GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event happened when construction of the U.S. Capitol Building began in 1793, Washington, D.C., was little more than a rural landscape with dirt roads and few accommodations beyond a small number of boarding houses.Skilled labor was hard to find or attract to the fledgling city. Enslaved laborers, who were rented from their owners, were involved in almost every stage of construction. The federal government relied heavily on enslaved labor to ensure the new capital city would be ready to receive Congress when it moved to Washington from Philadelphia in 1800.Today in our History – February 28, 2012 – Congress unveiled a marker to commemorate the important role played by laborers, including enslaved African Americans, in building the United States Capitol.To commemorate the role that slave labor played in the construction of the Capitol Building, House Concurrent Resolution 135 was passed by Congress directing the Architect of the Capitol to design, procure and install a slave labor marker in a prominent location in Emancipation Hall. The design and location incorporated the recommendations developed by the Congressional Slave Labor Task Force Working Group.The marker features a single block of Aquia Creek sandstone, which was originally part of the Capitol’s East Front Portico, presented on a platform clad in Cedar Tavernalle marble. The original chisel marks on the sandstone are in view so visitors can see the physical effort required to hew the stone. A hole in the top of the stone was cut to receive a lifting ring used to raise the stone out of the quarry. A bronze plaque is centered on the presentation wall, with an inscription approved by Congress, acknowledging the efforts of all who worked on the Capitol Building. The inscription reads:THIS SANDSTONE WAS ORIGINALLY PART OF THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL’S EAST FRONT, CONSTRUCTED IN 18-24-1826. IT WAS QUARRIED BY LABORERS, INCLUDING ENSLAVED AFRICAN AMERICANS, AND COMMEMORATES THEIR IMPORTANT ROLE IN BUILDING THE CAPITOL.Although the entire contribution of enslaved African Americans in the construction of the Capitol Building cannot be determined due the scarcity of documentation, there is enough information to know that the role they played had a significant impact on the project.The site of the new capital city was located in an area that had few carpenters, bricklayers, stone cutters and other tradesmen necessary to construct such a project. Engineers and architects were brought in from other areas, but the majority of the work fell upon the laborers in the area, who were comprised mostly of African American slaves. These slaves, as well as other the laborers, quarried the stone used for the floors, walls and columns of the Capitol, sawed both wood and stone, and became skilled in brick making and laying. Carpentry was also one of the more significant contributions slaves made to the construction of the Capitol as they framed the roof and installed its shingle covering.One of the most significant contributions by an African American slave was made by Philip Reid, who deciphered the puzzle of how to separate the five-piece plaster model of the Statue of Freedom. Today, he and countless others are recognized for the role they played in building this monumental and historic symbol of democracy. The marker is located towards the western end of the northern wall of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) where it is bathed in sunlight for a portion of each day and will not interfere with visitor flow. The intensity of the daylight will enhance the visibility of tool marks on the presentation stone.The marker is open to all visitors to the CVC, where visitors can learn more about the Capitol Building and its history.Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He was among the most influential early bebop musicians, which included other greats such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell. Gordon’s height was 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm), so he was also known as “Long Tall Dexter” and “Sophisticated Giant”. His studio and performance career spanned over 40 years.Gordon’s sound was commonly characterized as being “large” and spacious and he had a tendency to play behind the beat. He was known for inserting musical quotes into his solos, with sources as diverse as “Happy Birthday” and well known melodies from the operas of Wagner.This is not unusual in jazz improvisation, but Gordon did it frequently enough to make it a hallmark of his style. One of his major influences was Lester Young. Gordon, in turn, was an early influence on John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Rollins and Coltrane then influenced Gordon’s playing as he explored hard bop and modal playing during the 1960s.Gordon was known for his genial and humorous stage presence. He was an advocate of playing to communicate with the audience, which was his musical approach as well. His improvisation was remarkably engaging and intelligent, but never gratuitously complex or unusual. It was always a conversation simultaneously delightful and intellectual. One of his idiosyncratic rituals was to recite lyrics from each ballad before playing it.A photograph by Herman Leonard of Gordon taking a smoke break at the Royal Roost in 1948 is one of the iconic images in jazz photography. Cigarettes were a recurring theme on covers of Gordon’s albums.Gordon was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in the Bertrand Tavernier film Round Midnight (Warner Bros, 1986), and he won a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist, for the soundtrack album The Other Side of Round Midnight (Blue Note Records, 1986). He also had a cameo role in the 1990 film Awakenings. In 2018, Gordon’s album Go (Blue Note, 1962) was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.Today in our History – February 27, 1923 – Dexter Gordon (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990) was born.Dexter Keith Gordon was born on February 27, 1923 in Los Angeles, California. His father, Dr. Frank Gordon, one of the first African American doctors in Los Angeles, arrived in 1918 after graduating from Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C. Among his patients were Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. Dexter’s mother, Gwendolyn Baker, was the daughter of Captain Edward Lee Baker, Jr. one of the five African American Medal of Honor recipients in the Spanish–American War. Gordon played clarinet from the age of 13, before switching to saxophone (initially alto, then tenor) at 15. While still at school, he played in bands with such contemporaries as Chico Hamilton and Buddy Collette. Between December 1940 and 1943, Gordon was a member of Lionel Hampton’s band, playing in a saxophone section alongside Illinois Jacquet and Marshal Royal. During 1944 he was featured in the Fletcher Henderson band, followed by the Louis Armstrong band, before joining Billy Eckstine. The 1942–44 musicians’ strike curtailed the recording of the Hampton, Henderson, and Armstrong bands; however, they were recorded on V-Discs produced by the Army for broadcast and distribution among overseas troops. In 1943 he was featured, alongside Harry “Sweets” Edison, in recordings under Nat Cole for a small label not affected by