Samella Ferrell (1909 - 1977)



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Samella Ferrell Biography & Family History

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Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan

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1909 - In the year that Samella Ferrell was born, William Howard Taft became the 27th President of the United States on March 4th. Previously Secretary of War, Judge on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Solicitor General of the U.S., and Governor of both the Philippines and Cuba, Taft was the only President who went on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

1931 - Samella was 22 years old when on May 1st, the Empire State Building opened in New York City. At 1,454 feet (including the roof and antenna), it was the tallest building in the world until the World Trade Center's North Tower was built in 1970. (It is now the 34th tallest.) Opening at the beginning of the Great Depression, most of the offices in the Empire State Building remained unoccupied for years and the observation deck was an equal source of revenue and kept the building profitable.

1949 - Samella was 40 years old when comedian Milton Berle hosted the first telethon show. It raised $1,100,000 for cancer research and lasted 16 hours. The next day, newspapers, in writing about the event, first used the word "telethon."

1965 - At the age of 56 years old, Samella was alive when the television show "I Spy" premiered in the fall season on NBC. The stars were Bill Cosby and Robert Culp, making Cosby the first African American to headline a television show. Four stations - in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama - refused to air the show.

1977 - In the year of Samella Ferrell's passing, on January 20th, Jimmy Carter became the 39th President of the United States. Running against incumbent Gerald Ford, he won 50.1% of the popular vote to Ford's 48.0%. He was elected to only one term.

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This obit of Samella Ferrell is updated by the community. Edit this biography to contribute to her obituary. Include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Samella Ferrell died in April 1977 at 67 years old. There is no known cause of death for Samella. She was born on August 25, 1909. We have no information about Samella's family or relationships. We know that Samella Ferrell had been residing in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.


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