Posts tagged with "civil war"

image by Sara Davidson for use by 360 Magazine

CHARLOTTESVILLE REMOVES STATUES

THREE YEARS AFTER UNITE

By: Clara Guthrie

On Saturday, the university town of Charlottesville, Virginia removed four controversial statues from its public grounds: two of Confederate generals and two that depicted Native Americans in a distinctly disparaging way.

The first bronze statue to be lifted from its stone pedestal was that of Robert E. Lee, the infamous commander of the Confederate Army, which stood in Market Street Park. This public park was once named in the general’s honor until June of 2017 when it became known as Emancipation Park; one year later, it was yet again renamed as Market Street Park.

As the crane was put in place to remove the statue of Lee, the city’s mayor, Nikuyah Walker, spoke to onlookers. “Taking down this statue is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and America grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain,” she said.

Two hours later, the statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson—who gained his enduring nickname after successfully commanding a brigade in the First Battle of Bull Run—was taken down from its place in Court Square Park. Similar to the tale of Market Street Park, this spot once boasted the name of Stonewall Jackson, was renamed Justice Park and has since become Court Square Park.

In response to the removal of both statues, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia Jalane Schmidt said, “I literally felt lighter when the statues came down, it was such a relief.”

According to CNN, both statues have been placed in storage while the city pursues different places to preserve and, more importantly, contextualize them such as museums, historical societies or Civil War battlefields. The city has reportedly already received 10 offers, six of which are out of state and four of which are within the state of Virginia.

This ultimate removal and push for contextualization came after nearly five years of heated court battles and protests. Back in 2016, then-high school student and current student at the University of Virginia, Zyahna Bryant, launched a petition to get the statues removed from their dominant positions over the city. Early the following year, city council voted to take down the statues, but this action was thwarted by a legal challenge. During the summer of 2017, “the statues of Lee and Jackson—and threats to remove them—served as a rallying cry for the far right,” as NPR said. On August 11 and 12 of that summer, this tension boiled over into the horrific, violent and racist riots of the Unite the Right Rally. On the second day of rioting, white supremacist neo-Nazis came to a head with counter-protesters when one man drove his car into a crowd, killing one woman, Heather Heyer, and injuring 19 others, only a few steps away from the statue of Robert E. Lee.

It was not until April of this year that the Supreme Court of Virginia overturned the original challenge to the removal of the statues. On June 7, the city council voted once again to remove the state-owned statues.

The racist legacy of these statues and the necessity of their overdue removal goes deeper than the obvious immortalization of individuals who dedicated themselves to the perpetuation of the enslavement of Black people. These statues are also artifacts of the Jim Crow era in Virginia, seeing as they were not erected in the immediate wake of the Civil War, but in fact decades later. The Robert E. Lee statue, for example, was not dedicated until 1924. NPR described the unveiling ceremonies of these statues:

“Charlottesville’s statues of Lee and Jackson were erected in the early 1920s with large ceremonies that included Confederate veteran reunions, parades and balls. At one event during the 1921 unveiling of the Jackson statue, children formed a living Confederate flag on the lawn of a school down the road from Vinegar Hill, a prominent Black neighborhood. The Jackson statue was placed on land that had once been another prosperous Black neighborhood.”

The programs coordinator from the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, Sterling Howell, said on the installment of Confederate memorials, “This was at the height of Jim Crow segregation, at the height of lynchings in American history. […] There was a clear statement that [Black people] weren’t welcome.”

In addition to the removal of these bronzed Confederate generals, the city also took down two statues that included harmful depictions of Native Americans.

The first statue was of Revolutionary War general George Rogers Clark on his horse in front of three crouching Native Americans and two frontiersmen behind them, one of whom was raising his rifle. This statue sat on University of Virginia grounds, across from the popular dining and shopping area called “The Corner.”

The second statue depicted famous explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, standing tall and looking outwards while Sacagawea squatted beside them. The statue stood outside a federal courthouse downtown.

