Female Frontiers QuestChat Archive
Date: March 26, 1999
Featuring: Shirley Temple Black
Former U.S. Chief Protocol
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 1 - 09:31:22
Hello to our early arriving chat participants! Today's Female Frontiers
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[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 2 - 09:31:36
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[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 3 - 09:31:51
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[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 6 - 09:59:46
Hello and welcome to today's Female Frontiers chat with Shirley Temple
Black. As a child, Shirley starred in more than forty major motion pictures
and fifty major television productions. She received an Oscar Award in
1935. In her adult life, Mrs. Black became a U.S. Delegate to the United
Nations in 1969. In the years that followed, she served as a U.S. Delegate
to many International Conferences and Summits on cooperative treaties
and human environment. In 1976 she became the first female Chief of Protocol
of the United States.
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 7 - 10:00:10
And now, here is Shirley Temple Black to answer your questions.
[ Ambassador - 8 - 10:00:18 ]
Hello. I'm delighted to be here at NASA Ames Research Center in California
and look forward to talking to you all.
[ Ambassador - 12 - 10:02:50 ]
RE: [Roxie] Mrs. Black, can you give us your take
on the situation in the former Yugoslavia? Do you think continued diplomacy
could have had any effect?
Roxie- I strongly support the men and women who are involved in this serious
situation in Kosovo. But I don't approve of our intervention in a civil
war action. I would like to see continued diplomatic effort.
[ Ambassador - 13 - 10:03:52 ]
RE: [joe] What do you think is the legacy you have
given America? What are some of the issues you faced in life?
Joe, I think the legacy could be attributed to my pleasure in making other
people happy through my films and entertainment career.
[ Ambassador - 17 - 10:05:29 ]
I would love to know where you are logging in from. Please give us that
information with your question.
[ Ambassador - 18 - 10:09:10 ]
RE: [Kaley/TA] Hello Mrs. Black, Why did you leave
acting and go into politics? What was the most difficult decision made
as an ambassador of protocol?
President Richard Nixon appopinted me as a US Delegate to the United Nations
in 1969. This was the start of my long career in U.S. International Relations.
I have had a longer career in diplomacy than in my entertainment career.
The office of Protocol was not my favorite job. You have to get everything
right but you have no input. One Head of State's wife wanted me to do
her hair during a state visit! I can see why I was the first woman to
have the job! And I don't care much for parties, I like to work in substantive
[ Ambassador - 21 - 10:11:44 ]
RE: [Caitlin/TA] Hi Mrs. Black, We were wondering
about your role on the U.S. Citizen's Space Task Force, and what you learned
and did in that role?
Hello Caitlin - In the last 60's I was a member of the U.S. Citizens'
Space Task Force, chaired by the U.S. Vice President. We discussed the
future of the space program for the next decade. We were very much in
favor of an unmanned space "Grand Tour," and development and building
of a space station. This was all in the late 1960's and much has happened
[ Ambassador - 26 - 10:13:59 ]
RE: [Roxie] Mrs. Black, did you ever dream when you
were a child that you would have such a great career outside of movies?
Roxie, where are you from? I had a wonderful teacher as a child and she
taught me about many countries of the world. Every time a foreign visitor
would come to my studio to visit me, she would give me a one week assignment
about the visitor. This generated my great interest in the world and the
[ Ambassador - 27 - 10:19:01 ]
RE: [Linda] Working with the UN - what was your favorite
country to visit and why?
Linda - I had two favorite jobs. One was as U.S. Ambassador to the republic
of Ghana and the second was as U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. These
were the best jobs of my whole life. As a delegate to the U.N. we were
located in New York the the United Nations. Later in 1972, I served as
deputy chairman of the U.N. Conference on Human Environment Preparatory
Committee. When you have a job with this long of title there is very small
salary. In 1974 I was a member of the U.N. Conference on Human Environment
which was held in Stockholm, Sweden. This was one of the greatest conferences
the U.N. ever held.
[ Ambassador - 29 - 10:20:58 ]
RE: [kim] What do you consider your greatest challenge
being in the political world?
The greatest challenge in the political arena is to maintain a sense of
humor. Diplomacy is the art of persuasion and one is often is challenged
trying to persuade a representative from another country to accept your
[ Ambassador - 30 - 10:22:29 ]
RE: [Ken] WhatDo you see the Space Program accomplishing
for women in The Year 2020?
Ken - I don't have a crystal ball and it's doubtful that I'll be around
in 2020. But I do have 20/20 vision.
[ Ambassador - 31 - 10:26:28 ]
RE: [Carina/TA] Ambassador Black, Why were Amelia
Earhart and Eleanore Roosevelt your role models, and what can we learn
from them today?
I met Eleanor Roosevelt when I was 10 years old and we became friends.
