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491 Topics: American Presidents – Rutherford B. Hayes; emission versus propagation; he/she don’t; to do (someone’s) bidding

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Complete Transcript
You’re listening to ESL Podcast’s English Café number 491.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast’s English Café episode 491. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Go to our website at ESLPod.com. Become a member of ESL Podcast and download the Learning Guide, which contains a complete transcript of everything I say as well as vocabulary lists, culture notes, and lots of other exciting things. You can also like us on Facebook at facebook.com/eslpod.

On this Café, we’re going to talk about another one of the presidents of the United States and some history of the United States in the nineteenth century. We’re going to talk specifically about our nineteenth president, the ever-popular Rutherford B. Hayes. And, as always, we’ll answer a few of your questions. Let’s get started.

This Café is all about the nineteenth president of the United States, the one you’ve probably been waiting for for many months, maybe even years, for us to talk about. I’m talking of course about Rutherford B. Hayes. Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in October 1822 in the state of Ohio. Ohio is in the central-eastern part of the United States and is a state that has produced several U.S. presidents.

Sadly, Hayes’s father had died two months before he was born. So, Hayes and his sister were raised by their mother, Sophia. So already we start with a sad element in our story, but it will get better. Just wait. In 1842, at the age of 20, Hayes graduated from a small college in Ohio. He went on, meaning afterwards he continued studying – this time the law at the finest university at that time in United States, Harvard University. Harvard University is still considered one of the best universities – right after the university I graduated from, of course, the University of Minnesota.

Hayes got his degree from Harvard in law in 1845. When he finished, he went back to Ohio and began working as a lawyer. At the time, one of the big issues politically and legally in the United States was slavery. “Slavery” (slavery) is the practice of owning people, and whenever we talk about nineteenth-century history, we almost always come back to this big issue. It was the big issue of the nineteenth century, of the first years of the American nation, the question of slavery, of owning people.

Slavery was still common in many of the southern states in the United States, but it had been outlawed – that is, it had been made illegal in many of the northern states, states such as Ohio, New York, Illinois, and others. Well, Hayes opposed slavery. When we say someone “opposes” (opposes) something, we mean he or she disagrees with it. In this case, Hayes disagreed with the practice of slavery. He wanted to end it. In fact, he wanted to end it so much that he actually worked with slaves who were what were called “fugitives.”

A “fugitive” (fugitive) is a person who escapes either from the police or, in this case, from the slave owners of the South. Some of these slaves would come into the northern states where slavery was illegal and would try to stay and live there as free men and women. A “fugitive slave” would be a slave who had escaped from his or her owner.

There was also a wonderful movie, that had nothing to do with slavery, with Harrison Ford called The Fugitive (in English it was called The Fugitive). It’s a great movie. I’ve seen it like 30 times. I mean, I practically could have played the part myself, quite honestly, I know it so well. But that has nothing to do with our current topic of Rutherford B. Hayes, even though it might be more interesting.

Rutherford B. Hayes was a lawyer, then, who defended these fugitive slaves – who tried to prevent them from being sent back to their owners. It was through his work with fugitive slaves that Hayes got interested in the Republican Party. The Republican Party was a new political party at that time that was opposed to slavery also. It was started in the 1850s. One of the most famous early members of the Republican Party was a man who himself went on to become president, Abraham Lincoln, perhaps our greatest president.

When, in 1961, the Civil War began, Hayes joined the Union Army. The Civil War was, of course, that brief but bloody war between the states of the North and the states of the South which resulted in the northern states – called the Union States – winning and eventually getting rid of slavery. A civil war in general is when two different groups in one country fight each other.

In the case of the United States Civil War, the Southern states wanted to keep slavery, and so they decided that they would secede from the Union, from the union of states from the United States of America. “To secede” (secede) means to formally leave a country of which you used to be a member. We’re not talking about an individual person; we’re talking about a whole group of people and the land that they own.

Well, Abraham Lincoln said that you couldn’t secede from the Union, at least not without the permission of the entire government. And so he fought the South and eventually won the war, establishing forever in American law that a state cannot decide it wants to leave the Union unless the Union agrees. In 1865, the Union Army won the war and slavery was eventually abolished. “To abolish” (abolish) means to end something, especially laws regarding something. In this case, slavery was abolished in the Southern states and throughout the United States, of course.

After the war ended, Hayes left the army and returned to Ohio where he was elected to our national representative body called “Congress.” He served in, or was a member of, Congress from 1865 until 1867 – only two years – when he decided that he wanted to be the governor his state. The “governor” is the leader of the state – kind of like the president of the state, but we don’t call him or her the president. We call him or her, the governor. California had a famous governor a few years ago, a former actor and weight lifter by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I’ll be back.” You remember Arnold, don’t you?

Anyway, Rutherford B. Hayes ran for office – that is, he tried to become the governor –and he won in 1868 and was reelected (he was elected again) two more times, serving as governor of Ohio until 1876. What happened in 1876, you ask? And even if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you. Well, the Republican Party in Washington noticed what a good leader Hayes was as governor of Ohio, and they decided they needed someone to become their next candidate for the presidency. So, they nominated Hayes as their candidate.

