Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turned 65 today. We can spend a few hundred words talking about her accomplishments as a lawyer, politician and mother, including her degree from Harvard Law School, the fact that she was the first female partner in her Arkansas law firm, or the fact that she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005, but that’s been done. Instead, we are giving you ten of the most unusual facts we found about her. Happy Birthday, Hillary!
1. She wanted to be astronaut. When Hillary was 12 years old, she wrote to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, asking how she could become an astronaut. She received a reply saying that NASA didn’t accept women in the astronaut program. Her mother comforted her by saying that her eyesight was much too bad anyway.
2. She was on a game show. Clinton appeared as a contestant on the television quiz show College Bowl.
3. She worked as a dish washer in Alaska. After graduating Wellesley College in 1969, Clinton worked in Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park and sliming salmon in a fish processing cannery in Valdez. The plant fired her and then shut down after she complained about unhealthy conditions.
4. Her first legal case made her the butt of her husband’s jokes for years. In her first legal case she defended a canning company against a plaintiff’s claim they had found a rat’s rear end in their can.
5. She hosted Saturday Night Live. Enough said.
6. She worked for Wal-Mart. From 1986 to 1992, Clinton enjoyed a six-year tenure as a director of Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest company. She used her position to champion personal causes, like the need for more women in management and a comprehensive environmental program.
7. She named her daughter after a song. Chelsea Clinton received her name because her parents loved the song Chelsea Morning written by Joni Mitchell and recorded by Judy Collins.
8. She tried to join the Marines. Shortly before she married Bill Clinton in 1975, Hillary tried to join the Marines. The Marine recruiter rejected her on the grounds that she was “too old,” couldn’t see very well, and that she was a woman.
9. She’s a Grammy winner. In 1997, Hillary won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio of her book It Takes a Village.
10. Her fifth grade teacher really, really liked her. Hillary’s teacher that year, Mrs. King, was so fond of teaching her, it was said that she followed her to the sixth grade so that she could have her in class for a second year. Are you surprised?
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