley decided that Al Smith was too impolite because Smith left without congratulating Roosevelt
d: Roosevelt 's winning personality carried the convention on the fourth vote

4. The Federal Reserve Bank makes it easier for businesses to borrow money by ______________________ .
a: lowering the interest rate banks pay to borrow from each other
b: raising the interest rate so that consumers have to pay more for products
c: balancing the federal budget
d: borrowing funds from wealthy companies, here and abroad

5. Which political poll judging Hoover's approval rating from 1932 do you think is more accurate?
a: 50% approve of Hoover's performance
b: 40% feel that his job performance is less than adequate
c: 10% approve of the job Herbert Hoover is doing as president
d: 20% of Americans polled think that Hoover could do a much better job as president

6. One month after the 1929 crash, Hoover told business leaders not _________.
a: to hire anybody
b: to lower wages
c: to build new factories
d: to say bad things about him

7. If you will look at the map on the top of this page, you will see that _________________ .
a: the West Coast states favored Herbert Hoover
b: Hoover carried most of the New England states
c: Pennsylvania voted overwhelmingly for Roosevelt
d: Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico narrowly supported Herbert Hoover

8. Most Americans felt that Hoover was too friendly to the wealthy ______________ the common man.
a: even though
b: because of
c: instead of
d: as well as

9. ___________________________ said of Hoover, "He will spend government funds to feed cattle, but not one cent for starving children."
a: the Democrats
b: the Republicans
c: Hoover's supporters
d: Walter Gifford

10. Providing relief for poor Americans during the great depression ____________________________ .
a: was Herbert Hoover's main priority
b: was the primary responsibility of the Republican party
c: was not, in Hoover's opinion, the responsibility of the government
d: was no substitute for encouraging words

FDR's 1932 Campaign from Youtube:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"We Have Just Begun to Fight" FDR's 1936 Campaign

THE MAKING OF A NATION -- a program in Special English by the Voice of America.

Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policies during the 1930s changed the face of American government. The new president and the Congress passed legislation that helped farmers, strengthened the banking system, and supplied jobs for millions of workers.

One of the most important results of Roosevelt's policies was a stronger American labor movement.

Labor leaders had little success in organizing workers in the United States during the 1920s. Three Republican presidents and a national wave of conservatism prevented them from gaining many members or increasing their negotiating power. In 1929, organized labor fell even further with the beginning of the great economic depression.

By 1933, America's labor unions had less than three million members. But by the end of the 1930s, more than ten-and-a-half million American workers belonged to unions.

New laws proposed by the Roosevelt administration made the labor growth possible. The National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 gave labor leaders the right to organize and represent workers. The Supreme Court ruled that the law was illegal. But another law, the Wagner Labor Relations Act of Nineteen Thirty-five, helped labor unions to increase their power.

Most of the leaders of America's traditional labor unions were slow to understand their new power. They were conservative men. They represented workers with certain skills, such as wood workers or metal workers. They did little to organize workers with other kinds of skills.

But a new group of labor leaders used the new laws to organize unions by industries, not by skills. They believed that workers would have much more power if they joined forces with other workers in the same factory to make common demands. These new leaders began to organize unions for the automobile industry, the steel industry, and other major industries.

The leader of the new movement was the head of the mine workers, John L. Lewis. Lewis was a powerful leader with a strong body and strong opinions. He had begun to work in the coal mines at the age of twelve.

John L. Lewis
Lewis rose to become a powerful and successful leader of the mine workers. But he was concerned about workers in other industries as well. And he believed that most of the leaders in the American Federation of Labor were doing little to help them.

For this reason, Lewis and the heads of several other unions formed their own group to organize unions by industry, not by skills. They called their group the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the C.I.O. And they tried immediately to gain members.

The C.I.O. successfully organized the workers in several major industries. But it succeeded only by hard work and struggle. The C.I.O.'s first big battle was against the giant automobile company, General Motors. Late in 1935, workers at several General Motors factories began a "sit-down" strike at their machines to demand better pay and working conditions.

After forty-four days, General Motors surrendered. It recognized that the automobile workers' union had the right to represent GM workers. And it agreed to negotiate a new work agreement.

The struggle at the Ford Motor Company was more bitter. Ford company guards beat union organizers and workers. But the Ford company finally agreed to negotiate with the new union.

The same story was true in the steel industry. But the new labor leaders succeeded in becoming the official representatives of steel workers throughout the country.

By 1938, the C.I.O. had won its battle to organize major industries. In later years, it would join with the more traditional American Federation of Labor to form the organization that remains the most important labor group in America today, the A.F.L-C.I.O.

President Roosevelt was not always an active supporter of organized labor. But neither was he a constant supporter of big business, like the three Republican presidents before him. In fact, Roosevelt spoke out often against the dangers of big business in a democracy.

