Burkitt G Read (1915 - 2008)



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Burkitt G Read Biography & Family History

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Lucedale, George County, Mississippi

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1915 - In the year that Burkitt G Read was born, the Germans first used poison gas as a weapon at the second Battle of Ypres during World War I. While noxious gases had been used since ancient times, this was the first use of poisonous gas - in this case, lethal chlorine gas - in modern war. Subsequently, the French and British - as well as the United States when they entered World War 1 - developed and used lethal gas in war.

1943 - This person was 28 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.

1952 - Burkitt was 37 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.

1957 - This person was 42 years old when on September 24th, the "Little Rock Nine" (nine African-American students) entered Little Rock High School. Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus had previously prevented the students from entering the school at the beginning of the term with the Arkansas National Guard - they blocked the door. President Eisenhower ordered federal troops - the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army - to guard the students and allow them entry.

1976 - At the age of 61 years old, Burkitt was alive when on August 4th, a mysterious illness struck an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. Within a week, 25 people had died and 130 people had been hospitalized. It was the first known instance of what came to be called "Legionnaires Disease."

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Burkitt G Read died on March 20, 2008 at 92 years of age. There is no known cause of death. Burkitt was born on April 2, 1915. There is no information about Burkitt's family. We know that Burkitt G Read had been residing in Lucedale, George County, Mississippi.


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