Just as Zyahna Bryant opened the door to the conversation around removing Confederate statues across the city, Anthony Guy Lopez, a University of Virginia graduate and member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe, started a petition to remove the Lewis and Clark statue back in 2009. “If art can be evil, these were evil,” Lopez said. “What this says to American Indians is that violence is a part of our lives, and that we have to not only accept but glorify it.”

According to city council member Michael Payne, the council voted in favor of the removal of the Lewis and Clark statue in the fall of 2019. The process of removal was significantly sped up, however, after the contracting company that removed the Lee and Jackson statues offered last-minute to take down the George Rogers Clark and Lewis and Clark statues at no additional cost.

While these four statues no longer loom over the busy streets and passing-by residents of Charlottesville, Virginia, the fight to come to terms with the racist history of Virginia, the South and the entirety of America is nowhere close to over. In Charlottesville alone, ties to this dark past are enduring. As just one example, the man who commissioned all four of the aforementioned statues, Paul Goodloe McIntire, is still immortalized across the city, including as the name for the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.

Memorial Day illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Meaning Behind Memorial Day

THE MEANING BEHIND MEMORIAL DAY

By: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes.” – Maya Angelou

Memorial Day, once referred to as Decoration Day, is an American holiday in the United States that honors military personnel along as well as mourn those that we have lost along the way. Decoration Day was for decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. Memorial Day is formerly observed on the last Monday of May each year. It is a solemn day, but it is also important to reflect upon, appreciate and be thankful for the freedom that we all get to enjoy every day in the United States of America.

Many gather with friends and family for barbeques and celebrating the beginning of summer while others visit cemeteries and memorials to remember their loved ones lost. Each year a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. It is important to remember that we are not celebrating the wars, instead we are remembering those who served and those who gave their last breath in order to ensure that the freedoms of our country would be passed on to the next generations. We remember for the price they paid for the cost of our freedom – their lives given so ours could go on.

Memorial Day was originated after the American Civil War, where the United States faced the task of burying and honoring 600,000 to 800,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the bloodiest military conflict in American history. The first commemoration of Memorial Day was held in Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868. On this day, both Union and Confederate soldiers were laid to rest. Over the years, cities across the United States host Memorial Day parades that involve military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Americans sometimes wear a red poppy in remembrance of their loved ones, which is a tradition that was born from a World War 1 poem.  

In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Memorial Day has a different meaning behind it for every American. Here at 360 Magazine, we were able to get a few opinions from veterans in the United States.

  • Kyle Skovlund: United States Air Force – Memorial Day has a different meaning for me. Growing up, my parents would travel to Brookings, South Dakota each year to put flowers on the graves of those they had lost. When my own daughter passed away, I began doing the same thing. Memorial Day, for me, is a day to reflect on those that have been lost.
  • Michael Miller: United States Air Force – Memorial Day means remembering and celebrating. Remembering the great men and women that gave their life for our great nation and celebrating the freedoms their sacrifices have given us.
  • J.M. Skovlund: United States Army  – “Memorial Day means exactly what it was intended for, to remember and honor our fallen. They went above and beyond for our country, for the soldier on their left and right, and that’s something not everyone can say.” “Go out and remember the fallen the way you see fit. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. If it’s having a drink in their honor, do that. If it’s going to their grave to chat, do that. Either way, remember the fallen the best way you can, don’t disgrace them.”
Kayaking illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

