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VOA慢速英语2011--American History: Nixon Resigns Over Watergate

时间:2011-12-16 07:33来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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THE MAKING OF A NATION - American History: Nixon Resigns Over Watergate

 

STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English. I’m Steve Ember.

This week in our series, we conclude the story of the thirty-seventh president of the United States, Richard Nixon.

(MUSIC)

Richard Nixon's first term ended with the hope for a complete American withdrawal1 from the war in Vietnam. Yet Americans were still angry about the war and its economic effects on life at home. Inflation and unemployment were both high.

Some political observers thought Nixon would not win a second term. Nixon, however, was sure the American people would support him.

He did not actively2 campaign in the state primary elections leading up to the Republican nominating convention. He focused much of his attention on foreign policy -- including his historic trip to China in February nineteen seventy-two. In May he traveled to Austria, the Soviet3 Union, Iran and Poland. In Moscow, he signed the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, or SALT, with the Soviets4.

Reporters Bob Woodward, right, and Carl Bernstein in the Washington Post newsroom on May 7, 1973. Their reporting of the Watergate case won them a Pulitzer Prize.

But back in Washington, something happened. It was a small incident, but one that would have a huge effect.

(MUSIC)

On June seventeenth, nineteen seventy-two, five men wearing surgical5 gloves broke into the headquarters of the Democratic Party. The Democratic National Committee offices were located in one of the buildings in a complex called Watergate. Police caught the burglars and, at the time, the incident did not seem very important.

But the men carried papers that linked them to top officials in the Nixon White House. The question was: Did the president know what was going on? Nixon denied any wrongdoing.

In time, the Watergate break-in would lead to a congressional investigation6.

(MUSIC)

But, in the summer of nineteen seventy-two, attention focused on the presidential nominating conventions. Democrats7 met in Miami Beach, Florida, and chose George McGovern, a senator from South Dakota, as their candidate for president.

The Republicans also met in Miami Beach and, as expected, nominated Richard Nixon for a second term.

McGovern, a liberal, attacked Nixon for his policies on Vietnam. However, Nixon easily won the nineteen seventy-two election. He defeated McGovern, carrying forty-nine of the fifty states.

But the shadow of Watergate would not go away.

Two young reporters for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, had been following the story since the break-in. In early nineteen seventy-three, they found evidence that linked the break-in to White House officials. The evidence also showed that these officials tried to use government agencies to hide the connection.

The burglars had been financed with money connected to the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

Pressure grew for a full investigation. In April, President Nixon ordered the Justice Department to carry it out. Attorney General Elliot Richardson appointed law professor Archibald Cox as a special prosecutor8 to lead the investigation.

SENATOR SAM ERVIN (WATERGATE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN)): “The committee will come to order."

In May, a special Senate committee began its own investigation. A former White House lawyer, John Dean, provided the major evidence.

JOHN DEAN: “It is my honest belief that, while the president was involved, he did not realize, or appreciate at any time, the implications of his involvement. And I think that, when the facts come out, I hope the president is forgiven.”

By July, the public learned that President Nixon had made tape recordings10 of some of his discussions and telephone calls. The Senate committee asked him for some of the tapes. Nixon refused. He said the president of the United States has a Constitutional right to keep such records private.

A federal judge, John Sirica, ordered the president to surrender the tapes. Lawyers for the president took the case to the Supreme11 Court. The high court supported Sirica's decision.

After that, pressure increased for Nixon to cooperate. In October, he offered to provide written transcripts12 of parts of the recordings. Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor, rejected the offer. So Nixon ordered Attorney General Richardson to dismiss him. Richardson -- the nation's top law enforcement officer -- refused. Instead, he resigned, as did his deputy, William Ruckelshaus, when Nixon ordered him to fire Cox.

ABC NEWS REPORTER JERRY LANDAY: “The Watergate drama has taken a half-year to unfold. The president’s unique actions in firing two popular and respected members of the Executive Branch, and forcing a third to quit, took less than eight hours. The impact of all this, clearly colossal13, and yet to be measured.”

Jerry Landay, reporting for ABC News.

(MUSIC)

The incident happened on a Saturday night and became known as the "Saturday Night Massacre14."

Nixon then had acting15 Attorney General Robert Bork dismiss Cox, and the president eliminated the office of special prosecutor. He gave the Justice Department the responsibility of continuing the investigation.

