Wednesday, October 19, 2005
O’Connor Named Grand Marshal for Rose Parade
From Staff and Wire Service Reports
Declaring her a “shining example of what intelligence and determination can bring,” the Tournament of Roses yesterday named retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor grand marshal of the 117th Rose Parade.
“I cannot think of a more exciting way to begin the next chapter in my life than by riding down Colorado Boulevard as grand marshal,” O’Connor, 75, said in a statement.
“When I was a little girl my parents and I traveled several times to the Rose Parade all the way from our ranch in Arizona just to see the majestic floats,” she said. “The experience was indeed magical and I have kept it with me.”
O’Connor and her brother, H. Alan Day, are the authors of Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest, a book about their experiences living on the large family homestead, settled by their grandfather before Arizona became a state.
The parade will be held Jan. 2 instead of New Year’s Day because it’s never held on a Sunday.
O’Connor will also toss the coin before the 92nd Rose Bowl football game, which will fall on Jan. 4.
O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, was appointed by President Reagan in 1981. She announced her retirement in July and will step down from the bench when a successor is confirmed.
Early this month, O’Connor was named chancellor of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., succeeding former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. She will serve as an adviser to the university’s president for seven years.
O’Connor’s status as role model and advocate for women in the profession—the story is oft repeated that no law firm would offer her an associate’s position after she graduated near the top of her class at Stanford Law School, although one did offer her a job as a secretary—has brought her to Los Angeles before.
In 2002, she joined court and county officials at the formal rededication of what is now the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
At a lunch program prior to the rededication ceremony, O’Connor recounted Foltz’s story to a crowd packed with women judges and lawyers.
“We can just forget about any little problems we had along the way,” in comparison with Foltz, who raised five children alone after learning that her husband was having an affair, had to find a lawyer willing to train her, then had to lobby the Legislature to pass a bill admitting women into the profession before suing Hastings College of the Law in order to force open its doors to women, O’Connor said.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company