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AMERICAN MOSAIC - March 22, 2002: VOA's Maurice Joyce remembered / Grand Central Terminal in New York / Oscar-nominated songs - 2002-03-21


Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English. (THEME)

This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:

play songs nominated for an Academy Award ...

answer a question about a famous building in New York City ...

and remember a VOA announcer who died recently.

Maurice Joyce


The Voice of America lost one of its best-loved announcers last month. Maurice (pronounced Morris) Joyce died at a hospital in Lewes, Delaware. He was ninety-four years old. People who listen to VOA Special English programs have heard Maurice Joyce for many years. Shep O’Neal remembers him.


Maurice Joyce was known to us at VOA as Mo. He had a long and interesting life. Mo Joyce grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. After high school, he attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Mo loved being an announcer. As a young man, he worked in Hollywood, California. He later returned to Washington and became active in the broadcasting industry. Mo was too old for active military service during World War Two. Yet he joined the Army as a civilian worker and moved to New York City. He made military training films during the war.

After the war, Mo worked as an announcer. He described major world events for short newsreel films. Later, he returned to Washington and began working at the Voice of America.

Mo was a wonderful Special English announcer. His reading sounded effortless. He read several programs, including American Stories, Science in the News, and Words and Their Stories.


“Now, the Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES. Every week at this time, the Voice of America tells about popular words and expressions used in the United States … ”

Those of us who knew Maurice Joyce remember that he was serious about his work. He always arrived at the office in plenty of time to study his parts before it was his time to read. He also helped those around him improve their work. Mo never seemed to get angry. He let other, less experienced broadcasters make mistakes. This helped them to trust in their abilities.

Before retiring, Mo worked at VOA headquarters once a week. After he finished his work, he invited others to join him for something to eat. He enjoyed telling stories. And, he always paid for everybody’s meals. Maurice Joyce left VOA in the early Nineteen-Nineties. Yet you will continue to hear his voice in some programs that we repeat.


Grand Central


Our VOA listener question this week comes from China. Song bin asks about the history of Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Grand Central Terminal is one of the most famous buildings in New York. But most people call it Grand Central Station. The word “station” means a stopping place along a transportation line. A “terminal” describes either end of the line. Grand Central Terminal is a huge train station where train lines begin and end.

American railroad developer Cornelius Vanderbilt was responsible for building the first Grand Central Terminal in Eighteen-Seventy-One. Thirty years later, steam trains were being replaced by electric ones. So officials decided to destroy the existing station and create a new electric train terminal.

Their plan called for hiding the rail tracks under four city blocks and permitting developers to place buildings over the track area. The terminal took ten years to build, and it changed the city of New York.

The new Grand Central Terminal opened in Nineteen-Thirteen. It was a huge and beautiful building with statues of Greek and Roman gods and a large metal clock. Its presence led to the building of large hotels, office and apartment buildings nearby.

Grand Central also changed during the years. At different times, the huge building included an art gallery, an art school, a movie theater, and a rail history museum. At one point, it was the busiest train station in the country, serving nearby areas and those far away. In the Nineteen-Fifties, other transportation methods became more popular than trains. The railroads were losing money. They began destroying old stations.

In Nineteen-Sixty-Seven, New York City established an organization to save such historic buildings. Railroad officials tested the law in court in an effort to destroy Grand Central. But city leaders were able to save it. In Nineteen-Seventy-Six, the federal government protected Grand Central Terminal by naming it a National Historic Landmark.

Grand Central Terminal has been restored and improved. Today, it includes many stores, eating places and food markets. Five-hundred-thousand people visit the famous building every day. And it continues to be one of the busiest train stations in the world. More than one-hundred-fifty-thousand people use it every day to travel to towns in New York State and Connecticut.

Oscar Nominated Songs


People who make movies will be honored Sunday in Los Angeles, California. That is when the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents its yearly awards, the Oscars. The movie industry will honor the best work of directors, actors, technical experts and songwriters. Mary Tillotson tells us about the nominations for best song.


Five songs written for movies have been nominated for the best original song Academy Award. One song is from the movie “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” Enya sings “May It Be.”

((CUT 1: MAY IT BE))

Another song nominated for an Oscar is the song “Vanilla Sky” from the movie of the same name. A third nominated song is from the movie “Pearl Harbor.” Faith Hill sings “There You’ll Be.”


The fourth nominated song is “Until” from the movie “Kate and Leopold."

We leave you with the final song nominated as best orginal song from a movie. It is from the animated movie, “Monsters, Inc.” John Goodman and Billy Crystal sing “If I Didn’t Have You.”



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 George Grow and Nancy Steinbach. Our studio engineer was Kwase Smith. And our producer was Paul Thompson.