President Nixon had another political problem, in addition to Watergate. In late nineteen seventy-three, his vice16 president, Spiro Agnew, was forced to resign. A court had found Agnew guilty of violating tax laws.

President Nixon asked Gerald Ford17 to become the new vice president. Ford was a longtime member of Congress from Michigan.

By that time, some members of Congress were talking about trying to remove Nixon from office. Was the president covering up important evidence in the Watergate case? Was he, in fact, guilty of crimes?

In April nineteen seventy-four, Nixon surrendered some of the recordings of conversations in his office. However, three important ones were missing. The Nixon administration tried to explain, saying the tape machine had failed to record two of those conversations. The third recording9, it said, had been erased18 accidentally. This became known as the famous "eighteen-minute gap."

Many Americans did not believe these explanations.

Two months later, the Supreme Court ruled that a president cannot hold back evidence in a criminal case. It said there is no presidential right of privacy in such a case.

Congress moved ahead with efforts to bring charges against the president.

REPRESENTATIVE OGDEN REID: "Congress has no alternative now but to institute impeachment20 proceedings21."

(MUSIC)

In July nineteen seventy-four, a committee in the House of Representatives proposed to impeach19 Nixon. That is, put the president on trial in the Senate. If Nixon were found guilty of crimes connected to the Watergate case, he would be removed from office.

Finally, Nixon surrendered the last of the documents sought by congressional investigators22. These documents appeared to provide proof that the president had ordered a cover-up of evidence in the Watergate burglary.

(MUSIC)

Every president promises to protect and defend the Constitution. The congressional investigation showed that Nixon had repeatedly misused23 government agencies in an effort to hide wrongdoing and punish his critics. The hearings also showed that he had tried to block the investigation.

Richard Nixon says goodbye to staff members outside the White House on August 9, 1974, after resigning

On August eighth, nineteen seventy-four, Richard Nixon spoke24 to the nation. His long struggle to remain in office was over.

RICHARD NIXON: "Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere25, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me. In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify26 continuing that effort. Therefore, I shall resign the presidency27 effective at noon tomorrow."

(MUSIC)

By resigning, Nixon avoided impeachment and possible imprisonment28. Never before had an American president resigned. On August ninth, Nixon's vice president, Gerald Ford, was sworn-in as the nation's thirty-eighth president.

Soon after becoming president, Gerald Ford made a surprise announcement.

GERALD FORD: “I deeply believe in equal justice for all Americans, whatever their station or former station. But it is not the ultimate fate of Richard Nixon that most concerns me, though surely it deeply troubles every decent and every compassionate29 person. My concern is the immediate30 future of this great country.”

(MUSIC)

He pardoned Richard Nixon. Many Americans criticized Ford for doing this. But the new president believed he had good reason.

Ford wanted to deal with the other problems facing the nation. He did not want Watergate to go on and on. But the investigation did go on. A number of officials in the Nixon administration went to prison.

The effects of Watergate on public opinion and public policy would be felt for years to come.

For example, Congress passed laws designed to prevent an administration from using its power to punish opponents. Nixon's abuses also led Congress to order government agencies to provide more information about their intelligence gathering31 activities.

Nixon's actions violated the basic trust between the American public and their elected officials. It led to more aggressive reporting by a new generation of journalists hoping to follow in the footsteps of Woodward and Bernstein. Their coverage32 of Watergate won a Pulitzer Prize -- one of journalism's top awards -- and led to a movie based on their book "All the President's Men." It starred Robert Redford as Bob Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein. Jason Robards played Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee.

MANAGING EDITOR HOWARD SIMONS (MARTIN BALSAM): "But do any of them have an axe33?"

BOB WOODWARD (ROBERT REDFORD): "No."

HOWARD SIMONS: "Personal, political, sexual, is there anything at all on Mitchell?"

BOB WOODWARD: "No."

HOWARD SIMONS: "Then can we use their names?"

CARL BERNSTEIN (DUSTIN HOFFMAN): "No."

BEN BRADLEE (JASON ROBARDS): "When is somebody going to go on the record in this story? You guys are about to write a story that says the former attorney general, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in this country, is a crook34! Just be sure you're right."

(MUSIC)

The presidency of Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, will be our story next week.

