"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty."
John F. Kennedy
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Begin by asking members to introduce themselves (providing assistance where necessary). Ask members to say what they like about America or Americans. Ask who has visited and who would like to. Ask if anyone would like to say something about an American holiday or person.
To get the discussion going, click on the image below to link to a PowerPoint of American Icons. Ask members to identify people from the following list and ask the associated questions. Allow time for people to express thoughts and feelings about each person, especially if they have a particular like or dislike for that individual.
25 AMERICAN ICONS
Donald Trump - Born 1946. 45th and current President of the United States Of America
What is Donald Trump's current wife's name? - MELANIA
What US reality TV series did he host? - THE APPRENTICE USA
Barack Obama - Born 1961. US President from 2009-2017
Where was he born? - HONOLULU, HAWAII
What is his wife's name? - MICHELLE
Marilyn Monroe - Lived 1926-1962. Actress. 'The Blonde Bombshell'
Real name? - NORMA JEANE MORTENSON
Who did she sing 'Happy Birthday' to in 1962? - J.F.K.
Elvis Presley - Lived 1935-1977. Singer/performer. 'The King Of Rock And Roll'
Where did Elvis live? - GRACELAND
What was his other nickname? - Elvis the - PELVIS
Dolly Parton - Born 1946. Singer songwriter. 'The Queen Of Nashville'
Where does Dolly Parton live? - DOLLYWOOD
What is her charity mainly concerned with? - LIBRARIES AND PROVIDING BOOKS TO SCHOOL CHILDREN
Tom Hanks - Born 1956. Actor.
Some of his best films - BIG, CASTAWAY, THE GREEN MILE, TOY STORY, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, THE DA VINCI CODE, FORREST GUMP
Complete this phrase - "Moma always said life was like ' A BOX OF CHOCOLATES"
Bill Gates - Born 1955. Businessman and philanthropist. 'The Richest Man In The World'
Founded? - MICROSOFT
Estimated worth? - $103.5BN
Michael Jackson - Lived 1958-2009. Singer songwriter and performer. 'The King Of Pop'
Where did Michael Jackson live? - NEVERLAND
His top selling album? - THRILLER (66M COPIES, MAKING IT THE BEST SELLING ALBUM IN THE WORLD OF ALL TIME)
Martin Luther King - Lived 1929-1968. Preacher and civil rights activist. 'M.L.K.'
In which year did M.L.K. deliver his 'I have a dream' speech? - AUGUST 28, 1963
YouTube link to speech here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP4iY1TtS3s
Christopher Reeve - Lived 1952-2004. Actor and disability rights activist. 'Superman'
The 'Christopher Reeve Foundation' lobbied for improved rights and treatments for which condition? - SPINAL CORD INJURY
Aretha Franklin - Lived 1942-2018. Singer songwriter and performer. 'The Queen Of Soul'
Her biggest selling UK hit single, aside from her duet with George Michael in 1987 'I Knew You Were Waiting' was what? - 'I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER' (NUMBER 4 IN 1968)
Mohammed Ali - Lived 1942-2016. Three times World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Advocate for Parkinson's disease. 'The Greatest'
First title? - 1964
Complete the following phrases - "Float like a butterfly - STING LIKE A BEE", "I am the - GREATEST", "My toughest fight was with - MY FIRST WIFE"
Former name? - CASSIUS CLAY
Whitney Houston - Lived 1963-2012. Singer, performer and actress. 'The Voice'
Biggest selling worldwide hit record? - 'I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU' (From the 1992 film 'The Bodyguard', also starring Kevin Costner) (Number 1 in the US Billboard Chart in the same year for 14 weeks)
Who wrote this song? (Their photo is also on the table!) - DOLLY PARTON
John Wayne - Lived 1907-1979. Actor, filmmaker and recipient of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom. 'The Duke'
What was his real name? - MARION ROBERT MORRISON
Some of his best films? - TRUE GRIT, THE ALAMO, RIO BRAVO, THE SEARCHERS, MCLINTOCK
Complete this quote from 'True Grit'? - "Get off your horse and - DRINK YOUR MILK"
Oprah Winfrey - Born 1954. Talk show host, actress, media executive and philanthropist. 'Lady O'
What was the name of the 1985 film in which Oprah starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the story of early 1900's black women's struggle against abuse and oppression? - THE COLOR PURPLE
James Stewart - Lived 1908-1997. American actor and Second World War veteran. 'Jimmy'
Best films - IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, REAR WINDOW, VERTIGO, MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON & THE GLEN MILLER STORY
Steve Jobs - Lived 1955-2011. Founder of Apple. Inventor of the iPhone
True or false. There is more computing power in today's iPhone than in the whole of the Apollo NASA programme? TRUE (apparently if you had to go back to the Moon with an Apollo craft, you probably could transfer the necessary programs onto an iPhone app!)
