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Shirley Temple Black gave hope to Americans of the depression era

Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
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It had to happen we knew Shirley Temple was getting up in age but many of us still remember her as Hollywood’s favorite little girl with the blonde curls, big bright eyes and a voice that could move a mountain. Who could resist this precocious little girl who was full of giggles and vivacious charm?

Shirley Temple Black was the legendary child star of the 1930’s during the depression era. The times were bleak when the public was in the midst of the Great Depression but watching this beautiful multi-talented child brought up their spirits and for at least a little while they were able to forgot their problems and watch this little girl perform.

“Biographer Anne Edwards writes about the tone and tenor of Temple films under Zanuck, "This was mid-Depression, and schemes proliferated for the care of the needy and the regeneration of the fallen. But they all required endless paperwork and demeaning, hours-long queues, at the end of which an exhausted, nettled social worker dealt with each person as a faceless number. Shirley offered a natural solution: to open one's heart." Edwards points out that the characters created for Temple would change the lives of the cold, the hardened, and even the criminal with positive results. Edwards quotes a nameless filmographer: "She assaults, penetrates, and opens [the flinty characters] making it possible for them to give of themselves. All of this returns upon her at times forcing her into situations where she must decide who needs her most. It is her agony, her Calvary, and it brings her to her most despairing moments ... Shirley's capacity for love ... was indiscriminate, extending to pinched misers or to common hobos, it was a social, even a political, force on a par with democracy or the Constitution."
Temple films were seen as generating hope and optimism, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "It is a splendid thing that for just fifteen cents an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles."

Early years of Shirley Temple Black

Shirley Temple was born in 1928 and had already started her movie career at the age of 3 years old. Her International fame occurred the following year for Bright Eyes when she was only 4 years old. She received a Juvenile academy award at the age of five. Shirley Temple was talented beyond her years, a child prodigy in acting. By 1934 she was 20th Century Fox’s greatest asset and star. Shirley Temple ranks 18th in Hollywood’s category of female legends of all time. Over the years Shirley Temple has won many awards.

Who could forget her performance in Heidi which pulled at the heartstrings of all movie goers? Unfortunately the public was in love with the little girl and her popularity and although she appeared in a few movies in her teens she retired in 1950 at the age of 22. She did come back in 1958 for a two year “Shirley Temple served on various committees such as The Walt Disney Company, Del Monte Foods and the National Wildlife Federation

Career in politics

By 1969 Shirley Temple Black turned her focus to politics. Shirley Temple Black started out as a representative for the United States at the United Nations General Assembly in 1988. Shirley Temple Black was appointed Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly by President Richard M. Nixon (September – December 1969), and was appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana (December 6, 1974 – July 13, 1976) by President Gerald R. Ford. She was appointed first female Chief of Protocol of the United States (July 1, 1976 – January 21, 1977), and was in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter's inauguration and inaugural ball. She served as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (August 23, 1989 – July 12, 1992), having been appointed by President George H. W. Bush.

Breast cancer survivor

She contracted breast Canada in 1972 and became one of the first publicly known women to acknowledge breast cancer. Shirley Temple died of natural causes on at her home on February 10, 2014. There are millions of people throughout the world who will mourn her death.

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