These speeches caused great concern among many of the traditional business and conservative leaders of the nation. And Roosevelt's increasingly progressive policies in 1935 made many richer Americans fear that the president was a socialist, a dictator or a madman.

Herbert Hoover
Former president Herbert Hoover, for example, denounced Roosevelt's New Deal policies as an attack "on the whole idea of individual freedoms." The family of business leader J.P. Morgan told visitors not to say Roosevelt's name in front of Morgan. They said it would make his blood pressure go up.

This conservative opposition to Roosevelt grew steadily throughout 1935 and thirty-six. Many Americans were honestly worried that Roosevelt's expansion of government was the first step to dictatorship.

They feared that Roosevelt and the Democrats were trying to gain power as the Nazis did in Germany, the Fascists in Italy or the Communists in Russia.

The Republican Party held its presidential convention in the summer of 1936. The party delegates chose Alfred Landon to oppose Roosevelt for president.

Mr. Landon was the governor of the farm state of Kansas. He was a successful oil producer with conservative business views. But he was open to some of the social reforms of Roosevelt's New Deal. Republicans hoped he would appeal to average Americans who supported mild reforms, but feared Roosevelt's social policies.

The Democrats nominated Roosevelt and Vice President John Garner to serve a second term.

The main issue in the presidential campaign of 1936 was Franklin Roosevelt himself. Roosevelt campaigned across the country like a man sure that he would win. He laughed with the cheering crowds and told them that the New Deal had helped improve their lives.

In New York, Roosevelt made a major speech promising to continue the work of his administration if he was re-elected.

"Of course we will continue to seek to improve working conditions for the workers of America," Roosevelt told the crowd that day.

"Of course we will continue to work for cheaper electricity in the homes and on the farms of America. Of course we will continue our efforts for the farmers of America. Of course we will continue our efforts for young men and women. For those unable to walk. For the blind. For the mothers, the unemployed and the aged. We have only just begun to fight."

One of the most important results of Roosevelt's New Deal policies was a stronger American labor movement early in the twentieth century.

Alfred Landon
The Republican candidate, Alfred Landon, began his campaign by saying that many of Roosevelt's New Deal programs were good. But he said that a Republican administration could do them better and for less money. However, Landon's words became much stronger as the campaign continued. He attacked many of Roosevelt's programs.

The campaign became increasingly bitter. Roosevelt said his opponents cared only about their money, not about other Americans. "I welcome their hatred," he said. Landon's supporters accused Roosevelt of destroying the nation's economic traditions and threatening democracy.

The nation had not seen such a fierce campaign in forty years. But when it was over, the nation also saw a victory greater than any in its history.

Franklin Roosevelt defeated Alfred Landon in the election of 1936 by one of the largest votes in the nation's history. Roosevelt won every state except Maine and Vermont.

The huge election victory marked the high point of Roosevelt's popularity. In our next program, we will look at the many problems he faced in his second administration.

You have been listening to THE MAKING OF A NATION, a program in Special English. Your narrators were Doug Johnson and Sarah Long. THE MAKING OF A NATION was written by David Jarmul.


1. The name of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s economic plan was called
a: the New Deal
b: Guns and Butter
c: Play It Again, Sam
d: Si Se Puede

2. President Roosevelt was very popular with ______________________________ .
a: conservative businessmen
b: working people
c: J.P. Morgan
d: the Republican Party

3. The American labor movement during Roosevelt’s first term in office ___________________ .
a: became weaker
b: became stronger
c: stayed the same
d: was eliminated

4. The government under President Roosevelt ____________________________ .
a: helped farmers
b: strengthened the banking system
c: created many new public sector jobs
d: all of the above

5. John Lewis was ________________________________ .
a: the richest man in the world
b: the leader of the mine workers union
c: the top baseball player of his time
d: President Roosevelt’s vice-president

6. The Congress of Industrial Organizations formed _________________________ .
a: to end all wars
b: to organize industrial workers in America like auto workers and steel workers
c: to try to defeat Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election
d: when Walt Disney began to make Mickey Mouse cartoons

7. The Republican candidate in the 1936 presidential election was ____________ .
a: Franklin D. Roosevelt
b: J.P. Morgan
c: Alfred Landon
d: Abraham Lincoln

8. In the mid 1930’s, European governments were controlled by ________________ .
a: the Fascist Party in Italy
b: the Nazi Party in Germany
c: the Communist Party in Russia
d: all of the above

9. In the 1936 presidential election, ____________________________ .
a: Roosevelt won in a close race
b: Landon won in a close race
c: Roosevelt won in a landslide
d: Landon won in a landslide

10. Another appropriate name for this story might be _____________________ .
a: The Workers’ Choice Wins in 1936
b: Conservatives Triumph, Elect Landon in 1936
c: The Giants Win the Pennant, The Giants Win the Pennant
d: Roosevelt Loses in Re-election Try

FDR in this campaign speech makes fun of the Republicans. It's a must see video.

