Mervyn Depew (1896 - 1968)



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Mervyn Depew Biography & Family History

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Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania

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1896 - In the year that Mervyn Depew was born, in April, the first study on global warming due to CO2 - carbon dioxide - in the atmosphere was published by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius. Arrhenius concluded that human activity due to the Industrial Revolution would amplify CO2 in the atmosphere, causing a greenhouse effect. His conclusions have been extensively tested in the ensuing 100+ years and are still seen to hold true.

1911 - He was merely 15 years old when the Triangle Shirtwaist fire occurred, one of the deadliest industrial disasters in U.S. history. 146 workers (123 women and 23 men, many of them recent Jewish and Italian immigrants) died from the fire or by jumping to escape the fire and smoke. The garment factory was on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors of a building in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. Doors to stairwells and exits had been locked in order to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and to prevent theft, so they couldn't escape by normal means when the fire broke out. Due to the disaster, legislation was passed to protect sweatshop workers.

1917 - He was 21 years old when in April, the U.S. entered World War I, declaring war against Germany. President Wilson had previously declared neutrality in the war - a position supported by the majority of Americans - but after Germany declared that they would sink all ships trading with Great Britain and sunk U.S. ships, public opinion began to change. Then the Lusitania was sunk, killing 1,201 - including 128 Americans - and more U.S. ships were sunk. The U.S. could stand aside no longer.

1960 - When he was 64 years old, on September 26th, the first televised debate for a Presidential campaign in the United States - Kennedy vs Nixon - was held. Seventy million people watched the debate on TV. The debate pre-empted the very popular Andy Griffith Show.

1968 - In the year of Mervyn Depew's passing, on January 31st, the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War. 70,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces swarmed into South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese and US troops held off the offensive but it was such fierce fighting that the U.S. public began to turn against the war.

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Mervyn Depew died in May 1968 at age 71. No cause of death has been listed. He was born on November 19, 1896. We have no information about Mervyn's immediate family. We know that Mervyn Depew had been residing in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.


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