Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Antonio Bassolino

Antonio Bassolino, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was born on 20 March, 1947 in Afragola, Campania. Antonio Bassolino is an Italian politician. Antonio Bassolino is currently President of the Campania region.

At the age of 17 he entered the Federation of Young Italian Communists, and in 1970 became member of the regional council for the Italian Communist Party (PCI), and, the following year, secretary of the party section in Avellino. Antonio Bassolino held the latter position until 1975, when he became regional secretary for the PCI; from 1972, he was member of the party’s national committee. In 1987, he was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in the college of Catanzaro, becoming president of the Parliament media committee in 1990.

In the process leading to the split-up of the PCI into the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS) and the Party of the Communist Refoundation (PRC), Antonio Bassolino represented the moderate wing that sought mediation. Eventually, he joined the PDS.

In 1992, he was re-elected to the Chamber, and, in 1993, he was sent to Naples to reform the local section of PDS — which had been involved in the Tangentopoli bribe scandal. It was there that he gained fame as a “hardman,” a reputation which surfaced during the subsequent election for mayor, which he won by defeating the right-wing candidate, Alessandra Mussolini.

Antonio Bassolino’s years as mayor of Naples are generally viewed as a period of civil, economical and social renaissance for the city. In 1997 he was re-elected, this time with the 72.9% of the votes. In October 1998, Premier Massimo D’Alema nominated him Minister of Welfare; however, after the assassination of his advisor Massimo D’Antona in October 1999, Antonio Bassolino resigned in order to focus his activities on Naples.

In 2000, he ran for the presidency of Campania, which raised some controversies. Antonio Bassolino was elected with 54.3% of the votes, and, in the elections of April 2005, with 61.6%. Among his accomplishments as governor of Campania are the construction of a regional metropolitan rail service and the new TAV station for high-speed trains in his native Afragola. Antonio Bassolino received the “Gold Star” Prize for his commitment to developing tourism and cultural ventures in Naples during his years as mayor. Antonio Bassolino’s essays include Mezzogiorno alla prova (1980) and La repubblica delle città (1996).

However, it has been argued that, under his administration, the regional debt has doubled. Moreover and more importantly Antonio Bassolino has a considerable share of responsibility in the environmental disaster in the Campania region due to the deficiencies of the rubbish collection and treatment systems. In fact Antonio Bassolino is 1 of the 29 people remanded for trial and accused of involvement in ongoing aggravated fraud against the State and fraud regarding public works. The collapse of the services which were supposed to collect and treat the rubbish led to accumulation or garbage in the streets of the major urban centres to the point that schools and other public places had to be closed for some days and tourism declined substantially in 2008. As a result of this an increasing number of citizens and associations have been vocally calling for Antonio Bassolino’s resignation.

Antonio Bassolino is married to Anna Maria Carloni and was elected to the Senate in the XV legislature.

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Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born on 13 April, 1743 and died on 4 July, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson died a few hours before the death of John Adams, his compatriot in their quest for independence, then great political rival, and later friend and correspondent. John Adams is often rumoured to have referenced Thomas Jefferson in his last words, unaware of his passing.

Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806).

As a political philosopher, Thomas Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. Thomas Jefferson idealised the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favoured states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. Thomas Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). Thomas Jefferson was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the co-founder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for a 1/4 century. Thomas Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), 1st United States Secretary of State (1789–1793) and 2nd Vice President (1797–1801).

A polymath, Thomas Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor, and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Thomas Jefferson has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.

Thomas Jefferson was born into a family closely related to some of the most prominent individuals in Virginia, the 3rd of 8 children. Thomas Jefferson’s mother was Jane Randolph, daughter of Isham Randolph, a ship’s captain and sometime planter, and first cousin to Peyton Randolph. Thomas Jefferson’s father was Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor in Albemarle County (Shadwell, then Edge Hill, Virginia.) Thomas Jefferson was of Welsh descent. When Colonel William Randolph, an old friend of Peter Jefferson, died in 1745, Peter Jefferson assumed executorship and personal charge of William Randolph’s estate in Tuckahoe as well as his infant son, Thomas Mann Randolph. That same year the Jeffersons relocated to Tuckahoe where they would remain for the next 7 years before returning to their home in Albemarle whereupon Peter Jefferson was appointed to the Colonelcy of the county, a very important position at the time.

In 1752, Thomas Jefferson began attending a local school run by William Douglas, a Scottish minister. At the age of 9, Thomas Jefferson began studying Latin, Greek, and French. In 1757, when he was 14 years old, his father died. Thomas Jefferson inherited about 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land and dozens of slaves. Thomas Jefferson built his home there, which eventually became known as Monticello.

After his father’s death, he was taught at the school of the learned minister James Maury from 1758 to 1760. The school was in Fredericksville Parish near Gordonsville, Virginia, 12 miles (19 km) from Shadwell, and Thomas Jefferson boarded with James Maury’s family. There he received a classical education and studied history and science.

In 1760 Thomas Jefferson entered The College of William & Amp; Mary in Williamsburg at the age of 16; he studied there for 2 years, graduating with highest honours in 1762. At The College of William & Amp; Mary, he enrolled in the philosophy school and studied mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy under Professor William Small, who introduced the enthusiastic Thomas Jefferson to the writings of the British Empiricists, including John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton (Thomas Jefferson called them the “3 greatest men the world had ever produced”). Thomas Jefferson also perfected his French, carried his Greek grammar book wherever he went, practiced the violin, and read Tacitus and Homer. A keen and diligent student, Thomas Jefferson displayed an avid curiosity in all fields and, according to the family tradition, frequently studied 15 hours a day. Thomas Jefferson’s closest college friend, John Page of Rosewell, reported that Thomas Jefferson “could tear himself away from his dearest friends to fly to his studies.”

While in college, Thomas Jefferson was a member of a secret organisation called the Flat Hat Club, now the namesake of the William & Amp; Mary student newspaper. Thomas Jefferson lodged and boarded at the College in the building known today as the Sir Christopher Wren Building, attending communal meals in the Great Hall, and morning and evening prayers in the Wren Chapel. Thomas Jefferson often attended the lavish parties of royal governor Francis Fauquier, where he played his violin and developed an early love for wines. After graduating in 1762 with highest honours, he studied law with George Wythe and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1767.

