Jackson

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Posted by pompos 04/06/2009 @ 17:14

Tags : jackson, cities and towns, mississippi, states, us, tennessee

News headlines
Bills re-up RB Fred Jackson - Boston Herald
By AP Buffalo backup running back Fred Jackson agreed to a contract extension, rewarding him for providing Bills' run game a valuable one-two punch along with starter Marshawn Lynch. No financial details were available. An undrafted free agent from Coe...
Horse racing fans follow Barbaro's brothers - USA Today
Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the couple who owned Barbaro and now own the siblings, say they won't saddle them with high expectations. Patience is the trademark of their trainer, Michael Matz, who also trained Barbaro. Says Roy: "It would be a miracle if...
14 Jackson High students expelled after food fight - Seattle Times
Jackson's senior prom, scheduled for May 23, has been temporarily suspended, Waggoner said. The school administration will draw up a plan so that everyone attending the formal dance understands expectations for proper behavior, she said....
Jackson Recruits Old Pal For Tour - CBS News
Michael Jackson's 50 concerts at London's O2 arena begin on July 8, 2009 and continue through February 2010. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan) The pop icon's career has gone from moonwalk to perp walk and back. Two thousand items of Michael Jackson memorabilia were...
Rachel Alexandra Is Rightful Preakness Favorite, Jackson Says - Bloomberg
“She'sa perfect athlete,” California vintner Jess Jackson said during a conference call yesterday. “The boys are going to have their hands full.” Jackson paid a $100000 supplemental fee to get the 3-year- old thoroughbred into the second round of horse...
Paste Asks Readers, Musicians To Help Save Mag - mediabistro.com
"The response from artists has been humbling," adds editor-in-chief Josh Jackson. "We put out an appeal for rare tracks to thank our donors, and all these really cool songs started pouring in, as well as the warmest words of encouragement....
The Prosecution: Federal Case Against Jackson Police Detective ... - WJTV
By Lorraine McBride Another telephone conference Thursday (5/14) Morning in the federal case against Jackson Police Detective Michael Recio ended with the prosecution saying they're ready to begin Monday (518). The 9:00 am call was to settle scheduling...
Experience ripens Eagles' DeSean Jackson - Philadelphia Inquirer
By Jeff McLane In January, during the Eagles' playoff run, Bill Jackson's pancreatic cancer was diagnosed. DeSean, who was putting the finishing touches on one of the finest rookie seasons in franchise history, kept his father's illness to himself....
Brooke White is Randy Jackson's ultimate "dawg." - New York Post
"I wanted to work with Brooke from the moment I met her, says Jackson of the bubbly, curly haired blonde in a press release. Jackson co-produced White's new album, "High Hopes & Heartbreak," which is released on their new label, June Baby Records....
Chrysler dealership cuts hit family-owned shops hard - USA Today
"It's kind of overwhelming to get a letter that says goodbye," says Alan Wilson , a Chrysler/Jeep dealer in Jackson , Miss . Wilson is keeping his franchise, but his brother Doug, who operates the Dodge dealership on the same property,...

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). He was military governor of Florida (1821), commander of the American forces at the Battle of New Orleans (1815), and eponym of the era of Jacksonian democracy. A polarizing figure who dominated American politics in the 1820s and 1830s, his political ambition combined with widening political participation, shaping the modern Democratic Party. His legacy is now seen as mixed, as a protector of popular democracy and individual liberty, checkered by his support for Indian removal and slavery. Renowned for his toughness, he was nicknamed “Old Hickory”. As he based his career in developing Tennessee, Jackson was the first president primarily associated with the American frontier. His portrait appears on the U.S. twenty-dollar bill.

Andrew Jackson was born to Presbyterian Scots-Irish immigrants Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, on March 15, 1767, approximately two years after they had emigrated from Carrickfergus, Ireland. Three weeks after his father's death, Andrew was born in the Waxhaws area near the border between North and South Carolina. He was the youngest of the Jacksons' three sons. His exact birth site was the subject of conflicting lore in the area. Jackson claimed to have been born in a cabin just inside South Carolina.

Jackson received a sporadic education in the local "old-field" school. During the American Revolutionary War, Jackson, at age thirteen, joined a local regiment as a courier. Andrew and his brother Robert Jackson were captured by the British and held as prisoners of war; they nearly starved to death in captivity. When Andrew refused to clean the boots of a British officer, the irate redcoat slashed at him with a sword, giving him scars on his left hand and head, as well as an intense hatred for the British. While imprisoned, the brothers contracted smallpox. Robert died a few days after their mother secured their release. Jackson's entire immediate family died from war-related hardships which Jackson blamed on the British, and he was orphaned by age 14.

Jackson was the last U.S. President to have been a veteran of the American Revolution, and the second President to have been a prisoner of war (Washington was captured by the French in the French and Indian War).

In 1781, Jackson worked for a time in a saddle-maker's shop. Later, he taught school and studied law in Salisbury, North Carolina. In 1787, he was admitted to the bar, and moved to Jonesboro, in what was then the Western District of North Carolina and later became Tennessee.

Though his legal education was scanty, Jackson knew enough to be a country lawyer on the frontier. Since he was not from a distinguished family, he had to make his career by his own merits; soon he began to prosper in the rough-and-tumble world of frontier law. Most of the actions grew out of disputed land-claims, or from assaults and battery. In 1788, he was appointed Solicitor of the Western District and held the same position in the territorial government of Tennessee after 1791.

In 1796, Jackson was a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention. When Tennessee achieved statehood that same year, Jackson was elected its U.S. Representative. In 1797, he was elected U.S. Senator as a Democratic-Republican. He resigned within a year. In 1798, he was appointed a judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court, serving until 1804.

Besides his legal and political career, Jackson prospered as a planter and merchant. In 1803 he owned a lot, and built a home and the first general store in Gallatin. In 1804, he acquired the "Hermitage", a 640-acre (2.6 km2) plantation in Davidson County, near Nashville. Jackson later added 360 acres (1.5 km2) to the farm. The primary crop was cotton, grown by enslaved workers. Jackson started with nine slaves, by 1820 he held as many as 44, and later held up to 150 slaves.

Jackson was appointed commander of the Tennessee militia in 1801, with the rank of colonel.

During the War of 1812, Tecumseh incited the "Red Stick" Creek Indians of northern Alabama and Georgia to attack white settlements. Four hundred settlers were killed in the Fort Mims Massacre. In the resulting Creek War, Jackson commanded the American forces, which included Tennessee militia, U.S. regulars, and Cherokee, Choctaw, and Southern Creek Indians.

Jackson defeated the Red Stick Creeks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Eight hundred "Red Sticks" were killed, but Jackson spared chief William Weatherford. Sam Houston and David Crockett served under Jackson in this campaign. After the victory, Jackson imposed the Treaty of Fort Jackson upon both the Northern Creek enemies and the Southern Creek allies, wresting twenty million acres (81,000 km²) from all Creeks for white settlement. Jackson was appointed Major General after this action.

Jackson's service in the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom was conspicuous for bravery and success. When British forces threatened New Orleans, Jackson took command of the defenses, including militia from several western states and territories. He was a strict officer but was popular with his troops. It was said he was "tough as old hickory" wood on the battlefield, which gave him his nickname. In the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815, Jackson's 5,000 soldiers won a victory over 7,500 British. At the end of the day, the British had 2,037 casualties: 291 dead (including three senior generals), 1,262 wounded, and 484 captured or missing. The Americans had 71 casualties: 13 dead, 39 wounded, and 19 missing.

The war, and especially this victory, made Jackson a national hero. He received the Thanks of Congress and a gold medal by resolution of February 27, 1815.

Jackson served in the military again during the First Seminole War. He was ordered by President James Monroe in December 1817 to lead a campaign in Georgia against the Seminole and Creek Indians. Jackson was also charged with preventing Spanish Florida from becoming a refuge for runaway slaves. Critics later alleged that Jackson exceeded orders in his Florida actions. His directions were to "terminate the conflict." Jackson believed the best way to do this would be to seize Florida. Before going, Jackson wrote to Monroe, "Let it be signified to me through any channel... that the possession of the Floridas would be desirable to the United States, and in sixty days it will be accomplished." Monroe gave Jackson orders that were purposely ambiguous, sufficient for international denials.

The Seminoles attacked Jackson's Tennessee volunteers. The Seminoles' attack, however, left their villages vulnerable, and Jackson burned them and the crops. He found letters that indicated that the Spanish and British were secretly assisting the Indians. Jackson believed that the United States would not be secure as long as Spain and the United Kingdom encouraged Indians to fight and argued that his actions were undertaken in self-defense. Jackson captured Pensacola, Florida, with little more than some warning shots, and deposed the Spanish governor. He captured and then tried and executed two British subjects, Robert Ambrister and Alexander Arbuthnot, who had been supplying and advising the Indians. Jackson's action also struck fear into the Seminole tribes as word spread of his ruthlessness in battle.

The executions, and Jackson's invasion of territory belonging to Spain, a country with which the U.S. was not at war, created an international incident. Many in the Monroe administration called for Jackson to be censured. Jackson's actions were defended by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, an early believer in Manifest Destiny. When the Spanish minister demanded a "suitable punishment" for Jackson, Adams wrote back, "Spain must immediately either to place a force in Florida adequate at once to the protection of her territory ... or cede to the United States a province, of which she retains nothing but the nominal possession, but which is, in fact ... a post of annoyance to them." Adams used Jackson's conquest, and Spain's own weakness, to get Spain to cede Florida to the United States by the Adams-Onís Treaty. Jackson was subsequently named military governor and served from March 10, 1821 to December 31, 1821.

The Tennessee legislature nominated Jackson for President in 1822. It also elected him U.S. Senator again.

Jackson resigned from the Senate in October 1825, but continued his quest for the Presidency. The Tennessee legislature again nominated Jackson for President. Jackson attracted Vice President John C. Calhoun, Martin Van Buren, and Thomas Ritchie into his camp (the latter two previous supporters of Crawford). Van Buren, with help from his friends in Philadelphia and Richmond, revived the old Republican Party, gave it a new name as the Democratic Party, "restored party rivalries", and forged a national organization of durability. The Jackson coalition handily defeated Adams in 1828.

During the election, Jackson's opponents referred to him as a "jackass." Jackson liked the name and used the jackass as a symbol for a while, but it died out. However, it later became the symbol for the Democratic Party when cartoonist Thomas Nast popularized it.

The campaign was very much a personal one. Although neither candidate personally campaigned, their political followers organized many campaign events. Both candidates were rhetorically attacked in the press, which reached a low point when the press accused Jackson's wife Rachel of bigamy. Though the accusation was true, as were most personal attacks leveled against him during the campaign, it was based on events that occurred many years prior (1791 to 1794). Jackson said he would forgive those who insulted him, but he would never forgive the ones who attacked his wife. Rachel died suddenly on December 22, 1828, prior to his inauguration, and was buried on Christmas Eve.

Jackson was the first President to invite the public to attend the White House ball honoring his first inauguration. Many poor people came to the inaugural ball in their homemade clothes. The crowd became so large that Jackson's guards could not hold them out of the White House. The White House became so crowded with people that dishes and decorative pieces in the White House began to break. Some people stood on good chairs in muddied boots just to get a look at the President. The crowd had become so wild that the attendants poured punch in tubs and put it on the White House lawn to lure people out of the White House. Jackson’s raucous populism earned him the nickname King Mob.

In the 1832 presidential election, Jackson easily won re-election as the candidate of the Democratic Party against Henry Clay, of the National Republican Party, and William Wirt, of the Anti-Masonic Party. Jackson jettisoned Vice President John C. Calhoun because of his support for nullification and involvement in the Eaton Affair, replacing him with long-time confidant Martin Van Buren of New York.

In 1835, Jackson managed to reduce the federal debt to only $33,733.05, the lowest it had been since the first fiscal year of 1791. President Jackson is the only president in United States history to have paid off the national debt. However, this accomplishment was short lived. A severe depression from 1837 to 1844 caused a ten-fold increase in national debt within its first year.

Jackson repeatedly called for the abolition of the Electoral College by constitutional amendment in his annual messages to Congress as President. In his third annual message to Congress, he expressed the view "I have heretofore recommended amendments of the Federal Constitution giving the election of President and Vice-President to the people and limiting the service of the former to a single term. So important do I consider these changes in our fundamental law that I can not, in accordance with my sense of duty, omit to press them upon the consideration of a new Congress." The institution remains to the present day.

When Jackson became President, he implemented the theory of rotation in office, declaring it "a leading principle in the republican creed." He believed that rotation in office would prevent the development of a corrupt bureaucracy. To strengthen party loyalty, Jackson's supporters wanted to give the posts to party members. In practice, this meant replacing federal employees with friends or party loyalists. However, the effect was not as drastic as expected or portrayed. By the end of his term, Jackson dismissed less than twenty percent of the Federal employees at the start of it. While Jackson did not start the "spoils system," he did indirectly encourage its growth for many years to come.

Following Jefferson, Jackson supported an "agricultural republic" and felt the Bank improved the fortunes of an "elite circle" of commercial and industrial entrepreneurs at the expense of farmers and laborers. After a titanic struggle, Jackson succeeded in destroying the Bank by vetoing its 1832 re-charter by Congress and by withdrawing U.S. funds in 1833.

