Ocalee Smith (1906 - 2004)



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Ocalee Smith Biography & Family History

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Castro Valley, Alameda County, California

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1906 - In the year that Ocalee Smith was born, English biochemist Frederick Hopkins concluded that vitamins are essential to the human body and that a lack of vitamins caused scurvy and rickets. Scurvy and rickets were both huge problems in sailors that were at sea for extended time and the addition of vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium in their diets helped eradicate the problem.

1914 - When this person was only 8 years old, in August, the Panama Canal opened to traffic. Begun by the French in the 1880's and abandoned, the United States undertook further construction in 1904. After 10 years, and the elimination of malaria carrying mosquitoes (which caused immense delays for the French and the Americans), the 48 mile long artificial waterway - a series of locks - created a shortcut for ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

1934 - Ocalee was 28 years old when on November 11th 1933, an extremely strong dust storm hit South Dakota, stripping topsoil. Other strong dust storms had occurred during 1933. Severe droughts continued to hit the Great Plains and the dust storms devastated agricultural production as well as people's' lives for several years. The Roosevelt administration and scientists eventually determined that farming practices had caused the conditions that led to the dust storms and the changes they implemented in farming stopped the Dust Bowl.

1940 - When this person was 34 years old, in July, Billboard published its first Music Popularity Chart. Top recordings of the year were Tommy Dorsey's "I'll Never Smile Again" (vocal Frank Sinatra) - 12 weeks at the top, Bing Crosby's "Only Forever" - 9 weeks at the top, and Artie Shaw's "Frenesi" - 12 weeks at the top.

1945 - By the time this person was 39 years old, on June 22nd, the Battle of Okinawa ended. A joint Army and Marine campaign, supported by the Navy, the Battle of Okinawa went on for 82 days. The last Japanese resistance on Okinawa was defeated. 4,907 Navy, 4,675 Army, and 2,938 Marine Corps personnel were killed in the battle on the US side. It is estimated that 110,071 on the Japanese side were killed - the estimate includes Okinawan citizens who were pressed into service and includes children. With the win of Okinawa, the United States gained an important base of operations in the Pacific.

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Ocalee Smith passed away on February 18, 2004 at 97 years old. No cause of death has been listed. Ocalee was born on August 15, 1906. We are unaware of information about Ocalee's immediate family. We know that Ocalee Smith had been residing in Castro Valley, Alameda County, California.


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