John Balkus (1903 - 1970)

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Summary

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John Balkus Biography & Family History

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Last Known Residence

Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts

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Education

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Gender

Male

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Timeline

1903 - In the year that John Balkus was born, the silent film, The Great Train Robbery opened. Although it was filmed in Milltown, New Jersey, it was a Western. Twelve minutes long, the film used a lot of innovative techniques - some scenes were hand colored and composite editing, on-location shooting, and frequent camera movement were used. Its budget was $150 (about $4000 currently) and was the most popular film until 1915 when Birth of a Nation was released.

1909 - When he was merely 6 years old, the NAACP was founded by W. E. B. Du Bois. The organization focused on legal strategies designed to confront the critical civil rights issues of the day - which included lynching and segregation in schools. The goal was to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution.

1940 - At the age of 37 years old, John was alive when on November 5th, President Franklin Roosevelt was elected to a third term, defeating Wendell Willkie of Indiana (a corporate lawyer). Roosevelt running for a third term was controversial. But the U.S. was emerging from the Great Recession and he promised that he would not involve the country in any foreign war (which of course changed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor). Roosevelt defeated Willkie in the popular vote by 54.7 to 44.8% and in the Electoral College 449 to 82.

1967 - At the age of 64 years old, John was alive when between June 5th and 10th, Israeli and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria fought what came to be called the "Six-Day War". The hostilities began when Israel launched "preemptive" strikes against Egypt, destroying nearly its entire air force. It ended with Israel occupying the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank.

1970 - In the year of John Balkus's passing, 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.

John Balkus Family Tree

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Obituary

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John Balkus passed away in May 1970 at age 66. There is no listed cause of death. He was born on October 7, 1903. There is no information about John's immediate family. We know that John Balkus had been residing in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.

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