Mardell Childress (1904 - 1970)



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Mardell Childress Biography & Family History

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San Diego, San Diego County, California

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1904 - In the year that Mardell Childress was born, the first underground line of the New York City subway system opened. London's underground system was opened in 1863 and Boston opened one in 1897, but New York quickly became the largest system in the U.S. More than 100,000 people paid 5 cents to ride under Manhattan that first day.

1915 - Mardell was merely 11 years old when in May, the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German torpedo. The Lusitania was a British passenger ship that was sailing from New York to Liverpool England. She sank in 18 minutes - 1,198 died and 761 survived. While travelers were the main casualty - and commodity - the Lusitania did carry wartime weapons. "Remember the Lusitania" became the rallying cry of World War 1.

1938 - At the age of 34 years old, Mardell was alive when on October 30th, a Sunday, The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast Orson Welles' special Halloween show The War of the World's. A clever take on H.G. Wells' novel, the show began with simulated "breaking news" of an invasion by Martians. Because of the realistic nature of the "news," there was a public outcry the next day, calling for regulation by the FCC. Although the current story is that many were fooled and panicked, in reality very few people were fooled. But the show made Orson Welles' career.

1941 - When she was 37 years old, on December 7th, the Japanese attacked the military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The surprise aerial attack damaged 8 U.S. battleships (6 later returned to service), including the USS Arizona, and destroyed 188 aircraft. 2,402 American citizens died and 1,178 wounded were wounded. On December 8th, the U.S. declared war on Japan and on December 11th, Germany and Italy (allies of Japan) declared war on the United States. World War II was in full swing.

1970 - In the year of Mardell Childress's passing, on May 4th, four students at Kent State University in Ohio were shot and killed by National Guardsmen. The students were at a peaceful demonstration protesting the invasion of Cambodia by US forces. There had been precedent for the killing of American college students. The previous year, on May 15th, Alameda County Sheriffs used shotguns against U.C. Berkeley students at a protest for People's Park. One student died, one was blinded, 128 were injured.

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Mardell Childress passed away in September 1970 at age 66. There is no listed cause of death for Mardell. She was born on January 23, 1904. There is no information about Mardell's family. We know that Mardell Childress had been residing in San Diego, San Diego County, California.


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