“To nominate” (nominate) means to put forward someone’s name as a representative of your group or as someone who you want to win a certain contest or a certain, in this case, election – a certain competition. For example, we have here in Hollywood, here in Los Angeles, the Oscar Awards every year, given to the best movies and actors and actresses and other people involved in making movies. The Academy, the group of people who decide on the winner, begin by nominating certain movies and certain people for these awards.

They say, “Okay, you we want, maybe you, or maybe you, or maybe you.” They pick a small group and then everyone votes on that small group to see who the winner is. And then of course they go to the ceremony, and if their name is not announced they still have to smile and clap for the person who won, even though we know that they’re really mad.

Well, that’s not what happened to Rutherford B. Hayes, because there weren’t any movies back in the late nineteenth century, right? No, but there were presidential elections, and Hayes was nominated for the office of the presidency by the Republican Party and he won.

Now, during the election campaign, during the time in which he tried to become president, there were a lot of rumors about the current president, who at that time was another famous Civil War person, Ulysses S. Grant. He was a general – a leader of the Union forces during the war. Many people thought that Ulysses S. Grant was corrupt, and there were a lot of rumors about him. A “rumor” (rumor) is a story that people tell which they don’t necessarily know is true or not. Usually it’s a bad thing, but not always.

The rumor about Ulysses S. Grant was that he and other members of his administration were corrupt. When we say someone is “corrupt” (corrupt), we mean they’re dishonest, often taking money for doing things that they are supposed to do anyway, or taking money and doing things with the power they have in the government that they shouldn’t be doing. Hayes had the reputation of not being corrupt, of being an honest politician.

The election of 1876 was very close. After all the votes were counted, there was a problem. Both the Republican candidate, Hayes, and the candidate for the Democrats, Samuel J. Tilden, said that they had won some of the same states. These were the states of South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. The election was so close in the states that no one really knew who exactly had won them.

Well, the U.S. Congress decided to create what was called an “electoral commission.” This commission was responsible for looking at the votes and deciding who actually won the elections in these three states, and therefore who won the presidency. The commission was supposed to be balanced. However, eventually there were more Republicans on the commission than Democrats, and so of course they decided that the Republicans won.

Now, this was very controversial. A lot of people were angry about this. It’s interesting because a somewhat similar thing happened again in American history more recently, in the year 2000, when once again in the state of Florida there was a disagreement about who won the election in that state – was it Al Gore or was it George W. Bush?

In the case of Gore and Bush, the final decision in some ways was made by not the electoral commission, but by the U.S. Supreme Court, which voted five to four that Bush basically was going to be the next president. How many Republicans were on the Supreme Court? Five. How many Democrats? Four. Well, something similar to that happened in 1876 – or with the 1876 election, I could should say, because the election wasn’t decided until 1877. When someone is elected president of the United States, even today, they don’t begin right away. They start the following year.

Before being elected to the presidency, Hayes had made certain promises. He said that the Republican Party was going to do things differently in the American South relating to something called “Reconstruction.” “Reconstruction” was a period after the Civil War in which the government – the Northern government, if you will – tried to rebuild the governments in the states in the South. It was a difficult because, of course, many people in the South didn’t want to accept the fact that they had lost the war.

Many people in the South resisted the changes that the U.S. national government was trying to make in the legal and political systems of the states. Hayes had made some promises to the Southern states, basically saying that he was going to stop some of these changes. Even though Hayes himself was against slavery and tried to defend African Americans against discrimination, he made some changes that made things worse for blacks, for African Americans, especially in these Southern states.

One of the things he did was remove the government troops, the U.S. federal troops, that were still present in many of the states. They were there to in part protect the rights of African Americans. Well, Hayes removed these troops, these soldiers, from the South. He made the leaders of the Southern states promise not to discriminate against African Americans, but unfortunately they did not uphold that promise. “To uphold” (uphold) means to do something that you promise to do or to continue to support something that you say you are going to do.

Hayes also agreed not to get involved or to interfere with the elections in the Southern states. During Reconstruction – during the period after the Civil War, before Hayes became president – the government had been very involved in the elections to make sure that African Americans had the right to vote and that their right was not interfered with.

By not paying attention to the elections, Hayes and his government basically allowed the Southern leaders to discriminate once again against African Americans, especially when it came to elections. That wasn’t Hayes’s intention. That wasn’t what he was planning on doing. Your “intention” (intention) is your goal, what you want to do. Hayes’ intention was to protect African Americans, but that’s not in fact what happened. During the rest of his time as president, Hayes tried to create a fair and honest government.

He changed the way that people got jobs with the federal government, trying to make sure that people who got the jobs were qualified for the jobs – that they didn’t get the jobs just because they were friends of someone who already had a job. “To be qualified” means you have the proper training or education for something. Another thing that Hayes did in 1879 was sign a law that allowed, for the first time, female lawyers to argue cases – to represent people – in front of the highest court in the United States, the Supreme Court.

