CNN-National & Wolrd

Elvis Presley Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at Elvis Presley, one of the biggest-selling musicians of all time, with more than a billion records sold worldwide.


Birth date: January 8, 1935

Death date: August 16, 1977

Birth place: Tupelo, Mississippi

Birth name: Elvis Aaron Presley

Father: Vernon Presley

Mother: Gladys Presley

Marriage: Priscilla (Beaulieu) Presley (May 1, 1967-October 9, 1973, divorced)

Children: Lisa Marie, February 1, 1968

Military service: US Army, 1958-1960

Other Facts

Nominated for 14 Grammy Awards and won three. Also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Seven of his recordings are in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Starred in 31 feature films and two concert documentary films.

His American sales earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 150 different albums and singles.

From 1969 to 1977, Elvis gave nearly 1,100 concert performances.

Elvis had 18 No. 1 hits in the United States from “Heartbreak Hotel” in 1956 to “Suspicious Minds” in 1969.

Elvis is the only solo performer to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll, Country, and Gospel Halls of Fame.

Col. Tom Parker, Elvis’ personal, business and financial manager, handled Elvis’ entire career from beginning to end.

Approximately 500,000 people visit Elvis’s home, Graceland, each year. Graceland became a National Historical Landmark in 2006.


1953 – Meets producer Sam Phillips.

1954 – Records “That’s All Right,” at Sun Records in Memphis, his first hit.

1956 Makes his television debut on “Stage Show.”

1956 Has his first No. 1 single with “Heartbreak Hotel.”

September 9, 1956Appears on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

November 15, 1956 – First movie, “Love Me Tender,” is released.

March 1957 – Purchases Graceland for $102,500.

December 20, 1960 “Flaming Star” is released, Elvis’ only non-singing movie role.

February 29, 1968 – Wins a Grammy in the gospel genre for Best Sacred Performance for “How Great Thou Art.”

December 3, 1968 – The television special “Elvis” airs. It is later called “The ’68 Comeback Special.”

December 21, 1970 – Meets with US President Richard Nixon at the White House.

1971 – Receives the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

March 3, 1973 – Wins a Grammy in the gospel genre for Best Inspirational Performance for “He Touched Me.”

1972 – Has his last US Top 10 hit in his lifetime with “Burning Love.”

January 14, 1973 – Elvis’ television special, “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii – Via Satellite,” is seen in 40 countries by close to one billion people.

March 1, 1975 – Wins a Grammy in the gospel genre for Best Inspirational Performance (Non-Classical) for “How Great Thou Art.”

June 26, 1977 – Performs his last concert, in Indianapolis.

August 16, 1977 – Dies at the age of 42.

January 8, 1993 – The US Postal Service releases an Elvis commemorative postage stamp. More than 500 million are printed, three times the usual print run for a commemorative stamp.

2002 – A remix of Elvis’ song, “A Little Less Conversation,” reaches the Top 10 in music charts around the world.

August 11-19, 2007 – First annual Elvis Week. Tens of thousands attend the festivities at Graceland celebrating the 30th anniversary of his death.

November 16, 2018 – US President Donald Trump posthumously awards Elvis the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — along with six others, including baseball phenom Babe Ruth and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Walter Mondale Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Walter Mondale, 42nd vice president of the United States.


Birth date: January 5, 1928

Death date: April 19, 2021

Birth place: Ceylon, Minnesota

Birth name: Walter Frederick Mondale

Father: Theodore Mondale, a Methodist minister

Mother: Claribel (Cowan) Mondale

Marriage: Joan (Adams) Mondale (December 27, 1955-February 3, 2014, her death)

Children: William, February 27, 1962; Eleanor, (January 19, 1960-September 17, 2011); Theodore “Teddy,” October 12, 1957

Education: University of Minnesota, B.A., 1951; University of Minnesota, L.L.B, 1956

Military Service: US Army, 1951-1953, Corporal

Religion: Presbyterian

Other Facts

Nicknamed “Fritz.”

Mondale announced during his acceptance speech at the 1984 Democratic nominating convention that he would raise taxes in order to reduce the budget deficit. “Let’s tell the truth…Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you, I just did.”

Colorado Sen. Gary Hart defeated Mondale in the New Hampshire primary in 1984 and had initial success positioning himself as the candidate of new ideas, until Mondale remarked, “When I hear your new ideas, I’m reminded of the [Wendy’s] ad, ‘Where’s the beef?'”


1956-1960 – Lawyer in private practice.

1960-1964 – Attorney General of Minnesota.

1964 – Appointed US Senator from Minnesota after Hubert H. Humphrey is elected vice president.

1966 – Wins reelection to the US Senate.

1972 – Wins reelection to the US Senate.

1975 – His book, “The Accountability of Power: Toward a More Responsible Presidency,” is published.

July 15, 1976 – Jimmy Carter asks Mondale to be his vice presidential running mate on the Democratic ticket.

January 20, 1977-January 20, 1981 – Mondale serves as vice president under President Carter.

November 4, 1980 – Carter and Mondale are defeated in the presidential election by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

1981-1987 – Member of the firm Winston & Strawn.

July 1984 – Democratic presidential candidate Mondale chooses US Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro (NY) as his running mate, the first woman vice presidential candidate for a major party.

November 1984 – Mondale and Ferraro are defeated in the presidential election by Reagan and Bush.

1987-1993 – Partner at Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis.

1993-1996 – US Ambassador to Japan under President Bill Clinton.

1997 – Rejoins Dorsey & Whitney as partner and senior counsel.

