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Mississippi town mayor fights back tears as he signs order to remove confederate flags

Laurel, Mississippi is home to a little over 18,000 people, more than 61% of whom are Black. On Tuesday, the town's mayor, Johnny Magee, issued a historic executive order to remove the state's flag from the City of Laurel government properties—a moment that moved him to tears.

In a state that once declared its official position as "thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world," and listed as one of its reasons for joining the Confederacy the fact that the Union "advocates negro equality, socially and politically," the removal of a symbol of the fight to enslave Black people is a big deal. But the history of slavery is just the beginning. Mississippi was the most segregated state in the country in 1964, a full hundred years after slavery was abolished. Racism has always been rooted deeply in the history and culture of the state—including the state flag, which includes the battle flag of the Confederacy in its upper left corner.


The weight of that long history was visible in Mayor Magee's face as he tearfully sat for a full minute in front of the executive order to remove the flag. Instead of flying on government buildings in the town, the flags will be donated to the local library or other places that can keep them for posterity, according to the Laurel Leader-Call.

"Whereas through the ages, these banners have themselves grown to exemplify the traits that define the very fabric of the society they represent and have served as a means to unify, rally the spirit and passion of the citizens to one voice and purpose of the state, all of which demonstrates the significance given to these flag emblems," Magee read, according to the Laurel Leader-Call. "And whereas the current flag hovering above the State Capitol of the state of Mississippi was adopted as the state flag by the Mississippi Legislature in 1894, and the upper-left portion of this flag is often referred to as the Confederate battle flag."

Magee said the battle standard is a symbol of divisiveness and racial transgressions, "none of which represents the ideals and principles of our great nation, proud state and vibrant city."

"There comes a point in time in the annals of history when it becomes necessary to redefine who a people are, and what a collection of these people represent," Magee added. "It is the opinion of the mayor of this city that now is such a time."

Indeed. Now is such a time.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.