Rhett Harrell (1916 - 1969)



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Rhett Harrell Biography & Family History

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Pompano Beach, Broward County, Florida

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1916 - In the year that Rhett Harrell was born, in June, the U.S. Congress authorized a plan to expand the armed forces over the next five years. Called the National Defense Act of 1916, the national law expanded the National Guard and Army (the Army added an aviation unit), created the Reserves, and gave the President expanded authority to federalize the National Guard. It also allowed the government to stockpile, in advance, materiel to be used in wartime.

1917 - By the time he was merely 1 year old, 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.

1931 - By the time he was only 15 years old, in March, “The Star Spangled Banner” officially became the national anthem by congressional resolution. Other songs had previously been used - among them, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "God Bless America", and "America the Beautiful". There was fierce debate about making "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem - Southerners and veterans organizations supported it, pacifists and educators opposed it.

1949 - Rhett was 33 years old when on April 4th, NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was established. Twelve nations originally signed the North Atlantic Treaty - the United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Iceland, Canada, and Portugal. Greece, Turkey, and West Germany later joined. Today, there are 26 nations in NATO.

1969 - In the year of Rhett Harrell's passing, one hundred countries, along with the United States and the Soviet Union signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT). It called for stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and the goal of nuclear disarmament.

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Rhett Harrell died in March 1969 at age 52. There is no listed cause of death. He was born on June 11, 1916. We are unaware of information about Rhett's surviving family. We know that Rhett Harrell had been residing in Pompano Beach, Broward County, Florida.


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