Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Who is Like Us?

This information is taken from the newspaper Scotland on Sunday dated 1 April 2001. I contacted the paper for permission and they answered with one email but when I asked for more information they never answered. I thus assume they do not object to my using a summary of their material.

“Go anywhere and you will probably find a Scot, or a son of a Scot, or a daughter. The way Scottish people work, think, eat, socialize and play has helped shape the world. Nowhere is that more evident than in North America. From business leaders and scientists, to film stars and artist, we profile the Scots that matter – starting with the son of a Lewis lass who changed the Manhattan skyline, Donald Trump.”

DONALD TRUMP: His Mother, Mary MacLeod Trump, was brought up near Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. She came to visit America for the first time at the age of 18. When she was older she was mugged in a shopping mall and its so traumatized her that she reverted to speaking Gaelic, her mother tongue. (There is much more about Donald Trump in the article.)

JOAN BAEZ: born in 1941 to a Mexican father and a Scottish mother. Her mother’s name was Joan Bridge. She sang at Woodstock before 500,000 people. Was a committed anti-Vietnam protester.

JACQUELINE BISSET: Her father was Scottish and her mother was a French lawyer. They lived for a time in Aberdeen. Her father died while she was young and chose to be buried in Scotland. In 2001 she was a member of the Fraser clan.

MICKEY ROONEY: Born in 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. His father was a traveling entertainer from Glasgow and his mother was a chorus girl. “My father was born in Scotland and mother is American, so I’m sort of a short Winston Churchill. I am proud to be a Scot.”

: President Emeritus of the American Scottish foundation in New York City. His parents were Scottish, but he grew up in Hertfordshire, and spent much of his time visiting family in Scotland. He says “there’s a huge cultural difference between the US and Scotland. I’m trying to bridge between the two countries.” This article says he wears the McKay tartan and that he “adores” haggis. “I always go to the George Hotel in Edinburgh to eat it.” Many of us know Alan Bain and there is much more to his life. I consider Alan Bain to be a personal friend and look forward to seeing him at the Scottish North American Leadership Conference, October 25–27 in Chicago. Further information and registration can be obtained at

BOBBY THOMSON: Born in Glasgow on October 3, 1951, he hit baseball’s most famous home run – “the shot that was heard round the world.” The New York Giants had won the National League pennant! The Illinois Saint Andrew Society honored Bobby Thompson at their Annual Dinner, December 1, 1951. He was given an engraved watch.

NEIL ALDEN ARMSTRONG: “Armstrong’s link to the old world probably dates back quite a few generations. All Armstrongs come from the borders. From there, many settled in northern Ireland before setting off for the New World.” Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon’s surface in 1969 and planted a US flag. In 1972, Armstrong was paraded through his clan’s ancestral hometown of Langholm, Scotland and was given the “Freedom of the Town.”

DUNCAN A. BRUCE: He Attended Wharton business school and then began a career on Wall Street. He is a past board member of The St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York and is also the author of The Mark of the Scots and The Scottish 100. Three of his grandparents were born in Scotland. “I do wear the kilt and try to love haggis, but I think this stuff has been overdone.”  Duncan Bruce is a friend of mine and lives in New York City. Many of us have read his books.

ELIZABETH TAYLOR: Taylor began her acting career in 1942 as a child and it was the success of National Velvet with Mickey Rooney in 1944 that made her a star. She was born in London. Her father was an art dealer of Scots descent and her mother, Rosemond, was of Americans Scots descent. “She is well known for her enthusiasm for attending the many organized festivals of American Scots and she travels back to visit Scotland numerous times…” Elizabeth Taylor died March 23, 2011.

MARILYN JORDAN TAYLOR: She is an architect, urban designer and business leader in New York City. At the time this article was written she worked for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Her grandfather was Scottish. “My Scottish grandfather, Clyde McFarlin ran his extended family like a clan, and we felt privileged to be a part of it!” She has visited Scotland, and “says her favorite memory is seeing the Edinburgh Tattoo at the castle. “In 1996 she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor given to ethnic individuals who have made a contribution to American culture.”

(All of the above information came from the Scotland on Sunday edition of April 1, 2001. You can find them on the Internet.)

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois St. Andrew’s Society

Upcoming Events:

October 5, 2013 - The History Club Meeting

Our speaker will be Bruce Allardice, Professor of History at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois. He has six books to his credit and numerous article on the Civil War. Professor Allardice is Past President of the Civil War Roundtable in Chicago and the Northern Illinois Civil War Roundtable. He will speak about the Scots of Chicago who fought in the war with a special emphasis on General John McArthur.

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