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FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN THRILLED BY SELECTION AS AMERICAN MOTHER OF 1994.

SHARE FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN THRILLED BY SELECTION AS AMERICAN MOTHER OF 1994.

Citing mothers as "builders of confidence and moral values in today's American children," former U.S. Congresswoman Corinne "Lindy" Boggs was named the American Mother of 1994 Monday at Salt Lake's Marriott Hotel.

A banquet to recognize Boggs concluded the 59th annual national convention of American Mothers Inc. - a four-day smorgasbord of workshops and musical presentations aimed at helping parents in the "business" of rearing their families.Boggs, a nine-term member of the House of Representatives from Louisiana, called her selection among convention participants from 31 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia "a surprising, special thrill."

Wife of the late Rep. Hale Boggs and parent of four, Boggs recounted motherhood's historical role in preserving America's independence.

"At the conclusion of the drafting of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin was met outside by a mother who asked `Will the new country be a republic or a dictatorship?' " said Boggs. "Franklin replied, `A republic, if you can keep it' - and mothers have kept America a republic ever since."

Boggs said rising nationwide numbers of single and teen parents mean organizations like American Mothers Inc. are needed to introduce valuable "mother-power" legislation.

"So many mothers in our country are faced with special burdens, and they need our support. American Mothers Inc. is an enormously effective network of mothers who can provide lawmakers with the information to make a difference," she said.

Boggs added she hopes to assist the 3,000-member American Mothers Inc. increase its membership to 3 million by next year's 1995 International Year of the Family Conference in Salt Lake City.

During her tenure on Capital Hill, Boggs served on the House Committee of Children, Youth and Families.

She is the mother of Thomas Hale, an attorney, and Cokie Roberts, a noted broadcast journalist with ABC Television and National Public Radio. Two other children, Barbara and William, are deceased.