the strike.During the 1980s, Gordon was weakened by emphysema. He remained a popular attraction at concerts and festivals, although his live appearances and recording dates would soon become infrequent.Gordon’s most memorable works from the decade were not in music but in film. He starred in the 1986 movie Round Midnight as “Dale Turner”, an expatriate jazz musician in Paris during the late 1950s based loosely on Lester Young and Bud Powell. That portrayal earned him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor. In addition, he had a non-speaking role in the 1990 film Awakenings, which was posthumously released. Before that last film was released he made a guest appearance on the Michael Mann series Crime Story.Soundtrack performances from Round Midnight were released as the albums Round Midnight and The Other Side of Round Midnight, featuring original music by Herbie Hancock as well as playing by Gordon. The latter was the last recording released under Gordon’s name. He was a sideman on Tony Bennett’s 1987 album, Berlin.Gordon died of kidney failure and cancer of the larynx in Philadelphia, on April 25, 1990, at the age of 67. On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Dexter Gordon among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.Gordon’s maternal grandfather was Captain Edward L. Baker, who received the Medal of Honor during the Spanish–American War, while serving with the 10th Cavalry Regiment (also known as the Buffalo Soldiers).Gordon’s father, Dr. Frank Gordon, M.D., was one of the first prominent African-American physicians and a graduate of Howard University.Dexter Gordon had a total of six children, from the oldest to the youngest: Robin Gordon (Los Angeles), California, James Canales (Los Angeles), Deidre (Dee Dee) Gordon (Los Angeles), Mikael Gordon-Solfors (Stockholm), Morten Gordon (Copenhagen) and Benjamin Dexter Gordon (Copenhagen), and seven grandchildren, Raina Moore Trider (Brooklyn), Jared Johnson (Los Angeles), and Matthew Johnson (Los Angeles), Maya Canales (San Francisco) and Jared Canales (San Francisco), Dexter Gordon Bogs (Copenhagen), Dexter Minou Flipper Gordon-Marberger (Stockholm).When he lived in Denmark, Gordon became friends with the family of the future Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, and subsequently became Lars’s godfather. Gordon was also survived by his widow Maxine Gordon and her son Woody Louis Armstrong Shaw III.The earliest photographs of Gordon as a player show him with a Conn 30M “Connqueror” and an Otto Link mouthpiece. In a 1962 interview with the British journalist Les Tomkins, he did not refer to the specific model of mouthpiece but stated that it was made for him personally. He stated that it was stolen around 1952. The famous smoke break photo from 1948 shows him with a Conn 10M and a Dukoff mouthpiece, which he played until 1965. In the Tomkins interview he referred to his mouthpiece as a medium-chambered piece with a #5* (.090″ under the Dukoff system) tip opening. He bought a Selmer Mark VI from Ben Webster after his 10M went missing in transit. In a Down Beat magazine interview from 1977, he referred to his current mouthpiece as an Otto Link with a #8 (.110″ under the Otto Link system) tip opening. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. 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GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion is the CEO of FedEx Custom Critical. Hood is the first black woman to become CEO in the company’s history.Today in our History – February 26, 2020 – Ramona Hood is tapped for Fedex’s CEO.Ramona Hood was a 19-year-old single mother when she started as a receptionist at what is now FedEx Custom Critical in Green. Nearly three decades later, she is president and chief executive officer of the subsidiary.“I wasn’t thinking this was going to be my career and I’d be here for 28 years,” she said. “I was a young mother. I wanted a job that had a stable shift that would allow me to do (college) courses as appropriate.”Talent, grit, and hard work have all played a role in Hood’s becoming the first African American to head a FedEx subsidiary in the company’s 47-year history when she assumed her duties in January.Mentors also were crucial in her rare career path from the receptionist to CEO of the 600-employee subsidiary, which focuses on business clients, such as wholesalers, hospitals, and retailers, she said during a presentation at a Mentoring Monday event Feb. 24 at Cuyahoga Community College’s Metro Campus.About 300 registered for the local event, one of many held throughout the United States, to stress the importance that mentoring plays in women achieving career goals. Many attendees, like Mercedes Prodan, were younger women seeking professional advice and inspiration.The executive assistant, who sees herself rising through the ranks at PRADCO, the human resource consulting firm where she works, listened attentively as Hood told how she climbed the corporate ladder with the direction of advocates.One-on-one speed mentoring sessions held during Mentoring Monday at the Tri-C campus in downtown Cleveland. (Marvin Fong, The Plain Dealer)The Plain Dealer.Hood explained how she consistently sought the advice and guidance of mentors. In an industry dominated by white men, Hood frequently was a trailblazer in terms of race or gender, and sometimes both. She recounted how seeking the support of Virginia Addicott, who retired as president and CEO in December, was crucial to her ascent.Hood recalled how she was the only African American on the executive leadership team several years ago.“For whatever reason, I started to have issues with being the only African American,” she said. “I got the whole head trash, ‘Am I worthy? Did I deserve the seat I’m seating in?’”Hood said she shared such thoughts with then CEO Addicott, who told Hood, “I’m a woman, but I don’t know what it means to be an African American person.” Still, she was confident she could help her mentee. About a month later, she scheduled a meeting between Hood and some African American female executives, including one who owns her own marketing company.“I had nothing to do with marketing, but it was a way for her [Addicott] to connect me with someone at a high level, who looked like me,” Hood said, adding that she gained a new mentor and friend from the introduction.”It is that level of intentionality that you have to have,” she said. Hood seeks to head the subsidiary in the same spirit of being deliberate about diversity.“I know what I need to do to move the organization further ahead is be even more intentional,” she said. “I now have a team that has no women on it. I have one African American man. As I add positions to the team, I need to focus on the diversity I’m talking about.”Ramona Hood, president, and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, standing second from left, leads a roundtable discussion at Mentoring Monday. (Marvin Fong, The Plain Dealer)The Plain DealerHood felt comfortable confiding in Addicott. When she met her, Hood had little work experience and no college degree. Hood would later earn an undergraduate degree from Walsh University and an Executive MBA from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management while working at FedEx. But the young woman had already shown promise, including taking the initiative to cross-train and fill-in on other jobs. Early on it was evident Hood had a “good strategic mind,” wasn’t “afraid to tackle hard things” and took “100% accountability for the outcome of the work,” Addicott said.