Four former first ladies make rare joint appearance
By PHIL HIRSCHKORN
October 27, 1999
Web posted at: 10:07 a.m. EDT (1407 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Four former first ladies made a rare joint appearance Tuesday night in New York, where they were honored for their contributions in health and education.
Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter and Barbara Bush were on hand for the event hosted by the Charles A. Dana Foundation, a private, $300 million foundation with grant programs in health and education.
The first ladies each received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the foundation. Former first lady Nancy Reagan also received the award, but could not attend the event because of a recent fall in which she fractured a rib.
Gerald Ford, the only former president at the event, accompanied his wife.
As part of the award, the first ladies were asked to designate a recipient for a $100,000 foundation grant.
Johnson selected the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas; Ford selected the Betty Ford Center, an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center in Rancho Mirage, Calif.; Carter selected the mental health program at the Carter Center in Atlanta; Reagan chose the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation for Educational Programs; and Bush selected four programs: her own foundation for family literacy, a literacy program in Maine, Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland, Maine and the Mayo Clinic Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
The ceremony marked the foundation's 50th anniversary.
Wednesday, October 27, 1999