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Jesse Jackson is Born

Today in Masonic history Jesse Jackson is born in 1941.

Jesse Jackson is a American Civil Rights activist, politician and Baptist Minister.

Jackson began his career working for Dr. Martin Luther King. In 1965 Jackson participated in the Selma to Montgomery march that was organized by Dr. King, James Bevel and other Civil Rights leaders.

Dr. King was impressed by Jackson's drive and organizational abilities. Dr. King gave Jackson a role in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organiztion dedicated to the desegratation of bus systems across the south through non-violent means. Jackson was tasked with establishing a frontline office in Chicago after his return from the Selma-Montgomery march.

After Dr. King's assassination in 1968, Jackson began conflicting with the new SCLC president. A year later the New York Times reported that Jackson was viewed by many African-American leaders as the successor to Dr. King.

In late 1971 Jackson's conflicts with the SCLC president would become final when the SCLC president would suspend Jackson after questions were raised regarding funds from Black Expo in Chicago. Thirty of the thirty-five board members for the SCLC resigned over Jackson's treatment.

Jackson then formed Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), he would later change the name to People United to Serve Humanity.

In 1978 Jackson called for a closer relationship between blacks and the Republican party. At the time Jackson was quoted as saying "Black people need the Republican Party to compete for us so we can have real alternatives ... The Republican Party needs black people if it is ever to compete for national office."

In 1984 Jackson would start the Rainbow Coalition and resign as president of PUSH to run for President of United States. He would run for the Democratic nomination again in 1987. In 1996 PUSH and the Rainbow Coalition would merge.

Jackson was made a Mason on Site by the Grand Master Senter of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Illinois on May 25th, 1987.