There were other changes that took place during Hayes’s one-term presidency. He was only president for four years. The very first telephones were installed in the White House. The very first typewriter was used in the White House. He also began a tradition called the Easter Egg Roll for children on Easter Sunday. This was a big party for children, with music and games. That tradition continues today and is held every year on the Monday after Easter. “Easter” (Easter) is a celebration in the Christian religion, in the springtime.

The Republican Party wanted Hayes to continue to be president for a second term, but Hayes refused. He went back instead to Ohio and continued working as a lawyer – continued, in fact, to try to represent the minorities of his state. He died of a heart attack in 1893. His wife, Lucy, had already died a few years earlier, in 1889.

Hayes is remembered as a president who tried to create a fair and honest government, but also one who, in very real ways, failed the African-American community that he had tried to protect earlier in his career by making promises and changing federal government policy in the South. Hayes was happy, however, with the work he had done. He thought he had been successful in many of the things he tried to do and had left the country a better place than it was before he was president. Not all historians agree.

Now let’s answer a few of the questions you have sent to us

Our first question comes from Sara (Sara) in Iran. Sara wants to know the difference between the words “emission” and “propagation.” Let’s start with “emission” (emission).

“Emission” is a noun referring to the sending out or production of something, such as energy or gas. “Emissions” are usually products of some energy-generating source. A simple example would be your car, your automobile, that runs on gas. The motor takes in gas and produces energy, but there are things that are emitted, usually out the back of the car. Those chemicals and other things emitted would be referred to as the “emissions.”

“Propagation” (propagation) is something different. “Propagation” refers to the spreading or the transmission of something such as information or knowledge or even religious beliefs. “Propagation,” at least when it’s done by humans, is usually intentional. You want to do it. To be honest, it’s not a word that we use all that often. There is an organization within the Roman Catholic Church called the “Society for the Propagation of the Faith” which is involved with what are called “missionaries” – people who go out and try to get other people to believe, in this case, in Christianity.

So, propagation can be used in that sense. It might also be used more in a biological sense when we’re talking about different types of life, different organisms that spread and increase. The word “emissions” is probably a bit more common than the word “propagation” nowadays, in part because people are concerned now about the effects of global warming and the possible effects of emissions from machines and factories that might affect that phenomena.

Our next question comes from Conny (Conny) in Germany. Conny has been listening to music and watching American television, apparently, and she’s heard things such as “he don’t” and “she don’t.” She wants to know if this is correct. She thinks that it should be “he doesn’t” or “she doesn’t.”

Well, this is an interesting question. The answer you might get in a grammar book is, of course, that it is “doesn’t” (and not “don’t”) when used with the third person singular, such as “he” and “she.” “He doesn’t,” “she doesn’t” – not “he don’t” and “she don’t.” However, you have to remember that, as in every language, there are different varieties, different kinds of English that are used in different places and/or by different groups of people. In fact, in linguistics, we talk about “language variety” – the different kinds of language that’s used in different situations.

Now, the grammar that you get in a grammar book will be for what linguists would call “standard English.” This would be the English that’s taught in school, the English that is used in the newspaper and on the television, the English that is used typically by the most educated members of a society or the ones that have the most money and the most power. Almost all languages have standard varieties, the ones that are used by those groups with power, money, and education.

But English, like most languages, also has other varieties. Some of these varieties are based on where you live. Some of these are “geographic,” we might say. So, people in Minnesota might use different kinds of language – different vocabulary, say – than people in California. Sometimes those varieties also affect pronunciation. They can also affect what is called “syntax” – the way that words are put together in a sentence, and that would include the conjugation of verbs.

Now, you don’t have to worry about all these different varieties of English. If you’re learning a language, you usually just focus on the standard variety. However, there are also varieties of language, varieties of English that you will hear in songs or on television that are called “nonstandard.” But they’re still perfectly acceptable within those situations.

The difference between a standard variety of a language and the nonstandard varieties is not one is better than the other or one is somehow more sophisticated than the other; they’re simply different.

Now, there are non-standard varieties of English that are associated with geography, with where you live. Sometimes they’re associated with who you are, what kind of group you’re in, including the economic group as well as the, in some cases, racial or ethnic group. Here in the United States, for example, one variety of English that’s identified by linguists is called “African American Vernacular English.”

This is English that is popular in certain African American communities, although it doesn’t mean that if you’re African American you speak this variety, or certainly only that variety, and it doesn’t mean that if you’re not African American you don’t speak that variety. But it’s become identified, if you will, with that particular group, and in African American Vernacular English, sometimes “he don’t” and “she don’t” are perfectly acceptable as a form within that particular variety of English.

So, we have to be careful about saying “Well, it’s wrong” or “It’s right.” It’s not standard English to say “he don’t” and “she don’t,” but if you’re listening to certain music or watching certain television shows, you will hear those different varieties of English. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re simply different from the standard English that you would find in a grammar book or spoken on the six o’clock news.

