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Carter Finds Kilimanjaro Is One Summit Too Many

Jimmy Carter almost made it to the top in Africa. Then the former President turned back not far from the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, an official of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park said. “Carter descended this morning after climbing to Gilman’s Point, which is 18,647 feet high,” 693 feet short of Uhuru peak, the unidentified park official said. He did not say why the 63-year-old Carter failed to reach the 19,340-foot summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Carter set out to climb the snow-capped mountain last Thursday at the start of a three-country private visit to East Africa. The former President, who is accompanied by his wife, Rosalynn, and seven other family members, will view wildlife in the Serengeti Plain and Ngorongoro Crater national parks before moving on to Kenya and Uganda.

--Another former President is being remembered at a birthday party, even though no one knows when he was born. West Branch, Iowa, was to mark the 114th birthday of Herbert Hoover today. Family records show the child nicknamed “Bertie” was born late one August night in 1874. However, no one bothered to make note of which side of midnight Hoover was delivered. Documents at the Cedar County Courthouse in Tipton show Aug. 11 as Hoover’s birthday, but Aug. 10 is listed on his gravestone in West Branch. To celebrate the birthday, Hoover buffs revived “Hoover Ball,” a grueling game combining medicine ball and volleyball that President Hoover played with Cabinet members. “People think of the Depression when his name is mentioned,” said Scott Sailor, who organized the 1988 Hoover Ball National Championship in West Branch. “We want to show a more personal side.”

--President and Mrs. Reagan honored 12 of America’s leading art figures by presenting them with the fourth annual National Medal of Arts. At a White House luncheon, the President hailed each of the recipients for, in the words of Walt Whitman, “helping America sing” in their accomplishments. The recipients were actress Helen Hayes, author Saul Bellow, architect I.M. Pei, photographer-film director Gordon Parks, dancer-choreographer Jerome Robbins, pianist Rudolf Serkin, composer-conductor Virgil Thomson and patrons Sydney J. Freedberg, Roger L. Stevens, Brooke Astor, Francis Goelet, and Obert C. Tanner.

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