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Who was the first new president in…?

The basics of the inauguration are simple: the new president takes a 35-word oath on a constitutionally prescribed date.

But the formula left a lot of room for novelty. As the inaugurations evolved over the decades, many of them became turning points in the tradition, marked by accidents, innovations and spontaneous gestures.

Jimmy Carter started an informal custom when he unexpectedly got out of his limo and walked down Pennsylvania Avenue. Barack Obama’s first term got off to an unusual start when he became the first president to renew his oath. Harry S. Truman’s second inauguration was the first to be televised, and Bill Clinton’s in 1997 was the first to be broadcast live.

Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration Wednesday will also seek to balance tradition with the challenges of the present day, including the pandemic and widespread political upheaval. For the first time, the procession to the White House will be replaced by a “virtual parade” in an attempt to slow the spread of a virus that has killed nearly 400,000 Americans.

Here’s a look at some of the precedents in the history of the presidential inauguration.

The Presidential Oath is also enshrined in the Constitution: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully perform the office of President of the United States and, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the States. -United. “

Each president must recite the oath of office, which has been taken 72 times by the 45 presidents of the United States who preceded Mr. Biden.

Franklin pierce, in 1853, was the first to choose the word “affirm” rather than “swear” and broke the precedent by not embracing the Bible.

Lyndon B. Johnson was the first and only president to take the oath of office in an airplane, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. It was also the first time that a woman had taken the oath: Judge Sarah T. Hughes from the North District of Texas swore an oath to Mr Johnson on Air Force One, using a Catholic missal found on board, before the plane left Dallas for Washington.

The oath of Barack obama, who became the country’s first black president in 2009, had a unique twist. He was sworn in twice by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr .: The second time was Jan. 21 during a White House revival after the two clashed with words during of the inauguration ceremony the day before.

“In 25 seconds, President Obama became president again,” wrote The New York Times.

George washington was a man of few words. His second inaugural speech numbered 135, making it the shortest ever. In 1817, James monroe became the first president to be sworn in and deliver his inaugural address outside in front of the Old Brick Capitol. William Henry Harrison spoke the longest, delivering 10,000 words in 1841.

George washington was sworn in at Federal Hall in New York and then delivered his speech in the Senate Chamber. John adams was inaugurated at the Philadelphia House of Congress in 1797. In 1801, Thomas jefferson was the first to walk to and from his inauguration and became the first president inaugurated on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The opening day was not always in January. George Washington was sworn in on April 30, 1779. In the 19th century, March 4 was incorporated into the Constitution as an inauguration day. But in 1933, the ratification of the 20th Amendment established that the terms of the president and vice-president would instead end at noon on January 20.

The first president to be inaugurated on January 20 was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was sworn in for a second term in 1937, with a large crowd despite a cold, wet rain.

In 1837, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren rode together in a horse-drawn carriage to the Capitol for the inauguration, the first time that an outgoing president has joined his successor. “We’ve come to expect this now, but unfortunately we don’t have it this year,” said Jim Bendat, an inauguration historian. “It’s an important symbolic moment to show that the old and the new can get along, even if they are in a different party.”

A president whose term of office ends is not required to attend the inauguration. In 1801, John adams became the first president to avoid the swearing-in ceremony of his successor, in this case Thomas Jefferson. After months falsely stating that the 2020 election was stolen, President Trump announced that he would not be attending Mr. Biden’s inauguration.

Tall hats were the traditional headgear of choice for many presidential inaugurations. But Dwight D. Eisenhower replaced it in 1953 with a homburg that broke “official dress tradition,” reported the Times. Kennedy returned to the traditional hat in 1961, before it disappeared as official attire.

Kennedy was the first to add a poet to its inaugural events. The event did not go as planned. Robert Frost, then 86 years old, had planned to read “The Preface”, verses he had composed for the occasion. But the glare on the page made it hard to see. “I don’t have a good light here at all,” he said, according to The Times coverage of the event.

Johnson tried to shade the manuscript with his top hat. But Frost put it aside and recited his poem “The Gift Outright”, which he knew by heart.

Amanda Gorman, who in 2017 became the first National Youth Poet Laureate, will read at this year’s ceremony.