In addition to practicing law, Thomas Jefferson also represented Albemarle County in the Virginia House of Burgesses beginning in 1769. Following the passage of the Coercive Acts by the British Parliament in 1774, he wrote a set of resolutions against the acts, which were expanded into A Summary View of the Rights of British America, his 1st published work. Previous criticism of the Coercive Acts had focused on legal and constitutional issues, but Thomas Jefferson offered the radical notion that the colonists had the natural right to govern themselves. Thomas Jefferson also argued that Parliament was the legislature of Great Britain only, and had no legislative authority in the colonies. The paper was intended to serve as instructions for the Virginia delegation of the 1st Continental Congress, but Thomas Jefferson’s ideas proved to be too radical for that body. Nevertheless, the pamphlet helped provide the theoretical framework for American independence, and marked Thomas Jefferson as one of the most thoughtful patriot spokesmen.

Thomas Jefferson served as governor of Virginia from 1779–1781. As governor, he oversaw the transfer of the state capital from Williamsburg to the more central location of Richmond in 1780. Thomas Jefferson continued to advocate educational reforms at the College of William and Mary, including the nation’s 1st student-policed honour code. In 1779, at Thomas Jefferson’s behest, William and Mary appointed George Wythe to be the 1st professor of law in an American university. Dissatisfied with the rate of changes he wanted to push through, he later became the founder of the University of Virginia, which was the 1st university in the United States at which higher education was completely separate from religious doctrine.

Virginia was invaded twice by the British during Thomas Jefferson’s term as governor. Thomas Jefferson, along with Patrick Henry and other leaders of Virginia, were but 10 minutes away from being captured by Banastre Tarleton, a British colonel leading a cavalry column that was raiding the area in June 1781. Public disapproval of his performance delayed his future political prospects, and he was never again elected to office in Virginia.

After returning from France, Thomas Jefferson served as the 1st Secretary of State under George Washington (1789–1793). Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton began sparring over national fiscal policy, especially the funding of the debts of the war, with Alexander Hamilton believing that the debts should be equally shared, and Thomas Jefferson believing that each state should be responsible for its own debt (Virginia had not accumulated much debt during the Revolution). In further sparring with the Federalists, Thomas Jefferson came to equate Alexander Hamilton and the rest of the Federalists with Tories and monarchists who threatened to undermine republicanism. Thomas Jefferson equated Federalism with “Royalism,” and made a point to state that “Hamiltonians were panting after…and itching for crowns, coronets and mitres.” Thomas Jefferson and James Madison founded and led the Democratic-Republican Party. Thomas Jefferson worked with James Madison and his campaign manager John J. Beckley to build a nationwide network of Republican allies to combat Federalists across the country.

Thomas Jefferson strongly supported France against Britain when war broke out between those nations in 1793. Historian Lawrence S. Kaplan notes Thomas Jefferson’s “visceral support for the French cause,” while agreeing with George Washington that the nation should not get involved in the fighting. The arrival in 1793 of an aggressive new French minister, Edmond-Charles Genêt, caused a crisis for the Secretary of State, as he watched Genêt try to violate American neutrality, manipulate public opinion, and even go over George Washington’s head in appealing to the people; projects that Thomas Jefferson helped to thwart. According to Schachner, Thomas Jefferson believed that political success at home depended on the success of the French army in Europe:

Thomas Jefferson, aquatint by Tadeusz Kościuszko Jefferson still clung to his sympathies with France and hoped for the success of her arms abroad and a cordial compact with her at home. Thomas Jefferson was afraid that any French reverses on the European battlefields would give “wonderful vigor to our monocrats, and unquestionably affect the tone of administering our government. Indeed, I fear that if this summer should prove disastrous to the French, it will damp that energy of republicanism in our new Congress, from which I had hoped so much reformation.”

Thomas Jefferson at the end of 1793 retired to Monticello where he continued to orchestrate opposition to Alexander Hamilton and George Washington. However, the Jay Treaty of 1794, orchestrated by Alexander Hamilton, brought peace and trade with Britain – while James Madison, with strong support from Thomas Jefferson, wanted, Miller says, “to strangle the former mother country” without actually going to war. “It became an article of faith among Republicans that ‘commercial weapons’ would suffice to bring Great Britain to any terms the United States chose to dictate.” Thomas Jefferson, in retirement, strongly encouraged James Madison.

As the Democratic-Republican candidate in 1796 he lost to John Adams, but had enough electoral votes to become Vice President (1797–1801). Thomas Jefferson’s arliamentary procedure, but otherwise avoided the Senate.

Working closely with Aaron Burr of New York, Thomas Jefferson rallied his party, attacking the new taxes especially, and ran for the Presidency in 1800. Consistent with the traditions of the times, he did not formally campaign for the position. Prior to the passage of the 12th Amendment, a problem with the new union’s electoral system arose. Thomas Jefferson tied with Aaron Burr for 1st place in the Electoral College, leaving the House of Representatives (where the Federalists still had some power) to decide the election.

After lengthy debate within the Federalist-controlled House, Alexander Hamilton convinced his party that Thomas Jefferson would be a lesser political evil than Aaron Burr and that such scandal within the electoral process would undermine the still-young regime. The issue was resolved by the House, on 17 February, 1801 after 36 ballots, when Thomas Jefferson was elected President and Aaron Burr Vice President. Aaron Burr’s refusal to remove himself from consideration created ill will with Thomas Jefferson, who dropped Aaron Burr from the ticket in 1804 after Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

After leaving the Presidency, Thomas Jefferson continued to be active in public affairs. Thomas Jefferson also became increasingly concerned with founding a new institution of higher learning, specifically one free of church influences where students could specialise in many new areas not offered at other universities. Thomas Jefferson believed educating people was a good way to establish an organised society, and also felt schools should be paid for by the general public, so less wealthy people could obtain student membership as well. A letter to Joseph Priestley, in January, 1800, indicated that he had been planning the University for decades before its establishment.

Thomas Jefferson’s dream was realised in 1819 with the founding of the University of Virginia. Upon its opening in 1825, it was then the 1st university to offer a full slate of elective courses to its students. One of the largest construction projects to that time in North America, it was notable for being centered about a library rather than a church. In fact, no campus chapel was included in his original plans. Until his death, Thomas Jefferson invited students and faculty of the school to his home; Edgar Allan Poe was among those students.

