Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
Play some music from Broadway shows nominated for Tony Awards ...
Answer a question about several American government agencies ...
And report about a new reading campaign in the nation's capital.
D.C. We Read
City officials in Washington, D-C are making final plans for amonth-long reading campaign. The city government is urging everyonein Washington to read the same book during the month of June. ShepO'Neal has more.
The name of the campaign is "D-C We Read Two-Thousand-Two." Itsgoal is to get more people interested in reading.Graphic Image
The idea of having everyone in acity read the same book started in nineteen-ninety-seven in Seattle,Washington. Now Seattle does it every year. Several other citieshave followed the example.
Next month, the people of Washington will attempt to read thesame book at the same time. The book is called "Having Our Say: TheDelaney Sisters' First One-Hundred Years." Two African-Americanwomen wrote the book about their lives. Sarah Delaney was known asSadie, and Anne Elizabeth was called Bessie. They wereone-hundred-three and one-hundred-one years old when their book waspublished in nineteen-ninety-three. Their story was later made intoa play.
p>The Delaney sisters were born in the southern state of NorthCarolina. Their father was a slave. He became a teacher and thefirst black leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States.Sadie and Bessie had eight brothers and sisters. They all finishedcollege and were professionally successful.
Sadie and Bessie Delaney attended Columbia University in New YorkCity. Sadie became the first black home economics teacher there.Bessie became the city's second black female dentist. Neither womanever married. They lived together almost all their lives. Their bookis about family, education, racism, independence and the greatchanges that took place in America during the past one-hundredyears.
The reading campaign urges people to talk about ideas presentedin the Delaney Sisters' book. Washington's public library system hasalmost two-thousand copies of the book. Library officials haveplanned discussions and will show a film based on the book.
Molly Raphael is director of the D-C Library. She says she willconsider the campaign a success if it influences at least one personwho normally does not read to pick up the book. GovernmentSecurity Agencies
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Malaysia. Ong ChinHeng asks about three American government agencies - the FBI, theCIA and the NSA. All three are responsible in different ways for thesafety and security of the United States and its people.Graphic Image
The letters FBI represent theFederal Bureau of Investigation, the main investigating agency ofthe Department of Justice. The FBI investigates more thantwo-hundred-fifty different kinds of federal crimes such askidnapping and hijacking. It gathers information about people orgroups it believes are dangerous to national security. It helpscapture dangerous criminals and spies.
The FBI also provides services to other law enforcement agenciesin the United States and in foreign countries. It has the world'slargest collection of fingerprints and one of the world's best crimelaboratories.
The letters CIA represent the Central Intelligence Agency. Thisagency collects foreign intelligence information to help topgovernment officials make decisions about national security.
The CIA may take part in secret activities if ordered by thePresident. It is barred by law from collecting information about theactivities of American citizens within the United States. It is alsorestricted in the collection of intelligence directed againstAmerican citizens. Such collection is permitted only if there is areason to believe an American is involved in spying or internationalterrorism activities.
NSA is the National Security Agency. The NSA also providesintelligence information to American civilian and military leaders.The NSA protects all important secret information that is kept orsent through United States government equipment. It invents newtechnology through scientific research. It develops secret methodsof sending information. It also develops methods of reading secretinformation used by other governments. And it is a center of foreignlanguage study and research.
All three of these agencies have different parts to play inprotecting the national security of the United States. Agencyofficials are working to increase cooperation since the terroristattacks against the United States last September. The FBI recentlyannounced that it will increase its anti-terrror forces under amajor re-organization plan.
The Tony Awards
On Sunday, June second, the Tony Awards ceremony will honor thebest plays on Broadway in New York City. Mary Tillotson tells usabout these awards.
The Tony Awards are the work of a group called the AmericanTheater Wing. The group began as a way for theater people to help inthe war effort during World War One. It continued this work duringWorld War Two. Later, the Theater Wing helped returning soldiers. Itopened a school to train people to work in the theater. And it beganpresenting the Tony Awards to honor the best Broadway plays.
The award is named for Antoinette Perry, a producer, director andAmerican Theater Wing official. The name "Tony" is short forAntoinette, so the awards became known as the Tonys. The first Tonyswere given in nineteen-forty-seven.
The awards are presented to many people who work on Broadwayshows -- actors, directors, set designers, clothing designers, andmusic composers. Tony Awards are also given to the best dramaticplay and the best musical play of the year.
This year, four shows are nominated for Best Musical. "MammaMia!" presents songs made popular by the Swedish rock group, Abba.Here is the title song:Graphic Image
((CUT 1: MAMMA MIA))
"Sweet Smell of Success" tells about a newspaper writer."Thoroughly Modern Millie" is about a young woman from Kansas whotries to succeed in New York in the nineteen-twenties. Both musicalsare based on well-known American movies.
The last play nominated for Best Musical is about a time in thefuture when there is not enough water. People are forced to paymoney to use public toilets. We leave you now with the title songfrom "Urinetown: The Musical."
((CUT 2: URINETOWN))
This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And Ihope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC-VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.
This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by George Grow and NancySteinbach. Our studio engineer was Curtis Bynam. And our producerwas Paul Thompson.