The bank's money-lending functions were taken over by the legions of local and state banks that sprang up. This fed an expansion of credit and speculation. At first, as Jackson withdrew money from the Bank to invest it in other banks, land sales, canal construction, cotton production, and manufacturing boomed. However, due to the practice of banks issuing paper banknotes that were not backed by gold or silver reserves, there was soon rapid inflation and mounting state debts. Then, in 1836, Jackson issued the Specie Circular, which required buyers of government lands to pay in "specie" (gold or silver coins). The result was a great demand for specie, which many banks did not have enough of to exchange for their notes. These banks collapsed. This was a direct cause of the Panic of 1837, which threw the national economy into a deep depression. It took years for the economy to recover from the damage.

The U.S. Senate censured Jackson on March 28, 1834, for his action in removing U.S. funds from the Bank of the United States. When the Jacksonians had a majority in the Senate, the censure was expunged.

Another notable crisis during Jackson's period of office was the "Nullification Crisis", or "secession crisis," of 1828 – 1832, which merged issues of sectional strife with disagreements over tariffs. Critics alleged that high tariffs (the "Tariff of Abominations") on imports of common manufactured goods made in Europe made those goods more expensive than ones from the northern U.S., raising the prices paid by planters in the South. Southern politicians argued that tariffs benefited northern industrialists at the expense of southern farmers.

The issue came to a head when Vice President Calhoun, in the South Carolina Exposition and Protest of 1828, supported the claim of his home state, South Carolina, that it had the right to "nullify"—declare void—the tariff legislation of 1828, and more generally the right of a state to nullify any Federal laws which went against its interests. Although Jackson sympathized with the South in the tariff debate, he was also a strong supporter of a strong union, with effective powers for the central government. Jackson attempted to face down Calhoun over the issue, which developed into a bitter rivalry between the two men.

The next year, Calhoun and Jackson broke apart politically from one another. Around this time, the Petticoat Affair caused further resignations from Jackson's cabinet, leading to its reorganization as the "Kitchen Cabinet." Martin Van Buren, despite resigning as Secretary of State, played a leading role in the new unofficial cabinet. At the first Democratic National Convention, privately engineered by members of the Kitchen Cabinet, Van Buren replaced Calhoun as Jackson's running mate. In December 1832, Calhoun resigned as Vice President to become a U.S. Senator for South Carolina.

Jackson asked Congress to pass a "Force Bill" explicitly authorizing the use of military force to enforce the tariff. But it was held up until protectionists led by Clay agreed to a reduced Compromise Tariff. The Force Bill and Compromise Tariff passed on March 1, 1833. and Jackson signed both. The South Carolina Convention then met and rescinded its nullification ordinance. The Force Bill became moot because it was no longer needed.

This emigration should be voluntary, for it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers and seek a home in a distant land. But they should be distinctly informed that if they remain within the limits of the States they must be subject to their laws. In return for their obedience as individuals they will without doubt be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry.

Prior to his election as president, Jackson had been involved with the issue of Indian removal for over ten years. The removal of the Native Americans to the west of the Mississippi River had been a major part of his political agenda in both the 1824 and 1828 presidential elections. After his election he signed the Indian Removal Act into law in 1830. The Act authorized the President to negotiate treaties to purchase tribal lands in the east in exchange for lands further west, outside of existing U.S. state borders.

While frequently frowned upon in the North, the Removal Act was popular in the South, where population growth and the discovery of gold on Cherokee land had increased pressure on tribal lands. The state of Georgia became involved in a contentious jurisdictional dispute with the Cherokees, culminating in the 1832 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Worcester v. Georgia) which ruled that Georgia could not impose its laws upon Cherokee tribal lands. Jackson is often quoted (regarding the decision) as having said, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" Whether or not he actually said it is disputed.

By the 1830s, under constant pressure from settlers, each of the five southern tribes had ceded most of its lands, but sizable self-government groups lived in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. All of these (except the Seminoles) had moved far in the coexistence with whites, and they resisted suggestions that they should voluntarily remove themselves. Their non-violent methods earned them the title the Five Civilized Tribes.

The first attempt to do bodily harm to a President was against Jackson. Jackson ordered the dismissal of Robert B. Randolph from the Navy for embezzlement. On May 6, 1833, Jackson sailed on USS Cygnet to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was to lay the cornerstone on a monument near the grave of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother. During a stopover near Alexandria, Virginia, Randolph appeared and struck the President. He then fled the scene with several members of Jackson's party chasing him, including the well known writer Washington Irving. Jackson decided not to press charges.

On January 30, 1835, what is believed to be the first attempt to kill a sitting President of the United States occurred just outside the United States Capitol Building. When Jackson was leaving the Capitol Building out of the East Portico after the funeral of South Carolina Representative Warren R. Davis, Richard Lawrence, an unemployed and deranged house-painter from England, either burst from a crowd or stepped out from hiding behind a column and aimed a pistol at Jackson which misfired. Lawrence then pulled out a second pistol which also misfired. It has since been postulated that the moisture from the humid weather of the day contributed to the double misfiring. Lawrence was then restrained, with legend saying that Jackson attacked Lawrence with his cane, prompting his aides to restrain him. Others present, including David Crockett, restrained and disarmed Lawrence.

Richard Lawrence gave the doctors several reasons for the shooting. He had recently lost his job painting houses and somehow blamed Jackson. He claimed that with the President dead, "money would be more plenty"—a reference to Jackson’s struggle with the Bank of the United States—and that he "could not rise until the President fell." Finally, he informed his interrogators that he was actually a deposed English King—Richard III, specifically, dead since 1485—and that Jackson was merely his clerk. He was deemed insane, institutionalized, and never punished for his assassination attempt.

Shortly after Jackson first arrived in Nashville in 1788, he took up residence as a boarder with Rachel Stockley Donelson, the widow of John Donelson. Here Jackson became acquainted with their daughter, Rachel Donelson Robards. At the time, Rachel Robards was in an unhappy marriage with Captain Lewis Robards, a man subject to irrational fits of jealous rage. Due to Lewis Robards' temperament, the two were separated in 1790. According to Jackson, he married Rachel after hearing that Robards had obtained a divorce. However, the divorce had never actually been finalized, making Rachel's marriage to Jackson illegitimate. After the divorce was officially completed, Rachel and Jackson re-married in 1794. However, there is evidence that Donelson had been living with Jackson and referred to herself as Mrs. Jackson before the petition for divorce was ever made.

The controversy surrounding their marriage remained a sore point for Jackson, who deeply resented attacks on his wife's honor. Jackson fought 13 duels, many nominally over his wife's honor. Charles Dickinson, the only man Jackson ever killed in a duel, had been goaded into angering Jackson by Jackson's political opponents. In the duel, fought over a horse-racing debt and an insult to his wife on May 30, 1806, Dickinson shot Jackson in the ribs before Jackson returned the fatal shot; Jackson actually allowed Dickinson to shoot first, knowing him to be an excellent shot, and as his opponent reloaded, Jackson shot, even as the bullet lodged itself in his chest. The bullet that struck Jackson was so close to his heart that it could never be safely removed. Jackson had been wounded so frequently in duels that it was said he "rattled like a bag of marbles." At times he would cough up blood, and he experienced considerable pain from his wounds for the rest of his life.

Rachel died of a heart attack on December 22, 1828, two weeks after her husband's victory in the election and two months prior to Jackson taking office as President. Jackson blamed John Quincy Adams for Rachel's death because the marital scandal was brought up in the election of 1828. He felt that this had hastened her death and never forgave Adams.

Jackson had two adopted sons, Andrew Jackson Jr., the son of Rachel's brother Severn Donelson, and Lyncoya, a Creek Indian orphan adopted by Jackson after the Creek War. Jackson had planned to have Lyncoya educated at West Point, but he died of tuberculosis in 1828, at the age of sixteen.

The Jacksons also acted as guardians for eight other children. John Samuel Donelson, Daniel Smith Donelson and Andrew Jackson Donelson were the sons of Rachel's brother Samuel Donelson, who died in 1804. Andrew Jackson Hutchings was Rachel's orphaned grand nephew. Caroline Butler, Eliza Butler, Edward Butler, and Anthony Butler were the orphaned children of Edward Butler, a family friend. They came to live with the Jacksons after the death of their father.

The widower Jackson invited Rachel's niece Emily Donelson to serve as hostess at the White House. Emily was married to Andrew Jackson Donelson, who acted as Jackson's private secretary and in 1856 would run for Vice President on the American Party ticket. The relationship between the President and Emily became strained during the Petticoat Affair, and the two became estranged for over a year. They eventually reconciled and she resumed her duties as White House hostess. Sarah Yorke Jackson, the wife of Andrew Jackson Jr., became co-hostess of the White House in 1834. It was the only time in history when two women simultaneously acted as unofficial First Lady. Sarah took over all hostess duties after Emily died from tuberculosis in 1836.

Jackson remained influential in both national and state politics after retiring to The Hermitage in 1837. Though a slave-holder, Jackson was a firm advocate of the federal union of the states, and declined to give any support to talk of secession.

Jackson was a lean figure standing at 6 feet, 1 inch (1.85 m) tall, and weighing between 130 and 140 pounds (64 kg) on average. Jackson also had an unruly shock of red hair, which had completely grayed by the time he became president at age 61. He had penetrating deep blue eyes. Jackson was one of the more sickly presidents, suffering from chronic headaches, abdominal pains, and a hacking cough, caused by a musket ball in his lung which was never removed, that often brought up blood and sometimes even made his whole body shake. After retiring to Nashville, he enjoyed eight years of retirement and died at The Hermitage on June 8, 1845 at the age of 78, of chronic tuberculosis, "dropsy" and heart failure.

In his will, Jackson left his entire estate to his adopted son, Andrew Jackson Jr., except for specifically enumerated items that were left to various other friends and family members. Andrew Jackson was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

His legacy is now seen as mixed, as a protector of popular democracy and individual liberty, checkered by his support for Indian removal and slavery.

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The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 in concert.

The Jackson 5 (also spelled The Jackson Five or The Jackson 5ive, and later known as The Jacksons) were an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Founding group members Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael formed the group after performing in an early incarnation called The Jackson Brothers, which originally consisted of a trio of the three older brothers. Active from 1966 to 1990, the Jacksons played from a repertoire of R&B, soul, pop and later disco. During their six-year Motown tenure, The Jackson 5 were one of the biggest pop-music phenomena of the 1970s, and the band served as the launching pad for the solo careers of their lead singers Jermaine and Michael, the latter brother later exploiting his early Motown solo fame to greater success as an adult artist.

The Jackson 5 were the first act in recorded history to have their first four major label singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There") reach the top of the American charts. Several later singles, among them "Mama's Pearl", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine", were Top 5 pop hits and number-one hits on the R&B singles chart. Most of the early hits were written and produced by a specialized songwriting team known as "The Corporation"; later Jackson 5 hits were crafted chiefly by Hal Davis, while early Jacksons hits were compiled by the team of Gamble and Huff before The Jacksons began writing and producing themselves in the late-1970s.

Significantly, they were the first black teen idols to appeal equally to white audiences thanks partially to the successful promotional relations skills of Motown CEO Berry Gordy. Upon their departure from Motown for CBS in 1976, The Jacksons were forced to change their name and replace Jermaine (who remained at Motown) with younger brother Randy. After two years under the Philadelphia International Records label, they signed with Epic Records and asserted control of their songwriting, production, and image, and their success continued into the 1980s with hits such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" and "State of Shock". Their 1989 album 2300 Jackson Street was recorded without Michael and Marlon. Michael and Marlon did appear, however, on the title track. The disappointing sales of the album led to the group being dropped by their record label at the end of the year. The group has never formally broken up, but has been dormant since then, although all six brothers performed together at two Michael Jackson tribute concerts in September 2001.

Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, the Jackson brothers were guided early in their careers by their father Joseph Jackson, a steel mill crane operator and former musician, and their mother Katherine Jackson, who watched over the boys during the early years. The boys recalled playing around with their father's guitar while he was away working on Gary's steel mills. One night, Joe caught one of the brothers playing his guitar after a string broke. Initially upset with his sons playing behind his back, he saw their potential and in 1964, Jackie, Tito and Jermaine formed The Jackson Brothers, including hometown friends Reynaud Jones and Milford Hite on guitar and drums respectively. By the end of the following year, the group's younger brothers Marlon and Michael joined the instrumental band playing tambourine and congas.

Showing extraordinary talent at a tender age, young Michael began demonstrating his dance moves and singing ability and around mid-1966, before his eighth birthday, Michael was allowed to perform his song-and-dance routine at a talent contest held at Jackie's Roosevelt High School in Gary, helping his brothers win the competition. It was at that point that Tito's junior high school orchestra teacher Shirley Cartman began mentoring the group and suggested a name change referring the boys as The Jackson Five. She also suggested replacing Jones and Hite with talented musicians Johnny Jackson--no relation--on drums and Ronnie Rancifer on keyboards. Tito moved up to lead guitar while Jermaine played bass guitar after several years as a rhythm guitarist.

After the contest win, the group began playing professional gigs in Indiana, Chicago and across the U.S. Many of these gigs were in a string of black clubs and venues collectively known as the "chitlin' circuit". The group also found themselves performing for adult strip teasers at strip joints to earn money. Cartman got The Jackson Five a record deal with Gordon Keith's local Steeltown label, and the group began making their first recordings in October 1967. Their first single, "Big Boy", was released in January 1968 and became a regional hit. This was followed by a second and final single—"We Don't Have To Be Over 21 (to Fall in Love)".

