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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963. Credit:-/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963. Credit:-/AFP/Getty Images

On Aug. 28, 1963,  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his rousing, “I Have a Dream” speech to over 250,000 civil rights supporters gathered for the March on Washington. The speech calls for an end to racism in America. It was considered by many to be the most important speech of the Twentieth Century and helped advance President John F. Kennedy‘s important civil rights legislation then in Congress.

At the March on Washington, August 1963, peaceful African-Americans called for decent jobs with equal pay.

At the March on Washington, August 1963, peaceful African-Americans called for decent jobs with equal pay.

Dr. King timed his March on Washington to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln‘s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation which freed millions of American black slaves in 1863.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stands in front of the statue of President Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. ca. 1963

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stands in front of the statue of President Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. ca. 1963

His opening lines in his speech evoke the Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln:

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.” 

Dr. King asked for justice to be made a reality for all of God’s children.

We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities….

We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. “(1)

He spoke of his dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’


I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.'”

***

Fast forward to August 28, 2013, the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s March on Washington and his landmark speech. 

Anderson Cooper of CNN is interviewing African-American writer Maya Angelou (1928-2014). They reflect on the state of Dr. King’s dream. Maya Angelou knew Dr. King and was part of the struggle for civil rights change in this country.

Cooper: Do you believe that the arc of history is moving in the right direction? President Obama, recently, when he was talking about Trayvon Martin, he said that he looks at his daughters and that his daughters’ generation is better than his generation was. Do you believe that?

Angelou: Yes, I do. I know that there was a time when people were lynched with everybody’s agreement – not everybody – but with the “Might’s” agreement. The might was white and white was might and so people were lynched.

I grew up in a village in Arkansas where a man was lynched and the skin of his body – after being lynched and burned – the skin was taken off in skin the size of a postage stamp and given to people as mementoes.

You can’t do that in the United States today. I mean you can lynch people and murder people in many ways but you can’t do it in the city square.

Cooper: Hmm.

Angelou: You see? We are better. Not nearly enough. Not nearly enough. But we come and we have to admit that. Because, Mr. Cooper, if we don’t, young people will say, ‘You mean to tell me, with the lives and deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and Rosa Parks and the Kennedys, then there’s no point in me trying, because those people were bigger than life.’ So we have to say, ‘You have come a long way.’

***

President Barack Obama spoke from the Lincoln Memorial steps to honor the half-century anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic speech, “I Have a Dream.” August 28, 2013.

Our first African-American president was on hand at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the March on Washington Celebration. Like Dr. King, President Barack Obama is a great orator. In his speech to those gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, he echoed Maya Angelou’s sentiment in regard to the civil rights movement, progress, and where America stands.

To dismiss the magnitude of this progress, to suggest as some sometimes do that little has changed, that dishonors the courage and the sacrifice of those who paid the price to march in those years.”

Members of Dr. King’s family, including his then 5-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda King, were present as bells rang at 3 p.m. to mark the historical moment.

President Obama greets Yolanda King, age 5, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s granddaughter at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. August 28, 2013. Credit; Getty Images

President Obama greets Yolanda King, age 5, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s granddaughter at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. August 28, 2013. Credit; Getty Images

For more on Maya Angelou, click here.

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Maya Angelou (Undated photo)

Maya Angelou (Undated photo)

American writer Maya Angelou (1928-2014) had deep political ties with the Clintons. In 1993, she read her poem, “Pulse of the Morning” at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Both she and Bill were from Arkansas. In 2008, she supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary race for the U.S. presidency against Barack Obama, a fellow African-American. It was a tough decision.

Maya Angelou campaigns for Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton prior to the crucial Pennsylvania Primary, 2008. Even though Ms. Angelou walks with a cane, you can see that she is a towering figure at 6 feet tall.

Maya Angelou campaigns for Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton prior to the crucial Pennsylvania Primary, 2008. Even though Ms. Angelou walks with a cane, you can see that she is a towering figure at 6 feet tall.

However, when Hillary dropped out of the race, Maya swiftly endorsed Barack Obama.

When she was asked to introduce Michelle Obama at a rally in North Carolina, she consulted her good friend TV hostess Obama Winfrey:

I knew she had socialized with them. I asked her, ‘What is Mrs. Obama like? What should I expect?’

Oprah said simply and without hesitation, ‘She’s the real deal.'”

The Obamas and Maya Angelou grew very close. She referred to Michelle Obama as one of her “she-roes.”

When she was interviewed followed Obama’s November ’08 victory, Maya was asked by the BBC World Service for her reaction:

My reaction can be described as thrilled – I am thrilling – but in the classic sense of the word. It used to mean having a physical reaction, you know – BRRRR!!!! – like that! (giggle) – where the whole body responds. Well, this is happening. Even my hair is happy!”

When Maya Angelou died this past Wednesday, President Obama called her a “fierce friend.” Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, was named after Angelou.

Maya Angelou receives a Medal of Freedom from President Obama at the White House in Washington in this February 15, 2011 file photo. U.S. author and poet Maya Angelou has died at age 86 in North Carolina.. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

Maya Angelou receives a Medal of Freedom from President Obama at the White House in Washington in this February 15, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

 

First Lady Michelle Obama and Maya Angelou on stage at BET Honors 2012 at the Warner Theatre on January 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Photo from Amanda Wills at Mashable

For more on Maya Angelou, click here.

 

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“Most Wanted Terrorist Dead

Bin Laden Killed in U.S. ‘Targeted Operation'”

05/02/11

U.S. President Barack announces that the enemy of the American people, al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden, has been killed. May 1, 2011

The mastermind of the attacks on September 11, 2001 that killed thousands of innocent men, women, and children has been killed.

President Barack Obama made the announcement late Sunday evening, May 1, in a televised address to the world. He said he had been briefed by the intelligence community last August that bin Laden was in hiding “within a compound deep inside of Pakistan.” Over the intervening months, intelligence agencies worked to confirm the intelligence. Then last week, President Obama determined there was enough intelligence to take action.

Bin Laden was on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list as well as the State Department’s Most Wanted Terrorists list.

Osama Bin Laden, murderer of innocents (1957-2011), issued a fatwa against America and Americans in 1997.

“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan,” the President said from the East Room of the White House:

A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”

Well before the events of 9/11, bin Laden had openly declared war on the U.S. and was committed to killing innocents. His al-Qaeda group was responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The attacks killed over 200 people. Bin Laden was indicted for his role in planning the attacks and added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 1999.

Intelligence agencies quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by bin Laden’s terrorist organization, and in October 2001, his name was added to the U.S. Department of State’s Most Wanted Terrorists List.

“Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome,” President Obama said. “The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.”

The FBI updated its files to show that Public Enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden, is dead. The White House used the code name "Geronimo" for bin Laden.

Source: FBI

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The U.S. Secret Service provided security for Pope Benedict XVI at the Papal Mass in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 2008. Although the agents have no official uniform and can be seen wearing anything from tuxedos to blue jeans, they are often identified by their dark sunglasses, listening devices, and lapel pins bearing the agency's gold star logo.

The United States Secret Service uses code names to refer to the President of the United States, his family, other officials, and places. Originally, these code names were designed to protect sensitive communications, back in the day before restricted communications were routinely encrypted. Nowadays, there is no need to keep these names secret. Nevertheless, The Secret Service who guards the First Family and other U.S. officials continues to use the code names for clarity, brevity, and tradition. (1)

The U.S. Secret Service Star Logo. The U.S. Secret Service protects the President and First Family, other officials of the U.S. government, and visiting dignitaries.

General Code Names

President of the United States:  POTUS

First Lady of the United States:  FLOTUS

Vice President of the United States:  VPOTUS

The Obamas

Barack:  Renegade

Michelle:  Renaissance

Malia:  Radiance

Sasha:  Rosebud

The Bushes

George W.:  Tumbler

Laura:  Tempo

Barbara:  Turquoise

Jenna:  Twinkle

The Clintons

Bill:  Eagle

Hillary:  Evergreen

Chelsea:  Energy

The Bushes

George H.:  Timberwolf

Barbara:  Tranquility

The Carters

Jimmy:  Deacon

Rosalynn:  Dancer

Amy:  Dynamo

Secret Service agents respond to the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. on March 30, 1981. President Reagan took a bullet in the abdomen but made a full recovery.

The Reagans

Ronald:  Rawhide

Nancy:  Rainbow

The Fords

Gerald:  Passkey

Betty:  Pinafore

The Nixons

Richard:  Searchlight

Pat:  Starlight

The Johnsons

Lyndon:  Volunteer

Lady Bird:  Victoria

Lynda Bird:  Velvet

Luci Baines:  Venus

 

A motorcade carries President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy through the streets of Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Texas Governor John Connally and wife Nellie ride in front of the Kennedys.

