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VOA慢速英语2011--American History: Ford Leads Nation After Nixon Resigns

时间:2011-12-23 05:41来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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THE MAKING OF A NATION - American History: Ford1 Leads Nation After Nixon Resigns

 

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 tell the story of the thirty-eighth president of the United States.

GERALD FORD: “Mr. Chief Justice, my dear friends, my fellow Americans, the oath that I have taken is the same oath that was taken by George Washington and by every president under the Constitution. But I assume the presidency2 under extraordinary circumstances, never before experienced by Americans.”

(MUSIC)

Gerald Ford was sworn into office on August ninth, nineteen seventy-four. Ford was vice3 president to Richard Nixon, who had announced the day before that he would resign.

If Nixon had not resigned, he might have been removed from office. Congress had been moving to charge him with corruption4 in the Watergate case.

U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger administers the oath of office to Gerald Ford, whose wife, Betty, is at center

At his swearing-in ceremony, the new president spoke5 about the nation’s future.

GERALD FORD: "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule."

He went on to say:

GERALD FORD: "As we bind6 up the internal wounds of Watergate -- more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars -- let us restore the 'Golden Rule' to our political process and let brotherly love purge7 our hearts of suspicion and of hate."

Gerald Ford became the only leader in American history to have served both as vice president and president without being elected.

Richard Nixon chose him as vice president in October nineteen-seventy-three. That was when Nixon's former vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned because of criminal charges that he failed to pay his taxes.

When Nixon himself resigned, Ford became president.

Ford was a longtime congressman8 from the state of Michigan. He was well-liked by his congressional colleagues. His education was in economics and political science at the University of Michigan. Then he attended Yale Law School. During World War Two, he served as a Naval9 officer in the Pacific.

After the war, Ford entered politics. He was a member of the Republican Party. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in nineteen forty-eight. He won re-election twelve times. Republicans in the House elected him the minority leader during the administration of Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.

Ford was still minority leader when Richard Nixon, a fellow Republican, was elected president in nineteen sixty-eight. In his leadership position, Ford helped win approval of a number of Nixon's proposals. He became known for his strong loyalty10 to the president. It was no surprise, then, when Nixon named Ford as vice president.

Gerald Ford was an "accidental president." He came to office in a sudden turn of events. Almost as suddenly, he had to decide what to do about the former president.

After Nixon left office, he could have been charged with crimes for his part in covering up the events of Watergate. Instead, one month after Nixon resigned, President Ford settled the question. He pardoned Nixon for any crimes that he might have committed.

The pardoning of Nixon made many Americans angry. Some believed he should have been put on trial. They thought he might have answered more questions about Watergate if he had not been pardoned.

Ford said he pardoned Nixon in an effort to unite the country. For a while, though, the pardon only seemed to intensify11 the divisions.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN: "And I wondered if anyone had brought to your attention the fact that the Constitution specifically states that, even though somebody is impeached12, that person shall nonetheless be liable to punishment according to law.”

President Gerald Ford testifies at a House of Representatives hearing in 1974 on his pardon of Richard Nixon

In October nineteen seventy-four, President Ford appeared before a congressional hearing on the pardon. He gave a strong response to questioning by Democratic Representative Elizabeth Holtzman.

GERALD FORD: "Mrs. Holtzman, I was fully13 cognizant of the fact that the president, on resignation, was accountable for any criminal charges. But I would like to say that the reason I gave the pardon was not as to Mr. Nixon himself. I repeat – and I repeat with emphasis: The purpose of the pardon was to try and get the United States, the Congress, the president, and the American people focusing on the serious problems we have, both at home and abroad.

“And I was absolutely convinced then, as I am now, that if we had had this series – an indictment14, a trial, a conviction, and anything else that transpired15 after that – that the attention of the president, the congress, and the American people would have been diverted from the problems that we have to solve. And that was the principal reason for my granting of the pardon.”

(MUSIC)

Anger about the pardon was still strong when President Ford made another controversial decision. He pardoned men who had illegally avoided military service in the Vietnam War.

Most of them were not sent to prison. Instead, they were offered a chance to do work for their communities. Many of the men, however, did not accept the president's offer. Some stayed in Canada or other countries where they had fled to avoid the draft.

