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THE MAKING OF A NATION 224 - Ronald Reagan, part 2

时间:2005-09-29 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:wbnewbie   字体: [ ]

THE MAKING OF A NATION #224 - December 19, 2002: Ronald Reagan, part 2

By Jerilyn Watson

VOICE ONE: This is Rich Kleinfeldt.
And this is Warren Scheer with THE MAKING OF A NATION, a V-O-A Special English program about the

history of the United States.
Today, we continue the story of America's fortieth president, Ronald Reagan.
Soon after Ronald Reagan's presidency1 began, there was an attempt on his life. A gunman shot him in March,

nineteen-eighty-one. Doctors removed the bullet. He rested, regained2 his strength, and returned to the White

House in twelve days.
The new president's main goal was to reduce the size of the federal government. He and other conservative
Republicans wanted less government interference in the daily lives of Americans.



President Reagan won Congressional approval for his plan to reduce taxes on earnings3.
Many Americans welcomed the plan. Others were concerned about its affect on the
national debt. They saw taxes go down while defense4 spending went up.

To save money, the Reagan administration decided5 to cut spending for some social
programs. This pleased conservatives. Liberals, however, said it limited poor peoples'
chances for good housing, health care, and education.


President Reagan also had to make decisions about using military force in other
countries. In nineteen-eighty-Ttree, he sent Marines to Lebanon. They joined other peacekeeping troops to help
stop fighting among several opposing groups. On October twenty-third, a Muslim extremist exploded a bomb in
the building where the Marines were living. Two-hundred forty-one Americans died.


Two days later, Marines led an invasion of the Caribbean island nation of Grenada. Communist forces were
rebelling against the government there. Cuban soldiers were guarding the streets. President Reagan said he feared
for the safety of American students at Grenada's medical school. He sent the Marines to get them out safely. The
Marines quickly defeated the communist forces. Many Americans were pleased. Others were angry. They said
Grenada was invaded only to make people forget about what happened in Lebanon.



The next year, Nineteen-Eighty-Four, was another presidential election year. It looked like no one could stop
President Reagan. His warm way with people had made him hugely popular. He gained support with the military
victory in Grenada. And, by the time the campaign started, inflation was under control. The Republican Party renominated Ronald Reagan for president and George Bush for vice6 president.


There were several candidates for the Democratic Party's nomination8. One was the first African American to run
for president, Jesse Jackson. He was a Protestant clergyman and a long-time human rights activist9.

The candidate who finally won the nomination was Walter Mondale. He had been a senator and had served as
vice president under President Jimmy Carter. The vice presidential candidate was Congresswoman Geraldine
Ferraro. It was the first time a major political party in the United States had nominated a woman for national


One of the big issues in the campaign was taxes. Most candidates try not to talk about them. Democrat7 Mondale
did. He said taxes would have to be raised to pay for new government programs. This was a serious political
mistake. President Reagan gained even more support as a result.

The two candidates agreed to debate on television. During one debate, President Reagan looked old and tired. He
did not seem sure of his answers. Yet his popularity was not damaged. On Election Day, he won fifty-nine
percent of the popular vote. On Inauguration10 Day, the weather was not so kind. It was bitterly cold in
Washington. All inaugural11 activities, including the swearing-in ceremony, were held inside.


President Reagan's first term began with an attempt on his life. Six months after his second term began, he faced
another threat. Doctors discovered and removed a large growth from his colon12. The growth was cancerous. The
president was seventy-four years old. Yet, once again, he quickly regained his strength and returned to work.



For years, the United States had accused Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi of supporting international terrorist
groups. It said he provided them with weapons and a safe place for their headquarters.

In January, Nineteen-Eighty-Six, the United States announced economic restrictions13 against Libya. Then it began
military training exercises near the Libyan coast. Libya said the Americans were violating its territory and fired
missiles at them. The Americans fired back, sinking two ships.


On April Fifth, a bomb destroyed a public dance club in West Berlin. Two people died, including an American
soldier. The United States said Libya was responsible. President Reagan ordered bomb attacks against the Libyan
cities of Tripoli and Benghazi. Muammar Kaddafi escaped unharmed. But one of his children was killed.

Some Americans said the raid was cruel. Others praised it. President Reagan said the United States did what it
had to do.


The president also wanted to intervene in Nicaragua. About fifteen-thousand rebel troops, called Contras, were
fighting the communist government there. Reagan asked for military aid for the Contras. Congress rejected the
request. It banned all aid to the Contras.

At that same time, Muslim terrorists in Lebanon seized several Americans. The Reagan administration looked for
ways to gain the hostages' release. It decided to sell missiles and missile parts to Iran in exchange for Iran's help.
After the sale, Iran told the terrorists in Lebanon to release a few American hostages.


Not long after, serious charges became public. Reports said that money from the sale of arms to Iran was used to
aid the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Several members of the Reagan administration resigned. It appeared that
some had violated the law.

President Reagan said he regretted what had happened. But he said he had not known about it. Investigations14 and
court trials of those involved continued into the Nineteen-Nineties. Several people were found guilty of illegal
activities and of lying to Congress. No one went to jail.