The Jackson Five had a number of admirers in their early days, including Sam & Dave, who helped the group secure a spot in the famous Amateur Night competition at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The group won the August 13, 1967 competition during the Amateur Night showdown at the Apollo, impressing Motown Records artist Gladys Knight of The Pips. Knight recommended the group to Motown chief Berry Gordy, but Gordy, who already had teenager Stevie Wonder on his roster, was hesitant to take on another child act because of the child labor laws and other problems involved.

By 1968, The Jackson 5 were a headlining act for the All Star Floor Show at Chicago's The Guys' and Gals' Cocktail Lounge and Restaurant. From July 12–27, 1968, The Jackson 5 opened for Motown group Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers at Chicago's Regal Theater. Taylor was also very impressed with the boys, and he decided to make the commitment to bring them to Detroit and Motown. Joseph and The Jackson Five stayed on the floor of Bobby Taylor's Detroit apartment the night of July 22, while Taylor and Motown executive Suzanne de Passe arranged for The Jackson Five to audition for the label.

On July 23, The Jackson Five had their Motown audition, for which they performed James Brown’s then current hit "I Got the Feelin'". Berry Gordy was not in attendance, but the audition was videotaped and sent to him in Los Angeles. Gordy's initial reluctance to sign the group disappeared when he finally saw the boys perform. Gordy decided to sign The Jackson Five to Motown, and hosted a party at his Detroit mansion on November 25, 1968 to introduce them to the Motown staff and stars.

Motown began negotiations to buy out The Jackson Five's Steeltown contract, completing the deal in March 1969. By the summer, Bobby Taylor began producing the group's first recordings at Motown's Hitsville U.S.A. recording studio in Detroit. The early Taylor-produced Jackson Five records were all covers of both contemporary hits and Motown-standards, including Sly & the Family Stone's "Stand!" and their famous rendition of The Miracles' "Who's Lovin' You", written by Smokey Robinson.

Gordy moved The Jackson Five and Joseph to California, and he and Suzanne de Passe began the process of grooming them as the label's next big act, while the rest of the family remained in Gary. While looking for a house in California, Joseph, Jermaine, Tito, and Jackie lived with Berry Gordy, Marlon and Michael lived with Diana Ross in her California home. Before releasing their first single, Motown renamed them slightly from "The Jackson Five" to "The Jackson 5".

In the meantime, Motown's marketing team began preparing press kits and other promotion material to begin The Jackson 5's entrance into the mainstream music industry. Motown publicity significantly altered the group's history, reducing the ages of most of its band mates - Michael's age changed from eleven to eight to make him appear cuter and identifying unrelated band musicians Johnny Jackson and Ronnie Rancifer as cousins of The Jacksons. In a major marketing coup, Gordy and Motown decided to attach the group to an established star to increase public curiosity. Thus, it was decided that Motown star Diana Ross would "discover" the group as was explained in all early press kits. According to their official Motown biography, referenced in several early interviews and liner notes, Diana Ross (and, in some versions of the story, Berry Gordy alongside her) was introduced to The Jackson 5 by Gary, Indiana's mayor, Richard G. Hatcher, at a benefit concert that The Jackson 5 were described as having played for the mayor in 1969. Impressed, Ross (and Gordy) had the act signed.

The Jackson 5 practiced and rehearsed continuously during the late summer and early fall of 1969. Diana Ross formally introduced The Jackson 5 to the public on August 11, 1968, at a Beverly Hills, California club called The Daisy. Towards the end of August, The Jackson 5 made their first television appearance, singing The Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing" at the Miss Black America Pageant in Madison Square Garden, New York City.

The Jackson 5's first single, "I Want You Back", was written and produced by four Motown songwriters and producers — Berry Gordy, Alphonzo Mizell, Deke Richards, and Freddie Perren — who were collectively billed as "The Corporation". "I Want You Back" was released as a single for The Jackson 5, as Motown decided to officially bill the group, on October 7. The group performed "I Want You Back", Sly & the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song", The Delfonics' "Can You Remember", and James Brown's "There Was a Time" as part of their appearance on The Hollywood Palace as special guests of Diana Ross & the Supremes. "I Want You Back" was the only single from The Jackson 5's first album, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, which was released in December 1969. The song reached number one in January, 1970.

Now successful, Joseph was finally able to arrange to move Katherine and the rest of the family out to California in 1970. First moving into a two-story residence at 1616 Queens Road in Los Angeles, the Jackson family moved to a gated mansion they called "Hayvenhurst", which was purchased by Joseph in March 1971.

In 1971, Motown began a spin-off solo career for Michael, whose first single, "Got to Be There," was a Top 5 hit. Michael also sang the title track for the 1972 motion picture Ben. His other successful solo singles included "Rockin' Robin" and "I Wanna Be Where You Are" (both 1972). Jermaine started a solo career of his own in 1972, and had a Top Ten hit with his Shep and the Limelites cover "Daddy's Home" Jackie also recorded a solo album, but his releases failed to chart. Despite fan rumors that all three Jacksons might leave the group as they released solo work, the solo careers of Michael, Jermaine, and Jackie co-existed alongside that of the group as a whole, allowing Motown to expand the success and sales of Jackson 5-related releases.

After 1972, The Jackson 5's releases were less successful, but they still did very well. Later Top 20 hits, mostly written and produced by Hal Davis, included "Lookin' Through the Windows" (1972) and the disco-styled "Dancing Machine" (1974), which popularized the "Robot" dance routine. Jackson 5 albums declined somewhat in critical acclaim and financial success during the latter part of their Motown tenure, although LPs such as Lookin' Through the Windows (1972) and G.I.T.: Get It Together (1973) frequently included successful album tracks, including their version of "Hum Along and Dance", a popular number in their live act.

Critics, The Jackson 5, and Joseph Jackson agreed that the main reason for the group's declining success was Motown's refusal to update their image. Although they played their own instruments on stage and had begun writing and producing songs in their own home recording studio, The Jacksons later said that Motown wouldn't allow them to record their own compositions nor play instruments in their studio recordings. The group's studio recordings were first handled by Motown's famed in-house studio band The Funk Brothers during their brief recording tenure at Hitsville and later instrumentation was played by many of the members of The Wrecking Crew, which formed Motown's Hitsville West studio band. Feeling that The Jackson 5 could be more of a success without Motown, which was by this time declining in success and popularity, Joseph began shopping for a new record deal for his sons.

In 1975, Joseph negotiated a new recording contract with CBS Records, who offered a royalty rate of 20% per record, compared to Motown's standard 2.8%; and would allow the Jackson brothers to write and produce their own records and play their own instruments. After unsuccessfully attempting to talk the group into staying on the label, Motown sued for breach of contract. Although Motown eventually let the group go, The Jackson 5 were forced to change their name to The Jacksons, because Motown retained the "Jackson 5" trademark during the settlement of the lawsuit. The Jacksons also replaced Jermaine with the youngest Jackson brother, fourteen year old Randy, since Jermaine chose to stay with Motown and the Gordys. Randy had been an unofficial member of The Jackson 5 since 1972, playing congas onstage as part of their live act.

In summer 1976, CBS television signed the Jackson family (including Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jackie, Randy, Rebbie, LaToya, and Janet) to appear in their own variety show, to compete with ABC's Donny & Marie. The Jacksons debuted on June 16, 1976, and ran on CBS until its cancellation the following March. The show was the first variety show hosted by an African American family.

At first, part of CBS's Philadelphia International Records division, and later moving over to Epic Records, The Jacksons continued releasing popular singles such as "Enjoy Yourself" (1976), produced by Philadelphia International's Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff. After two LPs produced by Gamble and Huff, The Jacksons wanted artistic control, and produced their next LP, 1978's Destiny, on their own. The album included The Jacksons' biggest post-Motown single, "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", which charted at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number three on the Billboard R&B Singles chart. "Shake Your Body", written by Michael and Randy, sold over two million copies, attaining double-platinum status. Destiny also went platinum, and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard 200 album chart and number three on the R&B album charts. In 1979, The Jacksons received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1978, Michael starred alongside Diana Ross in the Motown/Universal Pictures motion picture The Wiz, an adaptation of the Broadway musical based upon L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Quincy Jones was the producer of the film's songs, and he and Michael began work on Michael’s first Epic solo album, Off the Wall, the next year. Off the Wall, released in 1979, sold 20 million copies worldwide and featured four Top 10 hit singles and two number-one singles, causing some speculation about whether Michael would leave The Jacksons though Michael told several reporters at the time that such speculation was untrue.

In 1980 the group released the Triumph album, which featured the hits "Lovely One" and "Can You Feel It". The following year's The Jacksons Live! used recordings from the group's Triumph Tour, which in 1988 was described by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the best 25 tours from 1967 to 1987. The group's success was outperformed, however, by Michael's 1982 LP Thriller. Thriller went on to become the second most successful album ever in the United States (after the Eagles' Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)), and to date stands as the world's best-selling album of all time.

The Motown 25 television special, broadcast on NBC on May 16, 1983, featured a reunion performance between Jermaine and the other brothers. Outside of one 1979 appearance on the TV show Midnight Special this was the original Jackson 5's first performance in nearly seven years. The Motown 25 Jackson 5 reunion was overshadowed, however, by Michael's landmark performance of "Billie Jean" on the same program, which introduced his trademark "moonwalk" dance.

The Jacksons released the album Victory in 1984, featuring the hit single "State of Shock" with guest star Mick Jagger, and supported the album with the massively successful Victory World Tour. The Victory album and tour marked the official return of Jermaine to the group's lineup, making them a sextet.

Shortly after the Victory Tour, Michael left The Jacksons, as his solo career had led to the success of Thriller and its singles. His name recognition as a solo act had also grown, despite touring as part of a group. Marlon followed Michael out of the group a year later during a group meeting. The other brothers eventually drifted apart to take on solo projects (although most of them appeared with Michael on the U.S. For Africa single "We Are the World" in 1985). The Jacksons reunited for one last album, 2300 Jackson Street in 1989. While every Jackson sibling except for LaToya appeared on the title track, a #9 R&B hit single, most of the album featured Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, and Randy as the line up. Michael Jackson's fame as a solo act as well as the growing fame of the group's youngest sister, Janet Jackson, had overshadowed the group entirely. A CD compilation of hits from the CBS/Epic years, The Essential Jacksons, was released in 2004, as was a separate compilation assembled by Universal/Hip-O, The Jacksons Story.

Tito Jackson, like his father before him, organized his three sons into a musical group called 3T, who had a #2 UK hit, titled "Why?", as well as a big US hit with "Anything," both in 1996 ("Why?" featured a guest appearance from Michael Jackson). Soon afterwards, Tito began a low-key career as a blues musician. Randy Jackson was involved for some time with a group known as Randy and the Gypsies, who enjoyed minor success. In 2004, Randy was also the webmaster for Michael's last official website, MJJ Source, which was closed in 2005.

The Jackson 5's influence on later performers has been profound, inspiring a number of performers from diverse fields, including pop emo band Dashboard Confessional, R&B groups New Edition and B5, and boy band Hanson. One of the most archetypal Jackson 5 followers were Five Star, a British black family act from the mid-80s comprising of siblings Stedman, Doris, Lorraine, Deniece and Delroy Pearson. The group were also managed by their father, Buster Pearson and began recording when youngest member Delroy was twelve years old. The group was often compared to The Jackson 5 by the press.

The Jackson 5 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. In addition, two of their songs ("ABC" and "I Want You Back") are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

In 1992, Suzanne de Passe and Jermaine Jackson worked with Motown to produce The Jacksons: An American Dream, a five-hour television miniseries broadcast based on the history of The Jacksons in two parts on ABC. The first installment of the miniseries covered the decades from Katherine and Joseph Jackson's first meeting in the late-1940s up until the first Jackson 5 releases on Motown in 1969, while the second part covered the years from 1970 to 1984, and the effects of The Jackson 5's phenomenal success on the family. The miniseries was the highest rated show of the week, won an Emmy Award and was nominated for three more, and won two Young Artist Awards.

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Stonewall Jackson

The Colonel Lewis T. Moore house, which served as the Winchester Headquarters of Lt. Gen. T. J. "Stonewall" Jackson (photo 2007).

Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (January 21, 1824 – May 10, 1863) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, and probably the most well-known Confederate commander after General Robert E. Lee. His military career includes the Valley Campaign of 1862 and his service as a corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee. Confederate pickets accidentally shot him at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863, which the general survived, albeit with the loss of an arm to amputation. However, he died of complications of pneumonia eight days later. His death was a severe setback for the Confederacy, affecting not only its military prospects, but also the morale of its army and of the general public.

Military historians consider Jackson to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in United States history. His Valley Campaign and his envelopment of the Union Army right wing at Chancellorsville are studied worldwide even today as examples of innovative and bold leadership. He excelled as well at the First Battle of Bull Run (where he received his famous nickname "Stonewall"), Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. Jackson was not universally successful as a commander, however, as displayed by his weak and confused efforts during the Seven Days Battles around Richmond in 1862.

