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7m体育比分直播:#212: Lyndon Johnson Becomes President

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Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as president with Jacqueline Kennedy at his side hours after her husband's murder in Dallas
Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as president with Jacqueline Kennedy at his side hours after her husband's murder in Dallas

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 begin the story of President Lyndon Johnson.

(MUSIC)

WALTER CRONKITE (CBS TV): "From Dallas Texas, the flash, apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1 PM Central Standard Time, two o'clock Eastern Standard Time.

Lyndon Baines Johnson became America's thirty-sixth president suddenly.

WALTER CRONKITE: "Vice President Lyndon Johnson has left the hospital in Dallas. Presumably, he will be taking the oath of office shortly, and become the thirty-sixth President of the United States."

On November twenty-second, nineteen sixty-three, President John Kennedy was murdered.

Kennedy and Johnson, his vice president, were in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was shot as his open car drove through the city. Within a few hours, Johnson was sworn into office. The swearing-in took place on the presidential plane, Air Force One, at Dallas' Love Field.

The plane returned to Andrews Air Force Base near Washington carrying the new president and the body of the former president.

At Andrews, President Johnson read a brief statement. He ended with these words: "I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask for your help, and God's."

(MUSIC)

Before he was vice president, LBJ had served for many years in the Senate and the House of Representatives. He grew up in small towns in Texas. He finished high school at age fifteen. He traveled and worked for a few years before he entered Southwest Texas State Teachers College. There he was a student leader and a political activist.

In nineteen thirty-one a newly elected congressman asked Johnson to work for him as his secretary in Washington. Four years later, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Johnson as Texas director of Roosevelt's National Youth Administration.

Senator Lyndon Johnson with his wife, Lady Bird, before flying to their home in Texas from Washington on August 25, 1955
Senator Lyndon Johnson with his wife, Lady Bird, before flying to their home in Texas from Washington on August 25, 1955

Two years after that, in nineteen thirty-seven, Johnson won a special election for a seat in the House of Representatives. He served in the House for twelve years. When the United States entered World War Two, Johnson was the first member of Congress at that time to volunteer for active duty. After the war, he ran for the Senate, where he also served for twelve years.

Johnson loved politics and became an expert in the operations of government. He would need all of that knowledge as president of a nation facing problems near and far.

(SOUND: Vietnam War gunfire)

When Johnson took office, communist forces were fighting South Vietnamese troops supported by the United States. Also there were continuing worries about nuclear war with the Soviet Union. At home, there was racial conflict. Many Americans were out of work, and there was the threat of a railroad strike.

Johnson began his presidency by working hard for legislation that President Kennedy had proposed. Johnson had voted against civil rights legislation when he served in the Senate. But now he urged Congress to support the idea, and Congress agreed.

The nineteen sixty-four Civil Rights Act barred discrimination against minorities in jobs and in restaurants and other businesses.

LYNDON JOHNSON: "We believe that all men are created equal. Yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain unalienable rights. Yet many Americans do not enjoy those rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty. Yet millions are being deprived of those blessings -- not because of their own failures -- but because of the color of their skin."

The president said that such a situation could not continue in America. To treat people unfairly because of their race, he said, violated the Constitution and the idea of democracy.

Lyndon Johnson succeeded in getting Congress to pass more civil rights legislation in nineteen sixty-five and sixty-eight.

LYNDON JOHNSON: "Many of the issues of civil rights are very complex and most difficult. But about this there can -- and should be -- no argument. Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote... There is no reason that can excuse the denial of that right.? There is no duty which weighs more heavily on us than the duty we have to ensure that right."

Many southern states used so-called literacy tests as a way to deny blacks the right to vote.

LYNDON JOHNSON: "The Negro citizen may go to register only to be told that the day is wrong, or the hour is late, or the official in charge is absent. And if he persists and, if he manages to present himself to the registrar, he may be disqualified because he did not spell out his middle name, or because he abbreviated a word on the application.

President Johnson talks with civil rights leaders, from left, Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and Whitney Young at the White House in January 1964
President Johnson talks with civil rights leaders, from left, Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and Whitney Young at the White House in January 1964

"And if he manages to fill out an application, he is given a test. The registrar is the sole judge of whether he passes this test. He may be asked to recite the entire Constitution, or explain the most complex provisions of state law.

And even a college degree cannot be used to prove that he can read and write."

The Civil Rights Act of nineteen sixty-five said states could not prevent citizens from voting just because they could not read very well.

The nineteen sixty-eight law barred discrimination against blacks in housing.

Johnson was from the South. That -- and his ability to persuade people -- helped him get southern conservatives in Congress to support the civil rights legislation.

He also had other ideas for a better America. He called his plan the Great Society. He talked about it in a speech at the University of Michigan:

LYNDON JOHNSON: "The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning. The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents."

Johnson launched the War on Poverty, a series of bills designed to help the poor. But his efforts to pay for social programs and a war overseas led to inflation.

Vietnam was not the only place where Johnson used military force. In nineteen sixty-five he sent more than twenty thousand troops to intervene in the Dominican Republic. He worried that a revolution could lead to a communist takeover of that Caribbean nation.

(MUSIC)

Lyndon Johnson served the last fourteen months of President Kennedy's term. Then in nineteen sixty-four he ran for a full term. The Democratic Party strongly supported him and accepted his choice of Hubert Humphrey for vice president. Humphrey was a liberal senator from the state of Minnesota.

Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans had a difficult time choosing their presidential candidate. Delegates at the party's nominating convention finally chose Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was a strongly conservative senator from Arizona.

BARRY GOLDWATER: "Certainly, simple honesty is not too much to demand of men in government. And let our Republicanism, so focused and so dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by unthinking and stupid labels. I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

The Republican candidate for vice president was William Miller, a congressman from New York State.

Americans voted in November of nineteen sixty-four. Lyndon Johnson won more than sixty percent of the popular vote. Still he had hoped for an even bigger victory. He wanted proof that Americans were voting for him, and not the shadow of John Kennedy.

In his inaugural speech, Johnson said his Great Society would never be finished -- it would keep growing and improving.

LYNDON JOHNSON: "I do not believe that the Great Society is the ordered, changeless and sterile battalion of the ants. It is the excitement of becoming -- always becoming, trying, probing, falling, resting and trying again -- but always trying and always gaining."

In nineteen sixty-five, he won congressional approval of Medicare, a health insurance program for Americans age sixty-five and older. President Harry Truman had called for such a plan twenty years earlier. Johnson presented Truman and his wife, Bess, with Medicare cards numbers one and two. Under Johnson, Congress also approved Medicaid, a health care program for the poor and disabled.

In nineteen sixty-seven, President Johnson appointed the nation's first black justice to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall.

ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATORS: "Hell no, we won't go!"

Around the country, President Johnson faced growing opposition to the war in Vietnam. More and more American troops were dying.

Lyndon Johnson may have wanted to be remembered as a great president, but the war came to redefine his presidency. That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at 球盘体育比分 www.341124.live. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember, inviting you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

___

This was program #212.

1963年11月22號,美國總統肯尼迪遇刺身亡,副總統林登.貝恩斯.約翰遜成為美國第36任總統。

11月22號那天,肯尼迪和副總統約翰遜都在德克薩斯州的達拉斯??夏岬獻懦ㄅ癯凳還錮溝穆飛嫌齟?,幾小時后,約翰遜就在達拉斯拉芙菲爾德機場的總統專機--空軍一號上宣誓就職了。

空軍一號隨后帶著新總統約翰遜和已故總統肯尼迪的遺體返回首都華盛頓附近的安德魯空軍基地。約翰遜在安德魯空軍基地宣讀了簡短的聲明。聲明最后說:"我會盡力,這是我唯一能做的,我需要你們的幫助,也需要上帝的幫助。"

林登.約翰遜擔任副總統前,曾在國會參眾兩院供職多年。他從小在德克薩斯州的小城鎮里長大,15歲就讀完了高中,畢業后,花了幾年時間四處旅行,打工,最后回到西南德克薩斯州立師范學院讀書,成為學生領袖和政治活動積極分子。

1931年,一位新當選的國會議員請約翰遜到華盛頓去,給自己當秘書。四年過后,富蘭克林.羅斯福總統任命約翰遜為羅斯福全國青年局在德克薩斯州的負責人。

兩年過后,約翰遜在1937年國會一次特別選舉中獲勝,成為美國聯邦眾議員,一干就是12年。美國加入二戰后,約翰遜是第一個主動提出入伍服役的國會議員。戰后他重歸政界,當選聯邦參議員,又干了12年。

約翰遜熱愛政治,在政界多年的磨煉讓他對政府的運作了如指掌。他接任總統后,恰恰需要這些經驗,來解決國家面對的國內和國際上的種種問題。

約翰遜繼任總統時,北越共產武裝正在跟美國支持的南越部隊作戰。與此同時,美蘇兩國爆發核戰爭的可能性也是大家的一塊心病。同時,美國國內種族沖突嚴峻,很多美國人失業,鐵路罷工一觸即發。

約翰遜上任后,大力推動肯尼迪總統在世時提出的立法。約翰遜擔任參議員時,曾反對民權立法,但如今,他卻極力要求,并最終得到了國會的支持。1964年通過的民權法案禁止在工作場所、餐館和其他生意場所對少數族裔的歧視行為。

