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Informative Speech, "Sandra Day O'connor"

995 words - 4 pages

On March 26, 1930 Sandra Day was born in El Paso, Texas to Harry and Ada Day. The family owned a ranch in Arizona, which her grandfather Henry Day established in the 1880's. When Sandra was a child she rode horses, helped with the cattle, and did many things boys did. Her parents sent her to El Paso when she was five to live with her grandmother and to attend Radford School, a private school for girls. She returned to the ranch when she was thirteen. The nearest school was twenty-two miles away, so she traveled leaving before daylight and returning in the dark. The next year she was back at Radford. After a year, she switched to Austin High School, where she graduated at the age of sixteen.Sandra prepared herself for success at Stanford University. There she majored in economics. In 1950 she earned a B.A. degree with honors and went to law school. She was ranked third out of the 102 students in her class. One of her fellow editors and the top-ranking students in the class below hers was John Jay O'Connor, who she would marry soon after graduation in 1952.During the early years of her marriage, Sandra had her career and the demands of family life. During her husband's last year of law school, she tried to get a job with a law firm in California, but she was unsuccessful because of the reluctance of many firms to hire a female attorney. She worked for the first year of her marriage as a deputy attorney for San Mateo County. The O'Connor's then moved to Phoenix. Because its size and growth rate, there were many offered opportunities to newcomers. This is where Sandra had her first son Scott in 1957. She had two other sons: Jay and Brian. For several years, Sandra worked part-time in the O' Connor's law office, and she became active in civic affairs. She served on the Maricopa County Board of Adjustments and Appeals, was on the Governor's Committee on Marriage and Family, worked for the Arizona State Hospital as an administrator, and volunteered for the Salvation Army. Sandra also became active in the Republican Party, serving as district chair. By 1965, when she decided to resume her career full-time, she had an established family, excellent legal credentials, and a variety of experiences in public service.Sandra's career centered on state government. From 1965 to 1969, she was Arizona's assistant attorney general. In 1969, Governor Jack Williams appointed her to a vacant seat in the Arizona Senate. As a Republican, she won election to that seat in 1970 and again in 1972.In the Arizona senate, Sandra was known for her careful work, her attention to truthful accuracy, and her ability to handle her staff well and get things done. When she became majority leader in 1972, she was the first woman in that post in the United States. Her voting record ranged from moderate to conservative. She favored limiting government spending, restoring the death penalty, and some selected feminist issues. Specifically, she voted for...

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