GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American actress and fashion model. In a career spanning more than seven decades, she became known for her portrayal of strong African-American women. She was the recipient of three Primetime Emmy Awards, four Black Reel Awards, one Screen Actors Guild Award, one Tony Award, an honorary Academy Award, and a Peabody Award.Having appeared in minor film and television roles early in her career, she garnered widespread attention and critical acclaim for her performance as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder (1972); she was nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work in the film. Tyson’s portrayal of the title role in the 1974 television film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, based on the book by Ernest Gaines, won her further praise; among other accolades, the role won her two Emmy Awards and a nomination for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.She continued to act in film and on television in the 21st century. In 2011, she played the role of Constantine Jefferson in the award-winning film The Help. She also played the recurring role of Ophelia Harkness in the legal drama TV series How to Get Away With Murder since the show’s inception in 2014, for which she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series five times.In addition to her screen career, she appeared in various theater productions. She received a Drama Desk Award in 1962 for her Off-Broadway performance in Moon on a Rainbow Shawl. She also starred as Carrie Watts in the Broadway play The Trip to Bountiful, winning the Tony Award, the Outer Critics Award, and the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Play in 2013. She was named a Kennedy Center honoree in 2015. In November 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor in the United States. In 2020, she was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.Today in our History – December 19, 1924 – Cicely Tyson was born.Tyson was born in East Harlem on December 19, 1924, the daughter of Fredericka (Huggins) Tyson, a domestic worker, and William Augustine Tyson, who worked as a carpenter and painter. She was one of three children. Her parents were immigrants from Nevis in the West Indies. Her father arrived in New York City at age 21 and was processed at Ellis Island on August 4, 1919.Tyson grew up in a religious atmosphere. She sang in the choir and attended prayer meetings at an Episcopal church in East Harlem. Tyson’s mother was opposed to her becoming an actress and would not speak to her for a time. She changed her mind when she saw Cicely appear on stage.Tyson was discovered by a photographer for Ebony magazine and became a successful fashion model. Her first acting role was on the NBC television series Frontiers of Faith in 1951. Tyson played her first film role in Carib Gold in 1956. She had small roles in the 1959 films Odds Against Tomorrow and The Last Angry Man, Her first stage appearance was in Vinnette Carroll’s production of Dark of the Moon at the Harlem YMCA in 1958.In the early 1960s, Tyson appeared in the original cast of French playwright Jean Genet’s The Blacks. She played the role of Stephanie Virtue Secret-Rose Diop; other notable cast members included; Maya Angelou, James Earl Jones, Godfrey Cambridge, Louis Gossett Jr., and Charles Gordone. The show was the longest running off-Broadway non-musical of the decade, running for 1,408 performances. She won a Vernon Rice Award (later known as the Drama Desk Award) for her performance in another off-Broadway production, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl.Tyson, who once worked for a social services agency, was spotted by producer David Susskind in The Blacks and in Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, and was cast for a role in the CBS TV series East Side/West Side (1963–1964), playing the secretary of a social worker played by George C. Scott. She was at the time the only African American regular member of a TV cast, The show was noted for its treatment of social issues, and one of its episodes, on an African-American couple in Harlem, was blacked out in Atlanta and Shreveport, Louisiana.In the mid-1960s she had a recurring role in the soap opera The Guiding Light. She appeared with Sammy Davis Jr. in the film A Man Called Adam (1966) and starred in the film version of The Comedians (1967) based on the Graham Greene novel. In 1968 Tyson had a featured role in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.In 1972, Tyson played the role of Rebecca Morgan in the film Sounder. She was nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work in Sounder, and also won the NSFC Best Actress and NBR Best Actress Awards.In 1974, Tyson played the title role in the television film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Tyson’s portrayal of a centenarian black woman’s life from slavery until her death before the Civil rights movement won her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie and an Emmy Award for Actress of the Year – Special. Tyson was also nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in this television film.Tyson’s television roles included; Binta in the 1977 miniseries Roots, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie; Coretta Scott King in the 1978 miniseries King, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie; Marva Collins in the 1981 television film The Marva Collins Story, for which she received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie, and Muriel in the 1986 television film Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story, for which she received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.In 1989, Tyson appeared in the television miniseries, The Women of Brewster Place. In 1991, Tyson appeared in Fried Green Tomatoes as Sipsey. In the 1994–95 television series, Sweet Justice, Tyson portrayed a civil rights activist and attorney named Carrie Grace Battle, a character she modeled after Washington, D.C. civil rights and criminal defense lawyer Dovey Johnson Roundtree. Her other notable film roles include the dramas Hoodlum (1997) and Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), and the television films Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (1994) (for which she received her third Emmy Award) and A Lesson Before Dying (1999). In 2005, Tyson co-starred in Because of Winn-Dixie.In 2010, Tyson appeared in Why Did I Get Married Too? and narrated the Paul Robeson Award-winning documentary, Up from the Bottoms: The Search for the American Dream. In 2011, Tyson appeared in her first music video in Willow Smith’s 21st Century Girl. That same year, she played Constantine Jefferson, a maid in Jackson, Mississippi, in the critically acclaimed period drama The Help. Set in the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, the film won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.At the 67th Tony Awards, on June 9, 2013, Tyson won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Miss Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful. Upon winning, the 88-year-old actress became the oldest recipient of the Best Actress Tony Award. She also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for the role.In 2013, Tyson played a supporting role in the horror film The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. Beginning in 2014, Tyson guest-starred on How to Get Away with Murder as Ophelia Harkness, the mother of main character Annalise Keating (Viola Davis); for this role, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. In 2020, she was in the popular movie A Fall From Grace featured on Netflix.In addition to her Screen Actor Guild Award, her Tony Award, her Emmy Awards, and her Black Reel Awards, Tyson received several other honors.Tyson received honorary degrees from Clark Atlanta University, Columbia University; Howard University; and Morehouse College, an all-male historically black college.In 1977, Tyson was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. In 1980, she received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. In 1982, Tyson was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award. The award is given to outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry. In 1988, Tyson received a Candace Award for Distinguished Service from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. In 1997, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.In 2005, Tyson was honored at Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Ball. She was also honored by the Congress of Racial Equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Council of Negro Women.The Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts, a magnet school in East Orange, New Jersey, was named after her in 2009.Tyson was awarded the NAACP’s 2010 Spingarn Medal for her contribution to the entertainment industry, her modeling career, and her support of civil rights.Tyson was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2015. She was awarded the United States’ highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama in November 2016.In September 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Tyson would receive an Academy Honorary Award. On November 18, 2018, Tyson became the first African-American woman to receive an honorary Oscar.In 2018, Tyson was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. She was chosen to be inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame in 2020.Tyson had a daughter when she was 17 years old. At age 18, Tyson married Kenneth Franklin on December 27, 1942. According to her divorce decree, her husband abandoned her after less than eighteen months of marriage. The marriage was formally dissolved in 1956.Tyson began dating jazz trumpeter Miles Davis in the 1960s when he was in the process of divorcing dancer Frances Davis. Davis used a photo of Tyson for his 1967 album, Sorcerer. Davis told the press in 1967 that he intended to marry Tyson in March 1968 after his divorce was finalized, but he married singer Betty Davis that September.Tyson and Davis rekindled their relationship in 1978. They were married on November 26, 1981, in a ceremony conducted by Atlanta mayor Andrew Young at the home of actor Bill Cosby. Their marriage was tumultuous due to Davis’ volatile temper and infidelity. Davis credited Tyson with saving his life and helping him overcome his cocaine addiction. They resided in Malibu, California, and New York City, until she filed for divorce in 1988. Their divorce was finalized in 1989, two years before Davis died in 1991.Tyson was godmother to the singer Lenny Kravitz, having been friends with his mother, actress Roxie Roker, as well as to Denzel Washington’s daughter Katia; and Tyler Perry’s son Aman.Tyson was an honorary member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She was a vegetarian.Tyson’s memoir, Just As I Am, was published January 26, 2021, and she was promoting the book during her final weeks. In an interview with Gayle King, asked how she wanted to be remembered, Tyson said, “I’ve done my best. That’s all.”Tyson died on January 28, 2021, at the age of 96. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion is an American tennis coach and former top 10 professional tennis player. McNeil was a singles semifinalist at the US Open in 1987 and Wimbledon in 1994, a women’s doubles finalist at the Australian Open in 1987 with Zina Garrison and French Open mixed-doubles winner in 1988 with Jorge Lozano.Today in our History – Lori McNeil (December 18, 1963) was born.McNeil was born the youngest of four siblings to mother Dorothy and father Charlie McNeil, who played professional football with the San Diego Chargers during the 1960s. Moving from San Diego to Houston, McNeil developed her tennis skills at MacGregor Park playground, a public facility in the Third Ward district. It was there she became close childhood friends with fellow future professional tennis player, Zina Garrison.Lori McNeil attended Oklahoma State University for two years and played tennis for the Cowgirls, reaching the 1983 NCAA quarterfinals (losing to eventual champion Beth Herr from USC).McNeil played on the WTA Tour for 19 years from 1983–2002. She won a total of 10 singles and 33 doubles titles during her career. Her career-high world rankings were No. 9 in singles (in 1988) and No. 4 in doubles (in 1987).In 1987, McNeil received the WTA Most Improved Player of the Year award.McNeil is perhaps best remembered for her results against Steffi Graf. In 1992, she defeated Graf 7–6, 6–4 in the first round of the WTA Tour Championships, marking the first time since 1985 that Graf had lost in the opening round of a tournament. Then, in 1994, McNeil beat Graf 7–5, 7–6 in the first round at Wimbledon, the first time in Grand Slam history that a defending champion had suffered a first-round loss.That year, McNeil went on to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon before losing to eventual-champion Conchita Martínez, 6–3, 2–6, 8–10. This equalled McNeil’s best-ever Grand Slam singles performance – she also reached the semifinals at the US Open in 1987 (after defeating six-time champion Chris Evert in the quarterfinals) where she lost to Graf, 6–4, 2–6, 4–6.Despite never winning a women’s doubles Grand Slam title, she reached the quarterfinal stage or better on 22 occasions at Grand Slam level, and won multiple WTA Tour doubles titles with many of the leading doubles players of the era, including Martina Navratilova, Gigi Fernández, Rennae Stubbs, Katrina Adams, Zina Garrison and Helena Suková.From 2001-2004, McNeil coached former top-5 player Amanda Coetzer. Partnering together, coach and student reached the doubles quarterfinals of the 2002 Australian Open. In 2004 and 2008, McNeil was also Assistant Coach to the US Olympic tennis teams.In 2006, McNeil was inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion is an American politician and businessman. He has served as the junior United States Senator for South Carolina since 2013. A Republican, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor Nikki Haley in 2013. He retained his seat after winning a special election in 2014 and was elected to a full term in 2016.In 2010, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, where he served from 2011 to 2013. He served one term (from 2009 to 2011) in the South Carolina General Assembly and served on the Charleston County council from 1996 to 2008.He is one of eleven African-Americans to have served in the U.S. Senate and the first to serve in both chambers of Congress. He is the seventh African-American to have been elected to the Senate and the fourth from the Republican Party. He is the first African-American senator from South Carolina, the first African-American senator to be elected from the southern United States since 1881 (four years after the end of the Reconstruction era), and the first African-American Republican to serve in the U.S. Senate since Edward Brooke departed in 1979.Today in our History – December 17, 2012 – Timothy Eugene Scott (born September 19, 1965) is sworn in as the junior Senator from South Carolina.Growing up in a poor, single-parent household in North Charleston, South Carolina, a young Tim Scott grew accustomed to moving every few years, as well as the long hours his mom worked to keep a roof over their heads. After failing four classes his freshman year of high school, Tim’s path forward was murky at best.But thankfully, he had a mom who stuck with him and met a mentor that showed him the wisdom of conservative principles. Through their belief and his own determination, Tim got his grades back on track, graduated from Charleston Southern University, and eventually built his own successful small business.Through the lessons taught by his mentor, Tim developed his mission statement: to positively affect the lives of a billion people. That led him to public service, where he was elected to Charleston County Council, the South Carolina House of Representatives, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate.Since joining the Senate in 2013, Senator Scott has been a national leader in efforts to bring opportunity to every American family. His signature legislation creating Opportunity Zones was passed as part of the 2017 tax reform package and has the potential to bring billions of dollars of private investment into distressed communities across the country.As he continues to lead on the implementation of the Opportunity Zones initiative, Senator Scott also plays a critical role in issues regarding workforce development, education, and diversity. Whether it’s tackling the skills gap, making sure children have access to the educational environment best suited for them, or working to bring everyone to the table to find solutions, Senator Scott will keep fighting for South Carolinians every single day he serves in the U.S. Senate. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF– Today’s American Champion is an American former football running back, broadcaster, actor, advertising spokesman, and convicted felon. Once a popular figure with the U.S. public, he is now best known for being tried for the murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of the murders in criminal court, but was later found responsible for both deaths in a civil trial.He attended the University of Southern California (USC), where he played football for the USC Trojans and won the Heisman Trophy in 1968. He played professionally as a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for 11 seasons, primarily with the Buffalo Bills from 1969 to 1977.He also played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1978 to 1979. In 1973, he became the first NFL player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. He holds the record for the single season yards-per-game average, which stands at 143.1. He was the only player to ever rush for over 2,000 yards in the 14-game regular season NFL format.He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. After retiring from football, he began new careers in acting and football broadcasting.In 1994, he was arrested and charged with the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. He was acquitted by a jury after a lengthy and internationally publicized trial. The families of the victims subsequently filed a civil suit against him.A civil court awarded a $33.5 million judgment against him in 1997 for the victims’ wrongful deaths. In 2000, he moved to Florida and settled in Miami to avoid paying any more of the liability judgment, which as of 2021 he has mostly not paid.In 2007, he was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, and charged with the felonies of armed robbery and kidnapping. In 2008, he was convicted and sentenced to 33 years’ imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole. He served his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center near Lovelock, Nevada. Simpson was granted parole on July 20, 2017. He was eligible for release from prison on October 1, 2017, and was released on that date.Today in our History – December 16, 1973 – Orenthal James Simpson (born July 9, 1947), nicknamed “The Juice”, breaks NFL rushing record.On December 16, 1973, the Buffalo Bills running back Orenthal James “OJ” Simpson becomes the first player in the National Football League (NFL) to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season.After leading the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans to a Rose Bowl victory and winning the Heisman Trophy, Simpson was drafted by Buffalo as the first pick in the 1969 NFL draft.He struggled for several seasons on weak Buffalo teams but first rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 1972, ending the season with a league-leading 1,251. The following year, he totaled 219 rushing yards against the New England Patriots in the next-to-last game of the season, putting his total at 1,803. On December 16, with the Bills facing the New York Jets in New York’s Shea Stadium, Simpson rushed for another 200 yards, for a record-setting total of 2,003.Simpson had another banner year in 1975, with 1,817 yards rushing, 426 yards on receptions and a then-record 23 touchdowns. All told, he led the league in rushing four times (1972, 1973, 1975 and 1976) during his eight years with Buffalo, and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1972, 1973 and 1975.Plagued by injuries, Simpson was limited to seven games in 1977 and the following year was traded to the San Francisco 49ers. He played only two more seasons in the NFL, gaining a total of just 1,053 yards and averaging less than four yards per carry.After retiring, Simpson acted and worked as a sportscaster. Though some view him as the greatest football player ever to play the game, he will unfortunately be remembered primarily for something quite different: In June 1994, Simpson was charged with the brutal murder of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. After a sensational and divisive criminal trial, he was acquitted in October 1995, but was later found liable for the deaths in a civil trial and ordered to pay $33.