Jakub Svetoka (1884 - 1964)



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1884 - In the year that Jakub Svetoka was born, on May 1st, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions - a US association - first resolved that "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labour from and after May 1, 1886, and that we recommend to labour organisations throughout this jurisdiction that they so direct their laws as to conform to this resolution by the time named." Previously, workdays would consist of 10 to 16 hours a day - 6 days a week. It would take years before the 8 hour workday became common practice - and longer before it became a law.

1892 - He was only 8 years old when on January 1st, Ellis Island opened to process immigrants. 700 passed through on the first day - in the first year, 450,000 were processed. The processing center was originally a 3 story wooden building - with outbuildings - that burned down a few years later.

1909 - He was 25 years old when Polish physician and medical researcher Paul Ehrlich found a cure for syphilis, which was a prevalent (but undiscussed) disease. He found that an arsenic compound completely cured syphilis within 3 weeks.

1941 - When he was 57 years old, on December 7th, the Japanese attacked the military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The surprise aerial attack damaged 8 U.S. battleships (6 later returned to service), including the USS Arizona, and destroyed 188 aircraft. 2,402 American citizens died and 1,178 wounded were wounded. On December 8th, the U.S. declared war on Japan and on December 11th, Germany and Italy (allies of Japan) declared war on the United States. World War II was in full swing.

1964 - In the year of Jakub Svetoka's passing, in June, three young civil rights workers - Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner from New York City, and James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi - were kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi. Working with "Freedom Summer", they were registering African-Americans to vote in the Southern states. Their bodies were found two months later. Although it was discovered that the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County Sheriff's Office and the Philadelphia, Mississippi Police Department were involved, only 7 men were convicted and served less than six years.

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Jakub Svetoka passed away in April 1964 at 79 years of age. No cause of death has been entered. He was born on June 16, 1884. There is no information about Jakub's family. We know that Jakub Svetoka had been residing in Pennsylvania.


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