“People come into your work life and sometimes you just see things in them,” said Addicott. “It is very clear that the person has the ability, the aptitude to do these things, but they hadn’t been graced with the opportunity. Ramona was one of those people.“I’ve had great people in my life who have put me into jobs, where other people would have said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’” Addicott said. “She doesn’t have this. She doesn’t have that. But they (supporters) still believed in me.”She said mentoring is one way she pays it forward. Hood has done the same.Mentoring Monday held at the Tri-C campus in downtown Cleveland, on Feb. 24. (Marvin Fong, The Plain Dealer)The Plain DealerKelli Thomas, now a FedEx supervisor in operations, had admired Hood’s leadership style, which she describes as “very assertive,” from a far. She wanted Hood to be her mentor but thought Hood would be too busy. Thomas finally got up the nerve to send an email making the request.“And I got the email back saying, ‘Absolutely,’” she said.For more than seven years, Hood has mentored Thomas. For example, Hood has helped her make connections to learn more about the financial side of the business, often required to move into senior management.“One of the big things she has done is to get me out of my comfort zone and to be open to taking risks,” Thomas said. “She’s encouraged me to have a strategic plan (for my career) and to be agile in that plan.”Hood told event-goers that they would need a “personal board of directors,” which not only include mentors but other supporters she terms “coaches” and “sponsors.” Coaches have helped her hone skills by understanding “what my strengths are, my liabilities are, even (what) my blind spots are.” Hood describes sponsors as employees with “authority and a title much higher than yours,” who can advocate for you. She said sponsors became increasingly important as she moved into management.“So, when the opportunity of special assignments come up, or the consideration of a position, they were the ones in the room saying, ‘Hey, I think Ramona would be good at this.’” Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American poet, essayist, and educator. He served as a Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1976 to 1978, a role today known as US Poet Laureate. He was the first African-American writer to hold the office.Today in our History – February 25, 1980 – Robert Hayden dies.Robert Hayden studied poetry at the University of Michigan and went on to teaching at both Michigan University and Fisk University. Hayden was also one of the most celebrated African-American poets of his day, producing enduring works, including “The Middle Passage” and “Those Winter Sundays.” Robert Hayden was born Asa Bundy Sheffey in Detroit, Michigan, on August 4, 1913. His parents, Ruth and Asa Sheffey, separated before his birth, and Hayden spent the majority of his childhood in the foster care system. His foster parents, Sue Ellen Westerfield and William Hayden, raised him in a low-income Detroit neighborhood known as Paradise Valley. Their home life was tumultuous. Hayden witnessed frequent verbal and physical bouts between his foster parents during his childhood years. The trauma he sustained as a result of this experience spurred periods of debilitating depression.As a noticeably small child with poor vision, Hayden often found himself socially isolated. He found refuge in literature, developing interests in fiction and poetry. After graduating from high school, he attended Wayne State University (known as Detroit City College at the time). He left college in 1936 to begin working for the Federal Writers’ Project. In this post, Hayden spent time researching African American history and folklife — subjects that would inspire and inform his poetic work.Hayden remained with the Federal Writers’ Project for two years. He spent the following years crafting his first volume of poetry, Heart-Shape in the Dust. The book was published in 1940. The same year, Hayden married Erma Inez Morris. Hayden converted to his wife’s religion — the Baha’i faith — shortly after their marriage. His beliefs influenced much of his work, and he helped to publicize the little-known faith.Hayden returned to higher education after the publication of his first book, enrolling at the University of Michigan. He then pursued a master’s degree at Michigan. W.H. Auden, a poet, and the professor became a major influence on Hayden’s work, guiding him on issues of poetic form and technique. Hayden began his teaching career at Michigan after graduating. He took a job at Fisk University several years later, remaining there for more than 20 years. He eventually returned to Michigan in 1969, remaining in Ann Arbor until his death in 1980.Over his years of teaching, Hayden continued to write and publish poetry, becoming one of the nation’s foremost African-American poets. His work addressed the plight of African Americans, frequently invoking his childhood neighborhood, Paradise Valley. Hayden used black vernacular phrasing, building on the knowledge he had gained from the Federal Writers’ Project and from his own experience. He also addressed explicitly political themes, such as the Vietnam War. The history of slavery and emancipation was a recurring theme, visible in poems including “Middle Passage” and “Frederick Douglass.”Despite his consistent interest in African-American historical and cultural themes, Hayden’s status as a black author was uncertain. Hayden’s Baha’i beliefs, which reject racial categorization, led him to proclaim himself an American poet rather than an African-American poet. This controversial statement alienated Hayden from some of his colleagues, friends, and potential audience.While clouding his reputation somewhat, Hayden’s feelings on race did not preclude critical success or academic esteem. Hayden received many honors for his poetry. He was elected to the American Academy of Poets in 1975. One year later (1976), he became the first African American to serve as the Library of Congress’ consultant in poetry — a position that was later renamed to “poet laureate.” Robert Hayden died in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on February 25, 1980, at the age of 66. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was being handpicked to be one of three black students to integrate West Virginia’s graduate schools is something that many people would consider one of their life’s most notable moments, but it’s just one of several breakthroughs that have marked Katherine Johnson’s long and remarkable life.Born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in 1918, her intense curiosity and brilliance with numbers vaulted her ahead several grades in school. By 13, she was attending the high school on the campus of historically black West Virginia State College. At 18, she enrolled in the college itself, where she made quick work of the school’s math curriculum and found a mentor in math professor W. W. Schieffelin Claytor, the third African American to earn a PhD in mathematics. She graduated with highest honors in 1937 and took a job teaching at a black public school in Virginia. Today in our History February 24, 2020 – Katherine Johnson died.When West Virginia decided to quietly integrate its graduate schools in 1939, West Virginia State’s president, Dr. John W. Davis, selected her and two men to be the first black students offered spots at the state’s flagship school, West Virginia University.She left her teaching job and enrolled in the graduate math program. At the end of the first session, however, she decided to leave school to start a family with her first husband, James Goble. She returned to teaching when her three daughters got older, but it wasn’t until 1952 that a relative told her about open positions at the all-black West Area Computing section at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ (NACA’s) Langley laboratory, headed by fellow West Virginian Dorothy Vaughan. Katherine and her husband decided to move the family to Newport News, Virginia, to pursue the opportunity, and Katherine began work at Langley in the summer of 1953. Just two weeks into her tenure in the office, Dorothy Vaughan assigned her to a project in the Maneuver Loads Branch of the Flight Research Division, and Katherine’s temporary position soon became permanent. She spent the next four years analyzing data from flight tests and worked on the investigation of a plane crash caused by wake turbulence. As she was wrapping up this work her husband died of cancer in December 1956.The 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik changed history—and Johnson’s life. In 1957, she provided some of the math for the 1958 document Notes on Space Technology, a compendium of a series of 1958 lectures given by engineers in the Flight Research Division and the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD). Engineers from those groups formed the core of the Space Task Group, the NACA’s first official foray into space travel. Johnson, who had worked with many of them since coming to Langley, “came along with the program” as the NACA became NASA later that year. She did trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard’s May 1961 mission Freedom 7, America’s first human spaceflight. In 1960, she and engineer Ted Skopinski coauthored Determination of Azimuth Angle at Burnout for Placing a Satellite Over a Selected Earth Position, a report laying out the equations describing an orbital spaceflight in which the landing position of the spacecraft is specified. It was the first time a woman in the Flight Research Division had received credit as an author of a research report.In 1962, as NASA prepared for the orbital mission of John Glenn, Johnson was called upon to do the work that she would become most known for. The complexity of the orbital flight had required the construction of a worldwide communications network, linking tracking stations around the world to IBM computers in Washington, Cape Canaveral in Florida, and Bermuda. The computers had been programmed with the orbital equations that would control the trajectory of the capsule in Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission from liftoff to splashdown, but the astronauts were wary of putting their lives in the care of the electronic calculating machines, which were prone to hiccups and blackouts.As a part of the preflight checklist, Glenn asked engineers to “get the girl”—Johnson—to run the same numbers through the same equations that had been programmed into the computer, but by hand, on her desktop mechanical calculating machine. “If she says they’re good,’” Katherine Johnson remembers the astronaut saying, “then I’m ready to go.” Glenn’s flight was a success, and marked a turning point in the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in space.When asked to name her greatest contribution to space exploration, Johnson would talk about the calculations that helped synch Project Apollo’s Lunar Module with the lunar-orbiting Command and Service Module.She also worked on the Space Shuttle and the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS, later renamed Landsat) and authored or coauthored 26 research reports. She retired in 1986, after 33 years at Langley. “I loved going to work every single day,” she said.In 2015, at age 97, Johnson added another extraordinary achievement to her long list: President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.She died on Feb. 24, 2020. NASA Administrator James Bridenstine said, “Our NASA family is sad to learn the news that Katherine Johnson passed away this morning at 101 years old. She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten.”
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion is an American comedian, actress, television host, model, and producer, best known for her performances on television.She hosted the Style Network show Clean House from 2003 to 2010, for which she won an Emmy Award in 2010. As an actress, she played the role of Deputy Raineesha Williams in the Comedy Central comedy series Reno 911! (2003–2009) The series was relaunched on Quibi In April 2020. She received two Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nominations for her performance as nurse Denise “DiDi” Ortley in the HBO comedy Getting On (2013–2015). She also starred as Lolli Ballantine on the TV Land sitcom The Soul Man (2012–2016), and played Denise Hemphill in the Fox horror-comedy anthology series, Scream Queens (2015–2016). In 2017, she began starring as Desna Simms, a leading character, in the TNT crime comedy-drama Claws.She has also played a number of roles in films and has made many guest appearances on television shows. In 2014, she played the role of civil rights activist Richie Jean Jackson in the historical drama film Selma directed by Ava DuVernay. In 2019, she starred as Delores Wise in the Ava DuVernay’ miniseries.When They See Us, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. In 2018, Nash received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.Today in our History – February 23, 1970 – Carol Denise was born.Carol Denise Ensley was born in Palmdale, California. In addition to her acting endeavors, she is a spokesperson of M.A.V.I.S. (Mothers Against Violence In Schools). M.A.V.I.S. was founded by her mother, after the 1993 shooting death of Nash’s younger brother, Michael. M.A.V.I.S.’s mission is to inform the public of the violence children encounter on school campuses. Nash attended California State University, Dominguez Hills.Carol Denise Ensley was born in Palmdale, California. In addition to her acting endeavors, she is a spokesperson of M.A.V.I.S. (Mothers Against Violence In Schools). M.A.V.I.S. was founded by her mother, after the 1993 shooting death of Nash’s younger brother, Michael. M.A.V.I.S.’s mission is to inform the public of the violence children encounter on school campuses. Nash attended California State University, Dominguez Hills.Nash made her professional acting debut in the 1995 film Boys on the Side. On television, she later guest-starred in NYPD Blue, Judging Amy, Reba, Girlfriends, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and ER. She also appeared in 1999 film Cookie’s Fortune, and had a recurring role of CBS drama series, City of Angels, in 2000.From 2003 to 2009, Nash played the role of Deputy Raineesha Williams and . on the Comedy Central comedy series Reno 911!. In addition, Nash hosted Clean House on the Style