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Government & Advocacy

  • December 5 - Wilma Mankiller is sworn in as the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Mankiller is diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.[1]
  • Equip for Equality is founded as a not-for-profit organization designated by the governor in 1985 to implement the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System in Illinois.[2]


  • February 19 - William J. Schroeder becomes the first patient to receive an artificial heart and leave the hospital. Unfortunately, Schroeder later died from complications of his surgery.


  • The Dwarf Athletic Association of America (DAAA) is founded.


  • February 1 - Rachael Scdoris - American dog sled racer. Rachael became the first legally blind athlete to complete the Iditarod in 2006.[3]
  • June 29 - Erin Popovich - American swimmer. Popovich has achondroplasia, a growth defect that is the most common cause of dwarfism. Despite her condition, Popovich won seven gold medals (out of seven events) at the 2004 Paralypic Games.[4]


  • July 13 - Charles K. Bliss - Austrian chemist and inventor. Bliss invented Blissymbolics, a language composed of hundreds of symbols that allow easier communication for people with cognitive disabilities.[5]


  1. "WILMA MANKILLER Biography." Advameg Inc. 2007. Accessed on May 29, 2008.
  2. "About Equip for Equality." Equip for Equality. 2008. Accessed on April 28, 2008.
  3. "Rachael's Story." The Official Rachael Scdoris Website. Accessed on March 14, 2008.
  4. "Erin Popovich Named Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year." Colorado State University. September 2005. Accessed on March 9, 2008.
  5. "A Great Australian:The Inventor of Semantography (Blissymbolics)." 1997. Accessed on May 19, 2008.