In the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi, African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot to death by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith.
During World War II, Evers volunteered for the U.S. Army and participated in the Normandy invasion. In 1952, he joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As a field worker for the NAACP, Evers traveled through his home state encouraging poor African Americans to register to vote and recruiting them into the civil rights movement. He was instrumental in getting witnesses and evidence for the Emmitt Till murder case, which brought national attention to the plight of African Americans in the South. On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers was killed.
After a funeral in Jackson, he was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. President John F. Kennedy and many other leaders publicly condemned the killing. In 1964, the first trial of chief suspect Byron De La Beckwith ended with a deadlock by an all-white jury, sparking numerous protests. When a second all-white jury also failed to reach a decision, De La Beckwith was set free. Three decades later, the state of Mississippi reopened the case under pressure from civil rights leaders and Evers' family. In February 1994, a racially mixed jury in Jackson found Beckwith guilty of murder. The unrepentant white supremacist, aged 73, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
From Jesus at the Center www.newbreedmusic.com
“No Turning Back,” Israel & New Breed’s follow-up single to their hit, “It’s Not Over (When God Is In It),” is a highly percussive, brassy workout on successful endurance in the face of nearly unsurpassable obstacles. Aaron Lindsey contributes vocals while the sonically dense musicianship calls to mind his production imprint.
Then 34-year-old director Steven Spielberg reportedly drew on his own experiences as an unusually imaginative, often-lonely child of divorce for his science-fiction classic E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, which is released on this day in 1982.
For Spielberg, E.T. marked a return to territory he had first visited with the classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), in which Richard Dreyfuss plays a man who comes face to face with a fearsome alien force that eventually proves to be human-friendly. With E.T., Spielberg would create an even more appealing vision of alien life, in the form of a diminutive creature with wrinkled skin and a glowing belly. Spielberg worked closely with the screenwriter, Melissa Mathison (future wife of Harrison Ford, the star of Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films) to capture on film the story of the wise, kind and cuddly alien botanist who is stranded on Earth and needs the help of a sensitive little boy, Elliott (Henry Thomas) to get back home. Elliott and his siblings, played by Robert MacNaughton and a seven-year-old Drew Barrymore, hide E.T. (as the alien dubs himself) in a closet to keep him out of sight from prying adults, including their mother, who is distracted by her painful separation from her husband. Before long, a special link develops between E.T. and Elliott, who will eventually risk his own safety to return E.T. to his planet.
From the time that E.T. had its first showing, on closing night at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, the film’s buzz was overwhelmingly positive. Richard Corliss raved in TIME magazine: “[E.T.] is a perfectly poised mixture of sweet comedy and ten-speed melodrama, of death and resurrection, of a friendship so pure and powerful it seems like an idealized love.” TIME also included the fictional alien in its list of candidates for Man of the Year--the first film character to receive that honor. Nominated in nine categories at the 1983 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, the film won four Oscars, for Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score and Best Sound.
E.T. had stupendous success at the box office, eventually raking in some $435 million (it was re-released in 1985 and a special 20th-anniversary edition was issued in 2002). As of 2008, it stood at No. 5 on the list of the highest-earning films of all time.
By The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Authorities pulled Terrilyn Monette’s car from a New Orleans bayou Saturday and police said there was a decomposed body inside.
Authorities couldn’t immediately say whether the body was Terrilyn Monette, who was last seen leaving a New Orleans bar not far from the bayou in the early morning hours of March 2. She would’ve had to cross the waterway to get home.
Monette was a Long Beach, Calif., native who moved to Louisiana to teach. Her family has been flying back and forth from California to look for her. They attended a prayer vigil Friday and appealed for FBI intervention, accusing the New Orleans Police Department of mishandling the case. The department has denied the accusations.
Monette’s mother, Toni Enclade, was among the family members who came to the scene Saturday.
“I don’t understand why it took them so long to find her car,” Enclade told The Times-Picayune. “This is supposedly one of the first places they would have checked. I’m just overwhelmed. It doesn’t make sense.”
Louisiana state Rep. Austin Badon helped spearhead the search. He said he and a volunteer diver resurveyed the waterway and found the car.
“We decided to sonar this area again, and more heavily, and it got a hit,” Badon told The Associated Press.
A diver got into the water and found the car, which was covered with a film when it was pulled out. Badon described the body as “heavily decomposed.”
advertisementJohn Gagliano, the Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator, said he could not immediately tell if the body was a man or a woman. Gagliano told The Advocate an autopsy will be performed Monday to determine the identity of the body and cause of death.
Monette was a second-grade teacher at Woodland West Elementary School in Harvey, which is located across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. She had come to Louisiana through a program that recruits teachers to area schools and had been nominated for a teacher of the year honor.
