Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.
This is Doug Johnson. On our show this week ... Music from the
A question about American cities that have hosted the Olympic
And...A report about a new museum in the middle western city of
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
The new National Underground
Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio officially opens on
August twenty-third. The name sounds as if it tells about a real
railroad. But the underground railroad was a secret organization. It
helped African American slaves escape their owners during the
eighteen hundreds. The slaves and the people who helped them flee
formed the underground railroad system.Shep O'Neal has more.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a special
museum. The Freedom Center is on the north side of the Ohio River.
That is part of an area that meant hope for slaves trying to escape.
It was called the "freedom corridor." People fleeing their owners
could stand on the other side of the river and dream of freedom
across the water.
The Freedom Center cost one hundred ten million dollars to build.
Its collection shows two hundred objects. These include a copy of a
wagon with a false bottom that was used to hide fleeing slaves.
There are also photographs of Americans who were activists against
Visitors can also see objects from the Civil War. The southern
states fought the northern states from eighteen sixty-one to
eighteen sixty-five. In eighteen sixty-three, President Abraham
Lincoln announced an order to free the slaves.
Perhaps the center's most interesting object is a small building
where slaves were kept. This wooden "pen" stands two levels high. A
slave trader built it in the eighteen thirties. People captured in
Africa were temporarily forced to stay inside the pen. Then they
were sold for service in places further south. The slave pen was
found on a farm in the state of Kentucky. The owner of the farm gave
it to the Freedom Center. Experts spent six years researching the
history of the building.
Television star Oprah Winfrey introduces one of the films shown
at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Actors tell
about a young woman who escapes slavery. She flees to a town called
Ripley, Ohio. Her former owners try to recapture her. But a family
active in the Underground Railroad helps her remain free.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will offer a
number of educational programs.
They include public speakers. Also, the center will provide
programs for visiting school groups and information for students
through an Internet Web site. It is www.freedomcenter.org.
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Bangalore, India.
Prashant Devidas asks how many American cities have hosted the
The Summer Olympic Games are now being played in Athens, Greece.
The games have taken place in six different cities in the United
States since the modern Olympic Games began in eighteen ninety-six.
The Summer Games in nineteen oh four were played in Saint Louis,
Missouri. Twelve nations took part in more than ninety events held
over more than four months. But only forty-two events included
athletes who were not from the United States. The Saint Louis
Olympics are important in the history of the games. They were the
first at which gold, silver and bronze medals were given for first,
second and third place in the competitions. And the first Africans
to compete in the Olympics did so in Saint Louis.
In nineteen thirty-two, the Summer Olympics were held in Los
Angeles, California. Thirty-seven nations took part in these games
held during the great economic depression. Experts say the level of
competition was extremely high. Eighteen world records were either
broken or equaled. These Olympics were the first to be held over
sixteen days. The length of the Olympics has remained between
fifteen and eighteen days ever since. Los Angeles also hosted the
Summer Olympics in nineteen eighty-four, when the Soviet Union
refused to take part.
A third American city to host the Summer Olympics was Atlanta,
Georgia in nineteen ninety-six. Almost two hundred nations took part
in more than two hundred events. The games set a record for the most
nations to win medals - seventy-nine.
Three other American cities have hosted the Winter Olympic Games
since that competition began in nineteen twenty-four. Lake Placid,
New York held the games in nineteen thirty-two and again in nineteen
eighty. Squaw Valley, California hosted them in nineteen sixty. And
Salt Lake City, Utah was the site of the most recent Winter Games in
two thousand two.
The Pixies Return
The Pixies are back. From nineteen eighty-six to nineteen
ninety-two, they gained a following among fans of alternative rock.
This influential group led by Black Francis (also known as Charles
Thompson) had four successful albums and several hit songs. Gwen
Outen has more on the Pixies' reunion.
It appears that the Pixies may have more fans now than before
they broke up. A lot of their current shows are selling out. In
fact, business is so good, the group is adding more performances
along the way. One of the songs most popular with audiences is the
nineteen eighty-nine hit, "Here Comes Your Man."
"Here Comes Your Man" was on "Doolittle," the second album from
the Pixies and their biggest seller. Another popular album
"Bossanova," came out in nineteen ninety with this song, "Allison."
The Pixies already have recorded one new song together. And their
agent hopes the band will put together a new album. But until then
you can enjoy them live ... if you can get tickets, that is.
We leave you with another song from "Doolittle. " Here are the
Pixies with "La La Love You."
This is Doug Johnson.
I hope you enjoyed AMERICAN MOSAIC. Join us again next week for
VOA's radio magazine in Special English.
This program was written by Nancy Steinbach, Jerilyn Watson and
Caty Weaver. Paul Thompson was the producer.