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AMERICAN MOSAIC - November 23, 2001 - 2001-11-22


Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English. This is Doug Johnson. On our program today:

We play some award-winning country music ...

answer a question about Muslims in the United States ...

and report about a historic museum in the southeastern state of North Carolina.

Wright Brothers Museum


Americans Orville and Wilbur Wright will always be remembered in history as the inventors of modern flight. They made the world’s first flight in a machine that was heavier than air and powered by an engine. Shep O’Neal tells us more about the brothers and a memorial that honors their success.


The Wright brothers did most of their research and test flights on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was a place with strong winds, hills from which to launch their flying machines and a soft place to land.

Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first controlled powered flight in history on December Seventeenth, Nineteen-Oh-Three. They carried out four tests in their first airplane they called the Wright Flyer. The first flight traveled thirty-seven meters and lasted twelve seconds. The longest and most historic test flight flew two-hundred-sixty meters and lasted fifty-nine seconds.

Visitors to the Outer Banks in North Carolina can see a memorial to the Wright brothers. It is built on the same fields where they did their research. An eighteen-meter high rock memorial was completed in Nineteen-Thirty-Two. It sits on top of Kill Devil Hill. The brothers used this sand hill for more than one-thousand test flights.

Two other buildings near Kill Devil Hill show how the Wright brothers lived while doing their research. One building shows where they ate, slept, and built test equipment. The other is similar to the place where they kept their flying machines.

A large rock near the memorial marks where the Wright Flyer first left the ground. Numbered signs show the landing points for the first four historic test flights. Following those tests, the Wright Flyer was damaged by the wind. It never flew again. However, a model of the plane is in the visitors center at Kill Devil Hill. Today, the real Nineteen-Oh-Three Wright Flyer belongs to the Smithsonian Institution. It is hanging in the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D-C.

Islam in the United States


Our VOA listener question this week comes from Indonesia. Suherman Rosyidi asks about Islam and Muslims in the United States.

There are more than one-thousand-million people around the world who are Muslims. They practice the religion Islam. About six-million Muslims live in the United States. Only about one in five Muslims in the world are Arabs.

Yet some people from the Middle East are having a difficult time in the United States since the terrorist attacks September eleventh. The men responsible for the attacks were Arab. They were part of the Muslim al-Qaeda group led by Osama bin Laden. He is Muslim and has declared a holy war against the United States and the West.

Some Americans believed that all Muslims agreed with what the terrorists did. Because of this, many Muslims and other people from the Middle East have said they are being treated unfairly in the United States. For example, the newspaper USA Today reported that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received about seventy charges by Muslim workers. The commission says forty of those charges involve workers saying they were wrongly dismissed from their jobs. Some workers say the reason they are being treated this way is because of their religion or nationality.

After the terrorist attacks, President Bush told Americans not to blame all Muslim people for the acts of a few. He said the United States-led war in Afghanistan is against terrorism, not Islam. However, the United States government has begun to use unusual measures to find and stop future terrorists.

Last week, the State Department said it will carry out increased investigations of Arab and Muslim men seeking permission to come to the United States. The Justice Department said it will question more than five-thousand young men. The young men are in the United States as visitors from countries where terrorist groups are active.

Civil rights groups and groups representing Arab-Americans have expressed concern about this. They want to make sure that people are not treated differently because of their religion or nationality.

However, not all Muslims in America have reported unfair treatment since the September attacks. Some say the tragedy has given them a chance to educate other Americans about their religion. And they are able to show that Islam does not agree with what the terrorists did.

Country Music Association Awards


The Country Music Association held its yearly awards ceremony earlier this month at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee. Shirley Griffith plays music by some of the award winners.


The Country Music Association honored Lee Ann Womack with her first Female Singer of the Year Award. Mizz Womack was emotional as she thanked the crowd at the Grand Ole Opry. She told them she thought her chance for the award had passed. Here is Lee Ann Womack singing “Thinkin’ With My Heart Again.”


The Country Music Association presented songwriters Larry Cordle and Larry Shell with the award for Song of the Year. Their winning song criticizes the music industry. It says producers are destroying the traditions of country music. Larry Cordle and his band Lonesome Standard Time perform “Murder on Music Row.”


A collection of music from the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” won Album of the Year. The movie takes place in the United States during the Nineteen-Thirties. It includes traditional country songs by several performers. The awards also honored The Soggy Bottom Boys, a group of musicians in the movie. We leave you now with their performance of the song that was named Single of the Year, “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow”.



This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC —VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.

This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Jill Moss, Nancy Steinbach and Caty Weaver. Our studio engineer was Tom Verba. And our producer was Paul Thompson.