Chronology for Elaine Ledbetter's Autobiography

1917 - I was born on Monday,·May28, at 11:00 a.m. in our
home in Tonkawa, Oklahoma.

Woodrow Wilson was president of the U. S. On April 6,
he had declared war on Germany. On June 24
American troops began landing in France.

1918 - On November 1l Germany signed an armistice ending
World War I.

1920 -On October 7 my brother, Roswell Carl, was born.

1923 -In April the teacher of the rural school known as
Independence, District 38, suggested to my parents
that I come to school for the remaining three weeks
to get used to it prior to starting first grade in the fall.

1924 -I was promoted to the third grade and began taking
piano lessons at fifty cents each.

1926 - During the summer I had my tonsils removed. Since
my brother would start school in the fall, my Dad
bought a pony so we could ride together.

1927 -Charles Lindbergh made the first solo flight from
New York to Paris.

1928 -Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin.

1929 -The U. S. stock market crashed in October. This
was the beginning of the Great Depression that was
to last through the 30s. Herbert Hoover was President.

1930 -On May 28, my 13th birthday, the Kay County eighth
grade commencement exercises were held in the
city auditorium in Blackwell, Oklahoma, and I received
my diploma. I entered Blackwell High School
in the fall.

1933 -Franklin D. Roosevelt became the 32nd president
in March and served until 1945.

1934 -I graduated from Blackwell High School in the city pavilion
 on May 24, just four days prior to my 17th birthday.
 Because of the Depression, my Dad lost our farm that
summer and we moved to Tonkawa. There I enrolled
as a freshman at Northern Oklahoma Junior Col-
lege in the fall.

1935 - Because of the influence of Professor Buck I changed
my major from history to science.

1936 -In May I received the Associate in Arts degree from
NOJC , King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne to many
the American divorcee, Wallis Warfield Simpson.

1937 - I returned to NOJC for another year because we
lacked the money to send me to the University of
Oklahoma in Norman.

1938- I borrowed money from the PEO Sisterhood and
worked on the National Youth Administration program
as a laboratory aide and thus was able to attend OU.
During the summer of ' 38 I attended the Rocky Mountain
Biological Institute at Crested Butte, Colorado.

1939 -I graduated from OU with a Bachelor of Science
degree and spent a part of the summer at the Louisiana
Marine Biological Laboratory on Grand Isle.
Because I had no teaching experience, no one would hire
me, so I borrowed more money and returned to OU
to pursue my Master's degree.

1940 -During the summer, the National Guard mobilized.
This left my alma mater, Blackwell High School,
without a chemistry-biology teacher. Therefore, I
finally got a teaching job and an opportunity to get
some experience.

1941 - I was hired as a science teacher by the Shidler-Webb
City District.
On December 7, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and
the next day, President Roosevelt declared it an act
of infamy and we entered World War II.

1942 -On June 26, I married William Michael Ledbetter.
Because of the uncertainty in a teaching-coaching career,
Bill decided to take a permanent job with Skelly
Oil Company for whom he had worked during the
summer. We lived in Shidler where I had been teaching.

1943 -We moved from the Moreland house to the Rush
 property that we purchased.

1944 -In the spring we moved to the Lyman camp.

1945 -In the winter we moved to the camp at Carter Nine.
On April 4, my brother, Ros, married Ray Nell Laws in
Cisco, Texas.
On April 12, President Roosevelt died in Warm Springs,
GA. He was succeeded by Vice-President Harry S. Truman.
May 7 was V-E Day; WW II hostilities ended in Europe
as Germany surrendered.
September 2 was V-J Day as Japan formally surrendered
aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, ending WW II.
The United Nations was formed at a meeting in San Francisco.

1948 -On April 16, my nephew, Roswell Craig Walker was
On December 15 I was installed as Worthy Matron of the
Order of the Eastern Star in Shidler.

1950 - I went to summer school at the University of Colorado
in Boulder. Bill met me and we vacationed in
the area.

1951 -Skelly transferred us to Pampa, Texas. We moved
into the Skelly Schafer camp near Skellytown in
I was hired by Superintendent Knox Kinard to teach science
in the old Junior High in downtown Pampa.

1952 -On February 9, my niece, Katherine Elaine Walker,
was born.
In June, I began work on my Master's degree at the University
of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

1953 - Dwight D. Eisenhower, hero of WW II, was inaugurated
as the 34th president of the U. S. on January 20.
In March, I was moved to Pampa High School to teach
chemistry and biology.
The structure of DNA was discovered.

1954 -I received my Master's degree from North Texas in

1956 - I became head of the science department at Pampa
High School.

1957 -In April the first Panhandle Science Fair was held
in Canyon on the campus of West Texas State University.
In May I accompanied my student, Malcolm Brown, Jr.,
to the National Science Fair in Los Angeles, CA.
On October 4, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the
first of a series of artificial earth satellites.

1958 -I directed the first of ten Pampa city-wide science
fairs .
I attended my first NSTA national convention in Denver,
Colorado .
I was accepted to attend a summer Institute for science
teachers on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

1959 -In May, Bill and I accompanied Bob Jernigan to the
National Science Fair in Hartford, CT., and we spent
some time in New York City.
I was accepted to attend a summer Institute for science
teachers at the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies
at Knoxville, Tennessee.
On October 30, I was elected president of the Science
Teachers Association of Texas at the meeting in Austin.