Thomas Jefferson is widely recognised for his architectural planning of the University of Virginia grounds, an innovative design that is a powerful representation of his aspirations for both state sponsored education and an agrarian democracy in the new Republic. Thomas Jefferson’s educational idea of creating specialised units of learning is physically expressed in the configuration of his campus plan, which he called the “Academical Village.” Individual academic units are expressed visually as distinct structures, represented by Pavilions, facing a grassy quadrangle, with each Pavilion housing classroom, faculty office, and residences. Though unique, each is visually equal in importance, and they are linked together with a series of open air arcades that are the front facades of student accommodations. Gardens and vegetable plots are placed behind surrounded by serpentine walls, affirming the importance of the agrarian lifestyle.

Thomas Jefferson’s highly ordered site plan establishes an ensemble of buildings surrounding a central rectangular quadrangle, named The Lawn, which is lined on either side with the academic teaching units and their linking arcades. The quad is enclosed at one end with the library, the repository of knowledge, at the head of the table. The remaining side opposite the library remained open-ended for future growth. The lawn rises gradually as a series of stepped terraces, each a few feet higher than the last, rising up to the library set in the most prominent position at the top, while also suggesting that the Academical Village facilitates easier movement to the future.

Stylistically, Thomas Jefferson was a proponent of the Greek and Roman styles, which he believed to be most representative of American democracy by historical association. Each academic unit is designed with a 2 story temple front facing the quadrangle, while the library is modeled on the Roman Pantheon. The ensemble of buildings surrounding the quad is an unmistakable architectural statement of the importance of secular public education, while the exclusion of religious structures reinforces the principal of separation of church and state. The campus planning and architectural treatment remains today as a paradigm of the ordering of manmade structures to express intellectual ideas and aspirations. A survey of members of the American Institute of Architects identified Thomas Jefferson’s campus as the most significant work of architecture in America.

The University was designed as the capstone of the educational system of Virginia. In his vision, any citizen of the commonwealth could attend school with the sole criterion being ability.

Although he was born into one of the wealthiest families in the United States, Thomas Jefferson was deeply in debt when he died.

Thomas Jefferson’s trouble began when his father-in-law died, and he and his brothers-in-law quickly divided the estate before its debts were settled. It made each of them liable for the whole amount due – which turned out to be more than they expected.

Thomas Jefferson sold land before the American Revolution to pay off the debts, but by the time he received payment, the paper money was worthless amid the skyrocketing inflation of the war years. Cornwallis ravaged Thomas Jefferson’s plantation during the war, and British creditors resumed their collection efforts when the conflict ended. Thomas Jefferson was burned again when he co-signed notes for a relative who reneged on debts in the financial panic of 1819. Only Thomas Jefferson’s public stature prevented creditors from seizing Monticello and selling it out from under him during his lifetime.

After his death, his possessions were sold at auction. In 1831, Thomas Jefferson’s 552 acres (223 hectares) were sold for $7,000 to James T. Barclay. Thomas Jefferson is buried on his Monticello estate, in Charlottesville, Virginia. In his will, he left Monticello to the United States to be used as a school for orphans of navy officers. Thomas Jefferson’s epitaph, written by him with an insistence that only his words and “not a word more” be inscribed, reads:

HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON
AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Thomas Jefferson has been described by many people as a thin, tall man, who stood at approximately 6 feet and remarkably straight.

“The Sage of Monticello” cultivated an image that earned him the other nickname, “Man of the People.” Thomas Jefferson affected a popular air by greeting White House guests in homespun attire like a robe and slippers. Dolley Madison, wife of James Madison (Thomas Jefferson’s secretary of state), and Thomas Jefferson’s daughters relaxed White House protocol and turned formal state dinners into more casual and entertaining social events. Although a foremost defender of a free press, Thomas Jefferson at times sparred with partisan newspapers and appealed to the people.

Thomas Jefferson’s writings were utilitarian and evidenced great intellect, and he had an affinity for languages. Thomas Jefferson learned Gaelic in order to translate Ossian, and sent to James Macpherson for the originals.

As President, he discontinued the practice of delivering the State of the Union Address in person, instead sending the address to Congress in writing (the practice was eventually revived by Woodrow Wilson); he gave only 2 public speeches during his Presidency. Thomas Jefferson had a lisp and preferred writing to public speaking partly because of this. Thomas Jefferson burned all of his letters between himself and his wife at her death, creating the portrait of a man who at times could be very private. Indeed, he preferred working in the privacy of his office than the public eye.

Thomas Jefferson was an accomplished architect who was extremely influential in bringing the Neo-Palladian style—popular among the Whig aristocracy of Britain—to the United States. The style was associated with Enlightenment ideas of republican civic virtue and political liberty. Thomas Jefferson designed his famous home, Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia; it included automatic doors, the 1st swivel chair, and other convenient devices invented by Thomas Jefferson. Nearby is the only university ever to have been founded by a U.S. president, the University of Virginia, of which the original curriculum and architecture Thomas Jefferson designed. Today, Monticello and the University of Virginia are together 1 of only 4 man-made World Heritage Sites in the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson also designed Poplar Forest, near Lynchburg, in Bedford County, Virginia, as a private retreat from a very public life. Thomas Jefferson is also credited with the architectural design of the Virginia State Capitol building, which was modeled after the Maison Carrée at Nîmes in southern France, an ancient Roman temple. Thomas Jefferson’s buildings helped initiate the ensuing American fashion for Federal architecture.

Thomas Jefferson’s interests included archeology, a discipline then in its infancy. Thomas Jefferson has sometimes been called the “father of archeology” in recognition of his role in developing excavation techniques. When exploring an Indian burial mound on his Virginia estate in 1784, Thomas Jefferson avoided the common practice of simply digging downwards until something turned up. Instead, he cut a wedge out of the mound so that he could walk into it, look at the layers of occupation, and draw conclusions from them.

Thomas Jefferson enjoyed his fish pond at Monticello. It was around 3 feet (1 m) deep and mortar lined. Thomas Jefferson used the pond to keep fish that were recently caught as well as to keep eels fresh. This pond has been restored and can be seen from the west side of Monticello.

In 1780, he joined Benjamin Franklin’s American Philosophical Society. Thomas Jefferson served as president of the society from 1797 to 1815.

Thomas Jefferson was an avid wine lover and noted gourmet. During his years in France (1784–1789) he took extensive trips through French and other European wine regions and sent the best back home. Thomas Jefferson is noted for the bold pronouncement: “We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good.” While there were extensive vineyards planted at Monticello, a significant portion were of the European wine grape Vitis vinifera and did not survive the many vine diseases native to the Americas.