Over the years, most presidents have taken an oath with one hand on the Bible. Some have chosen a family Bible, such as Jimmy carter done, with the one used by Washington placed on the lectern. Theodore Roosevelt was an outlier in 1901. At a friend’s home after William McKinley’s assassination, he did not use one, but took an oath with a “raised hand.”

Others have put their singular imprint on the gesture. Kennedy, the first Roman Catholic to be elected president, used a Catholic Bible. Johnson asked his wife, Lady Bird, to hold the Bible during the oath, making him the first to do so. And Mr. obama used the Bible belonging to Abraham Lincoln. (Mr. Trump used the same Lincoln Bible in 2017.)

LincolnThe second inauguration, in 1865, was the first time African Americans had participated in an inaugural parade. Women participated in the inaugural parade for the first time in 1917, at the start of Woodrow wilson’s second term. In 1977, Mr. Carter became the first to walk more than a mile on the White House Road. Mr Carter’s walk with his wife, Rosalynn, and their 9-year-old daughter, Amy, has become a tradition that has been matched – in ceremony if not in length – by presidents who have followed.

James and Dolley Madison began the tradition of a White House reception and inaugural ball in 1809. Tickets were $ 4, or about $ 85 at current prices.

McKinley’s second inauguration in 1901.

The inaugurations reflected technological and industrial innovations. In 1921, Warren G. Harding was the first to go to its inauguration in an automobile. Fast forward to the closed bulletproof limousines, which first appeared in 1965 under Johnson.

The audience has grown with technological developments. In 1845, James polk the inaugural speech reached more people by telegraph. In 1897, McKinley’s the inauguration was captured on a cinematic camera, and Calvin Coolidge’s in 1925 was broadcast over the radio.

Ronald reagan, a former actor, had a television camera placed inside his limousine during the ride from the Capitol to the White House in 1985. And in 1997, Bill clinton the inauguration was the first to be broadcast live on the Internet.

Some inaugural ceremonies began as family affairs. James garfield mother attended its inauguration in 1881, setting a precedent. In 1923, Calvin Coolidge’s father, justice of the peace of Vermont, took the oath of office to his son. The first inauguration ceremony attended by both parents of the president-elect was Kennedy, in 1961. And George W. Bush ceremony in 2001 was the first and only time that a former president, George Bush, attended his son’s inauguration as president.

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America has a ‘long way to go’ on MLK day

Shocked by the attack on Capitol Hill, Joe Biden and other politicians insisted that the violence did not represent “who we are” as a nation, pledging to unite the country under common ideals and to reject Trump’s divisions once and for all.

But writing last week in The Undefeated, critic Soraya Nadia McDonald took issue with the president-elect’s insistence that the country’s true identity had nothing to do with what happened on January 6. because if one is honest about the history of the United States, it highlights white violence, terrorism and revanchism, especially towards blacks, aboriginals and women, ”McDonald wrote.

It evokes King’s own words about America’s pledge to create myths. It is not only extremists and self-proclaimed white supremacists who engage in the practice, the civil rights leader said.

“The Negroes assumed that equality means what it says, and they took white Americans at their word when they spoke of it as a goal,” King wrote in his 1967 book, “Where Do We Go?” us from here: chaos or community? “White Americans, however, often view equality as” a vague expression of improvement, “King wrote. Regarding the gap between black prosperity and to whites, white America “seeks only to make it less painful and less obvious, but in many ways to keep it.”

Granted, Biden often speaks in concrete terms of his vast plans to invest in creating wealth for blacks, overhauling the criminal justice system, and tackling environmental racism. He and Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect, have in fact been more willing than any other presidential ticket in history to speak explicitly about their plans to tackle systemic inequality, both economically and socially.

But along the way, they’ll also have to contend with America’s addiction to its oldest myths – and how its latest technologies keep them alive and evolving.

In the days following January 6, right-wing broadcasters and social media voices began to promote a false account of what happened on Capitol Hill, attributing the riot to left-wing groups and Black activists. Lives Matter. Of course, no evidence of this emerged, and the intruders had zealously signaled their intention to overturn the presidential election result.

