Oakey Ballard (1886 - 1964)



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1886 - In the year that Oakey Ballard was born, on October 28th, President Grover Cleveland officially dedicated the Statue of Liberty. A gift from France, the base for the statue had been built using donations from the American public. The unplanned but enthusiastic celebration after the dedication led to the first ticker tape parade.

1894 - When this person was only 8 years old, on March 12th, for the first time, Coca-Cola was sold in individual bottles as a drink for consumer consumption. Previously, it was sold as a syrup for upset stomachs - over the counter.

1921 - By the time this person was 35 years old, hugely popular Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, silent film star, was arrested for rape and manslaughter after an actress died following a party at his house. He was acquitted after three trials and the jury wrote a formal letter apologizing for the charges, but his career never recovered. His films were at first banned - the ban was lifted after a year - and he was mostly ostracized by the community. He died at 46..

1930 - This person was 44 years old when as head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, William Hays established a code of decency that outlined what was acceptable in films. The public - and government - had felt that films in the '20's had become increasingly risque and that the behavior of its stars was becoming scandalous. Laws were being passed. In response, the heads of the movie studios adopted a voluntary "code", hoping to head off legislation. The first part of the code prohibited "lowering the moral standards of those who see it", called for depictions of the "correct standards of life", and forbade a picture from showing any sort of ridicule towards a law or "creating sympathy for its violation". The second part dealt with particular behavior in film such as homosexuality, the use of specific curse words, and miscegenation.

1964 - In the year of Oakey Ballard's passing, in June, three young civil rights workers - Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner from New York City, and James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi - were kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi. Working with "Freedom Summer", they were registering African-Americans to vote in the Southern states. Their bodies were found two months later. Although it was discovered that the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County Sheriff's Office and the Philadelphia, Mississippi Police Department were involved, only 7 men were convicted and served less than six years.

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Oakey Ballard passed away in October 1964 at 78 years old. There is no listed cause of death. Oakey was born on May 1, 1886. There is no information about Oakey's surviving family. We know that Oakey Ballard had been residing in Florida.


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