In 1801, he published A Manual of Parliamentary Practice that is still in use. In 1812 Thomas Jefferson published a 2nd edition.

After the British burned Washington, D.C. and the Library of Congress in August 1814, Thomas Jefferson offered his own collection to the nation. In January 1815, Congress accepted his offer, appropriating $23,950 for his 6,487 books, and the foundation was laid for a great national library. Today, the Library of Congress’ website for federal legislative information is named THOMAS, in honour of Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson’s 2-volume 1764 edition of the Qur’an was used by Rep. Keith Ellison in 2007 for his swearing in to the House of Representatives.

In a letter to Francis Hopkinson of 13 March, 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“ I never had an opinion in politics or religion which I was afraid to own. A costive reserve on these subjects might have procured me more esteem from some people, but less from myself. ”

Though his religious views diverged widely from the orthodox Christianity of his day, throughout his life Thomas Jefferson was intensely interested in theology, spirituality, and biblical study. Thomas Jefferson’s religious commitment is probably best summarised in his own words as he proclaimed that he belonged to a sect with just 1 member.

Thomas Jefferson was raised in the Church of England at a time when it was the established church in Virginia and only denomination funded by Virginia tax money. theologian Avery Dulles reports, “In his college years at William and Mary [Jefferson] came to admire Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and John Locke as 3 great paragons of wisdom. Under the influence of several professors he converted to the deist philosophy.” Avery Dulles concludes:

“ In summary, then, Thomas Jefferson was a deist because he believed in one God, in divine providence, in the divine moral law, and in rewards and punishments after death; but did not believe in supernatural revelation. Thomas Jefferson was a Christian deist because he saw Christianity as the highest expression of natural religion and Jesus as an incomparably great moral teacher. Thomas Jefferson was not an orthodox Christian because he rejected, among other things, the doctrines that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the incarnate Son of God. Thomas Jefferson’s religion is fairly typical of the American form of deism in his day. ”

Before the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson was a vestryman in his local church, a lay position that was informally tied to political office at the time. Thomas Jefferson also had friends who were clergy, and he supported some churches financially.

At the start of the Revolution appears that Thomas Jefferson employed theist terminology in the United States Declaration of Independence where he wrote the words “Creator” and “Nature’s God.” Thomas Jefferson believed, furthermore, it was this Creator that endowed humanity with a number of inalienable rights, such as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

In 1776 Thomas Jefferson also proposed a motto for the United States Seal. Thomas Jefferson’s proposal was, “Rebellion to tyrants is Obedience to God.” Thomas Jefferson suggested that the seal should feature an image of the Biblical Hebrews being rescued by God via the Red Sea.

For Thomas Jefferson, separation of church and state was a necessary reform of the religious “tyranny” whereby a religion received state endorsement, and those not of that religion were denied rights, and even punished.

Following the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson played a leading role in establishing freedom of religion in Virginia. Previously the Anglican Church had tax support. As he wrote in his Notes on Virginia, a law was in effect in Virginia that “if a person brought up a Christian denies the being of a God, or the Trinity …he is punishable on the 1st offense by incapacity to hold any office …; on the 2nd by a disability to sue, to take any gift or legacy …, and by 3 year’ imprisonment.” Prospective officer-holders were required to swear that they did not believe in the central Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.

From 1784 to 1786, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison worked together to oppose Patrick Henry’s attempts to again assess taxes in Virginia to support churches. Instead, in 1786, the Virginia General Assembly passed Thomas Jefferson’s Bill for Religious Freedom, which he had 1st submitted in 1779 and was 1 of only 3 accomplishments he put in his own epitaph. The law read:

“ No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

In his 1787 Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson stated: “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make half the world fools and half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the world…”

Thomas Jefferson sought what he called a “wall of separation between Church and State,” which he believed was a principle expressed by the First Amendment. This phrase has been cited several times by the Supreme Court in its interpretation of the Establishment Clause. In an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, he wrote:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”

Regarding the choice of some governments to regulate religion and thought, Thomas Jefferson stated:

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

Deriving from this statement, Thomas Jefferson believed that the Government’s relationship with the Church should be indifferent, religion being neither persecuted nor give any special status.

“If anything pass in a religious meeting seditiously and contrary to the public peace, let it be punished in the same manner and no otherwise as it had happened in a fair or market”

Thomas Jefferson refused to issue proclamations calling for days of prayer and thanksgiving during his Presidency, yet as Governor in Virginia he did issue proclamations calling for days of prayer and thanksgiving. Thomas Jefferson’s private letters indicate he was skeptical of too much interference by clergy in matters of civil government. Thomas Jefferson’s letters contain the following observations: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government,” and, “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. Thomas Jefferson is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” “May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.” While opposed to the institutions of organised religion, Thomas Jefferson invoked the notion of divine justice in his opposition to slavery: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice can not sleep forever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!”

While the debate over Thomas Jefferson’s understanding over the separation of Church and state is far from being settled, as are his particular religious tenets, his dependence on divine Providence is not nearly as ambiguous. As he stated, in his 2nd inaugural address:

“I shall need, too, the favour of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”

During the presidential campaign of 1800, the Federalists attacked Thomas Jefferson as an infidel and a Deist, claiming that Thomas Jefferson’s intoxication with the religious and political extremism of the French Revolution disqualified him from public office. However, historian Edward Larson writes that, “Although Thomas Jefferson may have been a Deist at one time, by 1800 he probably was a Unitarian. Thomas Jefferson’s private writings from the period reveal a profound regard for Christ’s moral teachings and a deep interest in the gospels and comparative religion.”

During his presidency, Thomas Jefferson attended the weekly church services held in the House of Representatives. Thomas Jefferson also permitted church services in executive branch buildings throughout his administration, one author writes that this was because Thomas Jefferson “believed that religion was a prop for republican government”.

From his careful study of the Bible, Thomas Jefferson concluded that Jesus never claimed to be God. Thomas Jefferson therefore regarded much of the New Testament as “so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture”. Thomas Jefferson described the “roguery of others of His disciples”, and called them a “band of dupes and impostors”, describing Paul as the “first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus”, and wrote of “palpable interpolations and falsifications”. Thomas Jefferson also described the Book of Revelation to be “merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams”. While living in the White House, Thomas Jefferson began to piece together his own condensed version of the Gospels, omitting the virgin birth of Jesus, miracles attributed to Jesus, divinity and the resurrection of Jesus. Thus, primarily leaving only Jesus’ moral philosophy, of which he approved. This compilation titled The LIFE AND MORALS OF JESUS OF NAZARETH Extracted Textually from the Gospels Greek, Latin, French, and English was published after his death and became known as the Jefferson Bible.