What’s Trending in Tennessee

What’s New, Trending and Blooming this Spring in Tennessee

  • Memphis – Memphis Zoo’s all-new Kangazoo Experience lets you get face-to-face with kangaroos roaming free in the walk-through exhibit. Visitor favorites also include giraffe-feeding, the panda exhibit and Sting Ray Cove.
  • Jackson – Discover what makes Jackson a unique place for music lovers of all backgrounds whether you’re looking for new eclectic sounds, blues and gospel, country music or more with live performances of Jackson’s Hidden Tracks.
  • Nashville – Enjoy premiere shopping, world-class dining, live music and views of downtown at Fifth + Broadway. This 300,000 square foot multi-level mecca is a must-see and home to the National Museum of African American Musicand Assembly Food Hall featuring two dozen restaurants on multiple levels.
  • Columbia – The Mulehouse is a 55,000 square feet new music and event venue located a few blocks from the downtown square, established by country radio personality and broadcaster, Blair Garner.
  • Manchester – A brand new concert series features live, in-person performances in a socially-distanced setting at the Bonnaroo Farm. Concerts on the Farm includes performances by Billy Strings, Jon Pardy, Jameson Rodgers, The Avett Brothers and more.
  • Chattanooga – Grab your thinking caps, maps and don’t forget your mask. Take adventure to the next level. Learn more about Chattanooga’s top attractions and neighborhoods during the Spring Break Safari Scavenger Hunt.
  • Knoxville – Three levels of magical crystal barrooms wait to be discovered in downtown Knoxville. Bernadette’sbarrooms include the Knox County Quartz House, the Amethyst Lounge, and a stunning rooftop of Crystal Gardens.
  • Gatlinburg – Anakeesta will be in full bloom with the launch of Blooms and Tunes featuring colorful nature-themed art installations, live music and a new spring-themed menu at four restaurants in the park.
  • Townsend – The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival Noon-10 p.m. May 22 includes live music, vendors, food trucks, bigfoot competitions, oral histories, 1-mile fun run and more at the Townsend Visitor’s Center.
  • Johnson City – Grab a scavenger hunt clue card online or from a downtown business to search for 15 bronze animal sculptures as part of Wildabout Walkabout Scavenger Hunt from the public library and King Commons Park to Main and Market Streets.

New Restaurants, Breweries and Distilleries

  • Memphis – Renowned chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman are at it again, this time with their Little Bettie pizza joint inside Wiseacre’s newly opened downtown taproom.
  • Clarksville – The Thirsty Goat is a newer gathering place outside of the city that features a beer garden, artisan coffee shop and oven-fired pizzas.
  • Murfreesboro – Biscuit-based meals made baked fresh daily are at the forefront of Maple Street Biscuit Co. Jams and jellies are also made in-store. Featured on Food Network, The Squawking Goat dish is an all-natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion and house-made pepper jelly atop a flaky biscuit.
  • Columbia – Wolf and Scout Coffee Car is located in the Columbia Arts Building serving varieties of coffees and their signature drink, the Wolfhunter.
  • Carthage – Cajun wings, honey BBQ wings, onion rings, fries and delicious sides are on tap at Something 2 Wing About.
  • Farragut – 35 North, located in the heart of Farragut, features the area’s best food trucks, local brews, wine and spirits and features two patios, an outdoor fireplace and a place for gathering.
  • LaFollette – Twin Flame features amazing hot dogs, burgers, wings, catfish, specialty drinks and much more with carry-out and dining room seating available.
  • Wartburg – The MoCo Brewing Project is Morgan County’s latest brewery and coffee shop with signature beers named and influenced by local landmarks. The owners brew beer, coffee and offer flavored coffee and hot chocolate.
  • Sevierville – Tennessee Shine Co.uses family recipes and small-batch distilling, features a tasting bar and Moonshine Tour.
  • Johnson City – Watauga Brewing Company is a three story brewery, restaurant and rooftop bar. Restaurant On 2 combines upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian and southern roots. The chef uses local, seasonal foods in her menu. 

New Attractions and Exhibits

  • Memphis –Visitors can enjoy movie nights and world-renowned musicians in an all-new outdoor setting at The Grove at GPAC.
  • Memphis – Graceland celebrates the 50 anniversary King of Rock ‘n’ Roll meeting then President Richard Nixon with a special pop-up exhibit and artifacts with Dear Mr. President: Elvis and Mr. Nixon.
  • Nashville – Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland includes a live story time show, art activities, cookie decorating, scavenger hunt, boat rides and other fun programming.
  • Knoxville – Zoo Knoxville’s The ARC (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Campus), open spring 2021, will showcase the zoo’s pioneering conservation work with these species and feature revolutionary STEM education resources.
  • Johnson City – Paradise Acresis a family farm park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, outdoor laser tag, barn-side drive-in theater and U-Pick produce.