President Ford received greater public support when he asked Congress to limit the activities of the nation's intelligence agencies. He hoped better control would prevent future administrations from abusing the constitutional rights of Americans, as Nixon had done.

On another issue, Ford, while serving as vice president, had described inflation as America's "public enemy number one." He had supported several measures to fight it. As president, however, an economic recession forced him to cancel some of those measures. Inflation decreased during the recession, but unemployment increased.

On foreign policy issues, Ford kept Henry Kissinger as secretary of state. Kissinger had won much praise for his service to Richard Nixon, including in the opening of diplomatic ties with Communist China.

But Kissinger had also received much criticism. Critics accused him of interfering16 with civil liberties in the name of national security. They also accused him of supporting the overthrow17 of the Marxist government of Salvador Allende in Chile.

By the time Ford became president, the United States and the Soviet18 Union had taken steps to try to limit the spread of nuclear weapons. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev had signed two such agreements as part of the détente policy to ease Cold War tensions. Relations with China were also less tense than before.

U.S. Marine19 helicopter crewmen carry Vietnamese civilians20 to safety aboard the U.S.S. Blue Ridge21 on April 29, 1975. Their evacuation helicopter crashed on the deck of the amphibious command ship.

American policy in Southeast Asia, however, had failed. Involvement in the Vietnam War had officially ended the year before Gerald Ford became president. But fighting continued between South Vietnam and communist forces from the North.

The peace agreement signed by the United States and North Vietnam in nineteen seventy-three left South Vietnam to defend itself. By nineteen seventy-five, South Vietnamese forces were clearly in danger of defeat.

President Ford tried to prevent a communist takeover. He asked Congress to approve seven hundred million dollars in military aid for South Vietnam. Congress said no. The American people were tired of paying for the war.

(SOUND)

Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, fell to communist forces on April thirtieth, nineteen seventy-five.

President Ford ordered the rescue of American citizens and South Vietnamese who had supported the American efforts. Few people who saw those struggling to escape Saigon will ever forget that day.

MARINE AT AMERICAN EMBASSY: “Please stop pushing – one at a time.”

Terrified Vietnamese were screaming for help at the American Embassy. Everyone was pushing, trying to escape the city. Some held on to overloaded22 military helicopters as the aircraft tried to take off.

As a signal to American citizens to prepare to leave, Armed Forces Radio had played the song "White Christmas."

(MUSIC: “White Christmas”/Bing Crosby)

Some were to go to an apartment building where a helicopter would pick them up from the roof. But other people also tried to get onto the helicopter -- a scene captured in a famous news photo of the fall of Saigon.

The former South Vietnamese capital was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

(MUSIC)

In the Middle East, Henry Kissinger led negotiations23 after the nineteen seventy-three Arab-Israeli war. Israel agreed to give up some captured territory. In return, the United States promised not to recognize or deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization unless the PLO met certain conditions.

In September nineteen seventy-five, Israel and Egypt signed an agreement that included permission for American civilians to act as observers along the ceasefire lines. Henry Kissinger was praised for his peacemaking efforts, though peace in the Middle East would remain a challenge for future administrations.

(MUSIC)

At home, things seemed better as the presidential election campaign of nineteen seventy-six began. That year marked the nation's two hundredth birthday. The United States was not fighting any wars. Unemployment remained high, but inflation had eased. Most importantly, Gerald Ford had led the country through the difficult period after Watergate.

The nineteen seventy-six election will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

