Happy Birthday, Big Bird!

For many, it’s hard to remember a time when Big Bird—the eight-foot, two-inch bright yellow bird who skates, dances and sings—wasn’t a daily feature of Sesame Street. But we do.

Before Sesame Street aired for the first time on November 10, 1969, TV programming for kids was a joke without a punch line. Howdy Doody was better than most commercial efforts, but it never claimed to be educational. Then came Big Bird.

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Why Not a Volunteer Nation of One?

And why not you as that volunteer?

Sounds simple? It is.

Suddenly—and this is a good thing—“volunteerism” is hot. The Service Nation (http://www.servicenation.org) initiative brings together more than 200 non-profit organizations (including the Association of Junior Leagues International) to increase service opportunities and elevate service as a core ideal and problem-solving strategy in American society. There are a number of Obama Administration volunteer initiatives, including the Serve America Act and United We Serve (www.serve.gov). Even Hollywood is getting into the act with the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s launch of its iParticipate (http://www.iparticipateusa.org) campaign this month to encourage a new era of service through the entertainment industry.

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Is Betty Draper a Role Model for Today’s Women?

The fictional star of TV’s Emmy Awarding-winning Mad Men is a stay-at-home mother, an active member of the Junior League of Tarrytown (now called the Junior League of Westchester-on-Hudson) and a key mover in the League’s local environmental efforts.

But how typical is Betty of real Junior League members (all 160,000 of them)?

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