Thursday, 21 November 2013

Vocabulary about Kennedy

Many words that might be new to you are similar to Spanish words that mean the same thing. The following words might be more "foreign":

Assassinate: (v.) planned murder of a prominent person, usually someone with political power.
Caisson: (n.) a wagon with two wheels, ordinarily used for artillery ammunition
Flaws: (n.) defects, imperfections, faults
inaugural: (adj.) marking the beginning of something (in this case, the speech a president gives upon taking office).
Suggest: (v.) to hint, to give an idea of, to present a possibility.
Visionary: (n.) a dreamer, a person who has an ideal of what should be.
Vulnerable: (adj.) weak, unprotected.

Fifty Years Since President John F. Kennedy Was Assassinated

This Friday, many in the United States will take time to remember John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.
        On Friday, November 22, 1963, exactly 50 years ago, Kennedy was assassinated  in Dallas, Texas, by Lee Harvey Oswald. On the Sunday after the assassination, November 25, his flag-draped coffin was carried on a horse-drawn caisson  to the U.S. Capital Building to lie in state. Throughout the day and night, hundreds of thousands of people lined up to view the casket. Monday, November 26, the day of the funeral, was a national day of mourning.
        The world could watch the funeral procession on television because the Telstar communication satellite launch only the year before had made such viewing possible.

The President and Mrs. Kennedy and Texas Governor
John Conally in Dallas just before the assassination
             We can never know how history might have changed if Kennedy had lived.
             But we can remember and honor what he did while he was alive.
             He was a veteran of World War II. He served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. When his ship, a patrol torpedo boat, was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, he saved his crew and led them to safety.
             He was a writer. His 1955 book “Profiles in Courage” won a Pulitzer Prize for history. In it, he examined political courage in a series of essays about eight U.S. Senators whom Kennedy felt had shown great courage under enormous pressure from their parties and their constituents.
             He was a visionary. When he assumed office in January 1961, the Cold War cast the dark shadow of nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States across the world. The U.S.S.R. had launched a space satellite. The U.S. had no such technology. People in the U.S. felt vulnerable  to Russia’s superiority. Kennedy called for a commitment to space research. He convinced Congress to fund it.  Kennedy  didn’t live to see Neil Armstrong step onto the moon’s surface, but it would not have happened without him.
              He pushed for equal rights for African Americans. In the 1960s, Barak Obama might not have been able to vote if he lived in Louisiana! (His parents would not have been legally able to marry in some southern states because his father was black and his mother, white.) Due to Kennedy's work, in 1965 his successor, Lyndon Johnson, was able to convince Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, a law that enforced the rights of African Americans and others to vote.
Portrait of JFK by
Aaron Shikler
              He was the first Catholic to be elected President of the United States. Today, this doesn’t seem very noteworthy, but in 1960, there were many people who feared that a Catholic president would follow instructions from the Pope, instead of listening to the people of the U.S.  He was the first president born after 1900, and also the youngest person ever elected to the U.S. presidency: he was 44 when the 1960 election happened.
              Kennedy was intelligent, rich, handsome and charming, but  he had many flaws. Despite his faults, he believed in the ideals of his country and tried, during his life, to bring those ideals closer to reality.
              A basic ideal he held was stated by another president, Abraham Lincoln: the United States is a nation “of the people, by the people and for the people." President Kennedy asked his fellow citizens in his inaugural speech to embrace that ideal  when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.” In other words, the country is what its citizens make it. A president can lead them in that effort, but he himself can do nothing without their support.

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Thanksgiving video has some words in it that you may not know. Some of them, like "pilgrim," are not words that we use a lot in ordinary conversation. Others, like "harbor" and "fisherman" are terms we may use and hear often. If you want to look at words that the video uses, go to the Quizlet link here:

and check them out.


Here you are the PADLETS  that our students from 2A have made to recommend a horror film. Have a look at  them because they are really great.

Thursday, 7 November 2013