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时间:2011-01-03 07:33来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]

The nineteen twenties were a time of economic progress for most Americans. During the administrations2 of President Warren Harding and President Calvin Coolidge, many companies grew larger, creating new jobs. Wages for most Americans increased. Many people began to have enough money to buy new kinds of products.

The strong economy also created the right environment for many important changes in the day-to-day social life of Americans. The nineteen twenties are remembered now as an exciting time that historians3 call the "Roaring4 Twenties."

This week in our series, Kay Gallant5 and Harry6 Monroe tell more about that period.


KAY GALLANT: The nineteen twenties brought a feeling of freedom and independence to millions of Americans, especially young Americans. Young soldiers returned from the world war with new ideas. They had seen a different world in Europe. They had faced death and learned7 to enjoy the pleasures that each day offered.

Congressman8 T.S. McMillan of Charleston, South Carolina with two women who are doing the Charleston dance near the Capitol building in Washington D.C.

Many of these young soldiers were not willing to quietly accept the old traditions of their families and villages when they returned home. Instead, they wanted to try new ways of living.

HARRY MONROE: Many young Americans, both men and women, began to challenge some of the traditions of their parents and grandparents. For example, some young women began to experiment with new kinds of clothes. They no longer wore dresses that hid the shape of their bodies. Instead, they wore thinner dresses that uncovered9 part of their legs.

Many young women began to smoke cigarettes, too. Cigarette production in the United States more than doubled in the ten years between nineteen eighteen and nineteen twenty-eight.

Many women also began to drink alcohol10 with men in public for the first time. And they listened together to a popular new kind of music: jazz.

Young people danced the Fox Trot11, the Charleston, and other new dances. They held one another tightly12 on the dance floor, instead of dancing far apart.


KAY GALLANT: It was a revolution in social values, at least among some Americans. People openly discussed subjects that their parents and grandparents had kept private.

There were popular books and shows about unmarried mothers and about homosexuality. The growing film industry made films about all-night parties between unmarried men and women. And people discussed the new ideas about sex formed by Sigmund Freud and other new thinkers.

An important force behind these changes was the growing independence of American women. In nineteen twenty, the nation passed the Nineteenth Amendment13 to the constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

Of equal importance, many women took jobs during the war and continued working after the troops returned home. Also, new machines freed many of them from spending long hours of work in the home washing clothes, preparing food, and doing other jobs.

HARRY MONROE: Education was another important force behind the social changes of the nineteen-twenties. More and more Americans were getting a good education. The number of students attending high school doubled between nineteen twenty and nineteen thirty. Many of the schools now offered new kinds of classes to prepare students for useful jobs.

Attendance14 at colleges and universities also increased greatly. And colleges offered more classes in such useful subjects as teacher training, engineering15, and business administration1.

Two inventions also helped cause the social changes. They were the automobile16 and the radio. The automobile gave millions of Americans the freedom to travel easily to new places. And the radio brought new ideas and experiences into their own homes.

Probably the most important force behind social change was the continuing economic growth of the nineteen twenties. Many people had extra money to spend on things other than food, housing17, and other basic needs. They could experiment with new products and different ways of living.


KAY GALLANT: Of course, not all Americans were wearing strange new "flapper" clothes or dancing until early in the morning. Millions of Americans in small towns or rural18 areas continued to live simple, quiet lives. Life was still hard for many people including blacks, foreigners, and other minority groups.

The many newspaper stories about independent women reporters and doctors also did not represent the real life of the average American woman. Women could vote. But three of every four women still worked at home. Most of the women working outside their homes were from minority groups or foreign countries.

The films and radio stories about exciting parties and social events were just a dream for millions of Americans. But the dreams were strong. And many Americans -- rich and poor -- followed with great interest each new game, dance, and custom.

HARRY MONROE: The wide interest in this kind of popular culture was unusually strong during the nineteen twenties. People became extremely interested in exciting court trials, disasters, film actors, and other subjects.

For example, millions of Americans followed the sad story of Floyd Collins, a young man who became trapped while exploring underground. Newsmen reported to the nation as rescue teams searched to find him. Even the "New York Times" newspaper printed a large story on its front page when rescuers finally discovered the man's dead body.

Another event that caught public attention was a murder trial in the eastern state of New Jersey19 in nineteen twenty-six.

