George: Martha, can you believe all the changes that have taken place since you and I were alive back in the 1700's?
Martha: No kidding! I think I could get used to McDonald's! Why didn't we think of that?
George: Because we were too busy trying to build a nation. Remember those first colonies and all the people looking to us for leadership?
Martha: Oh, yes! I also remember something else you said about building me a beautiful white house on a hill. Remember that, George?
George: Well, I'm sorry we never lived in the White House, but I have to admit that this country has grown into the greatest nation on earth. I never dreamed that those thirteen original colonies would some day turn into fifty United States of America. What a wonderful country!
MC3: Well, I guess they were passing through our set! Welcome contestants to "Do You Want to Be a Millionaire?"
MC1: Question number 1" Was George Washington a patriot?
Contestant 1: Yes, one of the greatest. He was the general who led the Americans in the war against England. And he was the first President of the United States. That's why we call him the Father of our Country. He was a great man because he was a good man.
MC1: Thank you for more than I needed to know!
MC2: Who is Uncle Sam, Contestant number 2?
Contestant 2: Uncle Sam is a tall man dressed in red, white, and blue. He is a symbol of America. He stands for hard work, honesty, and loyalty. All Americans should be proud that Uncle Sam is one of our symbols of liberty.
MC2: Is that your final answer? (Contestant nods "Yes")
MC3: What is democracy?
Contestant 3: Our form of government is a democracy. The people rule through representatives they elect. The laws are made by Congress. The two parts of the Congress are the Senate and the House of Representatives. This is the Legislative branch of the government.
MC3: Thank you!
MC1: What is the Supreme Court?
Contestant 4: The Supreme Court is made up of nine judges. They decide if the local, state, and federal governments are acting according to the Constitution of the United States. This is called the Judicial branch of the government.
MC1: Thanks, you are correct!
MC2: Who is our current president and what is his branch of the government called?
Contestant 5: Our current president is George W. Bush and he is the head of the Executive branch of the government. He appoints other high officials and members of the Supreme Court. He is commander-in-chief of the armed forces that protect our country.
MC2: Thanks again! Is that your final answer? (Contestant nods "Yes")
MC3: What is our capital?
Contestant 6: The capital is Washington, D.C. The states of Virginia and Maryland gave the land for the capital and President Washington chose the site where it was to be built. They named it the City of Washington after the President.
MC3: Is that (I hope so!) your final answer?
MC1: What is the Liberty Bell?
Contestant 7: The Liberty Bell is an American treasure. It was first cast in England and weighs more than a ton. After it broke, they recast it and rang it every year for 80 years. They stopped ringing it after it cracked the second time. It is now in Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
MC1: Good answer!
MC2:What is the motto of our country?
Contestant 8: A motto is a word or phrase that expresses an attitude or principle. "In God We Trust" is the motto of our country. These words of faith appear on all our coins and also on our paper currency.
MC2: Is that your final answer? (Contestant nods "Yes" )
MC3: Do we have a special song?
Contestant 9: Our national anthem is "The Star-Spangled Banner." The flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song still hangs in Washington, D.C. It is 50 feet long and covers an entire wall.
MC1: Does our country have a bird to represent it?
Contestant 10: The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States. The figure appears on many American coins and special flags. A special act of Congress protects bald eagles from hunters. Many bald eagles can be seen in their natural habitat in the state of Alaska.
MC1: I take it that that is the answer you want to go with? (Contestant nods or says, "Yes")
MC2: Looks like you are going to a parade young man. Can you tell me the name of our national flower?
Contestant 11: The national flower is the rose.
MC2: Short and sweet- nice job!
MC3: Are you with our next contestant? Can you tell us the highest and lowest points in the United States?
Contestant 12: Mount McKinley in Alaska is our country's highest peak and Death Valley in California is our country's lowest point.
MC3: Final answer? (Contestant nods "Yes")
MC2: What is the name of the canal that connected the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes in 1819?
Contestant 13: That would be the Erie Canal. It was 363 miles long, and did you know that mule teams pulled boats through the canal with 100 foot long towropes?
You don't say! Erie Canal is the correct answer! You'd better catch up with the parade.
This traditional song was found in this excellent book, "From Sea to Shining Sea" compiled by Amy Cohn
More about the Erie Canal with links to sheet music.
MC1: What is our longest river?
Contestant 14: Our nation has many beautiful rivers, but the might Mississippi is the longest of them all. It is over 2,000 miles long! That's spelled MISSISSIPPI!
MC2: These contestants have studied way too much!
MC3: What is the Constitution?
Contestant 15: The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Constitution made the United States a nation. It was written 1787 and was signed by 40 men. Four famous signers were George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Alexander Hanilton.
MC3: Is that your final answer? (Contestant nods "Yes")
(While the music plays, children carrying cards with the words to the Preamble to the Constitution come to the front of the stage.)
MC1: As a team, would you say our Preamble to the Constitution?
in order to form a more perfect union,
insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty,
to ourselves and our posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States of America."
(Bring out a chair and desk for the David Letterman scene.)
Letterman: Oh, my! Our special guests tonight are John F. Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King. Give them a hand!.
Mr. Kennedy, we are so glad to have you here. Tell us a little about yourself.
J.F. Kennedy: I was the youngest man ever elected president, and I was the youngest ever to die in office. In my inaugural address in 1961, I said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
Letterman: Mr. Jefferson.
'Thomas Jefferson: I was one of the writers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. I said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Letterman: We appreciate your coming, Mr. Jefferson.
Mr. Lincoln, we are in complete awe that you are here. What do you consider your most outstanding deeds?
Abraham Lincoln: I was the sixteenth president of the United States, and I said in my famous Gettysburg Address in 1863, "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
Those are some of my best!
Letterman: Dr. King.
Martin L. King: I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. I made a famous speech in Washington, D.C. as I stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In this speech given on August 28, 1964, I said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.'"
Letterman: Thank you Dr. King. Those are powerful words.
(Camera Team comes to stage.)
Camera 1: Wow! Old Abe looks really good for his age!
Camera 2: No joke! Hey! Do you know where the Declaration of Independence was signed?
Camera 1: Well.... I think it was....hmmm....
Camera 2: It was signed at the bottom!
Camera 1: Ha-ha. Such a funny guy you are tonight. We'd better get ready for Part 2 of our program. These TV watchers will learn all they ever wanted to know about our proud flag.
Camera 1 and 2: Stars and Stripes Forever! Take One!