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This Day in History – December 2, 2011

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1697 St Paul’s Cathedral opens in London 1755 The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire. 1763 Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, the first synagogue in what became the United States. 1775 The USS Alfred becomes the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones. 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte crowned 1st emperor of France in Paris by Pope Pius VII 1812 James Madison re-elected President of US, Elbridge Gerry Vice-President 1816 1st savings bank in US opens (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society) 1822 In San Salvador, a congress proposes incorporation into US 1823 Monroe Doctrine: US President James Monroe delivers a speech establishing American neutrality in future European conflicts. 1840 William H Harrison elected President of US, John Tyler Vice-President 1845 Manifest Destiny: US President James K. Polk announces to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West. 1883 Johannes Brahms’ 3rd Symphony in F, premieres 1887 Charles Dickens’ 1st public reading in US (New York NY) 1899 US & Germany agree to divide Samoa between them 1901 King Camp Gillette begins selling safety razor blades 1916 Baseballers who are injured now get full pay for duration of contract 1927 1st Model A Fords sold, for $385 1929 1st skull of Peking man found, 50 km out of Peking at Tsjoe Koe Tien 1930 Great Depression: US President Herbert Hoover goes before the United States Congress and asks for a US$150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy. 1932 “Adventures of Charlie Chan” 1st heard on NBC-Blue radio network 1933 1st transatlantic telephone wedding (Bertil Clason-Sigrid Carlson) 1933 Fred Astaire’s 1st film, “Dancing Lady” is released 1934 5.08-m (200″) Mount Palomar Observatory mirror is cast 1939 British Imperial Airways & British Airways merge to form BOAC 1939 New York’s La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago lands, 1 minute after midnight 1941 Yamamoto sends his fleet to Pearl Harbor 1942 1st controlled nuclear chain reaction (Enrico Fermi-University of Chicago) 1943 A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sinks numerous cargo and transport ships, including an American Liberty ship, the John Harvey, with a stockpile of World War I-era mustard gas. 1947 Jerusalem Riots of 1947: Riots break out in Jerusalem in response to the approval of the 1947 UN Partition Plan. 1952 1st human birth televised to public (KOA-TV Denver CO) 1954 US Senate censures Joe McCarthy (Senator-R-WI) for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute” 1954 The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and the Republic of China, is signed in Washington, D.C.. 1956 Fidel Castro lands with “Granma” on coast of Cuba 1957 1st US full-scale atomic electric power plant-power generated, Shippingport PA 1961 Fidel Castro declares he’s a Marxist, & will lead Cuba to Communism 1962 Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of US President John F. Kennedy, US Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official not to make an optimistic public comment on the war’s progress. 1963 Major League Rules Committee bans oversized catcher’s mitts, effective in 1965 1968 President Nixon names Henry Kissinger security advisor 1969 Boeing 747 jumbo jet 1st public preview (Seattle WA to New York NY) 1970 Environmental Protection Agency begins (Director: William Ruckelshaus) 1971 Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain form the United Arab Emirates. 1971 Soviet Mars 3 is 1st to soft land on Mars 1972 “December Giant” largest sinkhole in US collapses (Alabama) 1974 Cowhide, rather than just horsehide, can be used to make baseballs 1979 Crowds attack US embassy at Tripoli Libya 1980 Four U.S. nuns and churchwomen, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, are murdered by a death squad in El Salvador. 1982 1st permanent artificial heart successfully implanted (University of Utah) in retired dentist Barney Clark; lived 112 days with the Jarvic-7 heart 1986 Dow-Jones index hits record 1955.57 1987 “334” club forms as 334 brave Devil fans journey through 20″ of snow to attend New Jersey Devils 7-5 victory over Calgary at Meadowlands 1991 Muslim Shites release American held hostage in Lebanon (Joseph Cicippio) 1993 Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is shot and killed in Medellín. 1993 Dow-Jones hits record 3702.11 1994 Andrew Lloyd Webber admitted to the hospital for ulcer treatment 1994 Jury finds Heidi Fleiss guilty of running a call girl ring 2001 Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.]]]]> ]]>

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Mississippi Development Authority accepting applications for 2020 Aspire Mississippi program

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From the Mississippi Development Authority:

The Mississippi Development Authority’s Asset Development Division is accepting applications for the 2020 Aspire Mississippi program. The program is designed to help communities become better places to live, work and visit through economic, community and workforce development.

“Participants of MDA’s Aspire Mississippi program master the leadership = community development = economic development model, sharpening their leadership skills to effectively develop their communities, which attracts private capital investment creating new jobs in their communities,” MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough Jr. said in a statement. “Past participants of Aspire Mississippi demonstrated their commitment to bettering their communities through a variety of proactive projects that will bolster their economic development efforts for years to come.”

Aspire Mississippi provides support to counties as they identify marketable assets, allowing participants to increase industrial and economic development in their counties. The program helps communities develop projects that achieve significant and sustainable community and economic development outcomes. Curriculum focus areas include data-driven decision making and project mapping, as well as community, economic and workforce development.

The location for each session will alternate among the Aspire Mississippi counties. In addition to support from MDA, participants receive guidance from partners at the state’s universities, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and state and federal agencies.

Each Aspire Mississippi team is typically formed through the local economic development office and consists of approximately eight to 10 local stakeholders committed to enhancing their knowledge in key community and economic development areas. Teams from the following counties recently graduated from the 2019 Aspire Mississippi program: Covington, Lawrence, Leake, Panola, Sharkey and Walthall.