You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at voanews.cn. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I’m Steve Ember, inviting35 you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.
___

Contributing: Jerilyn Watson

This was program #218. For earlier programs, type "Making of a Nation" in quotation36 marks in the search box at the top of the page.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 withdrawal Cfhwq     
n.取回,提款;撤退,撤军;收回,撤销
参考例句:
  • The police were forced to make a tactical withdrawal.警方被迫进行战术撤退。
  • They insisted upon a withdrawal of the statement and a public apology.他们坚持要收回那些话并公开道歉。
2 actively lzezni     
adv.积极地,勤奋地
参考例句:
  • During this period all the students were actively participating.在这节课中所有的学生都积极参加。
  • We are actively intervening to settle a quarrel.我们正在积极调解争执。
3 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。
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 surgical 0hXzV3     
adj.外科的,外科医生的,手术上的
参考例句:
  • He performs the surgical operations at the Red Cross Hospital.他在红十字会医院做外科手术。
  • All surgical instruments must be sterilised before use.所有的外科手术器械在使用之前,必须消毒。
6 investigation MRKzq     
n.调查,调查研究
参考例句:
  • In an investigation,a new fact became known, which told against him.在调查中新发现了一件对他不利的事实。
  • He drew the conclusion by building on his own investigation.他根据自己的调查研究作出结论。
7 democrats 655beefefdcaf76097d489a3ff245f76     
n.民主主义者,民主人士( democrat的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The Democrats held a pep rally on Capitol Hill yesterday. 民主党昨天在国会山召开了竞选誓师大会。
  • The democrats organize a filibuster in the senate. 民主党党员组织了阻挠议事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 prosecutor 6RXx1     
n.起诉人;检察官,公诉人
参考例句:
  • The defender argued down the prosecutor at the court.辩护人在法庭上驳倒了起诉人。
  • The prosecutor would tear your testimony to pieces.检查官会把你的证言驳得体无完肤。
9 recording UktzJj     
n.录音,记录
参考例句:
  • How long will the recording of the song take?录下这首歌得花多少时间?
  • I want to play you a recording of the rehearsal.我想给你放一下彩排的录像。
10 recordings 22f9946cd05973582e73e4e3c0239bb7     
n.记录( recording的名词复数 );录音;录像;唱片
参考例句:
  • a boxed set of original recordings 一套盒装原声录音带
  • old jazz recordings reissued on CD 以激光唱片重新发行的老爵士乐
11 supreme PHqzc     
adj.极度的,最重要的;至高的,最高的
参考例句:
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
12 transcripts 525c0b10bb61e5ddfdd47d7faa92db26     
n.抄本( transcript的名词复数 );转写本;文字本;副本
参考例句:
  • 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
13 colossal sbwyJ     
adj.异常的,庞大的
参考例句:
  • There has been a colossal waste of public money.一直存在巨大的公款浪费。
  • Some of the tall buildings in that city are colossal.那座城市里的一些高层建筑很庞大。
14 massacre i71zk     
n.残杀,大屠杀;v.残杀,集体屠杀
参考例句:
  • There was a terrible massacre of villagers here during the war.在战争中,这里的村民惨遭屠杀。
  • If we forget the massacre,the massacre will happen again!忘记了大屠杀,大屠杀就有可能再次发生!
15 acting czRzoc     
n.演戏,行为,假装;adj.代理的,临时的,演出用的
参考例句:
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
16 vice NU0zQ     
n.坏事;恶习;[pl.]台钳,老虎钳;adj.副的
参考例句:
  • 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。
17 Ford KiIxx     
n.浅滩,水浅可涉处;v.涉水,涉过
参考例句:
  • They were guarding the bridge,so we forded the river.他们驻守在那座桥上,所以我们只能涉水过河。
  • If you decide to ford a stream,be extremely careful.如果已决定要涉过小溪,必须极度小心。
18 erased f4adee3fff79c6ddad5b2e45f730006a     
v.擦掉( erase的过去式和过去分词 );抹去;清除
参考例句:
  • He erased the wrong answer and wrote in the right one. 他擦去了错误答案,写上了正确答案。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He removed the dogmatism from politics; he erased the party line. 他根除了政治中的教条主义,消除了政党界限。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 impeach Ua6xD     