Bob Hope - Lived 1903-2003. Comedian, actor and singer. Recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal in 1963, for services to his country. 'Old Ski Nose'
His comedy partner in 'The Road' movies was? - BING CROSBY
Which of his songs won the Oscar For Best Song in 1939? - 'Thanks for - THE MEMORIES'
Frank Sinatra - Lived 1915-1998. Actor, singer and performer. 'Old Blue Eyes'
One of the 'Rat Pack' (a group of entertainers performing on the Las Vegas casino scene), with who else? - DEAN MARTIN, SAMMY DAVIS JR, PETER LAWFORD & JOEY BISHOP
Barbra Streisand - Born 1942. Singer, actress and film director. 'Babs'
Won a Best Actress Oscar for which 1969 film? - FUNNY GIRL
Won a Best Original Song Oscar for which 1977 song? - EVERGREEN
Won a Best Director Oscar for which 1984 film? - YENTL
Steven Spielberg - Born 1946. Film director. 'The King Of Entertainment'
Name his top three biggest box office hits? - 1. 'Jurrasic Park' (1993) $938.8m, 2. 'Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull' (2008) $786.6m & 3. 'E.T. The Extra Terrestrial' (1982) $717m
Also on the Top 10 list were 'War Of The Worlds' (2005), 'Saving Private Ryan '(1998) & 'Jaws' (1975)
Billie Jean King - Born 1943. Former world Number 1 professional tennis player, winning 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in Singles. Advocate for gender equality and social justice.
True or false. Michael Jackson's song 'Billie Jean' was about Billie Jean King? - FALSE (Jackson said it was based on false claims made by 'Groupies' about his brothers)
Neil Armstrong - Lived 1930-2012. American astronaut and first person to walk on the moon.
What was the date of the moon landing? - JULY 20, 1969
The name of the landing craft? - THE EAGLE
Complete this quotation - "It's one small step for man - ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND"
(Note it is the 50th anniversary later this month)
YouTube link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD-1iGWZRDA
Harvey Milk - Lived 1930-1978. Gay rights activist. California's first openly gay elected official. Assassinated November 27, 1978. "Imagine a world without hate!"
What was the name of the riots in Manhattan in 1969 that were said to have been 'the tipping point' for the Gay Liberation Movement in the USA? - STONEWALL
What celebratory march took place in London this week that marked the 50th anniversary of Stonewall? - PRIDE
John F Kennedy - Lived 1917-1963. US President January 20, 1961 to the date of his assassination November 22, 1963. 'J.F.K.'
Who shot J.F.K.? - LEE HARVEY OSWALD
Where did it happen? - DALLAS, TEXAS
Ask members if any key individuals are missing from this list and discuss the reasons why they should be included.
NEWS ROUND UP
Move on to discuss this week's news stories. Add your own as you wish.
There was a total eclipse of the sun in South America this week. We remembered the last total eclipse that we had in the UK, on August 11, 1999.
Wimbledon started this week. We discussed favourite tennis stars of the past - Billie Jean King, Virginia Wade, Stefi Graf, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Tim Henman, Bjorn Borg etc.
Gay Pride celebrated its 50th anniversary this week. Whilst it is a day of celebration and visibility for the LGBTQ community, in many countries you still cannot be the person you are or love who you wish.
And, of course, it was 'American Independence Day' on July 4th, hence the theme for this week's CST activities page.
YOU SAY POTATO
Next, ask members to guess at the alternative American words for everyday English words. Maybe just select a few of them?
