September 11, 2001
First Ladies’ Library salutes five honorees
By PAUL M. KRAWZAK
Copley Washington correspondent
WASHINGTON — Courage and faith, generosity, passion — those were among the virtues championed by five women who Monday
night accepted a salute from the First Ladies’ Library for their achievements and contributions.
In its third annual awards dinner, the library based in Canton honored Bernadine Healy, first woman to head the National Institutes of Health; Corinne “Lindy” Boggs, first female ambassador to the Vatican; Wilhelmina Holladay, who founded the National Museum of Women in the Arts; civil rights activist Coretta Scott King and Elizabeth Dole, former secretary of labor and transportation.
Healy, who was born and raised in New York City but has spent much of her life in Ohio, said nothing is possible without courage and faith.
Addressing more than 250 guests who paid $500-a-seat to attend the dinner, she recalled the words of Clara Barton, founder of the
American Red Cross, who wrote in admiration of women who were “patient but not tame.”
Healy, who unsuccessfully challenged Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine for the Republican Senate nomination in 1994, is president of the
American Red Cross.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., introduced King, who she said could have become bitter after the slaying of her husband, the
Rev. Martin Luther King, but instead continued his work “with extraordinary grace, dignity and courage.”
Mrs. King is “a reminder to all of us of our obligation to those who are less fortunate,” Clinton said.
Dole praised each of the other recipients when she received her award. She singled out the words of ABC News correspondent
Cokie Roberts, who wrote of her mother, award recipient Boggs, that she set an example of grace, wisdom and beauty.
Dole, who preceded Healy as director of the Red Cross, who is expected to announce today her plans for a run to succeed retiring
Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.
Roberts originally was going to act as moderator at the event, which included the honoring of her mother. But she canceled so she
could go to San Francisco to see twin grandsons who were born ahead of schedule.
Boggs came to the capital as the wife of Hale Boggs, a Louisiana Democrat who became House majority leader. When the airplane
he was in disappeared over Alaska in 1973, she won a special election to succeed him.
Boggs recalled that Lady Bird Johnson first encouraged her to run for her husband’s seat, but then asked, “Lindy, do you think you
can do it without a wife?”
Holladay, accepting her award in the museum she founded, the venue for the event, told those assembled, “We can all be
tremendously proud of our American tradition of volunteerism and philanthropy.”
Mary Regula, founder and president of the 6-year-old National First Ladies’ Library in Canton, drew a stream of accolades for her
efforts to establish and develop the library.
King pronounced Mrs. Regula “a great lady yourself.”
Healy remarked that W. R. “Tim” Timken Jr., chairman of the Canton-based Timken Co., who was in the audience, “said to me (Mrs. Regula) will chew your leg off, she will not let you go.” Healy continued, “Tim, your leg is just fine, but Mrs. Regula does have that relentlessness.”
U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, came in for some good-natured ribbing before introducing Healy.
Mrs. Clinton, for example, praised his wife’s leading role in establishing the library and then added, “Ralph, you helped, too.”
Regula quipped later that he was telling his male friends to get used to the term “spouse of — it’s the wave of the future.”
Clinton said she looked forward to the time when the awards dinner will be held in Canton.
Proceeds from the dinner will help finance the development of an education and research center for the library at a former bank
building in Canton.