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VOA慢速英语 2007 1212b

时间:2008-03-20 02:44来源:互联网 提供网友:蓝静子   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

VOICE ONE:

I’m Shirley Griffith.

VOICE TWO:

And I’m Steve Ember with EXPLORATIONS in VOA Special English.  In the early eighteen hundreds, traveling in the United States was dangerous.  Business and trading were limited.  Then came the waterway called the Erie Canal.  It helped build America. 

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

July Fourth, eighteen seventeen, was a special day in Rome, New York.  People there celebrated1 the anniversary of America’s independence from Britain. They also marked the groundbreaking for the building of the Erie Canal.  When it was completed eight years later, the canal became America’s first national waterway.

 
A painting of the Erie Canal at Buffalo2, New York
The Erie Canal crossed the state of New York from the city of Buffalo on Lake Erie to Albany and Troy on the Hudson River.  The Hudson River flowed into the Atlantic Ocean at New York City. So the canal joined the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. The canal made New York City a major port.

VOICE TWO:

The difficulty of traveling through the Appalachian Mountains had kept many people from going west.  The mountains also prevented people in the West from sending their wood and farm products east.   But the canal overcame the natural barrier of those mountains.  It helped open the American West.  The Erie Canal made the United States a richer and stronger young nation.

VOICE ONE:

Politicians, businessmen, farmers and traders had talked about creating a canal connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean for one hundred years. A lawyer and politician named De Witt Clinton finally succeeded in getting the canal built. 

As early as eighteen-oh-nine, Clinton saw the need for the canal.  Then he had to defend his idea against people who laughed at him.  Some critics called the canal “Clinton’s Folly‿-- a stupid project.  In eighteen twelve, the federal government rejected a proposal to provide money for the canal. 

But five years later, the New York State legislature provided more than seven million dollars for the project.  The lawmakers named Clinton to head a committee to supervise the development of the canal. De Witt Clinton was elected governor of New York that same year.

VOICE TWO:

The Erie Canal was five hundred eighty-four kilometers long, more than eight meters wide at the bottom and one and one-half meters deep.  It could not have been completed without the hard and dangerous labor3 of many workers.  Historians say about one-third of the workers had recently moved to the United States from Ireland. They received about fifty cents a day for building the Erie Canal.

The men used explosives to break the rocky earth.  Many workers were injured.  Many were infected with the disease malaria4.  Twenty-six workers died of smallpox5.  Some were buried in unmarked graves along the canal. 

VOICE ONE:

 
A painting of Governor De Witt Clinton pouring out water from Lake Erie into the Hudson River 
Big guns were fired in October, eighteen twenty-five, in Buffalo, New York.  The cannons6 were part of a celebration to observe the completion of the Erie Canal.  Governor De Witt Clinton and his wife left Buffalo on a barge7 called the Seneca Chief.  The boat moved at the rate of less than five kilometers per hour.  It reached the Hudson River nine days later. To mark the arrival, Governor Clinton dropped some water from Lake Erie into the Hudson River. 

VOICE TWO:

Within ten years, the Erie Canal had repaid the cost of building it.  Transportation of products by canal was less costly8 than other methods.The waterway carried barges9.  Most of these boats had flat bottoms for carrying goods.  The barges measured up to twenty-four meters long and about four and one-half meters wide.  Mules11 and horses on land pulled the barges through the canal using ropes.  Eighty-three devices called locks raised the barges on the canal by more than one hundred seventy meters from the Hudson River to Lake Erie.

Men and animals worked hard to pull the barges.  A mule10 named Sal became famous in a folksong called “The Erie Canal.‿nbsp;  Ken12 Darby and the Whiskeyhill Chorus sing about life on the canal.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Over time, the canal grew.  Many improvements were made between eighteen thirty-five and eighteen sixty-two.  But a few years later, the canal began to lose importance.  Trains were becoming an easier and more profitable way to transport goods.

As the Erie Canal was losing business, some of its levees began to break.  Levees normally hold back the water, preventing floods.  The breaks damaged the towpaths next to the canal and stopped travel.

VOICE TWO:

Age or heavy rains often caused the levees to break.  But the breaks were not always an accident.  Towns like Forestport, New York had been suffering from the closing of businesses.  Then, in the last years of the eighteen hundreds, several area levees broke under suspicious conditions.

Breaks in the levees should have been bad news for Forestport.  Difficult repairs were needed.  But few people in the town seemed sad about the breaks.  Instead, many were pleased.  Almost two thousand men were brought in to repair the damage.  That was more than the normal population of Forestport. People crowded into places to eat, drink and play games of chance.  The town had money again. Life became as profitable and wild as it had been during the best days of trade on the canal.

VOICE ONE:

The administration of New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt grew suspicious.  Officials investigated.  State officials charged several men from Forestport with plotting to damage canal property. 

Newspaper reporter Michael Doyle wrote a book called “The Forestport Breaks.‿nbsp; He wrote the book after researching his ancestors who had lived in Forestport.  Mister Doyle said he learned that his great-grandfather took part in the wrongdoing.