1933 - The nation pins its hopes on an unknown, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Monday, August 27, 2012

"1933 - The Inaugeration of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Hoover: "End of our Rope" FDR: "Fear is our only Fear"

THE MAKING OF A NATION – a program in Special English by the Voice of America.

Americans voted for Democratic candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt in large numbers in the presidential election of 1932. They were tired of the policies of Republican President Herbert Hoover. They thought Hoover had done too little to fight the terrible Economic Depression. And they welcomed Roosevelt's call that the federal government should become more active in helping the common man.

The election brought hope to many Americans in the autumn of 1932.

But Roosevelt did not become president until March 1933, four months after the election. And those months saw the American economy fall to its lowest level in the history of the nation. President Hoover tried to arrange a world economic conference. And he called on President-elect Roosevelt to join him in making conservative statements in support of business.

Roosevelt refused. He did not think it was correct to begin acting like a president until he actually became the head of government. He did not want to tie himself to policies that the voters had just rejected. Congress, controlled by Democrats, also refused to help Hoover.

It was a strange period, a season of uncertainty and anger. The Economic Depression was worse than ever. The lines of people waiting for food were longer than before. Angry mobs of farmers were gathering in the countryside. And the politicians in Washington seemed unable to work together to end the crisis.

Hoover said: "We are at the end of our rope. There is nothing more we can do." And across the country, Americans waited -- worried, uncertain, afraid. What would the new president do?

The new president was fifty-one years old. His family name was well-known to the American public. Theodore Roosevelt -- a distant family member -- had served as one of America's greatest presidents thirty years before.

Franklin Roosevelt was born to a rich and important New York family. He went to the best schools: Groton, Harvard, and Columbia Law School. In 1910, he won election as a Democrat to the New York State Legislature. He showed great intelligence and political understanding as a state senator, and worked hard for other Democratic candidates.

Young FDR
Franklin Roosevelt next served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson. And in 1920, he was the Democratic Party's unsuccessful candidate for vice president.

The next year, Roosevelt suffered a personal tragedy. He was sailing during a holiday with his family. Suddenly, his body became cold. He felt severe pain in his back and legs. Doctors came. But the pain got worse. For weeks, Roosevelt was forced to lie on his back.

Finally, doctors discovered that Roosevelt was a victim of the terrible disease poliomyelitis. He lost control of his legs. He would never walk again.

Roosevelt had always been an active man who loved sports. But now he would have to live in a wheelchair. All of his money and fame could not get him back the strength in his legs.

Many Americans thought the illness would end Roosevelt's political dreams. But they were wrong. He showed an inner strength that people had never seen in him before.

Roosevelt ran as the Democratic candidate for governor of New York state in 1928. He won by a small number of votes.

Two years later, the voters of New York re-elected Roosevelt. And they cheered his creative efforts to help citizens of the state who were suffering from the Great Depression.

Franklin Roosevelt always appeared strong and friendly in public. He loved to laugh and enjoy life. But his happy face hid a strong will. Throughout his life, Roosevelt worked to improve life for the common man. And he was willing to use the power of government to do this. He thought the government had the power and responsibility to improve the life of its citizens.

Roosevelt believed deeply in this. But he was less certain about the best way to do it. He believed in action and was willing to experiment with different methods. "The country demands creative experimentation," he said in his presidential campaign of 1932. "Above all, we must try something."

Citizens across the country voted for Roosevelt in large numbers in 1932. They supported his calls for action to end the Depression. But no one was really sure just what this new president from New York -- this man unable to walk -- would really do after he entered the White House.

Inauguration day in 1933 began with clouds and a dark sky. Roosevelt went to church in the morning. And then he drove with President Hoover from the White House to the Capitol. Roosevelt tried to talk with Hoover as they drove. But Hoover said little. He just waved without emotion at the crowd.

The two men arrived at the Capitol building. A huge crowd of people waited. Millions more Americans listened to a radio broadcast of the ceremony. The Chief Justice, Charles Evans Hughes, gave the oath of office to Roosevelt.

And then the nation waited to hear what the new president would say. This is what he said:

"I am sure that my fellow Americans expect me to speak openly and honestly about the present situation of our nation. This is a time to speak the truth, the whole truth. This great nation will survive, as it has survived. It will recover and become rich again.

"So first of all, let me tell you that I believe that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. It is this nameless fear which blocks our efforts to move forward. In every dark hour of our nation's history, the people have given their support to honest, active leadership. I firmly believe that you will offer that support now, in these important days."

Roosevelt's words caught the emotions of the crowd. He seemed sure of himself. He promised leadership. His whole style was different from the empty promises of wealth offered earlier by President Hoover.