Thomas Jonathan Jackson was the great-grandson of John Jackson (1715 or 1719 – 1801) and Elizabeth Cummins (also known as Elizabeth Comings and Elizabeth Needles) (1723 – 1828). John Jackson was born a Protestant in Coleraine, County Londonderry, in Northern Ireland. While living in London, he was convicted of the capital crime of larceny for stealing £170; the judge at the Old Bailey sentenced him to a seven-year indenture in America. Elizabeth, a strong, blonde woman over 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, born in London, was also convicted of larceny in an unrelated case for stealing 19 pieces of silver, jewelry, and fine lace, and received a similar sentence. They both were transported on the prison ship Litchfield, which departed London in May 1749 with 150 convicts. John and Elizabeth met on board and were in love by the time the ship arrived at Annapolis, Maryland. Although they were sent to different locations in Maryland for their indentures, the couple married in July 1755.

The family migrated west across the Blue Ridge Mountains to settle near Moorefield, Virginia, (now West Virginia) in 1758. In 1770, they moved further west to the Tygart Valley. They began to acquire large parcels of virgin farmland near the present-day town of Buckhannon, including 3,000 acres (12 km²) in Elizabeth's name. John and his two teenage sons were early recruits for the American Revolutionary War, fighting in the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780; John finished the war as captain and served as a lieutenant of the Virginia Militia after 1787. While the men were in the Army, Elizabeth converted their home to a haven, "Jackson's Fort," for refugees from Indian attacks.

John and Elizabeth had eight children. Their second son was Edward Jackson (March 1, 1759 – December 25, 1828), and Edward's third son was Jonathan Jackson, Thomas's father.

Thomas Jackson was the third child of Julia Beckwith (née Neale) Jackson (1798 – 1831) and Jonathan Jackson (1790 – 1826), an attorney. Both of Jackson's parents were natives of Virginia. The family already had two young children and were living in Clarksburg, in what is now West Virginia. This is where their third child, Thomas, was born. He was named for his maternal grandfather.

Thomas's sister Elizabeth (age six) died of typhoid fever on March 6, 1826, while two-year-old Thomas sat by her bedside. His father died of the same disease March 26. Jackson's mother gave birth to Thomas's sister Laura Ann the day after Jackson's father died. Julia Jackson thus was widowed at 28 and was left with much debt and three young children (including the newborn). She sold the family's possessions to pay the debts. She declined family charity and moved into a small rented one-room house. Julia took in sewing and taught school to support herself and her three young children for about four years.

In 1830, Julia Neale Jackson remarried. Her new husband, Blake Woodson, an attorney, did not like his stepchildren. There were continuing financial problems. The following year, after giving birth to Thomas's half-brother, Julia died of complications, leaving her three older children orphaned. Julia was buried in an unmarked grave in a homemade coffin in Westlake Cemetery along the James River and Kanawha Turnpike in Fayette County within the corporate limits of present-day Ansted, West Virginia.

As their mother's health continued to fail, Jackson and his sister Laura Ann were sent to live with their uncle, Cummins Jackson, who owned a grist mill in Jackson's Mill (near present-day Weston in Lewis County in central West Virginia). Their older brother, Warren, went to live with other relatives on his mother's side of the family, but he later died of tuberculosis in 1841 at the age of 20. Thomas and Laura Ann returned from Jackson's Mill in November 1831 to be at their dying mother's bedside. They spent four years together at the Mill before being separated—Laura Ann was sent to live with her mother's family, Thomas to live with his Aunt Polly (his father's sister) and her husband, Isaac Brake, on a farm 4 miles from Clarksburg. Thomas was treated by Brake as an outsider and, having suffered verbal abuse for over a year, ran away from the family. When his cousin in Clarksburg beseeched him to return to Aunt Polly's, he replied, "Maybe I ought to, ma'am, but I am not going to." He walked 18 miles through mountain wilderness to Jackson's Mill, where he was welcomed by his uncles and he remained there for the following seven years.

Cummins Jackson was strict with Thomas, who looked up to Cummins as a schoolteacher. Jackson helped around the farm, tending sheep with the assistance of a sheepdog, driving teams of oxen and helping harvest wheat and corn. Formal education was not easily obtained, but he attended school when and where he could. Much of Jackson's education was self-taught. He once made a deal with one of his uncle's slaves to provide him with pine knots in exchange for reading lessons; Thomas would stay up at night reading borrowed books by the light of those burning pine knots. Virginia law forbade teaching a slave, free black or mulatto to read or write, as enacted following Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion in Southampton County in 1831. Nevertheless, Jackson secretly taught the slave to read, as he had promised. Once literate, the young slave fled to Canada via the underground railroad. In his later years at Jackson's Mill, Thomas was a schoolteacher.

In 1842, Jackson was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Because of his inadequate schooling, he had difficulty with the entrance examinations and began his studies at the bottom of his class. As a student, he had to work harder than most cadets to absorb lessons. However, displaying a dogged determination that was to characterize his life, he became one of the hardest working cadets in the academy, and moved steadily up the academic rankings. Jackson graduated 17th out of 59 students in the Class of 1846. It was said by his peers that if he had stayed there another year, he would have graduated first.

Jackson began his United States Army career as a brevet second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery Regiment and was sent to fight in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. He served at the Siege of Veracruz and the battles of Contreras, Chapultepec, and Mexico City, eventually earning two brevet promotions, and the regular army rank of first lieutenant. It was in Mexico that Jackson first met Robert E. Lee.

During the assault on Chapultepec Castle, he refused what he felt was a "bad order" to withdraw his troops. Confronted by his superior, he explained his rationale, claiming withdrawal was more hazardous than continuing his overmatched artillery duel. His judgment proved correct, and a relieving brigade was able to exploit the advantage Jackson had broached. In contrast to this display of strength of character, he obeyed what he also felt was a "bad order" when he raked a civilian throng with artillery fire after the Mexican authorities failed to surrender Mexico City at the hour demanded by the U.S. forces. The former episode, and later aggressive action against the retreating Mexican army, earned him field promotion to the brevet rank of major.

In the spring of 1851, Jackson accepted a newly created teaching position at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), in Lexington, Virginia. He became Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Instructor of Artillery. Jackson's teachings are still used at VMI today because they are military essentials that are timeless, to wit: discipline, mobility, assessing the enemy's strength and intentions while attempting to conceal your own, and the efficiency of artillery combined with an infantry assault.

However, despite the high quality of his work, he was not popular as a teacher. He memorized his lectures and then recited them to the class; any students who came to ask for help were only given the same explanation as before. And if students came to ask again, Jackson viewed this as insubordination and likewise punished them. The students mocked his apparently stern, religious nature and his eccentric traits. In 1856, a group of alumni attempted to have Jackson removed from his position.

Jackson neither apologized for nor spoke in favor of the practice of slavery. He probably opposed the institution. Yet in his mind the Creator had sanctioned slavery, and man had no moral right to challenge its existence. The good Christian slaveholder was one who treated his servants fairly and humanely at all times.

While an instructor at VMI, in 1853, Thomas Jackson married Elinor "Ellie" Junkin, whose father was president of Washington College (later named Washington and Lee University) in Lexington. An addition was built onto the president's residence for the Jacksons, and when Robert E. Lee became president of Washington College he lived in the same home, now known as the Lee-Jackson House. Ellie gave birth to a stillborn son on October 22, 1854, experiencing a hemorrhage an hour later that proved fatal.

After a tour of Europe, Jackson married again, in 1857. Mary Anna Morrison was from North Carolina, where her father was the first president of Davidson College. They had a daughter named Mary Graham on April 30, 1858, but the baby died less than a month later. Another daughter was born in 1862, shortly before her father's death. The Jacksons named her Julia Laura, after his mother and sister.

Jackson purchased the only house he ever owned while in Lexington. Built in 1801, the brick town house at 8 East Washington Street was purchased by Jackson in 1859. He lived in it for two years before being called to serve in the Confederacy. Jackson never returned to his home.

In November 1859, at the request of the governor of Virginia, Major William Gilham led a contingent of the VMI Cadet Corps to Charles Town to provide an additional military presence at the execution by hanging on December 2, 1859, of militant abolitionist John Brown following his raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Major Jackson was placed in command of the artillery, consisting of two howitzers manned by 21 cadets.

In 1861, as the American Civil War broke out, Jackson became a drill master for some of the many new recruits in the Confederate Army. On April 27, 1861, Virginia Governor John Letcher ordered Colonel Jackson to take command at Harpers Ferry, where he would assemble and command the famous "Stonewall Brigade", consisting of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 27th, and 33rd Virginia Infantry regiments. All of these units were from the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia, where Jackson located his headquarters throughout the first two years of the war. Jackson became known for his relentless drilling of his troops; he believed discipline was vital to success on the battlefield. Following the Great Train Raid of 1861 he was promoted to brigadier general on June 17.

Jackson rose to prominence and earned his most famous nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) in July 1861. As the Confederate lines began to crumble under heavy Union assault, Jackson's brigade provided crucial reinforcements on Henry House Hill, demonstrating the discipline he instilled in his men. Brig. Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr., exhorted his own troops to re-form by shouting, "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me." There is some controversy over Bee's statement and intent, which could not be clarified because he was killed almost immediately after speaking and none of his subordinate officers wrote reports of the battle. Major Burnett Rhett, chief of staff to General Joseph E. Johnston, claimed that Bee was angry at Jackson's failure to come immediately to the relief of Bee's and Bartow's brigades while they were under heavy pressure. Those who subscribe to this opinion believe that Bee's statement was meant to be pejorative: "Look at Jackson standing there like a damned stone wall!" Regardless of the controversy and the delay in relieving Bee, Jackson's brigade, which would henceforth be known as the Stonewall Brigade, stopped the Union assault and suffered more casualties than any other Southern brigade that day. After the battle, Jackson was promoted to major general (October 7, 1861) and given command of the Valley District, with headquarters in Winchester.

In the spring of 1862, Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac approached Richmond from the southeast in the Peninsula Campaign, Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell's large corps were poised to hit Richmond from the north, and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's army threatened the Shenandoah Valley. Jackson was ordered by Richmond to operate in the Valley to defeat Banks' threat and prevent McDowell's troops from reinforcing McClellan.

Jackson possessed the attributes to succeed against his poorly coordinated and sometimes timid opponents: a combination of great audacity, excellent knowledge and shrewd use of the terrain, and the ability to inspire his troops to great feats of marching and fighting.

The campaign started with a tactical defeat at Kernstown on March 23, 1862, when faulty intelligence led him to believe he was attacking a much smaller force than was actually present, but it was a strategic victory for the Confederacy, forcing President Abraham Lincoln to keep Banks' forces in the Valley and McDowell's 30,000-man corps near Fredericksburg, subtracting about 50,000 soldiers from McClellan's invasion force. In addition, it was Jackson's only defeat in the Valley.

By adding Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell's large division and Maj. Gen. Edward "Allegheny" Johnson's small division, Jackson increased his army to 17,000 men. He was still significantly outnumbered, but attacked portions of his divided enemy individually at McDowell, defeating both Brig. Gens. Robert H. Milroy and Robert C. Schenck. He defeated Banks at Front Royal and Winchester, ejecting him from the Valley. Lincoln decided that the defeat of Jackson was an immediate priority (though Jackson's orders were solely to keep Union forces occupied away from Richmond). They ordered Irvin McDowell to send 20,000 men to Front Royal and Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont to move to Harrisonburg. If both forces could converge at Strasburg, Jackson's only escape route up the Valley would be cut.

After a series of maneuvers, Jackson defeated Frémont's command at Cross Keys and Brig. Gen. James Shields at Port Republic on June 8–9. Union forces were withdrawn from the Valley.

It was a classic military campaign of surprise and maneuver. Jackson pressed his army to travel 646 miles (1,040 km) in 48 days of marching and won five significant victories with a force of about 17,000 against a combined force of 60,000. Stonewall Jackson's reputation for moving his troops so rapidly earned them the oxymoronic nickname "foot cavalry". He became the most celebrated soldier in the Confederacy (until he was eventually eclipsed by Lee) and lifted the morale of the Southern public.

McClellan's Peninsula Campaign toward Richmond stalled at the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31 and June 1. After the Valley Campaign ended in mid-June, Jackson and his troops were called to join Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia in defense of the capital. By utilizing a railroad tunnel under the Blue Ridge Mountains and then transporting troops to Hanover County on the Virginia Central Railroad, Jackson and his forces made a surprise appearance in front of McClellan at Mechanicsville. Reports had last placed Jackson's forces in the Shenandoah Valley; their presence near Richmond added greatly to the Union commander's overestimation of the strength and numbers of the forces before him. This proved a crucial factor in McClellan's decision to re-establish his base at a point many miles downstream from Richmond on the James River at Harrison's Landing, essentially a retreat that ended the Peninsula Campaign and prolonged the war almost three more years.

Jackson's troops served well under Lee in the series of battles known as the Seven Days Battles, but Jackson's own performance in those battles is generally considered to be poor. He arrived late at Mechanicsville and inexplicably ordered his men to bivouac for the night within clear earshot of the battle. He was late and disoriented at Gaines' Mill. He was late again at Savage's Station, and at White Oak Swamp, he failed to employ fording places to cross White Oak Swamp Creek, attempting for hours to rebuild a bridge, which limited his involvement to an ineffectual artillery duel and a missed opportunity. At Malvern Hill, Jackson participated in the futile, piecemeal frontal assaults against entrenched Union infantry and massed artillery and suffered heavy casualties, but this was a problem for all of Lee's army in that ill-considered battle. The reasons for Jackson's sluggish and poorly coordinated actions during the Seven Days are disputed, although a severe lack of sleep after the grueling march and railroad trip from the Shenandoah Valley was probably a significant factor. Both Jackson and his troops were completely exhausted.