Newsmen wrote five million words about this case of a minister found dead with a woman member of his church. Again, the case itself was of little importance from a world news point of view. But it was exciting. And Americans were tired of reading about serious political issues after the bloody20 world war.


KAY GALLANT: The nineteen twenties also were a golden period for sports.

People across the country bought newspapers to read of the latest golf victory by champion Bobby Jones. "Big Bill" Tilden became the most famous player in tennis. And millions of Americans listened to the boxing match in nineteen twenty-six between Jack21 Dempsey and Gene22 Tunney. In fact, five Americans reportedly became so excited while listening to the fight that they died of heart attacks.

However, the greatest single sports hero of the period was the baseball player, Babe Ruth.

Ruth was a large man who could hit a baseball farther23 than any other human being. He became as famous for his wild enjoyment24 of life as for his excellent playing on the baseball field. Babe Ruth loved to drink, to be with women, and to play with children.

Babe Ruth

HARRY MONROE: The most famous popular event of the nineteen twenties was neither a court trial nor a sports game. It was the brave action of pilot Charles Lindbergh when he flew an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean without stopping. He was the first man in history to do this.

Lindbergh flew his plane alone from New York to France in May, nineteen twenty-seven. His flight set off wild celebrations across the United States.

Newspapers carried story after story about Lindbergh's success. President Coolidge and a large crowd greeted the young pilot when he returned to Washington. And New York congratulated Lindbergh with one of the largest parades in its history.

Americans liked Lindbergh because he was brave, quiet, and handsome. He seemed to represent everything that was best about their country.

KAY GALLANT: The nineteen twenties was also a time of much excellent work in the more serious arts. We will take a look in our next program at American art, writing, and building during the exciting "roaring twenties".


BOB DOUGHTY25: Our program was written by David Jarmul. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe.

You can find our series online with transcripts26, MP3s, podcasts and images at voaspecialenglish.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning27 English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.


