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“The three States of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, comprising the military department of the south, having deliberately declared themselves no longer under the protection of the United States of America, and having taken up arms against the said United States, it becomes a military necessity to declare them under martial law. This was accordingly done on the 25th day of April, 1862. Slavery and martial law in a free country are altogether incompatible; the persons in these three States–Georgia, Florida and South Carolina–heretofore held as slaves, are therefore declared forever free.”
On this date, Colored School #8 opened. Located in Ellardsyille near St. Louis, MO, it was a one-story wooden building of two rooms.
The school for Blacks, operated by a Board of Education for Colored Schools, opened with an enrollment of 53 pupils. The school had been established in the post Civil War era in 1865 to foster education of Black children. In 1877, Black teachers replaced Whites in the school, and by 1881 the building was enlarged to four rooms. It was renamed the Edward J. Simmons School in 1891, and in 1899 the old school was replaced by a brick building. It occupies the same site today in a building erected in 1930 at 4318 St. Louis Avenue. An addition was built west of it in 1965.
After leaving the Senate, Blanche Kelso Bruce, the first elected non-white senator to serve a full term, remained active in the Mississippi and national Republican parties. He briefly served as presiding officer at the 1880 Republican National Convention in Chicago, where he received eight votes for the nomination for Vice President. Though he rejected an offer to be Minister to Brazil because that country practiced slavery, Bruce received many endorsements for a post in President James Garfield’s Cabinet in 1881. Garfield ultimately passed him over, but, on this date, Bruce obtained a prime position as Register of the U.S. Treasury and remained there until 1885.
On this date, Jan Ernst Matzeliger’s revolutionary Shoe Lasting Machine, the first machine for the mass production of shoes, was introduced into production at a Lynn, Massachusetts factory. Within a few years American production of factory made shoes exploded and costs per pair to consumers dropped more than 50% and Lynn became the center of a major industry.
German Chancellor Bismarck took possession of Cameroon and Togoland.
On this date, in Philadelphia, PA with a record of 47–5–9, World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson fought Jack O’Brien to a draw in 6 rounds. With this tie, he retained his title, however newspapers reported differing results.
Malcolm Little, later known as Malcolm X and El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was born in Omaha, Nebraska on this date.
His father, Earl Little, was an outspoken Baptist minister and a follower of the legendary Black nationalist Marcus Garvey. For his outspokenness, Earl Little would be brutally killed in 1929 by a Ku Klux Klan type group. A smart and focused student, Malcolm dreamed of becoming a lawyer. But that dream would be crushed by prejudice when one of his favorite teachers told that was “no realistic goal for a nigger.” He would end up dropping out of school and moving with his mother to Boston, Mass. He would later travel to New York City where he began a criminal life of petty crimes but rapidly moved up to coordinating drug, prostitution and gambling rings. With the “heat” on, he moved back to Boston where he was arrested and sentenced to prison on a burglary charge in 1946.
In prison, he was introduced to the Nation of Islam and began studies that led him to become one of the most militant and electrifying black leaders of the 1950s and 1960s.
By the time he was paroled in 1952, he was a devoted follower of Elijah Muhammad and a small Muslim sect known as the Nation of Islam and had dropped his “slave” last name in favor of being referred to as “Malcolm X.”
From 1952 to 1963, he became the primary force behind the building of the Nation of Islam from a sect of fewer than 1,000 members to a national organization of more than 30,000 members. On many occasions, he would indicate that he was not for civil rights, but human rights. When asked about the Nation of Islam undermining the efforts of integrationists by preaching racial separation, Malcolm’s response was “It is not integration in America that Negroes want, it is human dignity.” Malcolm X regularly criticized civil rights leaders for advocating the integration of African Americans into white society. He believed that African Americans should be building Black institutions and businesses and defending themselves against racist violence based opposition from both conservative and liberals. Until he joined the ancestors, Malcolm X was a staunch believer in Black Nationalism, Black Self-determination and Black Self-organization.
