Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
play some jazz music ...
answer a question about the women’s rights leader Susan B. Anthony ...
and report about the Super Bowl.
Sunday, February third is not a holiday in the United States, but it may seem like one to many Americans. They will be attending parties to watch the Super Bowl Game. The Superbowl is the championship game of American professional football. Bob Doughty explains.
American professional football involves thirty-one teams in the National Football League, or NFL. The first NFL was formed in Nineteen-Twenty, when representatives of four professional teams met in Canton, Ohio. The group first called it the American Professional Football Association, but changed the name two years later.
In Nineteen-Sixty, businessman Lamar Hunt started the American Football League, or AFL. The two leagues competed with each other to get college players. In Nineteen-Sixty-Five, established NFL players began negotiating to play for the competing league. So officials of the two leagues decided to work together. This agreement immediately established a championship game between them. It was officially called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, but became known as the Super Bowl.
The first Super Bowl was played in Nineteen-Sixty-Seven in Los Angeles, California. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. It was not a very exciting game. Many of the seats in the sports center were empty. That changed with the Super Bowl played two years later. Experts say the public finally accepted the new league when the New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts.
After that game, officials of the two leagues decided to create a new National Football League. They divided the teams into two competing conferences, the American Conference, or AFC, and the National Conference, NFC. Each year, the conference champions play in the Super Bowl.
Today, the Super Bowl is a major sporting event. Thousands of people will be watching the game Sunday at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Millions of people around the world will be watching Super Bowl Thirty-Six on television. They will be watching to see if the AFC New England Patriots or the NFC Saint Louis Rams become the champions of American football.
Susan B. Anthony
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Ethiopia. Theodros Solomon asks about Susan B. Anthony.
Susan Brownell Anthony led the struggle for women’s rights in the United States. She was born in Eighteen-Twenty in the state of Massachusetts. Her family moved to New York State when she was seven. She began teaching school when she was fifteen, and continued until she was thirty years old.
Susan B. Anthony opposed drinking alcohol. She also urged an immediate end to slavery. She worked for both these causes. But she is most famous for her work for women’s rights. This began in Eighteen Fifty-One when she met reformer Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They first worked to improve women’s rights in New York State.
Their first important success came in Eighteen-Sixty when New York approved a Married Woman’s Law. For the first time in New York, a married woman could own property. And she had a right to the money she was paid for work she did. The campaign for women’s rights spread to other states. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton realized that women would not gain their rights until they had the right to vote in elections. Their campaign was called the women’s suffrage movement. Suffrage means the right to vote.
As part of the campaign, Susan B. Anthony voted in the presidential election of Eighteen-Seventy-Two in Rochester, New York. She was arrested and tried for voting illegally. She was found guilty and ordered to pay one-hundred dollars as punishment. She refused to pay, but no further action was taken against her.
Miss Anthony led efforts to gain voting rights for women through a new amendment to the United States Constitution. She traveled across the country to work for such an amendment until she was seventy-five years old. She knew the victory would come. But she also knew it would not come while she was alive.
Susan B. Anthony died in Nineteen-Oh-Six. She was eighty-six years old. Thirteen years later, Congress approved the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. It states that the right to vote shall not be denied because of a person’s sex. It was called the Anthony amendment, to honor Susan B. Anthony.
Many years later, the United States honored her again when it put her picture on a newly created dollar coin. She was the first woman to be pictured on American money.
((CUT ONE: “JEEPS BLUES"))
Last month, some of the biggest names in jazz attended the Twenty-Ninth yearly meeting of the International Association of Jazz Educators. Musicians such as Dave Brubeck, Quincy Jones and Nancy Wilson attended the conference in Long Beach, California. Steve Ember tells us more.
The conference brings together jazz educators, musicians, students and industry representatives. They celebrate the joys of music and the effect of jazz on cultural life. More than seven-thousand people from thirty-five countries attended the conference this year.
There is always something musical going on during the conference. There are lively discussion groups, concerts, training programs and other events. But the most exciting part of the conference is the energy created during the jam sessions. That is when the musicians play together without preparation.
The music of jazz great Duke Ellington is heard throughout the conference. Here is Ellington and his orchestra playing “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.”
((CUT TWO: “THINGS AIN’T WHAT THEY USED TO BE”))
There were many special performances at the jazz educators conference including a jazz presentation of a religious story. And a group of talented young women, called “Sisters in Jazz”, showed that women can play jazz too.
Musician and composer Dave Brubeck was one of several people who were honored during the conference. He was recognized as a major influence in jazz and a powerful supporter of jazz education. We leave you with one of Dave Brubeck’s biggest hits, “Take Five.”
((CUT THREE: “TAKE FIVE”))
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 Cynthia Kirk and Nancy Steinbach. Our studio engineer was Tom Verba. And our producer was Paul Thompson.