Remembering When Sandra Day O’Connor Came To Town

by Alex Lloyd Gross

Sandra Day O’Connor has died. She was 93 years old and she was the first woman ever elected to the US Supreme Court. That happened under Ronald Reagan in 1981. In 2006 she retired and was replaced by Sam Alito. Having a woman on the US Supreme Court was a bold move and she had her detractors. She was quick to be able to work well with the other justices, even if she had an opposing point of view.

Alex Lloyd Gross Photo- The United States Supreme Court.

On July 4,2003 The National Constitutions Center was set to have a grand opening. There would be speeches by many and Justice O’Connor was to be given the Freedom Medal. That was given to her by then Mayor John Street. When the ceremony was over, streamers were pulled from a fixture. That was going to set in motion balloons and confetti. Instead it turned tragic when the streamers did not give way. They were fastened to the display. They were supposed to be break away.

Alex Lloyd Gross Photo- Delaware Valley The carnage after the display came crashing down.

Instead, the center piece that was behind her was pulled down, and the full weight of it came crashing down on the stage, almost hitting Justice O’Connor in the head. Some people were injured and taken to local hospitals. None of the injuries were life threatening.

Justice O’Connor was supposed to speak with the media after her award. With the accident, that along with the rest of the ceremony was canceled for the day.

Funeral services have yet to be announced.