Bessie Smith (1923 - 1977)

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Summary

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Bessie Smith Biography & Family History

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Birth

Death

Cause of death

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Education

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Professions

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Military Service

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Middle name

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Maiden name

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Gender

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Timeline

1923 - In the year that Bessie Smith was born, on August 2nd, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th President of the United States due to the sudden death of Warren G. Harding. After the scandals of the Harding presidency, Coolidge restored public confidence and was very popular. He won the Presidential election in 1924 but declined to run again in 1928.

1930 - She was just 7 years old when as head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, William Hays established a code of decency that outlined what was acceptable in films. The public - and government - had felt that films in the '20's had become increasingly risque and that the behavior of its stars was becoming scandalous. Laws were being passed. In response, the heads of the movie studios adopted a voluntary "code", hoping to head off legislation. The first part of the code prohibited "lowering the moral standards of those who see it", called for depictions of the "correct standards of life", and forbade a picture from showing any sort of ridicule towards a law or "creating sympathy for its violation". The second part dealt with particular behavior in film such as homosexuality, the use of specific curse words, and miscegenation.

1934 - When she was just 11 years old, on July 22nd, gangster John Dillinger was killed in Chicago. His gang had robbed banks and police stations, among other charges, and he was being hunted by J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI - although many in the public saw him as a "Robin Hood". A madam from a brothel in which he was hiding became an informer for the FBI and, after a shootout with FBI agents, Dillinger was shot and died.

1940 - When she was 17 years old, on November 5th, President Franklin Roosevelt was elected to a third term, defeating Wendell Willkie of Indiana (a corporate lawyer). Roosevelt running for a third term was controversial. But the U.S. was emerging from the Great Recession and he promised that he would not involve the country in any foreign war (which of course changed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor). Roosevelt defeated Willkie in the popular vote by 54.7 to 44.8% and in the Electoral College 449 to 82.

1977 - In the year of Bessie Smith's passing, on January 20th, Jimmy Carter became the 39th President of the United States. Running against incumbent Gerald Ford, he won 50.1% of the popular vote to Ford's 48.0%. He was elected to only one term.

Bessie Smith Family Tree

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Obituary

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Bessie Smith passed away in May 1977 at age 54. No cause of death has been listed. She was born on January 10, 1923. We are unaware of information about Bessie's family or relationships.

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