Saphronia Johnson (1911 - 1996)



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Saphronia Johnson Biography & Family History

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Last Known Residence

Beulah, Bolivar County, Mississippi

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1911 - In the year that Saphronia Johnson was born, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire occurred, one of the deadliest industrial disasters in U.S. history. 146 workers (123 women and 23 men, many of them recent Jewish and Italian immigrants) died from the fire or by jumping to escape the fire and smoke. The garment factory was on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors of a building in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. Doors to stairwells and exits had been locked in order to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and to prevent theft, so they couldn't escape by normal means when the fire broke out. Due to the disaster, legislation was passed to protect sweatshop workers.

1934 - When this person was 23 years old, on July 22nd, gangster John Dillinger was killed in Chicago. His gang had robbed banks and police stations, among other charges, and he was being hunted by J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI - although many in the public saw him as a "Robin Hood". A madam from a brothel in which he was hiding became an informer for the FBI and, after a shootout with FBI agents, Dillinger was shot and died.

1948 - Saphronia was 37 years old when 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.

1949 - When this person was 38 years old, 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."

1996 - In the year of Saphronia Johnson's passing, on April 3rd, Theodore Kaczynski (nicknamed the Unabomber) was arrested. His mailed or hand-delivered bombs, sent between 1978 and 1995, killed three people and injured 23 others. Diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, Kaczynski is serving 8 life sentences without the possibility of parole.

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Saphronia Johnson passed away on January 12, 1996 at 84 years of age. There is no known cause of death. Saphronia was born on December 6, 1911. We are unaware of information about Saphronia's surviving family. We know that Saphronia Johnson had been residing in Beulah, Bolivar County, Mississippi.


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