Category: 1950 – 1999

January 23 1977- Alex Roots

GM – FBF – Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.

Remember – “Roots is not just a saga of my family. It is the symbolic saga of a people.” – Alex Haley

Today in our History – January 23, 1977 – Roots is an American television miniseries based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The series first aired on ABC-TV in January 1977. Roots received 37 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and won nine. It also won a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. It received unprecedented Nielsen ratings for the finale, which still holds a record as the third highest rated episode for any type of television series, and the second most watched overall series finale in U.S. television history. It was produced on a budget of $6.6 million. The series introduced LeVar Burton in the role of Kunta Kinte.

A sequel, Roots: The Next Generations, first aired in 1979, and a second sequel, Roots: The Gift, a Christmas TV movie, starring Burton and Louis Gossett Jr., first aired in 1988. A related film, Alex Haley’s Queen, is based on the life of Queen Jackson Haley, who was Alex Haley’s paternal grandmother.

In 2016, a remake of the original miniseries, with the same name, was commissioned by the History Channel and screened by the channel on Memorial Day 2015. Reserach more about YOUR FAMILY because your babies need to know from where they come from. Make it a champion day!

January 22 1993- Hazel Rollins Reid

GM – FBF – When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.

Remember – “The use of energy for all Americans in our future is combunding upon, the use of energy Americans are usuig today” – Hazel Rollins Reid O’Leary

Today in our History – January 22, 1993 – The first and only woman to hold the position of U.S. Secretary of Energy, Hazel Rollins Reid was born May 17, 1937 in Newport News, Virginia. During this time of public school segregation, Reid’s parents, hoping for better schooling opportunities, sent their daughter to live with an aunt in New Jersey. There Reid attended a school for artistically gifted students.

Reid entered Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1955 and graduated with honors four years later. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society at Fisk. Seven years later she received a law degree from Rutgers University and soon became an attorney in the New Jersey State Attorney General’s Office.

By the early 1970s Reid moved to Washington, D.C., where she became a partner at Coopers and Lybrand, an accounting firm. Soon she joined the Gerald Ford Administration as general counsel to the Community Services Administration which administered most of the federal government’s anti-poverty programs. President Ford later appointed Reid director of the Federal Energy Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs. In this position she became well known as a representative of the concerns of consumers who challenged the power and influence of the major energy producers.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Reid to head the Department of Energy’s Economic Regulatory Administration. Her agency included more than 2,000 employees who enforced price controls on numerous forms of energy. At this time she successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Fuel Use Act, which decreased the demand for natural gas and developed conservation programs that assisted low-income residents.

While working for the Carter Administration, Reid met her future husband, John F. O’Leary, who was at the time the nation’s deputy energy secretary. The two married in 1980 and together left the department to establish and manage their own energy-consulting firm, O’Leary Associates.

In 1989, following the death of her husband, Hazel O’Leary went to work for Northern State Power Company, a Minnesota utility, as executive vice president for environmental and public affairs and then president of its natural gas division. In 1992 President-elect Bill Clinton announced that he would nominate O’Leary to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. She would become the second woman and third African American nominated to the Clinton Cabinet.

On January 22, 1993, Hazel Rollins Reid O’Leary became the seventh U.S. Secretary of Energy. She would direct the 20,000 employees of the agency and be the principal architect of the Clinton energy policy which emphasized both conservation and innovation.

While in office O’Leary led the effort to find safer ways to dispose of atomic waste. She gained Congressional approval to convert one of three national nuclear weapons design laboratories into a research facility to study technologically advanced environmental cleanup practices. O’Leary also opposed increases in energy taxes.

Since 2002, Hazel O’Leary has served as President of Fisk University, her alma mater. She remains an avid supporter of environmentalism. She works with a variety of non-profit organizations including the World Wildlife Fund, Morehouse College and The Andrew Young Center of International Development. Recesrch more about this great American and tell your babies. Make It A Champion day!

January 17 1984- Bobby Goodman

GM -FBF – To be in one’s shoes when they are away from this country and with help can bring them back safely.

Remember – I am so thankful to my God through Jesus Christ and your prayers allowed Reverend Jackson to get me out of here. – Bobby Goodman

Today in our History – January 17, 1984 – Retired U.S. Navy pilot Bobby Goodman was part of a historic moment on this day in 1984. After his plane was shot down over Lebanon and a subsequent capture by Syrian forces, Rev. Jesse Jackson and others helped negotiate Goodman’s release.

Tensions in the region were high as a result of the Lebanese Civil War. Two fighter jets were fired upon from Beirut, prompting U.S. forces to respond with a bombing mission. Goodman and fellow Lt. Mark Lange piloted a bomber plane that was struck down by missiles. In the ejection descent, both men were injured but only Goodman survived. Syrian troops and Lebanese civilians held Goodman captive before he was shipped to Damascus.

Goodman’s capture made international news and his mother made public pleas for his freedom. Rev. Jackson, who was in the midst of attempting to secure the Democratic Party nomination for president, rallied other faith leaders to join a delegation that traveled to Syria to meet with President Hafez al-Assad.

Jackson gathered the likes of Min. Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Wyatt T. Walker and many others for the peace mission. After the group met on January 2, Goodman was freed the next day.

Rev. Jackson and Goodman traveled home immediately and met with President Ronald Reagan, who first criticized Jackson’s involvement in the negotiations. Some experts say that Jackson, being somewhat neutral as a man of the cloth, may have been the right person for the job considering Reagan was an unpopular figure in Syria.

Goodman continued to serve, flying in bombing missions during the Gulf War before retiring at the rank of commander in 1995. He and Jackson reunited in 2014 for the first time since their stirring first encounter. Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

January 15 1960- The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

GM – FBF – “An organization which claims to be working for the needs of a community – as SNCC does – must work to provide that community with a position of strength from which to make its voice heard. This is the significance of black power beyond the slogan”. – Stokely Carmichael

Remember – A final SNCC legacy is the destruction of the psychological shackles which had kept black southerners in physical and mental peonage; SNCC helped break those chains forever. It demonstrated that ordinary women and men, young and old, could perform extraordinary tasks. – Julian Bond

Today in our History – April 15,1960 – The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, often pronounced /snɪk/ SNIK) was one of the major Civil Rights Movement organizations of the 1960s. It emerged from the first wave of student sit-ins and formed at an April 1960 meeting organized by Ella Baker at Shaw University. After its involvement in the Voter Education Project, SNCC grew into a large organization with many supporters in the North who helped raise funds to support its work in the South, allowing full-time organizers to have a small salary. Many unpaid grassroots organizers and activists also worked with SNCC on projects in the Deep South, often becoming targets of racial violence and police brutality. SNCC played a seminal role in the freedom rides, the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Selma campaigns, the March Against Fear and other historic events. SNCC’s major contribution was in its field work, organizing voter registration, freedom schools, and direct action all over the country, but especially in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.

In the later 1960s, inspired by fiery leaders such as Stokely Carmichael, SNCC focused on black power, and draft resistance to the Vietnam War. As early as 1965, executive secretary James Forman said he “did not know how much longer we can stay nonviolent” and in 1969, SNCC officially changed its name to the Student National Coordinating Committee to reflect the broadening of its strategy. It passed out of existence in the 1970s following heavy infiltration and suppression by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), spearheaded as part of COINTELPRO operations during the 1960s and 70s led by J. Edgar Hoover. Reserach more about SNCC and the begining of “The Black Panther Party” and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!