Leston Thomas (1912 - 1967)



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1912 - In the year that Leston Thomas was born, the RMS Titanic sank in April. The RMS Titanic was a British built and run passenger liner that was billed as "unsinkable." On its maiden voyage from Southampton England to New York City, carrying about 2,224 passengers and crew - from the wealthiest people in the world to poor emigrants from Europe, the Titanic hit an iceberg. Five of her watertight compartments failed but she was designed to survive only 4 being flooded. She began to sink. There were only enough lifeboats for about half of the passengers so over 1,000 remained behind while "women and children first" were loaded. Over 1500 died, making it the largest maritime disaster in modern history.

1916 - By the time this person was only 4 years old, visiting nurse Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. at 46 Amboy St. in Brooklyn New York. Ten days after the clinic opened, Sanger was arrested for "violating laws against giving out birth control information" which was defined as obscenity. The clinic was not handing out birth control - just information about sex and birth control methods. (The Comstock law categorized information about abortion, family planning, and contraception as “obscene”.) The clinics and organizations that Sanger established later evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

1940 - This person was 28 years old when in July, Billboard published its first Music Popularity Chart. Top recordings of the year were Tommy Dorsey's "I'll Never Smile Again" (vocal Frank Sinatra) - 12 weeks at the top, Bing Crosby's "Only Forever" - 9 weeks at the top, and Artie Shaw's "Frenesi" - 12 weeks at the top.

1957 - At the age of 45 years old, Leston was alive when on September 24th, the "Little Rock Nine" (nine African-American students) entered Little Rock High School. Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus had previously prevented the students from entering the school at the beginning of the term with the Arkansas National Guard - they blocked the door. President Eisenhower ordered federal troops - the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army - to guard the students and allow them entry.

1967 - In the year of Leston Thomas's passing, on October 2nd, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first black US Supreme Court justice. Marshall was the great-grandson of a slave and graduated first in his class at Howard University Law School. His nomination to the Supreme Court was approved by the Senate, 69 to 11.

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Leston Thomas died in February 1967 at 54 years old. No cause of death has been entered. Leston was born on July 12, 1912. There is no information about Leston's family.


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