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This Day in History – January 1, 2012




0042 BC – The Roman Senate posthumously deifies Julius Caesar 0045 BC – The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time. 0001 – Origin of Christian Era 0313 – Start of Roman (Pontifical) Indiction 0990 – Russia adopts Julian calendar 1583 – First day of the Gregorian calendar in Holland & Flanders 1600 – Scotland begins its numbered year on January 1 instead of March 25. 1610 – German astronomer Simon Marius First discovers the Jupiter moons, but does not officially report it, Galileo does on July 1, 1610 1622 – Papal Chancery adopts Jan 1 as beginning of the year (was Mar 25) 1651 – Charles II is crowned King of Scotland. 1739 – Bouvet Island (near Antarctica) is discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier. 1772 – The first traveler’s cheques, which can be used in 90 European cities, go on sale in London, England. 1773 – The hymn that became known as “Amazing Grace”, then titled “1 Chronicles 17:16–17” is first used to accompany a sermon led by John Newton in the town of Olney, England. 1776 – General George Washington hoists Continental Union Flag 1781 – American Revolutionary War: 1,500 soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne’s command rebel against the Continental Army’s winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey in the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny of 1781. 1788 – First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published. 1800 – The Dutch East India Company is dissolved. 1801 – The dwarf planet Ceres is discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi. 1801 – The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland is completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 1808 – The importation of slaves into the United States is banned by an action of the US Congress. 1831 – William Lloyd Garrison publishes First issue of abolitionist journal 1833 – The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. 1847 – The world’s first “Mercy” Hospital is founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by the Sisters of Mercy, the name will go on to grace over 30 major hospitals throughout the world. 1861 – President Lincoln declares slavery in Confederate states unlawful. 1863 – American Civil War: The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory. 1863 – The first claim under the Homestead Act is made by Daniel Freeman for a farm in Nebraska. 1874 – New York City annexes the Bronx 1877 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is proclaimed Empress of India. 1892 – Ellis Island opens to begin processing immigrants into the United States. 1898 – New York, New York annexes land from surrounding counties, creating the City of Greater New York. The four initial boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx, are joined on January 25 by Staten Island to create the modern city of five boroughs. 1899 – Cuba liberated from Spain by US (National Day) (US occupies till 1902) 1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federate as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton is appointed the first Prime Minister. 1908 – For the first time, a ball is dropped in New York, New York’s Times Square to signify the start of the New Year at midnight. 1932 – The United States Post Office Department issues a set of 12 stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. 1934 – Alcatraz Island becomes a United States federal prison. 1934 – Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (US bank guarantor) effective 1935 – First Sugar Bowl & First Orange Bowl 1935 – Associated Press inaugurates Wirephoto 1936 – First newspaper to microfilm its current issues, New York Herald Tribune 1937 – Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in the United Kingdom. 1942 – Rose Bowl played in North Carolina due to Japanese threat-Oregon 20, Duke 16 1947 – The American and British occupation zones in Germany, after World War II, merge to form the Bizone, that later became West Germany. 1947 – The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 comes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen. 1948 – First color newsreel filmed, Pasadena CA 1949 – United Nations cease-fire takes effect in Kashmir from one minute before midnight. War between India and Pakistan stops accordingly. 1956 – Elvis Presley records Heartbreak Hotel for RCA in Nashville 1960 – Johnny Cash plays First of many free concerts behind bars 1960 – US census at 179,245,000 1962 – United States Navy SEALs established. 1962 – Beatles’ Decca audition is unsuccessful. 1965 – The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan is founded in Kabul, Afghanistan. 1966 – A twelve-day New York City transit strike begins, shuts down NYC subway system. 1966 – All US cigarette packs have to carry “Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health.” 1968 – Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to jump Cæsar’s Palace Fountain 1970 – Unix time begins at 00:00:00 UTC/GMT. 1971 – Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television. 1976 – Liberty Bell moves to new home behind Independence Hall 1976 – NBC replaces the peacock logo 1978 – President Ford signs First major revision of copyright law since 1909 1979 – Formal diplomatic relations are established between the China and the United States. 1984 – The original American Telephone & Telegraph Company is divested of its 22 Bell System companies as a result of the settlement of the 1974 United States Department of Justice antitrust suit against AT&T. 1985 – VH-1 made its broadcasting debut 1990 – David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor. 1994 – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect 1998 – The European Central Bank is established. 1998 – All California bars, clubs & card rooms must be smoke-free 1998 – US Census Bureau estimates population at 268,921,733 2007 – Adam Air Flight 574 disappears over Indonesia with 102 people on board. 2012 – Kim Jong-un is officially declared the new Supreme Leader of North Korea.   2304 – Mid-CALENDAR day 6000 – First reversible date since 11/11/1999]]]]> ]]>

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Mississippi Development Authority accepting applications for 2020 Aspire Mississippi program



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 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



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



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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