Saturday, July 31, 2010

On July 31

On this day in ...
... 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Dr. Margaret Joy Tibbetts to serve as U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Norway. Tibbetts presented her credentials on October 6 of the same year, and left the post on May 23, 1969. During that tenure she would "escor[t] Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 1964." She also was quoted in The New York Times story announcing King's award:
As an American and representative of the American people, I want to express joy and gratitude that one of my fellow countrymen has been awarded this prize.
Tibbetts had been on August 26, 1919, in Bethel, Maine, and earned a Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. In 1944 she became a career officer of the U.S. Foreign Service, serving in Washington, London, Brussels -- and eventually as officer-in-charge of the consulate general at what was then Leopoldville, Belgian Congo (today, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo). In 1971 she received the Distinguished Honor Award (ribbon at right), "the highest decoration bestowed by the United States Department of State," and retired from government service. She became a professor, teaching foreign policy, at Bowdoin College near her hometown. Miss Tibbetts, as her obituary referred to her, died in Maine this past April 25, at age 90.

(Prior July 31 posts are here, here, and here.)

No comments: