This time every year, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday invokes memories of King's "I have a dream" speech. King's description of an integrated America, one where we are all judged "by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin," beautifully explains why people were willing to put so much effort and energy into the civil rights movement.
Columbus elementary schools have been welcoming visitors for more than a week, introducing prospective students and their parents to their magnet themes -- technology and communication, medical sciences and wellness, fine arts, international studies and aerospace and science.
The people have spoken -- all 126,185 of them. That's how many votes turned Mitt Romney into the Republican nominee, for all intents and purposes. In a country with more than 300 million people, less than a tenth of a half of a percent have picked one of the two men who could be the next president of the United States.
When they crafted the No Child Left Behind legislation, lawmakers should have turned to educators. They could have told legislators that you can't teach children to think if you are simply coaching them to pass a test.
Last week, a lifelong Columbus resident wrote to The Dispatch emphatically calling for better customer service.
WASHINGTON -- One thing we've learned since the Republican primary season began: There's an awful lot of pious baloney out there.
During the Great Depression, my father toiled in a box factory. The workers were all flat broke, he recalled, and desperate for every nickel. But when overtime hours appeared, the men made sure they went to a guy with kids. The laborers were obeying the unwritten and unenforceable "humanity clause," whereby one gives up some personal gain in deference to another's screaming need.
Growing up, class reunions appeared to be a big deal. People would plan them for months; people would travel great distances to attend, and everyone would dress up and reflect on high school. It almost seemed like a school dance for adults.
When a commercial building sits empty, it quickly ages. As it ages, it begins to look less and less appealing to business owners and developers. And the town begins to look unkempt.
The gesture of a posthumous pardon is one thing. Pardoning convicted killers and setting them free is another. Gov. Haley Barbour pardoned four convicted murderers -- one of whom confessed to shooting his wife to death after an argument -- as one of his last official acts as governor.
Friday afternoon around 1:30 a friend and I stood in the middle of the intersection of Seventh Avenue North and 15th Street. We had just finished fried chicken plate lunches at Helen's, and were enjoying being out in the warm sunshine. As we talked, two brick masons worked on new crosswalks at the intersection.
I grew frustrated reading Birney Imes' Saturday rant about the Iraq war. My frustration resulted from Mr. Imes' repetition of the empty assertion that the Iraq war was a pointless endeavor. It seems obvious to me that a cursory examination of the state of the world 10 years ago and a comparison to today would lead anyone to at least acknowledge that some positive changes in the world have resulted from our Iraq efforts.
The St. Stephen's Trace is a little-known but very historic road that once ran from John Pitchlynn's residence at the present site of the John Stennis (Columbus) Lock and Dam to St. Stephen's, which is about 50 miles north of Mobile.
Phil Callaway announced his New Year's resolution, "I think I'll start out by going around the house tightening jars. That way my wife will need me all year." In a funny way, Phil wants to be needed.
There's something comforting about walking into a place where they know your name and -- if you visit often enough -- what you'll have for lunch and what you'll drink with it. If they don't know your name, the waitresses have enough small-town charm to get away with calling everyone "Honey."
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