viernes, 22 de noviembre de 2013


John Fitzgerald Kennedy ( 1917-1963) 

" ....And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

These were the famous words John Fitzgerald Kennedy pronunced during his inaugural address on  January 20, 1961 as 35th President of the USA.
Almost three years later he was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswall in a visit to Dallas.  

Follow the links to know more about it. 
Inaugural speech
His assassination 

J F Kennedy was a popular President in USA and all over the world but his term of office was full of lights and shadows like the Cuban missile crisis,  Bay of Pigs Invasion , start of Vietnam War and others. 
Coming from a family with political ambitions (with Irish ancestors, his father and some of his brothers were also politicians), he was a democrat Congressman and Senator. 
His family life ( married to Jacqueline Bouvier)  was a model for families in USA at the time. 
All women followed the First Lady's fashion. There were programmes devoted to her and their family on TV. Jackie even opened the White House to the public.

  His death was a shock all over the world, he was buried at Arlington Cemetery
 (Washington)  where there is an eternal flame burning. His wife and two children are buried right beside him. 

There was a controversy over his assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and shot by Jack Ruby shortly afterwards. Some thought it had been a conspiracy and others that there was a second or third gunman. We'll never know. 

Lots of documentaries, films and books have been shot or written about the President and his death. It is said that the song " The sounds of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel was composed to show the feelings after JFK's death. 

If you want to know more about it, do some research and answer the following questions: 

1. What was the President's academic and military background? 
2. How old was he when he became President?
3. What other people in his family were politicians?
4. Kennedy was a great defender of the civil rights movement, What did he do? 
5. There were lots of new projects during his Presidency, one of them was related to space? What did he do? 
6. He won an important prize for writing? Which? What did he write?  
7. There were many tragedies in JFK life, which ones? 
8. In spite of having an idilic family life, he had a double life. What kind of relationships did he have?
9.  Who became President after Kennedy's death?
10. Who is the only surviving child of JFK? What does he/ she do?  

Follow the anniversary in the Press: The Guardian 

lunes, 4 de noviembre de 2013



November 5th marks the anniversary of the famous Gunpowder Plot when Guy Fawkes and his catholic conspirators attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605. The protestant King James I, who had survived the attempt on his life, celebrated it with fireworks.  From that night on, Bonfire Night is celebrated throughout Britain on the evening of the 5th of November with firework displays, It's a special celebration that includes setting bonfires burning effigies of Guy Fawkes or eating special treats such as "Bonfire tofee", jacked potatoes, ginger bread, soups, toffee apples etc.

  To prepare recipes : Bonfire night food 

There are lots of films following this topic, one of the most famous is " V for Vendetta"  is a worth watching film whose trailer you can see here. 

Discuss the following questions:

  • Which festivals in your country remember historical events?
  • Do you have any festivals that are similar to Bonfire Night in your country?
  • When do you have firework displays in your country?
  • Do you think you would like Bonfire Night? Why/ why not?
  • Do you think festivals are a good way to remember historical events?  

 If you feel like it, you can sing what Kids in Britain sing that night: Bonfire Rhyme  

                                        “Remember, remember the fifth of November”
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, guy, t’was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England’s overthrow.
By God’s mercy he was catch’d
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.
And what shall we do with him?
Burn him!


Work in pairs, A and B. You are going to each read a text about the history of Bonfire Night. Ask your partner questions to find the missing information.