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today in our History, The Sun-Reporter is a weekly newspaper serving the African-American community of San Francisco. It was founded in 1943.When Carlton Benjamin Goodlett, the paper’s longtime owner, died in 1997, Amelia Ashley-Ward became the paper’s proprietor. The Sun-Reporter owns the region’s two other black weeklies, the California Voice and the Metro Reporter.Notable journalists associated with the paper include Thomas C. Fleming.Today in our History – December 15, 1943 – The Sun-Reporter is founded.Seventy-eight years ago the Sun-Reporter was born. With the massive migration of blacks to the Bay Area to work in the wartime shipyards, the sudden change in population made it clear that if blacks were to have a voice they had to have a newspaper, and the Sun-Reporter became that paper.First came The Reporter in 1944, founded and edited by Thomas C. Fleming, which soon merged with The Sun, a paper acquired in a poker game by Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, Fleming’s longtime friend; and thus the Sun-Reporter was launched, with Goodlett as Editor/Publisher, Dr. Dan Collins as Co-Publisher, and Fleming as Managing Editor. In 1951 Goodlett became sole publisher, and in 1971 Dr. Goodlett added the seven Metro-Reporters and the California Voice to his publications.Dr. Goodlett was born July 23, 1914, in Chipley, Florida, and educated in the public schools of Omaha, Nebraska after which he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University in 1935, a Ph.D. in Psychology from UC Berkeley in 1938, and a Medical degree from Meharry Medical College, Tennessee in 1944.When he settled in the Bay Area he opened his medical offices in San Francisco, where his diagnostic skills and commitment to family practice made him an important addition to the medical profession and the emerging black community. Throughout his career, he administered to hundreds of patients, many of whom he served without charge. He was one of the few doctors who still made home visits.Besides being an outstanding physician, Dr. Goodlett capitalized on his early interest in journalism (as editor of the Hilltop, Howard University’s student newspaper) by becoming publisher of The Sun-Reporter, fighting, a crusading newspaper designed to take on all the social and political battles raging in post-war America and proudly carrying the motto,” That no good cause shall lack a champion, and that evil shall not thrive unopposed.”From its inception, and it holds true today, the Sun-Reporter has taken a strong editorial stand against racism, segregation, war, and inequality while actively fighting for civil rights, fair employment and housing laws, and world peace; early on, it challenged school segregation; it denounced Senator Joseph McCarthy’s assault on civil liberties in the days of the Cold War. Dr. Goodlett was in constant touch with Paul and Eslanda Robeson and was largely responsible for bringing Paul for a concert to Third Baptist Church when all other venues were prohibited to him.In 1963 the Sun-Reporter office was moved to Dr. Goodlett’s new building on Turk Street, where he could more efficiently pursue both his medical practice and the business of running a newspaper. The Sun-Reporter, with its upstairs Community Room, became a focal point for the community. Many events took place there, including visits from Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Dick Gregory, and the Black Panthers.Some young and talented journalists started their careers at the Sun-Reporter and moved on, including Lance Gilmore, Edith Austin, Belva Davis, Valerie Coleman, and many more. Phil Burton, Art Agnos, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, George Moscone, Cecil Poole, Ron Dellums, Barbara Lee, Mervyn Dymally, Aileen Hernandez, Dolores Huerta, and many other prominent political figures dropped by the Sun-Reporter for advice and counsel.In 1951 Dr. Goodlett joined the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Black Press of America, and served three terms as its president. He also served as chair of the California Black Leadership Council and as president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP and led a protest against the Municipal Railway for discrimination of African Americans.He became an active mover in the Democratic Party and in 1966 ran for Governor of California in the Democratic primaries, with Sy Cassidy, Dick Gregory, and Rev. A. Cecil Williams as sidekicks in the Goodlett for Governor campaign. He ran under the motto, “The people are wise — wiser than the politician thinks!” and with a platform demanding “an economic floor below which no one can fall!” He came in third in a field of six.Dr. Goodlett was on the Presidium of the World Peace Council and traveled extensively to every continent during the days of the Cold War, heading American delegations to conferences in Stockholm, Moscow, East Berlin, Accra, Helsinki, Prague, Sofia, Budapest, and Copenhagen.He formulated a world disarmament plan that is to be found to this day in the Congressional Record. He was vehemently against the war in Vietnam, and urged his friend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to take on this cause, stating “It is our urgent responsibility to address ourselves to the critical needs at home, so long neglected during our preoccupation with the arms race, with a government whose instruments have been geared to serve only the rich and the powerful of the land.”He actively opposed nuclear weapons, and in a speech before the National Medical Association said, “No nuclear war can be won; neither can a nuclear war be limited to regions of the world. There is no medical treatment of those persons surviving a nuclear holocaust — in fact, the living would envy the dead.”Dr. Goodlett died of Parkinson’s disease in l997 at the age of 82, but the Sun-Reporter, now published in Bayview/Hunter’s Point with Amelia Ashley-Ward its Publisher, at the helm, is very much alive and is continuing in his footsteps.Ashley-Ward, an award-winning journalist and photojournalist, is now celebrating her 30th year with the publishing company. Under her leadership, the paper continues to win many awards and is also sought after by politicians seeking the African-American community’s support. She has taken the paper to another level by adding full color to the company’s printing press, enabling the Sun-Reporter to now be published in color. The printing press is also housed at the company’s Bayview location.Ashley-Ward, 50, has received numerous awards, including “Publisher of the Year” in 1998 from the National Newspaper Publishers Association (The Black Press of America). On May 3, 2004, Ashley-Ward returned to San Jose State University, where she graduated with a B.A. degree in journalism in 1979, to receive the prestigious “Alumnus of the Year” award. In 2005 she was chosen as “Woman of the Year” by State Senator Carole Migden and in 2008 she was named one of the 49 Most Influential People in San Francisco by 7×7 Magazine.Publisher Ashley-Ward currently serves on the advisory board of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, and the board of directors of the San Francisco Branch of the NAACP. She formerly served on the board of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau. Research more about this great American event and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion, was known for being freed from a courtroom in Boston after being captured by United States marshals under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Members of the Boston Vigilance Committee freed and hid him, helping him get to Canada via the Underground Railroad. Minkins settled in Montreal, where he raised a family. Two men were prosecuted in Boston for helping free him, but they were acquitted by the jury.Today in our History – December 13, 1875, Shadrach Minkins (c. 1814 – December 13, 1875) AKA – Frederick Wilkins and Frederick Jenkins. Died.Shadrach Minkins was an enslaved man who escaped from his owner in Norfolk in 1850, was arrested as a fugitive the following year in Boston, Massachusetts, and was rescued there by antislavery activists. Born into slavery, Minkins had various owners before being sold to John DeBree, a career naval officer, in 1849.He worked as a house servant for DeBree until making his escape in May 1850. Originally called Sherwood and then Shadrach, Minkins adopted the name Frederick in Boston, where he waited tables at an upscale restaurant.After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, DeBree sent a slave catcher to Boston, and Minkins was arrested on February 15, 1851. Hundreds of antislavery activists gathered outside the courtroom where Minkins was being held, and a group of about twenty black men eventually broke through the doors and rescued Minkins, spiriting him through the streets of Boston and arranging for his journey to Canada.Minkins’s escape became a national cause célèbre, with abolitionists rejoicing and the administration of President Millard Fillmore fuming. After arriving in Montreal, Minkins reverted to the name Shadrach and adopted the last name Minkins. He married an Irish woman, had four children, and ran a barbershop until his death in 1875.Born into slavery in Norfolk, Virginia (the actual year is uncertain), Shadrach Minkins spent the first thirty years of his life in his hometown, but in May of 1850, he decided to run for freedom and escaped to Boston, where he became a waiter.At that time, about 2,500 blacks lived in Boston. Runaway slaves found refuge there with fellow runaways, and a population of active black and white abolitionists. Most slaves who reached Boston expected the strong anti-slavery community would protect them and that they would be able to hide or blend in without being recaptured. The other option for fugitives was to pass through Boston to another safe location using the Underground Railroad.The Fugitive Slave Act, part of the Compromise of 1850, however, undermined Boston’s reputation as a safe haven. This law allowed slave owners, or their representatives, to reclaim runaway slaves, with proof of ownership, throughout the United States. Slave-catching now carried the force of law which meant all law-enforcement agencies throughout the North were required to assist those seeking fugitives. Law enforcement officers were required to arrest and hold any suspected fugitives and assist their return to slaveholders.On February 15, 1851, Minkins was captured by two Boston police officers while he worked at Taft’s Cornhill Coffee House. While he was being taken to the courthouse, word spread and hundreds of black and white abolitionists crowded into the courthouse. Renowned abolitionist lawyers Robert Morris, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Ellis Gray Loring, and Samuel E. Sewall came to Minkins’ assistance, but under the Fugitive Slave Act, his seizure was legal.As the crowd grew bigger, members of the anti-slavery Boston Vigilance Committee, led by black abolitionist Lewis Hayden, rushed through the courtroom, seizing Minkins from marshals holding him in custody. Lewis then hid Minkins in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood.From there, Lewis guided Minkins to Cambridge where he followed the Underground Railroad to Montreal, Canada. Minkins made a living first as a waiter and restaurant operator and later as a barber. He married about 1853 and had four children, settling in a community with fellow fugitive slaves from the United States.The escape of Minkins prompted President Millard Fillmore to use federal troops to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act. He also called on Boston authorities to prosecute those who had taken Minkins from the Boston courthouse. Hayden and other participants were arrested but soon acquitted by sympathetic Boston juries.The Minkins episode further exacerbated tensions between Southern slaveholders and Northern abolitionists and thus contributed to the coming Civil War. After the war, many runaway slaves in Canada returned to the U.S. Minkins, however, remained and lived out his life there, dying in Montreal on December 13, 1875. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion is an American singer, actress, television host, and former Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.She ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers between 1955 and 1999, based on her chart history on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop singles chart. She is one of the most-charted female vocalists of all time, with 56 of her singles making the Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998 (12 of them Top Ten), and 80 singles in total – either solo or collaboratively – making the Hot 100, R&B and/or adult contemporary charts.Today in our History – December 12, 1940 – Marie Dionne Warrick (born December 12, 1940) was born.Marie Dionne Warrick, later Warwick, was born in Orange, New Jersey to Lee Drinkard and Mancel Warrick. Her mother was manager of the Drinkard Singers, and her father was a Pullman porter, chef, record promoter and CPA. Dionne was named after her aunt on her mother’s side. She had a sister, Delia (“Dee Dee”), who died in 2008, and a brother, Mancel Jr., who was killed in an accident in 1968 at age 21. Her parents were both African American, and she also has Native American and Dutch ancestry.She was raised in East Orange, New Jersey and was a Girl Scout for a time. After finishing East Orange High School in 1959, Warwick pursued her passion at the Hartt College of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut. She landed some work with her group singing backing vocals for recording sessions in New York City. During one session, Warwick met Burt Bacharach, who hired her to record demos featuring songs written by him and lyricist Hal David. She later landed her own record deal.Many of Warwick’s family were members of the Drinkard Singers, a renowned family gospel group and RCA recording artists who frequently performed throughout the New York metropolitan area. The original group, known as the Drinkard Jubilairs, consisted of Cissy, Anne, Larry, and Nicky, and later included Warwick’s grandparents, Nicholas and Delia Drinkard, and their children: William, Lee (Warwick’s mother) and Hansom.Marie instructed the group, and they were managed by Lee. As they became more successful, Lee and Marie began performing with the group, and they were augmented by pop/R&B singer Judy Clay, whom Lee had unofficially adopted. Elvis Presley eventually expressed an interest in having them join his touring entourage. Dionne began singing gospel as a child at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.Other singers joined the Gospelaires from time to time, including Judy Clay, Cissy Houston and Doris “Rikii” Troy, whose chart selection “Just One Look”, when she recorded it in 1963, featured backing vocals from the Gospelaires. After personnel changes (Dionne and Doris left the group after achieving solo success), the Gospelaires became the recording group the Sweet Inspirations, who had some chart success, but were much sought-after as studio background singers. The Gospelaires and later the Sweet Inspirations performed on many records cut in New York City for artists such as Garnet Mimms, the Drifters, Jerry Butler, Solomon Burke and later Warwick’s recordings, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley. Warwick recalled, in 2002’s Biography, that “a man came running frantically backstage at the Apollo and said he needed background singers for a session for Sam “the Man” Taylor and old big-mouth here spoke up and said ‘We’ll do it!’ and we left and did the session. I wish I remembered the gentleman’s name because he was responsible for the beginning of my professional career.”The backstage encounter led to the group being asked to sing background sessions at recording studios in New York. Soon, the group were in demand in New York music circles for their background work for such artists as the Drifters, Ben E. King, Chuck Jackson, Dinah Washington, Ronnie “the Hawk” Hawkins, and Solomon Burke, among many others. Warwick remembered, in Biography, that after school, they would catch a bus from East Orange to the Port Authority Terminal, then take the subway to recording studios in Manhattan, perform their background gigs and be back at home in East Orange in time to do their school homework. Her background vocal work would continue while Warwick pursued her studies at Hartt.On June 25, 2019 The New York Times Magazine listed the Gospelaires among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.While she was performing background on the Drifters’ recording of their 1962 release “Mexican Divorce”, Warwick’s voice and star presence were noticed by the song’s composer, Burt Bacharach, a Brill Building songwriter who was writing songs with many other songwriters, including lyricist Hal David. According to a July 14, 1967 article on Warwick in Time, Bacharach stated, “She has a tremendous strong side and a delicacy when singing softly — like miniature ships in bottles.” Musically, she was no “play-safe girl. What emotion I could get away with!” During the session, Bacharach asked Warwick if she would be interested in recording demonstration recordings of his compositions to pitch the tunes to record labels, paying her $12.50 per demo recording session (equivalent to $110 in 2020). One such demo, “It’s Love That Really Counts” – destined to be recorded by Scepter-signed act the Shirelles – caught the attention of the President of Scepter Records, Florence Greenberg, who, according to Current Biography (1969 Yearbook), told Bacharach, “Forget the song, get the girl!”Warwick was signed to Bacharach’s and David’s production company, according to Warwick, which in turn was signed to Scepter Records in 1962 by Greenberg. The partnership would provide Bacharach with the freedom to produce Warwick without the control of recording company executives and company A&R men. Warwick’s musical ability and education would also allow Bacharach to compose more challenging tunes. The demo version of “It’s Love That Really Counts”, along with her original demo of “Make It Easy on Yourself”, would surface on Warwick’s debut Scepter album, Presenting Dionne Warwick, which was released in early 1963.In November 1962, Scepter Records released her first solo single, “Don’t Make Me Over”, the title of which Warwick supplied herself when she snapped the phrase at producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David in anger. Warwick had found out that “Make It Easy on Yourself” — a song on which she had recorded the original demo and had wanted to be her first single release — had been given to another artist, Jerry Butler. From the phrase “don’t make me over”, Bacharach and David created their first top 40 pop hit (No. 21) and a top 5 U.S. R&B hit. Warrick’s name was misspelled on the single’s label, and she began using the new spelling, “Warwick”, both professionally and personally.After “Don’t Make Me Over” hit in 1962, she answered the call of her manager, left school and went on a tour of France, where critics crowned her “Paris’ Black Pearl”, having been introduced on stage at Paris Olympia that year by Marlene Dietrich.The two immediate follow-ups to “Don’t Make Me Over” — “This Empty Place” (with “B” side “Wishin’ and Hopin'” later recorded by Dusty Springfield) and “Make The Music Play” — charted briefly in the top 100. Her fourth single, “Anyone Who Had a Heart”, released in November 1963, was Warwick’s first top 10 pop hit (No. in the U.S. and an international million seller. This was followed by “Walk On By” in April 1964, another major international hit and million seller that solidified her career. For the rest of the 1960s, Warwick was a fixture on the U.S. and Canadian charts, and much of her output from 1962 to 1971 was written and produced by the Bacharach/David team.Warwick weathered the British Invasion better than most American artists. Her biggest UK hits were “Walk On By” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” In the UK, a number of Bacharach-David-Warwick songs were recorded by British singers Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield, most notably Black’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart” which went to No. 1 in the UK. This upset Warwick, who described feeling insulted when told that in the UK, record company executives wanted her songs recorded by someone else. Warwick met Cilla Black while on tour in Britain. She recalled what she said to her: “I told her that “You’re My World” would be my next single in the States. I honestly believe that if I’d sneezed on my next record, then Cilla would have sneezed on hers too. There was no imagination in her recording.” Warwick later covered two of Cilla’s songs – “You’re My World” appeared on Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls, released in 1968 and on the soundtrack to Alfie.Warwick was named the Bestselling Female Vocalist in the Cash Box Magazine poll in 1964, with six chart hits in that year. Cash Box named her the Top Female Vocalist in 1969, 1970 and 1971. In the 1967 Cash Box poll, she was second to Petula Clark, and in 1968’s poll second to Aretha Franklin. Playboy’s influential Music Poll of 1970 named her the Top Female Vocalist. In 1969, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Society named her Woman of the Year.In the May 21, 1965 Time cover article entitled “The Sound of the Sixties”, Warwick’s sound was described as:Swinging World. Scholarly articles probe the relationship between the Beatles and the nouvelle vague films of Jean-Luc Godard, discuss “the brio and elegance” of Dionne Warwick’s singing style as a ‘pleasurable but complex’ event to be ‘experienced without condescension.’ In chic circles, anyone damning rock ‘n’ roll is labeled not only square but uncultured. For inspirational purposes, such hip artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers and Andy Warhol occasionally paint while listening to rock ‘n’ roll music. Explains Warhol: “It makes me mindless, and I paint better.” After gallery openings in Manhattan, the black-tie gatherings often adjourn to a discothèque.In 1965, Eon Productions intended to use Warwick’s song titled “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” as the theme song of the James Bond film Thunderball, until Albert Broccoli insisted that the theme song include the film’s title. A new song was composed and recorded in the eleventh hour titled “Thunderball”, performed by Tom Jones. The melody of “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” remains a major component of the film score. The Ultimate Edition DVD of Thunderball has the Warwick song playing over the titles on one of the commentary track extras, and the song was released on the 30th anniversary CD of Bond songs.The mid-1960s to early 1970s were a more successful time period for Warwick, who saw a string of gold-selling albums and Top 20 and Top 10 hit singles. “Message to Michael”, a Bacharach-David composition that the duo was certain was a “man’s song”, became a top 10 hit for Warwick in May 1966. The January 1967 LP Here Where There Is Love was her first RIAA certified Gold album, and featured “Alfie” and two 1966 hits: “Trains and Boats and Planes” and “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself”. “Alfie” had become a radio hit when disc jockeys across the nation began to play the album cut early in 1967. “Alfie” was released as the “B” side of a Bacharach/David ballad, “The Beginning of Loneliness”, which charted in the Hot 100. Disc jockeys flipped the single and made it a double-sided hit. Bacharach had been contracted to produce “Alfie” for the Michael Caine film of the same name and wanted Warwick to sing the tune, but the British producers wanted a British subject to cut the tune. Cilla Black was selected to record the song, and her version peaked at No. 95 upon its release in the US. A cover version by Cher used in the American prints of the film peaked at No. 33. In the UK and Australia, Black’s version was a Top 10 hit.Her follow-up to “I Say a Little Prayer”, “(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls”, was unusual in several respects. It was not written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David; it was the “B” side of her “I Say a Little Prayer” single, and it was a song that she almost did not record. While the film version of Valley of the Dolls was being made, actress Barbara Parkins suggested that Warwick be considered to sing the film’s theme song, written by songwriting team André and Dory Previn. The song was to be recorded by Judy Garland, who was subsequently fired from the film. Warwick performed the song, and when the film became a success in the early weeks of 1968, disc jockeys flipped the single and made the single one of the biggest double-sided hits of the rock era and another million seller. At the time, RIAA rules allowed only one side of a double-sided hit single to be certified as gold, but Scepter awarded Warwick an “in-house award” to recognize “(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls” as a million selling tune.Warwick had re-recorded a Pat Williams-arranged version of the theme at A&R Studios in New York because contractual restrictions with her label would not allow the Warwick version from the film to be included on the 20th Century Fox soundtrack LP, and reverse legal restrictions would not allow the film version to be used anyplace else in a commercial LP. The LP Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls, released in early 1968 and containing the re-recorded version of the movie theme (No. 2 for weeks), “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and several new Bacharach-David compositions, hit the No. 6 position on the Billboard album chart and would remain on the chart for over a year. The film soundtrack LP, without Warwick vocals, failed to impress the public, while Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls earned an RIAA Gold certification.The single “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” (an international million seller and a Top 10 hit in several countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Mexico) was also a double-sided hit, with the “B” side “Let Me Be Lonely” charting at No. 79. More hits followed into 1971, including “Who Is Gonna Love Me” (#32, 1968) with “B” side, “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” becoming another double-sided hit; “Promises, Promises” (#19, 1968); “This Girl’s in Love with You” (#7, 1969); “The April Fools” (#37, 1969); “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” (#15, 1969); “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” (#6 Pop, #1 AC, 1969); “Make It Easy on Yourself” (#37 Pop, #10 AC, 1970); “Let Me Go to Him” (#32 Pop, #4 AC, 1970); and “Paper Mache” (#43 Pop, #3 AC), 1970). Warwick’s final Bacharach/David penned single on the Scepter label was March 1971’s “Who Gets the Guy” (#52 Pop, #6 AC), 1971), and her final “official” Scepter single release was “He’s Moving On” b/w “Amanda”, (#83 Pop, #12 AC) both from the soundtrack of the motion picture adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s The Love Machine.Warwick had become the priority act of Scepter Records with the release of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” in 1963. Other Scepter LPs certified RIAA Gold include Dionne Warwick’s Golden Hits Part 1 released in 1967 and The Dionne Warwicke Story: A Decade of Gold released in 1971. By the end of 1971, Warwick had sold an estimated 35 million singles and albums internationally in less than nine years and more than 16 million singles in the U.S. alone. Exact figures of her sales are unknown and probably underestimated, due to Scepter Records’ apparently lax accounting policies and the company policy of not submitting recordings for RIAA audit. Warwick became the first Scepter artist to request RIAA audits of her recordings in 1967 with the release of “I Say a Little Prayer”.On September 17, 1969, CBS Television aired Warwick’s first television special, entitled The Dionne Warwick Chevy Special. Warwick’s guests were Burt Bacharach, George Kirby, Glen Campbell, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. In 1970, Warwick formed her own label, Sonday Records, of which she was president. Sonday was distributed by Scepter.In 1971, Warwick left the family atmosphere of Scepter Records for Warner Bros. Records, for a $5 million contract, the most lucrative recording contract given to a female vocalist up to that time, according to Variety. Warwick’s last LP for Scepter was the soundtrack for the motion picture The Love Machine, in which she appeared in an uncredited cameo, released in July 1971. In 1975, Bacharach and David sued Scepter Records for an accurate accounting of royalties due the team from their recordings with Warwick and labelmate B.J. Thomas. They were awarded almost $600,000 and the rights to all Bacharach/David recordings on the Scepter label. The label, with the defection of Warwick to Warner Bros. Records, filed for bankruptcy in 1975 and was sold to Springboard International Records in 1976.Following her signing with Warners, with Bacharach and David as writers and producers, Warwick returned to New York City’s A&R Studios in late 1971 to begin recording her first album for the new label, the self-titled Dionne (not to be confused with her later Arista debut album) in January 1972. The album peaked at No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 Album Chart. In 1972, Burt Bacharach and Hal David scored and wrote the tunes for the motion picture Lost Horizon. However, the film was panned by the critics, and in the fallout, the songwriting duo decided to terminate their working relationship. The break-up left Warwick devoid of their services as her producers and songwriters. She was contractually obligated to fulfill her contract with Warners without Bacharach and David, and she would team with a variety of producers during her tenure with the label.Faced with the prospect of being sued by Warner Bros. Records due to the breakup of Bacharach/David and their failure to honor their contract with Warwick, she filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against her former partners for breach of contract. The suit was settled out of court in 1979 for $5 million, including the rights to all Warwick recordings produced by Bacharach and David.Also in 1971, Warwick had her name changed to “Warwicke” per the advice of Linda Goodman, an astrologer friend, who believed it would bring greater success. A few years later, she reverted to the old spelling after a string of disappointments and an absence from the Billboard top 40.Without the guidance and songwriting that Bacharach/David had provided, Warwick’s career stalled in the early 1970s although she remained a top concert draw throughout the world. There were no big hits during the early and mid part of the decade, aside from 1974’s “Then Came You”, recorded as a duet with the Spinners and produced by Thom Bell. Bell later noted, “Dionne made a (strange) face when we finished [the song]. She didn’t like it much, but I knew we had something. So we ripped a dollar in two, signed each half and exchanged them. I told her, ‘If it doesn’t go number one, I’ll send you my half.’ When it took off, Dionne sent hers back. There was an apology on it.” It was her first U.S. No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Other than this success, Warwick’s five years on Warner Bros. Records produced no other major hits, but “Then Came You” was issued by co-owned Atlantic Records, the Spinners’ label. Two notable songs recorded during this period were “His House and Me” and “Once You Hit The Road” (#79 pop, #5 R&B, #22 Adult Contemporary), both of which were produced in 1975 by Thom Bell.Warwick recorded five albums with Warners: Dionne (1972), produced by Bacharach and David and a modest chart success; Just Being Myself (1973), produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland; Then Came You (1975), produced by Jerry Ragovoy; Track of the Cat (1975), produced by Thom Bell; and Love at First Sight (1977), produced by Steve Barri and Michael Omartian. Her five-year contract with Warners expired in 1977, and with that, she ended her stay at the label. Warwick’s dry spell on the American charts ended with her signing to Arista Records in 1979, where she began a second highly successful run of hit records and albums well into the late 1980s.With the move to Arista Records and the release of her RIAA-certified million seller “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” in 1979, Warwick was again enjoying top success on the charts. The song was produced by Barry Manilow. The accompanying album, Dionne, was certified Platinum in the United States for sales exceeding one million units. The album peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Album Chart and made the Top 10 of the Billboard R&B Albums Chart. Warwick had been personally signed and guided by the label’s founder Clive Davis, who told her, “You may be ready to give the business up, but the business is not ready to give you up.” Warwick’s next single release was another major hit. “Deja Vu” was co-written by Isaac Hayes and hit No. 1 Adult Contemporary as well as No. 15 on Billboard’s Hot 100. In 1980, Warwick won the NARAS Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female for “Déjà Vu”. She became the first female artist in the history of the awards to win in both categories the same year. Her second Arista album, 1980’s No Night So Long sold 500,000 U.S. copies and featured the title track which became a major success — hitting #1 Adult Contemporary and #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100 — and the album peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard Albums Chart.In January 1980, while under contract to Arista Records, Warwick