In 1803 Thomas Jefferson did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, but he had high esteem for Jesus’s moral teachings, which he viewed as the “principles of a pure deism, and juster notions of the attributes of God, to reform [prior Jewish] moral doctrines to the standard of reason, justice & philanthropy, and to inculcate the belief of a future state.” Thomas Jefferson did not believe in miracles. Biographer Merrill D. Peterson summarises Thomas Jefferson’s theology:

“First, that the Christianity of the churches was unreasonable, therefore unbelievable, but that stripped of priestly mystery, ritual, and dogma, reinterpreted in the light of historical evidence and human experience, and substituting the Newtonian cosmology for the discredited Biblical 1, Christianity could be conformed to reason. 2nd, morality required no divine sanction or inspiration, no appeal beyond reason and nature, perhaps not even the hope of heaven or the fear of hell; and so the whole edifice of Christian revelation came tumbling to the ground.”

Thomas Jefferson’s experience in France just before the French Revolution made him deeply suspicious of Catholic priests and bishops as a force for reaction and ignorance. Similarly, his experience in America with inter-denominational intolerance served to reinforce this skeptical view of religion. In an 1820 letter to William Short, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “the serious enemies are the priests of the different religious sects, to whose spells on the human mind its improvement is ominous.”

Thomas Jefferson also expressed general agreement with his friend Joseph Priestley’s Unitarian form of Christianity. In an 1822 letter to Benjamin Waterhouse he wrote, “I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its conscience to neither kings or priests, the genuine doctrine of only one God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian.”

In a 1825 letter to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“I am anxious to see the doctrine of one god commenced in our state. But the population of my neighborhood is too slender, and is too much divided into other sects to maintain any one preacher well. I must therefore be contented to be an Unitarian by myself, although I know there are many around me who would become so, if once they could hear the questions fairly stated.”

Thomas Jefferson’s last words were, “I resign myself to my God, and my child to my country.”

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Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Ann Todd Lincoln was born on 13 December, 1818 and died on 16 July, 1882, at the age of 63 and was interred within the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield along with her husband.

Mary Todd Lincoln was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865. After her marriage she was always known as Mary Lincoln, never Mary Todd Lincoln.

Mary Todd Lincoln’s father married Elizabeth “Betsy” Humphreys Todd in 1826. Mary Todd Lincoln had a difficult relationship with her stepmother. Beginning in 1832, Mary Todd Lincoln’s home was what is now known as the Mary Todd Lincoln House, a 14-room upper-class residence in Lexington. From her father’s marriages to her mother and stepmother, Mary Todd Lincoln had 15 siblings.

At the age of 20, in 1839, Mary Todd Lincoln left the family home and moved to Springfield, Illinois, where her sister Elizabeth was already living. Although the flirtatious and intelligent Mary Todd Lincoln was courted by the rising young lawyer and politician Stephen A. Douglas, Mary Todd Lincoln was unexpectedly attracted by Stephen A. Douglas’s lower-status rival and fellow lawyer, Abraham Lincoln.

Elizabeth facilitated their courtship and introduced Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham on 16 December. It is reported that, on learning her surname was spelled with 2 “d”s, he retorted “Why? One was enough for God”. After a troubled engagement that was marked by at least one breakup, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln were married on 4November, 1842. Almost exactly 9 months later, on 1 August, 1843, their 1st son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was born.

Abraham Lincoln pursued his increasingly successful career as a Springfield lawyer, and Mary Todd Lincoln supervised their growing household. Their home together from 1844 until 1861 survives in Springfield, and is now the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

Their children, all born in Springfield, were:

Robert Todd Lincoln : (1843 – 1926)
Edward (Eddie) Baker Lincoln : (1846 – 1850)
William (Willie) Wallace Lincoln : (1850 – 1862)
Thomas (Tad) Lincoln : (1853 – 1871).

Of these 4 sons, only Robert and Tad survived into adulthood, and only Robert outlived his mother.

Mary Todd Lincoln was deeply in love with her husband, and sometimes resented his absence from their home as he practiced law and campaigned for political office. During the 1850s, however, Mrs. Lincoln staunchly supported her husband as he faced the growing crisis caused by American slavery. This concluded in Lincoln’s election, in November 1860, as President of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln’s election caused 11 Southern states to secede from the Union. Anti-Union sentiment was very strong in Mrs. Lincoln’s home state of Kentucky, 1 of the 4 slave states that did not secede. Many upper-class Kentuckians, members of the social stratum into which Mrs. Lincoln had been born, supported the Southern cause.

Mary Todd Lincoln was well educated and interested in public affairs, and shared her husband’s fierce ambition. However, her Southern heritage created obstacles for her that became apparent almost immediately after she took on her new duties as First Lady in March 1861. Some facets of Mrs. Lincoln’s character did not help her in facing these challenges. Mary Todd Lincoln was temperamentally high-strung and touchy, and sometimes acted irrationally.(Mary Todd Lincoln may have suffered from bipolar disorder.)Mary Todd Lincoln was almost instantly unpopular upon her arrival in the capital.

Mr. Lincoln’s predecessor, James Buchanan, who had remained unmarried throughout his life, had been unable to fully use the White House for public gatherings under the social rules of the time. As a result, by 1861 the residence was badly worn and shabby. Mary Todd Lincoln initiated repairs to the White House, but the appropriations of public money required came at the same time as public spending was increasing substantially to fight the American Civil War and her actions resulted in severe criticism. Newspapers controlled by the Democratic Party subjected her and the Lincoln administration to scathing criticism, which was fueled by Mrs. Lincoln’s lavish shopping expeditions to New York City and other retail centers.

As the Civil War continued, persistent rumors began to circulate against Mary Todd Lincoln’s personal loyalty and integrity. One rumor claimed that Mrs. Lincoln was a Confederate sympathizer, and even a Confederate spy (many of her relatives served in the Confederate forces, and 2 of her stepbrothers and a brother-in-law died fighting for the South). In reality, Mary Todd Lincoln was a fervent and tireless supporter of the Union cause. Mary Todd Lincoln’s visits with Union soldiers in the numerous hospitals in and around Washington went largely unnoticed by her enemies and contemporaries.

