President Jimmy Carter

The secrecy around an illness can become the great taboo.

When Jimmy Carter was in the Oval Office, the nation was still reeling from Watergate and Vietnam. As president, he created the Departments of Education and of Energy, brokered peace in the Middle East, and installed solar panels on the White House roof. But soaring inflation and a hostage crisis in Iran eroded Carter’s popularity, and many people consider him a failed president.

Ilka Hartmann

The Symbionese Liberation Army, or SLA, is little known today, but it was worldwide news 40 years ago. That’s when Patty Hearst, 19, was kidnapped at gunpoint from her Berkeley apartment in February 1974, thrown into the trunk of a car, and driven away.