The 2020 Aspire Mississippi program begins in April and will conclude in late fall with each team’s project presentations and a graduation ceremony.

The deadline to apply for the 2020 program is Monday, Feb. 3. To apply, go to mississippi.org/aspire. For additional information, contact Ellen Bourdeaux with MDA’s Asset Development Division at 601-359-9333 or [email protected].

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Adopt-a-School training seeks to empower partnerships between churches and public schools

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Pastor Tony Evans, the Urban Alternative

Vicksburg will play host to a unique training designed to help churches partner with local schools to transform individuals, families and communities.

The training, a project of Pastor Tony Evan’s Urban Alternatives organization, is part of a nationwide Adopt-a-School Initiative, which provides attendees “the building blocks for starting or enhancing the delivery of social services to urban youth and their families,” the organization’s website states. “Participants will receive an overview of the process for adopting public schools and creating programs, including school-based mentoring, to meet the vast needs of public-school youth and their families.”

The training is hosted by the Warren County Youth Court and Unite Mississippi, the parent organization of numerous faith-based organizations that have “a desire to make communities whole in a grass-roots way,” said Larry Nicks, deputy director of Unite Mississippi.

Recognizing that churches and faith-based organizations are probably the most influential organizations inside many communities in Mississippi, the Adopt-a-School program seeks to develop partnerships between churches and public schools and offer mentoring to children and families.

“Our prison population is growing, and our school literacy problem is getting worse. If we can tap into the school population at the third-grade level, then we can make a difference in the quality of graduates and, of course, our workforce,” Nicks said.

Mentoring at-risk children at an early age, particularly at the third-grade level, is crucial, he said. If children can’t read by third grade “they’ll never catch up and be on level in college and in life.”

The goal is not to only mentor children but to make the family whole through mentoring, job skills and more. Churches with resources will be partnered with churches with few resources.

The problem of literacy must be addressed before it gets to the justice or penal system, said Judge Marcie Southerland with the Warren County Youth Court.

“We have got to reach these children and their families when the children are … in second and third grade, not when they’re 13, 14 and on up to 17 years of age,” she said, adding, “I know this will work.”

“The kids we’re trying to reach are the kids that, for whatever reason, haven’t had proper mentoring and proper upbringing at home,” said Chip Miskelly, chairman of Unite Mississippi. “These are kids who are falling through the cracks.”

“What we’re trying to do more than anything else, is give these kids a fighting chance,” he added.

“It’s a holistic approach to reach not only the kids, but the families as a whole.”

In this one-day training, attendees will learn how to analyze the needs of the community, engage with a local school, recruit and develop volunteers and how to raise the necessary funds to support the endeavor.

The training is Jan. 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the George Oaks Building at the Vicksburg-Warren County Hinds Community College Campus. Lunch will be served, sponsored by Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Claiborne and Warren Counties.

Cost of the training is $75 per person, and everyone is welcome. The training is designed for pastors, church and community leaders, and for people who are stakeholders in public schools including parents and teachers, or those who may be interested in becoming stakeholders.

“This is a top-notch training” with a successful track-record of more than 30 years, said Michelle Johnson, a Unite Mississippi board member and Vicksburg coordinator for the training.

For more information or to register, see the Adopt-A-School website or call Bill Collins with Urban Alternatives at 1-800-800-3222, Pastors’ coordinator Pastor James Bowman at 601-529-2044 or Vicksburg coordinator Michelle Johnson at 601-715-0522.

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Vicksburg Chess Club provides a way to exercise the brain for adults and children

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Vicksburg Chess Club

To many, chess is a complex board game that takes time and a great deal of focus to learn and play. It’s also a fun way to pass the time.

Chess is a great way to exercise the brain, too. Research has shown chess helps adults prevent or delay Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and some mental illnesses. In children, it sparks an interest in math and science as it helps them improve critical thinking and abstract reasoning skills, and find solutions to complex problems.

Vicksburg schools understand the benefits of chess and have added the board game to their extracurricular activities with the help of the Vicksburg Chess Club.

“Right now the Chess Club is trying to promote chess in lots of areas,” said Dr. Donald Rathburn, a member of the Vicksburg Chess Club. “We have the grade-school programs. We run chess tournaments. We have a men’s championship and a women’s championship every year. We now have the Chess League that’s been going on for four years and that gives us a championship, and there are more possible tournaments.”

Each Tuesday and Thursday the club meets at the Vicksburg Mall, 3505 Pemberton Square Blvd., at 6 p.m. to play chess and improve their skills. Everyone is invited to join in to watch or play in the matches.

At the weekly club meetings, members and guests have an opportunity to learn different tactics and styles of the game.

“There is a variety of chess,” Rathburn said. “It isn’t just two people playing chess. That is, of course, the most common way to play chess, but it could be two people on two boards or it could be two people on one board. There’s even a thing called random chess.”

The Vicksburg Chess Club also holds monthly chess matches. The next meet is on Jan. 11, 2020, at 10 a.m. in the Vicksburg Mall and as always, the event is free and everyone is welcome. 

For more information or to join the Vicksburg Chess Club and enhance your mind simply join them at their weekly meetings.

“Just come out on Thursday nights to the Vicksburg Mall,” Rathburn said. “We’ll train you and show you how to play chess. I emphasize having a good time. If your ego is involved, I don’t think you should play chess. Accept the fact that when you lose, you’re learning.”

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