Karoly Varkonyi (1889 - 1979)



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Karoly Varkonyi Biography & Family History

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Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania

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1889 - In the year that Karoly Varkonyi was born, on May 31st, the South Fork Dam collapsed. Located in western Pennsylvania, the dam failed - sending more than 20 million tons of water into the towns below it. The flood killed more than 2,200 people in and around Johnstown. The newly formed Red Cross responded to the disaster.

1913 - At the age of 24 years old, Karoly was alive when Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile. It had previously taken 12 hours to assemble a whole vehicle - now it took only two hours and 30 minutes! Inspired by the production lines at flour mills, breweries, canneries and industrial bakeries, along with the disassembly of animal carcasses in Chicago’s meat-packing plants, Ford created moving belts for parts and the assembly line was born.

1919 - Karoly was 30 years old when in the summer and early autumn, race riots erupted in 26 U.S. cities, resulting in hundreds of deaths and even more people being badly hurt. In most cases, African-Americans were the victims. It was called the "Red Summer". Men who were returning from World War I needed jobs and there was competition for those jobs among the races. Tension was heightened by the use by many companies of blacks as strikebreakers.

1955 - Karoly was 66 years old when on September 30th, movie star James Dean, 24, died in a car accident. He was headed in his new Porsche 550 to a race in Salinas California when, traveling at 85 mph, he collided with a 1950 Ford Tudor, also speeding, driven by a 23 year old college student. Dean died, his passenger and the other driver survived.

1979 - In the year of Karoly Varkonyi's passing, on November 4th, Iranian militant students seized the US embassy in Teheran and held 52 American citizens and diplomats hostage for 444 days. They were released at the end of the inauguration speech of the newly elected Ronald Reagan.

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Karoly Varkonyi died in October 1979 at age 90. There is no known cause of death for Karoly. Karoly was born on September 16, 1889. We have no information about Karoly's family. We know that Karoly Varkonyi had been residing in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.


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