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Sir Peter Jackson

Oscar for Best Director

I left the newspaper, left my full-time job after seven years. I left at the moment the Film Commission came in with money for me to finish it. Quit my job, and I've never been back there since. Always felt that one day I might have to go back, but I guess now I probably can start to put those fears to rest. I still have recurring dreams that I'm back at the newspaper there, that things haven't worked out well in the film business, and I'm back in the photolithography department.
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Donald Johanson

Discoverer of Lucy

At this point the principal, Mr. Quirk, interesting name, came under a lot of pressure from the Board of Education to silence these students. And in fact, I was called in to the principal's office and told that this was really not my role as a student to interfere with what adults were doing and the decisions which they had made. And once the decision was made, there was a big article in the newspaper about how these young students had begun this movement and I all of a sudden became very unpopular with Mr. Quirk and others.
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Donald Johanson

Discoverer of Lucy

I had an invitation to go to Sweden to participate in a Nobel symposium. And I decided this was the venue, this was the place, where I wanted to announce the new species. And I thought how substantial an impact this is going to have and I went to this Nobel symposium, and there were very few people at the symposium who knew it was going to be announced. There were only two or three people in the audience who knew that it was going to be a new species. When I made the announcement, you could hear a pin drop in the room. I mean, here was assembled 15 of the world's specialists in human evolutionary studies. Richard Leakey was there, Mary Leakey was there, a whole host of people, from prestigious universities, who were published widely, and here I was - 1978, I was at that time a young scholar, 35 years old, making this announcement. And furthermore, I presented a new view of how the family tree looked. I thought that this was going to generate enormous discussion. I finished my paper, and there was a question and answer period, and nobody asked a question. They broke for tea, people left the room, and only one scientist came up to me afterwards, and said "It's unbelievable." They were so taken aback by this that they didn't even want to discuss it. During the week's discussion, whenever people would start debating a family tree, I would say, "What about my family tree? What about what I'm suggesting?" Some people deliberately tried to ignore it and not consider it because it really upset their views of human evolution. They found it very difficult to subsume that into their view of human origins. So this was a high risk time in my life. We keep going back to the strength which I had throughout my career. I must admit it was one of the times when I really had to dig deep, take a deep breath, and say, "I believe I'm right. I believe that I will be vindicated. Lucy will be accepted as Australopithecus afarensis, and she will alter everyone's views of how we got here."
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Frank Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Frank Johnson: They set a bomb off under her car port. That was a few years after my father died. She had just gone upstairs from her kitchen and the bomb blew the windows out of the kitchen, all the way across the breakfast room, through the dining room and the other side of the house. She didn't get hurt, and she didn't get scared. She didn't get intimidated. When I went over there a few minutes later, after I'd been called by the FBI, I said, "Mother, you ought to come over and spend the night with us." She said, "I'm not leaving my home. I'm staying right here." She refused to leave. She was a Kirkwood. Scottish. Tough. The FBI never did solve that case until about a year ago. I found out who did it. He was a Klansman. A big Klan leader from over here in Mississippi. He came over here and put it under there. I notified them formally as to who did it and where he lived. He's moved to Virginia now, and he's become an evangelist! Put "evangelist" in quotes. They went up and interviewed him, and I have a copy of the interview. So, he's the one that did it. But they didn't discover it. I found out about it.
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Frank Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Frank Johnson: I wasn't in the first or second, or third (wave). I went in two days later. But they weren't 300 yards from the beach. So I was in the Normandy invasion in that sense. I helped get through Saint Lo. After we broke through Saint Lo, we went across France. I was in Patton's Third Army. I was a lieutenant in the infantry. I got shot once in Normandy, stayed in the hospital 11 days, went back still with the bandage on. They left the bullet in there. It's still there. They said, "It will take you three months if we operate and cut it out," said "You can get back in ten days if it stays in." So they filled it full of that stuff that was just out, what did they call it then? Powder? Pat you on the rear and you get on back to your crew.
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