Biscuit - COOKIE
Chips - FRENCH FRIES
Crisps - CHIPS
Aubergine - EGGPLANT
Courgette - ZUCCHINI
Spring onion - SCALLION
Beetroot - BEETS
Herbs - HERB (WITH A SILENT H)
Basil - BASIL (WITH THE S SOUNDING LIKE A Z)
Coriander - CILANTRO
Porridge - OATMEAL
Treacle - MOLASSES
Mincemeat - GROUND BEEF OR PORK (Remember the 'Trifle' episode of 'Friends')
Cutlery - SILVERWARE
Ice lolly - POPSICLE
Sweets - CANDY
Alcohol - LIQUER
Candy floss - COTTON CANDY
Jam - JELLY
Jelly - JELLO
Trainers - SNEAKERS
Jumper - SWEATER
Tissue - KLEENEX
Nappy - DIAPER
Dummy - PACIFIER
Vacuum - HOOVER
Flat - APARTMENT
Lift - ELEVATOR
Toilet - RESTROOM
Tap - FAUCET
Underground - SUBWAY
Pavement - SIDEWALK
Zebra crossing - CROSSWALK
Toilet - RESTROOM
Chemist - PHARMACY
High Street - MAIN STREET
Lorry - TRUCK
Estate car - STATION WAGON
Motorway - HIGHWAY
Flyover - OVERPASS
Diversion - DETOUR
Car park - PARKING LOT
Petrol - GAS
Boot - TRUNK
Bonnet - HOOD
Queue - LINE
Post - MAIL
Post code - ZIP
Timetable - SCHEDULE
Rubber - ERASER
Torch - FLASHLIGHT
Mobile phone - CELL PHONE
Takeaway - TAKEOUT
Rubbish - GARBAGE OR TRASH
Holiday - VACATION
Autumn - FALL
Noughts and crosses - TIC TAC TOE
Football - SOCCER
Tick - CHECK
Full stop - PERIOD
Discuss these language differences. What about accents? America also has many languages. Ask members to guess at those which are most commonly spoken.
1 - English - 231,122,908
2 - Spanish - 37,458,470
3 - Chinese (incl. Cantonese, Mandarin, other Chinese languages) - 2,896,766
4 - French and French Creole - 2,047,467
In the music playlist is a link to the song ‘Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off (You Say Tomato ... )’, to finish on this section.
Next, ask members to complete these well know American based phrases.
Stars and STRIPES
Star spangled BANNER
As American as Apple PIE
Piece of CAKE
In that ball PARK
Jump on the band WAGON
Let's go DUTCH
More bang for your BUCK
Spill the BEANS
Take a rain CHECK
Go cold TURKEY
The whole nine YARDS
I smell a RAT
It's not rocket SCIENCE
Break a LEG
It knocked my socks OFF
Straight from the horse's MOUTH
Plenty more fish in the SEA
Working the graveyard SHIFT
I could care LESS
Put lipstick on a PIG
Long in the TOOTH
She's a KEEPER
Up my ALLEY
Don't be such a wet BLANKET
Under the WEATHER
I'm a Yankee Doodle DANDEE
Tell me about IT
Shoot the BREEZE
Here is a general knowledge quiz about America and all things American for members to complete.
What date is 'American Independence Day'?
Where would you find the White House?
Who are the current and previous US Presidents?
DONALD TRUMP & BARACK OBAMA
How many US States are there?
What is the name of the US flag?
STAR SPANGLED BANNER or STARS AND STRIPES
Which is the biggest US State?
Which city is known as the 'Big Apple'?
Where would you find the 'Liberty Bell'?
How about the 'Golden Gate Bridge'?
And the 'Empire State Building'?
Which city is known as the 'Windy City'?
Which US State is known as the 'Orange' or 'Sunshine' State?
Where was the 1884 book 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn' set?
ALONG THE BANKS OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Which mountain has the faces of four US Presidents carved in it?
MOUNT RUSHMORE (Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington & Abraham Lincoln)
What is the name of the waterfalls between the Canadian province of Ontario and the US state of New York?
What is the name of the boat which goes behind the falls?
THE MAIDEN OF THE MIST
What are the 'Five Great Lakes'?
ONTARIO MICHIGAN HURON ERIE SUPERIOR
Which cartoon character lives in 'Jellystone Park', named after Yellowstone Park?
Which geological feature has been carved by the Colorado River in Arizona?
THE GRAND CANYON
What is the name of the tallest structure in Las Vegas that has theme park rides at it's highest point?
What is the name of the tower in New York which lights up a red heart on Valentine's Day?
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
What four letters were removed from the Hollywood hillside sign in Los Angeles?
Where is Disneyland?
Where is Disneyworld?
Which cartoon character is most associated with Disney?
Which food company's outlets are signified by a Golden M?
If you were in Times Square which city would you be in?
And what would to colour of the taxi cabs be?
What is the name of the road which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles?
