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This Day in History – October 12, 2011

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1492 Christopher Columbus’s expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached South Asia 1692 The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips. 1773 America’s first insane asylum opens for ‘Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds’ in Virginia 1792 First celebration of Columbus Day in the USA held in New York 1793 The cornerstone of Old East, the oldest state university building in the United States, is laid on the campus of the University of North Carolina 1810 First Oktoberfest: The Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. 1823 Charles Macintosh, of Scotland, sells the first raincoat. 1861 Confederate ironclad Manassas attacks Union’s Richmond on Mississippi 1862 Maj Gen Earl Van Dorn assumes command of Conf troops in Missisippi 1886 Hurricane & sea surge kills 250 at Indianola Texas 1892 The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage. 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the “Executive Mansion” to the White House. 1915 English nurse Edith Cavell executed by Germans in Belgium (WW II) 1915 Theodore Roosevelt criticizes US citzens with dual nationalities 1920 Man O’War’s last race & win 1927 Hermann Gorner of Germany raises 24 men weighing 4,123 lbs on a plank with the soles of his feet 1928 An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children’s Hospital, Boston 1931 1st International Conference on Calendar Reform 1933 John Dillinger escapes from the Allen County, OH, jail 1933 The United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island, is acquired by the United States Department of Justice 1945 World War II: Desmond Doss is the first conscientious objector to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor. 1960 Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe 1960 Inejiro Asanuma, Chair of the Japanese Socialist Party, is assassinated in Japan by Otoya Yamaguchi, a 17-year-old. The cameras were rolling at the time, so the moment was caught on film. 1962 US/USSR sign joint space effort in telecommunications & meteorology 1962 Infamous Columbus Day Storm strikes the U.S. Pacific Northwest with record wind velocities; 46 dead and at least U.S. $230 million in damages 1963 Archaeological digs begin at Masada, Israel 1967 Vietnam War: US Secretary of State Dean Rusk states during a news conference that proposals by the U.S. Congress for peace initiatives are futile because of North Vietnam’s opposition 1970 Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will withdraw 40,000 more troops before Christmas 1972 En route to the Gulf of Tonkin, a racial brawl involving more than 100 sailors breaks out aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk 1973 Nixon nominates Gerald Ford to replace Spiro Agnew as VP 1977 US Supreme Court heard arguments in “reverse discrimination” case of Allan Bakke, white student denied admission to U of Calif Med School 1979 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams is published. 1979 The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip. 1989 Herschel Walker is traded from Cowboys to Vikings for 12 players 1994 NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus (the spacecraft presumably burned up in the atmosphere). 1999 The Day of Six Billion: The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world is born. 2000 The USS Cole is badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by two suicide bombers, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39]]]]> ]]>

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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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