Network from 2003 to 2010, as well as providing the voice of Mrs. Boots on the ABC Family animated series Slacker Cats, and starred as Rhonda, opposite Jerry O’Connell, in the short-lived Fox sitcom Do Not Disturb in 2008. She also has guest starred on The Bernie Mac Show as Bernie’s sister Bonita from 2003 to 2005. Nash won a Daytime Emmy in 2010 as the producer/host of “Clean House: The Messiest Home in the Country” in the category of Outstanding Special Class Special. On August 4, 2010 Nash announced she was leaving Clean House on the Style Network but the show will continue without her.Nash appeared on the tenth season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars beginning in March 2010, where she was partnered with Louis van Amstel. On May 11, 2010, Nash and van Amstel were eliminated from the competition, taking fifth place. In 2011 she got her own reality show Leave It To Niecy on TLC about her life with her new husband and step-son but it was quickly cancelled. In that same year she was in a TLC wedding special. She also appeared in films Code Name: The Cleaner (2007), Reno 911!: Miami (2007), Not Easily Broken (2009), G-Force (2009), and Trust Me (2013).2012–presentIn 2012, Nash began starring opposite Cedric the Entertainer in the TV Land sitcom The Soul Man, a spinoff from Hot in Cleveland. In 2013, she also began starring opposite Laurie Metcalf in the HBO comedy series Getting On. She received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nomination for her role on the show in 2015 and 2016, as well as a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2016.In 2014, Nash played Richie Jean Jackson, the wife of Dr. Sullivan Jackson, in the historical drama film Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay. Selma received acclaim from critics; on Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 99%, based on 205 reviews, with an average rating of 8.7/10. Selma was listed on many critics’ top ten lists. Also that year, Nash joined the cast of Fox comedy series, The Mindy Project in a recurring role as Dr. Jean Fishman, a rival of the title character.From 2015 to 2016, Nash co-starred on the Fox horror-comedy series Scream Queens, as security guard, and then FBI Agent, Denise Hemphill. She appeared in another Fox comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Andre Braugher’s sister. The following year, she was cast in the leading role in the Fox comedy pilot The Enforcers. The pilot was not ordered to series. She also was cast in a recurring role as Louise Bell in the Showtime period drama Masters of Sex.In 2017, Nash was cast in a leading role in the TNT crime comedy-drama series, Claws, produced by Rashida Jones about a South Florida nail salon. Also in 2017, Nash appeared in Mary J. Blige’s music video for “Strength of a Woman”. For her dramatic turn in Claws, Nash has received critical praise. She received a Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, as well as another nomination for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. In August 2018, it was announced that Nash would star in and produce Naked With Niecy Nash, a late-night talk show for TNT.In July 2018, Nash received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the television category. Later that year, Ava DuVernay cast her in the Netflix limited drama series When They See Us. For her performance, she received critical praise and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie nomination.In 2020, Nash starred in another Netflix feature drama film, Uncorked, directed by Prentice Penny, and well as had a recurring role in the Netflix comedy-drama Never Have I Ever created by Mindy Kaling. Also that year, she played civil rights advocate Florynce Kennedy in the Hulu miniseries Mrs. America. Later in 2020, Nash signed on to host her own syndicated daytime talk show for CBS Television Distribution.In 2021, Nash will starring in the ABC limited series Women of the Movement, playing Alma Carthan, Emmett Till’s grandmother.Nash was married for 13 years to Don Nash, an ordained minister, before filing for divorce in June 2007. They have three children together.Nash became engaged to Jay Tucker on September 4, 2010. Nash participated in a TLC reality show that followed the preparations for the wedding. Nash and Tucker were married on Saturday, May 28, 2011, at the Church Estate Vineyard in Malibu.On October 30, 2019, Nash announced her pending divorce from Tucker via an Instagram post. The divorce was finalized on March 10, 2020.On August 31, 2020, Nash announced that she and singer Jessica Betts had married, while coming out as bisexual. Research more about this great American Champion and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American religious leader and the founder of the Five-Percent Nation. He was born in Virginia and moved to New York City as a young man, before serving in the United States Army during the Korean War. After returning to New York, he learned that his wife had joined the Nation of Islam (NOI) and followed her, taking the name Clarence 13X. He served in the group as a security officer, martial arts instructor, and student minister before leaving for an unclear reason in 1963. He enjoyed gambling, which was condemned by the NOI, and disagreed with the NOI’s teachings that Wallace Fard Muhammad was a divine messenger.After leaving the NOI, Clarence 13X formed a new group with other former members. He concluded that all black men were divine and took the name Allah to symbolize this status. He rejected the belief in an invisible God, teaching that God could be found within each black man. In his view, women were “earths” that complemented and nurtured men; he believed that they should be submissive to men. He and a few assistants retained some NOI teachings and pioneered novel interpretations of them. They devised teachings about the meaning of letters and numerals: understanding the meaning of each letter and number was said to provide deep truths about God and the universe. Clarence 13X referred to his new movement as the Five Percenters, referencing a NOI teaching that only five percent of the population knew and promoted the truth about God. One way that he distinguished his group from his previous faith was by rejecting dress codes or strict behavioral guidelines—he allowed the consumption of alcohol, and at times, the use of illegal drugs.Clarence 13X was shot by an unknown assailant in 1964 but survived the attack. After an incident several months later in which he and several of his followers vandalized stores and fought with police, he was arrested and placed in psychiatric care. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He referred to himself as “Allah”, which had become his preferred name. He was released from custody after a 1966 ruling by the Supreme Court placed limits on confinement without trial. Although he initially taught his followers to hate white people, he eventually began to cooperate with white city leaders. They gave him funding for a night school, and in return, he tried to prevent violence in Harlem. Clarence 13X was fatally shot in June 1969; the identity of his killer is unknown. The mayor of New York City and several other prominent leaders expressed condolences to his followers. Although the Five Percenters faltered in the immediate aftermath of his death, the movement rebounded after new leadership emerged. The group took a non-hierarchical approach to leadership, and no single leader replaced Clarence 13X. He has been held in high regard by Five Percenters, who celebrate his birthday as a holiday.Today in our History – February 22, 1928 – Clarence Edward Smith is born.Back when he was Clarence 13X, he learned about the Nation’s catechism, the Supreme Wisdom Lessons. The lessons taught him that there was no god, at least not in the traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic sense, as an unseen Creator somewhere in the clouds. God was only a “mystery god,” a prop used to keep the masses from rising up against their kings and slavemasters.He began to study the Nation’s Lessons, which led him to question the Nation itself. Even if he was a god, according to the Nation, he was not yet “Allah.” The title belonged only to the “best knower,” the self-perfected scientist, Master Fard, whose picture hung on the mosque wall. In the Nation’s theology, each Allah was a mortal man who experienced birth and death like all men. After one Allah died, he was replaced by another.The lessons warned that the evil 10 percent would enslave the masses with invisible gods while using the names of righteous prophets to shield their “dirty religion.” However, things within the Nation was beginning to look different to Clarence 13X. The Nation was supposed to be the enlightened Five Percent; but within that Five Percent, he observed a further division of five, 10, and 85.Eventually, Clarence 13X realized he had no use for Elijah Muhammad or Fard. After three years as a Muslim, he dropped the X and left the mosque, but he took the lessons with him. He shared the Nation’s secret teachings with whoever would listen. He was well-respected throughout his neighborhood and therefore, became “Allah.” He often encouraged young people to get a good education or some type of vocational trade.One year after Dr. King was assassinated, so was “Allah.” He was filled with bullets in a project elevator, but his nation of young followers, known as the Five Percenters, held on to his teachings. By the start of the 1980s, the Five Percenters were an established fixture on the streets of all five boroughs. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – For the generations that remember growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, especially on the east coast, we know of the restaurants run by the Nation of Islam, The Fruits of Islam, the street knowledge to the people on the corners, if you were afraid to enter a mosque. Today’s American Champion was Malcolm X , original name Malcolm Little, Muslim name el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, (born May 19, 1925, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.—died February 21, 1965, New York, New York), African American leader and prominent figure in the Nation of Islam who articulated concepts of race pride and Black nationalism in the early 1960s.After his assassination, the widespread distribution of his life story— The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)—made him an ideological hero, especially among Black youth. Today in our History – February 21, 1965 – el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) was killed.Born in Nebraska, while an infant Malcolm moved with his family to Lansing, Michigan. When Malcolm was six years old, his father, the Rev. Earl Little, a Baptist minister and former supporter of the early Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey, died after being hit by a streetcar, quite possibly the victim of murder by whites.The surviving family was so poor that Malcolm’s mother, Louise Little, resorted to cooking dandelion greens from the street to feed her children. After she was committed to an insane asylum in 1939, Malcolm and his siblings were sent to foster homes or to live with family members.Malcolm excelled in school, but after one of his eighth-grade teachers told him that he should become a carpenter instead of a lawyer, he lost interest and soon ended his formal education. As a rebellious youngster, Malcolm moved from the Michigan State Detention Home, a juvenile home in Mason, Michigan, to the Roxbury section of Boston to live with an older half sister, Ella, from his father’s first marriage. There he became involved in petty criminal activities in his teenage years. Known as “Detroit Red” for the reddish tinge in his hair, he developed into a street hustler, drug dealer, and leader of a gang of thieves in Roxbury and Harlem (in New York City).While in prison for robbery from 1946 to 1952, he underwent a conversion that eventually led him to join the Nation of Islam, an African American movement that combined elements of Islam with Black nationalism. His decision to join the Nation also was influenced by discussions with his brother Reginald, who had become a member in Detroit and who was incarcerated with Malcolm in the Norfolk Prison Colony in Massachusetts in 1948. Malcolm quit smoking and gambling and refused to eat pork in keeping with the Nation’s dietary restrictions. In order to educate himself, he spent long hours reading books in the prison library, even memorizing a dictionary. He also sharpened his forensic skills by participating in debate classes. Following Nation tradition, he replaced his surname, “Little,” with an “X,” a custom among Nation of Islam followers who considered their family names to have originated with white slaveholders.After his release from prison Malcolm helped to lead the Nation of Islam during the period of its greatest growth and influence. He met Elijah Muhammad in Chicago in 1952 and then began organizing temples for the Nation in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston and in cities in the South. He founded the Nation’s newspaper, Muhammad Speaks , which he printed in the basement of his home, and initiated the practice of requiring every male member of the Nation to sell an assigned number of newspapers on the street as a recruiting and fund-raising technique. He also articulated the Nation’s racial doctrines on the inherent evil of whites and the natural superiority of Blacks.Malcolm rose rapidly to become the minister of Boston Temple No. 11, which he founded; he was later rewarded with the post of minister of Temple No. 7 in Harlem, the largest and most prestigious temple in the Nation after the Chicago headquarters. Recognizing his talent and ability, Elijah Muhammad, who had a special affection for Malcolm, named him the National Representative of the Nation of Islam, second in rank to Muhammad himself.Under Malcolm’s lieutenancy, the Nation claimed a membership of 500,000. The actual number of members fluctuated, however, and the influence of the organization, refracted through the public persona of Malcolm X, always greatly exceeded its size.An articulate public speaker, a charismatic personality, and an indefatigable organizer, Malcolm X expressed the pent-up anger, frustration, and bitterness of African Americans during the major phase of the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1965. He preached on the streets of Harlem and spoke at major universities such as Harvard University and the University of Oxford.His keen intellect, incisive wit, and ardent radicalism made him a formidable critic of American society. He also