Loretha Burch (1916 - 1989)



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Loretha Burch Biography & Family History

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1916 - In the year that Loretha Burch was born, suffragette Jeannette Pickering Rankin became the first woman elected to the House of Representatives as a Representative at large from Montana. She was the first woman to hold an elected Federal office. Holding the office for two years, she ran again in 1940 and served another two year term. Montana had granted women unrestricted voting rights in 1914, 6 years before women got the vote nationally.

1925 - At the age of merely 9 years old, Loretha was alive when in July, the Scopes Trial - often called the Scopes Monkey Trial - took place, prosecuting a substitute teacher for teaching evolution in school. Tennessee had enacted a law that said it was "unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school". William Jennings Bryan headed the prosecution and Clarence Darrow headed the defense. The teacher was found guilty and fined $100. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee upheld the law but overturned the guilty verdict.

1943 - At the age of 27 years old, Loretha was alive when 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.

1947 - Loretha was 31 years old when on April 15th, Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing first base. He was the first black man to play in the Major Leagues. Since the 1880's, professional baseball had been segregated and blacks played in the "Negro leagues". He went on to play for 10 years.

1989 - In the year of Loretha Burch's passing, on March 24th, the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker, struck a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound and oil began spilling out of the hold. The oil would eventually contaminate more than a thousand miles of coastline. It is estimated that over 10.8 million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Sound - killing 100,000 to 250,000 seabirds, over 2,800 sea otters, about 12 river otters, 300 harbor seals, 247 bald eagles, and 22 orcas - as well as an unknown number of salmon and herring.

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Loretha Burch died on March 3, 1989 at 73 years old. No cause of death has been listed for Loretha. Loretha was born on February 5, 1916. We are unaware of information about Loretha's family or relationships.


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