1998 – Envoy to Indonesia under President Clinton.

October 30, 2002 – In Minnesota, becomes the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s candidate, filling the ballot position of the late Senator Paul Wellstone, who died October 25, 2002, in a plane crash.

November 11, 2002 – Is defeated by Norm Coleman (R) in the race for the US Senate.

June 24, 2008 – Accepts position as chairman of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes US-Asia relations.

August 1, 2008 – Becomes Norway’s honorary consul general for Minnesota.

October 16, 2008 – “Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story,” a documentary about Mondale’s life, premieres at the Minnesota History Center.

January 20, 2010 – Resigns from Norwegian honorary consul general post.

October 2010 – His memoir “The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics” with David Hage, is published.

February 12, 2014 – Undergoes successful heart surgery in Rochester, Minnesota.

March 7, 2015 – Is released from the hospital after being admitted with influenza.

April 19, 2021 Passes away at the age of 93.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Terror Alert Systems Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at terror alert systems in the United States. In 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) replaced the color-coded threat scale of the Homeland Security Advisory System with a new terror alert system, the National Terrorism Advisory System.

Wireless Emergency Alerts, operated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), allow mobile phone users to receive targeted messages about safety threats.

The National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) (2011-present)

April 20, 2011 – The NTAS replaces the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). When there is information about a threat, an alert will simultaneously be posted on the NTAS website and released to the news media for distribution. The advisories indicate whether the threat is “elevated,” if there is no specific information about the timing or location, or “imminent,” if the threat is impending.

December 7, 2015 – DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson says his department will unveil a new national alert system to reflect a “new phase” of the terror threat.

December 16, 2015 – The first NTAS Bulletin is published. In it, the DHS describes the threat of “self-radicalized” individuals who may commit acts of terror inspired by extremist propaganda online. These bulletins are published every six months, describing current developments or general trends regarding threats of terrorism.

May 15, 2017 – The DHS renews an NTAS bulletin that warns of dangers posed by homegrown terrorists. The bulletin includes new warnings on the techniques used by terrorists, such as vehicle ramming attacks. The bulletin, which is set to expire in November, also includes new language describing foreign terrorist fighters.

– Warns of a credible terrorism threat against the United States.

– Warns of a credible, specific and impending terrorism threat against the United States.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

2006 – Congress passes the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act, requiring carriers that choose to participate to activate the technology by April 2012.

May 10, 2011 – FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announce a new alert system that will be available in New York City by the end of 2011 and eventually nationwide. It is originally called Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN) but its name later changes to WEA.
– WEA allows government officials to send emergency alerts to all subscribers with WEA-capable devices if their wireless carrier participates in the program. Consumers do not need to sign up for this free service.
– Consumers receive three types of alerts from WEA: alerts issued by the president, alerts involving imminent threats to safety and Amber Alerts. Subscribers can block all but presidential alerts.
– AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are among participating carriers.

– WEA alerts include warnings about extreme weather or other local emergencies, presidential alerts during national emergencies and AMBER alerts for missing children.

October 3, 2018 – The presidential alert system is tested for the first time, sending a message to nearly every phone in the country.

April 2, 2020 – In concert with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), alerts are made available with geographically targeted information regarding the outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) (2002-2011)

March 12, 2002-April 20, 2011 – The HSAS acts as a color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale. The level never goes below yellow.

August 10, 2006 – The DHS raises the threat level for commercial flights originating in the United Kingdom bound for the US to red. Raises level to orange for all commercial aviation in or destined for the United States. Three days later, the DHS lowers the threat level back to orange.

RED – Severe
Risk of terrorist attack: SEVERE
– Assign emergency response personnel and mobilize emergency response teams.
– Monitor, redirect or constrain transportation systems.
– Close public and government facilities.
– Increase or redirect personnel to address critical emergency needs.

Risk of terrorist attack: HIGH
– Coordinate necessary security efforts with law enforcement agencies and the National Guard.
– Take additional precautions at public events.
– Prepare to work at an alternate site or with a dispersed work force.
– Restrict threatened facility access to essential personnel only.

YELLOW – Elevated
Risk of terrorist attack: SIGNIFICANT
– Increase surveillance of critical locations.
– Coordinate emergency plans with nearby jurisdictions.
– Assess further refinement of protective measures.
– Implement contingency and emergency response plans as appropriate.

BLUE – Guarded
Risk of terrorist attack: GENERAL
– Check communications with designated emergency response or command locations.
– Review and update emergency response procedures.
– Provide the public with necessary information.

Risk of terrorist attack: LOW
– Refine and exercise preplanned protective measures.
– Ensure that emergency personnel receive training on protective measures.
– Regularly assess facilities for vulnerabilities and take measures to address them.

CNN-National & Wolrd

NFL Concussions Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s some background information about concussions in the National Football League. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head.

Reports show an increasing number of retired NFL players who have suffered concussions have developed memory and cognitive issues such as dementia Alzheimer’s depression and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).


Most concussions occur without losing consciousness.

CTE is a degenerative disease of the brain and is associated with repeated head traumas like concussions.

Among the plaintiffs in concussion-related lawsuits: Art Monk Tony Dorsett Jim McMahon and Jamal Anderson.

Common Symptoms of Concussions

(The NFL Player Concussion Pamphlet)
Memory loss
Loss of consciousness
Vision change
Hearing change
Mood change

Statistics on Diagnosed Concussions

(Preseason and regular-season practices plus games)

2012 – 261

2013 – 229

2014 – 206

2015 – 275

2016 – 243

2017 – 281

2018 – 214

2019 – 224


1994 – NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue creates the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee. Dr. Elliot Pellman is named chairman despite not having experience with brain injuries.