The military reputations of Lee's corps commanders are often characterized as Stonewall Jackson representing the audacious, offensive component of Lee's army, whereas his counterpart, James Longstreet, more typically advocated and executed defensive strategies and tactics. Jackson has been described as the army's hammer, Longstreet its anvil. In the Northern Virginia Campaign of August 1862, this stereotype did not hold true. Longstreet commanded the Right Wing (later to become known as the First Corps) and Jackson commanded the Left Wing. Jackson started the campaign under Lee's orders with a sweeping flanking maneuver that placed his corps into the rear of Union Maj. Gen. John Pope's Army of Virginia, but he then took up a defensive position and effectively invited Pope to assault him. On August 28–29, the start of the Second Battle of Bull Run, Pope launched repeated assaults against Jackson as Longstreet and the remainder of the Army marched north to reach the battlefield.

On August 30, Pope came to believe that Jackson was starting to retreat, and Longstreet took advantage of this by launching a massive assault on the Union army's left with over 25,000 men. Although the Union troops put up a furious defense, Pope's army was forced to retreat in a manner similar to the embarrassing Union defeat at First Bull Run, fought on roughly the same battleground.

When Lee decided to invade the North in the Maryland Campaign, Jackson took Harpers Ferry, then hastened to join the rest of the army at Sharpsburg, Maryland, where they fought McClellan in the Battle of Antietam. Antietam was primarily a defensive battle fought against superior odds, although McClellan failed to exploit his advantage. Jackson's men bore the brunt of the initial attacks on the northern end of the battlefield and, at the end of the day, successfully resisted a breakthrough on the southern end when Jackson's subordinate, Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill, arrived at the last minute from Harpers Ferry. The Confederate forces held their position, but the battle was extremely bloody for both sides, and Lee withdrew the Army of Northern Virginia back across the Potomac River, ending the invasion. Jackson was promoted to lieutenant general. On October 10 his command was redesignated the Second Corps.

Before the armies camped for winter, Jackson's Second Corps held off a strong Union assault against the right flank of the Confederate line at the Battle of Fredericksburg, in what became a decisive Confederate victory. Just before the battle, Jackson was delighted to receive a letter about the birth of his daughter, Julia Laura Jackson, on November 23. Also before the battle, Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, Lee's dashing and well-dressed cavalry commander, presented to Jackson a fine general's frock that he had ordered from one of the best tailors in Richmond. Jackson's previous coat was threadbare and colorless from exposure to the elements, its buttons removed by admiring ladies. Jackson asked his staff to thank Stuart, saying that although the coat was too handsome for him, he would cherish it as a souvenir. His staff insisted that he wear it to dinner, which caused scores of soldiers to rush to see him in uncharacteristic garb. So embarrassed was Jackson with the attention that he did not wear the new uniform for months.

So impressed was I with my discovery, that I rode rapidly back to the point on the Plank road where I had left my cavalry, and back down the road Jackson was moving, until I met "Stonewall" himself. "General," said I, "if you will ride with me, halting your column here, out of sight, I will show you the enemy's right, and you will perceive the great advantage of attacking down the Old turnpike instead of the Plank road, the enemy's lines being taken in reverse. Bring only one courier, as you will be in view from the top of the hill." Jackson assented, and I rapidly conducted him to the point of observation. There had been no change in the picture. I only knew Jackson slightly. I watched him closely as he gazed upon Howard's troops. It was then about 2 P.M. His eyes burned with a brilliant glow, lighting up a sad face. His expression was one of intense interest, his face was colored slightly with the paint of approaching battle, and radiant at the success of his flank movement. To the remarks made to him while the unconscious line of blue was pointed out, he did not reply once during the five minutes he was on the hill, and yet his lips were moving. From what I have read and heard of Jackson since that day, I know now what he was doing then. Oh! "beware of rashness," General Hooker. Stonewall Jackson is praying in full view and in rear of your right flank! While talking to the Great God of Battles, how could he hear what a poor cavalryman was saying. "Tell General Rodes," said he, suddenly whirling his horse towards the courier, "to move across the Old plank road; halt when he gets to the Old turnpike, and I will join him there." One more look upon the Federal lines, and then he rode rapidly down the hill, his arms flapping to the motion of his horse, over whose head it seemed, good rider as he was, he would certainly go. I expected to be told I had made a valuable personal reconnaissance—saving the lives of many soldiers, and that Jackson was indebted to me to that amount at least. Perhaps I might have been a little chagrined at Jackson's silence, and hence commented inwardly and adversely upon his horsemanship. Alas! I had looked upon him for the last time.

Jackson immediately returned to his corps and arranged his divisions into a line of battle to charge directly into the oblivious Federal right. The Confederates marched silently until they were merely several hundred feet from the Union position, then released a bloodthirsty cry and full charge. Many of the Federals were captured without a shot fired, the rest were driven into a full rout. Jackson pursued relentlessly back toward the center of the Federal line until dusk.

Darkness ended the assault. As Jackson and his staff were returning to camp on May 2, they were mistaken for a Union cavalry force by a Confederate North Carolina regiment who shouted, "Halt, who goes there?," but fired before evaluating the reply. Jackson was hit by three bullets, two in the left arm and one in the right hand. Several other men in his staff were killed in addition to many horses. Darkness and confusion prevented Jackson from getting immediate care. He was dropped from his stretcher while being evacuated because of incoming artillery rounds. Because of his injuries, Jackson's left arm had to be amputated by Dr. Hunter McGuire. Jackson was moved to Thomas C. Chandler's 740 acres (3.0 km2) plantation named "Fairfield." He was offered Chandler's home for recovery, but Jackson refused and suggested using Chandler's plantation office building instead. He was thought to be out of harm's way, but unknown to the doctors, he already had classic symptoms of pneumonia, complaining of a sore chest. This soreness was mistakenly thought to be the result of his rough handling in the battlefield evacuation.

His body was moved to the Governor's Mansion in Richmond for the public to mourn, and he was then moved to be buried in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia. However, the arm that was amputated on May 2 was buried separately by Jackson's chaplain, at the J. Horace Lacy house, "Ellwood", in the Wilderness of Orange County, near the field hospital.

Jackson's sometimes-unusual command style and personality traits, combined with his frequent success in battle, contribute to his legacy as one of the most unique characters of the Civil War. Although martial in attitude, he was profoundly religious, a deacon in the Presbyterian Church. He disliked fighting on Sunday, although that did not stop him from doing so. He loved his wife very much and sent her tender letters. In direct contrast to Lee, Jackson was not a striking figure, often wearing old, worn-out clothes rather than a fancy uniform.

Jackson held a lifelong belief that one of his arms was longer than the other, and thus usually held the "longer" arm up to equalize his circulation. He was described as a "champion sleeper", even falling asleep with food in his mouth occasionally. He also became noted throughout the Confederate Army for leading his troops in complete circles. A paper delivered to the Society of Clinical Psychologists hypothesized that Jackson had Asperger syndrome. Jackson also suffered a significant hearing loss in both of his ears as a result of his prior service in the U.S. Army as an artillery officer.

In command, Jackson was extremely secretive about his plans and extremely punctilious about military discipline. This secretive nature did not stand him in good stead with his subordinates, who were often not aware of his overall operational intentions and complained of being left out of key decisions.

Robert E. Lee could trust Jackson with deliberately non-detailed orders that conveyed Lee's overall objectives, what modern doctrine calls the "end state." This was because Jackson had a talent for understanding Lee's sometimes unstated goals and Lee trusted Jackson with the ability to take whatever actions were necessary to implement his end state requirements. Many of Lee's subsequent corps commanders did not have this disposition. At Gettysburg, this resulted in lost opportunities. Thus, after the Federals retreated to the heights south of town, Lee sent one of his new corps commanders, Richard S. Ewell, discretionary orders that the heights (Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill) be taken "if practicable." Without Jackson's intuitive grasp of Lee's orders and the intuition to take advantage of sudden tactical opportunities, Ewell chose not to attempt the assault, and this failure is considered by historians to be the greatest missed opportunity of the battle.

The South mourned his death as he was greatly admired there. A poem penned by one of his soldiers soon became a very popular song, "Stonewall Jackson's Way." Many theorists through the years have postulated that if Jackson had lived, Lee might have prevailed at Gettysburg. Certainly Jackson's discipline and tactical sense were sorely missed, and might well have carried an extremely close-fought battle.

After the war, Jackson's wife and young daughter Julia moved from Lexington to North Carolina. Mary Anna Jackson wrote two books about her husband's life, including some of his letters. She never remarried, and was known as the "Widow of the Confederacy", living until 1915. His daughter Julia married, and bore children, but she died of typhoid fever at the age of 26 years.

A former Confederate soldier who admired Jackson, Captain Thomas R. Ranson of Staunton, Virginia, also remembered the tragic life of Jackson's mother. Years after the War, he went to the tiny mountain hamlet of Ansted in Fayette County, West Virginia, and had a marble marker placed over the unmarked grave of Julia Neale Jackson in Westlake Cemetery, to make sure that the site was not lost forever.

West Virginia's Stonewall Jackson State Park is named in his honor. Nearby, at Stonewall Jackson's historical childhood home, his uncle's grist mill is the centerpiece of a historical site at the Jackson's Mill Center for Lifelong Learning and State 4-H Camp. The facility, located near Weston, serves as a special campus for West Virginia University and the WVU Extension Service.

He is memorialized on historic Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia; on the grounds of the state capitol in his native West Virginia; and in many other places.

At VMI, a bronze statue of Jackson stands outside the main entrance to the cadet barracks; first-year cadets exiting the barracks through that archway are required to honor Jackson's memory by saluting the statue.

The United States Navy submarine U.S.S. Stonewall Jackson (SSBN 634), commissioned in 1964, was named for him. The words "Strength—Mobility" are emblazoned on the ship's banner, words taken from letters written by General Jackson. It was the third U.S. Navy ship named for him. The submarine was decommissioned in 1995. During World War II, the Navy named a Liberty ship the SS T.J. Jackson in his honor.

The Commonwealth of Virginia honors Jackson's birthday on Lee-Jackson Day, a state holiday observed as such since 1904. It is currently observed on the Friday preceding the third Monday in January.

Jackson also appears prominently in the enormous bas-relief carving on the face of Stone Mountain riding with Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. The carving depicts the three on horseback, appearing to ride in a group from right to left across the mountainside. The lower parts of the horses' bodies merge into the mountainside at the foot of the carving. The three riders are shown bare-headed and holding their hats to their chests. It is the largest such carving in the world.

Stonewall Jackson appeared on the CSA $500 bill (7th Issue, February 17, 1864).

Jackson is featured prominently in the novel and film Gods and Generals. In the film, he is portrayed by Stephen Lang.

Jackson survives the Civil War, and commands Confederate Forces in the Second Mexican War, in Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191 series of alternate history novels.

In the DC comic, Jonah Hex (Jonah Hex #37), years after the Civil War, an old man tells the story of how Hex meets General Jackson and undertakes a special mission for him. At the end, the old man reveals that, although every boy North and South has learned in school that General "Stonewall" Jackson was accidentally shot by his own men, few know that the bullet that hit him was fired by Jonah Hex.

Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up in the pursuit so long as your men have strength to follow; for an army routed, if hotly pursued, becomes panic-stricken, and can then be destroyed by half their number. The other rule is, never fight against heavy odds, if by any possible maneuvering you can hurl your own force on only a part, and that the weakest part, of your enemy and crush it. Such tactics will win every time, and a small army may thus destroy a large one in detail, and repeated victory will make it invincible.

To move swiftly, strike vigorously, and secure all the fruits of victory, is the secret of successful war.

The only true rule for cavalry is to follow the enemy as long as he retreats.

War means fighting. The business of the soldier is to fight. Armies are not called out to dig trenches,ks, to live in camps, but to find the enemy and strike him; to invade his country, and do him all possible damage in the shortest possible time. This will involve great destruction of life and property while it lasts; but such a war will of necessity be of brief continuance, and so would be an economy of life and property in the end.

Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.

To the top



Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson in 1984

Michael Joseph Jackson (born August 29, 1958) is an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years, five of his solo studio albums have become some of the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).

In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and Thriller—credited for transforming the music video into an art form and a promotional tool—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.

Jackson has donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundation, charity singles and support of 39 charities. Other aspects of his personal life—including his changing appearance and behavior—generated significant controversy which damaged his public image. Though he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993, the criminal investigation was closed due to lack of evidence and Jackson was not charged. The singer has experienced health concerns since the early 1990s and conflicting reports regarding the state of his finances since the late 1990s. Jackson married twice and fathered three children, all of which caused further controversy. In 2005, Jackson was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and the sale of over 750 million units worldwide. Cited as one of the world's most famous men, Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, has made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana (an industrial suburb of Chicago, Illinois) to a working-class family on August 29, 1958. The son of Joseph Walter "Joe" and Katherine Esther (née Scruse), he is the seventh of nine children. His siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet. Joseph Jackson was a steel mill employee who often performed in an R&B band called The Falcons with his brother Luther. Jackson was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses by his devout mother.

From a young age Jackson was physically and mentally abused by his father, enduring incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling. Jackson's abuse as a child affected him throughout his grown life. In one altercation—later recalled by Marlon Jackson—Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and "pummelled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks". Joseph would often trip up, or push the male children into walls. One night while Jackson was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window. Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting. Joseph said he wanted to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterward, Jackson suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom.