v.弹劾;检举
参考例句:
  • We must impeach the judge for taking bribes.我们一定要检举法官收受贿赂。
  • The committee decided to impeach the President.委员会决定弹劾总统。
20 impeachment fqSzd5     
n.弹劾;控告;怀疑
参考例句:
  • Impeachment is considered a drastic measure in the United States.在美国,弹劾被视为一种非常激烈的措施。
  • The verdict resulting from his impeachment destroyed his political career.他遭弹劾后得到的判决毁了他的政治生涯。
21 proceedings Wk2zvX     
n.进程,过程,议程;诉讼(程序);公报
参考例句:
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • to initiate legal proceedings against sb 对某人提起诉讼
22 investigators e970f9140785518a87fc81641b7c89f7     
n.调查者,审查者( investigator的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • This memo could be the smoking gun that investigators have been looking for. 这份备忘录可能是调查人员一直在寻找的证据。
  • The team consisted of six investigators and two secretaries. 这个团队由六个调查人员和两个秘书组成。 来自《简明英汉词典》
23 misused 8eaf65262a752e371adfb992201c1caf     
v.使用…不当( misuse的过去式和过去分词 );把…派作不正当的用途;虐待;滥用
参考例句:
  • He misused his dog shamefully. 他可耻地虐待自己的狗。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He had grossly misused his power. 他严重滥用职权。 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 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
参考例句:
  • 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。
25 persevere MMCxH     
v.坚持,坚忍,不屈不挠
参考例句:
  • They are determined to persevere in the fight.他们决心坚持战斗。
  • It is strength of character enabled him to persevere.他那坚强的性格使他能够坚持不懈。
26 justify j3DxR     
vt.证明…正当(或有理),为…辩护
参考例句:
  • He tried to justify his absence with lame excuses.他想用站不住脚的借口为自己的缺席辩解。
  • Can you justify your rude behavior to me?你能向我证明你的粗野行为是有道理的吗?
27 presidency J1HzD     
n.总统(校长,总经理)的职位(任期)
参考例句:
  • 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。
28 imprisonment I9Uxk     
n.关押,监禁,坐牢
参考例句:
  • His sentence was commuted from death to life imprisonment.他的判决由死刑减为无期徒刑。
  • He was sentenced to one year's imprisonment for committing bigamy.他因为犯重婚罪被判入狱一年。
29 compassionate PXPyc     
adj.有同情心的,表示同情的
参考例句:
  • She is a compassionate person.她是一个有同情心的人。
  • The compassionate judge gave the young offender a light sentence.慈悲的法官从轻判处了那个年轻罪犯。
30 immediate aapxh     
adj.立即的;直接的,最接近的;紧靠的
参考例句:
  • His immediate neighbours felt it their duty to call.他的近邻认为他们有责任去拜访。
  • We declared ourselves for the immediate convocation of the meeting.我们主张立即召开这个会议。
31 gathering ChmxZ     
n.集会,聚会,聚集
参考例句:
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
32 coverage nvwz7v     
n.报导,保险范围,保险额,范围,覆盖
参考例句:
  • There's little coverage of foreign news in the newspaper.报纸上几乎没有国外新闻报道。
  • This is an insurance policy with extensive coverage.这是一项承保范围广泛的保险。
33 axe 2oVyI     
n.斧子;v.用斧头砍,削减
参考例句:
  • Be careful with that sharp axe.那把斧子很锋利,你要当心。
  • The edge of this axe has turned.这把斧子卷了刃了。
34 crook NnuyV     
v.使弯曲;n.小偷,骗子,贼;弯曲(处)
参考例句:
  • He demanded an apology from me for calling him a crook.我骂他骗子,他要我向他认错。
  • She was cradling a small parcel in the crook of her elbow.她用手臂挎着一个小包裹。
35 inviting CqIzNp     
adj.诱人的,引人注目的
参考例句:
  • An inviting smell of coffee wafted into the room.一股诱人的咖啡香味飘进了房间。
  • The kitchen smelled warm and inviting and blessedly familiar.这间厨房的味道温暖诱人,使人感到亲切温馨。
36 quotation 7S6xV     
n.引文,引语,语录;报价,牌价,行情
参考例句:
  • He finished his speech with a quotation from Shakespeare.他讲话结束时引用了莎士比亚的语录。
  • The quotation is omitted here.此处引文从略。
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TAG标签:   VOA慢速英语  American  History
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