The oldest living American, Alelia Murphy of New York, has died at 114

(CNN)Alelia Murphy, a 114-year-old former seamstress who’d been recognized as the oldest living American, has died. The cause of Murphy’s death was not immediately available. Murphy was 114 years, 140 days when she died, the Gerontology Research Group verified. With her passing, the group lists Hester Ford of North Carolina, who also was born in 1905, as the oldest living American. The world’s oldest person is Kane Tanaka of Japan at 116 years old, it says. What she credited for her longevity Murphy’s 114th birthday on July 6 was cause for community celebration. Officials in the Harlem section of New York City, where Murphy had lived since 1926, declared it “Alelia Murphy Appreciation Day.” New York state Sen. Brian Benjamin …

Matthew Shepard will be honored with a plaque at the Washington National Cathedral

(CNN)The Washington National Cathedral will dedicate a plaque next week to memorialize Matthew Shepard, whose cremated remains were interred there one year ago. On Monday, the Washington National Cathedral and the Matthew Shepard Foundation will hold a ceremony to dedicate the Matthew Shepard Memorial Plaque to honor this legacy. Shepard’s remains are held in the cathedral’s West Crypt Columbarium but are not accessible to the public. In the same crypt, deaf-blind author and activist Helen Keller’s remains are also held. Over the past year, a slow but steady trickle of visitors has come to the chapel to honor Shepard, leaving notes, flowers, candles, and other mementos that are preserved in the cathedral archives, a cathedral spokesperson said. Shepard’s plaque will …

Bob Barker Fast Facts

(CNN)Here is a look at the life of Bob Barker, former host of the “Price is Right.” Birth name:Robert William Barker Father: Byron Barker, a utility worker Mother: Matilda (Tarleton) Barker Marriage: Dorothy Jo (Gideon) Barker (January 12, 1945-1981, her death) Education: Drury College, B.A., 1947 Military service: US Naval Reserves, 1943-1945 Other Facts Ended each episode of the “The Price is Right” with the line, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” Winner of 19 Daytime Emmy Awards. Also received an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999. Barker contributed $5 million to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a marine wildlife and environmental protection group, to help end international whaling. The society named a ship …

The pastor of a black church targeted in a foiled attack praises a student for preventing ‘a bloodbath’

Gainesville, Georgia (CNN)On a typical Sunday, about 40 congregants gather at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Gainesville, Georgia. “We stand with Bethel AME,” one colorful sign read. “Keep hate out of Georgia,” another poster said. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Michelle Rizer-Pool, said she’s been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. She knew exactly what she wanted to tell her congregation during Sunday’s service. “My message today is about encouragement,” she said. “We cannot be afraid.” Alert student helped prevent ‘a bloodbath’ Last week, police arrested a 16-year-old Gainesville High School student for allegedly planning to attack the church. “I have no doubt that we thwarted an attack that would’ve been ugly,” Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish …

For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning

(CNN)As residents of Plymouth, Massachusetts, prepared for a dinner in 1970 to mark the Mayflower landing, a leader of the tribe that had feasted with the Pilgrims drafted a speech to deliver at the event. Wamsutta was asked to rewrite the speech, but he refused. “So, he withdrew,” Tall Oak said. As word spread of that outcome, so was born the National Day of Mourning, a sort of counter-commemoration that happens every fourth Thursday of November. Now in its 50th year, the custom involves a few hundred Native Americans and nonnative people gathering on Cole’s Hill, overlooking Plymouth Rock, to consider Thanksgiving from the perspective of Native Americans. A plaque at the site notes: “Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of …

5 men are arrested after a shooting at high school football game injures 3

(CNN)Police have charged five men in connection with a shooting at a New Jersey high school football game that injured one adult and two minors. “As a result, an innocent child was caught and injured in their crossfire. Our community will not be held hostage by a few idiots intent on jeopardizing our safety and the safety of our children.” Several Pleasantville players told CNN affiliate KYW-TV they initially thought the gunshots were fireworks, but once they realized what the sounds were, they ran through a fence. “We just saw everybody from the crowd running,” Keon Henry, a senior, told KYW. “Coach was telling us get down, but we didn’t want to get down. We wanted to get somewhere safe …

With rain in the forecast, some towns consider the unthinkable: rescheduling Halloween

(CNN)It’s a recipe for a Halloween disaster. A necessary move? One such city is Spencer, West Virginia. Trick or treat in the city and most of the county was changed to Saturday on account of the weather. Spencer made the announcement on Facebook and, while some praised the decision, one commenter expressed disdain. “So needless to say anyone who wanted to take you children and requested the 31st off … ain’t gonna be able to now thanks Spencer for that,” wrote Cody Cain. But the city defended the move, saying trick-or-treaters wouldn’t have been able to go out anyway because of the anticipated storm. “Maybe take some candy to a family member’s house, pop some popcorn, and watch “The Nightmare …

A girls soccer team was penalized for their ‘equal pay’ shirts. Now their message is being celebrated

(CNN)When a girl’s high school varsity soccer team in Vermont played a game wearing matching shirts emblazoned with a bold message hidden under their jerseys, they fully expected to be heard. With three minutes left in the match on Friday, Burlington High School Seahorses captain Helen Worden, 17, scored a goal, putting her team ahead of the South Burlington Wolves. As fans erupted in celebration, the Seahorses excitedly ran toward the stands to bask in the glory. Soccer players penalized for #EqualPay shirts say it was worth it Inspired by the USWNT Lydia said the girls were inspired by the US women’s national soccer team (USWNT) and “their efforts to achieve equal pay for equal play.” The US national team, …