Jackson showed musical talent early in his life, performing in front of classmates and others during a Christmas recital at the age of five. In 1964, Jackson and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers—a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine—as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine, respectively. Jackson later began performing backup vocals and dancing; at the age of eight, he and Jermaine assumed lead vocals, and the group's name was changed to The Jackson 5. The band toured the Midwest extensively from 1966 to 1968. The band frequently performed at a string of black clubs and venues collectively known as the "chitlin' circuit", where they often opened for stripteases and other adult acts. In 1966, they won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)", led by Michael.

The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including "Big Boy", for the local record label Steeltown in 1967 and signed with Motown Records in 1968. Rolling Stone magazine later described the young Michael as "a prodigy" with "overwhelming musical gifts", noting that Michael "quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer" after he began to dance and sing with his brothers. Though Michael sang with a "child's piping voice, he danced like a grown-up hoofer and sang with the R&B/gospel inflections of Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder". The group set a chart record when its first four singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There") peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. During The Jackson 5's early years, Motown's public relations team claimed that Jackson was nine years old—two years younger than he actually was—to make him appear cuter and more accessible to the mainstream audience. Starting in 1972, Jackson released a total of four solo studio albums with Motown, among them Got to Be There and Ben. These were released as part of the Jackson 5 franchise, and produced successful singles such as "Got to Be There", "Ben" and a remake of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin". The group's sales began declining in 1973, and the band members chafed under Motown's strict refusal to allow them creative control or input. Although the group scored several top 40 hits, including the top 5 disco single "Dancing Machine" and the top 20 hit "I Am Love", the Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975.

The Jackson 5 signed a new contract with CBS Records in June 1975, joining the Philadelphia International Records division, later Epic Records. As a result of legal proceedings, the group was renamed The Jacksons. After the name change, the band continued to tour internationally, releasing six more albums between 1976 and 1984. From 1976 to 1984, Michael Jackson was the lead songwriter of the group, writing hits such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", "This Place Hotel" and "Can You Feel It".

In 1978, Jackson starred as Scarecrow in the film musical The Wiz. The musical scores were arranged by Quincy Jones, who formed a partnership with Jackson during the film's production and agreed to produce the singer's next solo album Off the Wall. In 1979, Jackson broke his nose during a complex dance routine. His subsequent rhinoplasty surgery was not a complete success; he complained of breathing difficulties that would affect his career. He was referred to Dr. Steven Hoefflin, who performed Jackson's second rhinoplasty and other subsequent operations.

Jones and Jackson jointly produced Off the Wall. Songwriters included Jackson, Heatwave's Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. Released in 1979, it was the first album to generate four US top 10 hits, including the chart-topping singles "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You". Off the Wall reached number three on the Billboard 200 and has since been certified for 7 million shipments in the US and eventually sold over 20 million copies worldwide. In 1980, Jackson won three awards at the American Music Awards for his solo efforts: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Single (for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"). That year, he also won Billboard Music Awards for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance (for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"). Despite its commercial success, Jackson felt Off the Wall should have made a much bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release. In 1980, Jackson secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry: 37% of wholesale album profit.

In 1982, Jackson contributed the song "Someone In the Dark" to the storybook for the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; the record won a Grammy for Best Album for Children. That year Jackson issued his second Epic album, Thriller. The album remained in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks and 37 of those weeks at the peak position. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". Thriller was certified for 28 million shipments by the RIAA, giving it Double Diamond status in the US. It is often cited as the best-selling album of all time, with worldwide sales between 47 million and 109 million copies.

Gil Friesen, president of A&M Records, said "the whole industry has a stake in this success". Thriller raised the importance of albums, but multiple hits also changed notions about the number of singles to release. Time magazine explained that "the fallout from Thriller has given the business its best years since the heady days of 1978, when it had an estimated total domestic revenue of $4.1 billion". Time summed up Thriller's impact as a "restoration of confidence" for an industry bordering on "the ruins of punk and the chic regions of synthesizer pop". The publication described Jackson's influence at that point as "Star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man rescue team for the music business. A songwriter who sets the beat for a decade. A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street. A singer who cuts across all boundaries of taste and style and color too". The New York Times called him a "musical phenomenon", saying that "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else". According to the The Washington Post, Thriller paved the way for other acts such as Prince.

On March 25, 1983, Jackson performed live on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special, both with The Jackson 5 and on his own singing "Billie Jean". Debuting his signature dance move—the moonwalk—his performances during the event were seen by 47 million viewers during its initial airing, and drew comparions to Elvis Presley's and the The Beatles' appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. The New York Times said, "The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing".

Jackson suffered a setback on January 27, 1984. While filming a Pepsi Cola commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Jackson suffered second degree burns to his scalp after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire. Happening in front of a full house of fans during a simulated concert, the incident was the subject of heavy media scrutiny and elicited an outpouring of sympathy. PepsiCo settled a lawsuit out of court, and Jackson gave his $1.5 million settlement to the "Michael Jackson Burn Center" which was a piece of new technology to help people with severe burns. Jackson had his third rhinoplasty shortly afterward and grew self conscious about his appearance.

On May 14, 1984, Jackson was invited to the White House to receive an award presented by American President Ronald Reagan. The award was given for Jackson's support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse. Jackson won eight awards during the 1984 Grammys. Unlike later albums, Thriller did not have an official tour to promote it, but the 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by The Jacksons, showcased much of Jackson's new solo material to more than two million Americans. He donated his $5 million share from the Victory Tour to charity.

Jackson co-wrote the charity single "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US. He was one of 39 music celebrities who performed on the record. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief. It was also the first time Jackson was seen as a humanitarian.

While working with Paul McCartney on the two hit singles "The Girl Is Mine" and "Say Say Say", the pair became friendly, occasionally visiting one another. In one discussion, McCartney told Jackson about the millions of dollars he had made from music catalogs; he was earning approximately $40 million a year from other people's songs. Jackson then began a business career buying, selling and distributing publishing rights to music from numerous artists. Shortly afterward Northern Songs—a music catalog holding thousands of songs, including The Beatles' back catalog and songs by Elvis Presley—was put up for sale.

Jackson took immediate interest in the catalog but was warned that he would face strong competition. Excited, he skipped around the room saying, "I don't care. I want those songs. Get me those songs Branca ". Branca then contacted the attorney of McCartney, who clarified that his client was not interested in bidding because, "It's too pricey". After Jackson had started negotiations, McCartney changed his mind and tried to persuade Yoko Ono to join him in a joint bid, she declined, so he pulled out. Jackson eventually beat the rest of the competition in negotiations that lasted 10 months, purchasing the catalog for $47.5 million. When McCartney found out he said, "I think it's dodgy to do things like that. To be someone's friend and then buy the rug they're standing on". Reacting to that statement, biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli observed that McCartney made millions of dollars from the music of other people. He had more money than Jackson at that point so could have made a substantial bid for his own music and would not have suffered financial difficulties from Jackson owning the catalog.

In 1986, the tabloid press ran a story claiming that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow the aging process; he was pictured lying down in a glass box. Although the claim was untrue, Jackson disseminated the fabricated story himself. The singer was promoting his upcoming movie Captain EO and wanted to promote a science fiction image of himself. Jackson had a fourth rhinoplasty and, wanting masculine features, had a cleft put in his chin. Then he starred in the Francis Ford Coppola-directed 3-D film Captain EO. It was the most expensive film produced on a per-minute basis at the time, and was later hosted in Disney theme parks. Disneyland featured the film in its Tomorrowland area for nearly 11 years, while Walt Disney World screened the film in its Epcot theme park from 1986 to 1994.

Jackson bought and befriended a pet chimpanzee called Bubbles, an act which extended his eccentric persona. In 2003 the singer claimed that Bubbles shared his toilet, and cleaned his bedroom. Later it was reported that Jackson bought the bones of The Elephant Man. Although untrue, it was a story that Jackson again disseminated to the tabloid press. These stories inspired the pejorative nickname "Wacko Jacko", which Jackson acquired the following year. He would eventually come to despise the nickname. Realizing his mistake, he stopped leaking untruths to the press. However due to the profit being made, the media began making up their own stories.

Jackson's skin was a medium-brown color for the entire duration of his youth, but starting in the early 1980s, his skin gradually grew paler. This change gained widespread media coverage, including rumors that Jackson was bleaching his skin. In the mid-1980s, Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus; the latter is in remission in Jackson's case, and both illnesses make him sensitive to sunlight. The treatments he uses for his condition further lighten his skin tone, and, with the application of pancake makeup to even out blotches, he can appear very pale. The structure of his face has changed as well; several surgeons have speculated that Jackson had undergone multiple nasal surgeries, a forehead lift, thinned lips and a cheekbone surgery. Changes to his face were, in part, due to periods of significant weight loss. Jackson became slimmer in the early 1980s because of a change in diet and a desire for "a dancer's body". Witnesses reported that Jackson was often dizzy and speculated that he was suffering from anorexia nervosa; periods of weight loss would become a recurring problem for the singer later in life. Some medical professionals have publicly stated their belief that the singer has body dysmorphic disorder, a psychological condition whereby the sufferer has no concept of how they are perceived by others.

Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight", people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth".

With the industry expecting another major hit, Jackson's first album in five years, Bad (1987), was highly anticipated. Bad had lower sales than Thriller, but was still a substantial commercial success. In the US, it spawned seven hit singles, five of which ("I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana") went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, more than any other album. As of 2008, the album sold 30 million copies worldwide, including eight million shipments in the US.

The Bad World Tour began on September 12, 1987, and finished on January 14, 1989. In Japan alone, the tour had 14 sellouts and drew 570,000 people, nearly tripling the previous record of 200,000 in a single tour. Jackson broke a Guinness World Record when 504,000 people attended seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium. He performed a total of 123 concerts to a total audience of 4.4 million people, and gained a further Guinness World Record when the tour grossed him $125 million. During the trip he invited underprivileged children to watch for free and gave donations to hospitals, orphanages and other charities.

In 1988, Jackson released his first autobiography, Moon Walk, which took four years to complete. Jackson told of his childhood, his experience in The Jackson 5 and the abuse he suffered as a child. He also spoke of his plastic surgery, saying he had two rhinoplastic surgeries and the surgical creation of a cleft in his chin. In the book, he attributed the change in the structure of his face to puberty, weight loss, a strict vegetarian diet, a change in hair style and stage lighting. Moonwalk reached the top position on The New York Times best sellers' list. The musician then released a film called Moonwalker, which featured live footage, music videos, and a feature film that starred Jackson and Joe Pesci. Moonwalker debuted atop the Billboard Top Music Video Cassette chart, staying there for 22 weeks. It was eventually knocked off the top spot by Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues.

In March 1988, Jackson purchased land near Santa Ynez, California to build Neverland Ranch at a cost of US $17 million. It is a 2,700-acre (11 km2) property complete with Ferris whells, a menagerie, movie theater. A security staff of 40 patroled the grounds. The property was valued at approximately $100 million in 2003. In 1989, his annual earnings from album sales, endorsements and concerts was estimated at $125 million for that year alone. Shortly afterward, Jackson became the first Westerner to appear in a television advert for Russia.

Jackson's success resulted in his being dubbed the "King of Pop", a nickname conceived by actress and friend Elizabeth Taylor when she presented Jackson with an "Artist of the Decade" award in 1989, proclaiming him "the true king of pop, rock and soul". President George H. W. Bush presented the singer with The White House's special "Artist of the Decade" award in recognition of Jackson's musical influence in the 1980s; Bush commended Jackson for acquiring a "tremendous following" among other achievements. From 1985 to 1990, Jackson donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and all of the profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity.

Jackson's live rendition of "You Were There" at Sammy Davis Jr. 60th birthday celebration received an Emmy nomination.

In March 1991, Jackson renewed his contract with Sony for $65 million; a record breaking deal at the time. Jackson released his eighth album Dangerous in 1991. As of 2008, Dangerous has shipped 7 million copies in the US and has sold 30 million copies worldwide; it has been selling at a faster pace than his prior release Bad. In the US, the album's first single "Black or White" was the album's biggest hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and remaining there for seven weeks, with similar chart performances worldwide. The album's second single "Remember the Time" spent eight weeks in the top five in the US, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. In 1993, Jackson performed the song at the Soul Train Awards in a wheelchair, saying he had suffered an injury in rehearsals. In the UK and other parts of Europe, "Heal the World" was the biggest hit from the album; it sold 450,000 copies in the UK and spent five weeks at two in 1992.

Jackson founded the "Heal the World Foundation" in 1992. The charity organization brought underprivileged children to Jackson's ranch, to go on theme park rides that Jackson had built on the property after he purchased it. The foundation also sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war and disease. The Dangerous World Tour began on June 27, 1992, and finished on November 11, 1993. Jackson performed to 3.5 million people in 67 concerts. All profits from the concerts went to the "Heal the World Foundation", raising millions of dollars in relief. He sold the broadcast rights to his Dangerous world tour to HBO for $20 million, a record-breaking deal that still stands. Following the illness and death of Ryan White, Jackson helped draw public attention to HIV/AIDS, something that was still controversial at the time. He publicly pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton's Inaugural Gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research.

