Alphus Cunningham (1912 - 1989)



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Alphus Cunningham Biography & Family History

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Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida

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1912 - In the year that Alphus Cunningham was born, in October, former President Theodore Roosevelt was shot, but not killed, while campaigning for another term as President with the newly created Bull Moose (Progressive) Party. John Schrank was a Bavarian-born saloon-keeper from New York who had been stalking Roosevelt when he shot him just before a campaign speech. Shot in the chest (and showing the audience his bloody shirt), Roosevelt went on to give a 55 to 90 minute talk (reports vary on the length) before being treated for the injury. After 8 days in the hospital, Roosevelt went back on the campaign trail.

1924 - At the age of only 12 years old, Alphus was alive when in May, wealthy college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped and killed 14 year old Robert Franks "in the interest of science". Leopold and Loeb thought that they were intellectually superior and that they could commit the perfect crime and not be caught. They were brought in for questioning within 8 days and quickly confessed. Clarence Darrow was hired as their defense lawyer, getting them life imprisonment instead of a death sentence. Loeb was eventually killed in prison - Leopold was released after 33 years, dying of a heart attack at age 66.

1959 - Alphus was 47 years old when on August 8th, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States. The US flag was changed to show 50 stars.

1978 - At the age of 66 years old, Alphus was alive when on July 25th, Louise Brown, the first "test-tube baby", was born at Oldham Hospital in London. Louise was conceived through IVF (in vitro fertilization), a controversial and experimental procedure at the time.

1989 - In the year of Alphus Cunningham's passing, on March 24th, the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker, struck a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound and oil began spilling out of the hold. The oil would eventually contaminate more than a thousand miles of coastline. It is estimated that over 10.8 million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Sound - killing 100,000 to 250,000 seabirds, over 2,800 sea otters, about 12 river otters, 300 harbor seals, 247 bald eagles, and 22 orcas - as well as an unknown number of salmon and herring.

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Alphus Cunningham died on January 21, 1989 at age 76. There is no listed cause of death for Alphus. Alphus was born on December 17, 1912. We have no information about Alphus's family. We know that Alphus Cunningham had been residing in Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida.


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