美国之音(以下称VOA)的英语节目,按播音速度可分为两种:Standard English (标准英语)和 Special English(特别英语)。

Special English 又叫“慢速英语”,是VOA 专为全世界非英语国家初学英语的听众安排的一种简易、规范的英语广播节目。该节目创始于50年代末期,是VOA 的专家们研究如何与世界各地的英语学习者进行交际的产物。它正式开播于1959年10月。当时只面向欧洲和中东,但由于这个节目适合许多国家英语学习者的需要,所以它的广播对象不久就扩大到世界其他地区,并很快在全世界范围内产生了广泛的影响。现在这个节目对欧洲、非洲和拉丁美洲每晚广播一次,对加勒比地区每晚广播一次(星期天除外),对东南亚广播次数最多,每天上午两次,晚上三次。

The Making of a Nation(建国史话) 这一专题节目向听众介绍美利坚合众国从十三个殖民地区域到现代工业国的孕育、诞生以及形成超级大国的历史过程,并以历史为线索,特定的历史时期为单位,以重大的历史事件为主题材来叙述各个党派、各届总统和政府的历史作用与贡献。这是每个英语学习者都应了解的基本知识。The Making of a Nation每逢星期四播出。这是个系列节目,坚持收听,则有助于系统了解美国的历史概况。

[VOA建国史话]American History Series: South Carolina Leaves Union, Tensions Increase2005-07-23
South Carolina withdrew from the United States on December twentieth, eighteen sixty. The state seceded because a Republican, Abraham Lincoln, had been elected president. The Republicans were a new party, and Lincoln was the first to be elected president. They wanted to stop slavery from spreading into the western territories.
[VOA建国史话]American By Frank Beardsley2005-07-16
Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election in November of eighteen sixty. When he took office several months later, he faced the most serious crisis in American history. The southern states had finally acted on their earlier threats. They had begun to leave the Union over the issue of slavery.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: Hopes, Fears and the Election of 18602005-07-09
After four years as president, James Buchanan decided not to run again. Buchanan was a Democrat. His party, like the nation, was split over slavery. Southern Democrats wanted the party to support slavery. Northern Democrats refused.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: A Failed Attempt to Raise a Rebel Army of Slaves2005-07-02
In October of eighteen fifty-nine, a group of anti-slavery extremists attacked the town of Harpers Ferry. Harpers Ferry was part of Virginia then; today it is located in West Virginia. The attackers were led by John Brown.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: The Story of John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry2005-06-25
One day in October of eighteen fifty-nine, Americans were shocked by news of an attack led by John Brown. He was an antislavery extremist. Many people also considered him a madman.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: Slavery Crisis Eases, but Not for Very Lo2005-06-18
Throughout most of the eighteen fifties, war was a continual threat between the North and the South over the issue of slavery. Then, in the autumn of eighteen fifty-nine, the crisis seemed to calm.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: Brigham Young Leads His Mormons to a New2005-06-04
The church split when Joseph Smith said that Mormons could have more than one wife. The split led to violence and public opposition to the Mormons. Smith was arrested and put in jail. A mob attacked the jail and killed Smith and his brother. The governor of Illinois ordered the Mormons to leave the state.
[VOA建国史话]The Making of a Nation - American History Series: Search for Gold Drives Settlers to the We2005-05-28
As we reported in our last program, slavery supporters failed to push through Congress a bill to make Kansas a slave state. Congress, instead, let the people of Kansas vote on the statehood constitution written by pro-slavery men. The people rejected the constitution.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: The Effort to Make Kansas a Slave State2005-05-21
The Supreme Court ruled that Congress did not have the power to close territories to slavery. It said the Missouri Compromise was a violation of the United States Constitution, and that Dred Scott was not a free man.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: Slavery Debate Intensifies With Dred Scot2005-05-14
As we said last week, James Buchanan of Pennsylvania won the presidential election of eighteen fifty-six. He defeated John Fremont, the candidate of the newly created Republican Party, which opposed slavery.
[VOA建国史话] American History Series: Kansas Takes Steps Towards Statehood2005-05-03
Pierce agreed that Kansas was a serious problem. He seemed ready to act. So Reeder returned home and opened the first meeting of the territorial legislature. The pro-slavery majority quickly voted to move to a town close to the Missouri border. It also approved several pro-slavery measures.
[VOA建国史话] American History Series: The Kansas-Nebraska Bill Divides the Country2005-04-25
Franklin Pierce was elected the fourteenth president in eighteen fifty-two. He was forty-eight years old, one of America's youngest presidents.
[VOA建国史话] American History Series: Pierce, New President, Is Friendly but Weak2005-04-16
In eighteen fifty, President Zachary Taylor died after serving about a year and a half in office. Taylor's vice president, Millard Fillmore, took his place.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: Andrew Johnson Faces a Fight Over Aiding South2005-01-23
In the spring of eighteen sixty-five, the American Civil War was over. And the president who had led the Union during that war was dead. Abraham Lincoln had been murdered before the final surrender of Confederate forces.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: The Final Surrender2005-01-15
Abraham Lincoln did not live to see the final surrender of the armies of the Confederacy. A Confederate sympathizer shot the president at Ford's Theatre in Washington on April fourteenth, eighteen sixty-five.
[VOA建国史话]American History Series: After Lincoln's Murder2005-01-07
Defense lawyers appealed for mercy. The appeal was rejected. On July seventh, David Herold, Lewis Paine, George Atzerodt and Mary Surratt were hanged for the murder of Abraham Lincoln.

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