1 administration mJLyZ     
  • Who is in charge of the administration of your company?你们公司的行政工作由谁负责?
  • The teachers are responsible to the school administration.教师向学校行政负责。
2 administrations 2bf4a122a0bfc0ea711b24fc02a0c5fe     
n.管理( administration的名词复数 );实行;(政府)行政机关;(法律、处罚等的)施行
  • Socialist administrations by 1912 governed Milwaukee, Schenectady, and Berkeley, California. 到1912年,社会党的政府统治着加利福尼亚的伯克利、密尔沃基和斯克内克塔迪。 来自辞典例句
  • For generations successive administrations had synchronized their moves with London. 几十年,美国历届政府与伦敦的行动步调都是一致的。 来自辞典例句
3 historians aa2dff49e1cda6eb8322970793b20183     
n.历史学家,史学工作者( historian的名词复数 )
  • Historians seem to have confused the chronology of these events. 历史学家好像把这些事件发生的年代顺序搞混了。
  • Historians have concurred with each other in this view. 历史学家在这个观点上已取得一致意见。
4 roaring 9jxzmk     
n.吼声;咆哮;怒号;轰鸣adj.兴旺的;喧哗的;风哮雨嚎的adv.非常地v.怒吼,咆哮,大声喊出( roar的现在分词)
  • juggernauts roaring through country villages 隆隆驶过村庄的重型卡车
  • All we could hear was the sound of roaring water. 我们只能听到汹涌澎湃的涛声。
5 gallant 66Myb     
  • Huang Jiguang's gallant deed is known by all men. 黄继光的英勇事迹尽人皆知。
  • These gallant soldiers will protect our country.这些勇敢的士兵会保卫我们的国家的。
6 harry heBxS     
  • Today,people feel more hurried and harried.今天,人们感到更加忙碌和苦恼。
  • Obama harried business by Healthcare Reform plan.奥巴马用医改掠夺了商界。
7 learned m1oxn     
  • He went into a rage when he learned about it.他听到这事后勃然大怒。
  • In this little village,he passed for a learned man.在这个小村子里,他被视为有学问的人。
8 Congressman TvMzt7     
  • He related several anecdotes about his first years as a congressman.他讲述自己初任议员那几年的几则轶事。
  • The congressman is meditating a reply to his critics.这位国会议员正在考虑给他的批评者一个答复。
9 uncovered 5fszak     
adj.无盖的,未保险的v.揭开…的盖子( uncover的过去式和过去分词 );揭露,发现
  • His head was uncovered. 他光着头。
  • A plot to assassinate the banker has been uncovered by the police. 暗杀银行家的密谋被警方侦破了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 alcohol AxCzB     
  • The law forbids shops to sell alcohol to minors.法律禁止商店向未成年者出售含酒精的饮料。
  • The alcohol is industrial.这些酒精是供工业用的。
11 trot aKBzt     
n.疾走,慢跑;n.老太婆;现成译本;(复数)trots:腹泻(与the 连用);v.小跑,快步走,赶紧
  • They passed me at a trot.他们从我身边快步走过。
  • The horse broke into a brisk trot.马突然快步小跑起来。
12 tightly ZgbzD7     
  • My child holds onto my hand tightly while we cross the street.横穿马路时,孩子紧拉着我的手不放。
  • The crowd pressed together so tightly that we could hardly breathe.人群挤在一起,我们几乎喘不过气来。
13 amendment Mx8zY     
  • The amendment was rejected by 207 voters to 143.这项修正案以207票对143票被否决。
  • The Opposition has tabled an amendment to the bill.反对党已经就该议案提交了一项修正条款。
14 attendance qvFzZ     
  • The attendance of this class never dropped off.这个班的出席人数从未下降。
  • The young man danced attendance on his rich aunt.这个年轻人小心侍候他有钱的姑妈。
15 engineering vtyzmS     
  • The science of engineering began as soon as man learned to use tools. 人类一学会使用工具,工程科学就开始了。
  • It was the first great engineering works in the world. 这是世界上第一家大型的工程工厂。
16 automobile rP1yv     
  • He is repairing the brake lever of an automobile.他正在修理汽车的刹车杆。
  • The automobile slowed down to go around the curves in the road.汽车在路上转弯时放慢了速度。
17 housing YqzzxS     
  • Do you think our housing sales will turn around during this year?你认为今年我们的住宅销路会好转吗?
  • The housing sales have been turning down since the summer.入夏以来,房屋的销售量日趋减少。
18 rural OC8za     
  • He lived a rural life.他过着田园生活。
  • We left the city for a rural home.我们离开城市,去农村安家。
19 jersey Lp5zzo     
  • He wears a cotton jersey when he plays football.他穿运动衫踢足球。
  • They were dressed alike in blue jersey and knickers.他们穿着一致,都是蓝色的运动衫和灯笼短裤。
20 bloody kWHza     
  • He got a bloody nose in the fight.他在打斗中被打得鼻子流血。
  • He is a bloody fool.他是一个十足的笨蛋。
21 jack 53Hxp     
  • 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。
22 gene WgKxx     
  • A single gene may have many effects.单一基因可能具有很多种效应。
  • The targeting of gene therapy has been paid close attention.其中基因治疗的靶向性是值得密切关注的问题之一。
23 farther olHxM     
  • I can throw the ball farther than you can.这个球我能比你扔得远。
  • The farther hill is five kilometres away.那座更远的小山在五公里以外。
24 enjoyment opaxV     
  • Your company adds to the enjoyment of our visit. 有您的陪同,我们这次访问更加愉快了。
  • After each joke the old man cackled his enjoyment.每逢讲完一个笑话,这老人就呵呵笑着表示他的高兴。
25 doughty Jk5zg     
  • Most of successful men have the characteristics of contumacy and doughty.绝大多数成功人士都有共同的特质:脾气倔强,性格刚强。
  • The doughty old man battled his illness with fierce determination.坚强的老人用巨大毅力与疾病作斗争。
26 transcripts 525c0b10bb61e5ddfdd47d7faa92db26     
n.抄本( transcript的名词复数 );转写本;文字本;副本
  • Like mRNA, both tRNA and rRNA are transcripts of chromosomal DNA. tRNA及rRNA同mRNA一样,都是染色体DNA的转录产物。 来自辞典例句
  • You can't take the transfer students'exam without your transcripts. 没有成绩证明书,你就不能参加转学考试。 来自辞典例句
27 learning wpSzFe     
  • When you are learning to ride a bicycle,you often fall off.初学骑自行车时,常会从车上掉下来。
  • Learning languages isn't just a matter of remembering words.学习语言不仅仅是记些单词的事。
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