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This Day in History – December 16, 2011

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1431 – Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris. 1577 – Danzig surrenders to troops of Polish king István Báthory 1631 – Mount Vesuvius, Italy erupts, destroys 6 villages & kills 4,000 1653 – Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England, Scotland & Ireland 1689 – 1689 English Parliament adopts Bill of Rights after Glorious Revolution 1707 – Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan. 1773 – American Revolution: Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act. 1809 – Napoleon Bonaparte divorces Empress Josephine by the French Senate 1811 – The first two in a series of four severe earthquakes occur in the vicinity of New Madrid, Missouri. These four so-called mega-quakes are believed to be an ongoing cataclysmic danger that could reprise the 1811-12 series of 2,000 quakes that affected the lands of what would be eight of today’s heartland states of the United States. 1826 – Benjamin W. Edwards rides into Mexican controlled Nacogdoches, Texas and declares himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia. 1835 – Fire consumes over 600 buildings in New York NY 1864 – Battle of Nashville ends after 4400 casualities 1890 – Negro Methodist Episcopal Church founded in Jackson TN 1903 – Majestic Theater, New York NY, becomes 1st in US to employ women ushers 1905 – “Variety”, covering all phases of show business, 1st published 1907 – The Great White Fleet begins its circumnavigation of the world 1912 – 1st US postage stamp picturing an airplane, 20¢ parcel post, issued 1913 – Charlie Chaplin began his film career at Keystone for $150 a week 1915 – Albert Einstein publishes his “General Theory of Relativity” 1924 – Noel Coward’s “Vortex” premieres in London on his Birthday 1932 – Heavy earthquake ravages Kansu China, 70,000 killed 1938 – Adolf Hitler institutes the Cross of Honor of the German Mother 1950 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency, after Chinese troops enter the fight with communist North Korea in the Korean War. 1953 – 1st White House Press Conference (President Eisenhower & 161 reporters) 1953 – Charles E “Chuck” Yeager flies over 2,575 kph (1,650 mph) in Bell X-1A (first man to fly at nearly two and one-half times the speed of sound) 1965 – Vietnam War: General William Westmoreland sends U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a request for 243,000 more men by the end of 1966. 1966 – Jimi Hendrix Experience releases its 1st single, “Hey Joe”, in the UK 1969 – British House of Commons votes 343-185 abolishing the death penalty 1970 – 1st successful landing on Venus (USSR) 1971 – Don McLean’s 8+ minute version of “American Pie” released 1972 – Miami Dolphins become 1st undefeated NFL team (14-0-0) 1973 – O J Simpson becomes 1st NFLer to rush 2,000 yard in a season 1973 – US kidnap victim Paul Getty III freed 1975 – 1st broadcast of “One Day at a Time” on CBS TV 1976 – Government halts swine flu vaccination program following reports of paralysis 1978 – Ronald Reagan denounces President Jimmy Carter’s recognition of China People’s Republic 1979 – QB Roger Staubach’s last regular season game with the Dallas Cowboys 1985 – Mafia: In New York City, Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of the Gambino family. 1985 – Challenger moves to Vandenberg AFB for mating of STS 51-L mission 1986 – Revolt in Kazakhstan against Communist Party of Kazakhstan, known as Zheltoksan, which becomes the first sign of ethnic strife during Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s tenure 1988 – Political cult leader Lyndon LaRouche convicted of tax, mail fraud 1989 – Walter LeRoy Moody begins his terrorist bombing streak when he sends Judge Robert Smith Vance a bomb in the mail, instantly killing him near his house in Birmingham, Alabama. 1990 – Reverend Jean-Betrand Aristide elected President of Haiti 1991 – Independence of The Republic of Kazakhstan. 1993 – Shannen Doherty (Brenda) is fired from Beverly Hills 90210 1997 – An episode of Pokémon, “Dennō Senshi Porygon”, aired in Japan induces seizures in 685 Japanese children. 2003 – President George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law. The law establishes the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail and requires the Federal Trade Commission to enforce its provisions.]]]]> ]]>

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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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