Finally, we have a question from Makki (Makki) from an unknown country, maybe even an unknown planet. I mean, you don’t know, people could be listening to ESL Podcast on other planets. It’s possible. Do they have Internet on Pluto? Mars? Oh, Pluto isn’t a planet, right? Anyway, you know what I mean.

Makki has a question about the expression “the bidding of the leaders.” To understand this expression – or rather this sentence, because it’s not an expression that you use, it’s a sentence that Makki read somewhere – you have to understand the verb “to do someone’s bidding.” “To do someone’s bidding” (bidding) is to do what someone asks you to do, what someone requests you to do, or perhaps orders you to do. So, if someone says, “He’s doing the bidding” of a certain person or certain group, he means that he’s doing what that group or that person wants him to do.

So, if you are doing “the bidding of the leaders,” you’re doing the request or following the orders of the people who are in charge of – who are leading – a certain group or organization. You’ll read this expression “to do someone’s bidding” and perhaps hear it in conversation, but it’s not all that common. Thank you, Makki, wherever you are, for that question.

If you have a question, whether on Earth or on another planet, you can email us. Our email address is eslpod@eslpod.com.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on the English Café.

ESL Podcast’s English Café was written and produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. Copyright 2015 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
slavery – the practice of owning people and forcing them to work without pay

* Slavery continues today with people taken against their will, imprisoned, and forced to work.

to oppose – to disagree with; to be against something

* Margaritte opposed the airline’s new policy of charging for carry-on luggage so she stopped flying on that airline.

to secede – to formally leave a country taking part of its territory and forming a new country

* There are many reasons a region of a country wants to secede, but the most common is a disagreement over political issues and political power.

to abolish – to formally end a system of doing things; to formally repel (end) a law

* The Civil Rights Act of 1965 abolished segregation laws so that African Americans and other people of color would have equal rights in the United States.

to run for office – to campaign (advertise and promote oneself) and try to get elected to a political position

* When Javier was running for office, he met voters and talked at public events so often that he was hardly ever at home with his family.

to nominate – to formally suggest a person as a candidate for a political election or office; to suggest someone to take on a certain job or role

* The students nominated Isabelle as their choice for the next student president.

rumor – information or story that is told to many people that may or may not be true

* When Kofi heard the rumor going around the office that he was going to quit his job, he immediately went to his boss to let her know that it was not true.

corrupt – having a willingness to be dishonest in return for money or other benefit

* In the early 1900s, the city of Chicago was famous for its corrupt politicians who worked closely with crime families.

to uphold – to maintain and support; to keep and continue doing or using

* Police swear to uphold the law even if it means putting themselves in dangerous or deadly situations.

to interfere – to get involved in an activity or situation without being invited to participate

* Isa tries not to interfere when her children get into arguments, but if they started hitting each other, she steps in to help them resolve the problem.

intention – a plan; a goal; what one plans to do

* Wolfgang had the intention of exercising after work, but at the end of the day, he was so tired he just went home to rest.

to be qualified – to be properly trained to do a job or task; to have the proper certification from a school, government agency, or other authority to do a certain job or task

* Lorenzo is going to school and getting training to be qualified as a surgical nurse.

emission – the producing or sending out of something (such as energy or gas) from a source

* Our instruments can detect any sound emissions from underground.

propagation – the spreading or transmission of something, such as information, knowledge, or theory

* The environmental group hoped that its film would help in the propagation of its ideas to conserve energy.

to do (someone’s) bidding – to follow someone’s order or request in doing something

* Ask the boss for a raise yourself. I’m not doing your bidding by talking to her on your behalf.

What Insiders Know
The Easter Egg Roll at the White House

Easter is a Christian holiday held each year on a Sunday usually in March or April. The holiday celebrates the “resurrection” (becoming alive again after death) of Jesus Christ. Many activities are held during Easter for children, including the Easter egg hunt, where children look for hidden decorated chicken eggs, and the Easter egg roll.

The Easter egg roll, also called “egg rolling,” is a race to see who is the fastest in pushing an egg through the grass using a long-handled spoon. The goal is to get the egg to the “finish line” (end of the race) before the other children do.

An Easter egg roll is held each year on the White House “lawn” (large area with grass) on the Monday following Easter. This traditional game is believed to have started in 1814 by Dolley Madison, wife of “then” (at that time) president James Madison. That year, they invited several hundred children to bring their decorated eggs and to participate in games. Originally, the game was held on the grounds of the United States “Capitol” (main government building). However, in 1877, a new lawn was planted on the grounds forcing the games to be cancelled that year. Congress then passed a law that made it illegal to use the grounds as a children’s playground. The event was then held, at the request of children, including the children of then president Rutherford B. Hayes, on the lawns of the White House.

The Easter egg roll was “abandoned” (forgotten; ended) during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but was “revived” (brought back; brought back to life) by the “first lady” (wife of the president), Mamie Eisenhower during her husband’s – President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s – “term” (period of time in an elected job) from 1953 to 1961. The first lady also opened the event to African American children for the first time. In 2009, President Barack Obama formally invited “non-traditional families” to the event, including “same-sex couples” (romantic relationships with two men or two women) and their children.

