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Posts Tagged ‘Jonestown’

I have loved Jackie Speier since that terrible day in November 1978 when she accompanied Congressman Leo Ryan to Jonestown, Guyana to investigate Jim Jones and his People’s Temple. Directly subsequent to their visit, Jones ordered his congregation to drink the Kool-Aid,  literally, and it is from that event that the expression derives.  It was reportedly grape-flavored and contained cyanide along with valium and other ingredients. 918 people died including children and infants. Death from cyanide poisoning is said to be excruciating.

Congressman Ryan and his delegation, including Jackie and news staff, were attacked on the tarmac at Port Kaituma while attempting to leave for home after their investigation. At that time, they were unaware of Jones’s suicide order.   You can read a full account here >>>>.

Because Jackie’s name came up in this article that has been circulating,  I thought it might be a good idea to expand a little on this courageous public servant.

She was elected to Ryan’s seat in the House in 2008.

Her given name is not Jackie. She took Jacqueline as her Confirmation name in honor of Jackie Kennedy and goes by that name. Her first husband died in an auto accident when she was pregnant in 1987.

When she lay bullet-ridden at Port Kaituma, she thought she would never live to marry and have children.

You can read an excellent interview with her on the Jonestown events and her life here >>>>

Excerpt:

Congresswoman remembers day of horror

JONESTOWN AND THE CITY HALL ASSASSINATIONS Jackie Speier remembers day of massacre and mass suicide in Guyana

Published 4:00 am, Monday, November 17, 2008

“I’m 28 years old, and I am about to die.”

I was curled up behind the wheel of an airplane on a jungle airstrip in Guyana, South America. This isn’t what I expected when I signed on to work for a United States congressman. Our fact-finding trip to investigate the Peoples Temple in Jonestown had gone horribly wrong. I lay as still as I could, pretending to be dead, as an unknown gunman pumped five bullets into me at close range. Pop-pop. Pop. Pop-pop.

When the shooting stopped, I looked around and saw bodies, including that of my boss and mentor, Congressman Leo Ryan. Wasto investigate  he, too, pretending to be dead? I called his name, but he didn’t respond. Looking down, I saw what appeared to be a bone. It was my own, and it was sticking out of my shattered right arm.

The thought raced through my mind: “I’m 28 years old, and I am about to die. This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen. I will never turn 80, never marry, never have children.”

Read more >>>>

Jackie has never backed down from a righteous battle. She accompanied Congressman Ryan on a Greenpeace mission in March 1978 to investigate the slaughter of baby harp seals in Newfoundland. Not much can be worse than witnessing babies bludgeoned before their mothers’ eyes and being unable to do anything to stop it. But Jackie has been through worse. She thought she would die and never have children. When she knew she would live, she was told she might lose limbs. Her arm and leg were shot up.

But a fighter is a fighter, and don’t tell Jackie she cannot bare arms!

Congresswoman Jackie Speier Says She and Colleagues Felt “Free” on Sleeveless Friday

Women of the House got serious about modernizing a strict dress code on Capitol Hill’s newest holiday.
July 14, 2017 4:08 pm

The Democratic women of the House have instituted a brand-new holiday in Washington: sleeveless Friday. Sparked by California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, several House Democrats arrived to Congress on July 14 wearing sleeveless dresses as part of a campaign to modernize the House dress code.

Female lawmakers began these efforts after a reporter was banned from entering the Speaker’s Lobby last week for wearing a sleeveless dress. The rules, which are enforced only on the House side of the Capitol, are not new—but after the incident last week, Speaker Paul Ryan released an announcement reiterating the dress code, per CBS:

“Members should periodically rededicate themselves to the core principles of proper parliamentary practice that are so essential to maintaining order and deliberacy here in the House.”

Speier and her colleagues took to the Capitol—and to Twitter—to make their opinions heard. On Thursday, Speier released a flyer via Twitter urging other female lawmakers to wear sleeveless dresses this Friday, and to take a photo in their sleeveless finery together Friday afternoon.

Read more >>>>

Yes! Shot up arm and all, Jackie went for “Sleeveless Friday” on the Hill and took her colleagues along with her! Go Jackie! Lead on! you are a hero! We’re so glad you got to be a mom and a leader in Congress!

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