In a high-profile visit to Africa, Jackson visited several countries, among them Gabon and Egypt. His first stop to Gabon was greeted with a sizable reception of more than 100,000 people in "spiritual bedlam", some of them carrying signs that read, "Welcome Home Michael". In his trip to the Ivory Coast, Jackson was crowned "King Sani" by a tribal chief. He then thanked the dignitaries in French and English, signed official documents formalizing his kingship and sat on a golden throne while presiding over ceremonial dances.

One of Jackson's most acclaimed performances came during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII. As the performances began, Jackson was catapulted onto the stage as fireworks went off behind him. As he landed on the canvass, he maintained a motionless "clenched fist, standing statue stance", dressed in a gold and black military outfit and sunglasses; he remained completely motionless for several minutes while the crowd cheered. He then slowly removed his sunglasses, threw them away and began to sing and dance. His routine included four songs: "Jam", "Billie Jean", "Black or White" and "Heal the World". It was the first Super Bowl where the audience figures increased during the half-time show, and was viewed by 135 million Americans alone; Jackson's Dangerous album rose 90 places up the album chart.

Jackson was given the "Living Legend Award" at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. "Black or White" was Grammy nominated for best vocal performance. "Jam" gained two nominations: Best R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.

Jackson gave a 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey in February 1993, his first television interview since 1979. He grimaced when speaking of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father; he believed he had missed out on much of his childhood years, admitting that he often cried from loneliness. He denied previous tabloid rumors that he bought the bones of the Elephant Man or slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The entertainer went on to dispel suggestions that he bleached his skin, admitting for the first time that he had vitiligo. The interview was watched by 90 million Americans, becoming the fourth most-viewed non-sport program in US history. It also started a public debate on the topic of vitiligo, a relatively unknown condition before then. Dangerous re-entered the album chart top 10, more than a year after its original release.

Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13-year-old child named Jordan Chandler and his father Evan Chandler. The friendship between Jackson and Evan Chandler broke down. Sometime afterward, Evan Chandler was tape-recorded saying amongst other things, "If I go through with this, I win big-time. There's no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever...Michael's career will be over". A year after they had met, under the influence of a controversial sedative, Jordan Chandler told his father that Jackson had touched his penis. Evan Chandler and Jackson, represented by their legal teams, then engaged in unsuccessful negotiations to resolve the issue in a financial settlement; the negotiations were initiated by Chandler but Jackson did make several counter offers. Jordan Chandler then told a psychiatrist and later police that he and Jackson had engaged in acts of kissing, masturbation and oral sex, as well as giving a detailed description of what he alleged were the singer's genitals.

An official investigation began, with Jordan Chandler's mother adamant that there was no wrongdoing on Jackson's part. Neverland Ranch was searched; multiple children and family members denied that he was a pedophile. Jackson's image took a further turn for the worse when his older sister La Toya Jackson accused him of being a pedophile, a statement she later retracted. Jackson agreed to a 25-minute strip search, conducted at his ranch. The search was required to see if a description provided by Jordan Chandler was accurate. Doctors concluded that there were some strong similarities, but it was not a definitive match. Jackson made an emotional public statement on the events; he proclaimed his innocence, criticized what he perceived as biased media coverage and told of his strip search.

Jackson began taking painkillers, Valium, Xanax and Ativan to deal with the stress of the allegations made against him. By the fall of 1993, Jackson was addicted to the drugs. His health deteriorated to the extent that he canceled the remainder of the Dangerous World Tour and went into drug rehabilitation for a few months. The stress of the allegations also caused Jackson to stop eating, losing a significant amount of weight. With his health in decline, Jackson's friends and legal advisers took over his defense and finances; they called on him to settle the allegations out of court, believing that he could not endure a lengthy trial.

Tabloid reaction to the allegations put Jackson in an unfavorable light. Complaints about the coverage and media included everything from bias against Jackson, accepting stories of alleged criminal activity for money to accepting confidential leaked material from the police investigation in return for money paid. On January 1, 1994, Jackson settled with the Chandler family and their legal team out of court, in a civil lawsuit for $22 million. After the settlement Jordan Chandler refused to continue with Police criminal proceedings. Jackson was never charged, and the state closed its criminal investigation, citing lack of evidence.

Later that year, Jackson married singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley. They had first met in 1975 during one of Jackson's family engagements at the MGM Grand, and were reconnected through a mutual friend in early 1993. They stayed in contact every day over the telephone. As child molestation accusations became public, Jackson became dependent on Lisa Marie for emotional support; she was concerned about his faltering health and addiction to drugs. Lisa Marie explained, "I believed he didn't do anything wrong and that he was wrongly accused and yes I started falling for him. I wanted to save him. I felt that I could do it." In a phone call he made to her, she described him as high, incoherent and delusional. Shortly afterward, she tried to persuade Jackson to settle the allegations out of court and go into rehabilitation to recover—he subsequently did both. Jackson proposed to Lisa Marie over the telephone towards the fall of 1993, saying, "If I asked you to marry me, would you do it?". Presley and Jackson married in the Dominican Republic in secrecy; the parties denied they had been married for nearly two months. The marriage was, in her words, "a married couple's life ... that was sexually active". At the time, the tabloid media speculated that the wedding was a ploy to prop up Jackson's public image in light of prior sexual abuse allegations. Jackson and Presley divorced less than two years later, remaining friendly.

In 1995, Jackson merged his Northern Songs catalog with Sony's publishing division creating Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Jackson retained half-ownership of the company, earned $95 million upfront as well as the rights to even more songs. He then released the double album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. The first disc, HIStory Begins, was a 15-track greatest hits album, and was later reissued as Greatest Hits — HIStory Vol. I in 2001, the second disc, HIStory Continues, contained 15 new songs. The album debuted at number one on the charts and has been certified for seven million shipments in the US. It is the best-selling multiple-disc album of all-time, with 18 million copies (36 million units) sold worldwide. HIStory received a Grammy nomination for best album.

The first single released from the album was the double A-side "Scream/Childhood". "Scream" was a duet, sung and performed with Jackson's youngest sister Janet. The single had the highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at number five, and received a Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals". "You Are Not Alone" was the second single released from HIStory; it holds the Guinness World Record for the first song ever to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was seen as a major artistic and commercial success, receiving a Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Vocal Performance". In late 1995, Jackson was rushed to a hospital after collapsing during rehearsals for a televised performance; the incident was caused by a stress related panic attack. "Earth Song" was the third single released from HIStory, and topped the UK singles chart for six weeks over Christmas 1995; it sold a million copies, making it Jackson's most successful single in the UK.

The HIStory World Tour began on September 7, 1996, and finished on October 15, 1997. Jackson performed 82 concerts in 58 cities to over 4.5 million fans. The show, which visited 5 continents and 35 countries, became Jackson's most successful in terms of audience figures; he has not toured the world since. During the Australian leg of the HIStory World Tour, Jackson married dermatologist nurse, Deborah Jeanne Rowe, with whom he fathered a son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (also known as "Prince"), and a daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. The pair first met in the mid-1980s, when Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo. She spent many years treating his illness as well as providing emotional support. They built a strong friendship, then became romantically involved. Originally there were no plans to marry, but following Rowe's first pregnancy, Jackson's mother intervened and persuaded them to. The couple divorced in 1999, with Rowe giving full custody rights of the children to Jackson; they still remain friends.

In 1997, Jackson released Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, which contained remixes of hit singles from HIStory and five new songs. Worldwide sales stand at 6 million copies as of 2007, making it one of the best selling remix albums ever released. It reached number one in the UK, as did the title track. In the US, the album was certified platinum, but only reached number 24. Forbes placed his annual income at $35 million in 1996 and $20 million in 1997.

Throughout June 1999, Jackson was involved in a number of charitable events. He joined Luciano Pavarotti for a benefit concert in Modena, Italy. The show was in support of the non-profit organization Warchild, and raised a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo, as well as additional funds for the children of Guatemala. Later that month, Jackson organized a set of "Michael Jackson & Friends" benefit concerts in Germany and Korea. Other artists involved included Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana Chandrakumar, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti. The proceeds went to the "Nelson Mandela Children's Fund", the Red Cross and UNESCO.

In 2000, Jackson was listed in the book of Guinness World Records for his support of 39 charities, more than any other entertainer or personality. At the time, Jackson was waiting for the licenses to the masters of his albums to revert back to him; this allowed him to promote his old material how he liked and prevented Sony from getting a cut of the profit. Jackson expected this to occur early in the new millennium, however, due to the fine print and various clauses in the contract, this revert date is still many years away. Jackson began an investigation, and it emerged that the attorney who represented the singer in the deal was also representing Sony, creating a conflict of interest. Jackson was also concerned about another conflict of interest. For a number of years, Sony had been pushing to buy all of Jackson's share in their music catalog venture. If Jackson's career or financial situation were to deteriorate, he would have to sell his catalog. Thus, Sony had something to gain from Jackson's career failing. Jackson was able to use these conflicts as leverage to exit his contract early. Just before the release of Invincible, Jackson informed the head of Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola, that he was leaving Sony. As a result, all singles releases, video shootings and promotions concerning the Invincible album were canceled. Jackson made allegations in July 2002 that Mottola was a "devil" and a "racist" who did not support his African-American artists, using them merely for his own personal gain. He charged that Mottola had called his colleague Irv Gotti a "fat nigger". Sony disputed claims that they had failed to promote Invincible with sufficient energy, maintaining that Jackson refused to tour in the US.

Six years after his last studio album and after spending much of the late 1990s to early millennium out of the public eye, Jackson released Invincible in October 2001 to much anticipation. To help promote the album, a special 30th Anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden occurred in September 2001 to mark the singer's 30th year as a solo artist. Jackson appeared onstage alongside his brothers for the first time since 1984. The show also featured performances by Mýa, Usher, Whitney Houston, 'N Sync, and Slash, among other artists. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.. The concert was aired on October 21, 2001, and included performances from dozens of major artists, including Jackson, who performed his song "What More Can I Give" as the finale. Invincible was a commercial success, debuting atop the charts in 13 countries and going on to sell approximately 10 million copies worldwide. It received double-platinum certification in the US. However, the sales for Invincible were notably low compared to his previous releases, due in part to a diminishing pop music industry, the lack of promotion, no supporting world tour and the label dispute. The album spawned three singles, "You Rock My World", "Cry" and "Butterflies", the latter did not have a music video.

Jackson's third child, Prince Michael Jackson II (also known as Blanket) was born in 2002. The mother's identity has not been released by Jackson, but he has said the child was the result of artificial insemination from a surrogate mother and his own sperm cells. In November of that year, Jackson brought his new born son onto the balcony of his hotel room in Berlin, as fans stood below. Holding him in his right arm, with a cloth loosely draped over the baby's face, Jackson briefly extended the baby over the railing of the balcony, four stories above ground level, causing widespread criticism in the media. Jackson later apologized for the incident, calling it "a terrible mistake".

In 2003, Sony put out a compilation of Jackson's hits on CD and DVD. In the US, the album peaked at number 13 and was certified platinum by the RIAA, in the UK it was certified for shipments of at least 1.2 million units. In a Granada Television documentary titled Living with Michael Jackson, the singer was seen holding hands and discussing sleeping arrangements with Gavin Arvizo, who would later accuse him of child sexual abuse. In the same documentary Jackson was observed spending large amounts of money in an apparently frivolous manner, when he spent $6 million in a single store. Shortly after the documentary aired, Jackson was charged with seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in order to commit that felony; all charges regarded the same boy, Gavin Arvizo, who was under 14 at the time of the alleged crime.

Jackson denied the sexual abuse allegations, saying that the sleepovers were in no way sexual in nature. Jackson's friend Elizabeth Taylor defended him on Larry King Live, saying that she had been there when they "were in the bed, watching television. There was nothing abnormal about it. There was no touchy-feely going on. We laughed like children and we watched a lot of Walt Disney. There was nothing odd about it." During the investigation, Jackson's profile were examined by a mental health professional called Dr. Stan Katz; the doctor spent several hours with the accuser too. The assessment made by Katz, was that Jackson had become a regressed 10-year-old and did not fit the profile of a pedophile.

Following his upcoming trial, Jackson became dependent on morphine and Demerol, a dependency which he subsequently overcame. The People v. Jackson trial began in Santa Maria, California, two years after Jackson was originally charged. The trial lasted five months, until the end of May 2005. During the trial, the singer again suffered from stress-related illnesses and severe weight loss, that would alter his appearance. In June, Jackson was acquitted on all counts. Following the trial, Jackson relocated to the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain as a guest of Sheikh Abdullah.

Sony BMG released Visionary: The Video Singles to the European market: a series of 20 of his biggest hit singles of the 1980s and 1990s. Each single was issued weekly over a five-month period in DualDisc format (DVD video on one side, CD audio on the other), and the whole group of discs was made available as a boxed set afterward. The box set was released in the US on November 14, 2006.

Reports of financial problems for Jackson became frequent in 2006 after the closure of the main house on the Neverland Ranch as a cost-cutting measure. One prominent financial issue for him concerned a $270 million loan secured against his music publishing holdings. After delayed repayments on the loan, a refinancing package shifted the loans from Bank of America to debt specialists Fortress Investments. A new package proposed by Sony would have had Jackson borrow an additional $300 million and reduce the interest rate payable on the loan, while giving Sony the future option to buy half of Jackson's stake in their jointly owned publishing company (leaving Jackson with a 25% stake). Jackson agreed to a Sony-backed refinancing deal, although details were not made public. Despite these loans, according to Forbes, Jackson was still making as much as $75 million a year from his publishing partnership with Sony alone.

