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March 19, 1999

Welcome to America

Stories of people moving to this country: what they see and hear about America that those of us who were born here don't necessarily see.

Prologue

Ira goes to the courtroom of Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, who, at 93, presides over the ceremony to make people citizens. In this setting, it's hard to talk about America as it is. Instead, people talk about the America we wish we lived in. (4 minutes)

What Do Arnold Schwarzenegger And Sigmund Freud Have In Common?

Because of a shortage of math and science teachers, New York City decided to import instructors from Austria. Then the Austrians started to see things about this country that few Americans ever get to see. What they know that you don't know about life in America. David Rakoff reports. (31 minutes)

Song:

“New York City” by They Might Be Giants

Are Movies Stronger Than Communism?

This is a story of a father and son—told by the son, Juan Zaldivar, who was born in Cuba. Juan has spent the past four years shooting a movie about his father, to try to reassure him that he did the right thing to leave Cuba with his family in the 1980s and come to America. His father, so far, is not reassured. (20 minutes)