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July 21

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.

Janet Reno First Woman U.S. Attorney General

Henrietta King Developed Ranch of a Million Acres


QUOTE by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Janet Reno

RenoJanettestify.JPGJanet Reno was considered too tall and not good looking enough to hire as an attorney.

Born 07-21-1938, Janet Reno, the first U.S. Attorney General in the history of the United States who is also a woman. Her honesty, integrity and ability have made her a legend in her own time. Her office is often deluged with flowers from a grateful public after she has made the tough, but right decision.
      As State Attorney (first appointed and then elected four times), she headed the prosecutorial duties for her native Dade County, Florida, supervising 940 staff members before she was appointed AG by President Bill Clinton. Her mother built - with her own hands - the family home that JR still calls home. It is located in Dade County at what was the edge of the Everglades. It has withstood a dozen hurricanes including Andrew.
      Jane Wood Reno was an investigative reporter for the Miami News. Unfortunately she died the year before her daughter was named Attorney General but she did lived to see her daughter become the most respected political figure in her native Dade County.
      Janet Reno worked her way though college waiting tables. She graduated from Harvard Law school, only one of 16 women in a class of 500 men, but being a Harvard grad meant nothing. She couldn't get a job in Miami because she was a woman (and a tall one at that and, of course, not a "pretty young thing.")
      She served as legal counsel for several legislative committees and then worked in the Dade County State Attorney's office. She was appointed to the top post when it became vacant and was subsequently elected four times as the top vote getter in Dade.
      Oh, one of the law firms that turned her down offered her a partnership a few years later...
      Her record as Attorney General of the United States has been difficult. She has faced more tough legal problems than a dozen AG usual face. She was strongly criticized by some for the Waco tragedy of the Branch Davidian suicides/murders but subsequent hearings absolved her of blame. With the Elian Gonzalez case, she steadfastly maintained that a child belongs with her/his mother/father. And in attempts to set up a separate, uncontrollable series of special prosecutors top further political aims, she resisted and demanded full compliance to the law. During her many, many grueling appearances before hostile congressional committees controlled by the opposite party, she has remained soft spoken, positive, and thoroughly professional. As her time in office as the top administrator in the Justice Department progressed, she became more admired and respected - and even her earlier opponents admitted she made the right decisions.

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B. 07-21-1832, Henrietta King - U.S. rancher. HK inherited a good size ranch in west Texas - 500,000 acres - from her husband and a king-sized debt. By all reason the ranch should have gone on the auction block, but Mz Henrietta was a stubborn woman.
      She 0decided to run it herself, hiring her son- in-law to assist. Together they streamlined the ranch operations. She personally developed the Santa Gertrudis cattle breed that became the mainstay of the Texas cattle business.
      When she died at age 92 in 1925, she had parlayed that nearly bankrupt ranch into the world-renowned King Ranch of 1,280,000 debt-free acres and an estate in excess of $5 million.

B. 07-21-1853, Anna Adams Gordon - U.S. social activist. AAG at 24 became the live-in private secretary of Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) organizer and its long-time president Frances Willard.
      She became a prominent activist in the WCTU in addition to her duties to Willard and she served as national as well as world WCTU president after Willard's death. It was under her presidency that the U.S. adopted the 18th Amendment prohibiting the manufacture and sale of liquor, the last major attempt by government to legislate morality and like all others, it failed.

B. 07-21-1856, Louise Blanchard Bethune - U.S. architect. LBB was the first professional architect in the U.S. who was also a woman. In 1889 she was elected the first woman member of the American Institute of Architects.

B. 07-21-1858, Maria Cristina De Habsburgo-Lorena, Queen consort of Alfonso XII of Spain who ruled Spain for 17 years as queen regent for her son Alfonso XIII (1885-1902). Her liberal policies stabilized the government and brought peace to the war-torn country.
      [Ed. Note: Isn't it strange that there were so many queen regents who ruled so many countries for so many years, and somehow historians forget to mention them in the history books... amazing. Maria Lorena's actions are recorded under the reign of her son.]

B. 07-21-1870, Florence Jaffray Harriman - U.S. diplomat. FJH was the second American woman to hold ministerial rank. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed her Ambassador to Norway in June 1937.
      When Norway was invaded by the Germans, she fled to Sweden and from there helped a number of Norwegians get to safety, including the royal family. She continued to do remarkable service during WWII saving many who were hunted by the Nazis.
      In 1963 she became the first person to receive the newly created citation of Merit for Distinguished Service to the United States.

cartersara.JPGB. 07-21-1898, Sara Dougherty Carter - U.S. music legend. SDC, with her husband A.P., formed the nucleus of the Carter family singing group that included cousin Maybelle Carter (B. 05-10-1909) and Maybelle's children (including June Carter)as they grew up. The group disbanded in 1943.
      The group was responsible for the popularization of Appalachian and folk music and was the first group to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Much of today's country music depends on the innovative guitar styling of Maybelle as well as Sara's slide picking.

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"It is essential to a woman's equality with man that she be the decision maker, that her choice be controlling [to herself]. If you impose restraints, you are disadvantaging her because of her sex. The state controlling a woman would mean denying her full autonomy and full equality."
            -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg testifying in her 1993 U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for associate justice of the Supreme Court.

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