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“First African American Congressman,” “Ali vs. Liston” and “Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ,” - This Day in History – Feb 25th

“First African American Congressman,” “Ali vs. Liston” and “Gibson’s The Passion of Christ,” - This Day in History – Feb 25th

 

Republican Hiram Rhoades Revels - First African American Congressman

 

Back in 1870, Republican Hiram Rhoades Revels, made history after being sworn in and becoming the first Congressman who was African American.  Mr. Revels who was a native from Natchez, MS was a college-educated Minister and chaplain for the Union Army whom helped to establish a school for freed men. 

According to history.com, “On January 20, 1870, Hiram R. Revels was elected by the Mississippi legislature to fill the Senate seat once held by Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy. On February 25, two days after Mississippi was granted representation in Congress for the first time since it seceded in 1861, Revels was sworn in.  Although African Americans Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and some 15 other African American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, more than 600 served in state legislatures, and hundreds of African Americans held local offices.”

 

Cassius Clay vs. Sonny Liston in World Heavyweight Boxing Crown

 

Back in 1964, two heavyweight boxers challenged each other in the ring, the underdog, 22-year-old, Cassius Clay and 32-year-old Sony Liston.  They sparred in a match in Miami, FL in which Clay would be announced a winner by a technical knockout.  Clay would later change his name to Muhammad Ali, and would win this heavyweight title three times during his boxing career. 

According to history.com, “Liston was a reserved, feared fighter, a decade older than Cassius Clay, and had been world heavyweight champ since defeating Floyd Patterson in 1962. By contrast, Clay was a mouthy underdog who had won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. While training for their fight, Clay, a natural self-promoter, taunted Liston and boasted to reporters that he would win by knockout. Clay came out strong during the fight, using speed and footwork to his advantage against the slower Liston. After the sixth round, Liston, who was suffering from cuts and bruises under his eyes and an apparent injured shoulder, announced he couldn’t continue. Clay won the match by technical knockout and then announced to the world, “I am the greatest!”  On May 25, 1965, the two fighters met in Lewiston, Maine, for a rematch. The bout ended with a highly controversial first-round knockout for Clay, who by then had become a member of the Nation of Islam and taken a Muslim name, Muhammad Ali. Some people claimed Liston threw the fight, possibly because he was controlled by the Mafia or because he feared retaliation from Black Muslim extremists.” 

Sonny Liston would pass away in 1971 at the age of 39.  He was found dead in his Las Vegas home and his death still remains a mystery.  He had a career record of 50 wins, 39 knockouts and 4 losses. 

Muhammad Ali would lose his heavyweight title in 1978 to Leon Spinks, they would rematch and Ali would win, however, Ali retired permanently in 1981 with career record of 56 wins, 37 knockouts and 5 losses.

 

 

Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” debuts in U.S

 

Back in 2004, Actor, Director, Mel Gibson premiered an appropriate film, that was, timely on the religious holiday of Ash Wednesday, which is the start of the Christian tradition of Lent, “The Passion of the Christ,” which discussed the 44 hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life. 

History.com stated that, “Largely based on the 18th-century diaries of Saint Anne Catherine Emmerich, the film was a true labor of love for Gibson, who later told Time magazine that he had “a deep need to tell this story…The Gospels tell you what basically happened; I want to know what really went down.” He scouted locations in Italy himself, and had the script translated from English into Aramaic (thought to be Jesus’ first language) and Latin by a Jesuit scholar. Gibson’s original intention was to show The Passion of the Christ without subtitles, in an attempt to “transcend the language barriers with visual storytelling,” as he later explained. With dialogue entirely in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic, the film was eventually released with subtitles.” 

Boxofficemojo.com listed that his movie was a success with a worldwide gross of over $611,899,420. 

According to history.com “Gibson, who put millions of his own money into the project, initially had trouble finding a distributor for the film. Eventually, Newmarket Films signed on to release it in the United States. Upon its debut in February 2004, The Passion of the Christ surprised many by becoming a huge hit at the box office. It also continued to fuel the fires of controversy, earning harsh criticism for its extreme violence and gore--much of the film focuses on the brutal beating of Jesus prior to his crucifixion--which many saw as overkill. The film critic Roger Ebert called The Passion of the Christ “the most violent film I have ever seen.” Gibson’s response to similar charges was that such a reaction was intentional. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, he claimed: “I wanted it to be shocking. And I wanted it to be extreme.... So that they see the enormity, the enormity of that sacrifice; to see that someone could endure that and still come back with love and forgiveness, even through extreme pain and suffering and ridicule.”

 

 

All History facts provided from the link below:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/enrico-caruso-the-greatest-tenor-who-ever-lived-is-born?catId=13

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