criticized the mainstream civil rights movement, challenging Martin Luther King, Jr.’s central notions of integration and nonviolence. Malcolm argued that more was at stake than the civil right to sit in a restaurant or even to vote—the most important issues were Black identity, integrity, and independence. In contrast to King’s strategy of nonviolence, civil disobedience, and redemptive suffering, Malcolm urged his followers to defend themselves “by any means necessary.” His biting critique of the “so-called Negro” provided the intellectual foundations for the Black Power and Black consciousness movements in the United States in the late 1960s and ’70s (see Black nationalism). Through the influence of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X helped to change the terms used to refer to African Americans from “Negro” and “coloured” to “Black” and “Afro-American.”In 1963 there were deep tensions between Malcolm and Elijah Muhammad over the political direction of the Nation. Malcolm urged that the Nation become more active in the widespread civil rights protests instead of just being a critic on the sidelines. Muhammad’s violations of the moral code of the Nation further worsened his relations with Malcolm, who was devastated when he learned that Muhammad had fathered children by six of his personal secretaries, two of whom filed paternity suits and made the issue public. Malcolm brought additional bad publicity to the Nation when he declared publicly that Pres. John F. Kennedy’s assassination was an example of “chickens coming home to roost”—a violent society suffering the consequences of violence. In response to the outrage this statement provoked, Elijah Muhammad ordered Malcolm to observe a 90-day period of silence, and the break between the two leaders became permanent.Malcolm left the Nation in March 1964 and in the next month founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. During his pilgrimage to Mecca that same year, he experienced a second conversion and embraced Sunni Islam, adopting the Muslim name el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.Renouncing the separatist beliefs of the Nation, he claimed that the solution to racial problems in the United States lay in orthodox Islam. On the second of two visits to Africa in 1964, he addressed the Organization of African Unity (known as the African Union since 2002), an intergovernmental group established to promote African unity, international cooperation, and economic development. In 1965 he founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity as a secular vehicle to internationalize the plight of Black Americans and to make common cause with the people of the developing world—to move from civil rights to human rights.The growing hostility between Malcolm and the Nation led to death threats and open violence against him. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm was assassinated while delivering a lecture at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem; three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted of the murder. He was survived by his wife, Betty Shabazz, whom he married in 1958, and six daughters. His martyrdom, ideas, and speeches contributed to the development of Black nationalist ideology and the Black Power movement and helped to popularize the values of autonomy and independence among African Americans in the 1960s and ’70s. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American singer and actress whose career spanned over five decades, from the mid-1950s until her retirement in the early 2010s. She was especially notable for her single “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” and her version of the standard “Guess Who I Saw Today”. She recorded more than 70 albums and won three Grammy Awards for her work. During her performing career, she was labeled a singer of blues, jazz, R&B, pop, and soul; a “consummate actress”; and “the complete entertainer”. The title she preferred, however, was “song stylist”. She received many nicknames including “Sweet Nancy”, “The Baby”, “Fancy Miss Nancy” and “The Girl With the Honey-Coated Voice”Today in our History – February 20, 1937 – Nancy Sue Wilson (February 20, 1937 – December 13, 2018) was born.Nancy Wilson blurs the line between jazz singer and pop singer, preferring to be called a “song stylist.” Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, on February 20, 1937, she is younger than Elvis, Little Richard and Esther Phillips, and only a year older than Etta James and Tina Turner.Yet, stylistically speaking, she is worlds away from these rhythm rocking contemporaries. Nancy is more like an earlier generation of vocalists such as Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan or Billy Eckstine.At 15, after appearing at a talent show in Columbus, Ohio, Nancy was given her own twice-a-week television show, Skyline Melodies. She worked at the Carolina Club on Prom Night and six months later with the house band. Cannonball Adderley once told her, “If you ever come to New York give me a call.” He was managed by John Levy, When Nancy Wilson arrived in New York City in 1959, she knew what she wanted: to launch a national singing career with John Levy as her manager and Capitol as her record label. She got what she wanted and the rest, as they say, is history. “What I heard that night,” recalled Capitol A&R man Dave Cavanaugh, “was the nasal quality of Dinah [Washington] and the tear of Billie [Holiday]. I signed her immediately.”An early single, 1961’s “Guess Who I Saw Today,” a marvel of sophistication given the teen tenor of the times, became a staple on jazz radio and in black juke box locations throughout urban America. An album in 1962, Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley, further raised her jazz profile and provided her with a second juke box hit, an edited-for-45 version of Buddy Johnson’s “Save Your Love For Me.” She also paid tribute to her idol, Little Jimmy Scott, with a much-loved version of “When Did You Leave Heaven.”Nancy’s highest charting Capitol singles, the GRAMMY® Award-winning “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” (#11 Pop, 1964) and “You’re As Right As Rain” (#10 R&B, 1974), are highlights in the total of 20 Pop and/or R&B-charting singles for Capitol.The two albums which made Nancy Wilson a household name were Broadway My Way and Hollywood My Way, which are just what the titles imply, current and old tunes from the Great White Way and Tinseltown. Broadway’s standout track was Irving Berlin’s “You Can Have Him,” from Miss Liberty. Nancy the actress wrings every drop of irony out of Berlin’s heartbreakingly ironic lyric. The hit from Hollywood was the aforementioned “When Did You Leave Heaven,” the Richard Whiting-Walter Bullock gem from the movie Sing Baby Sing. Both albums came out in 1963 and are part of an extraordinary output of 37 original albums total in her 20 years with the label.After countless television guest appearances, NBC gave Nancy her own network series, The Nancy Wilson Show, for which she won an Emmy® Award for the 1967-68 season. She also performed on shows like The Andy Williams Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Flip Wilson Show, and, over the years, either as herself or in the occasional acting role, on TV series like I Spy, Room 222, Hawaii Five-O, Police Story, The