Ansel Harris (1908 - 1978)



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Ansel Harris Biography & Family History

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Last Known Residence

Shreveport, Caddo County, Louisiana

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1908 - In the year that Ansel Harris was born, a 7.1 earthquake and the resulting tsunami killed 70,000 to 100,000 people in southern Italy and Sicily. The earthquake, lasting 30 to 40 seconds, occurred in the Strait of Messina which was between the region of Calabria (at the "toe" of Italy) and the island of Sicily and destruction from it occurred in a 186 mile radius. It was the most destructive earthquake ever to hit Europe.

1922 - When he was only 14 years old, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. on May 30th. More than 35,000 people attended the dedication including Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, and many Union and Confederate veterans - although the audience was segregated. The Memorial took 10 years to complete.

1935 - When he was 27 years old, on August 14, the Social Security Act was signed into law. The purpose was to "provide federal assistance to those unable to work". The law established the Social Security Administration whose primary focus was to "provide aid for the elderly, the unemployed, and children". The Act survived many Supreme Court challenges and the Administration continues until today.

1938 - Ansel was 30 years old when on June 25th (a Saturday) the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt (along with 120 other bills). The Act banned oppressive child labor, set the minimum hourly wage at 25 cents, and established the maximum workweek at 44 hours. It faced a lot of opposition and in fighting for it, Roosevelt said "Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000 a day, ...tell you...that a wage of $11 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry."

1978 - In the year of Ansel Harris's passing, on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

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Ansel Harris died in June 1978 at 69 years old. No cause of death has been listed for Ansel. He was born on December 13, 1908. We have no information about Ansel's immediate family. We know that Ansel Harris had been residing in Shreveport, Caddo County, Louisiana.


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