2002 – Dr. Bennet Omalu a forensic pathologist and co-founder of the Brain Injury Research Institute identifies chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers’ center Mike Webster 50 who committed suicide. Omalu is the first to identify CTE in American football players.

January 2005 – The NFL’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee finds that returning to play after sustaining a concussion “does not involve significant risk of a second injury either in the same game or during the season.”

2005 and 2006 – Dr. Omalu identifies CTE in the brains of former Pittsburgh Steelers players Terry Long and Andre Waters. Both had committed suicide.

February 2007 – Dr. Pellman steps down as chairman of the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee but remains a member.

June 2007 – The NFL holds a medical conference on concussions.

August 14 2007 – The NFL formalizes new concussion guidelines which include a telephone hotline to report when a player is being forced to play contrary to medical advice.

October 28 2009 – Part I of the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Legal Issues Relating to Football Head Injuries. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defends the League’s policy regarding concussions.

January 4 2010 – Part II of the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Legal Issues Relating to Football Head Injuries. Dr. Ira Casson one of the co-chairs of the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee denies a link between repeat head impacts and long-term brain damage.

March 2010 – The NFL’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee is renamed the Head Neck and Spine Committee. Two new co-chairs are selected and Dr. Pellman is no longer a member of the panel.

October 20 2010 – NFL Commissioner Goodell issues a memo to all 32 teams that warns of possible suspensions for offenders that violate the “playing rules that unreasonably put the safety of another player in jeopardy have no place in the game and that is especially true in the case of hits to the head and neck.”

February 17 2011 – Former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson 50 commits suicide with a gunshot wound to the chest rather than his head so his brain can be researched for CTE. Boston University researchers find CTE in Duerson’s brain the same disease found in other deceased NFL players.

April 19 2012 – Former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling 62 commits suicide. An autopsy finds signs of CTE. Easterling had been a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the NFL over concussion-related injuries filed in August 2011.

May 2 2012 – Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau 43 is found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest classified as a suicide. Friends and family members say his suicide was brought on by multiple concussions but an initial autopsy report finds no apparent brain damage. Portions of Seau’s brain have been sent to the National Institutes of Health for further study.

June 7 2012 – A unified lawsuit combining more than 80 concussion-related lawsuits on behalf of more than 2000 National Football League players is filed in federal court in Philadelphia. The players accuse the NFL of negligence and failing to notify players of the link between concussions and brain injuries in Multi-District Litigation Case No. 2323.

August 30 2012 – The NFL files a motion to dismiss the concussion related lawsuits filed by former players.

September 5 2012 – The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health announces the NFL has committed to donating $30 million to support research on medical conditions prominent in athletes.

January 10 2013 – The National Institutes of Health releases the results of their analysis of Junior Seau’s brain tissue confirming that Seau did suffer from CTE.

January 23 2013 – Junior Seau’s family files a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL claiming that Seau’s suicide was the result of a brain disease caused by violent hits he endured while playing the game.

August 29 2013 – The NFL and ex-players reach a deal in the class action lawsuit that calls for the NFL to pay $765 million to fund medical exams concussion-related compensation medical research for retired NFL players and their families and litigation expenses according to a court document filed in US District Court in Philadelphia. The agreement still needs to be approved by the judge assigned to the case which has grown to include more than 4500 plaintiffs.

December 13 2013 – The body of former NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher is exhumed in order to perform tests on his brain a lawyer for the player’s family tells the Kansas City Star. On December 1 2012 Belcher 25 shot his longtime girlfriend to death and then killed himself.

January 14 2014 A federal judge declines to approve a proposed $760 million settlement of claims arising from concussions suffered by NFL players saying she didn’t think it was enough money.

May 28 2014 – Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino and 14 other former NFL players sue the NFL over concussions. Their lawsuit claims the NFL knew for years of the link between concussions and long-term health problems.

June 3 2014 – It is reported that Marino has withdrawn his name from the concussion lawsuit.

July 7 2014 – The US District Court in Philadelphia grants preliminary approval to a settlement between retired NFL players and the National Football League.

July 17 2014 – Former NFL players Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks file suit against the NFL Players Association alleging the union withheld information about head injuries.

September 30 2014 – Dr. Piotr Kozlowski releases a report on former NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher stating that he likely had CTE when he killed his girlfriend and himself in 2012.

April 22 2015 – A federal judge gives final approval to a class-action lawsuit settlement between the National Football League and thousands of former players. The agreement provides up to $5 million per retired player for serious medical conditions associated with repeated head trauma.

November 25 2015 – Frank Gifford’s family says he suffered from CTE. Gifford’s diagnosis comes amid a growing focus on the risks athletes face from suffering repeated concussions and just hours after the NFL admitted its concussion protocols had failed when St. Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum kept playing Sunday even after his head injury on the field.

February 3 2016 – Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler who died in July 2015 of colon cancer is diagnosed posthumously with CTE by researchers at Boston University.

March 14 2016 – For the first time a senior NFL official publicly acknowledges a connection between football and CTE. At a round-table discussion with the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce when asked if “there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE” Jeff Miller the NFL’s senior vice president of health and safety policy answers “the answer to that question is certainly yes.”

