Rhelda Lerch (1915 - 1983)



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Rhelda Lerch Biography & Family History

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Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania

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1915 - In the year that Rhelda Lerch was born, the Superior Court in Fulton County Georgia accepted the charter for the establishment of the new Ku Klux Klan, succeeding the Klan that flourished in the South in the late 1800's. This iteration of the Klan adopted white clothing and used many of the code words from the first Klan, adding cross burnings and mass marches in an attempt to intimidate others.

1941 - By the time this person was 26 years old, on June 25th, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, prohibiting racial discrimination in the defense industry. EO 8802 was the first federal action to prohibit employment discrimination - without prejudice as to "race, creed, color, or national origin" - in the U.S. Civil Rights groups had planned a march on Washington D.C. to protest for equal rights but with the signing of the Order, they canceled the March.

1948 - By the time this person was 33 years old, on January 30th, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi by a member of a Hindu nationalist party who thought that Gandhi was too accommodating to Muslims. The man, Nathuram Godse, shot Gandhi 3 times. He died immediately. The shooter was tried, convicted, and hung in November 1949.

1967 - At the age of 52 years old, Rhelda was alive when between June 5th and 10th, Israeli and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria fought what came to be called the "Six-Day War". The hostilities began when Israel launched "preemptive" strikes against Egypt, destroying nearly its entire air force. It ended with Israel occupying the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank.

1983 - In the year of Rhelda Lerch's passing, physicist Sally K. Ride, 32, became the first US woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger on June 18th. She was also the youngest (32) astronaut to go into space. Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space in 1963.

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Rhelda Lerch died in May 1983 at 68 years old. No cause of death has been listed for Rhelda. Rhelda was born on March 12, 1915. We are unaware of information about Rhelda's surviving family. We know that Rhelda Lerch had been residing in Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.


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