Why Washington Nationals fans are obsessed with the ‘Baby Shark’ song

(CNN)The Washington Nationals are headed to the World Series for the first time in the franchise’s history, and if you caught any of their postseason performances so far, you’d be forgiven for being a little confused. Long answer: The whole thing started when outfielder Gerardo Parra used the song as his walk-up music in June. At the time, the Nationals weren’t great and Parra was in a slump himself. Walk-up songs are good opportunity to show a little personality, and Parra has kids, so he decided to join the ‘Baby Shark’ trend. For whatever reason, the song stuck. Maybe it was because Parra is a cool guy, or because the Nationals, who started the season 19-31 (poorly) started playing better. …

From the aquarium to synagogues, here are the places that have stepped in as Chicago teachers go on strike

(CNN)About 25,000 educators are on strike in Chicago, forcing the country’s third biggest school district to cancel classes and leaving about 300,000 students and their families to figure out where they will go. Many Chicago children depend on the breakfast and lunch provided at school as two of their daily meals. School buildings, parks, and libraries will remain open Though the teachers are picketing, Chicago Public Schools buildings will remain open and will be staffed by principals and non-unionized support staff. According to Chicago Public Schools, students will be welcome at any school that is appropriate for their age. They will be provided breakfast and lunch, as well as a meal to take home. CPS is asking that children be …

Not everything you learned about Christopher Columbus is true

(CNN)We grow up learning all kinds of history about the founding of America, and one of the explorers taught in every classroom is Christopher Columbus. But how much do we actually know about him as an explorer and his famous journey? False: Scholars believe it was Viking Leif Erickson who first came from overseas to America. In fact, they believe Columbus wasn’t even the first European to discover what we know as the Americas.

Explosion at Oktoberfest celebration in California injures 5

(CNN)An underground electrical vault exploded at a restaurant on Saturday in Huntington Beach, California, injuring five people. The first explosion took place around 8:20 p.m. when firefighters “had just barely walked up to the area involved,” Lopez said. “Two additional explosions occurred within minutes,” he said. “Once the other fire crews arrived, they worked to ensure that the fire was isolated to the vault and to search the structure for any remaining occupants.” Video from witnesses shows a giant ball of fire erupting into the night sky. Witness Kyle Nelson told CNN affiliate KTLA-TV that he heard and saw three large explosions in rapid succession emanating from the festival. He managed to catch one of them on camera. At the …

This Tiny Doors art project is making a big impact in and outside of Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN)Scattered across Atlanta are a series of unique doors too small to be opened yet large enough to amass a legion of fans around the world and the attention of businesses like Coca-Cola. In the short time she’s been making tiny doors, Singer has become an unofficial ambassador for the art style. She has fielded dozens of calls from aspiring artists in the US and around the world seeking advice on how to start their own miniature public projects. Tiny doors have appeared in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Sydney, Australia, and countless cities in between. One artist who spotted Singer’s tiny doors on social media was McKay Lenker Bayer, a high school art teacher who lives in Provo, Utah. Bayer …

This WWII veteran wants 100 birthday cards for his 100th birthday

(CNN)James South is about to hit a big milestone in his life and he’s hoping others can help him celebrate by mailing him a birthday card. South grew up in northeast Texas in a large family of sharecroppers, his son, Jim South, told CNN. He joined the Army in 1940 and was deployed to Normandy seven days after D-Day. During his service, his girlfriend Sophie wrote him a letter every day. “They were married for 55 years until she passed in 2001,” said Jim South, who is the couple’s only child. Since retiring at the age of 65, South has stayed active by woodworking, growing his garden, playing golf, and attending church, his son said. It was only last year …

A sweet social media moment revealed, a wrong text gone right and…a telephone pole?

(CNN)You know what gets a bad rap? Pumpkin spice. That’s probably because it’s infiltrated EVERYTHING. Pumpkin spice hummus, pumpkin spice gum I even saw an ad on Facebook for pumpkin spice cleaning products! Maybe you think that’s going too far, but you know what? I say, let people enjoy things. If getting fall-flavored lattes in September when it’s still 95 degrees outside makes you happy, more power to you! If you want to lather your kitchen in pumpkin spice-scented disinfectant … er, that’s cool too. Just don’t blame your guests when they ask where the pie is. A wrong text at the right moment When Abby Fink accidentally texted a stranger instead of her church friend whose son was gravely …

‘There is nothing here’: The future is uncertain for 70,000 in the Bahamas left homeless by Dorian

(CNN)As the Grand Celebration cruise ship sailed away from the Bahamas on a humanitarian mission carrying nearly 1,500 hurricane evacuees, Ceva Seymour looked back at the hundreds of desperate Bahamians left behind at Freeport Harbour. Seymour, her relatives and all those who stayed behind are among the 70,000 people thrust into homelessness on Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands by the strongest hurricane ever to hit the archipelago nation of about 390,000 residents. Young Dorian survivor saw woman get swept away with baby Nearby, in the town of Mudd, the devastation is so complete — homes entirely smashed — that it is difficult for residents to locate where their homes once stood. Local authorities believe there are people buried under …