July 25 2016 – The NFL and NFL Players’ Association (NFLPA) implement a new policy to enforce concussion protocol. Teams violating the policy are subject to discipline through fines or losing upcoming draft picks.

September 14 2016 – Commissioner Goodell announces an initiative intended to increase the safety of the game specifically by preventing diagnosing and treating head injuries. As part of the initiative the league and its 32 club owners will provide $100 million in support of engineering advancements and medical research — in addition to the $100 million previously pledged by the league to medical and neuroscience research.

July 25 2017 – A study published in the medical journal JAMA identifies CTE in 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research — 110 out of 111 former NFL players.

September 21 2017 – Attorney Jose Baez tells reporters that results from tests performed on the brain of Aaron Hernandez the former New England Patriots tight end who was convicted in 2015 of murder showed a “severe case” of CTE. (The conviction was vacated after his death in April 2017.)

November 10 2017 – Researchers publish in the journal Neurosurgery what they say is the first case of a living person identified with CTE. Lead author Dr. Bennet Omalu confirmed to CNN that the subject of the case while unnamed in the study was former NFL player Fred McNeill — who died in 2015. The only way to definitively diagnose CTE is with a brain exam after death.

September 12 2019 – The NFL announces that a total of $3 million has been made available in the “NFL Helmet Challenge” including $2 million in grant funding to support the development of a helmet prototype and a further $1 million prize for the winner.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Screen Actors Guild Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the Screen Actors Guild. In 2012, a merger was completed between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). The SAG-AFTRA labor union has more than 160,000 members.

SAG Timeline

June 30, 1933 – Articles of incorporation are filed. The guild is formed to get better working conditions for actors.

1935 – Granted an American Federation of Labor charter.

May 1937 – In order to prevent a strike, producers sign a contract with the guild ensuring minimum pay and recognizing the guild.

1943 – Actress Olivia de Havilland sues Warner Brothers studio for extending her contract. She later wins her case.

1945 – The US Supreme Court hands down the “de Havilland decision,” which declares that studios may no longer hold contract players for more than seven years. This breaks up the system of the studio maintaining control over an actor’s career.

1952 – The Guild signs its first contracts for filmed television programs.

December 1, 1952-February 18, 1953 – The first SAG strike is over filmed television commercials. The strike ends with a contract that covers all work in commercials.

August 5-15, 1955 – SAG holds its second strike. This time for increased television show residuals.

March 7, 1960-April 18, 1960 – Third strike over residuals for feature films sold, licensed, or released to television.

December 19, 1978-February 7, 1979 – SAG strikes for better residuals on television advertisements.

July 21, 1980-October 23, 1980 – SAG strikes with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). This strike centers on the distribution of profits from pay television and video cassette production.

March 21, 1988-April 15, 1988 – SAG and AFTRA television commercials strike. The strike is over payment for commercials appearing on cable TV.

February 25, 1995 – The first annual Screen Actors Guild Awards show is held.

May 1, 2000-October 30, 2000 – SAG and AFTRA strike against the advertising industry over commercial work compensation for basic cable and internet.

July 1, 2008 – SAG’s TV/theatrical agreement expires.

November 22, 2008 – Talks between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) end after federal mediation fails to jumpstart a five-month stalemate.

January 26, 2009 – SAG chief negotiator Doug Allen is fired in a bid by the union’s moderate faction to re-enter contract talks with the studios.

April 19, 2009 – SAG leadership split 53% – 47% to accept a new two-year contract with AMPTP.

June 9, 2009 – Members ratify the two-year contract covering television and motion pictures.

January 29, 2012 – Ken Howard, president of the guild, announces during the SAG Awards, that the merger between SAG and AFTRA has been approved by both groups.

March 30, 2012 – The merger of SAG and AFTRA is completed with more than 80% approval from both unions. The one union is named SAG-AFTRA.

January 27, 2013 – The first SAG Awards are held under the union banner “SAG-AFTRA One Union.”

March 23, 2016 – SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard dies. Executive Vice President Gabrielle Carteris assumes his duties until the regularly scheduled national board meeting April 9.

April 9, 2016 – Carteris is elected president. She will serve the balance of Howard’s unexpired term, which ends in 2017.

August 24, 2017 – Carteris is elected to a two-year term as president.

February 10, 2018 – SAG-AFTRA introduces new guidelines for members, called “Four Pillars of Change,” aimed at fighting sexual harassment in the workplace.

SAG Presidents

Ralph Morgan 1933, 1938-1940
Eddie Cantor 1933-1935
Robert Montgomery 1935-1938, 1946-1947
Edward Arnold 1940-1942
James Cagney 1942-1944
George Murphy 1944-1946
Ronald Reagan 1947-1952, 1959-1960
Walter Pidgeon 1952-1957
Leon Ames 1957-1958
Howard Keel 1958-1959
George Chandler 1960-963
Dana Andrews 1963-1965
Charlton Heston 1965-1971
John Gavin 1971-1973
Dennis Weaver 1973-1975
Kathleen Nolan 1975-1979
William Schallert 1979-1981
Edward Asner 1981-1985
Patty Duke 1985-1988
Barry Gordon 1988-1995
Richard Masur 1995-1999
William Daniels 1999-2001
Melissa Gilbert 2001-2005
Alan Rosenberg 2005-2009
Ken Howard 2009-2016
Gabrielle Carteris-2016-present

CNN-National & Wolrd

JonBenet Ramsey Murder Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is some background information about the JonBenét Ramsey murder investigation. The 6-year-old beauty pageant queen was found murdered in her Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996. No one has ever been charged in the case and the investigation is still open. Early suspicion fell on her parents, but they were exonerated after DNA at the scene was found to belong to a male unrelated to the Ramsey family.