At the beginning of the book, a farmer sees water flooding over a levee in Forestport.  He warns local officials.  His warning prevents more severe damage. But some of the townspeople do not praise the farmer for his action.  Instead, Mister Doyle writes that they want to kill him.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

By nineteen-oh-three, some businesses were pressuring New York to build a whole system of canals.  These people did not want the railroads to completely control the transport of goods.  So the state formed the New York State Barge Canal System in nineteen eighteen.  The Erie Canal became the largest part, linked to three shorter canals.

The canal system stayed busy until nineteen fifty-nine.  At that time, the United States and Canada opened the Saint Lawrence Seaway.  This waterway permitted ocean ships to sail up the Saint Lawrence River and through the Great Lakes.  The Erie Canal lost a lot of its business.

VOICE ONE:

 
The Fairport Lift Bridge over the Erie Canal
But the Erie Canal and the other parts of the New York canal system got help.  In nineteen ninety-one, people who cared about the historic canal held a big public event.  The group is called Erie’s Restoration Interests Everyone.  It made the same trip that had celebrated completion of the Erie Canal in eighteen twenty-five.

As Governor and Missus Clinton had done, the group traveled from Buffalo, New York to the Hudson River.  A man taking the part of De Witt Clinton dropped water from Lake Erie into New York Harbor.

A few days later, citizens voted to take measures to re-develop the canal system.  Today, barges still use the system to transport heavy goods.  One estimate says the canal system carries more than four hundred thousand tons of goods each year.  More than one hundred fifty thousand pleasure boats also use the system each year.

VOICE TWO:

Today, an area called the Canalway National Heritage Corridor contains parts of the Erie Canal of the eighteen hundreds.  You can walk, run or ride a bicycle in this area.  You can take pictures or study plants, birds and other wildlife.   You can ride on the canal in a small boat called a canoe. 

Or, you can take a historic Erie Canal boat trip.  Thousands of people do this every year.   The boat moves slowly along the water.  You can listen to guides tell about the animals and the men who pulled the barges.  And, musicians play songs of the days when the Erie Canal was helping13 a young nation grow.

(MUSIC)


VOICE ONE:

This program was written by Jerilyn Watson and produced by Mario Ritter. I’m Shirley Griffith.

VOICE TWO:

And I’m Steve Ember. Join us again next week for EXPLORATIONS in VOA Special English.

 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 celebrated iwLzpz     
adj.有名的,声誉卓著的
参考例句:
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
2 buffalo 1Sby4     
n.(北美)野牛;(亚洲)水牛
参考例句:
  • Asian buffalo isn't as wild as that of America's. 亚洲水牛比美洲水牛温顺些。
  • The boots are made of buffalo hide. 这双靴子是由水牛皮制成的。
3 labor P9Tzs     
n.劳动,努力,工作,劳工;分娩;vi.劳动,努力,苦干;vt.详细分析;麻烦
参考例句:
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
4 malaria B2xyb     
n.疟疾
参考例句:
  • He had frequent attacks of malaria.他常患疟疾。
  • Malaria is a kind of serious malady.疟疾是一种严重的疾病。
5 smallpox 9iNzJw     
n.天花
参考例句:
  • In 1742 he suffered a fatal attack of smallpox.1742年,他染上了致命的天花。
  • Were you vaccinated against smallpox as a child?你小时候打过天花疫苗吗?
6 cannons dd76967b79afecfefcc8e2d9452b380f     
n.加农炮,大炮,火炮( cannon的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Cannons bombarded enemy lines. 大炮轰击了敌军阵地。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • One company had been furnished with six cannons. 某连队装备了六门大炮。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 barge munzH     
n.平底载货船,驳船
参考例句:
  • The barge was loaded up with coal.那艘驳船装上了煤。
  • Carrying goods by train costs nearly three times more than carrying them by barge.通过铁路运货的成本比驳船运货成本高出近3倍。
8 costly 7zXxh     
adj.昂贵的,价值高的,豪华的
参考例句:
  • It must be very costly to keep up a house like this.维修这么一幢房子一定很昂贵。
  • This dictionary is very useful,only it is a bit costly.这本词典很有用,左不过贵了些。
9 barges f4f7840069bccdd51b419326033cf7ad     
驳船( barge的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The tug is towing three barges. 那只拖船正拖着三只驳船。
  • There were plenty of barges dropping down with the tide. 有不少驳船顺流而下。
10 mule G6RzI     
n.骡子,杂种,执拗的人
参考例句:
  • A mule is a cross between a mare and a donkey.骡子是母马和公驴的杂交后代。
  • He is an old mule.他是个老顽固。
11 mules be18bf53ebe6a97854771cdc8bfe67e6     
骡( mule的名词复数 ); 拖鞋; 顽固的人; 越境运毒者
参考例句:
  • The cart was pulled by two mules. 两匹骡子拉这辆大车。
  • She wore tight trousers and high-heeled mules. 她穿紧身裤和拖鞋式高跟鞋。
12 ken k3WxV     
n.视野,知识领域
参考例句:
  • Such things are beyond my ken.我可不懂这些事。
  • Abstract words are beyond the ken of children.抽象的言辞超出小孩所理解的范围.
13 helping 2rGzDc     
n.食物的一份&adj.帮助人的,辅助的
参考例句:
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
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TAG标签:   voa  慢速英语
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