After going to a bar, her friends left her at her car. They told police she planned to sleep before driving home. She left a parking lot about 5:15 a.m. and a traffic camera captured her making a turn in New Orleans’ City Park.
Monette’s disappearance sparked a broad search handled in part by the Texas group Equusearch. A number of cars were pulled earlier from Bayou St. John as part of the search, some of which had been reported stolen.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t what we were looking for in terms of finding here alive and well, but it does bring the family some closure,” Badon said.
By The Associated Press
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman‘s attorney doubts he will be able to find jurors who haven’t heard about the Trayvon Martin fatal shooting. He just wants to pick people who haven’t already made up their mind about the case.
Jury selection begins Monday in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, Fla., the scene of massive protests by people who were angered that police waited 44 days before charging Zimmerman with second-degree murder. Other demonstrations were held around the country, and the case drew worldwide attention as it fanned a debate about race, equal justice under the law and gun control.
There is no dispute Zimmerman shot an unarmed Martin, 17, during a fight on a rainy night in February 2012. Prosecutors will try to show the neighborhood watch volunteer racially profiled the black teenager, while Zimmerman’s attorney must convince jurors Zimmerman pulled his 9 mm handgun and fired a bullet into the high school student’s chest because he feared for his life.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He says he shot Martin in self-defense. If convicted, Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, could get a life sentence.
Under Florida law, Zimmerman, 29, could shoot Martin in self-defense if it was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.
His lead attorney, Mark O’Mara, has to be careful how he characterizes Martin, said Randy McClean, an Orlando-area defense attorney.
“Mr. O’Mara’s challenge is to show Trayvon wasn’t profiled, that Zimmerman either saw something that looked suspicious or something else that caused him to make contact with Trayvon.”
McClean and another Orlando defense attorney, David Hill, predicted prosecutors will attack Zimmerman as a frustrated, would-be police officer who had a chip on his shoulder. Zimmerman was employed at a mortgage risk management firm. He had studied criminal justice at a community college and had volunteered to run his community’s neighborhood watch program.
“The state’s narrative is going to be … Zimmerman was a powerful neighborhood watchman, a wannabe officer who liked to use his authority,” McClean said.
The Feb. 26, 2012, confrontation began when Zimmerman spotted Martin, whom he did not recognize, walking in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated townhome community where Zimmerman lived and the fiancee of Martin’s father also resided. There had been a rash of recent break-ins at the Retreat, and Zimmerman was wary of strangers walking through the complex. He was well-known to police dispatchers for his regular calls reporting suspicious people and events.
Martin was walking back from a convenience store after buying ice tea and Skittles. It was raining, and he was wearing a hoodie.
Zimmerman called 911, got out of his vehicle and followed Martin behind the townhomes despite being told not to by a police dispatcher. “These a——s, they always get away,” Zimmerman said on the call. Zimmerman, who had a concealed weapons permit, was armed.
The two then got into a struggle. Zimmerman told police he had lost sight of Martin, and that Martin circled back and attacked him as he walked back to his truck. Prosecutors say he tracked down Martin and started the fight.
Zimmerman told police Martin punched him in the nose, knocking him down, and then got on top of him and began banging Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk. Photos taken after the fight show Zimmerman with a broken nose, bruises and bloody cuts on the back of his head. He said that when Martin spotted his gun holstered around his waist under his clothes, he said, “You are going to die tonight.” Zimmerman said he grabbed the gun first and fired. Martin died at the scene.
Given the low visibility on the dark, rainy night of the shooting, few residents of the Retreat at Twin Lakes were able to give investigators a good description of what happened, and several offered conflicting accounts of who was on top of whom during the struggle.
But 911 calls made by neighbors captured cries for help during the fight and then the gunshot. Martin’s parents say the cries for help were from their son, while Zimmerman’s father has testified they were from his son. Voice-recognition experts could play an important role in helping jurors decide who was screaming, provided they are allowed to testify. O’Mara had raised questions about whether such prosecution experts would mislead jurors and Circuit Judge Debra Nelson has yet to rule.
The shooting received little initial attention, but that changed after Martin’s parents hired Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney. He began complaining to the news media, accusing the police and prosecutors of letting the murderer of a black child go free, and contacting other civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to get their support.
Gov. Rick Scott appointed State Attorney Angela B. Corey from the nearby Jacksonville district to re-examine the case. She decided to charge Zimmerman.
For the past year, Zimmerman has been free on $1 million bond and living in seclusion.
O’Mara earlier decided not to invoke a “stand your ground” hearing in which a judge alone would decide whether to dismiss the case or allow it to proceed to trial.