hosted a two-hour TV special called Solid Gold ’79. This was adapted into the weekly one-hour show Solid Gold, which she hosted throughout 1980 and 1981 and again in 1985–86. Major highlights of each show were the duets she performed with her co-hosts, which often included some of Warwick’s hits and her co-hosts’ hits, intermingled and arranged by Solid Gold musical director Michael Miller. Another highlight in each show was Warwick’s vocal rendition of the Solid Gold theme, composed by Miller (with lyrics by Dean Pitchford).After a brief appearance in the Top Forty in early 1982 with Johnny Mathis on “Friends in Love” — from the album of the same name — Warwick’s next hit later that same year was her full-length collaboration with Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees for the album Heartbreaker. The song became one of Warwick’s biggest international hits, returning her to the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 as well as No. 1 Adult Contemporary and No. 2 in both the UK and Australia. The tune was also a Top 10 hit throughout continental Europe, Australia (No. 1), Japan, South Africa, Canada and Asia. The title track was taken from the album of the same name which sold over 3 million copies internationally and earned Warwick an RIAA Gold record award in the US. In Britain, the disc was certified Platinum. Warwick later stated to Wesley Hyatt in his Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits that she was not initially fond of “Heartbreaker” but recorded the tune because she trusted the Bee Gees’ judgment that it would be a hit. The project came about when Clive Davis was attending his aunt’s wedding in Orlando, Florida in early 1982 and spoke with Barry Gibb. Gibb mentioned that he had always been a fan of Warwick’s, and Davis arranged for Warwick and the Bee Gees to discuss a project. Warwick and the Gibb brothers obviously hit it off as both the album and the title single were released in October 1982 to massive success.In 1983, Warwick released How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye, produced by Luther Vandross. The album’s most successful single was the title track, “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye”, a Warwick/Vandross duet, which peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became a Top 10 hit on the Adult Contemporary and R&B charts. The album peaked at No. 57 on the Billboard album chart. Of note was a reunion with the original Shirelles on Warwick’s cover of “Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow?” The album Finder of Lost Loves followed in 1984 and reunited her with both Barry Manilow and Burt Bacharach, who was writing with his then current lyricist partner and wife, Carole Bayer Sager. In 1985, Warwick contributed her voice to the multi-Grammy Award winning charity song “We Are the World”, along with vocalists like Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Ray Charles. The song spent four consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the year’s biggest hit — certified four times Platinum in the United States alone.In 1985, Warwick recorded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) benefit single “That’s What Friends Are For” alongside Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. The single, credited to “Dionne and Friends”, was released in October and eventually raised over three million dollars for that cause. The tune was a triple No. 1 — R&B, Adult Contemporary, and four weeks at the summit on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1986 — selling close to two million 45s in the United States alone. “Working against AIDS, especially after years of raising money for work on many blood-related diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, seemed the right thing to do. You have to be granite not to want to help people with AIDS, because the devastation that it causes is so painful to see. I was so hurt to see my friend die with such agony,” Warwick told The Washington Post in 1988. “I am tired of hurting and it does hurt.” The single won the performers the NARAS Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, as well as Song of the Year for its writers, Bacharach and Bayer Sager. It also was ranked by Billboard magazine as the most popular song of 1986. With this single Warwick also released her most successful album of the 1980s, titled Friends, which reached No. 12 on Billboard’s album chart. In 1987 Dionne Warwick won the Special Recognition Award at the American Music Awards for “That’s What Friends Are For”.In 1987 Warwick scored another hit with “Love Power”. Her eighth career No. 1 Adult Contemporary hit, it also reached No. 5 in R&B and No. 12 on Billboard’s Hot 100. A duet with Jeffrey Osborne, it was also written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, and it was featured in Warwick’s album Reservations for Two. The album’s title song, a duet with Kashif, was also a chart hit. Other artists featured on the album included Smokey Robinson and June Pointer.During the 1990s, Warwick hosted infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network, which featured self-described psychic Linda Georgian. The 900 number psychic service was active from 1991 to 1998. According to press statements throughout the 1990s, the program was the most successful infomercial for several years and Warwick earned in excess of three million dollars per year as spokesperson for the network. In 1998, Inphomation, the corporation owning the network, filed for bankruptcy and Warwick ended her association with the organization. Warwick’s longtime friend and tour manager Henry Carr acknowledged that “when Dionne was going through an airport and a child recognized her as ‘that psychic lady on TV’, Dionne was crushed and said she had worked too hard as an entertainer to become known as ‘the psychic lady.'”Warwick’s most publicized album during this period was 1993’s Friends Can Be Lovers, which was produced in part by Ian Devaney and Lisa Stansfield. Featured on the album was “Sunny Weather Lover”, which was the first song that Burt Bacharach and Hal David had written together for Warwick since 1972. It was Warwick’s lead single in the United States, and was heavily promoted by Arista, but failed to chart. A follow-up “Where My Lips Have Been” peaked at No. 95 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. The 1994 Aquarela Do Brasil album marked the end of Warwick’s contract with Arista Records. In 1990, Warwick recorded the song “It’s All Over” with former member of Modern Talking Dieter Bohlen (Blue System). The single peaked at No. 60 (No. 33 airplay) on the German pop charts and it was covered on Blue System’s album Déjà Vu.In 1993, Forrest Sawyer, host of the ABC News/Entertainment program Day One, alleged financial improprieties by the Warwick Foundation, founded in 1989 to benefit AIDS patients, and particularly Warwick’s charity concert performances organized to benefit the organization as “America’s Ambassador of Health.” The network news magazine story, “That’s What Friends Are For,” reported that the Warwick Foundation was operating at over 90% administrative cost, donating only about 3% of the money it raised to AIDS groups. Several AIDS groups and nonprofit experts criticized her foundation, including an AIDS group in the Virgin Islands that claimed she nearly bankrupted them after extravagant expenses left nothing for local charities. ABC reported that Warwick flew first class and was accommodated at first-class hotels for charity concerts and events in which she participated for the Warwick Foundation, managed by her close confident, Guy Draper, a former chief of protocol for former Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry, and who had a history of bankruptcies. Warwick alleged that the ABC report was racially motivated and threatened to sue ABC News for defamation, although a suit was never filed. The Internal Revenue Service began an investigation of the Warwick Foundation after other complaints were filed, and the Warwick Foundation was later dissolved. ABC’s story was nominated for a national Emmy award in 1994 and won a prestigious Investigative Reporters and Editors national television award in 1993.On October 16, 2002, Warwick was nominated to be Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).In 2004, Warwick’s first Christmas album was released. The CD, entitled My Favorite Time of the Year featured jazzy interpretations of many holiday classics. In 2007, Rhino Records re-released the CD with new cover art.In 2005, Warwick was honored by Oprah Winfrey at her Legends Ball. She appeared on the May 24, 2006, fifth-season finale of American Idol. Warwick sang a medley of “Walk On By” and “That’s What Friends Are For”, with longtime collaborator Burt Bacharach accompanying her on the piano.In 2006, Warwick signed with Concord Records after a fifteen-year tenure at Arista, which had ended in 1994. Her first and only release for the label was My Friends and Me, a duets album containing reworkings of her old hits, very similar to her 1998 CD Dionne Sings Dionne. Among her singing partners were Gloria Estefan, Olivia Newton-John, Wynonna Judd and Reba McEntire. The album peaked at No. 66 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was produced by her son, Damon Elliott. A follow-up album featuring Warwick’s old hits as duets with male vocalists was planned, but the project was cancelled. The relationship with Concord concluded with the release of My Friends and Me. A compilation CD of her greatest hits and love songs, The Love Collection, entered the UK album chart at number 27 on February 16, 2008.Warwick’s second gospel album, Why We Sing, was released on February 26, 2008 in the United Kingdom and on April 1, 2008 in the United States. The album features guest spots by her sister Dee Dee Warwick and BeBe Winans.On October 18, 2008, Dee Dee died in a nursing home in Essex County, New Jersey. She had been in failing health for several months.On November 24, 2008, Warwick was the star performer on “Divas II”, a UK ITV1 special. The show also featured Rihanna, Leona Lewis, the Sugababes, Pink, Gabriella Climi and Anastacia.In 2008, Warwick began recording an album of songs from the Sammy Cahn and Jack Wolf songbooks. The finished recording, entitled Only Trust Your Heart, was released in 2011.On October 20, 2009, Starlight Children’s Foundation and New Gold Music Ltd. released a song that Warwick had recorded about ten years prior called “Starlight”. The lyrics were written by Dean Pitchford, prolific writer of Fame, screenwriter of — and sole or joint lyricist of every song in the soundtrack of — the original 1984 film Footloose, and lyricist of the Solid Gold theme. The music had been composed by Bill Goldstein, whose versatile career included the original music for NBC’s Fame TV series. Warwick, Pitchford and Goldstein announced that they would be donating 100% of their royalties to Starlight Children’s Foundation, to support Starlight’s mission to help seriously ill children