Human Race

Human Race

Issue: "Unify and conquer," June 14, 2008

BORN: The family of Martin Luther King Jr. announced the birth of the late civil-rights leader's first grandchild May 25. Yolanda Renee King, the new daughter of Martin Luther King III and his wife Arndrea Waters King was named after her father's sister, who died last year. "We are excited about our precious gift from God and cannot express how fortunate we feel to have our beautiful baby girl," Martin Luther King III said. "It is truly the happiest day of our lives. I know my parents are smiling down from heaven."

DIED: Dick Sutcliffe, the creator of the religious-themed cartoon show Davey and Goliath, died May 11 at the age of 90. In the late 1950s, the United Lutheran Church in America consulted Sutcliffe about producing brief televised sermonettes, but according to Sutcliffe's daughter, Judy, "my father said, basically, 'The theology is fine, but it's not good for television.'" Instead, Sutcliffe developed the animated show about a boy and his dog. It was filmed by Claymation pioneers Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby, and his wife, Ruth Clokey Goodell.

DIED: Thelma Keane, who was the inspiration for "Mommy" in the "Family Circus" comic created by her husband, Bil Keane, died May 23 of Alzheimer's disease. Bil Keane said his 82-year-old wife was the inspiration for all of his success: "The losing of Thel is a heartbreaking thing for me. However, it makes me realize how important she was to my worldly success."

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RESIGNING: Moody Bible Institute President Michael Easley announced May 28 that he is resigning at the end of June due to chronic back pain. Easley, who joined the institute in 2005, had surgery in November but said more treatment is required: "I have come to the difficult conclusion that under the circumstances I cannot be as effective a president as the institute deserves." Easley, 51, will serve as president emeritus through the 2009 school year.

DETAINED: Myanmar officials have added another year to the five-year detention of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, has spent 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest due to her involvement with the National League for Democracy, an opposition group that won a 1990 election but was not permitted to take power.

CLEARED: The IRS concluded that Wiley Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., acted as an individual and not as a representative of his church when he endorsed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee last summer in a press release and on his radio show. The ruling means the church's tax-exempt status is not in danger.


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