Complete Transcript
You’re listening to ESL Podcast’s English Café number 491.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast’s English Café episode 491. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Go to our website at ESLPod.com. Become a member of ESL Podcast and download the Learning Guide, which contains a complete transcript of everything I say as well as vocabulary lists, culture notes, and lots of other exciting things. You can also like us on Facebook at facebook.com/eslpod.

On this Café, we’re going to talk about another one of the presidents of the United States and some history of the United States in the nineteenth century. We’re going to talk specifically about our nineteenth president, the ever-popular Rutherford B. Hayes. And, as always, we’ll answer a few of your questions. Let’s get started.

This Café is all about the nineteenth president of the United States, the one you’ve probably been waiting for for many months, maybe even years, for us to talk about. I’m talking of course about Rutherford B. Hayes. Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in October 1822 in the state of Ohio. Ohio is in the central-eastern part of the United States and is a state that has produced several U.S. presidents.

Sadly, Hayes’s father had died two months before he was born. So, Hayes and his sister were raised by their mother, Sophia. So already we start with a sad element in our story, but it will get better. Just wait. In 1842, at the age of 20, Hayes graduated from a small college in Ohio. He went on, meaning afterwards he continued studying – this time the law at the finest university at that time in United States, Harvard University. Harvard University is still considered one of the best universities – right after the university I graduated from, of course, the University of Minnesota.

Hayes got his degree from Harvard in law in 1845. When he finished, he went back to Ohio and began working as a lawyer. At the time, one of the big issues politically and legally in the United States was slavery. “Slavery” (slavery) is the practice of owning people, and whenever we talk about nineteenth-century history, we almost always come back to this big issue. It was the big issue of the nineteenth century, of the first years of the American nation, the question of slavery, of owning people.

Slavery was still common in many of the southern states in the United States, but it had been outlawed – that is, it had been made illegal in many of the northern states, states such as Ohio, New York, Illinois, and others. Well, Hayes opposed slavery. When we say someone “opposes” (opposes) something, we mean he or she disagrees with it. In this case, Hayes disagreed with the practice of slavery. He wanted to end it. In fact, he wanted to end it so much that he actually worked with slaves who were what were called “fugitives.”

A “fugitive” (fugitive) is a person who escapes either from the police or, in this case, from the slave owners of the South. Some of these slaves would come into the northern states where slavery was illegal and would try to stay and live there as free men and women. A “fugitive slave” would be a slave who had escaped from his or her owner.

There was also a wonderful movie, that had nothing to do with slavery, with Harrison Ford called The Fugitive (in English it was called The Fugitive). It’s a great movie. I’ve seen it like 30 times. I mean, I practically could have played the part myself, quite honestly, I know it so well. But that has nothing to do with our current topic of Rutherford B. Hayes, even though it might be more interesting.

Rutherford B. Hayes was a lawyer, then, who defended these fugitive slaves – who tried to prevent them from being sent back to their owners. It was through his work with fugitive slaves that Hayes got interested in the Republican Party. The Republican Party was a new political party at that time that was opposed to slavery also. It was started in the 1850s. One of the most famous early members of the Republican Party was a man who himself went on to become president, Abraham Lincoln, perhaps our greatest president.

When, in 1961, the Civil War began, Hayes joined the Union Army. The Civil War was, of course, that brief but bloody war between the states of the North and the states of the South which resulted in the northern states – called the Union States – winning and eventually getting rid of slavery. A civil war in general is when two different groups in one country fight each other.

In the case of the United States Civil War, the Southern states wanted to keep slavery, and so they decided that they would secede from the Union, from the union of states from the United States of America. “To secede” (secede) means to formally leave a country of which you used to be a member. We’re not talking about an individual person; we’re talking about a whole group of people and the land that they own.

Well, Abraham Lincoln said that you couldn’t secede from the Union, at least not without the permission of the entire government. And so he fought the South and eventually won the war, establishing forever in American law that a state cannot decide it wants to leave the Union unless the Union agrees. In 1865, the Union Army won the war and slavery was eventually abolished. “To abolish” (abolish) means to end something, especially laws regarding something. In this case, slavery was abolished in the Southern states and throughout the United States, of course.

After the war ended, Hayes left the army and returned to Ohio where he was elected to our national representative body called “Congress.” He served in, or was a member of, Congress from 1865 until 1867 – only two years – when he decided that he wanted to be the governor his state. The “governor” is the leader of the state – kind of like the president of the state, but we don’t call him or her the president. We call him or her, the governor. California had a famous governor a few years ago, a former actor and weight lifter by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I’ll be back.” You remember Arnold, don’t you?

Anyway, Rutherford B. Hayes ran for office – that is, he tried to become the governor –and he won in 1868 and was reelected (he was elected again) two more times, serving as governor of Ohio until 1876. What happened in 1876, you ask? And even if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you. Well, the Republican Party in Washington noticed what a good leader Hayes was as governor of Ohio, and they decided they needed someone to become their next candidate for the presidency. So, they nominated Hayes as their candidate.

