Gaither Wheeler (1914 - 1984)



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Gaither Wheeler Biography & Family History

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Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida

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1914 - In the year that Gaither Wheeler was born, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers. Anna Jarvis had championed a Mother's Day for years but Congress had joked a few years earlier that then they would have to proclaim a "Mother-in-law's Day" as well. The President who championed a woman's right to vote also created a day in their honor.

1920 - When this person was just 6 years old, the Volstead Act became law. Formally called the National Prohibition Act, the Volstead Act enabled law enforcement agencies to carry out the 18th Amendment. It said that "no person shall manufacture, sell, barter, transport, import, export, deliver, or furnish any intoxicating liquor except as authorized by this act" and defined intoxicating liquor as any beverage containing more than 0.5% alcohol by volume.

1934 - When this person was 20 years old, on June 6th, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was formed as a response to the stock market crash of 1929 and the continuing Great Depression. Previously, the states regulated the offering and sales of stocks - called "blue sky" laws. They were largely ineffective. Roosevelt created a group (one member was Joseph Kennedy, father of the future President Kennedy) who knew Wall Street well and they defined the mission and operating mode for the SEC. The new organization had broad and stringent rules and oversight and restored public confidence in the stock market in the United States.

1970 - By the time this person was 56 years old, on May 4th, four students at Kent State University in Ohio were shot and killed by National Guardsmen. The students were at a peaceful demonstration protesting the invasion of Cambodia by US forces. There had been precedent for the killing of American college students. The previous year, on May 15th, Alameda County Sheriffs used shotguns against U.C. Berkeley students at a protest for People's Park. One student died, one was blinded, 128 were injured.

1984 - In the year of Gaither Wheeler's passing, on January 1, "Baby Bells" were created. AT&T had been the provider of telephone service (and equipment) in the United States. The company kept Western Electric, Bell Labs, and AT&T Long Distance. Seven new regional companies (the Baby Bells) covered local telephone service and were separately owned. AT&T lost 70% of its book value due to this move.

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Gaither Wheeler died in September 1984 at 70 years of age. There is no known cause of death for Gaither. Gaither was born on May 22, 1914. We have no information about Gaither's immediate family. We know that Gaither Wheeler had been residing in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida.


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