James Thomas (1906 - 1973)

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Summary

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James Thomas Biography & Family History

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Last Known Residence

New Orleans, Orleans County, Louisiana

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Timeline

1906 - In the year that James Thomas was born, author Upton Sinclair exposed the public-health threat of the meat-packing industry in his book The Jungle. While his intent was to show the lives of exploited lives of immigrants in Chicago and other industrialized cities, most people were horrified by how the meat that ended up on their tables was handled. There was such an outcry that legislation was passed to regulate meat packing. Sinclair said " "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach."

1921 - James was merely 15 years old when the silent film The Sheik, directed by George Melford and starring Rudolph Valentino and Agnes Ayres (also featuring Adolphe Menjou) debuted on October 21st. Critics weren't enthusiastic but the public loved it - in the first few weeks 125,000 people had seen the movie - and it eventually exceeded $1 million in ticket sales. And Rudolph Valentino, an Italian American, became the heartthrob of a female generation.

1926 - At the age of 20 years old, James was alive when 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.

1943 - By the time he was 37 years old, 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.

1973 - In the year of James Thomas's passing, on January 28th, the Paris Peace Accord was signed - supposedly ending the Vietnam War. Hostilities continued between North and South Vietnam and the U.S. continued to bomb. But by August 15, 1973, 95% of American troops had left Vietnam. The war ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon.

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Obituary

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James Thomas died in November 1973 at 67 years old. No cause of death has been listed. He was born on March 5, 1906. There is no information about James's family or relationships. We know that James Thomas had been residing in New Orleans, Orleans County, Louisiana.

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