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Emphasize the vaccine

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At the start of the pandemic, many health experts – in the United States and around the world – decided that the public could not be trusted to hear the truth about masks. Instead, experts have issued a misleading message, discouraging the use of masks.

Their motivation was pretty good. It was born out of the fear that people would rush to buy high-quality medical masks, leaving too little for doctors and nurses. Experts were also unsure how useful regular masks would be.

But the message was still an error.

It confused people. (If masks weren’t effective, why did doctors and nurses need them?) It delayed the widespread use of masks (although there was good reason to believe they could help) . And it has damaged the credibility of public health experts.

“When people feel like they’re not getting the full truth from the authorities, it makes it easier for snake oil sellers and price detractors,” sociologist Zeynep Tufekci wrote early last year.

Now, one version of mask history is repeating itself – this time regarding vaccines. Again, the experts don’t seem to trust the public to hear the whole truth.

This question is sufficiently important and complex that I can lengthen today’s newsletter a little. If you still have any questions, please feel free to email me at themorning@nytimes.com.

Right now, the public debate about vaccines is rife with warnings about their limitations: They are not 100% effective. Even people who have been vaccinated may be able to spread the virus. And people shouldn’t change their behavior after they get their shots.

These warnings are based on the truth, just as it is true that the masks are imperfect. But the sum of the warnings is misleading, as several doctors and epidemiologists said last week.

“It’s driving me a little crazy,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown School of Public Health, told me.

“We are underselling the vaccine,” said Dr. Aaron Richterman, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Pennsylvania.

“It’s going to save your life – that’s where the focus needs to be right now,” said Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine.

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are “essentially 100% effective against serious illness,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “It’s ridiculously encouraging.”

Here is my best attempt at summarizing what we know:

  • Moderna and Pfizer vaccines – the only two approved in the United States – are among the best vaccines ever created, with efficacy rates of around 95% after two doses. It’s on par with the chickenpox and measles vaccines. And a vaccine doesn’t even have to be this effective to dramatically reduce cases and crush a pandemic.

  • If anything, the 95 percent number underestimates effectiveness, as it counts anyone who has contracted a mild case of Covid-19 as a failure. But turning Covid into a typical flu – as vaccines evidently did for most of the remaining 5 percent – is actually successful. Of the 32,000 people who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine in a research trial, do you want to guess how many contracted a severe case of Covid? A.

  • Although no rigorous study has yet analyzed whether vaccinated people can spread the virus, it would be surprising if they did. “If there is an example of a widely used clinical vaccine that has this selective effect – prevents disease but not infection – I don’t think so!” Dr. Paul Sax of Harvard wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. (And no, exclamation marks aren’t common in medical journals.) On Twitter, Dr Monica Gandhi from the University of California, San Francisco, said, “Rest assured that YOU ARE SURE after the vaccine of what matters – disease and spread.”

  • The risks to those vaccinated are still not zero, because almost nothing in the real world is at zero risk. A small percentage of people can have allergic reactions. And I’ll be eager to see what the post-vaccination spread studies ultimately show. But the evidence so far suggests that vaccines are akin to a cure.

Offit told me that we should greet them with the same enthusiasm as the one who greeted the polio vaccine: “It should be that rallying cry.”

Why do many experts send a more negative message?

Again, their motivations are generally good. As academic researchers, they are instinctively cautious, inclined to point out any uncertainty. Many may also fear that vaccinated people will stop wearing masks and socially distancing themselves, which in turn could result in unvaccinated people stopping. If that happens, the deaths would increase even more.

But the best way to persuade people to behave safely is usually to tell them the truth. “Not being completely open because you want to achieve some sort of behavioral public health goal – people will eventually see through that,” Richterman said. The current approach is also fueling anti-vaccine skepticism and conspiracy theories.

After asking Richterman and others what a better public post might look like, I thought of something like this:

We should be immediately more aggressive on mask wearing and social distancing due to the new virus variants. We need to vaccinate people as quickly as possible – which will require approval of other Covid vaccines when the data warrants it.

People who have had their two vaccines and have waited for them to take effect will be able to do things that unvaccinated people cannot – like eating meals together and hugging their grandchildren. But until the pandemic is defeated, all Americans should wear masks in public, help unvaccinated people stay safe, and contribute to a common national project to save all possible lives.

  • President-elect Joe Biden has chosen two Obama-era regulators to oversee major financial agencies: Gary Gensler as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Rohit Chopra as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • Here is Biden’s response to aides who use overly academic or elitist language: “Pick up your phone, call your mom, read her what you just told me,” he likes to say. “If she understands, we can keep talking.

  • President Trump’s allies have raised tens of thousands of dollars from people asking for pardon.

From the review: Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday. In an Op-Ed video, Martin Luther King III remembers his father’s economic message.

Media equation: Fox has settled a lawsuit for his lies about a murdered young man, but the network insisted the settlement must be kept secret until after the 2020 election.

Lives lived: Phil Spector was a pioneering producer who shaped the sound of pop music in the 1960s, but spent the end of his life in prison after murdering Lana Clarkson at her home in 2003. He died of complications from Covid- 19, at 81 years old.

On TikTok in December, Nathan Evans, a 26-year-old Scottish postman and musician, shared a black and white video of himself singing a slum – a traditional working song by a sailor – titled “Soon May the Wellerman Come ”. In the weeks that followed, Sea Shanty TikTok was born.

Professional musicians, people driving cars, and even a Kermit the Frog puppet shared videos of themselves singing. There were electro remixes. Some people started to cover other songs, like “All Star” by Smash Mouth, in a sea-shanty style.

While the genre might seem odd to go viral, the songs are relatively easy to learn. They also lend themselves well to collaboration, which the TikTok features encourage. One of the original purposes of the slum was to foster community, as sailors worked long hours aboard a ship.

“These are unifying, survivalist songs, designed to transform a large group of people into one collective body, all working together to keep the ship afloat,” writes Kathryn VanArendonk in Vulture. And they’re especially suited for a time when people are in desperate need of connection.

Spanakopita, the classic Greek spinach and feta pie, inspired this baked pasta.

“MLK / FBI,” directed by Sam Pollard, draws on long-secret documents to chronicle the FBI’s harassment of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Listen to new tracks from Flo Milli, Lana Del Rey and more – including a song that holds the streaming record on Spotify.

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Why the rage in the 2020 election may well last after Trump

Professor Mason said she was concerned that more violence and attacks against elected leaders and state capitals could occur, saying the country could be in a time like the Troubles, the conflict in Northern Ireland in which sectarian violence has kept the region unstable for 30 years.

In talks with Mr. Trump’s staunchest supporters, people have expressed a pattern of lies and fears about the next Biden administration. As events like the riot have precipitated, conspiracy theories explain them as well. They flourished in the exhausting monotony of coronavirus lockouts.

Theda Kasner, 83, a retired medical worker from Marshfield, Wisconsin, who was originally interviewed for a New York Times poll ahead of the election, sits at an RV park in Weslaco , in Texas, near the border with Mexico, since December. She spends the winter there with her husband, for the sun and the nearby beaches. But the coronavirus is roaring, and this week their RV park has been locked down.

“I told my husband today, I said, ‘I’m going to go crazy,’” she said. “We are practically quarantined in our units.”

She spent a lot of time in her motorhome reading books and watching videos. One featured rousing and emotional music and images of Mr. Trump and crowds of his supporters, with a voice speaking grimly of an impending confrontation. It ended with the Lord’s Prayer and the date January 20, 2021 flashing on the screen. Another, lasting 48 minutes, was that of Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, an inventor, testifying in the Georgia State Senate about voter fraud. She and her husband watch Newsmax TV, a right-wing channel, at night.

Asked about the violence during the riot, Ms Kasner repeated the common conspiracy theory that the antifa had infiltrated the crowd. These days she finds herself increasingly confused in a sea of ​​information, most of it bogus.

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In Minnesota, death of GOP lawmaker brings back the reality of Covid

As a lab technician for 3M, Ms. Relph tests industrial masks. “The fact that people deny the science behind the masks makes me even more angry,” she says. She recalled that a senatorial colleague of her father had stopped by her family, without a mask, while her father was in the hospital. “At close range he said, ‘I don’t think it’s as bad as they tell us,” Ms. Relph said. “My father was dying. These are people who think they are good, kind, compassionate, and yet they don’t behave that way.

