Kenj Gress (1922 - 1998)



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Kenj Gress Biography & Family History

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Yakima, Yakima County, Washington

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1922 - In the year that Kenj Gress was born, from October 22nd - 29th, 3,000 men of Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party marched on Rome. (Mussolini waited in Milan, he did not participate in the March.) The day after the March Mussolini went to Rome and the King of Italy handed over power to Mussolini, in part because he was supported by the military, the business class, and the right-wing factions of Italy.

1927 - By the time this person was just 5 years old, the first "talkie" (a movie with music, songs, and talking), The Jazz Singer, was released. Al Jolson starred as a cantor's son who instead of following in his father's footsteps as expected, becomes a singer of popular songs. Banished by his father, they reconcile on his father's deathbed. It was a tear-jerker and audiences went wild - especially when they heard the songs. Thus begun the demise of silent films and the rise of "talkies".

1939 - This person was 17 years old when in May, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated film, reached a total international gross of $6.5 million which made it (to then) the most successful sound film of all time. First released in December 1937, it was originally dubbed "Disney's Folly" but the premiere received a standing ovation from the audience. At the 11th Academy Awards in February 1939, Walt Disney won an Academy Honorary Award - a full-size Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones - for Snow White.

1960 - By the time this person was 38 years old, on May 1st, an American CIA U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the Soviet Union. Powers ejected and survived but was captured. The U.S. claimed that the U-2 was a "weather plane" but Powers was convicted in the Soviet Union of espionage. He was released in 1962 after 1 year, 9 months and 10 days in prison.

1998 - In the year of Kenj Gress's passing, on December 19th, the movie Titanic - based on the 1912 sinking of the ship and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet - was released. Winning 11 Oscars, it was the first film to gross over a billion dollars and eventually grossed over $2 billion.

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Kenj Gress passed away on February 13, 1998 at age 75. No cause of death has been listed for Kenj. Kenj was born on August 18, 1922. There is no information about Kenj's family or relationships. We know that Kenj Gress had been residing in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington.


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