His faith in Elijah Muhammad, however, was crushed when he learned in 1963 that the married and outwardly puritanical Muhammad had had extramarital affairs with at least six young Nation of Islam women. A bitter separation resulted between Malcolm and the Nation. Malcolm then turned to a more orthodox version of Islam and began to seek closer relations with other Black Nationalist and civil rights groups.
He began to lobby with the newly independent African nations to protest in the United Nations about the American abuse of their Black citizen’s human rights, when, unfortunately, he was assassinated in Harlem, New York’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965 by three men associated with the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X was 39. His story was immortalized in the book “Autobiography of Malcolm X,” ghostwritten by Alex Haley.
John H. Stroger, Jr., the first African American president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, was born on this date, to Ella and John Stroger, Sr. in Helena, Arkansas. He attended an all black elementary school and high school at Eliza Miller High School, earning his diploma in 1949. Stroger attended Xavier University in New Orleans, a historically black Catholic university, where his classmates included Norman Francis, Dutch Morial and Richard Gumbel. Graduating in 1953 from Xavier with a B.S. degree in business administration, Stroger taught school, coached basketball and worked closely with the NAACP.
At his mother’s urging, Stroger moved to Chicago in 1953 where he became involved in Chicago’s South Side Democratic Party. There, he met Congressman William L. Dawson, Ralph Metcalfe, and Harold Washington. Stroger was appointed as an assistant auditor with the Municipal Court of Chicago in 1954 and served as personnel director for the Cook County Jail from 1955 to 1961. He then worked for the financial director of the State of Illinois while earning a law degree from DePaul University Law School in 1965. In 1968, Stroger was elected 8th Ward Committeeman. After his election to the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 1970, Stroger went on to chair every major committee including finance, health, building and zoning. As Commissioner, Stroger sponsored legislation aimed at assisting minority and female owned businesses. He also co-sponsored the county’s Human Rights, Ethics, and Assault Weapons Ban Ordinances. In 1994, he became the first African American to be elected president of the Cook County Board and Forest Preserve District. As board president, he has balanced the county’s $2.9 billion dollar budget, instituted a Juvenile Drug Court, appointed a Commission on Women’s Issues and opened a new AIDS treatment and research facility. Dedicated to health care, Stroger serves on the Chicago Metropolitan Healthcare Council and the board of South Shore Hospital. His efforts to win approval for a new Cook County Hospital have resulted in the facility being named the John H. Stroger, Jr. Cook County Hospital. Stroger is past president of the National Association of Counties and was appointed by former President Bill Clinton as a member of the Advisory Committee On Intergovernmental Relations. In 2006, Stroger suffered a severe stroke and had to resign as president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners despite being re-elected earlier in the year.
A long time member of St. Felicitas Catholic Church, Stroger and his wife, Yonnie, have a son, Todd, and a daughter, Yonnie Lynn. Another son, Hans Eric passed away while in college. Stroger’s surviving son, Todd, is the president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
Stroger passed away on January 18, 2008 at the age of 78.
Lorraine Vivian Hansberry was born in Chicago, Illinois. During her short life she becomes one of Black America’s most prolific authors and playwrights. She became a noted playwright and is best known for her play, “A Raisin in the Sun.” On March 11, 1959, when it opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, it became the first Broadway play written by an African American woman. Her other works include “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window,” “To Be Young, Gifted and Black: Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words,” “Les Blancs,” and “The Movement: Documentary of a Struggle for Equality.” She died from cancer on January 12, 1965. After her death, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” became a major off-Broadway production.
Reverend Dr. James Alfred Smith, Sr. was born on this date in Kansas City, Missouri to Amy Gates Smith and Clyde Anderson. Smith grew up in a working class black community in Kansas City. Smith remembers going to Negro League baseball games and watching Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby and Satchel Paige play ball. Early on, Smith wanted to become a jazz musician and played the alto saxophone as a youth. He attended Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School, whose student body and faculty was all black. Smith says that his teachers, mother and scoutmasters played a very important role in making him the man he would become.