Roosevelt said that the most important need was to put people back to work. And he said the federal government would have to take an active part in creating jobs. Roosevelt said there were many ways to help the nation recover. But he said it would never be helped just by talking about it. "We must act," he said, "and act quickly."

Roosevelt's face was strong and serious. He told the crowd that all the necessary action was possible under the American system of government. But, he warned that the Congress must cooperate with him to get the nation moving again.

Then, his speech finished, Roosevelt waved to the crowd and smiled. Herbert Hoover shook his hand and left. Roosevelt rode alone through the huge crowds back to the White House. And he immediately began a series of conferences.

Roosevelt's inauguration speech of 1933 was one of the most powerful and important speeches in American history. Roosevelt's speech was like an ocean wave that washes away one period of history and brings in a new one. The president seemed strong. He gave people hope.

The new president promised the American people action. And action came quickly. During the next three months, Roosevelt and the Democrats would pass more major new programs than the nation had seen for many years.

We will look at this beginning of the Roosevelt administration in our next program.

You have been listening to THE MAKING OF A NATION, a program in Special English by the Voice of America. Your narrators have been Harry Monroe and George Mishler. Our program was written by David Jarmul. The Voice of America invites you to listen again next week to THE MAKING OF A NATION.


1. When Herbert Hoover said, "We are at the end of our rope", he meant that "________________________ ."
a: We are at the end of a long line and must wait a long time
b: We have no more options left for the solution of this problem
c: We have run out of financial resources and food
d: The fence around the White House isn't strong enough to protect the president from raging mobs

2. One year after his 1920 unsuccessful candidacy for Vice President, Franklin Roosevelt ________________ .
a: suffered an attack of polio that left him unable to walk
b: became governor of New York
c: became a successful state senator
d: became Wilson's Secretary of the Navy

3. Between FDR's election in November of 1932 and his inauguration four months later, _____________________ .
a: Hoover solved most of the problems that caused the Great Depression
b: the Great Depression only got worse
c: signs of slow recovery began to be seen
d: Roosevelt participated in a conference with Hoover supporting conservative business policies

4. The worsening Economic Depression was characterized by __________________ .
a: lines of people waiting for food
b: angry farmers gathering in the countryside
c: politicians in Washington unable or unwilling to work together to end the crisis
d: all of the above

5. Franklin Roosevelt's background could be described as _________________ .
a: poor and deprived
b: typical of middle class America
c: rich and privileged
d: lacking in family connections or importance

6. The illness that caused Roosevelt to lose the use of his legs _________________ .
a: ended his political dreams
b: made him turn from politics towards work with other handicapped people
c: gave him greater inner strength and determination
d: made him a depressed and unhappy individual

7. An observer of Hoover and Roosevelt in a car together riding on Pennsylvania Avenue on Roosevelt's Inauguration Day, 1933 saw that ____________________ .
a: Hoover and Roosevelt were both determined men
b: Hoover appeared elated, but Roosevelt appeared thoughtful
c: Hoover appeared pleased but Roosevelt seemed tired and apathetic
d: Hoover appeared withdrawn, but Roosevelt appeared outgoing

8. Franklin Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," ____________________________ .
a: after a tragic illness robbed him of strength in his legs
b: after Hoover asked him to join a conference with business leaders
c: during his 1933 Inauguration address
d: during his 1932 political campaign

9. Roosevelt's political philosophy was as follows: he thought that government ______________________ .
a: should be as small as possible and not interfere with the people's freedom to succeed or fail in business
b: should use its power to improve the life of the common man
c: should spend as much of its resources as possible on the defense budget
d: should encourage privatization of all enterprises currently in the public sector, and most of all, education

10. Once in office, Franklin D. Roosevelt _________________________ .
a: took several actions to bring back the US economy
b: didn't do things very much differently than Herbert Hoover
c: immediately consulted business leaders to get their advice about what to do
d: decided to take an extended vacation in Hawaii

This is FDR's famous inaugural address of 1933. It's the clearest sound I could find. It doesn't have the actual film of the address. It includes the famous quote:
"We have nothing to fear except fear itself."

Here is the complete text of that speech:

I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.

More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.

Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.

Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.

Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.

Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.

Hand in hand with this we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, State, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.

Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people's money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.

There are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States.

Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first. I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment.

The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States -- a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.

In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor -- the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others -- the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.

If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.

With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.

Action in this image and to this end is feasible under the form of government which we have inherited from our ancestors. Our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form. That is why our constitutional system has proved itself the most superbly enduring political mechanism the modern world has produced. It has met every stress of vast expansion of territory, of foreign wars, of bitter internal strife, of world relations.

It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.

I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.

But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis -- broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.

For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.

We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of the national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stem performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.

We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.

In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.

FDR - 1936 Campaign: "We Have Just Begun to Fight"