One of Jackson's first documented public appearances since his trial was in November 2006, when he visited the London office of the Guinness World Records. He received eight records, among them "First Entertainer to Earn More Than 100 Million Dollars in a Year" and "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time". Jackson was awarded the Diamond Award on November 15, 2006, for selling over 100 million albums, at the World Music Awards. Following the death of James Brown, Jackson returned to the US to pay his respects. He, along with more than 8,000 people, paid tribute during Brown's public funeral on December 30, 2006. In late 2006, Jackson agreed to share joint custody of his first two children with ex-wife Debbie Rowe. Jackson and Sony bought Famous Music LLC from Viacom in 2007. This deal gave him the rights to songs by Eminem, Shakira and Beck, among others.

I've been in the entertainment industry since I was six-years-old... As Charles Dickens says, "It's been the best of times, the worst of times." But I would not change my career... While some have made deliberate attempts to hurt me, I take it in stride because I have a loving family, a strong faith and wonderful friends and fans who have, and continue, to support me.

Jackson issued Thriller 25, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Thriller, one of his most popular albums. The set contained the original material from the album, re-mixes, the previously unreleased song "For All Time" and a DVD. Two singles were released to moderate success: "The Girl Is Mine 2008" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008". Thriller 25 was a commercial success, having done particularly well as a re-issue, peaking at number one in eight countries and Europe. It reached number two in the US, number three in the UK and top 10 on over 30 national charts. It was ineligible for the Billboard 200 chart as a re-release, but entered atop the Pop Catalog chart, where it stayed for 10 non-consecutive weeks and had the best sales on that chart since December 1996. After 12 weeks Thriller 25 sold over 3 million copies worldwide. With the arrival of Halloween that November, Thriller 25 spent an eleventh non-consecutive week atop the US catalog chart. US sales of the album at that point were 688,000 copies, making it the best selling catalog album of 2008.

To celebrate Jackson's 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a compilation album called King of Pop in various countries. These albums included tracks from Jackson's group and solo career, all voted for by fans. The albums had different tracklists, according to how the fans of each nation voted. Although it was not released in the US, King of Pop did reach the top 10 in the vast majority of countries it was issued in. It also charted in other countries, albeit lower, from imported sales.

Fortress considered a foreclosure sale of Neverland Ranch to service a loan Jackson owed on the property, but ultimately sold the loan to Colony Capital LLC. In November, Jackson transferred the title of Neverland Ranch to Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC. It is unclear if Jackson still owns any stake in the property—Sycamore Valley Ranch is a joint venture between Jackson and Colony Capital LLC—the loan Jackson owed was cleared, he acquired $35 million in the venture.

From July 8, 2009 to February 24, 2010, Jackson is scheduled to perform 50 sell out concerts to over one million people, at London's O2 arena. According to Jackson's website, tickets sales for the concerts broke several records. During a prior press conference, Jackson made suggestions of possible retirement. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live stated that the first 10 dates alone would earn the singer approximately £50 million.

Steve Huey of Allmusic asserts that throughout his solo career, Jackson's versatility has allowed him to experiment with various themes and genres. As a musician, he has ranged from Motown's dance fare and ballads to techno-edged new jack swing to work that incorporates both funk rhythms and hard rock guitar. Unlike many artists, Jackson did not write his songs on paper. Instead he would dictate into a sound recorder; when recording he would sing from memory. Several critics observed Off the Wall was crafted from funk, disco-pop, soul, soft rock, jazz and pop ballads. Prominent examples include the ballad "She's out of My Life", and the two disco tunes "Workin' Day and Night" and "Get on the Floor".

According to Huey, Thriller refined the strengths of Off the Wall; the dance and rock tracks were more aggressive, while the pop tunes and ballads were softer and more soulful. Notable tracks included the ballads "The Lady in My Life", "Human Nature" and "The Girl Is Mine"; the funk pieces "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"; and the disco set "Baby Be Mine" and "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)". With Thriller, Christoper Connelly of Rolling Stone commented that Jackson developed his long association with the subliminal theme of paranoia and darker imagery. Allmusic's Stephen Erlewine noted this is evident on the songs "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". In "Billie Jean", Jackson sings about an obsessive fan who alleges he has fathered a child of hers. In "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" he argues against gossip and the media. The anti-gang violence rock song "Beat It" became a homage to West Side Story, and was Jackson's first successful rock cross-over piece, according to Huey. He also observed that the title track "Thriller" began Jackson's interest with the theme of the supernatural, a topic he revisited in subsequent years. In 1985, Jackson wrote the charity anthem "We Are the World"; humanitarian themes later became a central component of his life and music.

In Bad, Jackson's concept of the predatory lover can be seen on the rock song "Dirty Diana". The lead single "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" was a traditional love ballad, while "Man in the Mirror", an anthemic ballad of confession and resolution, improved on his earlier "We Are the World". "Smooth Criminal" was an evocation of bloody assault, rape and likely murder. Allmusic's Stephen Erlewine states that Dangerous presents Jackson as a stark paradoxal individual. He comments the album is more diverse than his previous Bad, as it appeals to an urban audience while also attracting the middle class with anthems like "Heal the World". The first half of the record is dedicated to new jack swing, including songs like "Jam" and "Remember the Time". The album is Jackson's first where social ills become a primary theme; "Why You Wanna Trip on Me", for example, protests against world hunger, AIDS, homelessness and drugs. Dangerous contains sexually charged efforts like "In the Closet", a love song about desire and denial, risk and repression, solitude and connection, privacy and revelation. The title track continues the theme of the predatory lover and compulsive desire. The second half includes introspective, pop-gospel anthems such as "Will You Be There", "Heal the World" and "Keep the Faith"; these songs show Jackson finally opening up about various personal struggles and worries. In the ballad "Gone Too Soon", Jackson gives tribute to his friend Ryan White and the plight of those with AIDS.

HIStory creates an atmosphere of paranoia. Its content focuses on the hardships and public struggles Jackson went through just prior to its production. In the new jack swing-funk-rock efforts "Scream" and "Tabloid Junkie", along with the R&B ballad "You Are Not Alone", Jackson retaliates against the injustice and isolation he feels, and directs much of his anger at the media. In the introspective ballad "Stranger in Moscow", Jackson laments over his "fall from grace", while songs like "Earth Song", "Childhood", "Little Susie" and "Smile" are all operatic pop pieces. In the track "D.S.", Jackson launched a verbal attack against Tom Sneddon. He describes Sneddon as an antisocial, white supremacist who wanted to "get my ass, dead or alive". Of the song, Sneddon said, "I have not—shall we say—done him the honor of listening to it, but I’ve been told that it ends with the sound of a gunshot". Invincible found Jackson working heavily with producer Rodney Jerkins. It is a record made up of urban soul like "Cry" and "The Lost Children", ballads such as "Speechless", "Break of Dawn" and "Butterflies" and mixes hip hop, pop and rap in "2000 Watts", "Heartbreaker" and "Invincible".

Jackson has been singing since a child, and over time his voice and vocal style have notably changed, either through puberty or a personal preference to align his vocal interpretation to the themes and genres he chooses to express. Between 1971 and 1975, Jackson's voice "descended ever so slightly from boy soprano to his current androgynous high tenor". In the mid-1970s, the singer adopted a "vocal hiccup" as seen in "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)". The purpose of the hiccup—somewhat like a gulping for air or gasping—is to help promote a certain emotion, be it excitement, sadness or fear. With the arrival of Off the Wall in the late 1970s, Jackson's abilities as a vocalist were well regarded; Allmusic described him as a "blindingly gifted vocalist". At the time, Rolling Stone compared his vocals to the "breathless, dreamy stutter" of Stevie Wonder. Their analysis was also that "Jackson's feathery-timbered tenor is extraordinary beautiful. It slides smoothly into a startling falsetto that's used very daringly". 1982 saw the release of Thriller, and Rolling Stone were of the opinion that Jackson was then singing in a "fully adult voice" that was "tinged by sadness".

The release of "Bad" in 1987 displayed gritty lead vocals on the verse and lighter tones employed on the chorus. A distinctive deliberate mispronunciation used frequently by Jackson, occasionally spelt "cha'mone" or "shamone", is also a staple in impressions and caricatures of him. The turn of the 1990s saw the release of the paradoxical, introspective album Dangerous, here Jackson used his vocals to intensify the split themes and genres described earlier. The New York Times noted that on some tracks, "he gulps for breath, his voice quivers with anxiety or drops to a desperate whisper, hissing through clenched teeth" and he had a "wretched tone". When singing of brotherhood or self-esteem the musician would return to "smooth" vocals. "In the Closet" contained heavy breathing and a loop of five scat-sung syllables, whereas in the album's title track, Jackson performs a spoken rap. When commenting on Invincible, Rolling Stone were of the opinion that—at the age of 43—Jackson still performed, "exquisitely voiced rhythm tracks and vibrating vocal harmonies". Nelson George summed by Jackson's vocals as, "The grace, the aggression, the growling, the natural boyishness, the falsetto, the smoothness—that combination of elements mark him as a major vocalist".

Steve Huey of Allmusic observes the fact that Jackson transformed the music video into an art form and a promotional tool through complex story lines, dance routines, special effects and famous cameo appearances; simultaneously breaking down racial barriers. According to director Vincent Paterson, who collaborated with the singer on several music videos, Jackson conceptualized many of the darker, bleak themes in his filmography.

Before the success of the Thriller album, Jackson struggled to receive coverage on MTV because he was African American. Pressure from CBS Records persuaded MTV to start showing "Billie Jean" and later "Beat It", leading to a lengthy partnership with Jackson that helped other black music artists gain recognition. The popularity of his video on MTV helped to put the relatively young channel "on the map"; MTV's focus shifted in favor of pop and R&B. Short films like Thriller largely remained unique to Jackson, while the group dance sequence in "Beat It" has frequently been imitated. The choreography in Thriller has become a part of global pop culture, replicated everywhere from Bollywood to prisons in the Philippines. The Thriller short film marked an increase in scale for music videos, and has been named the most successful music video ever by the Guinness World Records.

In the 18-minute music video for "Bad"—directed by Martin Scorsese—Jackson began using sexual imagery and choreography not previously seen in his work. He occasionally grabbed or touched his chest, torso and crotch. While he has described this as "choreography," it garnered a mixed reception from both fans and critics; Time magazine described it as "infamous". The video also featured Wesley Snipes; Jackson's videos would often feature famous cameos roles in the future. For "Smooth Criminal", Jackson experimented with an innovative "anti-gravity lean" in his performances, for which he was granted US Patent No. 5,255,452. Although the music video for "Leave Me Alone" was not officially released in the US, in 1989, it was nominated for four Billboard Music Video Awards, winning three; the same year it won a Golden Lion Award for the quality of the special effects used in its production. In 1990, "Leave Me Alone" won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form.

The MTV Video Vanguard Artist of the Decade Award was given to Jackson to celebrate his accomplishments in the art form in the 1980s; the following year the award was renamed in his honor. "Black or White" was accompanied by a controversial music video, which, on November 14, 1991, simultaneously premiered in 27 countries with an estimated audience of 500 million people, the largest viewing ever for a music video. It featured scenes construed as having a sexual nature as well as depictions of violence. The offending scenes in the final half of the 14-minute version were edited out to prevent the video from being banned, and Jackson apologized. Along with Jackson, it featured Macaulay Culkin, Peggy Lipton and George Wendt. It helped usher in morphing as an important technology in music videos.

The music video for "Scream", directed by Mark Romanek and production designer Tom Foden, is one of Jackson's most critically acclaimed. In 1995, it gained 11 MTV Video Music Award Nominations—more than any other music video—and won "Best Dance Video", "Best Choreography", and "Best Art Direction". The song and its accompanying video are a response to the backlash Jackson received from the media after being accused of child molestation in 1993. A year later, it won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form; shortly afterward Guinness World Records listed it as the most expensive music video ever made at a cost of $7 million.

Inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984, Jackson has had a notable impact on music and culture throughout the world. He broke down racial barriers, transformed the art of the music video and paved the way for modern pop music in his own country. Jackson's work, distinctive musical sound and vocal style have influenced hip hop, pop and R&B artists, including Mariah Carey, Usher, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and R. Kelly. For much of his career, he had an "unparalleled" level of worldwide influence over the younger generation through his musical and humanitarian contributions.

Throughout his career he received numerous honors and awards, including the World Music Awards' Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award and the Bambi Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. He is a double-inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and later as a solo artist in 2001. Jackson was also an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. His awards include multiple Guinness World Records (eight in 2006 alone), 13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and the sale of over 750 million units worldwide.

He is characterized as "an unstoppable juggernaut, possessed of all the tools to dominate the charts seemingly at will: an instantly identifiable voice, eye-popping dance moves, stunning musical versatility and loads of sheer star power". In the mid-1980s, Time described Jackson as "the hottest single phenomenon since Elvis Presley". By 1990, Vanity Fair had already cited Jackson as the most popular artist in the history of show business. Daily Telegraph writer Tom Utley called him an "extremely important figure in the history of popular culture" and a "genius". His total lifetime earnings from royalties on his solo recordings and music videos, revenue from concerts and endorsements have been estimated at $500 million; some analysts have speculated that his music catalog holdings could be worth billions of dollars. Cited as one of the world's most famous men, Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, has made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.

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Source : Wikipedia