Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
I'm Doug Johnson.
listen to music from the Cold War Kids …
a listener question about basketball superstar Michael Jordan …
report about a grand old flag's new home.
Ten years ago, first lady Hillary Clinton launched the
Save America's Treasures campaign.
America's famous flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, was at the center of
the effort. The flag flew over Fort
McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, Maryland, in eighteen fourteen. The
United States was at war with Britain. The sight of the flag still flying in
the early morning after the battle led Francis Scott Key to write his famous
poem, "The Star Spangled Banner," to celebrate the American victory. The poem
later became America's national song.
Shirley Griffith tells about the flag's history, how it was repaired and
where it is now.
commander of Fort McHenry, George Armistead, said he wanted a flag so large
that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance.
local flag maker, Mary Pickersgill, was chosen for the project. Four teenage girls -- her daughter, nieces
and a servant -- helped sew the giant flag.
It measured about nine by thirteen meters. A year later, it flew as bombs and rockets
burst over Baltimore Harbor.
nineteen twelve, the flag was given to the Smithsonian Institution in
Washington, D.C. One hundred years of
wear and tear showed on the flag.
Restoration expert Amelia Fowler sewed a material backing onto the flag
to make it stronger for hanging.
flag was hung in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in
nineteen sixty-four. Then in nineteen ninety-eight officials removed it for a
The Star-Spangled Banner went to a special conservation
laboratory. A wide moving bridge was
built. It floated right above the flag.
Restorers could lie on the bridge to work on every part of the
Experts also studied the cloth and condition of the
flag to decide exactly what environment would be best for it. When all the repairs were complete, the
Star-Spangled Banner was moved to its new home. The flag no longer hangs but
lies on a table in a partly darkened room.
A huge glass window provides a good view.
Brent Glass, director of the museum, said: "The
Star-Spangled Banner is one of our nation's most treasured objects." He said
its new surroundings are part of a plan to guarantee the long-term protection
of the flag and help future generations experience what it means to be an
Scott Cook of Burke, Virginia, praised the flag project:
SCOTT COOK: "The Star-Spangled Banner was getting in
really bad shape hanging up there vertically all those years. It was falling apart. That's a great
exhibit. It's very nicely done."
Our listener question this week comes from Turkey.
Erkut wants to know more about the basketball star Michael Jordan. Jordan is
widely considered the greatest basketball player of all time. He is most famous
for playing for the Chicago Bulls, but later in his career he played briefly
for the Washington Wizards.
Jeffrey Jordan was born in the Brooklyn area of New York City in nineteen
sixty-three. He went to high school and college in the state of North Carolina.
He played basketball in college for the North Carolina Tar Heels before being
chosen to play for the Chicago Bulls in nineteen eighty-four.
Jordan played for the Bulls for thirteen years. During this time, the team won
six championships. Jordan became one of the highest scoring players in the
National Basketball Association. He averaged thirty points a game during the
regular season. He was recognized as the NBA's most valuable player five times
during the regular season.
Jordan became famous for the way he jumped through the air to score points.
This skill earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness." Jordan also became known around the world for
appearing in advertisements for companies including Nike, Gatorade and Coca
Cola. Michael Jordan also won gold medals in nineteen eighty-four and nineteen
ninety-two representing the United States basketball team during the summer
retired from the Chicago Bulls in nineteen ninety-four to play minor league
baseball for one season. He retired from the team permanently in nineteen
ninety-nine. He played briefly for the Washington Wizards starting in two
Michael Jordan is currently an owner of the Charlotte
Bobcats professional basketball team. He has given his name to many other
businesses. There are several Michael Jordan restaurants. There is also a
Michael Jordan Motor Sports group that races motorcycles.
Michael Jordan has given large amounts of money to many
groups that help young people. These include the James R. Jordan Boys and Girls
Club and Family Life Center in Chicago, Illinois. This community center was
named in honor of his father, who was murdered in nineteen ninety-three.
Jordan name is not leaving the basketball court anytime soon. Michael Jordan's
twenty year old son Jeffrey now plays basketball for the University of
Cold War Kids
Cold War Kids is a young rock band based in Los
Angeles, California. Their popularity
has grown mainly on the Internet and from many live performances. Bob Doughty tells about the group and plays
some of its music.
Nathan Willett is the lead singer for Cold War
Kids. He also plays guitar and piano.
Jonnie Russell sings, plays guitar and percussion instruments. Matt Maust plays bass guitar and Matt Aveiro
is the drummer.
band's first album, "Robbers and Cowards," was released in two thousand six.
Here is "Hang Me Up To Dry," from that album.
Willett has said that the British band Radiohead was a big influence on Cold
War Kids. Other reported influences
include The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan and Billie Holiday.
you can hear some of their sounds in this next song from "Robbers and
Cowards." It is called "Robbers."
Cold War Kids has been performing in Europe for several
months. They released their second album, "Loyalty to Loyalty," in
September. We leave you now with a song
from that recording. Here is "Mexican
I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
It was written by Caty Weaver and Dana Demange, who was
also the producer. To read the text of this program and download audio, go to
our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.
us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special