Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
play music written by Cole Porter ...
tell about a man who may be Americas's most famous athlete ...
and report about the holiday that honors Martin Luther KingJunior.
Martin Luther King Junior
Monday, January twenty-first is Martin Luther King Day in theUnited States. It celebrates the life and work of the American civilrights leader. Sarah Long tells us about him.
Martin Luther King Junior was born on January fifteenth,Nineteen-Twenty-Nine in Atlanta, Georgia. His father was a ministerof a Christian Baptist Church.At a June5, 1961, press conference in New York.
At that time, laws in the Americansouth kept black people separate from white people. The laws forcedblacks to attend separate schools and live in separate areas of thecity. Blacks did not have the same civil rights as whites.
p>Martin Luther King attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. Therehe studied the ideas of India's spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi. Healso studied American philosopher Henry David Thoreau. Both Gandhiand Thoreau wrote about ways to fight injustice. They urged peopleto disobey unjust laws, but not to use violence.
Martin Luther King Junior wanted to spread these ideas aboutpeaceful protest. He became a Baptist minister like his father. Heand his wife Coretta moved to Montgomery, Alabama.
One day in Nineteen-Fifty-Five, a black woman got on a city busin Montgomery. She sat in a seat saved for white people. She refusedto move. She was arrested.
Martin Luther King organized a peaceful protest against the citybus system. The protest succeeded. The Supreme Court later ruledthat racial separation in the Montgomery bus system was illegal.Martin Luther King became well known. Groups formed to protestracial separation. He became the leader of the struggle.
Each year, Americans celebrate Martin Luther King's life and workon the Monday nearest his birthday. Schools and government officesare closed. Cities and towns hold special ceremonies to honor him.These include music events, readings and movies.
For more information about the life and work of Martin LutherKing Junior, listen Sunday to the broadcast of the Special Englishprogram PEOPLE IN AMERICA.
Yesterday, January seventeenth, was the birthday of Americanboxing champion Muhammad Ali. He was sixty years old. Muhammad Aliis the only professional boxer to win the heavyweight championshipthree times. Shep O'Neal tells us about him.
ANNCR:Standingover Sonny Liston, 1965
He was born in Louisville,Kentucky, in Nineteen-Forty-Two. His parents named him Cassius Clay.
Cassius Clay won a gold medal for boxing at the Nineteen-SixtySummer Olympic Games in Rome, Italy. He was eighteen years old. Thenhe became a professional boxer.
Cassius Clay won the heavyweight boxing championship for thefirst time in Nineteen-Sixty-Four when he defeated Sonny Liston.Then he joined the Black Muslim religion and changed his name toMuhammad Ali.
In Nineteen-Sixty-Seven, Ali refused to serve in the UnitedStates army during the Vietnam War. The World Boxing Associationtook away his title as champion and refused to let him fight again.
A court later found him guilty of refusing to serve in themilitary. However, in Nineteen-Seventy-One, the United StatesSupreme Court changed the lower court's decision. America's highestcourt said Ali had the right to refuse to serve in the militarybecause of religious reasons.
Ali re-gained the heavyweight championship inNineteen-Seventy-Four by defeating George Foreman. He lost thechampionship to Leon Spinks in Nineteen-Seventy-Eight, thenre-gained it by defeating Spinks later that year.
Muhammad Ali often appeared on television. He called himself "TheGreatest." He said his boxing method was to "float like a butterflyand sting like a bee." He wrote funny poems about his opponents. Hetraveled around the world. Ali earned a lot of money as a boxer. Heused some it to build schools, hospitals and Islamic religiouscenters.
Muhammad Ali boxed professionally for twenty-two years. He hadmore than sixty fights. He retired from boxing in Nineteen-Eighty.The next year, doctors discovered that he had Parkinson's disease, anervous system disorder. Ali did not often appear in public afterthat. But in Nineteen-Ninety-Six, he lit the fire to open the SummerOlympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. He recently attended the openingof a movie made about his life, called "Ali."
Earlier this month, officials in Los Angeles, Californiaannounced they were naming January seventeenth in his honor. Theysaid the city was honoring Muhammad Ali for his boxing skills andhis humanitarian work.
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Peru. CesarMontanez Revenga asks about American songwriter Cole Porter.
Cole Porter wrote almost one-thousand songs, mostly in theNineteen-Twenties, Thirties and Forties. Yet they are still beingsung and played today. One of his best songs is "Night And Day."Lena Horne sings it here.Graphic Image
((CUT 1: NIGHT AND DAY))
Cole Porter was born in Eighteen-Ninety-One in the state ofIndiana. He died in Nineteen-Sixty-Four. He lived in Europe as ayoung man. He served with the French military during World War One.Cole Porter married Linda Lee Thomas in Nineteen-Nineteen. They werevery rich and gave parties for their friends that lasted for days.
Although happily married most of the time, Cole Porter washomosexual. This was both forbidden and accepted in high society atthat time. Love affairs between men were not secret. But they couldnever be admitted publicly.
Cole Porter wrote songs about love, passion and desire. The wordswere often unexpected and shocking for their time. Here is anexample: Susannah McCorkle sings the original words to Cole Porter'sfamous song, "Anything Goes."
((CUT 2: ANYTHING GOES))
Cole Porter won fame as a musical theater writer by the earlyNineteen-Thirties. His plays were produced on Broadway in New YorkCity. He had a new play every year or so. We leave you now with oneof his most beautiful songs. It was written for theNineteen-Thirty-Five show "Jubilee." Ella Fitzgerald sings "Beginthe Beguine."
((CUT 3: BEGIN THE BEGUINE))
This is Doug Johnson . I hope you enjoyed our program today. AndI hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.
This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Nancy Steinbach andCarolyn Weaver. Our studio engineer was Tom Verba. And our producerwas Paul Thompson.