If you wanted to catch a bus along this route, what company would you travel with?
What date was the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers?
9 / 11/ 2001
Where would you visit to honour those who lost their lives on this date?
(There were 2,996 victims - 265 on the four planes, 2,606 in the World Trade Center and surrounding area and 125 at The Pentagon.)
What date were the attacks on Pearl Harbour in Oahu, Hawaii?
DECEMBER 7, 1941
When the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, where was it sailing from and to?
BELFAST TO NEW YORK
If you wished to visit any of these places, what is the US currency that you would need to take with you?
CENTS & DOLLARS
Spotify Playlist link here
American Pie - Don McLean
Which recently deceased artist is Don singing about when he sings "the day the music died"?
BUDDY HOLLY (RIP February 3, 1959)
New York, New York - Frank Sinatra
What is the first landmark that people see as they sail into the Big Apple?
STATUE OF LIBERTY
San Francisco - Scott McKenzie
Which mode of transport do San Franciscans use to get up the hills?
Oh What A Beautiful Morning - Oklahoma (Howard Keel)
What US soap opera did Howard Keel go on to star in?
Breakfast In America - Supertramp
What would you have for breakfast in America?
PANCAKES WITH MAPLE SYRUP, EGGS SUNNY SIDE UP OR OVER EASY, WAFFLES ETC
I'll Be There For You - The Rembrants
Who were the characters of 'Friends'?
CHANDLER BING, JOEY TRIBBIANI, ROSS & MONICA GELLER, RACHEL GREEN & PHOEBE BOUFFET
And their Cafe?
Where Everybody Knows Your Name - TV Theme
Where was 'Cheers' set?
Who played Sam?
And the barman?
Soap - TV Theme
Which two families was the show about?
THE TATES & THE CAMPBELLS
Who starred as Joey?
The Simpsons - TV Theme
Name the family members?
HOMER, MARGE, BART, LISA & MAGGIE
What was Homer's job?
NUCLEAR SAFETY INSPECTOR AT SPRINGFIELD NUCLEAR PLANT
Kids In America - Kim Wilde
What is her TV occupation now?
Living In America - James Brown
What film did this song feature in?
What was James Browne's nickname?
Rhapsody In Blue - George Gershwin
Ask members to name as many shades of blue as they can?
SKY, NAVY, AQUAMARINE, TURQUOISE & CORNFLOWER
Summertime - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Which musical was this song from?
PORGY AND BESS
There Is Nothing Like A Dame - South Pacific
Name some Dames.
JUDI DENCH, HELEN MIRREN, MAGGIE SMITH, DIANA RIGG, JULIE ANDREWS & ANGELA LANSBURY
Maria - West Side Story
Name the two rival gangs?
JETS & SHARKS
Gone With The Wind - Film Score
Who were the lead characters and actors?
SCARLETT O'HARA (VIVIEN LEIGH) & RHETT BUTLER (CLARK GABLE)
And the name of the homestead?
Moon River - Film score
Who sang this song?
Which character did she play?
MISS HOLLY GOLIGHTLY
Deadwood Stage - Doris Day
Which movie was this song from?
Who is Calamity Jane said to have had a relationship with?
WILD BILL HITCHCOCK
Happy Days - TV Theme
Who were the main characters and actors?
THE FONZ (HENRY WINKLER) & RICHIE CUNNINGHAM (RON HOWARD)
Arthur's Theme - Christopher Cross
Who starred as Arthur in the 1981 film of the same name? And what about his Butler?
DUDLEY MOORE & JOHN GIELGUD
All That Jazz - Film Soundtrack
Which US city is this music associated with?
Which two actresses starred in the 2002 film?
RENE ZELLWEGER & CATHERINE ZETA JONES
Who is Ms Zeta-Jones married to?
When You Wish Upon A Star - Louis Armstrong
Which Disney movie did this song come from and which character sang it?
PINOCCHIO / JIMMINY CRICKET
Born In The USA - Bruce Springsteen
What is Bruce Springsteen's nickname?
Star Spangled Banner - Whitney Houston
Which animal is a symbol of the USA?
Pebble Painting - We picked up some pebbles from a local beach and asked members to decorate them with paints and felt tip pens. Several members chose to go with the American theme, whilst others went for a more freestyle design.
It's always great having a 'product', so to speak, that members can take home to show family and friends what they have been up to in the 'YOD CST Friendship Group'.
We discussed American foods and drinks and had some of these on standby for a taste test.