On November 3, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. comfortably won Minnesota, but Republicans held their majority in the state Senate, thanks to force in rural areas.

When Mr. Relph attended the dinner two days later, he seemed to narrowly win re-election in his swing district. But as more ballots were counted, his Democratic opponent slightly ahead, winning by 315 votes. Democrats only needed to return two seats for a majority in the Senate. Although they won Mr. Relph’s district, they lost their own seat and the Republicans retained control.

Ms Relph said could have cost her father’s ambivalent embrace support of her father with the Republican base. He has already co-sponsored a bipartisan bill aimed at targeting economic aid to the Somali community. This has earned him the nickname “Jihadi Jerry” among staunch Trump supporters, his daughter said.

Last week, as the legislature returned for its 2021 session, senators held a moment of silence for Mr. Relph. Mr. Gazelka called him “a great senator, a true friend”.

The majority leader also led his party to block a Democratic proposal to require masks in public spaces on the Capitol, flouting a statewide mask mandate imposed by the governor in indoor environments. . (The legislature is not subject to governor’s orders.) Republicans questioned about the effectiveness of masks. But Mr. Gazelka included wording in a resolution “strongly encouraging” the wearing of masks.

Ms Kent, the Democratic leader, said she recently noticed Mr Gazelka himself still wears a mask in the Capitol, where previously he did not. In addition to Mr. Relph’s death, Mr. Gazelka’s mother-in-law died in December after contracting Covid-19.

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Businesses aim to extract greenhouse gases from the air. It is a bet.

“It’s a chicken or an egg problem,” said Nan Ransohoff, climate manager at Stripe, a San Francisco-based online payments company. “The best way to cut costs is to start deploying these technologies on a large scale. But until there are real customers, no one will build them. “

To help break the deadlock, Stripe announced in 2019 that it would start spending at least $ 1 million a year on carbon removal, regardless of the price per tonne up front. The goal was to assess companies working on promising technologies and provide them with a reliable revenue stream.

After summoning outside experts to review the applications, Stripe announced its first round of payments last May. This included an agreement with Climeworks, a Swiss start-up that has already built several small direct air collection plants in Europe. Stripe also paid $ 250,000 to Project Vesta, a nonprofit that plans to sprinkle volcanic minerals on beaches, testing how much carbon dioxide they absorb when waves break them down, through a process known as name of aging.

Companies receiving Stripe’s funding say the money has been crucial.

“It’s existential for us,” said Peter Reinhardt, co-founder of Charm Industrial, a start-up Stripe pays to phase out 416 tonnes of carbon dioxide at $ 600 a tonne. His company will take crop waste and convert it into an oil that can be injected underground, rather than letting it decompose and release carbon into the atmosphere.

Other companies invest in the same way. German automaker Audi is paying Climeworks to capture and remove 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from a new direct air capture facility in Iceland, which is slated to enter service this year. Climeworks also signed an agreement with insurance giant Swiss Re, which this month created a dedicated carbon phase-out funding stream. Shopify, a Canadian e-commerce company, has already committed $ 1.6 million to various carbon-elimination startups.

Christoph Gebald, co-director of Climeworks, said his company now has more than 50 corporate customers who pay to capture and store carbon dioxide. Its goal is to build enough facilities to remove 30 to 50 million tonnes per year from the atmosphere by 2030.

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‘Accelerated wave of executions’ facing small Supreme Court review

“None of these legal questions are trivial,” wrote Justice Breyer. “What should courts do when faced with legal questions like this? Will they just ignore them? Or are they, as in this case, “hurry up, hurry up”? This is not a solution.

Members of the court’s conservative majority expressed frustration at the last-minute stay requests, saying they amounted to a litigation game. “The proper response to this maneuver is to quickly deny unfounded claims,” ​​Judge Clarence Thomas, accompanied by Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch, wrote in a concurring opinion in an Alabama case. in 2019.