Mr. Lincoln staunchly supported his wife against the vicious attacks disseminated by their enemies. One uncorroborated legend states that President Lincoln, upon hearing the rumors, personally vouched for her loyalty to the United States in a surprise appearance before the Committee on the Conduct of the War. Another story is that Mrs. Lincoln was the 1st First Lady to visit a combat zone when she was present with her husband at the Siege of Fort Stevens on 11 July, 1864.

During the Civil War, loyal Americans of Southern heritage, such as Mary Todd Lincoln, faced the dilemma of how to reconcile their cradle education in white supremacy with the new role of African-Americans as a key element of Union strength. Mrs. Lincoln responded to this challenge by accepting the ex-slave dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckly, as her closest White House friend and confidante. Elizabeth Keckly’s reminiscences would become an essential element for understanding and interpreting the psychological challenges faced by Mrs Lincoln in the White House.

Mrs. Lincoln’s personal trials continued and worsened in February 1862 with the death of their 11-year-old son Willie. When the boy died of typhoid fever within the walls of the White House, the psychologically battered First Lady almost gave way entirely to her grief. Mrs Lincoln paid mediums and spiritualists to try to contact the dead boy, only to lose another small fortune the Lincolns could not afford.

Some Lincoln aides and Cabinet members privately considered Mrs. Lincoln to be a liability to the administration. Mrs Lincoln was ruthlessly criticised, especially behind her back, as a free-spending, overemotional First Lady who tried to climb out of the constraints that were viewed as essential elements of the roles of women in public life. For example, John Hay, an aide to President Lincoln, privately referred to her as “the hellcat.”

In April 1865, as the Civil War came to an end, Mrs. Lincoln hoped to renew her happiness as the First Lady of a nation at peace. However, on 14 April, 1865, as Mary Todd Lincoln sat with her husband to watch the comic play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre, President Lincoln was mortally wounded by an assassin. Mrs. Lincoln accompanied her husband across the street to the Petersen House, where the President died on the following day, 15 April 1865. Mary Todd Lincoln would never fully recover from the traumatic experience.

As a widow, Mrs. Lincoln returned to Illinois. In 1868, Mrs. Lincoln’s former confidante, Elizabeth Keckly, published Behind the Scenes, or, 30 years a slave, and 4 years in the White House. Although this book has, over time, proved to be an extremely valuable resource in the understanding and appreciation of Mary Todd Lincoln, the former First Lady regarded it as a breach of what she had considered to be a close friendship. Mrs. Lincoln was further isolated.

In an act approved 14 July, 1870, the United States Congress granted Mrs. Lincoln a life pension for being the widow of President Lincoln, in the amount of $3,000 a year.

For Mary Todd Lincoln, the death of her son Thomas (Tad), in July 1871, led to an overpowering sense of grief and the gradual onset of depression. Mrs. Lincoln’s sole surviving son, Robert T. Lincoln, a rising young Chicago lawyer, was alarmed by his mother’s free spending of money in ways that did not give her any lasting happiness. Due to what he considered to be her increasingly eccentric behavior, Robert exercised his rights as Mrs. Lincoln’s closest male relative and had the widow deprived of custody of her own person and affairs. Mary Todd Lincoln was misprescribed laudanum for sleep problems which caused her to suffer anxiety and hallucinations. Upon increase of these hallucinations, more laudanum and chloral hydrate was administered, which increased the problem and led to her eventual commitment to an asylum. In 1875, Mary Todd Lincoln was committed by an Illinois court to Bellevue Place, an insane asylum in Batavia, Illinois. There Mrs. Lincoln was not closely confined; she was free to walk about the building and its immediate grounds, and was released 3 months later. However, Mary Todd Lincoln never forgave her eldest son for what she regarded as his betrayal.

Mrs. Lincoln spent the next 4 years abroad taking up residence in Pau, France. Mrs Lincoln spent much of this time travelling in Europe. However, the former First Lady’s final years were marked by declining health. Mrs Lincoln suffered from severe cataracts that affected her eyesight. This may have contributed to her increasing susceptibility to falls. In 1879, she suffered spinal cord injuries in a fall from a step ladder.

During the early 1880s, Mary Todd Lincoln lived, housebound, in the Springfield, Illinois residence of her sister Elizabeth Edwards.

Of the Lincoln children, only Robert lived to marry and produce children.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Sir William McMahon

Sir William “Billy” McMahon, GCMG, CH was born on 23 February 1908 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and died on 31 March 1988 of cancer in Sydney, Australia aged 80. Sir William McMahon was an Australian Liberal politician and the 20th Prime Minister of Australia.

Sir William McMahon’s father was a lawyer. Sir William McMahon was of Irish ancestry.

Sir William McMahon was educated at Sydney Grammar School and at the University of Sydney, where he graduated in law. Sir William McMahon practised in Sydney with “Allen, Allen and Hemsley”, the oldest law firm in Australia. In 1940 he joined the Army, but because of a hearing loss he was confined to staff work. After World War II he travelled in Europe and completed an economics degree.

Sir William McMahon was elected to the House of Representatives for the Sydney seat of Lowe in 1949, one of the flood of new Liberal MPs known as the “forty-niners”. Sir William McMahon was capable and ambitious, and in 1951 Prime Minister Robert Menzies made him Minister for Air and Minister for the Navy. Over the next 15 years he held the portfolios of Social Services, Commerce and Agriculture and Labour and National Service. In 1966, when Harold Holt became Prime Minister, Sir William McMahon succeeded him as Treasurer and as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.

Despite his steady advance, Sir William McMahon remained unpopular with his colleagues. Sir William McMahon was highly capable, but seen as too ambitious and a schemer. Sir William McMahon had never married, and there were frequent rumours that he was homosexual. However, in 1965, aged 57, he married Sonia Rachel Hopkins who was (born in August 1932), with whom he had 3 children: Melinda, Julian McMahon (the actor and model) and Debra.

