Jesse Jackson Jr. is Born

Born Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr. on March 11, 1965, in Greenville, SC; son of Jesse Louis (famous civil rights activist) and Jacqueline (Davis) Jackson (a homemaker)

The eldest son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Jacqueline Lavinia Brown, Jesse Jackson Jr. was born in Greenville, S.C., while his father was on the march to Selma. His childhood was spent among civil rights giants and the younger Jackson started his own civil rights career early, delivering a speech as a five-year-old on a milk crate in the Chicago offices of his father’s Rainbow PUSH coalition.

On March 11, 1965, father and son--now so close that they share an almost physical connection--began their life together hundreds of miles apart. Jesse Sr. had left the family home in Greenville, South Carolina, to join Martin Luther King, Jr. on his famous voting rights march to Selma, Alabama. While he was gone, his wife Jacqueline gave birth to their second child and first son. She named the boy after his father. Jesse, whom everyone from kin to constituents calls simply "Junior," learned later that his father had wanted to call him "Selma" in honor of the historic events that had taken place during his birth and to spare him the difficulties of being his namesake.