Civil rights activist Merlin Kennedy has become the first official black Santa Claus in Normal, Illinois nearly 50 years after police detained him for violating the town’s “One Santa Rule.”
In 1966, Kennedy had protested the town’s “One Santa Rule” by attending the annual Christmas parade as Santa Claus.
According to the McLean County Museum of History, Kennedy was riding on an NAACP float, but police stopped it before it could reach the parade route. So Kennedy and others climbed off the float walked the parade route instead, waving to the children.
“They just seen the suit and they didn’t recognize a black person in the suit. One [white] woman almost jerked her little boy’s arm off because he called me Santa Claus,” Kennedy later recalled.
But before they could finish the route, a police officer told Kennedy that he was “under arrest for disturbing the peace.” Although the incident generated sensational headlines at the time, officers eventually declined to go through with the arrest.
WYZZ reported that Kennedy donned the Santa costume once again over the weekend after the NAACP partnered with the town of Normal to host the Santa Station.
“Because of the times that we’re living in today, with so much happening throughout these United States, that we get an opportunity to rewrite history and to continue the conversations about race and inequality and diversity,” Bloomington-Normal NAACP Vice President Takesha Stokes told WYZZ.
Kennedy will be back in the costume again at the Santa Station on Friday, Dec. 18 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Watch the video below.
‘America is running away like rats’: Watch angry Kurds blame US troops for dead babies as they withdraw
The Associated Press obtained video of Kurds pelting American military vehicles with fruit as they withdrew from Syria.
The video was first captured by a Kurdish news agency, the AP said in a report on Monday.
“Like rats, America is running away,” one man shouted in Arabic. Another shouted obscenities and talked of babies in Kurdish-held Syria who had died in the Turkish offensive.
The scene encapsulated the Kurds’ feelings of betrayal and added a new indignity to a US withdrawal that has been rushed and involved several close brushes with Turkish-backed forces.
WATCH: White House protesters chant ‘impeach Trump’ loud enough for aides to hear
Protesters gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to call on President Donald Trump to be removed from office.
Videos circulated online showed protesters chanting "impeach Trump" close enough to the White House for staff to hear the demonstration.
In other videos, protesters were blowing loud whistles.
Meanwhile, demonstrators also greeted Trump as he visited his New Jersey golf course. Pro-impeachment protesters were also reportedly out on the streets in Boston and New York City.
Watch some of the video clips below.
Outside the White House right now:
White House urged diplomats to stay quiet about withheld aid to Ukraine: ‘Nothing to see here’
As Democrats proceed with impeachment, there are explosive new revelations almost daily related to President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that top diplomats were instructed to keep quiet about the temporary freeze on the $141 million package of aid to Ukraine.
“Keep moving, people, nothing to see here,” Brad Freden, the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary of Europe and Eurasia, said in an email.