I did hit her in the rear end with my sling shot with a pebble at her
home in Hyde Park. She was bending over turning lambchops on a barbeque
and the target was just more than I could resist. She let out a small
yelp and the secret service was looking around to see who the perpetrator
was. Fortunately I was so short they didn't see me. But my mother did.
When we got back to the Hotel my mother punished me in the same area as
Mrs. Roosevelt. Seriously, I very much admired Mrs. Roosevelt's work at
the United Nations and in human rights.
[ Ambassador - 34 - 10:30:14 ]
RE: [Carina/TA] Ambassador Black, Why were Amelia
Earhart and Eleanore Roosevelt your role models, and what can we learn
from them today?
As for Amelia she visted me in my cottage at the movie studio. She brought
me a blue suitcase that was just right for air travel. Shortly after her
visit, she dissappeared on her doomed flight. I never used the suitcase.
I loved meeting Amelia and very much enjoyed her hairdo which was short
and tousled. I had 56 curls which had to be set every night and I wanted
to look more like Amelia. She also gave me some chewing gum which I wasn't
allowed to have and talked to me about her career in aeronautics and that
a women could do anything she wanted to do with her life if she really
worked hard. Amelia also had beautiful skin and a lovely smile.
[ Ambassador - 35 - 10:33:13 ]
RE: [NickPoliti] Hello, Mrs.Black! I am a big fan
of yours. I think you were the funniest and cutest actress ever! I would
like to ask you how it felt to be a very young movie star? I'm a sixth
grade student from Altoona, PA.
Nick - Thank you for your nice comments. I would suggest you read my autobiography
which is title "Child Star." It was published in 1988 by McGraw Hill and
should be available in your public library. It took me 8 years to write
this book and it's over 500 pages. But I would love to have you read it
and find the answers to your questions. It's a funny book in some ways
and tells the story of the times that I lived in.
[ Ambassador - 36 - 10:35:26 ]
RE: [Roxie] Do you feel like you have accomplished
about everything you wanted to achieve, or do you have more goals for
the future you could share with us?
Roxie - I will be 71 next month and I am currently writing my second book.
This will be about my career in International Relations and diplomacy.
It will probably take me quite a long time to finish this book.
[ Ambassador - 39 - 10:39:26 ]
RE: [Michelle] My students at Montessori School of
Corona gave me several questions. Amber H. (6th grade) says that she has
seen the whole collection of your childhood movies from 1 through 20.
Her favorites are Poor Little Rich Girl, Baby, Curly Top and Heidi. She
asks: with your job do you travel a lot? Do you learn many different languages?
Michelle- I am delighted you enjoy my old films. My work in international
relations has taken me all over the world. I would recommend at least
learning at least two languages for this kind of work. I have trouble
with English much of the time. I do speak some French, a little Arabic,
and Czech. Czech is a very hard language. I remember that I had to learn
about 150 characters of Mandarin for a movie I made called, "Stowaway."
I met my Chinese teacher in Bejing in 1977 again.
[ Ambassador - 41 - 10:40:22 ]
RE: [Kim/HeartlandPress] what would you choose in
your life to do over again and what would you never change
Kim - I have been asked that before. I would like to come back as Shirley
Temple. It's been a wonderful and exciting life.
[ Ambassador - 42 - 10:43:49 ]
RE: [Kyle] Location: Madison, NC Question/Comment:
What suggestions do you have for helping the youth of today regain moral
standards? In your movies you say, "Oh my goodness!" There are no swear
words in any of your movies. I'm 19, and almost everyword people say today
is vulger or disrespectful in some manner.
Kyle - My films were made in a very different time. I am saddened by many
of the things I see in films today. But unless the public objects the
studios will continue to try to please the audience. I think if you have
personal integrity and live yor life as best you can you should be a good
influence on others. Be a leader.
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 43 - 10:44:18
As a reminder, please share your thoughts about today's chat with us at
[ Ambassador - 46 - 10:45:48 ]
RE: [MsYoungsKClass] Greetings Mrs. Black! We are
kindergarten students in WV. We would like to know if you work alone and
if you do, does your job get lonely? Also, do you use computers much with
your current job? Thank you for taking the time to chat with us.
Ms. Young and kindergarten class - As an ambassador, I work with a team.
I'm very much in favor of team work. There are approximately 14 members
of a "country team" and we all work together to try to achieve our goals.
[ Ambassador - 48 - 10:47:56 ]
RE: [Lucian] Mrs. Temple Black, I am a member of the
United Nations Youth Association in Victoria, Australia (one of the biggest
in the southern hemisphere) and we are lucky to have some U.N. speakers,
I believe, for the National Conference to be held in my city of Melbourne.
Do you plan to visit Melbourne or Australia or perhaps come as a guest
Lucian- I love Australia and have enjoyed visiting Sydney and Melbourne.
