Merle Speakes (1911 - 1976)

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Summary

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Merle Speakes Biography & Family History

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Birth

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Burial / Funeral

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Obituary

Last Known Residence

Hattiesburg, Forrest County, Mississippi

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Gender

Male

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Timeline

1911 - In the year that Merle Speakes was born, the first Indianapolis 500 was run in May. Ray Harroun was the winner - he was an engineer and had retired from racing but he came back for this race. After the race, he retired for good. The purse was $27,550 - the largest offered up to that time - and Harroun received $10,000 for first place. His average time was 74.602 mph.

1913 - By the time he was merely 2 years old, the Philippine–American War ended for good in June. While the official end of the war was in 1902, fighting continued for several years. An estimated 200,000 to 250,000 total Filipino civilians died and although the U.S. viewed its role as a colonial presence as one of preparing the Philippines for independence, American colonization drastically changed the character off the culture. The Catholic Church was no longer the state religion and English became the primary language of the government.

1942 - When he was 31 years old, on June 17th, Roosevelt approved the Manhattan Project, which lead to the development of the first atomic bomb. With the support of Canada and the United Kingdom, the Project came to employ more than 130,000 people and cost nearly $2 billion. Julius Robert Oppenheimer, a nuclear physicist born in New York, led the Los Alamos Laboratory that developed the actual bomb. The first artificial nuclear explosion took place near Alamogordo New Mexico on July 16, 1945.

1965 - At the age of 54 years old, Merle was alive when on March 8th, the first US combat troops arrived in Vietnam. The 3500 Marines joined 23,000 "advisors" already in South Vietnam. By the end of the year, 190,000 American soldiers were in the country.

1976 - In the year of Merle Speakes's passing, on August 4th, a mysterious illness struck an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. Within a week, 25 people had died and 130 people had been hospitalized. It was the first known instance of what came to be called "Legionnaires Disease."

Merle Speakes Family Tree

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Obituary

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Merle Speakes died in August 1976 at 64 years of age. No cause of death has been listed. He was born on December 22, 1911. We have no information about Merle's surviving family. We know that Merle Speakes had been residing in Hattiesburg, Forrest County, Mississippi.

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