First Black Sextuplets Belatedly Win Public Notice
Published: January 08, 1998
(Page 2 of 2)
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Speaking to the President at that meeting, Thaddeus Garrett Jr., former board chairman at Howard University here, said of the Thompsons: ”Never got mentioned anywhere. Didn’t get a dime from any corporation, diapers or anything. Then this woman out in Iowa has seven, and she’s in more magazines than you are.
And it wasn’t until some of us ministers kicked up a fuss that now some of the corporations are starting.”
Whether it was the ministers or the radio show, many of those who had ignored the Thompsons rushed to their side in the newly warm glow of the spotlight.
The Procter & Gamble Company offered diapers. The General Motors Corporation provided a van. Howard promised scholarships for all five children. Toys, clothes and swings piled up. Gerber Products gave coupons for food. The Washington law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding is providing free legal advice. The Freddie Mac Foundation, established by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, said it would give the family a house and is on the verge of announcing that it has found a big one with a yard.
Univ. Gives Sextuplets Scholarships
AP , Associated Press
AP News Archive Dec. 22, 1997 5:16 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Add a paid college education to the list of gifts for the five surviving sextuplets in Washington.
Howard University offered four-year scholarships Monday to each of the seven-month-old Thompson babies: Emily Elizabeth, Richard Linden, Octavia Daniela, Stella Kimberly and AnnMarie Amanda.
“It’s our turn now,” father Linden Thompson told WRC-TV. “Howard has done the job. It’s time for mom and dad to do their job.”
The babies were decked out in blue and white Howard University sweatsuits and bonnets for Monday’s announcement. By the time the babies enter college the scholarships will be worth $314,000.
Linden and Jacqueline Thompson were the first black parents in the United States to have sextuplets but they and their newborns were virtually ignored until last month’s birth of the McCaughey septuplets in Iowa.
The Iowa births sparked stories about the lack of attention given to the Thompson family.
Since then, the baby shower for the infants has been ongoing. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her annual visit to Children’s Hospital, recently posed for photos with the Thompson family.
The National Political Congress of Black Women, based in nearby Silver Spring, Md., announced last week it was “adopting” the family and helping make some of their wishes come true.
The Freddie Mac Foundation has already promised the family a house, and Chevrolet has donated an Astro minivan.
Local students and employees have also presented gifts. About 30 students from Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pa., even took a four-hour bus ride to present their .