When Harold Holt drowned in December 1967, Sir William McMahon was assumed to be his automatic successor. But John McEwen, interim Prime Minister and leader of the Country Party, announced that he and his party would not serve in a government led by Sir William McMahon. John McEwen did not state his reasons publicly, but privately he told Sir William McMahon he did not trust him. There was also John McEwen’s personal dislike of Sir William McMahon for the reasons suggested in the previous paragraph, but also John McEwen, an arch-protectionist, correctly suspected that Sir William McMahon favoured policies of free trade and deregulation.

Sir William McMahon therefore withdrew, and John Gorton won the party room ballot. Sir William McMahon became Foreign Minister and waited for his chance at a comeback. Sir William McMahon stood as a candidate for the Liberal Party leadership (and therefore Prime Minister, as the Liberal/Country Party coalition held a majority in the House of Representatives) after the 1969 election but was defeated by John Gorton. In January 1971 John McEwen retired as Country Party leader and his successor, Doug Anthony, did not continue the veto against Sir William McMahon. In March 1971 the Defence Minister, Malcolm Fraser, resigned from Cabinet and denounced John Gorton, who then called a party meeting. When the confidence vote in John Gorton was tied, he resigned, and Sir William McMahon was elected leader.

Sir William McMahon found being Prime Minister an unenjoyable experience. The Vietnam War and conscription had become very unpopular. Sir William McMahon was unable to match the performance of Labor leader, Gough Whitlam, who campaigned on radical new policies such as universal health insurance. Sir William McMahon was undermined by plotting from John Gorton’s supporters. Sir William McMahon attacked Gough Whitlam over his policy of recognising the People’s Republic of China, then had to back down when President Nixon announced his visit to China.

Sir William McMahon reputation for economic management was undermined by high inflation. Sir William McMahon voice and appearance came across badly on television, and he was no match in parliamentary debates for Gough Whitlam, a witty and powerful orator. The press further weakened Sir William McMahon’s popularity.

Sir William McMahon lost his nerve, and in the December 1972 election campaign he was outperformed by Gough Whitlam and subjected to further humiliation in the press. When Gough Whitlam won the election Sir William McMahon resigned the Liberal leadership.

Sir William McMahon had been a minister continuously for 21 years and 6 months, a record in the Australian Parliament. Only Sir George Pearce and John McEwen had longer overall ministerial service, but their terms were not continuous.

Sir William McMahon served in the Shadow Cabinet under his successor, Billy Snedden, but was dropped after the 1974 election. In 1977, he was knighted. Sir William McMahon stayed in Parliament as a backbencher until his resignation in 1982, by which time he was the longest-serving member of the House.

Honours:

Bust of William McMahon by sculptor Victor Greenhalgh located in the Prime Minister’s Avenue in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens William McMahon was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1966, a Companion of Honour in the New Years Day Honours of 1972 and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 1977.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Irving King Jordan

Irving King Jordan was born on 16 June, 1943 made history in 1988 when he became the first deaf president of Gallaudet University, the world’s only university with all programs and services designed specifically for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. That year Gallaudet students, with support from many alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University, protested the Board of Trustees’ appointment of a hearing person to the presidency.

Called Deaf President Now (DPN), the week-long protest was a watershed event in the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing people all over the world. At its conclusion, the Board reversed its decision and named Irving King Jordan, 1 of 3 finalists for the position, the 8th president of Gallaudet and the 1st deaf president since the institution was established in 1864.

Irving King Jordan is a native of Glen Riddle, a small town near Philadelphia in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, Penncrest High School, in 1962, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served 4 years. Irving King Jordan became deaf at the age of 21 when, while driving a motorcycle, he obtained a skull fracture due to not wearing a helmet after having been flung into the windshield of a car.

As professor, department chair, dean, and president, Irving King Jordan has made numerous scholarly contributions to his field. In addition, he has been a research fellow at Donaldson’s School for the Deaf in Edinburgh, Scotland, an exchange scholar at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and a visiting scholar and lecturer at schools in the French cities of Paris, Toulouse, and Marseille.

Irving King Jordan and his wife, Linda, live in West River, Maryland. They have 2 grown children. Irving King Jordan loves running daily.

Irving King Jordan holds 11 honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, among them: the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, the Washingtonian of the Year Award, the James L. Fisher Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Larry Stewart Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Association for Community Leadership. In 1990, President Bush appointed Irving King Jordan Vice Chair of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with disabilities.

On campus, he was widely applauded for his successful efforts to increase funding, including funds for the expansion and construction of 2 new large-scale centers for education research and support.

On Thursday, 1 September, 2005, Irving King Jordan announced his intentions to retire from the Presidency effective 31 December, 2006.

Irving King Jordan became the subject of controversy himself when he defended the controversial decision made on 1 May, 2006 by the Board of Trustees to appoint Dr. Jane Fernandes as president designate. The announcement of her selection set off a campus-wide protest.

Critics claim that Ms. Fernandes was not highly regarded by both the faculty and students, and many deeply suspect Dr. Jordan orchestrated her ascension for personal reasons. Dr. Jordan, taking a line from page 10 of the 1995 book, “Deaf President Now” (by Christiansen and Barnartt), publicly accused some critics of rejecting Ms. Fernandes because she was allegedly not “deaf enough”. They replied that such a charge is off-base, because Irving King Jordan himself was accepted as president, even though he did not become deaf until he was 21. The protesters insisted that they protested for more profound reasons, such as Ms. Fernandes’ character, leadership, and policies.

The protesters also took issue with the fact that during escalating tensions between the administration and protesters in October 2006, Irving King Jordan proceeded to host ceremonies in which the Student Academic Center was renamed after him while a wing in the Washburn Arts Building was renamed after his wife. Many of the dissenters took the moves as a sign of Irving King Jordan’s arrogance and narcissistic attitude.

On 13 October, 2006, Irving King Jordan ordered mass arrests of Gallaudet University Students at the 6th street gate. Dubbed as Black Friday, a total of 135 student-protesters were arrested. The bail was originally set at $250 as requested by Irving King Jordan. The D.C. Metropolitan Police later decided to set it at $50. This set off even larger protest the following day estimated at 1,000 people.

Many in the deaf community interpreted Irving King Jordan’s actions in arresting the protesters as an act of political suicide on his part. The protesters prevailed soon thereafter, on 29 October 2006 when the Gallaudet Board of Trustees met and voted to rescind Jane Fernandes’s contract to be the 9th President of Gallaudet.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Gaston Caperton

William Gaston Caperton III was born on 21 February, 1940 in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia.

