US Conference of Mayors’ 84th Winter Meeting

The United States Conference of Mayors, sometimes incorrectly referred to as the United States Council of Mayors, is the official non-partisan organization for cities with populations of 30,000 or more. The cities are each represented by their mayor or other chief elected official. The organization arose from the shadows of the Great Depression and coalesced under Herbert Hoover until its original charter was signed at the Mayflower Hotel on the eve of the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The organization sets policy as the collective voice of municipalities and their leaders. Committees and task forces develop policies that the entire body votes on before sending their resolutions to elected leaders in Washington. They also undertake studies on issues related to their special interests and fund grants and awards to incent execution of their ideals. The group has continuously evaluated the landscape of public policy and has current issues related to homeland security and economic recovery.

By standing as a unified voice through this organization, municipal leaders have influenced United States Presidents and United States Congresses to enact legislation that has provided a legacy of benefits to cities. Mayors received relief during the Great Depression and later lobbied during the 1970s for relief during that economic slowdown. Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs) are a legacy of the latter.

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Conference_of_Mayors’

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The United States Conference of Mayors‘ 84th Winter Meeting
Agenda
Mayors Attending
Website

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January 21, 2016

FACT SHEET: President Obama Hosts Over 250 Mayors to Strengthen Partnerships and Grow the Economy

President Obama today will host over 250 bipartisan Mayors at the White House during their annual U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. During their visit to the White House this evening, the President will thank the Mayors for their steadfast partnerships over the past seven years and will outline the Administration’s priorities for cities across the country in the year ahead. The convening will also focus on the economic progress that each city has made since the President took office.

Throughout the week, senior White House officials and members of the President’s Cabinet participated in plenary sessions and panel discussions on priority issues, including: trade, manufacturing, veteran homelessness, transportation, paid leave, climate change, affordable health care, workforce development, education, My Brother’s Keeper and immigration. Today at the White House, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and senior White House officials will interact with Mayors in a panel discussion on criminal justice reform.

This morning, First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors to discuss the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. In 2010, the Administration set the goal of preventing and ending homelessness among veterans. Through the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, launched in 2014 by First Lady Michelle Obama, more than 800 mayors and other state and local leaders across the country have committed to marshal federal, local, and non-profit efforts to end veteran homelessness in their communities.

Below are some of the ways Mayors are helping to make President Obama’s agenda a reality in cities across the country.

* Criminal Justice Reform and Community Policing: Providing a Second Chance and Building Collaborative Relations Between Law Enforcement And Communities

* Advanced Manufacturing and Tech Innovation: Paving The Way For Jobs And Skills Of The Future

* Trans-Pacific Partnership: Leveling The Playing Field For American Workers

* Education: Furthering The President’s Early Childhood and Community College Education Agenda

* Veterans Homelessness: Marshaling Efforts To End Homelessness For Our Veterans

* Minimum Wage and The Working Families Agenda: Expanding Opportunity For Middle Class Families

* Climate and Energy: Launching New Programs and Policies On Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

* Transportation and Infrastructure: Expanding Ladders of Opportunity Through Infrastructure

* Smart Cities: Launching The Metrolab Network and The Smart City Challenge

* Affordable Care Act: Opening Access To Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans

* My Brother’s Keeper: Expanding Opportunity For All Youth

* Immigration: Making Progress in Communities Across the Country

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/21/fact-sheet-president-obama-hosts-over-250-mayors-strengthen-partnerships

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11:30 AM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks on ending Veteran homelessness at the 84th Winter Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors
Capital Hilton Hotel – Washington

5:10 PM ET
President Obama delivers remarks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors
East Room

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The United States Conference of Mayors’ 84th Winter Meeting
January 20-22, 2016
Washington, DC

#USCMWinter16

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World Economic Forum 2016 & VPOTUS Takes on Cancer Cure

World Economic Forum

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.’

Learn more: http://www.weforum.org/about/world-economic-forum

 

WEF Reports

For more: http://www.weforum.org/reports

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
January 20-23, 2016
Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

#WEF16

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.  King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994. Since 1996, the annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service.  has been the largest event in the nation honoring Dr. King. In honor of MLK, volunteers across the country donate their time to make a difference on this day.

Explore the mlkday.gov site to learn more about MLK Day and how you can participate.

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DNC 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Debate – S. Carolina

Proud to be a Democrat
The Democratic National Party
For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers’ rights, and women’s rights.

We are the party of Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, FDR, and the countless everyday Americans who work each day to build a more perfect union.

1920’s 

19TH AMENDMENT: WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE

Under the leadership of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson, the U.S. Constitution was amended to grant women the right to vote. In August of 1920, Tennessee’s became the 36th state to ratify women’s suffrage, and it became our nation’s 19th amendment.

1930’s 

Americans turned to Democrats and elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt to end the Great Depression. President Roosevelt offered Americans a New Deal that put people back to work, stabilized farm prices, and brought electricity to rural homes and communities. Under President Roosevelt, Social Security established a promise that lasts to this day: growing old would never again mean growing poor.

SOCIAL SECURITY ACT – One of the most enduring parts of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Social Security Act provides assistance to retirees, the unemployed, widows, and orphans. By signing this act, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to advocate for federal assistance for the elderly. It was largely opposed by Republican legislators.

1940’s 

In 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill—a historic measure that provided unprecedented benefits for soldiers returning from World War II, including low-cost mortgages, loans to start a business, and tuition and living expenses for those seeking higher education. Harry Truman helped rebuild Europe after World War II with the Marshall Plan and oversaw the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. By integrating the military, President Truman helped to bring down barriers of race and gender and pave the way the way for civil rights advancements in the years that followed.

In the 1960s, Americans again turned to Democrats and elected President John F. Kennedy to tackle the challenges of a new era. President Kennedy dared Americans to put a man on the moon, created the Peace Corps, and negotiated a treaty banning atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.

And after President Kennedy’s assassination, Americans looked to President Lyndon Johnson, who offered a new vision of a Great Society and signed into law the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

1960’s 

 CIVIL RIGHTS ACT – This landmark piece of legislation outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women and prohibited racial segregation. Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, it ended unequal voting requirements and segregated schools, workplaces, and public facilities.

President Johnson’s enactment of Medicare was a watershed moment in America’s history that redefined our country’s commitment to our seniors—offering a new promise that all Americans have the right to a healthy retirement.

1970’s 

In 1976, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Americans elected Jimmy Carter to restore dignity to the White House. He created the Departments of Education and Energy and helped to forge a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt.

1990’s

In 1992, after 12 years of Republican presidents, record budget deficits, and high unemployment, Americans turned to Democrats once again and elected Bill Clinton to get America moving again. President Clinton balanced the budget, helped the economy add 23 million new jobs, and oversaw the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in history.
21st century

21st Century

In 2008, Americans turned to Democrats and elected President Obama to reverse our country’s slide into the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression and undo eight years of policies that favored the few over the many.

Under President Obama’s direction and congressional Democrats’ leadership, we’ve reformed a health care system that was broken and extended health insurance to 32 million Americans.

.PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT –  After decades of trying and despite unanimous opposition from Republicans, President Obama and Democrats passed comprehensive health reform into law in March 2010. The Affordable Care Act will hold insurance companies accountable, lower costs, expand coverage, and improve care for all Americans.

We’ve reined in a financial system that was out of control and delivered the toughest consumer protections ever enacted.

We’ve reworked our student loan system to make higher education more affordable.

We passed the Recovery Act, which created or helped to save millions of jobs and made unprecedented investments in the major pillars of our country.

From America’s beginnings to today, people have turned to Democrats to meet our country’s most pressing challenges—and pave the way for a future that lifts up all Americans.

Democratic Party – ISSUES
Civil Rights
Education
Energy Independence
Environment
Health Care
Immigration Reform
Jobs and the Economy
National Security
Open Government
Retirement Security
Science and Technology
Voting Rights

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2016 Presidential Democratic Candidates - Oct 2015

2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Debate

Democratic National Committee announced that six debates are scheduled — at a pace of roughly one per month , this will give voters ample opportunities to hear the 2016 Democratic Presidential candidates discuss their visions for our country’s future.

Debates provide a opportunity for our candidates to engage in a rigorous discussion, not only with each other, but also to show the American people where Democrats stand. The Democratic National Committee has scheduled six debates that will highlight the stark differences between Democrats and Republicans, and help ensure that whoever caucus goers and voters choose as the Democratic nominee will become the 45th President of the United States.

What?

Our Democratic candidates are committed to fighting for middle-class families and expanding opportunities to pursue the American Dream, while Republicans continue to push for policies that are out of date and out of touch.

Who?

Hillary Clinton
Martin O’Malley
Bernie Sanders

When?

January 17, 2016
Charleston, S. Carolina
Hosted by NBC/Congressional Black Caucus Institute/South Carolina Democratic Party

 

Why?

The choice the American people will face in next November’s election couldn’t be more important. Voters across the country are going to decide between two very different plans for our country — an economy built to last that will strengthen and sustain our middle class, or the failed trickle-down economics of the past. These debates will highlight the Democratic Party’s policies, which will continue to strengthen the middle class, and we hope Americans across the political spectrum will tune in.

Since 1848, the Democratic National Committee has been the home of the Democratic Party, the oldest continuing party in the United States.

Today we are millions of supporters strong, fighting for progress and helping elect Democrats across the country to state government, Congress, and the White House.

There are several core beliefs that tie our party together: Democrats believe that we’re greater together than we are on our own—that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. Our party, led by President Obama, is focused on building an economy that lifts up all Americans, not just those at the top.

That’s why Democrats are working to make progress on issues like job creation, equal pay, education, health care, and clean energy.

For more: http://www.democrats.org/Post/democratic-national-committee-announces-six-primary-debates

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Democratic Party Presidential Primary 2016 Endorsements
Hillary Clinton
Martin O’Malley
Bernie Sanders

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Democratic Party
Democratic Party History
Democratic Party Leaders
Democratic Party Organization
Democratic State Parties
DNC Facebook
DNC Twitter
DNC Pinerest
DNC Youtube

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2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Debate
January 17, 2016
9:00 PM ET
Charleston, S. Carolina
Hosted by  NBC/Congressional Black Caucus Institute/South Carolina Democratic Party

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Live Streams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti2Nokoq1J4

#DemDebate

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The Democratic Party – 2016

The Democratic Party

WHO WE ARE Our Party

For more than 160 years, Democrats have represented the interests of working families, fighting for equal opportunities and justice for all Americans.

Our party was founded on the conviction that wealth and privilege shouldn’t be an entitlement to rule and the belief that the values of hardworking families are the values that should guide us.

We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness or by letting those with the most influence write their own rules. We got here by rewarding hard work and responsibility, by investing in people, and by growing our country from the bottom up.

Today Democrats are fighting to repair a decade of damage and grow an economy based on the values of Main Street, not greed and reckless speculation. Democrats are focused on rescuing our economy not just in the short run but also rebuilding our economy for the long run—an economy that lifts up not just some Americans, but all Americans.

To learn more:  http://www.democrats.org

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The Democratic Platform

MOVING AMERICA FORWARD

September 4, 2012 – The Democratic Party becomes the first major U.S. political party in history to publicly support same-sex marriage on a national platform at the Democratic National Convention.

REBUILDING MIDDLE CLASS SECURITY

Putting Americans Back to Work
The Middle Class Bargain
Cutting Waste, Reducing the Deficit, Asking All to Pay Their Fair Share
Economy Built to Last

AMERICA WORKS WHEN EVERYONE PLAYS BY THE SAME RULES

Wall Street Reform
21st Century Government: Transparent and Accountable
Lobbying Reform and Campaign Finance Reform

GREATER TOGETHER

Strengthening the American Community
Protecting Rights and Freedoms
Ensuring Safety and Quality of Life
Pro-Same Sex Marriage

STRONGER IN THE WORLD, SAFER AND MORE SECURE AT HOME

Responsibly Ending the War in Iraq
Disrupting, Dismantling, and Defeating Al-Qaeda
Responsibly Ending the War in Afghanistan
Preventing the Spread and Use of Nuclear Weapons
Countering Emerging Threats
Strengthening Alliances, Expanding Partnerships, and Reinvigorating International Institutions
Promoting Global Prosperity and Development
Maintaining the Strongest Military in the World
Advancing Universal Values

Democratic National Committee (DNC):  http://www.democrats.org/

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC): http://dlcc.org

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC): https://www.dscc.org/

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC):  http://www.dccc.org

Democrats Abroadhttp://www.democratsabroad.org/

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Democratic Party
Democratic Party History
Democratic Party Leaders
Democratic Party Organization
Democratic State Parties
DNC Facebook
DNC Twitter
DNC Pinerest
DNC Youtube.

VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS

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State of the Union Address 2016

The State of the Union is an annual address presented by the President of the United States to the United States Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda (the office of the President does not have Constitutional power to enact legislation, only Congress can do this legally) and national priorities to Congress.

George Washington gave the first State of the Union address on January 8, 1790 in New York City, then the provisional U.S. capital. In 1801.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_the_Union

 

SOTU 2016 Banner

When President Obama took office seven years ago, we were involved in two wars, losing over 800,000 jobs a month, and weathering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. But, with his leadership and the determination of the American people, we have made extraordinary progress on the path to a stronger country and a brighter future.

We’ve proven that, together, we can overcome great challenges.
In his last State of the Union, President Obama will lay out the ways that we, as the American people, can once again come together in pursuit of a country worthy of generations to come.
Economic Progress
Building a New Foundation for Prosperity

Seven years ago, President Obama took office amidst worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. But since that time, thanks to the hard work of the American people, we have emerged from that crisis stronger. From rescuing the auto industry to creating unprecedented job growth, the President continues to work on building an economic foundation that works for the middle class and those fighting to join it.

Acting on Climate
An Historic Commitment to Protect our Planet
No challenge poses a greater threat to our children, our planet, and future generations than climate change. Under President Obama’s leadership we have met that challenge and led the international community and world leaders to a global agreement to combat climate change, while cutting pollution from power plants, vehicles, and agriculture here at home and making the largest investment in renewable energy in our nation’s history.

Engagement in the World
Redefining American Leadership in the 21st Century
From ending two wars to forging the deal to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, from re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba to striking a landmark trade agreement that levels the playing field for American workers and businesses, the President has worked to redefine American leadership for the 21st century. In his last year in office, we can show the world what is possible when America truly leads.

Health Care Reform
Affordable Health Care That Benefits All Americans
After a century of countless failed efforts, Barack Obama was the President who finally made universal, affordable health care a reality for all. Five years in, the Affordable Care Act has already expanded coverage to millions of Americans, improved coverage for virtually everyone with health insurance, and changed the way hospitals, doctors, and other providers operate so they can deliver better care at a lower cost. Even with this progress, the President will continue working to improve health care in America.

Social Progress and Equality
Leading the Fight to Ensure All Americans Are Treated Equally
From securing basic rights and protections for LGBT Americans, to making our immigration system fairer and safer, to helping protect our homes and neighborhoods from gun violence, President Obama has worked to make sure that everyone has a shot at the American Dream. In his final year, the President is committed to protecting our country’s promise for all — no matter who you are, where you come from, or whom you love.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sotu

US 2009 vs 2015

SOTU America in the 21st Century
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 – President Obama’s Delivers the State of the Union Address

* CIVIL RIGHTS

* CLIMATE CHANGE

* ECONOMY

* EDUCATION

* ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

* FOREIGN POLICY

* HEALTH CARE

* IMMIGRATION

* SENIORS & SOCIAL SECURITY

* TAXES

* TECHNOLOGY

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues

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Watch:

Twitter: During the Speech Follow  #SOTUSocial

First Lady Michelle Obama
First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama’s SOTU Guest List:

  • Sue Ellen Allen (Scottsdale, AZ) — Criminal Justice Reform
  • Gloria Balenski (Schaumburg, IL) — Letter Writer
  • Jennifer Bragdon (Austin, TX) — Community College Student
  • Edith Childs (Greenwood, SC) — Greenwood County Councilmember
  • Cynthia “Cindy” K. Dias (Las Vegas, NV) — Veteran, Veterans Homelessness Advocate
  • Mark Davis (Washington, D.C.) — Small Business Owner
  • Cary Dixon (Huntington, WV) — Mother, Opioid Reform Advocate
  • Lydia Doza (Klamath Falls, OR // Anchorage, AK) — College Student, STEM Advocate
  • Refaai Hamo (Troy, MI) — Syrian Refugee
  • Lisa Jaster (Houston, TX) — Major, U.S. Army Reserve, Ranger School Graduate
  • Mayor Mark Luttrell (R) (Shelby County, TN)
  • Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (Hartford, CT) — Connecticut Governor
  • Braeden Mannering (Bear, DE) — Let’s Move!
  • Satya Nadella (Bellevue, WA) — Microsoft CEO
  • Jim Obergefell (Cincinnati, OH) — Activist
  • Chief Kathleen O’Toole (Seattle, WA) — Police Chief, Community Policing
  • Ryan Reyes (San Bernardino, CA) — Activist
  • Ronna Rice (Greeley, CO) — Small Business Owner
  • Cedric Rowland (Chicago, IL) — ACA Navigator
  • Naveed Shah (Springfield, VA) — U.S. Army Veteran
  • Earl Smith (Austin, TX) — Veteran
  • Spencer Stone (Sacramento, CA) — Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force
  • Oscar Vazquez (Fort Worth, TX) — Veteran, DREAMer, STEM leader
  • EMPTY SEAT FOR VICTIMS OF GUN VIOLENCE
Post 2016 SOTU BigBlockofCheeseDay: https://t.co/DXxU8cpbcO
Post 2016 SOTU BigBlockofCheeseDay: https://t.co/DXxU8cpbcO
  • 1/12/16 Post SOTU –  Ask questions across social media using #AskTheWH and #YouTubeAsksObama
  • 1/13/16 President Obama delivers remarks at University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
  • 1/14/16 President Obama holds a town hall at McKinley Senior High School, Baton Rouge, LA

#SOTU

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Vernon F. Dahmer, Sr., NAACP Activist – 50th Anniversary of His Murder by KKK

Vernon F. Dahmer, SrVernon Ferdinand Dahmer, Sr. (March 10, 1908 – January 10, 1966)  was an African American Civil Rights leader and president of the Forrest County chapter of the NAACP in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Early life

Vernon Dahmer was born on March 10, 1908 in the Kelly Settlement, Forrest County, Mississippi to Ellen Louvenia (Kelly) and George Washington Dahmer. George Dahmer was a Caucasian man identified as being an honest, hardworking man with outstanding integrity. his occupation was a farmer. Ellen Kelly was biracial because of her mother, Henrietta. Henrietta was a biracial child born out of wedlock by a white slave owner, O.B Kelly, and one of his slaves. She was given to a black family, called the McCombs.

Vernon Dahmer attended Bay Spring High School until the tenth grade; failing to graduate. Vernon was light-skinned enough to pass as a Caucasian man, but instead chose to forgo the privileges of living as a Caucasian man and faced the daily challenges of being an African American man in Mississippi during that time.

Dahmer had three wives throughout the entirety of his life. His first wife was Winnie Laura Mott; they had ended their marriage of five years in divorce. In 1949, Dahmer had remarried to a woman named Aura Lee Smith. Unfortunately, Aura had died after a long illness. Ellie Jewel Davis was his third and final wife; she was a teacher from Rose HillMississippi, and had recently moved to Forrest County. The couple had met after working on the school board together and married in March 1952. The couple had two children of their own together to add to the six children Vernon had had with his first two wives; seven boys and one girl. The family and their home was located north of Forrest County and was part of the Kelly Settlement, close to the Jones County boarder; the settlement (named for Dahmer’s maternal grandfather). Ellie Dahmer taught for many years in Richton, Mississippi and retired in 1987 from the Forrest County school system.

Dahmer was a member of Shady Grove Baptist Church where he served as a music director and Sunday School teacher. Dahmer was the owner of a grocery store, sawmill, planing mill, and also cotton farm. Dahmer’s main objective was to make a living for himself and to provide work for somebody else. Vernon would hire local individuals from the community to work for him and did not discriminate between black or white.

Civil Rights Movement

During the Civil Rights Movement Vernon served two terms as president of the Forrest County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and led voter registration drives in the 1960s. His wife Ellie said “He was a good progressive Christian man. He wasn’t a mean, bitter Civil Rights worker, because he saw good in White as well as he did in Black.” As president of the Forrest County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Vernon had personally asked the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to send workers to help aid the voter registrations efforts being made by African Americans in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. SNCC had sent two workers, Curtis Hayes and Hollis Watkins, to Hattiesburg. The act of calling SNCC to help aid the efforts made by the NAACP would eventually cost Vernon his NAACP presidency.

in 1949 Dahmer was in the process of making out his new registration card when Luther Cox denied his attempts to re-register. Luther Cox was the authority figure in charge of registered voters in Forrest County and was a white segregationist. Cox would only authorize a registration of an African American if they could answer the question “How many bubbles are in a bar of soap?” In 1950, fifteen leaders of the Forrest County‘s black community, including Dahmer, filled a lawsuit against Cox for his administration of the voting laws; preliminary injunction. Twelve years late in March 1962, the preliminary injunction was in motion of being viewed by the court of law. Dahmer had testified in court against Luther Cox and his testimony helped demonstrate the pattern of discrimination in the county.

In the 1950s Vernon Dahmer and Medgar Evers founded a youth National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Hattiesburg. Unfortunately the student chapter did not last longer than a year. Dahmer continued to be supportive of the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) throughout the Civil Rights Movement. Vernon’s farm quickly became a home away from home for SNCC volunteers. The farm was also used for registration projects and helped employee the committee volunteers. Dahmer was also working closely with Coalition for Free and Open Election, COFO and the Delta Ministry.

Dahmer kept a voter registration book in his grocery store in late 1965 to make it easier for African Americans to register. Dahmer also made a public service announcement over the radio stating that he would helped the local African American population pay a poll tax for the right to vote if they could not afford to do so themselves. His mantra was, “If you don’t vote, you don’t count,” and those words, which he repeated on his deathbed, were used as his epitaph.

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon_Dahmer

 

The firebombed home of Vernon Dahmer, Sr by the Klu Kux Klan 1/10/1966
The firebombed home of Vernon Dahmer, Sr by the Klu Kux Klan 1/10/1966

 

Murder and suspects

Vernon and Ellie Dahmer had been sleeping in shifts after receiving numerous death threats throughout the year. The Dahmer’s had a shotgun by their nightstand if case they had heard gunshots and always had the curtains drawn tight at night to make it harder for night riders to see into their home. On January 10, 1966 the Dahmer home was attacked by the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The family woke to the sound of a shotgun being shot and the sound of gas jugs being thrown through the windows. As Ellie went to grab the children the house erupted into fire. Vernon returned fire from inside the house to try and distract the Klan’s men while he helped hand Betty down to Ellie. Vernon was able to leave his burning home but was severely burned from the waist up; his daughter Betty also had severe burns on her arms. The Dahmer’s home, grocery store, and car were all destroyed in the fire. Vernon was taken to the hospital and passed away due to his lungs being severely burned and smoke inhalation. Before he died, Dahmer had told a local newspaper reporter: “I’ve been active in trying to get people to register to vote. People who don’t vote are deadbeats on the state. I figure a man needs to do his own thinking. What happened to us last night can happen to anyone, white or black. At one time I didn’t think so, but I have changed my mind.”

The Hattiesburg area was stunned by the attack. The Chamber of Commerce under William Carey, College President Dr. Ralph Noonkester, and Bob Beech had led a community effort to rebuild the Dahmer home. Local and state businesses such as the Masonite Corporation, Alexander Materials, and Frierson Building Materials donated materials, local unions donated their services, and students from the University of Southern Mississippi volunteered unskilled labor. Bob Beech’s second priority was to provide college funds for Dahmer’s school-aged children.Four of Dahmer’s sons were in the United States Military and had left their posts to help bury their father and reconstruct their families home

Authorities indicted fourteen men, most with Ku Klux Klan connections, were tried for the attack on the Dahmer home. Thirteen were brought to trial, eight on charges of arson and murder. Four were convicted and Billy Roy Pitts (Sam Bowers’ body guard), who had dropped his gun at the crime scene, entered a guilty plea and had his gun turned in as state evidence. Billy faced just three years of his federal sentence. However three out four of those convicted were pardoned within four years. In addition, eleven of the defendants were tried on federal charges of conspiracy to intimidate Dahmer because of his civil rights activities. Former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers, who was believed to have ordered the murder, was tried four times and each time pleaded the fifth amendment. Each trial ended in a mistrial.

Finally 25 years after the murder of Vernon Dahmer and assault on his family, the case was reopened by the state of Mississippi in 1991. The case lasted for seven years, and ended by the conviction and sentencing to life in prison, of Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers in 1998. Bowers died in the Mississippi State Penitentiary on November 5, 2006 at the age of 82.

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon_Dahmer#Murder_and_suspects

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