Secret Service agent Clint Hill stood on the running board of the car behind the Kennedy’s limo.
Agent Hill heard the first shot that hit President Kennedy. Mr Hill is the figure in the famous Zapruder film of the killing which shows him climbing onto the back of the president’s limousine. “I heard the first shot, saw the president grab his throat, lurch left, and I knew something was wrong,” recalled Hill in the book, The Kennedy Detail. Jackie Kennedy can be seen crawling out the back of the car onto the trunk to get help for her slain husband, slumped in the seat.

Agent Hill got in the back seat with Mrs. Kennedy and the president and shielded them with his body on the way to Parkland Hospital.

The Kennedys

John F.:  Lancer

Jackie:  Lace

Caroline:  Lyric

John Jr.:  Lark

Other Individuals

Queen Elizabeth II:  Kittyhawk, Redfern

Prince Charles:  Unicorn

Frank Sinatra:  Napoleon

Pope John Paul II:  Halo

Sarah Palin:  Denali

John McCain:  Phoenix

Places

The White House:  Castle

The Capitol:  Punchbowl

 

(1)  Source: Wiki “Secret Service Codename

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The Obama Family, the first official White House portrait shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz, Sept. 1, 2009

The Obama Family, the first official White House portrait shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz, Sept. 1, 2009

The White House has released the first official – and wonderful! – family portrait of President Barack Obama and his family. The photograph, taken by famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, was shot in the Green Room of the White House on September 1, 2009. It shows a happy First Family, from left to right, the President, his younger daughter Natasha (Sasha), wife Michelle, and older daughter Malia Ann.

The Lovely Michelle Obama

The Lovely Michelle Obama

For those of you who can’t get enough of Michelle Obama’s fashion sense, visit the blog “Mrs. O.”

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Barry Obama in 1980 when a freshman at Occidental College, photo by Lisa Jack (edited here)

Barry Obama in 1980 when a freshman at Occidental College, photo by Lisa Jack

“Barack Obama: The Freshman,” an exhibition of black-and-white photographs by Lisa Jack, is on view at M + B Gallery in Los Angeles. Lisa Jack took the photographs of the man who would be president when both were students at Occidental College (“Oxy”) in L.A in 1980.

Ms. Jack was scouting that year for people to pose for her photographic portrait project. One of her classmates suggested she call a guy named Barry.

“A friend of a friend was telling me about this really handsome guy, and he walked into the campus coffee shop,” she recalled. She asked him to pose and he agreed. They made arrangements to meet. “I photographed a lot of people and it was always interesting what they decided to wear to the shoot.” (1)

A teenage Barack Obama in a 1980 photo by Lisa Jack

A teenage Barack Obama in a 1980 photo by Lisa Jack

Mr. Obama brought along a leather bomber jacket, a Panama hat, and a pack of cigarettes and wore flared jeans. “Straw hats were not something people wore back then,” she added. “It was obvious that he really put some thought into how he wanted to convey himself.”

Friends remember that Barry Obama had clear-cut ideas about his own style. He grew his hair log, wore subdued square-cut Hawaiian shirts and wore sandals.

Ms. Jack hoped Barry would ask her out, but he did not. Although he was pleased with the photographs, they did not maintain contact. Ms. Jack forgot about the photos until the 2008 presidential campaign.

(1) “When He was Barry,” The New York Times, June 18, 2009.

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In an interview with John Harwood of CNBC, President Obama swatted a fly, killing it. PETA condemned the president's fly murder.

In an interview with John Harwood of CNBC, President Obama swatted a fly, killing it. PETA condemned the president's fly murder.

The White House is currently experiencing a fly infestation. Flies are swarming the place, irritating everyone, even the president. During an East Room interview on last Tuesday, June 16, a very large fly was circling President Obama’s head, distracting him. The president stopped talking and watched the fly. When it landed on his hand, he studied it then swatted it, killing it dead. Then he brushed it off his hand onto the floor.

“That was pretty impressive, wasn’t it?” he asked the film crew, while glancing down at the dead fly on the floor. “I got the sucker.”

The New York Times dubbed the president, “The First Exterminator.” The scene was an instant youtube hit and made TV news around the world. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, though, were not amused, and condemned the Obama Fly Murder.

See the video below:

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