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THE MAKING OF A NATION 206 - The 1950s

时间:2005-09-29 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:wbnewbie   字体: [ ]
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THE MAKING OF A NATION - August 15, 2002: The 1950s

By Jerilyn Watson
VOICE 1:
This is Phil Murray.
VOICE 2:
And this is Rich Kleinfeldt with THE MAKING OF A NATION, a VOA Special English program about the


history of the United States.
(Theme)
Today, we tell what life was like in America during the nineteen -fifties.


VOICE 1:
Imagine that you are visiting the United States. What would you expect to see?
In the nineteen-fifties, America was a nation that believed it was on the edge of nuclear


war. It was a nation where the popular culture of television was gaining strength. It was
a nation whose population was growing as never before.
((Music)
)


VOICE 2:
After the terrible suffering of World War Two, Americans thought the world would be
peaceful for awhile. By nineteen -fifty, however, political tensions were high again. The
United States and the Soviet1 Union, allies in war, had become enemies.

The communists had taken control of one east European nation after another. And Soviet


leader Josef Stalin made it clear that he wanted communists to rule the world.
The Soviet Union had strengthened its armed forces after the war. The United States had taken many steps to
disarm2. Yet it still possessed3 the atomic bomb. America thought it, alone, had this terrible weapon.


VOICE 1:


In nineteen -forty-nine, a United States Air Force plane discovered strange conditions in the atmosphere. What
was causing them. The answer came quickly: the Soviet Union had exploded an atomic bomb.
The race was on. The two nations competed to build weapons of mass destruction. Would these weapons ever be


used.
The American publication, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, always showed a picture of a clock. By
nineteen-forty-nine, the time on the clock was three minutes before midnight. That meant the world was on the


edge of nuclear destruction. The atomic scientists were afraid of what science had produced. They were even
more afraid of what science could produce.
VOICE 2:
In nineteen -fifty, north Korea invaded south Korea. The Korean conflict increased efforts in the United States to


develop a weapon more deadly than an atomic bomb. That was the hydrogen bomb. The Soviets4 were developing


Survival supplies

such a weapon, too.

Many Americans were afraid. Some built what they hoped would be safe rooms in or near their homes. They
planned to hide in these bomb shelters during a nuclear attack.


VOICE 1:

Other Americans, however, grew tired of being afraid. In nineteen-fifty-two, the
military hero of World War Two, Dwight Eisenhower, was elected president. The
economy improved. Americans looked to the future with hope.

One sign of hope was the Baby Boom. This was the big
increase in the number of babies born after the war. The
number of young children in America jumped from

twenty-four million to thirty-five million between nineteen-fifty and nineteen-sixty.
The bigger families needed houses. In nineteen-fifty alone, one-million four-
hundred-thousand houses were built in America.

Most new houses were in the suburbs, the areas around cities. People moved to the
suburbs because they thought the schools there were better. They also liked having
more space for their children to play.

VOICE 2:

Many Americans remember the nineteen-fifties as the fad5 years. A fad is something that is extremely popular for
a very short time one fad from the nineteen-fifties was the Hula Hoop6. The Hula Hoop was a colorful plastic tube
joined to form a big circle. To play with it, you moved your hips7 in a circular motion. This kept it spinning
around your body. The motion was like one used by Polynesian people in their native dance, the hula.

Other fads8 in the nineteen-fifties involved clothes or hair. Some women, for example, cut and fixed9 their hair to
look like the fur of a poodle dog. Actress Mary Martin made the poodle cut famous when she appeared in the
Broadway play, "South Pacific. "


VOICE 1:

In motion pictures, Marilyn Monroe was becoming famous. Not everyone thought she was a
great actress. But she had shining golden hair. And she had what was considered a perfect body.
Marilyn Monroe's success did not make her happy. She killed herself in the nineteen-sixties,
when she was thirty-six years old.

Another famous actor of those days was James Dean. To many Americans, he was the living
representation of the rebellious10 spirit of the young. In fact, one of his films was called, "Rebel
Without a Cause. " James Dean died in a car accident in nineteen-fifty-five. He was twenty-four.

VOICE 2:

The nineteen-fifties saw a rebellion in American literature. As part of society lived new lives in the suburbs,
another part criticized this life. These were the writers and poets of the Beat generation, including Gregory Corso,
Jack11 Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg. They said life was empty in nineteen-fifties America. They described the
people as dead in brain and spirit.

Jackson Pollock represented the rebellion in art. Pollock did not paint things the way they looked. Instead, he
dropped paint onto his pictures in any way he pleased. He was asked again and again: "What do your paintings
mean? " He answered: "Do not worry about what they mean. They are just there . . . like flowers. "

VOICE 1:

In music, the rebel was Elvis Presley. He was the king of rock-and-roll.

((MUSIC: "Blue Suede12 Shoes"))


Elvis Presley was a twenty-one-year-old truck driver when he sang on television for the first time. He moved his


body to the music in a way that many people thought was too sexual.
Parents and religious leaders criticized him. Young people screamed for more. They could not get enough rock-
and-roll. They played it on records. They heard it on the radio. And they listened to it on the television program
"American Bandstand.
"


((TAPE: "American Bandstand")
)


This program became the most popular dance party in America. Every week, young men and women danced to
the latest songs in front of the television cameras.
VOICE 2:
During the nineteen-forties, there were only a few television receivers in American homes. Some called


television an invention for stupid people to watch. By the end of the nineteen-fifties, however, television was


here to stay. The average family watched six hours a day.
Americans especially liked games shows and funny shows with comedians13 such as Milton Berle and Lucille Ball.
They also liked shows that offered a mix of entertainment, such as those presented by Arthur Godfrey and Ed
Sullivan.


