Hesta Willerford (1898 - 1986)



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Hesta Willerford Biography & Family History

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Valrico, Hillsborough County, Florida

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1898 - In the year that Hesta Willerford was born, on February 15th, the USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana harbor. The reason for the explosion has never been found, but it killed 266 men. "Remember the Maine" became a rallying cry and precipitated the United States' declaration of war on Spain two months later - the beginning of the Spanish-American War. On December 10th, the war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The Treaty gave the U.S. Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam - for $20 million - and, temporarily, Cuba.

1916 - When this person was 18 years old, the U.S. National Park Service - part of the Department of the Interior - was created by an act of Congress in August. The Park Service was charged with the dual role of "preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment". The resources managed by the National Park Service have often been referred to as the "crown jewels" of the United States.

1940 - At the age of 42 years old, Hesta was alive when on September 16th, the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, was enacted - the first peacetime draft in U.S. history. Men between 21 and 36 were required to register with their draft boards. When World War II began, men between 18 and 45 were subject to service and men up to 65 were required to register.

1943 - This person was 45 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.

1986 - In the year of Hesta Willerford's passing, on January 28th, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch. All seven crew members died. The cause of the explosion was later found to be a failed O-ring. The O-ring failure was due to the unusually cold conditions at Cape Canaveral.

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Hesta Willerford passed away in February 1986 at 87 years old. No cause of death has been entered for Hesta. Hesta was born on August 11, 1898. We have no information about Hesta's family. We know that Hesta Willerford had been residing in Valrico, Hillsborough County, Florida.


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