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Donald William Smith (1919 - 1943)

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Donald William Smith
1919 - 1943
Born
c. 1919
Death
March 27, 1943
Summary
Donald William Smith was born c. 1919. He died on March 27, 1943 at age 24.
Updated: July 24, 2019
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Donald William Smith
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Donald William Smith
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Tower Hill Memorial Panel 29. in United Kingdom
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Rank: Third Engineer Officer Regiment: Merchant Navy Unit/ship/squadron: S.s. City Of Guildford (liverpool)
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Donald William Smith passed away on March 27, 1943 at 24 years old. he was buried in Tower Hill Memorial Panel 29., United Kingdom. He was born c. 1919. There is no information about Donald's immediate family.
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1919 - 1943 World Events

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In 1919, in the year that Donald William Smith was born, on January 6th, President Theodore Roosevelt died. Having gone to bed the previous night after being treated for breathing problems, the ex-President died in his sleep from a clot that had traveled to his lungs. He was 60. After a simple service, Roosevelt was buried on a hillside overlooking Oyster Bay.

In 1925, at the age of merely 6 years old, Donald 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.

In 1926, when he was merely 7 years old, on October 31st, Harry Houdini died in Michigan. Houdini was the most famed magician of his time and perhaps of all time, especially for his acts involving escapes - from handcuffs, straitjackets, chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, and more. He was president of the Society of American Magicians and stringently upheld professional ethics. He died of complications from a ruptured appendix. Although he had received a blow to the area a couple of days previously, the connection between the blow and his appendicitis is disputed.

In 1938, when he was 19 years old, on June 25th (a Saturday) the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt (along with 120 other bills). The Act banned oppressive child labor, set the minimum hourly wage at 25 cents, and established the maximum workweek at 44 hours. It faced a lot of opposition and in fighting for it, Roosevelt said "Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000 a day, ...tell you...that a wage of $11 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry."

In 1943, in the year of Donald William Smith's passing, 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.

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