林登.約翰遜說:"我們相信人人生來平等;但是很多人都沒能得到平等對待。我們相信人人都有與生俱來的權利,但是很多美國人都無法享受這些權利。我們相信人人都應享受自由,但是數百萬人卻被剝奪了自由,不是他們自己的失敗,而是因為他們的膚色。"

約翰遜總統說,這種情況不能繼續下去。因為種族的原因將人區別對待,違反了憲法和民主理念。在約翰遜的推動下,美國國會1965年和1968年又通過了更多的民權法案。

約翰遜總統說:"許多民權問題都很復雜,很棘手。但是在這個問題上,不應該,也不能夠存在任何爭議。每一個美國公民都必須有平等的投票權,沒有任何理由剝奪他們的投票權。確保這項權力是我們肩負的最沉重的擔子。"

當時,美國南方的一些州利用所謂的"文化考試"來剝奪黑人的投票權。約翰遜總統說:"黑人公民參加選民登記時,可能會被告知,日子錯了,時間不對,管事的人不在。如果他堅持找到了負責注冊的人,他也可能會因為沒有拼出自己中間的名字被取消資格,或者是他在填寫申請時某個字用了縮寫。就算是他填好了申請表,他還得參加考試。登記官是唯一能決定他考試是否通過的裁判。他可能要背誦整篇憲法,或是解釋州立法里最復雜的規定。即便是大學畢業證書也不能用來證明此人能讀會寫。"

1965年民權法案規定,各州不能因為公民讀寫能力差,就剝奪他們的投票權。1968年立法規定,在住房上禁止歧視黑人。

約翰遜來自南方,他的南方背景和他說服人的能力,都對他成功說服國會里的南方保守派支持民權法案起到了作用。他對美國的未來也充滿了憧憬,提出了建設"偉大社會"的計劃。他在密西根大學的一次講話中說:"偉大社會以物質極大豐富和人人享受自由為基礎,要求結束貧困和種族不公,這是我們決心做到的。但這還只是一個開始。在偉大社會里,每個孩子都能受教育,豐富自己的頭腦,拓展自己的才華。"

約翰遜任期內,對貧困宣戰,推出了一系列幫助窮人的法案,但是他用于社會救助項目和在海外打仗的花銷,卻造成了國內的通貨膨脹。約翰遜出兵的地方不只越南一處。1965年,他曾派遣兩萬多兵力到多米尼加共和國,因為他擔心那里發生的革命,會讓這個加勒比海國家成為共產政權的天下。

林登.約翰遜做完前總統肯尼迪剩下的最后14個月的總統任期后,1964年參選連任。民主黨大力支持他,并接受了他選擇的副總統參選人休伯特.漢弗萊,漢弗萊是來自明尼蘇達州的自由派參議員。

跟民主黨人相比,共和黨人在選擇總統候選人方面,可是大費周折。共和黨全國代表大會最后選擇了來自亞利桑那州的鐵桿保守派參議員巴里.戈德華特。戈德華特說:"沒錯,最基本的誠實是對政府官員很起碼的要求。我們不要給清晰專注的共和黨理念貼上任何輕率愚蠢的標簽,把它們變得模糊不清,毫無用處。我想提醒大家,以捍衛自由為目的的極端主義不是壞事,我還想提醒大家,在追求公正時的溫和也不是什么好事。"

共和黨副總統候選人是來自紐約州的眾議員威廉.米勒。在1964年11月的美國總統大選中,林登.約翰遜贏得了百分之60多的選票,但還是不如他希望的那么多。他希望能從壓倒性勝利上看出,美國人民的票是投給他的,而不是投給約翰.肯尼迪的影子。

約翰遜在就職演說中表示,他的偉大社會永遠不會建成,而是會不斷發展和改進。約翰遜說:"我不認為偉大社會是有序的,毫無變化的,無菌的螞蟻營。偉大社會將不斷改善,始終在變,不斷努力,摸索,失敗,休整,再嘗試,但是始終都在努力,而且不斷進取。"

1965年,約翰遜提出的針對65以上老年人的醫療保健制度得到國會批準。美國前總統哈里.杜魯門早在20年前就曾提出過這項計劃。約翰遜把第一號和第二號保健卡正式頒發給杜魯門夫婦。約翰遜任期內,美國國會還批準了幫助窮人和殘疾人的醫療補助制度。1967年,約翰遜總統任命瑟古德.馬歇爾為聯邦最高法院大法官,馬歇爾是第一個進入最高法院的非洲裔美國人。

與此同時,美國各地的反戰浪潮不斷高漲,美軍士兵傷亡人數越來越多。林登.約翰遜希望后人把他看做一位偉大的總統,但是他的歷史遺產勢必要由越戰來定義。

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