VOICE 1:
People from other countries watching American television in the nineteen -fifties might have thought that all


Americans were white Christians14. At that time, television failed to recognize that America was a great mix of
races and religions.
Few members of racial or religious minorities were represented on television. Those who appeared usually were

shown working for white people.
A movement for civil rights for black Americans was beginning to gather strength in the nineteen-fifties. Many


legal battles were fought to end racial separation, especially in America's schools. By the nineteen-sixties, the
civil rights movement would shake the nation.
((Music)
)
VOICE 2:
Dwight Eisenhower was president for most of the nineteen-fifties. He faced the problems of communism, the


threat of nuclear war, and racial tensions. He had a calm way of speaking. And he always seemed to deal with


problems in the same calm way. Some citizens felt he was like a father to the nation.
With Mister Eisenhower in the White House, they believed that even in a dark and dangerous world, everything
would be all right.


(Theme)
VOICE 1:
This program of THE MAKING OF A NATION was written by Jeri Watson and produced by Paul Thompson.


This is Phil Murray.
VOICE 2:
And this is Rich Kleinfeldt. Join us again next week for another VOA Special English program about the history


of the United States.

 

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点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 Soviet Sw9wR     
adj.苏联的,苏维埃的;n.苏维埃
参考例句:
  • Zhukov was a marshal of the former Soviet Union.朱可夫是前苏联的一位元帅。
  • Germany began to attack the Soviet Union in 1941.德国在1941年开始进攻苏联。
2 disarm 0uax2     
v.解除武装,回复平常的编制,缓和
参考例句:
  • The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. 全世界等待伊拉克解除武装已有12年之久。
  • He has rejected every peaceful opportunity offered to him to disarm.他已经拒绝了所有能和平缴械的机会。
3 possessed xuyyQ     
adj.疯狂的;拥有的,占有的
参考例句:
  • He flew out of the room like a man possessed.他像着了魔似地猛然冲出房门。
  • He behaved like someone possessed.他行为举止像是魔怔了。
4 soviets 95fd70e5832647dcf39beb061b21c75e     
苏维埃(Soviet的复数形式)
参考例句:
  • A public challenge could provoke the Soviets to dig in. 公开挑战会促使苏联人一意孤行。
  • The Soviets proposed the withdrawal of American ballistic-missile submarines from forward bases. 苏联人建议把美国的弹道导弹潜艇从前沿基地撤走。
5 fad phyzL     
n.时尚;一时流行的狂热;一时的爱好
参考例句:
  • His interest in photography is only a passing fad.他对摄影的兴趣只是一时的爱好罢了。
  • A hot business opportunity is based on a long-term trend not a short-lived fad.一个热门的商机指的是长期的趋势而非一时的流行。
6 hoop wcFx9     
n.(篮球)篮圈,篮
参考例句:
  • The child was rolling a hoop.那个孩子在滚铁环。
  • The wooden tub is fitted with the iron hoop.木盆都用铁箍箍紧。
7 hips f8c80f9a170ee6ab52ed1e87054f32d4     
abbr.high impact polystyrene 高冲击强度聚苯乙烯,耐冲性聚苯乙烯n.臀部( hip的名词复数 );[建筑学]屋脊;臀围(尺寸);臀部…的
参考例句:
  • She stood with her hands on her hips. 她双手叉腰站着。
  • They wiggled their hips to the sound of pop music. 他们随着流行音乐的声音摇晃着臀部。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 fads abecffaa52f529a2b83b6612a7964b02     
n.一时的流行,一时的风尚( fad的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • It was one of the many fads that sweep through mathematics regularly. 它是常见的贯穿在数学中的许多流行一时的风尚之一。 来自辞典例句
  • Lady Busshe is nothing without her flights, fads, and fancies. 除浮躁、时髦和幻想外,巴歇夫人一无所有。 来自辞典例句
9 fixed JsKzzj     
adj.固定的,不变的,准备好的;(计算机)固定的
参考例句:
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
10 rebellious CtbyI     
adj.造反的,反抗的,难控制的
参考例句:
  • They will be in danger if they are rebellious.如果他们造反,他们就要发生危险。
  • Her reply was mild enough,but her thoughts were rebellious.她的回答虽然很温和,但她的心里十分反感。
11 jack 53Hxp     
n.插座,千斤顶,男人;v.抬起,提醒,扛举;n.(Jake)杰克
参考例句:
  • I am looking for the headphone jack.我正在找寻头戴式耳机插孔。
  • He lifted the car with a jack to change the flat tyre.他用千斤顶把车顶起来换下瘪轮胎。
12 suede 6sXw7     
n.表面粗糙的软皮革
参考例句:
  • I'm looking for a suede jacket.我想买一件皮制茄克。
  • Her newly bought suede shoes look very fashionable.她新买的翻毛皮鞋看上去非常时尚。
13 comedians efcac24154f4452751c4385767145187     
n.喜剧演员,丑角( comedian的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The voice was rich, lordly, Harvardish, like all the boring radio comedians'imitations. 声音浑厚、威严,俨然是哈佛出身的气派,就跟无线电里所有的滑稽演员叫人已经听腻的模仿完全一样。 来自辞典例句
  • He distracted them by joking and imitating movie and radio comedians. 他用开玩笑的方法或者模仿电影及广播中的滑稽演员来对付他们。 来自辞典例句
14 Christians 28e6e30f94480962cc721493f76ca6c6     
n.基督教徒( Christian的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Christians of all denominations attended the conference. 基督教所有教派的人都出席了这次会议。
  • His novel about Jesus caused a furore among Christians. 他关于耶稣的小说激起了基督教徒的公愤。
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