Selmer Johnson (1902 - 1983)



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Selmer Johnson Biography & Family History

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Yakima, Yakima County, Washington

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1902 - In the year that Selmer Johnson was born, the world famous Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso, made the first gramophone recording by a popular singer. Accompanied by only a piano, his voice recordings became a big seller and did much to popularize the new-fangled gramophone. He had to sing into a metal "horn" that relayed his voice to a metal disc. And the songs had to be under 4 and a half minutes!

1942 - Selmer was 40 years old when from January 7th through April 9th, the Battle of Bataan was fought in the Philippines. At the end of the battle, the U.S. and Filipino forces surrendered and a three-year occupation of the Philippines by Japan began. Between 60,000 and 80,000 American and Filipino soldiers surrendered and were marched around 60 to 69 miles - most were beaten, abused, or killed. Named the Bataan Death March, it was later declared to be a war crime.

1958 - When this person was 56 years old, on January 1st, the European Economic Community (Common Market) came into operation. The first members were France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The Common Market was formed as a way to strengthen members' economies and deter wars in Europe.

1960 - At the age of 58 years old, Selmer was alive when on May 1st, an American CIA U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the Soviet Union. Powers ejected and survived but was captured. The U.S. claimed that the U-2 was a "weather plane" but Powers was convicted in the Soviet Union of espionage. He was released in 1962 after 1 year, 9 months and 10 days in prison.

1983 - In the year of Selmer Johnson's passing, physicist Sally K. Ride, 32, became the first US woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger on June 18th. She was also the youngest (32) astronaut to go into space. Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space in 1963.

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Selmer Johnson died in August 1983 at 80 years old. No cause of death has been listed for Selmer. Selmer was born on August 8, 1902. We have no information about Selmer's family. We know that Selmer Johnson had been residing in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington.


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