Smith attended Arteco High School and was voted class president of his student body and also served as all-city class president for the entire City of Kansas City. In 1951, Smith was called to the ministry. In 1952, he received his B.S. degree in education at the seminary of the Missouri School of Religion. Smith received his bachelor’s degree in divinity in 1959 and his master’s degree in theology in 1966. In 1972, he received his Ph.D. in laws from the Inter-Baptist Theological Center in Houston, Texas and his Ph.D. in divinity from the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary Simi Valley, California that same year.
Smith is senior pastor of Oakland, California’s Allen Temple Baptist Church whose membership has reached over 5,500. His son, James Alfred Smith, Jr., is also a minister and serves as the church’s co-pastor. Smith is a professor of preaching and church ministry at American Baptist Seminary of the West. He is the author of several books including Outstanding Black Sermons, Blessing Those Who Mourn, Giving to a Giving God, On The Jericho Road, and Speak Until Justice Wakes: Prophetic Reflections.
Olympic Gold Medalist Rod Milburn was born on this date in Opelousas, LA. Milburn is best known for winning the gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics in the 110m hurdles in a new world record time of 13.24 seconds. Milburn died on November 11, 1997. He was 47.
Eccentric model and singer Grace Jones was born Grace Mendoza in Spanish Town, Jamaica on this date. She moved with her family to Syracuse, New York at the age of 12. She became a performance artist known as Grace Jones and a transatlantic model for the Ford and Wilhemina agencies. She later wrote music and performed as a singer. Her releases extended from 1977 through 1998. She also succeeded as a movie star appearing in the movies “A View to a Kill,” “Conan the Destroyer,” and “Deadly Vengeance.” In addition to her singing and modeling, her unusual style propelled her into a status as one of the icons of the disco and new music scene of the 1970s.
On this date, Juan Marichal debuted as a San Francisco Giant pitcher against the Philadelphia Phillies. He made an immediate impression. In his debut, he took a no hitter into the eighth inning only to surrender a two-out single to Clay Dalrymple. He ended up with a one-hit shutout, walking one, and striking out 12.
He started 10 more games that season, finishing at 6-2 with a 2.66 earned run average (ERA). He improved his victory totals to 13 and 18 over the following two seasons, respectively, before finally cracking the 20-victory plateau in 1963, when he went 25-8 with 248 strikeouts and a 2.41 ERA. Marichal enjoyed similar success through the 1969 season, posting more than 20 victories in every season except 1967, and never posting an era higher than 2.76. He led the league in victories in 1963 and 1968, when he won 26 games. He and Sandy Koufax were the only two Major League pitchers in the post-war era (1946-present) to have more than one season of 25 or more wins. Each pitcher had three such seasons in their careers. Incredibly, despite winning more games during the decade of the 1960s (191) than any other major league pitcher, Marichal did not receive a single vote for the Cy Young Award during this time.
Marichal pitched a no-hitter on June 15, 1963, and was named to nine All-Star teams. He was selected MVP in the 1965 game. His All-Star Game record was 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA. Juan Marichal was selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. Juan Marichal was also inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame. His uniform number 27 has been retired by the Giants. In 1999, he ranked #71 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He was honored before a game between the Giants and Oakland Athletics with a statue outside AT&T Park in 2005, and was named one of the three starting pitchers on Major League Baseball’s Latino Legends Team. In 1976, sportswriter Harry Stein published an “All-Time All-Star Argument Starter,” consisting of five ethnic baseball teams. Marichal was the right-handed pitcher on Stein’s Latin team. Juan Marichal was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame on July 20, 2003 in pregame on field ceremony at Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco, California.
As part of the process towards independence, Kenya held a general election.
On this date, the N.A.A.C.P. announced a major campaign against Northern school segregation based on housing patterns.
Howard University law professor Patricia Roberts Harris was named U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg. She was the first African American woman to become an ambassador for the U.S.
Piano stylist and vocalist, Bobby Short, gained national attention as he presented a concert with Mabel Mercer at New York’s Town Hall. He was the featured artist at the intimate Hotel Carlisle for years.
