Melvin Hjelm (1900 - 1978)

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Summary

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Melvin Hjelm Biography & Family History

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Birth

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Obituary

Last Known Residence

Yelm, Thurston County, Washington

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Education

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Gender

Male

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Timeline

1900 - In the year that Melvin Hjelm was born, artist Henri Matisse, born in 1869 in France, began the fauvist movement. Only lasting a few years in popularity (ending around 1904), fauvism was in many ways the beginning of modern art. Matisse was fond of bright, vibrant colors and used them in his paintings - contrary to the muted use of color previously. While the fauvist movement declined in popularity, Matisse did not and he went on to create many more works of art and even a museum for his work, 2 years before his death in 1954. (In French, les Fauves means "the wild beasts". Matisse and those who followed his example were called "beasts" because of the bold colors that they used in their artwork.)

1921 - When he was 21 years old, on March 4, Warren G. Harding became President. Previously a U.S. Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Ohio State Senator, Harding was a popular President. But many scandals plagued his short administration (he died in office after 2 and a half years), including the revelations of one of his mistresses and the Teapot Dome scandal. Historically, Harding is rated as one of the worst Presidents.

1934 - At the age of 34 years old, Melvin was alive when on June 6th, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was formed as a response to the stock market crash of 1929 and the continuing Great Depression. Previously, the states regulated the offering and sales of stocks - called "blue sky" laws. They were largely ineffective. Roosevelt created a group (one member was Joseph Kennedy, father of the future President Kennedy) who knew Wall Street well and they defined the mission and operating mode for the SEC. The new organization had broad and stringent rules and oversight and restored public confidence in the stock market in the United States.

1938 - He was 38 years old 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.

1978 - In the year of Melvin Hjelm's passing, on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

Melvin Hjelm Family Tree

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Obituary

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Melvin Hjelm passed away in April 1978 at 77 years old. No cause of death has been listed. He was born on November 4, 1900. We are unaware of information about Melvin's family or relationships. We know that Melvin Hjelm had been residing in Yelm, Thurston County, Washington.

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