February 26 - Happy Birthday, LaDonna Harris!

Posted on February 26, 2018

Today's famous birthday is Comanche LaDonna Harris, a politician and national leader who works for Native American rights but also ALL civil rights, for the environment, for women, and for world peace.

Born in "Indian country" in Oklahoma on this date in 1931, Harris was raised by her grandparents during the Great Depression.

She married a man (Fred Harris) who became a Oklahoma State Senator and later a U.S. Senator representing Oklahoma. During their time in Washington, LaDonna Harris began her own career in public service. 

She founded and has presided over the Americans for Indian Opportunity.

She helped found the National Indian Housing Council.
And the Council of Energy Resource Tribes.
And the National Tribal Environmental Council.
And the National Indian Business Association!

She has participated in several Presidential Commissions.

She's also been on the boards of everything from the Girl Scouts to the National Organization for Women, from the ACLU to Save the Children.

She even ran for vice president of the U.S.! (For a third party, of course.) That was in 1980, and some credit Harris with adding concern about the environment to presidential and vice-presidential campaigns then and ever since. 

One surprising thing that Harris has done is to adopt Johnny Depp into the Comanche Nation. She did this because he had announced that he would play Tonto, in the movie The Lone Ranger, as a Comanche.

(Depp has Native American ancestry - probably Cherokee.)

Also on this date:

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