Birth date: August 6, 1990

Birth place: Atlanta, Georgia

Birth name: JonBenét Ramsey

Parents: John and Patricia “Patsy” Ramsey

Siblings: Burke Ramsey; John Andrew Ramsey, (half-brother); Melinda Ramsey Long, (half-sister); Elizabeth Ramsey, (half-sister), died in 1992 at age 22

Other Facts

JonBenét was named after her father, John Bennett Ramsey, and her name is pronounced in a French style. (zhawn ben-AY)

She won the following beauty pageants – Little Miss Colorado, Little Miss Charlevoix, Colorado State All-Star Kids Cover Girl, America’s Royale Miss, and National Tiny Miss Beauty.

She is buried in Marietta, Georgia, beside her mother, who died from ovarian cancer in 2006, and her half-sister Elizabeth Ramsey, who died in a car crash in 1992.


December 26, 1996 – JonBenét is murdered in her Boulder, Colorado, home. Her body is found in her basement that same day. JonBenét’s mother, Patsy, says she found a ransom note demanding $118,000 for JonBenét’s return.

January 4, 1997 – Reports reveal that JonBenét’s skull had been fractured.

April 30, 1997 – Police conduct their first formal interviews with John and Patsy Ramsey.

December 1997 – Boulder police say John and Patsy Ramsey remain under “an umbrella of suspicion.”

January 15, 1998 – JonBenét’s parents decline to participate in a second interview with detectives, saying that they won’t cooperate unless police allow them to review evidence in the case.

October 13, 1999 – Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter states that no indictments will be issued due to a lack of evidence in the case.

December 2003 – A new DNA sample is submitted to the FBI database in the hope of finding new leads.

June 24, 2006 – Patsy Ramsey, age 49, dies of ovarian cancer.

August 16, 2006 – Officials announce that 41-year-old John Mark Karr has been arrested in Bangkok, Thailand as a suspect in the case. Karr allegedly told an American investigator that he drugged JonBenét and sexually assaulted her before accidentally killing her. Prosecutors later drop the case after DNA tests fail to link him to the crime scene.

July 9, 2008 – Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy says no one in the Ramsey family is considered a suspect and formally apologizes in a letter to John Ramsey.

February 2009 – The Boulder Police Department resumes its status as the lead agency investigating the case.

October 2, 2010 – Police investigators conduct new rounds of interviews.

January 27, 2013 – The Boulder Daily Camera reports that in 1999 the grand jury voted to indict John and Patsy Ramsey on charges of child abuse resulting in death, but Hunter decided there was not enough evidence to file charges and did not sign the indictment.

December 28, 2016 – After CBS airs a docu-series about the case suggesting that JonBenét’s brother, Burke Ramsey, may have been the culprit, Burke files a $250 million defamation lawsuit against the network, the production company that made the documentary and one of the experts featured in the special, Dr. Werner Spitz. Burke had filed a separate defamation lawsuit against Spitz in October, stemming from a comment the doctor made during a radio interview. John Ramsey later files his own suit against CBS in Michigan state court.

January 2, 2019 – Following an undisclosed settlement, Michigan Circuit Court Judge David Groner signs an order of dismissal in the defamation lawsuit filed by Burke against CBS.


Longest Serving US Senators Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the top 25 longest-serving senators in US history.

The Top Twenty-Five as of 1/3/2020

Names in bold are currently serving in the US Senate.

1) Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), 51 years, 5 months, 26 days
January 3, 1959-June 28, 2010

2) Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), 49 years, 11 months, 15 days
January 3, 1963-December 17, 2012

3) Strom Thurmond (R-SC), 47 years, 5 months, 8 days
December 14, 1954-April 4, 1956 and November 7, 1956-January 3, 2003

4) Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), 46 years, 9 months, 19 days
November 7, 1962-his death on August 25, 2009

5) Patrick Leahy (D-VT), 45 years
January 3, 1975-present

6) Orrin Hatch (R-UT), 42 years
January 3, 1977-January 3, 2019

7) Carl T. Hayden (D-AZ), 41 years, 9 months, 30 days
March 4, 1927-January 3, 1969

8) John C. Stennis (D-MS), 41 years, 1 month, 29 days
November 5, 1947-January 3, 1989

9) Theodore F. Stevens (R-AK), 40 years, 10 days
December 24, 1968-January 3, 2009

10) Thad Cochran (R-MS), 39 years, 3 months, 6 days
December 27, 1978-April 1, 2018

11) Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), 39 years
January 3, 1981-present

12) Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC), 38 years, 1 month, 25 days
November 9, 1966-January 3, 2005

13) Richard B. Russell (D-GA), 38 years, 10 days
January 12, 1933-January 21, 1971

14) Russell Long (D-LA), 38 years, 3 days
December 31, 1948-January 3, 1987

15) Francis E. Warren (R-WY), 37 years, 4 days
November 18, 1890-March 3, 1893 and March 4, 1895-November 24, 1929

16) James O. Eastland (D-MS), 36 years, 2 months, 24 days
June 30, 1941-September 28, 1941 and January 3, 1943-December 27, 1978

17) Warren Magnuson (D-WA), 36 years, 20 days
December 14, 1944-January 3, 1981

18) Joe Biden (D-DE), 36 years, 13 days
January 3, 1973-January 15, 2009

19) Pete V. Domenici (R-NM), 36 years
January 3, 1973-January 3, 2009

19) Carl Levin (D-MI), 36 years
January 3, 1979-January 3, 2015

19) Richard Lugar (R-IN), 36 years
January 3, 1977-January 3, 2013

19) Claiborne Pell (D-RI), 36 years
January 3, 1961-January 3, 1997

23) Kenneth McKellar (D-TN), 35 years, 10 months
March 4, 1917-January 3, 1953

24) Milton R. Young (R-ND), 35 years, 9 months, 22 days
March 12, 1945-January 3, 1981

25) Ellison D. Smith (D-SC), 35 years, 8 months, 13 days
March 4, 1909-November 17, 1944

CNN-National & Wolrd

Supreme Court Nominations Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at Supreme Court nominations.