You can find our series online with transcripts24, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at voanews.cn. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I’m Steve Ember, inviting25 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 #220. For earlier programs, type "Making of a Nation" in quotation26 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 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。
2 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。
3 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。
4 corruption TzCxn     
n.腐败,堕落,贪污
参考例句:
  • The people asked the government to hit out against corruption and theft.人民要求政府严惩贪污盗窃。
  • The old man reviled against corruption.那老人痛斥了贪污舞弊。
5 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。
6 bind Vt8zi     
vt.捆,包扎;装订;约束;使凝固;vi.变硬
参考例句:
  • I will let the waiter bind up the parcel for you.我让服务生帮你把包裹包起来。
  • He wants a shirt that does not bind him.他要一件不使他觉得过紧的衬衫。
7 purge QS1xf     
n.整肃,清除,泻药,净化;vt.净化,清除,摆脱;vi.清除,通便,腹泻,变得清洁
参考例句:
  • The new president carried out a purge of disloyal army officers.新总统对不忠诚的军官进行了清洗。
  • The mayoral candidate has promised to purge the police department.市长候选人答应清洗警察部门。
8 Congressman TvMzt7     
n.(美)国会议员
参考例句:
  • 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 naval h1lyU     
adj.海军的,军舰的,船的
参考例句:
  • He took part in a great naval battle.他参加了一次大海战。
  • The harbour is an important naval base.该港是一个重要的海军基地。
10 loyalty gA9xu     
n.忠诚,忠心
参考例句:
  • She told him the truth from a sense of loyalty.她告诉他真相是出于忠诚。
  • His loyalty to his friends was never in doubt.他对朋友的一片忠心从来没受到怀疑。
11 intensify S5Pxe     
vt.加强;变强;加剧
参考例句:
  • We must intensify our educational work among our own troops.我们必须加强自己部队的教育工作。
  • They were ordered to intensify their patrols to protect our air space.他们奉命加强巡逻,保卫我国的领空。
12 impeached 13b912bb179971fca2f006fab8f6dbb8     
v.控告(某人)犯罪( impeach的过去式和过去分词 );弹劾;对(某事物)怀疑;提出异议
参考例句:
  • Elected officials can be impeached. 经过选举产生的官员可以被弹劾。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The judge was impeached for taking a bribe. 这个法官被检举接受贿赂。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
13 fully Gfuzd     
adv.完全地,全部地,彻底地;充分地
参考例句:
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
14 indictment ybdzt     
n.起诉;诉状
参考例句:
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
  • They issued an indictment against them.他们起诉了他们。
15 transpired eb74de9fe1bf6f220d412ce7c111e413     
(事实,秘密等)被人知道( transpire的过去式和过去分词 ); 泄露; 显露; 发生
参考例句:
  • It transpired that the gang had had a contact inside the bank. 据报这伙歹徒在银行里有内应。
  • It later transpired that he hadn't been telling the truth. 他当时没说真话,这在后来显露出来了。
16 interfering interfering     
adj. 妨碍的 动词interfere的现在分词
参考例句:
  • He's an interfering old busybody! 他老爱管闲事!
  • I wish my mother would stop interfering and let me make my own decisions. 我希望我母亲不再干预,让我自己拿主意。
17 overthrow PKDxo     
v.推翻,打倒,颠覆;n.推翻,瓦解,颠覆
参考例句:
  • After the overthrow of the government,the country was in chaos.政府被推翻后,这个国家处于混乱中。
  • The overthrow of his plans left him much discouraged.他的计划的失败使得他很气馁。
18 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。
19 marine 77Izo     
adj.海的;海生的;航海的;海事的;n.水兵
参考例句:
  • Marine creatures are those which live in the sea. 海洋生物是生存在海里的生物。
  • When the war broke out,he volunteered for the Marine Corps.战争爆发时,他自愿参加了海军陆战队。
20 civilians 2a8bdc87d05da507ff4534c9c974b785     
平民,百姓( civilian的名词复数 ); 老百姓
参考例句:
  • the bloody massacre of innocent civilians 对无辜平民的血腥屠杀
  • At least 300 civilians are unaccounted for after the bombing raids. 遭轰炸袭击之后,至少有300名平民下落不明。
21 ridge KDvyh     
n.山脊;鼻梁;分水岭
参考例句:
  • We clambered up the hillside to the ridge above.我们沿着山坡费力地爬上了山脊。
  • The infantry were advancing to attack the ridge.步兵部队正在向前挺进攻打山脊。
22 overloaded Tmqz48     
a.超载的,超负荷的
参考例句:
  • He's overloaded with responsibilities. 他担负的责任过多。
  • She has overloaded her schedule with work, study, and family responsibilities. 她的日程表上排满了工作、学习、家务等,使自己负担过重。
23 negotiations af4b5f3e98e178dd3c4bac64b625ecd0     
协商( negotiation的名词复数 ); 谈判; 完成(难事); 通过
参考例句:
  • negotiations for a durable peace 为持久和平而进行的谈判
  • Negotiations have failed to establish any middle ground. 谈判未能达成任何妥协。
24 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
25 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。
26 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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