PTE Academic speaking read aloud practice history samples
1.On September 22, 1961, seven months after an executive order from President John F. Kennedy, the U.S. Congress authorized legislation officially establishing the Peace Corps. Founded with the goals of promoting “world peace and friendship” abroad, the organization has since sent over 220,000 volunteers to 140 countries in the developing world, where they have assisted with everything from education and agricultural projects to HIV awareness and disaster relief. Here are eight surprising facts about one of the United States’ most iconic service programs.
2.Born around 56 A.D., probably in southern Gaul (present-day southeastern France), Tacitus moved to Rome by the mid-70s and began a career in politics and the law. With the help of his politically connected father-in-law, he steadily rose through the official ranks, becoming a senator and consul while also gaining fame as an orator and prosecutor. These pursuits, however, would all end up taking a backseat to writing. In 98, he authored his first known works—a biography of his father-in-law and an ethnographic study of the Germanic tribes—and followed that up with a book on oratory.
3.The Bavarian city that spawned the rise of the Third Reich by hosting massive Nazi Party propaganda rallies in the 1920s and 1930s was deemed by the victorious Allies to be a fitting place to stage its symbolic death. Although World War II had left much of the city in rubble, the Palace of Justice—which included a sizable prison capable of holding 1,200 detainees—remained largely undamaged and was chosen to host the trials once German prisoners completed the work of enlarging its courtroom.
4.President Kennedy considered the Peace Corps a Cold War tool to bolster the United States’ reputation and counter the Soviet Union’s influence abroad, but many of his fellow lawmakers were sceptical of what was mockingly called the “Kiddie Corps.” Richard Nixon branded the program a “cult of escapism” and argued that it catered to young men looking to skip out on the military draft. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, meanwhile, called it a “juvenile experiment” and suggested that its members should be sent to the moon. Despite the criticisms, the Peace Corps remained popular among college students and young people during its early days. By its fifth anniversary in 1966, it boasted over 15,000 volunteers serving two-year terms in 46 countries.