Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Betty Ford

Betty Ford

Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren
April 8, 1918 – July 8, 2011
U.S. First Lady

Born in Chicago, Illinois; Place of death: Rancho Mirage, California
Maiden name: Elizabeth Anne Bloomer
Became First Lady when President Nixon resigned and made her Vice President husband, Gerald Ford, the acting President
Third child and only daughter of W. Bloomer Sr and Hortense Neahr
8 years of age studied ballet, tap, modern movement
14 years old taught younger children the foxtrot,  and waltz
Opened her own dance school when she was a HS student
Dad died when she was 14 and her mother supported her as a real-estate agent
Studied under choreographer, Martha Graham; performed at Carnegie Hall
Fashion coordinator for Herpolscheimer Dept. Store
Married William C. Warren in 1942 and divorced in 1945
1948 married Gerald Ford and had four children: Michael, John, Steven, Susan
Became the First Lady of the USA in 1973
Diagnosed with malignant breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy
Time magazine named her WOMAN OF THE YEAR in 1975
When Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in the election Betty Ford delivered his concession speech due to her husband's bout with laryngitis in the last days of the campaign.
Entered Long Beach Naval Hospital in 1978 for drug and alcohol rehabilitation
Full recovery in 1982 and established the Betty Ford Center dedicated to helping all people, but especially women with chemical dependency.
1987 published a book about her treatment: Betty: A Glad Awakening,
2003 published Healing and Hope: Six Women from the Betty Ford Center Share Their Powerful Journeys of Addiction and Recovery
1991 earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H.W. Bush; received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999; honored with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service
Gerald, husband of 58 years died at the age of 93
Remained active as chair-emeritus of the Betty Ford Center
Died at 89 years old of natural causes at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA.
Buried next to her husband on what would have been his 98th birthday

Betty Ford was a pioneering first lady whose public battles with cancer
and addiction changed the lives of millions. I greatly admired her.

My favorite quote of Betty Ford:
         I have an independent streak. You know, it's kind of hard to tell an independent woman what to do.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Eric Henry Liddell

Eric Liddell

Eric Henry Liddell
1-16-1902 – 2-21-1945
Athlete and Missionary

·         Born in Tianjin (Tientsin), Qing Empire(China)
·         Died: 21 February 1945 (aged 43) Weihsien Internment Camp, China
·         Second son of the Rev. and Mrs. James Dunlop Liddell, who were Scottish missionaries with the London Missionary Society.
·          Attended school in China until the age of five. At the age of six, he and his brother Robert, eight years old, were enrolled in Eltham College, Mottingham, a boarding school in England for the sons of missionaries
·          Chosen to speak for Glasgow Students' Evangelical Union because he was a strong Christian
·          His job was to be the lead speaker and to evangelize the men of Scotland
·          Joined his brother Robert at the University of Edinburgh to study Pure Science
·          Refused to run in a heat held on Sunday (the Christian Sabbath) and was forced to withdraw from the 100-metres race, his best event
·         Awarded the Blackheath Cup
·         Eltham College's sports centre was named "Eric Liddell Sports Centre" in his
·         memory Captain of both the cricket and rugby union teams
·          Headmaster described him as being "entirely without vanity"
·         Fastest runner in Scotland while at Oxford College
·         Team: Scottish International
·         Club: Edinburgh University
·         Sport: Athletics & Rugby Union
·         Called the “Flying Scotsman that could not fly”
·         Scottish athlete
·         Medal Record: Men’s Athletics; Competitor for Great Britain
·         Because of his birth and death in China, some of that country's Olympic literature lists Liddell as China's first Olympic champion
·         Rugby union international player
·         winner of the men's 400 meters at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris
·         Olympic training and racing, and the religious convictions that influenced him, are depicted in the Oscar-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire, in which he is portrayed by fellow Scot Ian Charleson
·         First job as a missionary was as a teacher at an Anglo-Chinese College (grades 1–12) for wealthy Chinese students
·         During his first furlough from missionary work in 1932, he was ordained a minister of religion
·         Married Florence Mackenzie of Canada missionary parentage in Tianjin in 1934
·         Three daughters, Patricia, Heather and Maureen
·         One of his daughters visited Tianjin in 1991 and presented the headmaster of the school with one of the medals that Eric had won for athletics
·         1941 life in China had become so dangerous because of Japanese aggressiveness that the British government advised British nationals to leave
·         Florence and the children left for Canada to stay with her family when Liddell accepted a position at a rural mission station in Xiaozhang, which served the poor
·         Accepted a position at a rural mission station in Xiaozhang that served the poor
·         Joined his brother, Rob, who was a doctor there. The station was severely short of help and the missionaries there were exhausted; Suffered many hardships
·         Japanese took over the mission station and Liddell returned to Tianjin.
·         1943 was interned at the Weihsien Internment Camp (in the modern city of Weifang) with the members of the China Inland Mission, Chefoo School in the city now known as Yantai
·         Became a leader and organizer at the camp, but food, medicine and other supplies were scarce
·         Busied himself by helping the elderly, teaching at the camp school Bible classes, arranging games and by teaching science to the children, who referred to him as Uncle Eric
·         Last letter to his wife, written on the day he died he wrote of suffering a nervous breakdown due to overwork
·         Had an inoperable brain tumor; overwork, and malnourishment may have hastened his death
·         Died five months before liberation
·         Refused an opportunity to leave the camp, and instead gave his place to a pregnant woman. The Japanese and British with Churchill's approval had agreed upon a prisoner exchange
·         Eric Liddell was the most popular athlete Scotland has ever produced, according to the public voting for the first inductees for the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002
·         Buried in the garden behind the Japanese officers' quarters, his grave marked by a small wooden cross
·         1991 Edinburgh University erected a memorial headstone, made from Isle of Mull granite and carved by a mason in Tobermory, at the former camp site in Weifang
·         Living memorial, the Eric Liddell Centre, an Edinburgh, Scotland based charity, was set up in 1980 to honor Eric’s beliefs in community service whilst he lived and studied in Edinburgh
·          Liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) remembers Liddell with a feast day on 22 February
·         The 1981 film Chariots of Fire chronicles and contrasts the lives and viewpoints of Eric Liddell
·         Rival Harold Abrahams said in response to criticism of Liddell's style: "People may shout their heads off about his appalling style. Well, let them. He gets there."

I was living in Chingola, Zambia when I saw the film CHARIOTS OF FIRE playing at the only movie theatre in Kitwe.  Our friends from Scotland that were living and working in Zambia invited Bill and I to go with them.  Needless to say the theatre was packed with Scottish families living in Zambia.