Gaston was twice elected as governor of the U.S. state of West Virginia and served from 1989 until 1997. Gaston is currently the president of the College Board, which administers the nationally-recognized SAT and AP tests. Gaston is a member of the Democratic Party.

Gaston attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon.

After graduation he returned to Charleston to manage a family-owned insurance firm. Gaston’s soon became its principal owner and, under his watch, it became the tenth largest privately owned insurance brokerage firm in the nation. Gaston Caperton also owned a bank and mortgage banking firm. Gaston Caperton was elected governor in his first attempt to seek public office in 1988.

In the 1988 gubernatorial election, Gaston, initially considered a long-shot for his party’s nomination, defeated the Republican Party incumbent, Arch A. Moore, Jr. In the 1992 election, Gaston was challenged by Charlotte Pritt in the Democratic primary. Gaston won the primary and the general election, defeating the Republican candidate, West Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Cleve Benedict, and Pritt, running as a write-in candidate. Gaston was constitutionally prohibited from running for a third consecutive term in 1996.

During his first term as the state’s 31st governor, Gaston supported the passages of ethics, road-building, and education bills. Gaston raised taxes in an effort to improve West Virginia’s finances, thereby reducing debts exceeding $500 million and creating a $100 million surplus. Due to the reforms, Financial World magazine called the state the most improved in the nation. Critics accused Gaston of failing to keep a campaign promise not to raise taxes, but defenders claimed that the previous governor had misstated the condition of the state’s finances and failed to disclose the need for tax increases.

Publicly, Governor Gaston Caperton emphasized that education was his first priority. Gaston Caperton supported a school-building program that led to $800 million in investments for 58 new schools and 780 school renovations, directly benefiting two-thirds of West Virginia’s public school students. After a brief strike by the state’s public educators, Gaston raised teacher’s salaries from 49th to 31st in the nation and trained more than 19,000 educators through a statewide Center for Professional Development with the goal of putting technology to its best use in West Virginia’s classrooms. Gaston encouraged the use of computers and technology in West Virginia public schools, resulting in the West Virginia Basic Skills Computer Program, which began with kindergarten and extended through 6th grade. Gaston’s common refrain for “computers in every classroom” since has been expanded to include grades 7-12. In 1996, West Virginia’s advances in education technology gained national recognition when Gaston received the Computerworld Smithsonian Award. Award sponsors called Gaston a “visionary” who “fundamentally changed the education system in America” by using technological innovations. Information about Gaston and his work is included in the Smithsonian’s Permanent Research Collection. In January 1997, the magazine Education Week, conducted a study of the nation’s education system and held out West Virginia for the state’s use of technology in education.

As Governor, Gaston focused his efforts on economic development, modern roads and infrastructure, prisons and jails, a clean environment, health care, and government management. West Virginia’s economy improved during his eight-year tenure. Unemployment dropped from 9.8% to 6.2%, the result of creating approximately 86,000 new jobs.

Near the end of his second term, Gaston was the 1996 chair of the Democratic Governor’s Association, served on the National Governor’s Association executive committee, and was a member of the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on U.S. Trade. Gaston was chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Southern Regional Education Board, and the Southern Growth Policy Board. Gaston has received numerous state and national awards and special recognition, including 6 honorary doctoral degrees.

Another product of Gaston’s tenure is the Tamarack, the Best of West Virginia. The facility is a museum, art gallery, and collection of studios for visiting artists that showcases products of West Virginia and organizes the state’s “cottage industry.” Tamarack is the center of an integrated distribution and marketing network for products by more than 1,200 West Virginia artists. The Rosen Group, publisher of Niche magazine, named Gaston the 1997 Humanitarian of the Year for creating a progressive market for the state’s cottage industry.

After completing his second term, the former governor taught at Harvard University in the spring of 1997 as a fellow at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics. He founded and now runs the Institute on Education and Government at Columbia University.

Gaston became President and CEO of the College Board on 1 July, 1999. The New York City based College Board is a nonprofit membership association of more than 4,200 schools, colleges and other educational institutions throughout America. Its mission, as expressed by Governor Caperton, is to prepare, inspire and connect students to college success, with a focus on excellence and equity. The College Board is best known for its SAT College admissions exam and for its Advanced Placement Program, which offers high school students access to quality, college-level course work. Since taking the helm of the College Board, Governor Caperton has sought to enhance the standing and expand the reach of these two programs and to launch a series of initiatives. As a result of one of these initiatives, AP courses became more availabile to inner city and rural students.

Gaston Caperton appears concerned about unequal educational opportunity, and he led an effort to encourage students at middle schools to go to college, particularly the least advantaged. Gaston efforts prompted USA Today to label him an “education crusader”. The publication also named him one of the most influential people in America in its feature, “People to Watch: 2001.”

More recently, Governor Caperton led a successful campaign to revise the SAT when the College Board’s trustees requested changes to the test. The College Board introduced a set of changes to the SAT that include a writing test, more critical reading, and advanced math. The goal of the new SAT I is to more closely reflect the course work of the nation’s high school students while maintaining what they describe as the test’s level of rigor and excellence. The new SAT I was administered for the first time in March 2005.

Gaston Caperton was embarrassed when his first wife, Ella Dee Caperton (born Ella Kessel, Miss West Virginia 1964) divorced him during his first term, and unsuccessfully ran in the election for state treasurer. With Dee he had 2 boys, William Gaston Caperton, IV, (“Gat”) and John Caperton. Both sons are married and living with their own families (“Gat” in West Virginia and John in California).

Gaston’s second wife was the Musical Director Conductor of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Rachael Worby. Gaston is currently married to his third wife Idit Harel Caperton, an Israeli, MIT PhD, an education technology expert, a mother of 3, and the Founder and CEO of MaMaMedia.

Gaston and Idit Caperton live and work in New York City.

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Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Barry Goldwater

Barry Goldwater was born on 2 January, 1909 and died on 29 May, 1998. Barry Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona from 1953 to 1965 and from 1969 to 1987 the Republican Party’s nominee for President in the 1964 election. Barry Goldwater was a Major General in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Barry Goldwater was also referred to as “Mr. Conservative”. Barry Goldwater is the politician most often credited for sparking the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. By the 1980s, the increasing influence of the Christian Right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater’s libertarian views that he became a vocal opponent of the religious right on issues such as abortion and gay rights. Goldwater concentrated on his Senate duties, especially passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986.

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