New Hotels & Places to Stay

  • Memphis – Walk the line between southern hospitality, offbeat and elevated cuisine to get a genuine taste of Midtown’s unconventional personality, storied art district and Overton Square at The Memphian, set to open April 2021.
  • Memphis – Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is within walking distance of the city’s famed entertainment district, nestled in a vibrant neighborhood known for lauded music venues, historic landmarks, southern comfort and Memphis-style barbecue.
  • Nashville – W Hotel Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of the Gulch. Opening spring 2021 with 346 rooms, the new hotel will welcome visitors with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces.
  • Pigeon Forge – Pigeon Forge RV Resort along the Little Pigeon River includes 149 RV sites, camping, riverside fishing, illuminated river walk. On-property offerings include on-site concierge services, a pool, and hot tub, playground, picnic pavilion, a dog park, golf cart rentals, a retail store, conference room, gym, and laundry facilities.

New Stores

  • Columbia – Columbia features several new stores including Cope (in the Columbia Arts Building with a variety of trendy plants), family-owned jewelry store Tillis Jewelry on the downtown square and Southern Clutter Boutique with a variety of clothing, accessories, home goods and crafts.
  • Farragut – Euphoric Cheese features cut-to-order cheeses from all around the world, a wide variety of charcuterie items, specialty groceries and a selection of local brews. Items such as chocolate-covered figs, blue cheese stuffed olives, creamed honey and rosemary crackers will make your grazing board memorable.
  • Kingston – That Local Cheeseboard Co.features handcrafted charcuterie boards & boxes, grazing tables, customizable boxes, corporate catering, and gifts and items for special occasions.

Hot/Trending Places for Spring

  • Hornbeak – Vacation while you dine at Blue Bank Fishhouse & Grill at Blue Bank Resort with delicious weekend specials, local craft beer, live music, fire pits, butterfly garden & front row seating to a beautiful sunset on Reelfoot Lake.
  • Alamo – Drive through the 5.5 miles of safari roads in your own car, interact and feed animals at Tennessee Safari Park. After the journey, experience the walk-through zoo, enjoy refreshments at the concessions, the playground area, and the petting zoo.
  • Clarksville – Downtown at Sundown Concerts at Downtown Commons includes free live music the first and third Friday nights May through October. The large urban outdoor park allows space to socially distance with your chairs or blanket.
  • Linden – Experience serenity on the water. Commodore River Adventures offers an uncrowded, individual or small-group, artisan kayaking experience.
  • Nashville – Celebrate spring, warmer weather and longer days with more than 150,000 blooming bulbs and fun seasonal activities during Cheekwood in Bloom.
  • Nashville – Board the General Jackson Showboat, one of Gaylord Opryland’s most popular attractions, for cruises featuring first-class live entertainment, delicious meals and gorgeous views of Nashville.
  • LaFollette – Chapman Hill Winery is a quaint winery with an elegant tasting room nestled in the hills of East Tennessee on the edge of Norris Lake. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the Vineyard Vibrations live music series.
  • Farragut – Enjoy a stroll through town, a heritage trail, cemetery and educational sites to learn history of the area, pioneer settlements and more through artifacts, photos and stories during the Farragut History Walk.
  • Harriman – Lakeshore Park offers recreation fun for the family and is home to the Gupton Wetlands area, where at least 114 species of birds can be found. Bring bikes, kayaks, fishing poles and enjoy scenery and trails.
  • Lancing – Lilly Hopyard Brewery is tucked away in the woods near the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Warm up around the campfire, watch the game, play corn hole, listen to live music and enjoy the Sauced Frog eatery.
  • Winchester – Stroll with family and friends during Food Truck Fridays at the downtown Farmers Market Pavilion on the Boulevard. Downtown merchants will stay open late on the first Friday of every month.
  • Johnson City – At the 40-acre Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park, riders can experience the thrill of off-road riding from the gnarly, rocky downhill of the Black Diamond to smooth dirt paths on the green trails.
  • Pigeon Forge – Explore larger-than-life plant sculptures adorned in half-a-million colorful flower blooms, dance under an Umbrella Sky and indulge in garden-fresh flavors from chefs during Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival.