“To nominate” (nominate) means to put forward someone’s name as a representative of your group or as someone who you want to win a certain contest or a certain, in this case, election – a certain competition. For example, we have here in Hollywood, here in Los Angeles, the Oscar Awards every year, given to the best movies and actors and actresses and other people involved in making movies. The Academy, the group of people who decide on the winner, begin by nominating certain movies and certain people for these awards.

They say, “Okay, you we want, maybe you, or maybe you, or maybe you.” They pick a small group and then everyone votes on that small group to see who the winner is. And then of course they go to the ceremony, and if their name is not announced they still have to smile and clap for the person who won, even though we know that they’re really mad.

Well, that’s not what happened to Rutherford B. Hayes, because there weren’t any movies back in the late nineteenth century, right? No, but there were presidential elections, and Hayes was nominated for the office of the presidency by the Republican Party and he won.

Now, during the election campaign, during the time in which he tried to become president, there were a lot of rumors about the current president, who at that time was another famous Civil War person, Ulysses S. Grant. He was a general – a leader of the Union forces during the war. Many people thought that Ulysses S. Grant was corrupt, and there were a lot of rumors about him. A “rumor” (rumor) is a story that people tell which they don’t necessarily know is true or not. Usually it’s a bad thing, but not always.

The rumor about Ulysses S. Grant was that he and other members of his administration were corrupt. When we say someone is “corrupt” (corrupt), we mean they’re dishonest, often taking money for doing things that they are supposed to do anyway, or taking money and doing things with the power they have in the government that they shouldn’t be doing. Hayes had the reputation of not being corrupt, of being an honest politician.

The election of 1876 was very close. After all the votes were counted, there was a problem. Both the Republican candidate, Hayes, and the candidate for the Democrats, Samuel J. Tilden, said that they had won some of the same states. These were the states of South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. The election was so close in the states that no one really knew who exactly had won them.

Well, the U.S. Congress decided to create what was called an “electoral commission.” This commission was responsible for looking at the votes and deciding who actually won the elections in these three states, and therefore who won the presidency. The commission was supposed to be balanced. However, eventually there were more Republicans on the commission than Democrats, and so of course they decided that the Republicans won.

Now, this was very controversial. A lot of people were angry about this. It’s interesting because a somewhat similar thing happened again in American history more recently, in the year 2000, when once again in the state of Florida there was a disagreement about who won the election in that state – was it Al Gore or was it George W. Bush?

In the case of Gore and Bush, the final decision in some ways was made by not the electoral commission, but by the U.S. Supreme Court, which voted five to four that Bush basically was going to be the next president. How many Republicans were on the Supreme Court? Five. How many Democrats? Four. Well, something similar to that happened in 1876 – or with the 1876 election, I could should say, because the election wasn’t decided until 1877. When someone is elected president of the United States, even today, they don’t begin right away. They start the following year.

Before being elected to the presidency, Hayes had made certain promises. He said that the Republican Party was going to do things differently in the American South relating to something called “Reconstruction.” “Reconstruction” was a period after the Civil War in which the government – the Northern government, if you will – tried to rebuild the governments in the states in the South. It was a difficult because, of course, many people in the South didn’t want to accept the fact that they had lost the war.

Many people in the South resisted the changes that the U.S. national government was trying to make in the legal and political systems of the states. Hayes had made some promises to the Southern states, basically saying that he was going to stop some of these changes. Even though Hayes himself was against slavery and tried to defend African Americans against discrimination, he made some changes that made things worse for blacks, for African Americans, especially in these Southern states.

One of the things he did was remove the government troops, the U.S. federal troops, that were still present in many of the states. They were there to in part protect the rights of African Americans. Well, Hayes removed these troops, these soldiers, from the South. He made the leaders of the Southern states promise not to discriminate against African Americans, but unfortunately they did not uphold that promise. “To uphold” (uphold) means to do something that you promise to do or to continue to support something that you say you are going to do.

Hayes also agreed not to get involved or to interfere with the elections in the Southern states. During Reconstruction – during the period after the Civil War, before Hayes became president – the government had been very involved in the elections to make sure that African Americans had the right to vote and that their right was not interfered with.

By not paying attention to the elections, Hayes and his government basically allowed the Southern leaders to discriminate once again against African Americans, especially when it came to elections. That wasn’t Hayes’s intention. That wasn’t what he was planning on doing. Your “intention” (intention) is your goal, what you want to do. Hayes’ intention was to protect African Americans, but that’s not in fact what happened. During the rest of his time as president, Hayes tried to create a fair and honest government.

He changed the way that people got jobs with the federal government, trying to make sure that people who got the jobs were qualified for the jobs – that they didn’t get the jobs just because they were friends of someone who already had a job. “To be qualified” means you have the proper training or education for something. Another thing that Hayes did in 1879 was sign a law that allowed, for the first time, female lawyers to argue cases – to represent people – in front of the highest court in the United States, the Supreme Court.