Following the announced secession by Biafra from Nigeria and the subsequent government backed invasion, the Biafran city Port Harcourt was taken by Federal troops.
Shortly after the death of Martin Luther King, the Last Poets were born. David Nelson, Gylan Kain, and Abiodun Oyewole, were born on this date, the anniversary of Malcolm X’s birthday, in Marcus Garvey Park. They grew from three poets and a drummer to seven young black and Hispanic artists: David Nelson, Gylan Kain, Abiodun Oyewole, Felipe Luciano, Umar Bin Hassan, Jalal Nurridin, and Suliamn El Hadi (Gil Scott Heron was never a member of the group). They took their name from a poem by South African poet Willie Kgositsile, who posited the necessity of putting aside poetry in the face of looming revolution. “When the moment hatches in time’s womb there will be no art talk,” he wrote. “The only poem you will hear will be the spearpoint pivoted in the punctured marrow of the villain....Therefore we are the last poets of the world.”
Coleman Randolph Hawkins died in New York City at the age of 65. He was responsible for the coming of age of the tenor saxophone in jazz ensembles and called the “father of the tenor saxophone.”
Stevie Wonder moved to the number one position on the “Billboard” pop music chart with “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” It is the third number one song for Wonder, following earlier successes with “Fingertips, Part 2” in 1963 and “Superstition” in 1973. He will have seven more number one hits between 1973 and 1987: “You Haven’t Done Nothin’”, “I Wish”, “Sir Duke”, “Ebony & Ivory” (with Paul McCartney), “I Just Called to Say I Love You”, “Part-Time Lover,” and “That’s What Friends are for.”
On this date, Cicely Tyson won two Emmys for “Best Lead Actress in a Drama” and “Actress of the Year, Special” for her moving portrayal of the fictional Civil War slave Jane Pittman in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
Kevin Maurice Garnett was born on this date. He is an African-American professional basketball player.
He was born in Mauldin S.C., just outside of Greenville, to O’Lewis McCullough and Shirley Irby Garnett. He has two sisters, Sonya and Ashley. In his hometown, he is remembered as the tall kid with the ball, who pushed the curfew at Springfield Park, shooting baskets until midnight or alone in the dark. His friends say that he had to play, and basketball was in his blood.
Garnett’s father loved the game and was also an outstanding player. Garnett grew up with a stepfather who did not encourage him to play basketball; his mother wanted him to study more and go to college. When Garnett tried out for the Mauldin Mavericks, he didn’t tell his mother, and she learned about it after the season had started. Garnett was so good, by his junior year in high school, tickets to all Mavericks’ games sold out. People stood in hallways outside the gym just to listen to him play.
Garnett went on to graduate from Farragut Academy High School in Illinois. He grew up as a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and has said Tony Dorsett and Magic Johnson were his sports heroes.
Garnett was drafted with the fifth pick of the 1995 NBA Draft by the then-struggling Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2007, Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics.
Since turning pro after high school, he’s earned the status as one of the wealthiest paid players in the NBA. Newsweek listed Garnett as one of the 100 most influential people of the current decade. He is a spokesperson for Adidas, American Express, And 1, and the American Dairy Association.
Garnett launched his own OBF (Official Block Family) clothing line in the 2002. In 2003, he won the mid-season All-Star game MVP award and led the NBA in double doubles (points and rebounds) for 2003. With an eye for the larger community, he also has created his own foundation. During the 2003/2004 basketball season Garnett won the NBA’s MVP award and took his team to the NBA western conference finals.
Recently, Garnett started 4XL to provide young people with a road map for achievement. 4XL provides exposure to opportunities, access to business and community leaders, and the skills required to be academically, professionally, and personally successful.
1977President Jomo Kenyatta banned big-game hunting in Kenya in an attempt to conserve wildlife.