Under Article II of the Constitution, the President nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the “advice and consent of the Senate.”

If a vacancy occurs when Congress is not in session, a recess appointment allows an appointee to serve without Senate approval until Congress reconvenes.

One hundred and sixty-four nominations have been officially submitted to the Senate (including nominations for chief justice). Of those, there have been 127 confirmations, with seven instances of individuals declining to serve.

Other Facts

The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary evaluates nominees to the Supreme Court for the Justice Department and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The organization has three possible rankings: qualified, well-qualified, and not qualified.

There is no requirement that the chief justice of the Supreme Court previously serve as an associate justice, but five of the 17 chief justices have. Three justices served on the Court immediately before being elevated to chief justice: Edward D. White, Harlan Fiske Stone and William Rehnquist. Two justices had a break between their service as associate justice and being appointed chief justice: Charles Evans Hughes and John Rutledge.

Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed nine justices during his 12-year presidency, the most since George Washington. Jimmy Carter is the only president to complete a full term of office and never have the opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court justice.


1952 – Presidents begin consulting the American Bar Association before making Supreme Court nominations.

1950s – President Dwight D. Eisenhower makes recess appointments of Earl Warren, Potter Stewart and William J. Brennan. All three are later confirmed by the Senate.

1955 – Nominees begin appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee for confirmation hearings.

1981 – Senate Judiciary Committee hearings are televised for the first time.

1987 – President Ronald Reagan nominates Robert Bork for a seat but he is rejected by the Senate. Anthony Kennedy takes the seat.

July 1, 1991 – President George H.W. Bush nominates Clarence Thomas to succeed Justice Thurgood Marshall, who is retiring.

October 11, 1991 – Anita Hill testifies on Capitol Hill, accusing Thomas of sexual harassment in the workplace. Thomas denies the allegations.

October 15, 1991 – Thomas wins Senate confirmation by the narrowest margin in the 20th century, 52-48.

1990s – President Bill Clinton is the first Democratic president since 1967 to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. He appoints two: Justice Stephen Breyer and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

September 5, 2005 – President George W. Bush nominates John Roberts to succeed the late William Rehnquist as chief justice.

September 29, 2005 – Roberts is confirmed by the Senate (78-22).

October 3, 2005 – Roberts is sworn in. The same day, Bush nominates Harriet Miers to succeed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who is retiring.

October 27, 2005 – Miers withdraws her nomination.

October 31, 2005 – Bush nominates Samuel Alito.

January 31, 2006 – Alito is confirmed by the Senate (58-42). He is sworn in by Roberts.

May 26, 2009 – President Barack Obama nominates Sonia Sotomayor to succeed Justice David Souter, who is retiring.

August 6, 2009 – Sotomayor is confirmed by the Senate in a 68-31 vote.

August 8, 2009 – Sotomayor is sworn in as the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court.

May 10, 2010 – Obama nominates Elena Kagan to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens, who is retiring.

August 5, 2010 – Kagan is confirmed by the Senate (63-37).

August 7, 2010 – Kagan is sworn in.

March 16, 2016 – Obama nominates Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. No hearings are held.

February 1, 2017 – President Donald Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch to replace Scalia.

April 7, 2017 – The Senate confirms Gorsuch (54-45).

April 10, 2017 – Gorsuch is sworn in.

July 10, 2018 – Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat of Justice Kennedy, who is retiring.

October 6, 2018 – Kavanaugh wins Senate confirmation by the narrowest margin in 137 years, in a 50-48 vote. In 1881, Stanley Matthews was confirmed by the Senate in a 24-23 vote. The ceremonial swearing-in event takes place at the White House on October 8.

September 29, 2020 – Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative federal appeals court judge, to succeed the late Justice Ginsburg.

October 26, 2020 – The Senate votes, 52-48, to confirm Barrett. The next day, Barrett is sworn-in, by Chief Justice John Roberts, officially beginning her tenure as the 115th justice on the Supreme Court.

CNN-National & Wolrd

US Census Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s some background information about the census, a count of US residents that takes place every 10 years. The Census Bureau is part of the Department of Commerce.

Most recent population information.

2020 Census – US population – 331,449,281, a 7.35% increase from 2010.

2010 Census – US population – 308,745,538, a 9.7% increase from 2000

2000 Census – US population – 281,421,906

Other Facts

The census is mandated by the US Constitution. “The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in such manner as they shall by Law direct.” – Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States.

Census results determine how federal funds are distributed to localities.

The data helps determine the number of seats states have in the US House of Representatives.


1790 – The first census is conducted by US marshals and their assistants at a cost of $44,000. The population is estimated to be 3.9 million. Residents are categorized as free white males 16 years or older, free white males under 16, free white females, all other free persons and slaves.