There were other changes that took place during Hayes’s one-term presidency. He was only president for four years. The very first telephones were installed in the White House. The very first typewriter was used in the White House. He also began a tradition called the Easter Egg Roll for children on Easter Sunday. This was a big party for children, with music and games. That tradition continues today and is held every year on the Monday after Easter. “Easter” (Easter) is a celebration in the Christian religion, in the springtime.

The Republican Party wanted Hayes to continue to be president for a second term, but Hayes refused. He went back instead to Ohio and continued working as a lawyer – continued, in fact, to try to represent the minorities of his state. He died of a heart attack in 1893. His wife, Lucy, had already died a few years earlier, in 1889.

Hayes is remembered as a president who tried to create a fair and honest government, but also one who, in very real ways, failed the African-American community that he had tried to protect earlier in his career by making promises and changing federal government policy in the South. Hayes was happy, however, with the work he had done. He thought he had been successful in many of the things he tried to do and had left the country a better place than it was before he was president. Not all historians agree.

Now let’s answer a few of the questions you have sent to us

Our first question comes from Sara (Sara) in Iran. Sara wants to know the difference between the words “emission” and “propagation.” Let’s start with “emission” (emission).

“Emission” is a noun referring to the sending out or production of something, such as energy or gas. “Emissions” are usually products of some energy-generating source. A simple example would be your car, your automobile, that runs on gas. The motor takes in gas and produces energy, but there are things that are emitted, usually out the back of the car. Those chemicals and other things emitted would be referred to as the “emissions.”

“Propagation” (propagation) is something different. “Propagation” refers to the spreading or the transmission of something such as information or knowledge or even religious beliefs. “Propagation,” at least when it’s done by humans, is usually intentional. You want to do it. To be honest, it’s not a word that we use all that often. There is an organization within the Roman Catholic Church called the “Society for the Propagation of the Faith” which is involved with what are called “missionaries” – people who go out and try to get other people to believe, in this case, in Christianity.

So, propagation can be used in that sense. It might also be used more in a biological sense when we’re talking about different types of life, different organisms that spread and increase. The word “emissions” is probably a bit more common than the word “propagation” nowadays, in part because people are concerned now about the effects of global warming and the possible effects of emissions from machines and factories that might affect that phenomena.

Our next question comes from Conny (Conny) in Germany. Conny has been listening to music and watching American television, apparently, and she’s heard things such as “he don’t” and “she don’t.” She wants to know if this is correct. She thinks that it should be “he doesn’t” or “she doesn’t.”

Well, this is an interesting question. The answer you might get in a grammar book is, of course, that it is “doesn’t” (and not “don’t”) when used with the third person singular, such as “he” and “she.” “He doesn’t,” “she doesn’t” – not “he don’t” and “she don’t.” However, you have to remember that, as in every language, there are different varieties, different kinds of English that are used in different places and/or by different groups of people. In fact, in linguistics, we talk about “language variety” – the different kinds of language that’s used in different situations.

Now, the grammar that you get in a grammar book will be for what linguists would call “standard English.” This would be the English that’s taught in school, the English that is used in the newspaper and on the television, the English that is used typically by the most educated members of a society or the ones that have the most money and the most power. Almost all languages have standard varieties, the ones that are used by those groups with power, money, and education.

But English, like most languages, also has other varieties. Some of these varieties are based on where you live. Some of these are “geographic,” we might say. So, people in Minnesota might use different kinds of language – different vocabulary, say – than people in California. Sometimes those varieties also affect pronunciation. They can also affect what is called “syntax” – the way that words are put together in a sentence, and that would include the conjugation of verbs.

Now, you don’t have to worry about all these different varieties of English. If you’re learning a language, you usually just focus on the standard variety. However, there are also varieties of language, varieties of English that you will hear in songs or on television that are called “nonstandard.” But they’re still perfectly acceptable within those situations.

The difference between a standard variety of a language and the nonstandard varieties is not one is better than the other or one is somehow more sophisticated than the other; they’re simply different.

Now, there are non-standard varieties of English that are associated with geography, with where you live. Sometimes they’re associated with who you are, what kind of group you’re in, including the economic group as well as the, in some cases, racial or ethnic group. Here in the United States, for example, one variety of English that’s identified by linguists is called “African American Vernacular English.”

This is English that is popular in certain African American communities, although it doesn’t mean that if you’re African American you speak this variety, or certainly only that variety, and it doesn’t mean that if you’re not African American you don’t speak that variety. But it’s become identified, if you will, with that particular group, and in African American Vernacular English, sometimes “he don’t” and “she don’t” are perfectly acceptable as a form within that particular variety of English.

So, we have to be careful about saying “Well, it’s wrong” or “It’s right.” It’s not standard English to say “he don’t” and “she don’t,” but if you’re listening to certain music or watching certain television shows, you will hear those different varieties of English. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re simply different from the standard English that you would find in a grammar book or spoken on the six o’clock news.