It’s not clear whether Zimmerman will take the stand, but he has already testified in pretrial hearings.
Another crucial witness will be a Miami-area female friend of Martin’s who was talking to the teen by cellphone as he was walking through the Retreat at Twin Lakes followed by Zimmerman. She says Martin told her during that conversation that someone was following him and that she also heard a brief exchange between him and someone before the phone was cut off. Martin was shot shortly afterward. But O’Mara already has called into question her credibility, accusing her of lying about missing Martin’s funeral because she was in the hospital.
Prosecutors have refused to comment about the case outside the courtroom. Areas near the courthouse have been designated for expected protests.
“We want to make sure this trial is tried in a courtroom and not outside a courtroom,” lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said.
In New York City, two recovering alcoholics, one a New York broker and the other an Ohio physician, found Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), a 12-step rehabilitation program that eventually helps countless people cope with alcoholism.
Based on psychological techniques that have long been used in suppressing dangerous personality traits, members of the strictly anonymous organization control their addictions through guided group discussion and confession, reliance on a "higher power," and a gradual return to sobriety. The organization functions through local groups that have no formal rules besides anonymity, no officers, and no dues. Anyone with a drinking problem qualifies for membership. Today, there are more than 80,000 local groups in the United States, with an estimated membership of almost two million people. Other addiction support groups patterned on A.A. include Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous.
Written by: Martin Williams
GRAMMY Nominee and multiple Stellar Award winner Vashawn Mitchell recently sang his #1 hit “Nobody Greater” at the Anniversary Memorial Service commemorating the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. The event was emceed by Roland Martin and took place at the historic Arlington National Cemetery. Former President Bill Clinton, Mrs Myrlie Evers-Williams, Chairman Emeritus, National Board of Directors NAACP, and current NAACP President, Benjamin Jealous and US Attorney General Eric Holder were among those in attendance. VaShawn will be traveling around the country with Verizon Wireless as apart of their “How Sweet The Sound” experience, and his latest single, “Greatest Man” continues to impact Gospel radio.
On June 7, 1986, the Kansas City Royals draft football star Bo Jackson, the 1985 Heisman Trophy winner out of Auburn University, in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft. Jackson’s decision to pursue baseball instead of football shocked the NFL and football fans across the country.
Jackson was drafted by the Yankees out of high school in the second round of the 1982 draft, but decided instead to attend Auburn, where he was a football sensation. In his senior year he racked up four straight games with over 200 rushing yards and won the Heisman Trophy, separating himself from the rest of his competitors as the best NFL prospect that year. The lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Jackson the first overall pick in the 1986 NFL draft, but Jackson, who had also been a stand-out college baseball player and track star, chose instead to pursue baseball.
Jackson made his major league debut with the Royals in 1986, and the next year decided to reignite his football career. He was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round of the 1987 NFL draft, and Al Davis, the Raiders’ owner and general manager, promised Jackson that he could complete his baseball season before joining the team. Jackson accepted the offer, which included full-time pay for a half-season of play.
Jackson enjoyed his best year in baseball in 1989, when he made the All-Star team and hit a gargantuan lead-off home run to win the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player Award. At that time, Jackson--who was capable of spectacular catches, throwing runners out from deep in the outfield, running faster than anyone in the sport and hitting deep home runs—was considered one of the best players in baseball. He was also elected to the NFL Pro Bowl that year, making him the first person elected to the All-Star team in two major sports. He made the Pro Bowl again in 1990.
Following the 1990 NFL regular season, Jackson injured his hip in a playoff game while running the ball for the Raiders, and missed that year’s Pro Bowl (held in early 1991) as a result. The injury led to a deterioration of the cartilage around his hip joint, which eventually necessitated a hip replacement and forced Jackson to retire from football after the 1990 season. He was also released by the Royals, but returned to the major leagues to play for the White Sox in 1993 and the California Angels in 1994. In all, he played 160 games in two seasons on an artificial hip.
Still famed for his pioneering athletic feats in two professional sports and a hugely popular "Bo Knows" Nike ad campaign, Jackson finally retired from baseball during the 1994 season.
Written by: Martin Williams
Erica Campbell of “Mary Mary” is set to release her debut single, ” A Little More Jesus” on digital platforms on June 25th. The buzz single for the Grammy Award winner has already received major airplay on radio such as the newly launched James Fortune show. Erica and Tina are currently filming Season 3 of their Hit We-TV Reality series, “Mary Mary’, and the duo continues to tour. Recently the duo graced the cover of Ebony Magazine where Erica talks about her upcoming solo career. Erica is slated to release her solo record in the fall under her husband Warryn Campbell’s My Block imprint.