Perhaps there was another reason for moving swiftly in federal affairs: If the court had issued even brief reprieves, there was good reason to believe the Biden administration would have halted executions.

Eric M. Freedman, a law professor at Hofstra University, said the court would pay the price for his inability to respond to detainees’ demands. “From a historical perspective,” he said, “the most significant damage caused by the court’s recent performance in death penalty cases may be to its own institutional position.

If Judge Breyer looked sad, it was because he had hoped just a few years ago that the court would reconsider the constitutionality of the death penalty. He had set out his case in a major dissent in 2015, which must have been on Justice Scalia’s mind when he made his comments a few months later.

Judge Breyer wrote in the 46-page dissent that he considered it “highly likely that the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment,” which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. He said exonerations in the death row were frequent, death sentences were handed down arbitrarily and the capital justice system was marred by racial discrimination.

Judge Breyer added that there was little reason to believe that the death penalty deters crime and that the long delays between convictions and executions could themselves violate the Eighth Amendment. Most countries do not apply the death penalty, he said, and the United States is an international exception in accepting it.

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Pompeo, who led Trump’s State Department mission, leaves with questionable legacy

In Europe, Mr. Pompeo is credited with helping to strengthen NATO as a bulwark against Russia, including through increased military spending. Alexander R. Vershbow, a former NATO Assistant Secretary General who was also a former US Ambassador to Russia and South Korea and Assistant Secretary of Defense, said Pompeo helped protect NATO from “Mr. Trump’s contempt for allies and intimidation. tactical.”

Mr Pompeo also deployed shuttle diplomacy to warm relations between Israel and states in the Middle East and North Africa under the Abraham Accords, the administration’s signing of foreign policy. But these peace pacts were largely negotiated by Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law of the president.

Mr. Pompeo has firmly supported Israel by defying internationally recognized standards, such as moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and declaring Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and the legitimacy of the West Bank settlements. As an evangelical Christian – a group that constitutes a key conservative political constituency – Mr Pompeo has at times formulated actions against Iran in religious terms related to Israel and Bible prophecy.

The Abraham Accords were part of a push to isolate Iran with sanctions and military threats that began after Mr. Trump withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran in May 2018, just weeks after Mr. Pompeo joined the State Department after serving as the Director of the CIA.

Over the next two years, he repeatedly criticized the efforts of other world powers to keep the 2015 nuclear deal intact. Mr Pompeo was visibly boosted by jousting with Iranian officials on Twitter: “You know you are on the side of the angels when this happens ” tweeted Tuesday, months after Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, called him the “Hate Secretary. “

Mr. Pompeo was among Mr. Trump’s advisers who pushed for military strikes against Iran, which the president resisted in June 2019 but allowed in January 2020 to kill a senior Iranian general who was in Iraq. Yet Mr Pompeo toppled in November, among a group of senior officials – including Vice President Mike Pence; Christopher C. Miller, Acting Secretary of Defense; and General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – who responded to the president’s request for strike options against Iran by warning that it could easily escalate into a larger conflict over the course of of the final weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Mr. Pompeo described himself as a follower of “realism, restraint and respect” – an approach advocated by his longtime funder Charles G. Koch, a billionaire conservative whose donor network has given more. campaign contributions to Mr. Pompeo than to any other candidate for Congress in the country in four legislative elections from 2010 to 2016.

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s words ring out in tumultuous times

For Antwan T. Lang, member of the Chatham County Board of Elections in Savannah, Georgia, Dr King’s words meant that we couldn’t be afraid to learn from each other and understand our differences and similarities.

“I hope that one day white America will understand that we do not harvest any hatred, but we do not want to be seen as a black man, a black entrepreneur, a black superintendent, a black doctor, a black lawyer, a teacher. black, black insurance agent, black funeral director, but as a human being wanting to be freely ourselves without having to walk on eggshells for fear of becoming a statistic, ”he said.

“It’s clear to me that our protest and our call to America is that we want to be free, just to be a human being with real feelings, emotions, dreams and goals,” Mr. Lang said, “to be able to live long enough to achieve those goals, dreams and ambitions. ”

“Oh no, Brother Gray. It is not at all a ploy. If we are to be successful, I am now convinced that an absolutely non-violent method must be ours in the midst of the vast hostilities we face.