1820 – More detailed employment information is gathered, as respondents are asked to categorize their jobs by industry: agriculture, commerce or manufacturing. A question about the citizenship (number of foreigners within the household who are not naturalized) appears for the first time.

1840 – Questions are added about education, vocation and industry.

1850 – Marshals begin collecting “social statistics,” including information on taxes, schools, crime and wages.

1870 – The Census Bureau phases out its slave questionnaire five years after the ratification of the 13th Amendment which ended slavery. A rudimentary tallying machine is used to expedite the count.

1890 – An electric tabulation system is used for the first time.

January 1931 – In response to the Great Depression, Congress mandates a special unemployment census to assess the severity of the crisis.

1950 – Americans abroad are counted for the first time.

1960 – The census questionnaire is mailed out en masse for the first time. Computers process nearly all the data.

1970 – The population of Hispanic individuals, of any race, is comprehensively counted for the first time.

1980 – The census begins obtaining information on race via self-identification. Following the 1980 count, 52 lawsuits are filed against the Census Bureau for various reasons, including the undercounting of minorities, the inclusion of undocumented immigrants and operational issues at some Census Bureau offices. Demographic analysis later shows that the census undercounted the population by 1.2% and undercounted African Americans at a rate 3.7% higher than any other minority group.

1990 – The Census Bureau introduces a program called S-Night (streets/shelters), a one-night sweep to count the homeless popular in major cities, building on the previous efforts to count itinerant individuals. Many newspapers refer to the S-night as the “homeless census.”

2000 – Census data is released principally on the internet for the first time.

2005 – The Census Bureau begins collecting data for the American Community Survey, an annual survey that lists demographic, economic and housing characteristics for localities with populations of 20,000 or more.

December 14, 2010 – The first multiyear estimates based on the American Community Survey data are released.

March 26, 2018 – The Commerce Department announces that the question of citizenship will be reintroduced to the census. The change was requested by the Justice Department, reportedly in the interest of enforcing the Voting Rights Act. The citizenship question was included on most census counts between 1820 and 1950, according to the Commerce Department. Civil rights groups oppose the change because undocumented individuals may opt not to participate if their citizenship is questioned, leaving a significant portion of the population uncounted.

March 27, 2018 – California files a lawsuit challenging the addition of the citizenship question in federal court.

March 28, 2018 – The NAACP files a lawsuit maintaining that the Census Bureau is underfunded for the 2020 census, which it contends will result in an undercount.

April 3, 2018 – New York’s attorney general, along with a coalition of 18 attorneys general, six cities and the bipartisan US Conference of Mayors, files a lawsuit challenging the addition of the citizenship question.

October 22, 2018 – The Supreme Court blocks a deposition of Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, in the federal court case challenging the citizenship question.

January 15, 2019 – A federal judge in New York strikes down the proposal to reintroduce a citizenship question.

February 1, 2019 – The Census Bureau announces that it will move forward with plans to test a citizenship question in a nationwide survey midyear, while federal courts weigh the legality of the question.

February 15. 2019 – The Supreme Court announces that it will take up a case involving the citizenship question.

March 6, 2019 – A federal judge in California issues an opinion blocking the citizenship question.

April 1, 2019 – Associate Census Director Al Fontenot says the bureau has prepared two versions of the paper and electronic survey for 2020. One version includes the citizenship question and one version doesn’t have the question. Separately, President Donald Trump expresses frustration with the ongoing litigation, tweeting that the count would be “meaningless” and a waste of money without a citizenship question.

April 2, 2019 – American FactFinder, the Census Bureau’s data dissemination tool, is being retired on March 31, 2020, after almost 20 years. A new centralized approach to data dissemination is introduced via

April 5, 2019 – A federal judge in Maryland issues a 119-page opinion blocking the citizenship question.

April 23, 2019 – The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the citizenship question case.

June 27, 2019 – The Supreme Court issues a 5-4 ruling that blocks the citizenship question from being added to the 2020 Census. In response, Trump tweets that he has asked lawyers whether the census can be delayed until the government provides the Supreme Court with additional information to make a “final and decisive decision.” The narrow ruling does not preclude the bureau from asking about citizenship. It just prevents the bureau from asking in the manner that was presented to the court.

July 2, 2019 – The Trump Administration says it will not ask about citizenship on the census. In a statement, Ross says the bureau is printing census forms without the question, explaining that he respects the Supreme Court but disagrees with the ruling.

July 3, 2019 – Trump tweets that the Commerce Department is actually moving forward on the citizenship question, although he doesn’t detail next steps. He describes news reports of dropping the citizenship question as incorrect and fake.

July 11, 2019 – Trump issues an executive action directing the Commerce Department to obtain citizenship data through other means, tabling his effort to add a question about citizenship status to the 2020 Census, setting aside his demands last week to continue pursuing the issue despite a Supreme Court order blocking it.

July 16, 2019 – New York Federal Judge Jesse Furman issues order definitively blocking the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census in any form.

January 21, 2020 – The first enumeration of the 2020 Census begins in Toksook Bay, Alaska.

March 18, 2020 – The Census Bureau suspends 2020 Census field operations for two weeks to protect the health of its employees and the public during the coronavirus pandemic.

March 27, 2020 – The Bureau announces that, as of March 20, in-person Census 2020 interviews are eliminated to slow the spread of the coronavirus, although field workers may telephone participants “where feasible.”

May 4, 2020 – The Bureau announces a phrased restart of in-person interviews in select geographic areas.

May 18, 2020 – The Bureau extends the 2020 Census deadline from July 31 to October 31, to “ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.”

