Margaret Cho rose to prominence in the mid 1990s, with her TV sitcom All-American Girl. Since then, she’s established herself as not only a talented actress but as a standup comic, fashion designer, and social activist.
I’ve met her and interviewed her twice, about her first two books. This interview was the second one we did, and as you’ll hear, her views seem as current today as they did the day we talked, 16 years ago.
WARNING: What you’re abiyt ti gear is a true story, told by the suvivor of a violent and horrisying attack. You need to know that some of the descriptions are graphic, some of the words used are offensive.
James Cameron was born in 1914 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. When he was a child, his family moved to Marion, Indiana.
It was there, in the summer of 1930, that James Cameron survived a lynching attempt.
He was a suspect in a robbery-and-murder case in Marion, Indiana along with two older teenagers. Both of them were lynched, and died. Cameron was to be the third victim of the Ku Klux Klan-led mob.
They tied a noose around Cameron’s neck, and death appeared imminent. But just as he was about to be hanged, a mysterious female voice was heard, saying Cameron was innocent.
A star local football player then stepped up, removed the noose and saved Cameron.
He did do prison time, but lived to tell about it.
I met him in the spring of 1994, when he wrote a book about his near-lynching.
So here now, from 1994, James Cameron.
In later years, Cameron became a civil rights activist and founded three chapters of the NAACP in Indiana.
Now, if you’re old enough, as I am, you may remember that this day was traditionally celebrated as Lincoln’s birthday. It was transformed into President’s Day in 1971, as part of the move toward more Monday holidays.
In 2005, noted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, whose best selling books included volumes about Lyndon Johnson and John F Kennedy, took on a new subject: Abraham Lincoln.
Struck by the political acumen displayed by this simple country lawyer, Goodman titled her book
Team of Rivals.
Was the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s a social or political movement? It was, but it was also a religious or spiritual movement, says former Congressman and UN Ambassador Andrew Young.
In a 1994 book called A Way Out of No Way, Young, a confidant of Martin Luther King jr., a former preacher, former Atlanta mayor, told his own story against the backdrop of the movement that he was a key part of.
For three weeks in October 2002, the Washington DC area was terrorized by a series of sniper attacks. Someone was randomly shooting and killing people throughout the district, and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.
Piecing together scant eyewitness Clues, police began searching for the gunman, and ultimately found, and arrested, 41 year old John Allen Muhammad and 17 year old Lee Boyd Malvo.
Both were eventually convicted, and John Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death.
In the fall of 2009, I met Muhammad’s wife, Mildred. Muhammad had planned to kill her, in a custody dispute over their children, and make her death appear to be one of the series of random sniper killings.
So here now, from 2009, Mildred Muhammad.
John Allen Muhammad was executed just a few weeks after my conversation with Mildred Muhammad. Lee Boyd Malvo is appealing his multiple life sentences without parole, but is likely to spend the rest of his life Behind Bars.
Mildred Muhammad continues to advocate for women in abusive situations.
The Kansas City Chiefs are meeting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. The Chiefs were also in the very first Super Bowl, in 1967.
But it was their misfortune that year to be playing the Green Bay Packers, who are led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr. He was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, as well as MVP of Super Bowl II Ithe following year.
I met Bart Starr in 1987, when he wrote a memoir of not just his years with the Packers, but his college career, his childhood, if you supposed to Green Bay career.
So here now, from 1987, Super Bowl 1 MVP Bart Starr:
Now the NFL hands out the Bart Starr Award, to a player of outstanding character.