Patrick Swayze lost his 19-month battle with pancreatic cancer, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press on Monday. He was 57.
A gifted dancer, a rugged outdoorsman, a romantic leading man and a loving husband, Swayze was also, as his brother Don put it, "a warrior" in his cancer fight.
Patrick Swayze will forever be tied to my childhood. I remember watching him in Dirty Dancing and Ghost and just loving every minute of those movies. I haven't seen either in years. I suddenly feel like adding the movies to my NetFlix queue.
Thoughts go out to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.
(CNN) -- Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice."
President Obama learned about Kennedy's death at 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to a senior administration official. Obama later called Kennedy's widow to offer condolences.
In a statement, Obama says: "An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time."
When I awoke this morning to the news of Senator Kennedy I was immediately struck with a sense of melancholy I have not been able to shake since. Regardless of which side of the political fence you happen to reside the death of Senator Kennedy is truly the end of an era. He was a consummate fighter for the little guy, even though he was born into wealth himself. His hand has touched many key legislative issues over the decades, from civil rights to voting to family leave to health care. Thinking about a Senate without him there seems very odd to me.
It's a feeling some African-Americans say is all too common, even to this day in America: No matter your status or prominence in society, you're still typecast. That's why the recent arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation's most prominent African-American scholars, has stirred outrage and debate.
Jelani Cobb, an author and professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, says it's troubling on many levels when "one of the most recognizable African-Americans in the country can be arrested in his own home and have to justify being in his own home."
How is it possible that things like this can still happen in 2009? No one, regardless of race, should be treated like this standing in THEIR OWN HOME! Assuming something about someone based on race is just beyond astounding. We as a country have a lot of work to do to ensure that all humans are treated the same regardless of the things that we try to label each other with and these labels are certainly not limited to only race. We are one whether everyone likes it or not and it's high time we started acting that way!
"During my dad's deployment, it was a really tough time for my family," Hern continues. "And the more we identified with other military youth from across California, we saw they had the same need."
The high school girls, who will start their senior year in the fall, have decided to do something that nobody has done before -- not Pentagon officials, not governors, not mayors (at least, NPR can't find a record of it). They are trying to organize the first major get-together for the children, specifically daughters, of troops who have gone to war.
"We'd like to boost these girls and their self-esteem and their self-confidence," Deakin tells the camera.
"We are growing the sisterhood, with our mantra: unite, inspire, lead," Hern adds.
They call their conference "The Sisterhood of the Traveling BDUs" -- a play on the title of a popular novel and Army speak for battle uniforms.
What amazing young women these are with remarkable spirits and intentions. We often hear about the bad things that teens do, but rarely do we get to see what teens can do when they put their minds to something. Not only did they find each other to support, they want to cast their net wider to make a support system for other teens from military families. What a strong, nurturing thing for them to do!
(CNN) -- Walter Cronkite, the CBS anchorman known as "Uncle Walter" for his easygoing, measured delivery and "the most trusted man in America" for his rectitude and gravitas, has died, CBS reported Friday.
Cronkite was 92.
His career spanned much of the 20th century, as well as the first decade of the 21st. The native of St. Joseph, Missouri, broke in as a newspaper journalist while in college, switched over to radio announcing in 1935, joined the United Press wire service by the end of the decade and jumped to CBS and its nascent television news division in 1950. He also made his mark as an Internet contributor in his later years with a handful of columns for the Huffington Post.
"He was the consummate television newsman," Don Hewitt, the onetime executive producer of the CBS Evening News, told CNN. "He had all the credentials to be a writer, an editor, a broadcaster. There was only one Walter Cronkite, and there may never be another one."
Mr. Cronkite takes me back to my childhood. That indelible persona, that trademark soothing voice, his head on dealing with the news and the facts surrounding the stories that is often overlooked in today's world of sensational journalism that more times than not glazes over the facts and simply focuses on mindless sound bytes, all made up the character of the man. He will be greatly missed.
Wallops Island, Va. -- - There isn't much to see yet at the grandly named Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, just the skeleton of an old launch gantry on a piece of oceanfront leased from the federal government.
But promoters expect something remarkable to blossom on this sun-baked spit of sand and scrub on the Eastern Shore.
David Smith, a state official from Virginia, which joined with Maryland six years ago to operate a commercial spaceflight center with the lofty acronym MARS, says the area is on track to become "the Cape Canaveral of the North."
I knew they had been testing a rocket over on the Eastern Shore in Maryland, but I didn't know VA/MD were partnering for this. How cool is that?
Found via the Baltimore Sun. Hat tip to Jamison for sharing the story with me.
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The crown of the Statue of Liberty will re-open to tourists on July 4, the Interior Department said Friday.
The crown was closed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, for safety and security reasons.
The National Park Service closed the attraction amid worries that it would be difficult for visitors to evacuate quickly in the event of an emergency.
Visitors must climb a narrow 168-step double-helix spiral staircase to get to the crown.
Access to the crown will be limited to 10 people at a time, guided by a National Park Service ranger.
If you ask Alexis where she wants to go the first two places that she will likely tell you are the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower! We're hoping to take her to New York soon. France will have to wait for a while! Mom needs to go to Ireland first! ;oP