Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
I'm Doug Johnson.
listen to a new album from James Taylor …
a listener question about native American Indians …
talk to some Americans about the Thanksgiving holiday.
Next Thursday, November twenty-seventh, is the
Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.
Americans will gather with family and friends to share a big meal. They
might play games, tell stories or watch football on television together. Faith Lapidus reports on a few Americans and
their Thanksgivings, past and present.
Angelo Rosa has more Thanksgiving memories than most
people. The man from Drexel Hill,
Pennsylvania is one hundred years old.
He lives in the same house where he celebrated a great number of Thanksgivings.
he says it was different when he was a child.
Mister Rosa was just three when his family came to America. He says Thanksgiving was not a tradition his
family celebrated when he was a child.
ANGELO ROSA: "When we were small children, Thanksgiving was never a
very big holiday because at the time it was not promoted the way it is today so
we actually didn't pay too much attention to it."
he says, his parents faced a language barrier.
ANGELO ROSA: "They were from the Naples area of Italy. They spoke
very broken English, because they were the first generation that came over
And the family had little money. There were six Rosa children. Mister Rosa's father was a coal miner in
Pennsylvania. The family was not able to have big, costly dinners, especially
during the economic depression of the nineteen thirties.
But Mister Rosa says Thanksgiving
dinners became a tradition in his own family after he married and had children.
Thanksgiving, Angelo Rosa will go to the home of his daughter about twenty
minutes away. He will celebrate the day
with loved ones, including his great-grandchildren.
On the other side of the country, Cathie Dahlstrom will
be cutting a lot of cabbage. She has to prepare coleslaw for a group of thirty-five
to forty Thanksgiving celebrants in Concord, California.
We asked Miz Dahlstrom what she is thankful for this
year, with the economy facing severe problems and American forces fighting two
wars. Her first answer came quickly:
"The election." She said she has a real
sense of renewed hope that things can be better in America. She said she also is deeply grateful for her
very large family. Miz Dahlstrom has one
daughter. She has five younger brothers
and sisters. She also has eight step-brothers
and sisters. Many of them and their
families will be at the Thanksgiving dinner.
Lastly, she says she is very thankful that her
eighty-two year old mother has a new relationship. Her mother was widowed some years ago. She is now dating a ninety-one-year-old man who has
six grown children.
Could Cathie Dahlstrom's Thanksgivings get
even bigger and more complex? Maybe. And we would bet she would welcome such
Our VOA listener question this week comes from
India. Nirmal wants to know what
happened to the Native American Indians after the Europeans arrived in what is
now the United States. The listener from
Kerala state wants to know if Native Americans still live in the country.
Native American tribes are living in the United States today. However, whole groups of Indians died in the
years after Europeans arrived and the United States was established.
Disease was a major problem. The Europeans brought diseases that were
completely new to the natives. They had no natural defenses. The spread of diseases like smallpox
sometimes killed whole tribes.
Differences in religion, culture and ideas about
ownership and land rights led to long, bloody battles. Such a war began in
sixteen seventy-five between settlers and the Wamponoag tribe in the Northeast.
For two years, thousands of Indians and settlers -- men, women and children --
history experts say the Narraganset Indians were the real victims of that
conflict. They did not take part in the
war. They did not support one group or
the other. But, the settlers killed almost
all the Narraganset because they had learned to fear all Indians.
the eighteen hundreds, white settlers pushed west across the country. A United States government policy called the
Indian Removal Act forced Native Americans to leave areas where they had lived
for centuries. One of the most famous Indian expulsions is known as the Trail
of Tears. In the early eighteen thirties, the United States government ordered
five tribes to leave their lands east of the Mississippi River. They were told to go to what is now the
western state of Oklahoma.
Over time, tens of thousands of Indians made the trip. But thousands died along the way. And hundreds of others died while fighting
there are about two and one-half million Native Americans and Alaskan Natives
living in the United States. The federal
government recognizes more than five hundred sixty tribal governments. These are permitted some self-rule powers.
The last United States census found that one-third of
all American Indians lived in three states: California, Arizona and Oklahoma.
James Taylor has been writing and recording hit songs
since the late nineteen sixties. His
voice still has a sweet, youthful sound.
But as he ages he gets better and better at recording songs made famous
by other people. Barbara Klein plays
some of these "Covers" from Taylor's new album of the same name.
Taylor's cover of "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved By You)" came out in nineteen
seventy-five. It was one of his most
popular recordings ever. On the new
album, Taylor tries another hit song by the same writers, brothers Brian and
Eddie Holland. Here is "(I'm a)
Taylor visits country music on this album, too.
Here is his version of a beautiful John Anderson song from nineteen
ninety-two. It is called "Seminole
Taylor is still writing his own music, too.
He is currently working on an album of new material. It will be his first since "October Road" in
two thousand two. At sixty years old,
this artist is still going strong. As
proof, we leave you with James Taylor performing the Buddy Holly song "Not Fade
I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
It was written and produced by Caty Weaver. To read the
text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site,
us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special