Spring Festivals & Events

  • Gatlinburg (March 18-20) – Explore the new Gatlinburg St. Patrick’s Day Celebration complete with traditional Irish music, food, fireworks, and more. The city will be decorated with Shamrock green and feature fireworks show at 10 p.m. Friday at the Space Needle.
  • Bell Buckle (March 20) – The historic town adapts Daffodil Days to include a tree seedling give away, spring bulbs vendors on the square, spring items in stores, and a book signing by beloved former Tennessee Poet Laureate Maggi Vaugn.
  • Chattanooga (March 20-21) – Come see the High Falls flow green during Shamrock City at Rock City featuring Irish food, specialty beer from Chattanooga Brewing Co., bagpipers, pop-up Irish dance performers, and virtual scavenger hunt.
  • Linden (March 26-27) – The Blooming Arts Festival mixes fine arts, local craftsmanship, performances and fantastic local eats. Masks and social distancing recommended. Sanitization stations will be up on Main Street.
  • Pigeon Forge (March 26-28) – Cowboy cooks circle the wagons for the one-of-a-kind outdoor Pigeon Forge Chuck Wagon Cookoff that features chuck wagons–the original food trucks. Attendees can sample the offerings at lunch.
  • Murfreesboro (March 29-April 2) – Looking for a fun and safe way to kick off spring? Stop by the Discovery Center for Mess Fest. Get creative and messy with free outdoor activities such as making oobleck, elephant toothpaste and more.
  • Spring Hill (April 2) – Grammy Award Winner Casting Crowns performs a socially distancing family-friendly drive-in concert 7 p.m. at RippavillaTickets benefit the Well Outreach Food Pantry.
  • Crossville (April 2-June 24) – Cumberland County Playhouse kicks off its 2021 spring season with productions like Clue on Stage, The Savannah Sipping Society, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now and Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.
  • Savannah (April 3) – The 9th Annual Generals Breakfast kicks off at 9 a.m. at Cherry Mansion with an outdoor breakfast, storytelling program and a Q&A by the homeowners. Tickets are $15. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.
  • Murfreesboro (April 23) – Travis Tritt with special guest Frank Foster takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Hop Springs Beer Park. There’s live music every weekend at the family & dog-friendly park with food and a huge selection of craft beers on tap.
  • Harriman (May 1) – The May Day Craft and Antique Fair will have vendors that display handmade crafts, vintage items and antiques, food vendors, live entertainment and classic car show.
  • Granville (May 1) – The Cornbread & Moonshine Festival features whiskey tastings, cornbread tasting, food, music, and craftsmen. Admission is $5. The new Whiskey Decanter Museum also opens with over 3,000 whiskey decanters.
  • Cookeville (May 1) – Cookeville Storyfest 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the big tent in Dogwood Park includes headliners Andy Offutt Irwin and Minton Sparks, and an amateur storytelling competition.
  • Tellico Plains (May 1) – The Tellico Trout Festival 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. downtown gathers fishermen, river sports enthusiasts and families for fun, education, food, entertainment and outfitter services.
  • Gatlinburg (May 1-3) – Guests can begin a creative journey in crafts, woodworking, basket weaving, jewelry making and more during Hands on Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Register in advance before workshops sell out.
  • Pigeon Forge (May 5-8) – Textile art and techniques to stitch quilts are on display at Pigeon Forge’s A Mountain Quiltfest. Guests can register for instructional classes. The free quilt exhibit and vendor hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the LeConte Center.
  • Sweetwater (May 7-8) – Head to Historic Downtown Sweetwater for the Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival with live music, barbecue competition, vendors, picker’s corner, kids’ zone and fun activities.
  • Smithville (May 8) – Center Hill Lake Fest 4-10 p.m. at The Burlap Room Beer Garden and Dispensary features plenty of space to socially-distance while enjoying food from local food trucks, craft beer and local vendors. Please wear a mask in vendor and restroom lines. Tickets for the kid and pet-friendly event start at $20.
  • Rugby (May 8) – Raise a cup to Queen Victoria during the Queen’s Tea at Historic Rugby. The festive tea will include sandwiches, scones and dessert. Tickets are $22.
  • Wartburg (May 15) – The Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival is filled with music, food, exhibits, creative arts, crafts, a car show and 24 designated scenic trails 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. around courthouse square.
  • Harriman (May 22-23, May 29-31) – Join a weekend of fun with costume contests, pirate Olympics, treasure hunts, get a picture with a mermaid or scallywag or shop the merchant village for unique treasures at the 5th Annual Tennessee Pirate Fest.
  • Bell Buckle (May 29) – Load up the car and go on an adventure in Historic Bell Buckle geocaching for prizes 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the Bell Buckle Car Cache and Pig Bash. Registration information can be found here.
  • Donelson (May-October) – Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, shop from local vendors, listen to live music and stroll through the historic grounds of Two Rivers Mansion Fridays 4-7 p.m. during the outdoor Hip Donelson Farmers Market.