– Dr King’s 1955 response to a suggestion that his nonviolent tactics were attracting attention.

Fred D. Gray was the lawyer who represented Rosa Parks, Dr. King, and the Montgomery Improvement Association during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, the event that ushered in the civil rights movement of the 20th century. The quote, found in Mr. Gray’s account of that battle, “Bus Ride to Justice,” was Dr. King’s response to a suggestion that his commitment to non-violence was a ploy to gain press attention. .

“I became a lawyer so that I could use the law to destroy any acts of segregation I could find,” Gray said. “There were other people whose role was to give speeches, and others who demonstrated, but everything had to be set up and done in a non-violent way.”

Regarding last year’s protests against the killings of unarmed African Americans by police officers, Mr. Gray said: “I think we’re going to have to go back to what Martin said about nonviolence and change. social. All Dr. King did, all we did in the Montgomery Bus Boycott was to get rid of racism and inequality. We were able to do a little, but not all. “

Ellen barry, Elizabeth dias and Richard Fausset contribution to reports. Susan Beachy contributed to the research.

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He cruised against gun violence in Baltimore. Then he was shot and killed.

A leader of an urban campaign to quell gun violence in Baltimore, widely credited with roaming gang-war-prone streets with words of reconciliation, was shot dead on Sunday, authorities said.

Dante Barksdale, an outreach coordinator for the city’s Safe Streets program, was found around 11:17 a.m. with a gunshot wound to the head near Douglass Homes, a public housing complex in the southeastern part of Baltimore, police said.

He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died shortly after, officials said.

Mr. Barksdale, 46, was called Tater and was the nephew of Nathan Barksdale, the now deceased narcotics trafficker known as Bodie, who inspired the character Avon Barksdale in HBO’s crime series “The Wire.” Dante Barksdale drew on his time in prison selling drugs and his experience growing up in projects for his outreach work.

His death rocked community leaders, who recognized Mr Barksdale on Sunday for his work to defuse gang violence.

Mayor Brandon M. Scott of Baltimore called him the “heart and soul” of the Safe Streets program in a statement Sunday.

“While I am devastated by the loss of my brother in the fight to save lives in Baltimore, I will not let those who chose to commit violent suicide in light of his work,” Mr. Scott said. “Dante’s work saved lives. It’s a sobering reminder how dangerous this frontline job is. “

It was not immediately clear whether Mr Barksdale was at work when he was shot or whether he had been targeted. Homicide detectives are investigating the murder, police said.

Michael S. Harrison, the city’s police commissioner, credited Mr. Barksdale with helping defuse crime in Baltimore.

“His work in raising awareness, mediating conflict and reducing gun violence in our city has been invaluable,” Mr. Harrison said, “and he embodied a message of redemption and peace to the many young people in our city.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Barksdale had any survivors.

Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire 365 gun violence prevention group, mourned the death of Mr Barksdale in a Tweeter on Sunday.

“My level of shock and pain at her murder makes my knees sag,” Ms Bridgeford said. In another post, she added, “What I know is Tater’s soul is unleashed to keep doing the job in a miraculous way. We were not left alone. We have just won a mighty warrior in this spiritual warfare.

Mr. Barksdale was the subject of a series of profiles by local and national media on his outreach efforts, including a 2014 article by The Atlantic titled “Walking the Streets of Baltimore With the Other Barksdale.” .

Mr. Barksdale, who grew up in the city projects, wrote about his life in a 2019 book, “Growing Up Barksdale: A True Baltimore Story”.

According to the Baltimore Beat website, he also appeared in the 2018 documentary “Charm City,” which examined violence in Baltimore following the 2015 murder of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died of a serious injury. to the spinal cord while in police custody.

Nick J. Mosby, the chairman of Baltimore city council, paid tribute to Mr. Barksdale on Twitter on Sunday.

“Dante Barksdale has used his life to save others by preventing gun violence on our streets,” Mosby said. “He beat a myriad of chances to do it. Dante was my friend and I mourn with countless other people over the murder of this exceptional man.

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs contributed reporting.