Most Americans did not blame President Reagan for the actions of others in his administration. They still
supported him and his policies. They especially supported his efforts to deal with the Soviet15 Union.
At the beginning of his first term, President Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire". To protect the

United States against the Soviets16, he increased military spending to the highest level in American history. Then,
in Nineteen-Eighty-Five, Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union.

The two leaders met in Switzerland, in Iceland, in Washington, and in Moscow. Each agreed to destroy hundreds
of nuclear missiles. President Reagan also urged Mister Gorbachev to become more democratic. He spoke17 about
the wall that communists had built to divide the city of Berlin, Germany. ((TAPE: Reagan about Berlin Wall:

"No American who sees first-hand can ever again take for granted his or her freedom or the precious gift that is

America. That gift of freedom is actually the birthright of all humanity. And that is why, as I stood there, I urged
the Soviet leader, Mister Gorbachev, to send a new signal of openness to the world by tearing down that wall.
Ronald Reagan was president as the American economy grew rapidly. He was president as a new sense of

openness was beginning in the Soviet Union. Yet, at the end of his presidency, many Americans were concerned
by what he left behind. Increased military spending, together with tax cuts, had made the national debt huge. The
United States owed thousands of millions of dollars. The debt would be a political issue for presidents to come.

On our next program, we will discuss some social and cultural issues of the Reagan years.
This program of THE MAKING OF A NATION was written by Jeri Watson and produced by Paul Thompson.

This is Warren Scheer.
And this is Rich Kleinfeldt.


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1 presidency J1HzD     
  • Roosevelt was elected four times to the presidency of the United States.罗斯福连续当选四届美国总统。
  • Two candidates are emerging as contestants for the presidency.两位候选人最终成为总统职位竞争者。
2 regained 51ada49e953b830c8bd8fddd6bcd03aa     
复得( regain的过去式和过去分词 ); 赢回; 重回; 复至某地
  • The majority of the people in the world have regained their liberty. 世界上大多数人已重获自由。
  • She hesitated briefly but quickly regained her poise. 她犹豫片刻,但很快恢复了镇静。
3 earnings rrWxJ     
  • That old man lives on the earnings of his daughter.那个老人靠他女儿的收入维持生活。
  • Last year there was a 20% decrease in his earnings.去年他的收入减少了20%。
4 defense AxbxB     
  • The accused has the right to defense.被告人有权获得辩护。
  • The war has impacted the area with military and defense workers.战争使那个地区挤满了军队和防御工程人员。
5 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
6 vice NU0zQ     
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
7 democrat Xmkzf     
  • The Democrat and the Public criticized each other.民主党人和共和党人互相攻击。
  • About two years later,he was defeated by Democrat Jimmy Carter.大约两年后,他被民主党人杰米卡特击败。
8 nomination BHMxw     
  • John is favourite to get the nomination for club president.约翰最有希望被提名为俱乐部主席。
  • Few people pronounced for his nomination.很少人表示赞成他的提名。
9 activist gyAzO     
  • He's been a trade union activist for many years.多年来他一直是工会的积极分子。
  • He is a social activist in our factory.他是我厂的社会活动积极分子。
10 inauguration 3cQzR     
  • The inauguration of a President of the United States takes place on January 20.美国总统的就职典礼于一月二十日举行。
  • Three celebrated tenors sang at the president's inauguration.3位著名的男高音歌手在总统就职仪式上演唱。
11 inaugural 7cRzQ     
  • We listened to the President's inaugural speech on the radio yesterday.昨天我们通过无线电听了总统的就职演说。
  • Professor Pearson gave the inaugural lecture in the new lecture theatre.皮尔逊教授在新的阶梯讲堂发表了启用演说。
12 colon jqfzJ     
  • Here,too,the colon must be followed by a dash.这里也是一样,应当在冒号后加破折号。
  • The colon is the locus of a large concentration of bacteria.结肠是大浓度的细菌所在地。
13 restrictions 81e12dac658cfd4c590486dd6f7523cf     
约束( restriction的名词复数 ); 管制; 制约因素; 带限制性的条件(或规则)
  • I found the restrictions irksome. 我对那些限制感到很烦。
  • a snaggle of restrictions 杂乱无章的种种限制
14 investigations 02de25420938593f7db7bd4052010b32     
(正式的)调查( investigation的名词复数 ); 侦查; 科学研究; 学术研究
  • His investigations were intensive and thorough but revealed nothing. 他进行了深入彻底的调查,但没有发现什么。
  • He often sent them out to make investigations. 他常常派他们出去作调查。
15 Soviet Sw9wR     
  • 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。
16 soviets 95fd70e5832647dcf39beb061b21c75e     
  • 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。
17 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
18 transcript JgpzUp     
  • A transcript of the tapes was presented as evidence in court.一份录音带的文字本作为证据被呈交法庭。
  • They wouldn't let me have a transcript of the interview.他们拒绝给我一份采访的文字整理稿。
TAG标签:   Nation  Ronald Reagan
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