Rufino Mendez (1888 - 1978)



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Rufino Mendez Biography & Family History

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Last Known Residence

Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida

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1888 - In the year that Rufino Mendez was born, on January 12th, the 'Schoolhouse Blizzard' blanketed Dakota Territory. Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas were hit, leaving 235 dead. Many of those who perished were children on their way home from school. The day was relatively warm when it began and the blizzard hit unexpectedly, catching most by surprise.

1893 - When he was only 5 years old, on March 4th, Grover Cleveland became the 24th President of the United States. On July 1st, President Cleveland was operated on for a non-cancerous tumor in his mouth. He chose to have the operation secretly because he didn't want to worsen the financial depression that was occurring at the time.

1912 - Rufino was 24 years old when the Girl Scouts of the USA was started by Juliette Gordon Low with the help of Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts in Great Britain. She said after a meeting with Baden-Powell, "I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!" And she did.

1952 - At the age of 64 years old, Rufino was alive when on July 2, Dr. Jonas E. Salk tested the first dead-virus polio vaccine on 43 children. The worst epidemic of polio had broken out that year - in the U.S. there were 58,000 cases reported. Of these, 3,145 people had died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis.

1978 - In the year of Rufino Mendez's passing, on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

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Rufino Mendez died in November 1978 at age 89. There is no known cause of death for Rufino. He was born on November 19, 1888. There is no information about Rufino's family. We know that Rufino Mendez had been residing in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida.


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