4 former first ladies make rare, joint appearance at New York award ceremony
October 27, 1999
From CNN Producer Phil Hirschkorn
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Four former first ladies made a rare joint appearance in New York Tuesday night 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 organization with grant programs in health and education.
During the ceremony, which marked the foundation's 50th anniversary, the first ladies each received the Distinguished Achievement Award. Former first lady Nancy Reagan was also a recipient, but she could not attend because she is recuperating from 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.
Previous winners of the award include Dr. James Watson, co-founder of the DNA structure, and noted cancer researcher Judah Folkman.
Charles A. Dana, a New York attorney, industrialist and philanthropist who died in 1975, invented the Universal Joint, which connects the transmission to the driveshaft in cars.
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