July 11, 2020 – The president issues Executive Order 13880, excluding undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census. The order directs the Commerce Department to obtain citizenship data through means other than the census.

July 21, 2020 – Trump issues a “Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens from the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census.” This excludes undocumented immigrants from being counted during apportionment, where congressional seats are distributed among the states. Advocacy groups and others plan to challenge the order in court.

July 24, 2020 – The state of New York and the New York Immigration Coalition, plus other states, local governments and advocacy groups file two consolidated lawsuits challenging its efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted. A September 10 judgment declares the memorandum unlawful. An appeal is filed September 16.

August 3, 2020 – The Bureau announces that field data collection will end a full month earlier than originally planned. To be counted, households must complete the survey by September 30, rather than October 31, as had been announced in May when plans were adjusted due to the pandemic. Advocacy groups raise objections fearing that minorities and the poor will be undercounted.

September 5, 2020 – California Judge Lucy H. Koh orders the Trump administration to temporarily stop “winding down or altering any Census field operations.” The order applies nationwide and is in effect until a September 17 hearing.

September 10, 2020 – A panel of federal judges in New York blocks officials from carrying out Trump’s directive to exclude undocumented immigrants from the tally used to divide seats in Congress between the states. The administration files a notice later in the month appealing the injunction to the Supreme Court.

September 17, 2020 – Judge Koh extends the temporary restraining order blocking the Census Bureau from winding down its efforts to count the US population. It is extended through September 24 or until the court issues its decision on the preliminary injunction.

September 25, 2020 – Koh orders field workers to count households that have not responded to continue through October 31, the date officials set after making changes due to the coronavirus pandemic. The administration appeals.

September 28, 2020 – Ross announces that he intends to conclude the 2020 census on October 5. This is more than three weeks earlier than expected and against the October 31 court reinstated end date. Ross asks Census Bureau officials if the earlier date would effectively allow them to produce a final set of numbers during Trump’s current term in office, according to an internal email released the following day as part of a lawsuit.

October 13, 2020 – The Supreme Court grants a request from the Trump administration to halt the census count while an appeal plays out over a lower court’s order that it continue. The Census Bureau announces that the count is ending on October 15.

April 26, 2021 – The US Census Bureau releases new population totals.


Succession: Presidential and Vice Presidential Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the line of succession for the president and vice president of the United States.

Presidential Succession

Article 2, Section 1, Clause 6, Constitution of the United States: In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

If the vice president cannot serve, the line of succession falls to the speaker of the House, then to the Senate president pro tempore, then to Cabinet members.

The Cabinet line of succession is:

1. Secretary of State
2. Secretary of the Treasury
3. Secretary of Defense
4. Attorney General
5. Secretary of the Interior
6. Secretary of Agriculture
7. Secretary of Commerce
8. Secretary of Labor
9. Secretary of Health and Human Services
10. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
11. Secretary of Transportation
12. Secretary of Energy
13. Secretary of Education
14. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
15. Secretary of Homeland Security

Eight vice presidents have assumed the presidency upon the death of the president; one upon the president’s resignation.

The president pro tempore serves as leader of the Senate in the vice president’s absence and is usually the senior member of the majority party.

The 20th Amendment provides that the vice president-elect becomes president if the president-elect dies before his term starts but after the Electoral College has met.

The 25th Amendment allows the vice president to serve as acting president temporarily in the case that the president is ill or otherwise temporarily unable to fulfill his or her official duties. On July 13, 1985, Vice President George H. W. Bush served as president for eight hours while President Ronald Reagan had surgery.


1792 – The Presidential Succession Act passes, making the Senate president pro tempore next in line after the vice president to succeed the president.

1886 – Congress changes the law to put cabinet officers next in line after the vice president. Proponents of the act thought cabinet officers had better experience to serve as president.

1947 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, changing the line of succession to vice president, then speaker of the House, then Senate president pro tempore.

2004 – Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) explores reforming the presidential line of succession by removing both the speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate, and expanding the list to include the ambassadors to the United Nations and those ambassadors to the four permanent member nations of the United Nations Security Council.

March 9, 2006 – The USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 is signed into law, adding the secretary of homeland security to the list for the first time, at the end.

Vice Presidential Succession

Section 2 of the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution: Whenever there is vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of Congress.

If the vice president is unable to serve, the president nominates a replacement, which must be confirmed by Congress.

If something happened to the president before a vice presidential nominee is confirmed, the line of succession of president would fall to the speaker of the House.

There is no timeline on when the president must nominate a replacement.

Before the 25th Amendment, there was no procedure for selecting a replacement for the vice president. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy spurred the movement for the 25th Amendment.


Seven vice presidents have died in office: George Clinton who served under both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison; Elbridge Gerry who served under Madison; William R. King who served under Franklin Pierce; Henry Wilson who served under Ulysses Grant; Thomas Hendricks who served under Grover Cleveland; Garret Hobart who served under William McKinley; and James Sherman who served under William Howard Taft.

When Truman succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt as president in 1945, the vice presidential office remained vacant for four years.

After Kennedy’s assassination, there was no vice president until Hubert Humphries’ inauguration on January 20, 1965.

July 6, 1965 – The 25th Amendment is sent to the states and is ratified on February 10, 1967.

1973 Gerald Ford becomes the first vice president chosen under the 25th Amendment after Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigns.

1974 – After Richard Nixon resigns and Ford assumes the presidency, Ford nominates Nelson Rockefeller to be vice president.