Journalist Bonnie Angelo, author of "First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents," was guest speaker at the Tysons Business and Professional Women's monthly meeting recently, and she told her audience that "mothers are the ones who give strength of purpose to the future presidents, especially those who themselves had strong and successful fathers."
Currently a resident of Bethesda, Angelo reported on the White House and presidential families for Time magazine during eight administrations. As Washington correspondent and bureau chief in London and New York, she has covered newsmakers around the world. All this gave her the opportunity to observe presidents and their mothers. In explaining her theory, she quotes Sigmund Freud in the beginning chapter of her book: "A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror, that confidence of success that often induces real success."
The book was chosen by Reader’s Digest as the best fiction of 2001, and a documentary, "First Mothers," is being shown on the History Channel on May 11 from 7-10 p.m., with most of the living past presidents talking about their mothers.
One of the most fearsome and fanatically devoted mothers in her book is Sara Delano Roosevelt, mother of Franklin. She had a very strong and highly successful father in the international trading field, who dominated his family. He was a Hudson Valley aristocrat, and his daughter, Sara, married a man very like her father. She poured her life into Franklin, her only child, giving him every advantage, sometimes to his dismay. She did not approve of her son’s marrying his fifth cousin, Anna Eleanor Hall Roosevelt, niece of President Teddy Roosevelt. Sara dogged Eleanor's every move and even tried to turn Eleanor's children against her.
Not all mothers-in-law were so vitriolic. When Rose Fitzgerald married Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., his mother was pleased because her family was important in Boston's political society while the Kennedys were not held in high regard. While Joseph was amassing wealth and power and pushing onto the world stage, Rose carefully guided her children's daily lives.
In Nixon's final farewell he spoke of Hannah, his mother. A devout Quaker, she brought up her five sons and saw to it they were in church each Sunday. Every meal began with prayers, and each child recited from memory a verse from the Bible. The family tree was rich in dynamic women. Hannah's grandmother was a preacher, and her mother was an excellent teacher and small-business woman.
Barbara Bush attracted attention with her wit and intelligence as the president's wife and now the president's mother. Angelo noted that George's father had enormous influence on him, and his mother had 10 times more.
Copes of the book are availaable at local book stores.
Women's Center president and CEO Judy Mueller was honored by "A&E Biography" and Sen. George Allen (R) as one of 10 "Community Heroes" from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. Community Heroes have been nominated by local congressmen and selected by the Emmy Award-winning "A&E Biography," based on their special contributions to the community and inspirational leadership. "A&E Biography" Community Heroes have made distinguished contributions in the arts, community service, philanthropy, athletics and public service.
"A&E Biography" commissioned the Community Hero Awards in recognition of its 15th anniversary. One hundred Community Heroes have been selected nationwide. As an honoree, Judy Mueller's personal biography and photograph have become permanent items in the "Biography 15 Years" traveling exhibition, after being unveiled at the June 28 special ceremony at Tysons Galleria.
Self Storage Plus of Vienna, a state-of-the-art storage facility located at 300 Mill St. N.E., has made a donation of one 10-by-10-foot self-storage unit to Our Daily Bread in order to provide much-needed space for the distribution of food to needy families. Self Storage Plus of Vienna, developed and owned by West*Group, a full-service commercial real estate firm headquartered in McLean, was open to the public in October 2000. The 54,000-square-foot facility leases storage units to businesses and individuals needing climate-controlled self-storage space.
Boy Scouts and troop leaders from Great Falls Troop 55 spent the last week of June at Camp Chickahominy outside Williamsburg. In addition to special climbing, historical and water-based activities, the camp also offered a wide variety of merit badges and opportunities for rank advancement. Troop 55 meets every week throughout the school year at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Great Falls. For more information or to join, contact scoutmaster Bob MacKichan at 703-759-5233.
The Fairfax County Chess Championship was held Monday, June 3, 2002 at Haycock Elementary in McLean. Kent Gardens took the title, establishing a new record by winning 40 points out of a possible 48 (the old record was 34.5). The two top chess competitors from each grade in chess clubs across the county are selected to enter this tournament. Students from second up to sixth grade compete, and there is a special category for club champions only, regardless of grade. Some 257 elementary-school children competed from across the county. First place went to Kent Gardens, with 40 points; second place was awarded to Haycock, with 33.5 points; and third place went to Louise Archer, with 31 points.
Aryan Khojandi (Kent Gardens)
Haitao Mao (Haycock)
Byron Hood (Kent Gardens)
Kevin Hegel (Haycock)
Eugene Moy (Louise Archer)
Sumit Malik (Forest Edge)
Eric Bomgardner (Haycock)
Andrew Dailey (Forestville)
Kevin Pyne (Kent Gardens)
Daniel Nothaft (Kent Gardens)
Sophia Mortensen (Orange Hunt)
Stephanie Marzen (Franklin Sherman)
Jerry Wu (Olde Creek)
Andrew Stewart (Forestville)
The Friends of the George Mason Regional Library in Annandale have donated $200,000 to the Fairfax County Public Library Foundation Inc. to establish an endowment to support the Summer Library Program of the Fairfax County Public Library.