For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit the calendar on the website.  

Rita Azar illustrates US Federal officer story in 360 MAGAZINE.

Federal Agents Move into Multiple US Cities

By Emmet McGeown

On June 29, 4-year old LeGend Taliferro was killed by gunfire in Kansas City, Missouri. He had fallen asleep inside his pillow fort and at around 2am he was murdered in a targeted shooting of his apartment, according to the Kansas City Police Department.

Having been diagnosed with a heart defect shortly after birth, LeGend received his first open-heart surgery at just 4 months old. His mother, Charron Powell, said that her only child “has the heart of a lion” and was always excited to create awareness for conditions similar to his.

As a result of this horrific murder and spiking crime rates in St. Louis Attorney General, William Barr, announced “Operation LeGend” on July 8. This Justice Department initiative has directed agents from the FBI, DEA, ATF, and US Marshals Service to supplement local law enforcement agencies with the aim of cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and aiding ongoing homicide investigations.

In total, 225 federal agents were sent to Kansas City to help the 400 federal agents already located in the metro area. US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Tim Garrison, announced on July 31 that 97 arrests have been made by federal and local law enforcement since the launch of Operation LeGend. Five arrests were made for homicide, but other offenses cited were drug trafficking, robbery, and child molestation.

However, this has not been the extent of federal intervention in US cities. In a Fox News phone interview, the President stated “We’ll go into all of the cities, any of them. We’re ready.” Such a statement is emblematic of the President’s desire to make federal policing a key part of his Nixonian “law and order” campaign strategy. Undoubtedly, he is hoping to appeal to suburban voters worried about crime spilling into their neighborhoods from urban centers. The President also claimed that he was prepared to dispatch “50,000, 60,000 people” into American cities.

Trump has presented increasing crime rates in cities as a partisan issue whereby Democrat-run cities are the most dangerous places in the country largely due to their leadership’s political affiliation. Overall, out of the 50 largest cities in the US the homicide rate has increased by 25% in cities with Democratic mayors and by 15% in Republican-run cities revealing a decidedly bipartisan issue despite the President’s best efforts.

Operation LeGend’s coordinated law enforcement plan has now expanded into Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee. Reasons for this move include a 54% increase in homicides in Chicago from last year, a 7% increase in Detroit’s violent crime compared to the previous year while each of Cleveland’s 5 police districts are coping with an increase in shootings of around 20%.

Such statistics reveal a problem in many US cities, yet the question remains as to whether this problem can or should be solved through federal intervention or whether this, being a local issue, should be remedied via local resources.

