Richard Sumerall (1920 - 1980)

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Summary

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Richard Sumerall Biography & Family History

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Education

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Gender

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Timeline

1920 - In the year that Richard Sumerall was born, speakeasies replaced saloons as the center of social activity. After the 18th Amendment was ratified and selling alcohol became illegal, saloons closed and speakeasies took their place. Speakeasies, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, were "so called because of the practice of speaking quietly about such a place in public, or when inside it, so as not to alert the police or neighbors". There were a lot of them and they were very popular. And where saloons often prohibited women, they were encouraged at speakeasies because of the added profits.

1935 - Richard was only 15 years old when on September 8th, Louisiana Senator Huey Long was shot by Dr. Carl Weiss. Weiss was shot and killed immediately by Long's bodyguards - Long died two days later from his injuries. Long had received many death threats previously, as well as threats against his family. He was a powerful and controversial figure in Louisiana politics (and probably gained power through multiple criminal acts). His opponents became frustrated with their attempts to oust him and Dr. Weiss was the son-in-law of one of those opponents. His funeral was attended by 200,000 mourners.

1945 - When he was 25 years old, on February 19th, US Marines landed on the island of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Iwo Jima began. Lasting 5 weeks, it was some of the bloodiest and fiercest fighting in the Pacific theater during World War II. The occupying Japanese forces were heavily armed and there were 21,000 Japanese soldiers on the island at the beginning of the battle. Only 216 Japanese soldiers were captured afterwards - the rest had been killed in action or committed suicide. 6,800 American soldiers died but the Americans took control of the island.

1956 - Richard was 36 years old when on May 20th, the U.S. tested the first hydrogen bomb dropped from a plane over Bikini Atoll. Previously, hydrogen bombs had only been tested on the ground. The Atomic Age moved forward.

1980 - In the year of Richard Sumerall's passing, on April 24th, a rescue attempt was begun in the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The attempt failed and 8 US servicemen were killed. Eight helicopters had been sent for the mission, but only 5 arrived in operating condition., Since the military had advised that the mission be aborted if there were fewer than 6 helicopters, President Carter stopped it. Upon leaving, a helicopter collided with a transport plane and the men were killed.

Richard Sumerall Family Tree

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Obituary

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Richard Sumerall died in February 1980 at 59 years old. No cause of death has been listed. He was born on December 6, 1920. We are unaware of information about Richard's surviving family.

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