and their families cope with pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.When Bill and Dean brought this song to me, I instantly felt connected to its message of shining a little light into the lives of people who need it most”, said Warwick. “I admire the work of Starlight Children’s Foundation and know that if the song brings hope to even just one sick child, we have succeeded.In 2011, the New Jazz style CD Only Trust Your Heart was released, featuring many Sammy Cahn songs. In March 2011, Warwick appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice 4. Her charity was the Hunger Project. She was dismissed from her “apprenticeship” to Donald Trump during the fourth task of the season. In February 2012, Warwick performed “Walk On By” on The Jonathan Ross Show. She also received the Goldene Kamera Musical Lifetime Achievement Award in Germany, and performed “That’s What Friends Are For” at the ceremony.On May 28, 2012, Warwick headlined the World Hunger Day concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall. She sang “One World One Song”, specially written for the Hunger Project by Tony Hatch and Tim Holder and was joined by Joe McElderry, the London Community Gospel Choir and a choir from Woodbridge School, Woodbridge, Suffolk.In 2012, the 50th anniversary CD entitled NOW was released; Warwick recorded 12 Bacharach/David tracks produced by Phil Ramone.On September 19, 2013, she collaborated with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus for his song “Hope Is Just Ahead”.In 2014, the duets album Feels So Good was released. Funkytowngrooves re-issued the remastered Arista albums No Night So Long, How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye (“So Amazing”), and Finder of Lost Loves (“Without Your Love”), all expanded with bonus material.In December 2015, Warwick’s website released the Tropical Love EP with five tracks previously unreleased from the Aquarel Do Brasil Sessions in 1994 – To Say Goodbye (Pra Dizer Adeus) with Edu Lobo – Love Me – Lullaby – Bridges (Travessia) – Rainy Day Girl with Ivan Lins.A Heartbreaker two-disc expanded edition was planned for a 2016 release by Funkytowngrooves, which would include the original Heartbreaker album and up to 15 bonus tracks consisting of a mixture of unreleased songs, alternate takes, and instrumentals, with more remastered and expanded Arista albums to follow. In 2016, she was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.In 2017, she performed a benefit in Chicago for the Center on Halstead, an organization that contributes to the LGBTQ community. This event was co-chaired by Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama. Also that year, she made a cameo appearance in the Christian drama Let There Be Light directed by Kevin Sorbo.In 2020, she appeared as the Mouse on season 3 of The Masked Singer. She was eliminated in the fifth round, but came back during the first part of the season three finale to sing “What the World Needs Now is Love” with the finalists Night Angel, Frog and Turtle as a tribute to the healthcare workers working on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic. This performance was created after the season wrapped production in March. Warwick made a guest appearance during Gladys Knight’s and Patti Labelle’s Verzuz battle. Together they performed Warwick’s song, “That’s What Friends Are For”. They closed with their collaborative song “Superwoman”.In My Life, as I See It: An Autobiography, Warwick lists her honorary doctorate from Hartt among those awarded by six other institutions: Hartt College, Bethune-Cookman University, Shaw University, Columbia College of Chicago, Lincoln College, Illinois [May 2010, Doctor of Arts (hon.)], and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.On February 10, 2021, Dionne got nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the first time.Warwick will appear in a documentary revolving around her life and career Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over which will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2021.In 1966, Warwick married actor and drummer William Elliott; they divorced in May 1967. They reconciled and were remarried in Milan, Italy, in August 1967. On January 18, 1969, while living in East Orange, New Jersey, she gave birth to her first son, David Elliott. In 1973, her second son Damon Elliott was born. On May 30, 1975, the couple separated and Warwick was granted a divorce in December 1975 in Los Angeles. The court denied Elliott’s request for $2,000 a month (equivalent to $9,600 in 2020) in support pending a community property trial, and for $5,000, when he insisted he was making $500 a month in comparison to Warwick making $100,000 a month (equivalent to $481,000 in 2020). Warwick stated “I was the breadwinner. The male ego is a fragile thing. It’s hard when the woman is the breadwinner. All my life, the only man who ever took care of me financially was my father. I have always taken care of myself.”In 2002 Warwick was arrested at Miami International Airport for possession of marijuana. It was discovered that she had 11 suspected marijuana cigarettes inside her carry-on luggage, hidden in a lipstick container. She was charged with possessing marijuana totaling less than five grams. Warwick made the Top 250 Delinquent Taxpayers List published in October 2007. California Revenue & Taxation Code Section 19195 directs the Franchise Tax Board to publish an annual list of the top 250 taxpayers with liened state income tax delinquencies greater than $100,000 in an effort to collect money from those taxpayers, some of whom have been delinquent since 1987. Warwick was listed with a tax delinquency of $2,665,305.83 in personal income tax and a tax lien was filed July 24, 1997. The IRS eventually discovered that a large portion of the lien was due to an accounting error, and revoked $1.2mil of the tax lien in 2009.Warwick lived in Brazil, a country she first visited in the early 1960s, from ? until 2005, according to an interview with JazzWax, when she moved back to the United States to be near her ailing mother and sister. She became so entranced by Brazil that she studied Portuguese and divided her time between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In April 2010, in an interview on talk-show Programa do Jô, she said Brazil was the place where she intended to spend the rest of her life after retiring.In 1993, her older son David, a former Los Angeles police officer, co-wrote with Terry Steele the Warwick-Whitney Houston duet “Love Will Find a Way”, featured on her album Friends Can Be Lovers. Since 2002, he has periodically toured with and performed duets with his mother, and had his acting debut in the film Ali as the singer Sam Cooke. David became a singer-songwriter, with Luther Vandross’ “Here and Now” among others to his credit.Her second son, Damon Elliott, is a music producer, who has worked with Mýa, Pink, Christina Aguilera and Keyshia Cole. He arranged and produced his mother’s 2006 Concord release My Friends and Me. She received a 2014 Grammy Award nomination in the Traditional Pop Category for her 2013 album release, Now.On January 24, 2015, Warwick was hospitalized after a fall in the shower at her home. After ankle surgery, she was discharged from the hospital.Warwick declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Jersey on March 21, 2013. Due to the reported mismanagement of her business affairs, she listed liabilities that included nearly $7 million owed to the Internal Revenue Service for the years 1991 to 1999 and more than $3 million in business taxes owed to the state of California. Unable to work out an agreement with tax officials, she and her attorney decided that declaring bankruptcy would be the best course of action.Warwick’s sister Dee Dee Warwick also had a successful singing career, scoring several notable R&B hits in the US, including the original version of “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”. Dee Dee recorded the original version of the song “You’re No Good”, which later became a 1963 No. 5 R&B hit for Betty Everett, a 1964 No. 3 UK hit for The Swinging Blue Jeans and a 1975 No. 1 pop hit for Linda Ronstadt. In 1966, the Swinging Blue Jeans had a No. 31 UK hit with a cover of Dionne’s “Don’t Make Me Over”, thus appearing in the UK Singles Chart with covers of songs from both Warwick sisters.Warwick’s maternal aunt is gospel-trained vocalist Cissy Houston, mother of Warwick’s cousin, singer Whitney Houston.In her 2011 autobiography, My Life, as I See It, Warwick notes that opera diva Leontyne Price is a maternal cousin.
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event is a 2007 American biographical drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington. It is based on an article written about the Wiley College debate team by Tony Scherman for the spring 1997 issue of American Legacy. The film co-stars Forest Whitaker, Denzel Washington, Kimberly Elise, Nate Parker, Gina Ravera, Jermaine Williams and Jurnee Smollett. The screenplay is written by Robert Eisele, with story by Robert Eisele and Jeffrey Porro. The film was released in theaters on December 25, 2007.Today in our History – December 11, 2007 – The Great Debaters was released on the big screen.Moving into the heart of its 2018-2019 competition season, the Melvin B. Tolson/Denzel Washington Forensics Society of Wiley College continues to rack up impressive tournament results. Most recently, Wiley’s Great Debaters placed fourth overall on November 2 in the historic 71st LE Norton Invitational, its highest finish ever at this event, which is held each year at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. With almost 30 schools in attendance, including the University of Alabama, University of Nebraska-Omaha, University of Illinois, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Minnesota-Mankato, the LE Norton Invitational is one of the largest regular season tournaments in the nation.On October 26, Wiley’s Great Debaters co-hosted the Rage on the Bayou Tournament with the University of Louisiana-LaFayette Speech Team, claiming third place behind the formidable squads from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Alabama. Other schools that competed at the tournament included University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Rice University, and Texas State University.The results of each student who competed at the tournaments are as follows:ahmane Dixon, a sophomore from Houston, placed 5th in Persuasive Speaking, and 4th in Impromptu Speaking.Cardero Berryman, a junior from Houston, was the tournament champion in Duo Interpretation with Micah Williams, a sophomore from Houston.Micah Williams placed 6th in Poetry Interpretation as well as was tournament champion in Duo Interpretation with Cardero Berryman.Fortune Onwunali and Danielle Jones, both juniors from Houston, placed 4th in Duo Interpretation.Omari Hawkins, a senior from Tyler, Texas, placed 6th in Prose Interpretation and 3rd in Poetry Interpretation.Emmanuela Wade, a