Hillary Rodham Clinton - April 17, 2014

Looking back over the past few weeks, it becomes clear that the American Treasure Tour blog has devoted quite a bit of space to our "Faces of the Tour" series.  There are so many notable people whose faces hang on the walls of the Toy Box - actors, musicians and athletes - that it is difficult to turn away from them.  And then, there are notable people from other lines of work on the walls, too.  One obvious stand out is Hillary Rodham Clinton - the only woman to be not only the First Lady of the United States, but also a U.S. Senator AND Secretary of State!

Born in 1947, Hillary Rodham grew up in the Chicago suburb Park Ridge, in Illinois.  A known teacher's pet, she had conservative political leanings from early on, campaigning for Barry Goldwater in 1964, before going off to Wellesley College where the Young Republican majored in political science.  The Civil Rights movement and her convictions on the Vietnam War swayed her to the left, where she stayed.  She made a name for herself campaigning for Democratic presidential nominees, she advised the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate scandal that led to the impeachment proceedings and eventual resignation of Richard Nixon, and was on the path to a prominent position in the federal government when she got sidetracked to Arkansas, where she married Bill Clinton, a law professor at the University of Arkansas who was running for a seat in the state House of Representatives.  We don't want to spoil what happened next for the newlyweds, although we will say that they had a daughter, and named her Chelsea.

QUESTION:

What was Whitewater?

a)  A series of rapids on the Buffalo River in Arkansas

b)  A brand of bottled water produced in Beckettsville, Arkansas

c)  The name of a friend of the Clinton family from Fayettesville, Arkansas

d)  A development corporation co-owned by the Clintons that failed

e)  A conservative governor who ran for president from Arizona

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Between 1892 and 1954, over 1.5 million people trudged through the doors at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, located in New York Harbor, hoping to start a new life in the United States. Approximately 2% of these people were sent back to their homes in Europe - half for medical reasons and the other half due to suspicion  that they were politically dangerous.  The rest settled in New York City and across the country, determined to improve their lives and those of their children.  On this day in 1907, exactly 11,747 people were processed in Ellis Island - the highest number to go through on any single day.

April 17, 1964 could be considered the most important date in world history by lovers of the Ford Mustang, as that is when the first Mustang officially hit the streets.  Dubbed the 1964-1/2 Model by some die-hard fans, Ford simply could not wait until the traditional release date.  Instead, it made a grand splash at the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows.  The car was immediately popular - so popular, in fact, that Ford's original estimate of 100,000 sales in its first year of production were surpassed within three months.  The car's appearance in the popular James Bond film Goldfinger certainly helped as well.  Mustangs are still in production today and still very popular.  

BIRTHDAYS:

It is difficult to imagine that the future business tycoon with a reputation for ruthlessness James Pierpont Morgan was once a tiny baby, lovingly held by his mother.  But, on April 17, 1837, this innocent little boy was born to Junius and Juliet Morgan.  Junius was a successful banker intent on having his son follow in his tradition.  Pierpont (also known as J.P.) definitely followed in his father's footsteps and became one of the wealthiest, most powerful and controversial men of his day.  He managed to substantially increase the fortunes left to him by his father by the time he established the U.S. Steel Corporation in 1901.  It quickly became the first billion-dollar company in the world, and dominated steel manufacture. Morgan became so wealthy that, when an economic depression hit in 1907, he organized leading capitalists to stop the panic.

O'Fallon, Illinois' own William Franklin Beedle, Jr. was born today in 1918.  His parents, a chemist and a teacher, moved the family to California when he was young, and he got involved in the theater as a teenager.  By 21, he had changed his name to William Holden and was in the movie Golden Boy.  He would stay in film for the rest of his life.  His roles often used his natural good looks and his emotional detachment to great success, and he was in numerous critically-acclaimed films, including Our Town in 1940, Sunset Boulevard a decade later, Stalag 17 in 1953, The Bridge on the River Kwai in 1957 and Network in 1976.  In 1952, he served as the Best Man for his friend Ronald Reagan at his wedding to Nancy Davis.  Holden's final film was the Blake Edward comedy S.O.B., which came out in 1981, the same year he died due to a neglected injury he received while intoxicated in his home in Santa Monica, California.

QUOTE:

Aging is an inevitable process.  I surely wouldn't want to grow younger.  The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer.  - William Holden

Answer:  c)  A development corporation co-owned by the Clintons that failed.  This company would inspire a scandal during the Clinton presidency.  (Oh, sorry.  Hillary Rodham's husband, Bill Clinton, would go on to serve as President of the United States.)