September 19, 2000 |
In watching President Clinton speak at the National Constitution Center site Sunday I felt the giddy elation of witnessing a vision become reality. Back in September 1996, when the future of the center was at best in doubt, I sought to offer encouragement by writing a scenario of how things might turn out. It concluded as follows: "In 2000, during the final year of his presidency, and at the dawn of a new millennium, Clinton will come to Philadelphia to lead the celebration commemorating the opening of the most important institution ever created for the perpetuation and promulgation of democracy.
December 9, 1987 |
Not even at glitzy White House dinners, where guest lists usually read like joint editions of Who's Who and Variety, are you likely to find Henry Kissinger and Yoko Ono in the same room. But the Russians pulled it off yesterday at the Soviet Embassy, where Mikhail Gorbachev assembled an array of Americans unlike any this town has seen in ages. Norman Mailer and John Denver hobnobbed with Cyrus Vance and Billy Graham. Paul Newman and Robert DeNiro schmoozed with John Kenneth Galbraith and Robert McNamara.
October 30, 1987 |
For decades, this city of confused identity, of narrow streets and sleazy bars, has catered daily to the tastes and temperaments of a transient population of American military personnel. Yesterday, the Americans stayed away. "When I first got here about 10 months ago, everything was G.I. Joe," an Air Force serviceman said as he shopped for trinkets in a shop on the sprawling Clark Air Base. "It was all just like World War II. We were the liberators. We were the heroes.
July 31, 1998 |
Unless they can pass a law forbidding telemarketers from calling at dinner time, there's nothing much I want the federal government to do at present. How about you? Any burning issue you are desperate to see Congress address? I suspect not. I have been asking people this question regularly since January, and it usually provokes a long pause, after which people come up with something like: "More aid for mass transit" or "More money for early-childhood education. " But aside from such minor rejiggering of line items in the federal budget, there doesn't seem to be any great cause that people want to see addressed, no pressing need they feel must be met. I know, I'm leaving out the need to refinance Social Security.
December 11, 2009 |
When Patricia Shaw first came to Norway, she was fired up and ready to fight for equality. Ted Bailey fell in love and never looked back. Jason Nemor Harden followed one dream and found another. All of them discovered a new life beyond a country they left behind without many regrets. But in came Barack Obama, changing their views on what it means to be an American abroad. For African-Americans living, working or simply traveling overseas, yesterday represented a moment in history few wanted to miss - witnessing a president of a shared heritage being honored by the world for his role in helping to re-engage and reset a global agenda for peace.
May 27, 1994 |
Was it John F. Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you" speech that launched the unprecedented era of personal involvement in social change still fondly remembered by an entire generation? Was there something peculiar about the times that made possible unprecedented series of opportunities for personal involvement - the Peace Corps, the Teacher Corps, Volunteers in Service to America? What prompts the questions is the effort of President Clinton to ignite a similar explosion of can-do optimism to combat the problems that government alone cannot solve.
April 21, 1986 |
I'm glad to be an American. It has nothing to do with President Reagan's battle with Moammar Khadafy. I'm proud to be an American simply because we live in the freest country in the world. Americans can do what they want and go where they want. That's sort of what it means to be an American. But lately, I've noticed that signs are beginning to crop up all over the place, restricting our freedom, telling us we can't do this or we can't do that. One that I find most irritating concerns right turns on a red light.
June 16, 1991 |
Pitcher Jen Wunsch and catcher Barb Kuntz rapped two hits apiece, leading the American team to a 6-2 victory over the National in the first South Jersey all-star softball game at Taylor Bell Field last night. The American team lashed 11 hits in the game, which featured the best senior players from the seven-county area. Starting pitchers Darlene Gareis of Pennsville and Meg Knudsen of Cumberland, each of whom pitched her high school team into the state final this season, dominated in the first three innings last night in the same way they dominated opponents over the last two seasons.
July 18, 1994 |
There was at least one good thing about Team U.S.A.'s loss to Brazil in World Cup in July: It put the so-called soccer boom in perspective. Shorn of the artificial boost of nationalism, ratings for the game plummeted from the record-high of the July 4 game - which was a little below the average NFL early Sunday game - to about the level of a good golf match. In fact, for all the talk of World Cup soccer's unexpected ratings success, before U.S.-Brazil it was actually running behind golf.
September 13, 1992 |
In this most complex of countries, in this most complex of times, a wishful sadness has embedded itself in American life. The wish is for a life of community and cooperation, harmony and shared interests, less selfishness and more responsibility - in short, life as it used to be, as seen through a lens of nostalgia and regret. "How many homes today are built with a front porch?" asked George Sterling of Royal Oak, Mich. "That says something. They don't trust anybody anymore. Your garage is an extension of the freeway.