Merrett Collins (1884 - 1967)

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Summary

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Merrett Collins Biography & Family History

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Last Known Residence

Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida

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Timeline

1884 - In the year that Merrett Collins was born, on May 1st, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions - a US association - first resolved that "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labour from and after May 1, 1886, and that we recommend to labour organisations throughout this jurisdiction that they so direct their laws as to conform to this resolution by the time named." Previously, workdays would consist of 10 to 16 hours a day - 6 days a week. It would take years before the 8 hour workday became common practice - and longer before it became a law.

1916 - Merrett was 32 years old when visiting nurse Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. at 46 Amboy St. in Brooklyn New York. Ten days after the clinic opened, Sanger was arrested for "violating laws against giving out birth control information" which was defined as obscenity. The clinic was not handing out birth control - just information about sex and birth control methods. (The Comstock law categorized information about abortion, family planning, and contraception as “obscene”.) The clinics and organizations that Sanger established later evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

1934 - This person was 50 years old when on July 22nd, gangster John Dillinger was killed in Chicago. His gang had robbed banks and police stations, among other charges, and he was being hunted by J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI - although many in the public saw him as a "Robin Hood". A madam from a brothel in which he was hiding became an informer for the FBI and, after a shootout with FBI agents, Dillinger was shot and died.

1950 - Merrett was 66 years old when in February, Joe McCarthy gave a speech alleging that he had a list of "members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring" who worked in the State Department. He went on to chair a committee that investigated not only the State Department but also the administration of President Harry S. Truman, the Voice of America, and the U.S. Army for communist spies - until he was condemned by the U.S. Senate in 1954.

1967 - In the year of Merrett Collins's passing, on October 2nd, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first black US Supreme Court justice. Marshall was the great-grandson of a slave and graduated first in his class at Howard University Law School. His nomination to the Supreme Court was approved by the Senate, 69 to 11.

Merrett Collins Family Tree

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Obituary

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Merrett Collins died in July 1967 at age 83. No cause of death has been entered. Merrett was born on June 30, 1884. We are unaware of information about Merrett's family or relationships. We know that Merrett Collins had been residing in Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida.

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