Finally, we have a question from Makki (Makki) from an unknown country, maybe even an unknown planet. I mean, you don’t know, people could be listening to ESL Podcast on other planets. It’s possible. Do they have Internet on Pluto? Mars? Oh, Pluto isn’t a planet, right? Anyway, you know what I mean.

Makki has a question about the expression “the bidding of the leaders.” To understand this expression – or rather this sentence, because it’s not an expression that you use, it’s a sentence that Makki read somewhere – you have to understand the verb “to do someone’s bidding.” “To do someone’s bidding” (bidding) is to do what someone asks you to do, what someone requests you to do, or perhaps orders you to do. So, if someone says, “He’s doing the bidding” of a certain person or certain group, he means that he’s doing what that group or that person wants him to do.

So, if you are doing “the bidding of the leaders,” you’re doing the request or following the orders of the people who are in charge of – who are leading – a certain group or organization. You’ll read this expression “to do someone’s bidding” and perhaps hear it in conversation, but it’s not all that common. Thank you, Makki, wherever you are, for that question.

If you have a question, whether on Earth or on another planet, you can email us. Our email address is eslpod@eslpod.com.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on the English Café.

ESL Podcast’s English Café was written and produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. Copyright 2015 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
slavery – the practice of owning people and forcing them to work without pay

* Slavery continues today with people taken against their will, imprisoned, and forced to work.

to oppose – to disagree with; to be against something

* Margaritte opposed the airline’s new policy of charging for carry-on luggage so she stopped flying on that airline.

to secede – to formally leave a country taking part of its territory and forming a new country

* There are many reasons a region of a country wants to secede, but the most common is a disagreement over political issues and political power.

to abolish – to formally end a system of doing things; to formally repel (end) a law

* The Civil Rights Act of 1965 abolished segregation laws so that African Americans and other people of color would have equal rights in the United States.

to run for office – to campaign (advertise and promote oneself) and try to get elected to a political position

* When Javier was running for office, he met voters and talked at public events so often that he was hardly ever at home with his family.

to nominate – to formally suggest a person as a candidate for a political election or office; to suggest someone to take on a certain job or role

* The students nominated Isabelle as their choice for the next student president.

rumor – information or story that is told to many people that may or may not be true

* When Kofi heard the rumor going around the office that he was going to quit his job, he immediately went to his boss to let her know that it was not true.

corrupt – having a willingness to be dishonest in return for money or other benefit

* In the early 1900s, the city of Chicago was famous for its corrupt politicians who worked closely with crime families.

to uphold – to maintain and support; to keep and continue doing or using

* Police swear to uphold the law even if it means putting themselves in dangerous or deadly situations.

to interfere – to get involved in an activity or situation without being invited to participate

* Isa tries not to interfere when her children get into arguments, but if they started hitting each other, she steps in to help them resolve the problem.

intention – a plan; a goal; what one plans to do

* Wolfgang had the intention of exercising after work, but at the end of the day, he was so tired he just went home to rest.

to be qualified – to be properly trained to do a job or task; to have the proper certification from a school, government agency, or other authority to do a certain job or task

* Lorenzo is going to school and getting training to be qualified as a surgical nurse.

emission – the producing or sending out of something (such as energy or gas) from a source

* Our instruments can detect any sound emissions from underground.

propagation – the spreading or transmission of something, such as information, knowledge, or theory

* The environmental group hoped that its film would help in the propagation of its ideas to conserve energy.

to do (someone’s) bidding – to follow someone’s order or request in doing something

* Ask the boss for a raise yourself. I’m not doing your bidding by talking to her on your behalf.

What Insiders Know
The Easter Egg Roll at the White House

Easter is a Christian holiday held each year on a Sunday usually in March or April. The holiday celebrates the “resurrection” (becoming alive again after death) of Jesus Christ. Many activities are held during Easter for children, including the Easter egg hunt, where children look for hidden decorated chicken eggs, and the Easter egg roll.

The Easter egg roll, also called “egg rolling,” is a race to see who is the fastest in pushing an egg through the grass using a long-handled spoon. The goal is to get the egg to the “finish line” (end of the race) before the other children do.

An Easter egg roll is held each year on the White House “lawn” (large area with grass) on the Monday following Easter. This traditional game is believed to have started in 1814 by Dolley Madison, wife of “then” (at that time) president James Madison. That year, they invited several hundred children to bring their decorated eggs and to participate in games. Originally, the game was held on the grounds of the United States “Capitol” (main government building). However, in 1877, a new lawn was planted on the grounds forcing the games to be cancelled that year. Congress then passed a law that made it illegal to use the grounds as a children’s playground. The event was then held, at the request of children, including the children of then president Rutherford B. Hayes, on the lawns of the White House.

The Easter egg roll was “abandoned” (forgotten; ended) during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but was “revived” (brought back; brought back to life) by the “first lady” (wife of the president), Mamie Eisenhower during her husband’s – President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s – “term” (period of time in an elected job) from 1953 to 1961. The first lady also opened the event to African American children for the first time. In 2009, President Barack Obama formally invited “non-traditional families” to the event, including “same-sex couples” (romantic relationships with two men or two women) and their children.