Bessie L Smith (1914 - 1999)

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Summary

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Bessie L Smith Biography & Family History

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Birth

Death

Cause of death

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Burial / Funeral

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Obituary

Last Known Residence

Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan

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Family

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Education

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Military Service

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Middle name

L

Maiden name

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Ethnicity

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Religion

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Gender

Female

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Timeline

1914 - In the year that Bessie L Smith was born, in June, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by a Yugoslavian national. Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to Serbia. Other major powers took sides - and World War I began: Austria declared war on Serbia; Germany on Russia and France; Britain on Germany . . . and on it went until most of the world was embroiled in the war.

1938 - She was 24 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.

1952 - She was 38 years old when on July 2, Dr. Jonas E. Salk tested the first dead-virus polio vaccine on 43 children. The worst epidemic of polio had broken out that year - in the U.S. there were 58,000 cases reported. Of these, 3,145 people had died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis.

1965 - Bessie was 51 years old when the television show "I Spy" premiered in the fall season on NBC. The stars were Bill Cosby and Robert Culp, making Cosby the first African American to headline a television show. Four stations - in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama - refused to air the show.

1999 - In the year of Bessie L Smith's passing, the fear that Y2K (year 2000) would cause the failure of computers worldwide when clocks didn't properly update to January 1st, 2000 became near panic. While some computer systems and software did have problems, the panic was unfounded and computer life went on.

Bessie L Smith Family Tree

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Obituary

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Bessie L Smith passed away on February 18, 1999 at 84 years old. No cause of death has been entered for Bessie. She was born on July 7, 1914. We are unaware of information about Bessie's immediate family. We know that Bessie L Smith had been residing in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.

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