The first batter Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher Jim Bibby faced, on this date, got a hit. Terry Harper would be the only Atlanta Brave batter not to go right back to the dugout. Bibby was perfect after Harper’s hit. He retired 27 hitters in a row for a one-hitter as he and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Atlanta Braves and Phil Niekro 5-0.
On this date, Bob Marley and the Wailers started a 12-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with the compilation album “Legend,” released to commemorate the third anniversary of Marley’s death.
A Belgian woman, anti-apartheid activist Helene Pastoors was sentenced to 10 years in South Africa charged with treason or terrorism in helping the main black guerrilla group fighting white rule. Pastoors, 44 years old, was served with an indictment at Johannesburg magistrate court charged with treason, which could carry the death penalty. Bail was refused and her trial was on April 14. Belgium protested to Pretoria over her eight-month detention without charge. Miss Pastoors was the former wife of Klass de Jonge, a Dutch national who took refuge in the Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria in July, 1985 after escaping from policemen investigating arms smuggling. The state charged that Mrs. Pastoors had carried out reconnaissance work for the African National Congress and set up arms caches for the banned guerrilla group.
Troops of the South African Defence Force (SADF) carried out raids on alleged African National Congress (ANC) targets in Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Several people were left dead or injured. The targets included the ANC’s operational headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia and bases in Ashdown Park, Harare and Gaborone, Botswana. Such raids were not new, the first one having taken place in 1981, on an alleged ANC base in Matola. Other military raids included actions against ANC bases in Mozambique (1981), Lesotho (1982 & 1986) and Swaziland (1986).
Following the banning of the ANC and other anti-apartheid organizations in 1960 and increasing terror from the Apartheid security forces, these movements went into exile, and the ANC set up headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia. In the 1960s, the ANC extended resistance activities to armed struggle and thus set up an underground armed wing uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK). MK undertook various acts of sabotage against strategic state structures. Although it did not target civilians, a bomb explosion outside the Air Force headquarters in Church Street, Pretoria on May 20, 1983 resulted in injury of civilians. The government retaliated with an attack on an alleged ANC base in Maputo, Mozambique. As the conflict escalated, President P. W. Botha declared a state of emergency in mid-1985. The next year, he sanctioned the raids on the neighboring countries to crush the resistance leadership and destroy the ANC in exile.
Subsequently, Britain and the United States vetoed a UN resolution which would have unequivocally condemned the raids and imposed sanctions on South Africa.
In Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Board of Education’s policy of laying off white teachers while retaining black teachers with less seniority.
On this date, James Brown was arrested for the fifth time in 12 months, following a car chase near his home. He was charged with assault, resisting arrest, and being in charge of illegal weapons. He was given a 6 year jail sentence.
Willy T. Ribbs became the first African American driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. During the race, which occurs the following week, Ribbs will be forced to drop out due to engine failure.
Malawi’s first President Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, since independence from Britain in 1964, conceded defeat to Bakili Muluzi in the country’s first multi-party election. With 30 years at the helm as Africa’s longest ruling dictator, Kamuzu bowed gracefully and congratulated the incoming president wholeheartedly and hoping that he would be able to usher Malawi into a new era. Banda died in a hospital in South Africa in 1997, at the age of 101 and despite the controversy, which surrounded his rule, he was given a state funeral.
The Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Law on the South African president and the president of the African National Congress (ANC), Thabo Mbeki. He also received the Newsmaker of the Year award from the Pretoria Press Club.
In a rain-delayed game‚ the Giants defeated the Braves‚ 6-3‚ as Barry Bonds hit 3 HRs. He took over 13th place on the all-time homer list.
On this date, the University of San Francisco Dons gave an honorary degree to its undefeated 1951 football team.
This tribute came because of a game it never played. The team sacrificed glory for honor when, during an era of segregation, it refused to leave its two African-American players behind to help secure a bid for a post-season bowl game. USF honored the team for its courage, its selflessness, and its unity during school commencement ceremonies. The team is often called the greatest collection of college football heroes ever to play together.
