First female four-star general
After serving 33 years in the Army, Gen. Ann Dunwoody has become the first woman in U.S. history to reach the rank of four-star general. Dunwoody, 55, serves as commander of the Army Materiel Command, responsible for equipping all soldiers. She hails from a family of military men dating back to the 1880s, and her husband served 26 years in the Air Force. Dunwoody said she hadn’t appreciated the significance of her accomplishment until she was deluged with letters from proud women, in and out of the military. “I grew up in a family that didn’t know what glass ceilings were,” she said.
Pickens saves wild Western horses
Some 30,000 wild Western horses kept in holding pens by the federal government, including 2,000 about to be euthanized, have been given a new lease on life. Madeleine Pickens, wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, announced that she would “adopt” the animals and acquire land to accommodate them. About 33,000 wild horses roam on federal land in the West, but to prevent competition for food and water with cattle and wildlife, another 30,000 are kept in pens. Those who are 10 years or older or who do not get adopted are often put down. “I’m thrilled that these horses are getting a reprieve,” said Shelley Sawhook of the American Horse Defense Fund.
Lincoln's letter to bereaved Civil War mother
A Texas museum has found in its archives what appears to be a copy of a famous letter from President Abraham Lincoln to a mother who lost five sons in the Civil War. The letter was sent to Lydia Bixby, and was considered so touching that it was widely published during the war. “I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming,” Lincoln wrote. He said he was praying that God would relieve her anguish and leave her with only “the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” The version located by the Dallas Historical Society appears to be a government copy, made around the time the letter was written.