1960 -I became a Life member of NSTA.
I returned to Tucson for another workshop on the improvement
of science teaching.

1961 -I published my first book of poetry, Triumphant
Moment .
My Dad died on May 29.
I was selected to serve on the Texas State Textbook Committee.
The Altrusa Club honored me as a "Woman of Achievement" .
In September, the Pampa High School Key Club honored
me as the "Adult Leader of the Year".
I was appointed to serve on the 21-member Advisory
Council of the International Science Fair.

1962 -I was elected to serve as secretary of the National
Science Teachers Association.
John Marean and I began writing our textbook, Physical
Science: A Laboratory Approach.
In May, I had major surgery.
In August, I chaired a regional NSTA science conference
on the campus of Amarillo College.
In August, the Ronald Pearce family came from England
to exchange pulpits with our minister, Dr. Hubert

1963 -In July Bill and I went to Paris and England.
Bill's Dad died on October 29,
On November 22, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated
in Dallas and vice-president, Lyndon B.
Johnson, was sworn in to replace him.

1964 -I was named to Who's Who in American Women.

1965 -I was honored by the Manufacturing Chemists Association
and the Texas Chemical Council as Outstanding
Chemistry Teacher in Texas.
I was one of four General Session speakers at the NSTA
Convention in Denver, CO.
I was chosen Texas Teacher of the Year,
I was accepted for the Chem Study Institute to be held
on the campus of the University of California at

1966 -I was one of five finalists for the title of  National
Teacher of the Year. Four of us were named to the
Honor Roll.
In July, Bill and I went on a two week trip with the Sierra
Club in northern California.
Bill joined the Pampa Rotary Club.
I published my second book of poetry, Candles at Noon.

1967 -In March I went to the NSTA Convention in Detroit
where I served as general program chairman.
In April Bill and I went to Miami Beach, Florida, where I
received the James B, Conant Award from the
American Chemical Society.

1968 - In February i began writing the first chapters of Keys
to Chemistry.
In September, five schools in addition to Pampa High
began testing the trial edition of Keys to Chemis-
From the middle of December through January 6, 1969,
I was a member of a group of 20 NSTA members
who traveled to Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam and
Bristol, England, for the meeting of the British Association
for Science Education.

1969 -Skelly employees went on strike on January 1 and
Bill had to contend with that for several weeks.
In March, I received the STAR award from NSTA in Dallas.
In April I was honored as the Beta Sigma Phi Woman of
the Year,
For six weeks in the summer I was part of a teaching
team on the campus of West Texas State University
in Canyon,
On July 20, U. S. astronaut, Neil A. Armstrong, stepped
onto the surface of the moon.
On July 21, Bill and I moved from the Skelly Schafer camp
into our new home at 1611 Grape in Pampa.

1970 - Bill was elected president of the Pampa Rotary Club
and we attended the Rotary International Conven-
tion in Atlanta, Georgia.
Cathy Pearce came from England to spend the school
year in Pampa.
Addison-Wesley decided to publish Keys to Chemistry in

1971 -In March, I was elected president-elect of the National
Science Teachers Association.

1972 -I assumed the office of president of the National
Science Teachers Association and began a year of
constant travel.
On November 28, my great nephew, Roswell Christopher
Walker, was born.
In December, I went to Birmingham, England, to attend
the Association for Science Education.

1973 -In April, my National Science Teachers Association
Convention was held in Detroit, Michigan.
On April 14, the International Council of Associations for
Science Education was formed at the University of
Maryland .
In May, my third volume of poetry, Enfold the Splendor,
was published.
Bill and I attended the Skylab launch at Cape Kennedy.
Keys to Chemistry was published in hardback.

1975 -I served on a panel for the National Science Foun-
dation in Washington, D. C. to evaluate existing
funded science programs.

1976 -I was appointed to the Advisory Committee on Science
Education of the National Science Foundation,
Washington, D. C.

1977 -Keys to Chemistry was revised.
Bill retired from Shelly Oil Company on January 31.
In October, Cathy and Paul Boynton came from England.

1979 -I served on the planning committee and as a program
participant for the Caribbean Area Confer-
ence on Science Education in Barbados.

1980 -In March, I received the Citation for Distinguished
Service to Science Education from the National Science
Teachers Association,
In May, I retired from the teaching profession.
The Year of Impact was published.

1981 -I participated in the Sixth International Conference
of Chemical Education at the University of Maryland.

1982 -I was elected Chairman of Section Q of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science.

1983 -My Mother died on March 18.
I was made a Fellow of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science.

1984 - On February 22, my great nephew, Chauncey Ryan
Brown, was born.

1985 -On April 6, my great niece, Jessica Tolley Brown,
was born.

1991 - I served as District Science Fair Coordinator for the
Pampa Independent School District to revive the
science fair movement.

1992- Our 50th Wedding Anniversery

1993 -I began writing my autobiography.

Return to "Table of Contents in Called , click HERE