The SF Dons that year went all season without a single loss or even a tie. But despite its undefeated status, the team did not receive an invitation to play a post-season bowl game. In 1951, the Dons were battling a different kind of opponent, racism. That year, the team was one of only a few football teams in the nation with Black players. If they left behind their Black teammates, Ollie Matson and Burl Toler, they would have been invited to a bowl game. For the Dons, the decision was easy: everyone goes, or nobody goes. And so the team came to be known as undefeated, untied, and uninvited.
Dan Boggan, senior vice president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, said that night, “When you think about the time the decision was made by the Dons not to play in the bowl . . . it warms my heart and gives me hope that we as people will continue to learn that standing together we are stronger; that’s the American spirit.”
Civil rights leader and founder the local NAACP branch in Hyannis, MA, Eugenia Fortes died on this date at Cape Cod Hospital, Hyannis.
Mrs. Fortes was born in Cova deJauna, Brava, Cape Verde Islands. In 1920, she immigrated to the United States, arriving in New Bedford on the schooner Melissa Trask. She also lived for a brief time in Harwich, but spent the last 68 years in Hyannis. She attended New Bedford and Harwich public schools and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth in 1995. She also received honorary degrees from Bridgewater State College and Cape Cod Community College. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Hyannis since 1934. Mrs. Fortes was a housekeeper in Hyannisport and a baker and cook for the Barnstable public schools lunch program from 1958 to 1969. She also catered private parties and social events. She was well-known and active in the community, serving on the board of the Hyannis Library, the executive board of Red Cross of Cape Cod and as a member of Barnstable Council on Aging, Cape and Islands Elder Services and other organizations. She joined the NAACP in 1961 and was a founding member of the NAACP Cape Cod branch. She regularly attended Barnstable Town Council meetings. In her past decade, she was awarded and acknowledged for her many achievements, including receiving the Cape Cod Academy Living Heroes award in 1994, Gov. Weld’s Naturalized Outstanding Citizen Award in 1995, and the Region II NAACP Unsung Hero Award in 2006. She was once featured on WCVB -TV's ''Chronicle.'' In December 2003, the town of Barnstable renamed East Beach in Hyannisport in her name. She was 94.
Actor and comedian Carl Wright, who appeared in Barbershop and its sequel Barbershop 2: Back In Business as Checkers Fred, died of cancer on this date at his home in Chicago. A native of Orlando, FL, Wright began his career in show business as a tap dancer at the age of 16. Before he switched to acting, he worked as a stand-up comedian. According to a family member Wright worked with “everyone from Elvis Presley to Frank Sinatra.” He made his feature film debut as the hungry and flirtatious minister, Rev. Williams, in the 1997 hit Soul Food. Wright’s other movie credits include Big Momma’s House and The Cookout. Wright also co-hosted a Chicago cable access show entitled Blues and More with Pervis Spann. Carl Wright was born in Orlando, FL in 1931. He was 76.
On this date, lawyers for Michael Jackson dropped an effort to block an auction of the star’s personal belongings and other Jackson family items. An agreement was reached with representatives of an auctioneer, who was the current owner of the materials, and a New Jersey man who claimed to own a warehouse full of Jackson memorabilia after a failed business venture wound up in bankruptcy court.
On this date, James A. Young, a 53 year old Pentecostal minister and former Mississippi Neshoba County supervisor, with the help of White voters, was elected mayor of Philadelphia, MS, a town of 7,300 people with about a 40% Black population. In being elected to this office, Young became the first Black to be elected to that city. Beyond his becoming the first Black mayor elected Philadelphia, MS, the true significance of his election comes from the fact that Philadelphia, MS was the scene of perhaps the grizzliest event of the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. It was Philadelphia, MS in 1964 where three young civil rights, Michael Schwerner, a Jewish civil-rights worker from New York, James Chaney, a black Mississippi civil-rights activist, and Andrew Goodman of New York were worker murdered and buried.
As of this election night, Young led incumbent Mayor Rayburn Waddell in a tight Democratic Party primary runoff. Of note, there was no Republican challenger. Young took office on July 3, 2009.