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July 26

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

Grueling Practice Makes a Champion, Not Just Talent


QUOTES from Newsweek; anon.

Grueling Practice Makes a Champion, Not Just Talent

Two Olympic champions - two women who exemplify the fruit of hard work and devotion to an ideal - Micki King born 07-26-1944 and Dorothy Hamill born 07-26-1956.

Micki King, after years of sacrifice and a daily grind that would been impossible for most people, was leading for the diving gold medal in the 1968 Olympics when she struck the board on her last dive and broke her arm.
      She made the dive anyway but fell to fourth from a clear lead.
      Instead of cursing the fates or luck, she the almost inhuman training of several hundred dives a week so that at the extraordinarily old age of 28 (for Olympic participation) she won the gold in the 1972 Olympics.

MK went on to coach at the U.S. Military Academy with a rank of captain in the Air Force. She had enlisted in 1966 and competed in the Olympics while in the military. She was the first woman to ever coach men in the service.
      In world-wide military competition against men, she finished third and fourth in various diving events when she was the only woman competitor. Dorothy Hamill, the U.S. gold-medal-winning-ice-skater of the 1976 Olympics, was a surprise win. She astounded everyone with perfect marks in several of the short programs and an almost perfect final artistic burst. It was one of the most impressive exhibitions in ice skating history.
      Her bubbly personality made her a popular celebrity and her wedge-cut hair became the rage.
      She became the country's biggest draw as a professional skater with the Ice Capades, a show that she bought in 1993 and nursed back to financial health.
      Hamill's schedule shows the kind of devotion one has to make to a sport (or really to any endeavor) to succeed: she quit regular school at 14 (replaced by tutors) and practiced seven hours a day, six days a week for six years.

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DIED 07-26-1659, Moll Cutpurse - Britain's most notorious 17th century woman outlaw. Both as a pickpocket or "cutpurse" and as a highwayman dressed in male clothing, she was a failure. She was arrested time and time again.
      Seeing the error of her ways, she got out of the active trade and became a noteworthy seller of stolen goods. She even opened an outlet on Fleet Street in her own version of Robin Hood: buying low from thieves and selling high to the rich. She lived to be 74 which in those days was a very, very old age and legend has it she was active and happy to the end.

B. 07-26-1818, Lucy N. Colman - U.S. social activist. The railway company gave LNC's husband-employee a big catered funeral that entertained more than two thousand "mourners" but it refused his wife and child any financial assistance.
      She became a school teacher and in the usual way of the times, she received less than half of what paid to a male teacher. She was so poor she limited herself to one meal a day and no heat.
      She became a women's rights advocate. In later years as a freethinker, she actively opposed Anthony Comstock's censorship.

B. 07-26-1822, Mary Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer - U.S. author. She produced a dozen interesting and well- researched histories. She began to write before her marriage but stopped for 20 years until her children were of age.

B. 07-26-1858, Ella Alexander Boole - U.S. temperance leader who was the first to personally lobby legislators instead of just handing them petitions.
      EAB served as national WCTU president 1925-33 and was head of the World WCTU 1931-1946.

B. 07-26-1902 (1896), Gracie Allen - U.S. comic. GA was the Allen of the highly popular comedy team of Burns and Allen. Gracie took no part in the writing or promotion of the comedy, preferring her home and children. Her comedic delivery was impeccable, and the duo retained high popularity, but she got tired of the airhead with the twisted logic that she was forced to portray - although she continued to do it so very well. It was totally different from her own personality.
      Her right arm had been badly scalded when she was a child, and she always wore long sleeves.

B. 07-26-1935, Charlotte Beers - U.S. advertising executive. CB was CEO and then chair of Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency that in her day was one of the world's largest with 275 offices in 64 countries and billings in excess of $8 billion. Her successor as CEO was Shelly Lazarus.

B. 07-26-1945/46(?), Helen Mirren - British-American classical actor who won acclaim for her Shakespearean work, and had a notable career in film.
      Contrary to the experience of most women actors, HM gained popularity as she got older with a stellar role on TV. Her breakthrough was her portrayal of Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the TV series Prime Suspect (and its sequels that we all eagerly await). The series became the most popular PBS series ever and is shown in more than 50 countries.
      Possessing a magnificent body, HM usually had a scene in every movie where she bared her breats.

Event 07-26-1961: Anne X. Alpern was the first woman in Pennsylvania's history to sit on its Supreme Court. She had been the state's attorney general.

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      "Some of you may wonder if you're smart enough to hold elective office. Listen. Go up to the State House and sit in the visitors' gallery. Watch what goes on. Watch those men. Then come back here and tell me if you're smart enough to join them."
            -- A woman office holder in the Massachusetts state government speaking to women new to feminist and political activism, as reported in the Oct. 21, 1991, issue of Newsweek.

"They want to be all-American yet do not want all Americans."

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