California to establish a Hall of Fame, Disney, Reagan and Alice Walker among 1st inductees





California joined the ranks of the National Football League and Major League Baseball on Monday, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver announced the creation of a hall of fame to honor great Californians.

The first 13 inductees into the California Hall of Fame -- the newest addition to the California Museum of History, Women and the Arts -- will be Cesar Chavez, Walt Disney, Amelia Earhart, Clint Eastwood, architect Frank Gehry, the Hearst family, AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho, tennis star Billie Jean King, conservationist John Muir, the Packard family, Ronald Reagan, astronaut Sally Ride and author Alice Walker. A formal induction ceremony is planned for Dec. 6.

"The first lady began this idea to showcase that California is a leading place of innovation and creativity," said Shriver spokesman Ryan Jimenez.

Museum spokeswoman Claudia French said the inductees were chosen through the input of the museum's staff and board of trustees, the California Arts Council, Shriver and Schwarzenegger's offices, the state librarian, state historian and state archivist. The governor had the final say in approving all inductees. French said people from many different disciplines were considered in an attempt to show the broad array of talent in the state.

"These unique people are people who really transcended their field and their area of expertise to make an impact on California and the world," French said.

Additional influential Californians will be inducted every year. French said the museum is considering setting up an Internet system to allow Californians from all over the state to give their input for future inductions.

The Hall of Fame is sponsored by Bank of America, which contributed $400,000 to the project. "We wanted to work in partnership with the first lady and her vision for bringing the museum to life," said bank spokesman Michael Chee. Bank of America did not play a role in choosing the inductees.

The museum, located at 1020 O St. in Sacramento, will place a prominent exhibit of the California Hall of Fame at its entrance.


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Andy Moursund - 8/2/2006

Or Reagan's role in crushing the air traffic controllers, or Hearst's part in the Spanish-American War, or Alice Walker's slobbering all over Castro, or whatever other dirt there may be (and I'm sure that there is) in the careers in all of the other inductees? I guess the point is that if you're honoring these people's role in the arts, none of this is particularly germane, but if you're going to tell the whole truth about any of the inductees, you can't pick and choose which ones to single out because of their extra-curricular interests and activities.

For the record, I couldn't agree more with Lorraine's apparent distaste for Disney. If he'd just given us Donald Duck and then croaked, the world would have likely been much better off.


Lorraine Paul - 8/2/2006

Will they mention Walt Disney's part of the formulation of the "Black List" and his union-bashing?

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