Alvin Hess (1888 - 1971)

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Summary

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Alvin Hess Biography & Family History

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Last Known Residence

Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania

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Gender

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Timeline

1888 - In the year that Alvin Hess was born, on July 25th, a court stenographer from Salt Lake City - Frank Edward McGurrin - decisively beat the competition in a typing contest in Ohio. He was supposedly the only person who used touch typing and is believed to have invented the method. Touch typing is ubiquitous now - but Frank's win is what convinced everyone that the method was good!

1938 - He was 50 years old when on October 30th, a Sunday, The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast Orson Welles' special Halloween show The War of the World's. A clever take on H.G. Wells' novel, the show began with simulated "breaking news" of an invasion by Martians. Because of the realistic nature of the "news," there was a public outcry the next day, calling for regulation by the FCC. Although the current story is that many were fooled and panicked, in reality very few people were fooled. But the show made Orson Welles' career.

1950 - By the time he was 62 years old, in February, Joe McCarthy gave a speech alleging that he had a list of "members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring" who worked in the State Department. He went on to chair a committee that investigated not only the State Department but also the administration of President Harry S. Truman, the Voice of America, and the U.S. Army for communist spies - until he was condemned by the U.S. Senate in 1954.

1970 - At the age of 82 years old, Alvin was alive when on May 4th, four students at Kent State University in Ohio were shot and killed by National Guardsmen. The students were at a peaceful demonstration protesting the invasion of Cambodia by US forces. There had been precedent for the killing of American college students. The previous year, on May 15th, Alameda County Sheriffs used shotguns against U.C. Berkeley students at a protest for People's Park. One student died, one was blinded, 128 were injured.

1971 - In the year of Alvin Hess's passing, on May 3rd, 10,000 federal troops, 5,100 officers of the D.C. Metropolitan Police, 2,000 members of the D.C. National Guard, and federal agents assembled in Washington DC to prevent an estimated 10,000 Vietnam War protesters from marching. President Nixon (who was in California) refused to give federal employees the day off and they had to navigate the police and protesters, adding to the confusion. By the end of a few days of protest, 12,614 people had been arrested - making it the largest mass arrest in US history.

Alvin Hess Family Tree

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Obituary

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Alvin Hess passed away in October 1971 at 83 years old. There is no listed cause of death. He was born on April 16, 1888. We have no information about Alvin's family. We know that Alvin Hess had been residing in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.

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