Cosby Show, Soul Food, New York Undercover and, lately, Moesha and The Parkers.After years with Capitol, during many of which she was second in sales only to the Beatles, surpassing even Sinatra, Peggy Lee, the Beach Boys and early idol Nat King Cole, the business had changed and Nancy felt a new label might bring about a fresh start. So she moved to Columbia, where, despite her usual high aesthetic standards, she found it impossible to compete, sales-wise, with increasingly teen-oriented acts.One of the more interesting albums from her later period came about in 1991, when singer Barry Manilow was given a sheath full of lyrics written by the late Johnny Mercer which the great songwriter had never put to music. Manilow added melodies and chose Nancy to sing the resultant songs.In 1995, when National Public Radio (NPR) was looking for an articulate voice with both name value and jazz credibility to host their “Jazz Profiles” series, Nancy was the obvious choice. Not only did she know the music, but she knew the artists personally. Her first profile for this program was the 75th birthday tribute to Charlie Parker.In the late 1990s, Nancy teamed up with MCG Jazz, a non-profit, independent, specialty record label, to record her only Christmas album, A Nancy Wilson Christmas, released for the 2001 holiday season.Nancy gave the world of music anther gift on August 25, 2004, R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal). Her second MCG Jazz release features compositions never before recorded in her 50 plus years in the music business and special guests ranging from R&B star Kenny Lattimore to jazz legends George Shearing, Toots Thielemans and Phil Woods. R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) won the 2004 GRAMMY® Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. That was followed by one last recording, Turned To Blue, that won yet another Grammy for 2006.Wilson married her first husband, drummer Kenny Dennis, in 1960. They had a son Kenneth (“Kacy”) Dennis Jr., but by 1970 they divorced. On May 22, 1973, Wilson married a Presbyterian minister, Reverend Wiley Burton, within a month of meeting. She gave birth to Samantha Burton in 1975, and the couple adopted Sheryl Burton in 1976. As a result of her marriage, she abstained from performing in various venues, such as supper clubs. For the following two decades, she successfully juggled her personal life and her career. In November 1998, both of her parents died; she called this year the most difficult of her life. In August 2006, Wilson was hospitalized with anemia and potassium deficiency, and was on I.V. sustenance while undergoing a complete battery of tests. She was unable to attend the UNCF Evening of Stars Tribute to Aretha Franklin and had to cancel the engagement. All of her other engagements were on hold pending doctors’ reports. In March 2008, she was hospitalized for lung complications, recovered, and reported to be doing well. In the same year, her husband, Wiley Burton, died after suffering from renal cancer. On December 13, 2018, Wilson died at her home in Pioneertown, California. She was 81 years old. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champions were The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of primarily African-American military pilots (fighter and bomber) and airmen who fought in World War II. They formed the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel.All black military pilots who trained in the United States trained at Griel Field, Kennedy Field, Moton Field, Shorter Field and the Tuskegee Army Air Fields. They were educated at Tuskegee Institute (latterly Tuskegee University), located near Tuskegee, Alabama.Of the 922 pilots, five were Haitians from the Haitian Air Force and one pilot was from Trinidad. It also included a Hispanic or Latino airman born in the Dominican Republic. The 99th Pursuit Squadron (later the 99th Fighter Squadron) was the first black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas (to North Africa in April 1943, and later to Sicily and Italy). The 332nd Fighter Group, which originally included the 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons, was the first black flying group. It deployed to Italy in early 1944. Although the 477th Bombardment Group trained with North American B-25 Mitchell bombers, they never served in combat. In June 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group began flying heavy bomber escort missions and, in July 1944, with the addition of the 99th Fighter Squadron, it had four fighter squadrons.The 99th Fighter Squadron was initially equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter-bomber aircraft. The 332nd Fighter Group and its 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons were equipped for initial combat missions with Bell P-39 Airacobras (March 1944), later with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts (June–July 1944) and finally with the aircraft with which they became most commonly associated, the North American P-51 Mustang (July 1944). When the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted the tails of their P-47s red, the nickname “Red Tails” was coined. The red markings that distinguished the Tuskegee Airmen included red bands on the noses of P-51s as well as a red rudder; the P-51B and D Mustangs flew with similar color schemes, with red propeller spinners, yellow wing bands and all-red tail surfaces.The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. During World War II, black Americans in many U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws[N 1] and the American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to discrimination, both within and outside the army.Before Tuskegee Airmen, African Americans were not allowed to become U.S. military pilots.In 1917, African American men attempted to become aerial observers, but were rejected. The rejections motivated African American men to enlist and train as military aviators. In 1939, The Air Corps and Public Law 18 bill officially passed – designated funds and equipment will be given to African Americans in aviation training.In 1941, the Army Air Corps and the United States Department of War created the 99th Pursuit Squadron — the first all-black flying unit. In Sept. 1941, the 99th Pursuit Squadron activated in Rantoul, Illinois at Chanute Field. In the same year, the airmen began the Tuskegee program at Tuskegee University.On Feb. 19, 1942, the Tuskegee Airmen were initiated into the United States Armed Forces and were able to fight in World War II.The Tuskegee Airmen painted their plane tails red for identification purposes, earning them the nickname Red Tails.The Airmen became known as the 332nd Fighter group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Corps. Shortly after World War II, 992 men graduated from Tuskegee University – carrying out more than 200 bomber escort missions, damaging about 409 German planes, destroying over 900 rail cars and more.The Tuskegee Airmen left a legacy that will forever be known. Their courage and lack of fear made them earn history!A few achievements earned by the Tuskegee Airmen:Silver Star award96 Distinguished Flying Crosses14 Bronze Stars744 Air Medals8 Purple HeartsCongressional Gold MedalResearch more about these great American Champions and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!