QuantumERA × Battle of Gettysburg

Free and Early Release of Mixed-Reality App that Recreates Battle of Gettysburg

Gettysburg: A Nation Divided has pushed its launch date and waived download fees to assist teachers, parents, and students

Parents and teachers are in search of educational solutions as millions of students are now learning from home.  To help and expand their choices, a new mixed-reality app that recreates the Battle of Gettysburg is launching early.  Normally priced at $12.99, the app will be free of charge for a limited time.

QuantumERA‘s Gettysburg: A Nation Divided, is a mobile experience that envelopes students in the battle as it unfolds around them. Narrated by actor Scott Eastwood, the app’s immersive scenes transport users to 1863 with 360-degree views and avatars of men and women who were involved in the battle. Included is an artifact scavenger hunt with the ability to earn points. The student’s involvement and interactivity provide a better understanding of what happened during the turning point of the Civil War.

“Working from home while schooling our two children has been overwhelming,” said mother of two, Laura Aplin. The Gettysburg app ”has been an educational retreat for our kids. Not only are they learning about one of the most important battles in American history, but they are also able to travel through time and outside of our home. They’re not just watching something, they’re part of the experience. The added blessing is that it allows me to dedicate more time to work knowing that the kids are engaged in something productive.”

Gettysburg: A Nation Divided unites historical scholarship and mixed-reality platforms to transform students from being in the audience to becoming part of the experience. This is a critical point of engagement in a world of video games and social media, where audiences are craving highly visual and interactive experiences.

“The world we live in has changed so dramatically in a matter of weeks,” said Lane Traylor, CEO of QuantumERA. “The QuantumERA team wanted to help by waiving fees to help children learn and also escape for a while. We also want to support the millions of teachers and parents who are undertaking multiple roles, easing some of the stress that comes with navigating their new norms.”

QuantumERA is a leading content creation company that creates mixed reality experiences.  They are most well-known for their award-winning Experience Real History™ brand that recreates the Battle of the Alamo through augmented reality apps and products.

Teachers and students can find free resources for hours of engagement and fun at PerspectivesXR.org, QuantumERA’s education partner.

Free downloads of Gettysburg: A Nation Divided are available in The Apple App Store for a limited time. The BETA version of this app, optimized for Apple iPads,  is now available. Mobile optimization for other Android devices coming soon.

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STEVE AOKI’S “NEON FUTURE” × NYCC

Grammy nominated DJ/Producer Steve Aoki’s new comic book series NEON FUTURE which will be debuting at NYCC.

The series was created in collaboration with Eisner Award winner Jim Krueger (DC Comics “Justice,” Marvel “Earth X,” “X-Men, “The Avengers”) and will be released by publisher Impact Theory.  The first issue will be available with variant covers.

On Oct 5th, Steve will be doing a limited media interviews, Signing at Impact Theory Booth 236, and headlining a panel that features musicians who are comic book creators including Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Andy Biersack from Black Veil Brides and alt pop performer Lights (10:30amRoom 1A24 – Javits Center).

NEON FUTURE is set roughly 30 years in the future in an America that has outlawed advanced technology. A civil war is brewing between the Augmented, an oppressed class of people who have chosen to integrate technology into their bodies, and the Authentic, who have not. The resistance movement

“Neon Future” is lead by the mysterious Kita Sovee (a character modeled after Aoki), who strives to bring peace, by showing the world a brighter future in harmony with technology.  The series is a compelling, character-driven sci-fi story that chronicles the dangers of unchecked power and the limitless nature of human potential.

The first issue features collectible variant covers designed by creator Jheremy Raapack (“Injustice: Gods Among Us,” “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight,” and “Hulk Smash.”) and South Korean artist Kim Jung Gi (Marvel “Civil War 2,” Blizzard “Siege of Lordaeron”), known around the world for illustrating by photographic memory.  Supplemental collectible key art created by legendary concept artist Maciej Kuciara (“Ghost in the Shell,” “Avengers,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”) will also be made available in limited quantities.  NEON FUTURE will be available to pre-order online at http://neonfuturecomic.com