Mahalia Woodley (1896 - 1965)



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Mahalia Woodley Biography & Family History

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Benoit, Bolivar County, Mississippi

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1896 - In the year that Mahalia Woodley was born, on August 17th, the first pedestrian v car fatality occurred in Great Britain. Bridget Driscoll, age 44, was walking with her family on the grounds of The Crystal Palace in London when she was hit by a car driven by Arthur James Edsall. Edsall claimed to be going 4.5 mph and Driscoll's death was ruled an "accidental death" after an inquest.

1944 - At the age of 48 years old, Mahalia was alive when on June 6th, the largest amphibious invasion in history was launched - the Normandy landing (called D-Day). Soldiers from the United States, Britain, Canada, and the Free French landed on Normandy Beach and were later joined by Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and the Netherlands. Almost 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers were involved. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day - Allied casualties on the first day were at least 10,000. 4,414 were confirmed dead.

1953 - By the time she was 57 years old, on January 20th, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the 34th President of the United States. Formerly the 1st Supreme Allied Commander Europe in World War II, Eisenhower had never previously held a political office.

1955 - By the time she was 59 years old, 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.

1965 - In the year of Mahalia Woodley's passing, from August 11 to 16, riots broke out in Watts, a Black section of Los Angeles. An allegedly drunk African-American driver was stopped by LA police and, after a fight, police brutality was alleged - and the riots began. 34 people died in the rioting and over $40 million in property damage occurred. The National Guard was called in to help the LA police quell rioting.

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Mahalia Woodley passed away in November 1965 at age 69. There is no known cause of death for Mahalia. She was born on April 28, 1896. We have no information about Mahalia's immediate family. We know that Mahalia Woodley had been residing in Benoit, Bolivar County, Mississippi.


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