Aris Begnaud (1904 - 1973)



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Aris Begnaud Biography & Family History

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Crowley, Acadia County, Louisiana

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1904 - In the year that Aris Begnaud was born, the United States acquired the Panama Canal Zone. Now an unincorporated territory of the U.S., the Canal Zone had been previously held by the French, who were constructing a canal. The U.S. took over the construction of the Panama Canal and it was finally finished in 1914, when it was opened to commercial shipping. The United States held the Canal Zone until 1979.

1916 - Aris was just 12 years old when the Battle of Verdun was fought from February through December. It was the largest and longest battle of World War I, lasting 303 days. The original estimates were 714,231 casualties - 377,231 French and 337,000 German, an average of 70,000 casualties a month. Current estimates are even larger. The Battle of the Somme was also fought from July through September of the same year. Original estimates were 485,000 British and French casualties and 630,000 German casualties.

1943 - This person was 39 years old when on March 31st, the Broadway musical Oklahoma! opened. Written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (the first of their string of successful collaborations), audiences loved it. The musical ran for 2,212 performances originally and was made into a movie in 1954.

1964 - At the age of 60 years old, Aris was alive when in June, three young civil rights workers - Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner from New York City, and James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi - were kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi. Working with "Freedom Summer", they were registering African-Americans to vote in the Southern states. Their bodies were found two months later. Although it was discovered that the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County Sheriff's Office and the Philadelphia, Mississippi Police Department were involved, only 7 men were convicted and served less than six years.

1973 - In the year of Aris Begnaud's passing, in October, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned - President Nixon nominated Gerald Ford for Vice President. Nixon's tax returns came under investigation. Nixon offered the recently discovered Oval Office tapes be heard by one person and summarized - his offer was rejected by the Special Prosecutor. Nixon ordered the Attorney General, then the assistant Attorney General, to fire the Special Prosecutor. Both refused and were fired. The Solicitor General became the acting Attorney General and fired the Special Prosecutor (the Saturday Night Massacre). Nixon releases some of the tapes, under extreme pressure because of the firings.

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Aris Begnaud passed away in March 1973 at age 68. There is no listed cause of death. Aris was born on May 10, 1904. There is no information about Aris's surviving family. We know that Aris Begnaud had been residing in Crowley, Acadia County, Louisiana.


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