I regret I will be unable to attend the conference but wish you all the
[ Ambassador - 50 - 10:51:44 ]
RE: [joe] Mrs. Black, i really enjoy being part of
this chat. ( your answer to # 30 is funny ). what do you think is the
greatest challenge young people face in the 21. century ( maybe you have
an answer although you don't have a crystal ball.... ) and how does it
differ from your generation's ?
Joe - I would like to encourage young people to join the foreign service
of their country. Through diplomacy you may be able to create a more peaceful
world. A world with more understanding for one another and one which will
improve the environmental concerns of this fragile planet. I have the
greatest respect for the men and women of the United States Foreign Service.
The job is difficult and the hours are long. I averaged a 14 hour day
when I was at Post.
[ Ambassador - 51 - 10:52:40 ]
RE: [DavidRivera/ShirleyTempleFan] Are you planing
on having an official web site or web page with email address for you
Hi David. No I am not planning to have a web site. This chat will be archived
and you can read it later.
[ Ambassador - 53 - 10:55:20 ]
RE: [Michelle] In pre-civil rights 1930s Hollywood,
you were exposed to people of different races and cultures at a very early
age. In your movies, your character always treated everyone equally. I
believe you may have influenced many young children through that aspect
of your movies. The scene in Littlest Rebel when the little servant girl
gave you a doll was one of the most memorable for me. What impact did
Hollywood have in your seemingly natural ability to deal with people?
Michelle - I am not a shy person and I have always been very outgoing.
I have always loved people and I was colorblind. My favorite actor has
always been Bill Robinson who was a Black American tap dancer and one
of my teachers. He is featured in my autobiography, "Child Star." We made
many movies together and he was a best friend and a great dancer.
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 55 - 10:56:34
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[ Ambassador - 56 - 11:00:27 ]
RE: [Caitlin/TA] Mrs. Black, We want to ask you about
your childhood as an actress. With all the acting, dancing, singing, and
school lessons, how did you fit it all into one day, and still play with
your friends, and enjoy yourself?
Caitlin - When I got home from the studio after a day's work I would put
on my blue jeans and t-shirt and play with the neighborhood kids. I was
a tomboy and a treeclimber. I wondered why the other children didn't work.
I thought everybody did. I had a private tutor for school and had three
hours of school a day. I worked four hours in front of the camera and
had one hour for lunch. It seemed easy at the time. I took piano lessons
during my lunch hour but disliked the teacher. So I switched to drum lessons.
My bungalow was next to the writers' building at the studio. They complained
so I had to practice with rubber drumsticks. I was a good drummer.
[ Ambassador - 61 - 11:03:20 ]
RE: [Crissy] I think I out-age the other chatters
by 20 years . . . I'm a grad student at Wayne State University. Mrs. Black,
First, I'd like to say that you are my favorite star of all time! I have
collected all of your movies. My husband almost knows all of the songs
b/c I watch them every weekend. My question is, was it hard, once you
grew up and made your way into the professional world, to get prospective
employers to take you seriously? I'm in a situation where I grew up in
an industry, and now they still see me as little Crissy. Plus, it's a
male dominated industry, so my battles are even greater. Bless you for
being you! You're a great role model for; all of those child stars needing
inspiration, women facing the horrible reality of breast cancer and the
fact that you can survive it, and women breaking business barriers. I
really wish you would make more public appearances! x's & o's!
Crissy - When I was a delegate at the United Nations I was given 13 assignments
for the 24th General Assembly. I learned later the average work load was
4 assignments. So they were really testing me. I took books back to my
hotel in New York every night and studied late. When they saw that I did
my homework and was a serious representative I was accepted.
[ MichelleandStephanie - 63 - 11:04:37 ]
It looks like this chat will soon be coming to an end, so we want to be
sure to say thank you very much for taking the time for us. You are a
beautiful role model for people everywhere and thank you for everything
you do and are.
[ Ambassador - 62 - 11:04:21 ]
I have enjoyed being with you all and hope you have rewarding and substantive
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 57 - 11:00:49
We will now be ending our chat with Shirley Temple Black. We would like
to thank everyone for joining us today. Our very special thanks to Shirley
Temple Black for her thoughtful responses to our questions, and for sharing
her acting and political career experiences with us today. We very much
appreciate her time.
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 58 - 11:01:23
We hope you can join us for our next Female Frontiers events on April
1 and May 11. On April 1, we will offer a forum with Eileen Collins, the
first female commander of a space shuttle mission. Be sure to read Eileen's
profile at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/frontiers/collins.html
in order to prepare your questions. On May 11, we will introduce our three
student "ambassadors" who will be attending the launch of the space shuttle
commanded by Eileen Collins (STS-93). Check the Female Frontiers events
page at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/frontiers/schedule.html
to learn more about these upcoming events. Also check our schedule of
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other upcoming chats with NASA experts.
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 59 - 11:02:07
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[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 60 - 11:02:42
Thank you again to everyone for joining us for today's chat.