Arletha Whigham (1912 - 1989)



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Arletha Whigham Biography & Family History

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Indianola, Sunflower County, Mississippi

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1912 - In the year that Arletha Whigham 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.

1913 - At the age of just 1 year old, Arletha was alive when the 17th Amendment, establishing the direct election of U.S. Senators, was adopted. Previously, Senators were elected by state legislatures. As early as 1826, a call to elect senators through popular vote was championed and previous to the 17th amendment, two states had already changed their process. Governors are still able to appoint senators to vacant seats until an election can be held.

1939 - When she was 27 years old, in May, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated film, reached a total international gross of $6.5 million which made it (to then) the most successful sound film of all time. First released in December 1937, it was originally dubbed "Disney's Folly" but the premiere received a standing ovation from the audience. At the 11th Academy Awards in February 1939, Walt Disney won an Academy Honorary Award - a full-size Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones - for Snow White.

1985 - When she was 73 years old, on March 7th, the song "We Are the World" was released as a charity effort to alleviate the African famine. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones. They were joined by 37 other famous singers in the recording studio and a phenomena had begun

1989 - In the year of Arletha Whigham's passing, on November 9th, the Berlin Wall fell. The Wall was built by the East Germans to keep East Berliners from escaping into West Berlin, separating families and friends. When the head of the East German Communist Party announced that day that East Berliners could cross whenever they pleased, happy crowds surged across the border. People brought tools and took parts of the hated wall.

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Arletha Whigham died in February 1989 at age 76. There is no known cause of death. She was born on March 24, 1912. We have no information about Arletha's family. We know that Arletha Whigham had been residing in Indianola, Sunflower County, Mississippi.


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