Humanitarian
Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Elizabeth Taylor may be gone, but her jewelry is still turning heads. The actress's personal collection of jewels went up for auction Tuesday night -- and fetched a record $115 million.    A pearl, diamond and ruby necklace known as La Peregrina, a gift to Taylor from Richard Burton in 1969, sold for a record $11.8 million.

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Christie's, which conducted the auction, had estimated the necklace would sell for $2 million or $3 million. Burton paid $37,000 for it. A 33.19-carat diamond ring, which was projected to go for $2.5 million to $3.5 million, sold for $8.8 million. Eighty pieces from Taylor's jewelry collection were auctioned Tuesday in New York, with the remaining 189 items to go Wednesday. Christie's has already blown past the $30 million it predicted as the total sale price. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

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Bartali has earned respect for his work in helping Jews who were being persecuted by the Nazis during the time of the Italian Social Republic. His humanitarian story emerged in December 2010, ten years after his death, when it was revealed he had hidden a Jewish family in his cellar and according to one of the survivors, by doing so saved their lives.  It is estimated that he helped saved more than 800 Jews during World War II. 

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Gino Bartali (July 18, 1914 - May 5, 2000)

Bartali was the most renowned Italian cyclist before the Second World War, having won the Giro d'Italia twice (in 1936 and 1937) and the Tour de France in 1938 and 1948.

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NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill shortly before midnight on Friday June 24th, 2011, almost 42 years to the day that the modern-day gay rights movement was born amid violent encounters between police and gay activist at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village area of  New York City that took place on June 28, 1969.   

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The Stonewall riots sparked the equal rights movement for homosexuals in the United States and has served as an inspiration all around the world.  Gay Pride is being celebrated with parades and marches all around the world during the month of June.  

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Gay activists are hoping this historic vote in New York will help regain momentum in other U.S. states and abroad.

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The Obama administration launched a national initiative, "Joining Forces", to help service members and their families.  First lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Biden, developed the initiative and will tour military bases and communities across the US and abroad. "These Americans in uniform have never served alone," President Obama said at a kickoff of the effort. With the country at war for nearly a decade, the president and first lady unveiled a new campaign called "Joining Forces," to enlist all segments of society in helping service members and their families.

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