Beckie Simons (1915 - 2005)



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Beckie Simons Biography & Family History

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Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania

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1915 - In the year that Beckie Simons was born, The Birth of a Nation opened in February. A silent film, it was the most ambitious film to date and is considered a classic. Three hours long, it starred Lillian Gish and was directed by D. W. Griffith. The movie was based on the book The Clansman and told the story of two families (one pro-Union and one pro-Confederate) and their relationship during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The KKK was shown as "a heroic force".

1922 - By the time she was merely 7 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.

1925 - At the age of merely 10 years old, Beckie was alive when in July, the Scopes Trial - often called the Scopes Monkey Trial - took place, prosecuting a substitute teacher for teaching evolution in school. Tennessee had enacted a law that said it was "unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school". William Jennings Bryan headed the prosecution and Clarence Darrow headed the defense. The teacher was found guilty and fined $100. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee upheld the law but overturned the guilty verdict.

1928 - When she was just 13 years old, aviatrix Amelia Earhart, age 31, became the first woman to fly solo across North America and back in August. In June, she had been part of a 3 man crew that flew the Atlantic Ocean but since she had no instrument training, she couldn't fly the plane - she kept the flight log. The North American flight became one of her many "firsts" as a female pilot.

1938 - She was 23 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.

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Beckie Simons passed away on January 24, 2005 at 89 years old. No cause of death has been listed. She was born on April 16, 1915. We have no information about Beckie's immediate family. We know that Beckie Simons had been residing in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.


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