junior from Atlanta, Georgia, placed 5th in Dramatic Interpretation, 5th in Prose Interpretation, and was tournament champion in Poetry Interpretation.Also contributing to Wiley’s success: Louis Mendez, a junior from Houston; Dimitri Brooks, a junior from Houston,; Maliq Wright, a senior from Houston; Zakeyus Pledger, a junior from Kansas City, Missouri; and Stephanie Cancel, a junior from Brooklyn, New York.Curtis Milby, a senior from Hodgenville, Kentucky, placed 4th in Dramatic Interpretation at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette portion, and 5th in informative speaking as well as taking 1st in Dramatic Interpretation at the Wiley College tournament.Omari Hawkins, a senior from Tyler, Texas, placed 7th in Prose Interpretation at the Wiley College tournament.Nala Johnson, a senior from Camden, New Jersey, placed 6th in Dramatic Interpretation, and 6th in Program Oral Interpretation at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette portion, as well as placing 7th in Dramatic Interpretation at the Wiley College tournament.Fortune Onwunali, a junior from Houston, Texas, placed 5th in Program Oral Interpretation and 4th in Duo Interpretation with Danielle Jones, a junior from Houston, at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette portion, as well placing 4th in Program Oral Interpretation and 4th in Duo Interpretation with Danielle Jones at the Wiley College tournament.Danielle Jones placed 6th in Persuasive Speaking, 5th in Poetry Interpretation, and 4th in Duo Interpretation with Fortune Onwunali, and she also placed 4th in Duo Interpretation with Fortune Onwunali at the Wiley College tournament.Stephanie Cancel, a junior from Brooklyn, New York, placed 1st in Dramatic Interpretation and 1st in Poetry Interpretation at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette portion.Also contributing to the team’s success was Zakeyus Pledger, a junior from Kansas City, Missouri. Research more about this great American Champion success story and share it with your babes. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American hotelier who was among the most successful African-American hoteliers in the country during his era.Today in our History – December 10, 1854 – Edwin C. Berry (1854-1931) was born.Berry was born at Oberlin, Ohio, in 1854, and was taken by his parents at the age of two years to Albany, Ohio, where unusual school facilities were offered African-American children.When he was old enough, he was sent to the Albany public schools, and when the Albany Enterprise Academy, a school for African-American children, was erected, he was able to attend it for a short time. Unfortunately, his father died in 1870 and young Berry was compelled, at the age of sixteen, to leave school and help provide for his family, in which there were eight children younger than himself.In his search for work he walked ten miles to Athens, Ohio, and was very happy to secure work in a brick yard at fifty cents a day. In a short time his work improved until he was earning $1.25 a day, the greater part of which he was able to divide with his family.He was never too proud to do any kind of honest labor, and although his work was hard and not inviting, it was the best he could do, and he decided to do it well. During the summers he remained at the brick yard, and in the winters was usually able to find employment in stores or elsewhere as a delivery boy or clerk.It was during these difficult years that he learned to practice economy. He did not use tobacco or intoxicants; because he could not afford them then. He said he was not able to afford them afterward, either. He also learned to seize opportunities which other boys allowed to slip by them.Whenever a circus came to town the other boys eagerly spent some of their hard earned money to see the show, but young Berry turned the circus to profit. He would rig up a refreshment booth and thus make more money than he would had he stayed at the brick yard.Whenever there were excursions, that form of extravagance in which so many of our people sink their savings, Berry would always get the privilege of selling refreshments on the train, thus enjoying the excursion and making a profit at the same time.Speaking of economy, he said once that on many occasions he has walked ten miles to his home so that he might have an additional twenty-five cents for the dear ones there. While he was working at the brick yard, it was his custom to work every day and half the night, thus making the week nine days long.On rainy days when the brick yard was idle he would find some chores to do, or go to the country after cream for the ice cream makers. The first winter after the death of his father he worked at hauling bricks until his hands were cut to the quick by handling the rough surfaces. He was more than rewarded, however, by earning enough to take home four barrels of flour which were all paid for, at $7.80 per barrel.His first indoor work was in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where he was employed as errand boy in a dry goods store at $10 per month. Of this amount he regularly sent his mother $8 every month. It was in Parkersburg that he first secured work along the line in which he was afterwards to make so great a success. He got work in an ice cream parlor, where he served as a waiter.Returning to Athens, he secured employment in a restaurant, where he picked up the profession of catering. He soon became so proficient in this profession that he became personally in demand among the customers of his employers. The thought naturally occurred to him that if he could do so well for others he could do still better for himself.Meanwhile, in 1878, he married his schoolmate, Miss Mattie Madry, and began housekeeping in one room, in which, however, everything was paid for.The idea of setting up in business for himself would not leave his mind, but as he had no capital and no credit, the way seemed dark before him. His wife came to his aid. By her intercession her parents were persuaded to allow Berry to put the three dollars which he had been paying them weekly for his wife’s board into what they called the “business capital.”In a few months he was able to start with his elder brother in the restaurant business with a capital of forty dollars. They commenced as “Berry Brothers”, but, as the business was not large enough for two, Berry bought his brother out and went along alone.When Berry’s employer learned that his best employee was about to set up as his rival, he was angry, and warned Berry that if he failed and returned looking for employment he would not get it, or even a meal if he were hungry. Berry had the pleasure some time later of materially assisting this man when he himself got into trouble.The business prospered from the first, and by 1880 Berry was able to buy a lot for $1,300. As soon as the lot was paid for, Berry secured a loan of $2,000 and put up his first building, which is to-day a part of the Hotel Berry. He did a prosperous trade as caterer and confectioner and soon had to hire a young man as assistant.Berry’s success continued until 1893, when he decided to enter the hotel business. At first the outlook was gloomy. In the first place, the merchants of Athens met and decided to boycott any traveling salesman who stopped at the Hotel Berry.In July 1893 occurred the great panic, and on many a night Berry closed up with only one guest on the register. He had incurred a mortgage of $8,000 at seven percent interest. and was compelled to apply at the banks to borrow money to meet his notes. On one occasion both banks in the city refused to let him have money.He was almost in despair. As Berry was going out of the second bank a friend of his, who was standing by, seeing the look of distress on his face, asked him what the trouble was. Berry told him. The friend drew $500, the sum needed, from his private deposit and handed it to Berry, telling him to take it and use it without interest until he could repay it. This is the only time in his career, Berry said, that any person offered him any encouragement beyond empty words.The panic subsided, and the merchants were unable to drive the salesmen from Berry’s hotel. One example will show the methods used by Berry to make his hotel popular. At night, after his guests had fallen asleep, it was his custom to go around and gather up their clothes and take them to his wife, who would add buttons which were lacking, repair rents, and press the garments, after which Berry would replace them in the guests’ rooms. Guests who had received such treatment returned again and brought their friends with them.The Hotel Berry became the leading hotel in Athens. As of 1907, the hotel had fifty rooms, with baths and all modern conveniences, and an elevator. The hotel was so popular that men came from considerable distances just to spend Sunday there, and was a landmark on the trail of commercial travelers. Berry never refused to serve African-American men at his hotel — indeed, he said he would rather lose his customers than to be guilty of that sort of disloyalty. 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 politician. He was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois. He served from November 1970 until he was killed in a plane crash on December 8, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois at age 47.Today in our History – December 8, 1972 – George Washington Collins (March 5, 1925 – December 8, 1972) died.Collins was born in Chicago, grew up on the near-north side, and attended Waller High School (now known as Lincoln Park High School). After high school, Collins served with the Army engineers in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, Collins held positions with the Cook County sheriff’s department, the Municipal Court system, and the Board of Health, and as administrative assistant to health commissioner prior to being sent to Congress.Collins studied business law at Northwestern University before entering into politics. From 1964–1970, Collins served as a member of the Chicago city council, becoming an alderman in the 24th ward to replace the murdered Benjamin F. Lewis. Collins was then elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of U.S. Rep. Daniel J. Ronan and reelected to the succeeding Congress and served until his death.Collins died on December 8, 1972 when United Airlines Flight 553 crashed on approach to Chicago Midway International Airport. Collins was a passenger on the flight. His wife Cardiss Collins was elected to his seat (which had been redistricted to the 7th district) shortly thereafter. Cardiss Collins was the first African American woman to represent a Midwestern district in Congress, and served in the House of Representatives from 1973 until her retirement in 1997, a tenure of over 23 years.In April 1976, The Chicago Public Schools opened Collins Academy High School, a public neighborhood high school in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood in his honor. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!