History book – Twitter turns 15
NICK EICHER, HTE: The world and all in it: The WORLD History Book. Today, social media gurus are making a plan, a famous singer turns 65, and an outlaw is overwhelmed. Here’s senior correspondent Katie Gaultney.
SONG: “Billy the Kid”, Marty Robbins
KATIE GAULTNEY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: In just 21 years, American outlaw Billy the Kid has racked up notoriety for several lifetimes. But the gunslinger’s life ended 140 years ago on July 14, 1881.
Born Henry McCarty, he went through difficult times. He was orphaned at 15, then worked for the owner of a boarding house to get a room. He started stealing food and clothes, and by the age of 17 he had killed a man. More follow-up. He adopted the moniker “Billy the Kid” while working as a ranchman in the American Southwest, always fleeing the law.
YOUNG WEAPONS: Let’s dance! (shooting)
After killing a sheriff in New Mexico, law enforcement arrested McCarty. He escaped, as he had done after the previous arrests. But he couldn’t run forever. Two years passed before another New Mexico sheriff, Pat Garrett, apprehended McCarty. The newspapers advanced the legend of “Billy the Kid” as the criminal gave interview after interview. A judge sentenced him to hang until he was “dead, dead, dead,” but McCarty managed to escape his jailers again. He had eight murders under his belt when he escaped.
He was on the run for three months this time before Sheriff Garrett found McCarty for the second time, this time fatally shooting the outlaw in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
As happens with prominent figures in the Wild West, the legend of McCarty has grown, with many claiming that he did not actually die at the hands of Garrett. Several men have claimed to be “Billy the Kid” as recently as 1948. These claims remain without merit.
Go from the death of a gunslinger to the birth of a songbird. Sandi Patty, nicknamed “The Voice” in the Christian music industry, celebrates her 65th birthday on July 12th.
SONG: “Via Dolorosa”, Sandi Patty
Patty was born in Oklahoma City to a family of religious musicians. She moved with her parents and brothers to Phoenix and then to San Diego, performing in churches as the “Ron Patty Family” group. She studied voice and piano in college, singing along and performing commercial jingles, like this one for Juicy Fruit gum in the 1970s:
COMMERCIAL: Let’s choose a packet of Juicy Fruit gum…
Around this time, the famous Christian musician Bill Gaither noticed the talented singer and gave Patty opportunities to shine.
She regularly sold concert halls, giving around 200 concerts a year at the peak of her career. But after a meteoric rise, Patty’s star began to fall amid rumors of marital infidelity. Patty and her former manager, John Helvering, announced their divorce in 1993. She married one of her backing vocalists, Don Peslis, two years later, and confessed to her church that she and Peslis had had an extramarital affair. . She spoke to Ron Deal of Family Life last year, after 25 years of marriage to Peslis, about repentance.
PATTY:… I wish I could take that back, I can’t take that back. All I can do, and I think that’s what Don and I really tried to do, is… Bible steps of restoration.
After spending the second half of the 1990s out of the limelight, Patty began performing with symphony orchestras in the early 2000s and was a guest on TV shows like 7th Sky. She joined the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Patty decided to take a break from touring to spend more time with her family, including several grandchildren. She has written seven books and released over 40 albums.
SONG: “Sandi’s song”, Sandi Patty
And we’ll end today’s entries with the tweet heard around the world.
On July 15, 2006, Twitter was born. Today, the social media platform is a digital giant, with around 6,000 employees and over 300 million users worldwide. But it took 15 years to get there.
It started as a side project of Odeo, a podcasting platform. Technical engineer Jack Dorsey stepped in with an idea that would allow users to send short group texts. It turned into a microblogging similar to what we see today.
The platform launched to the public in July with a 140 character limit for messages. Its popularity has exploded. President Obama regularly used the service.
OBAMA: I’ll make history here as the first president to live tweet.
When the company went public in November 2013, analysts valued it at just over $ 31 billion.
Unlike other networks, like Facebook and Instagram, people see Twitter as a place to find cultural analysis and breaking news. Politicians have used Twitter to good effect, including former President Donald Trump. He leveraged the power of the “Twittersphere” to promote his brand and platform in 2016, only to land in hot water with Twitter’s “powers that be” in the fallout of the controversial 2020 election. CBS reports last year:
SCS: Mr. Trump lost his main megaphone overnight when Twitter permanently shut down his personal account, severing his connection with nearly 90 million followers.
Today, this engineer with the idea of a group SMS service is now the CEO of Twitter. Jack Dorsey has been criticized for his efforts to censor the content of his site in this era of tense public discourse.
DORSEY: We believe in freedom of expression. We believe in free debate and conversation to find the truth. At the same time, we need to balance this with our desire that our service not be used to confuse, divide, or destroy.
The jury is out on Dorsey’s tactics.
This is this week’s history book. I am Katie Gaultney.
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