Thomas Backus (1916 - 1960)

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Summary

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Thomas Backus Biography & Family History

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Gender

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Timeline

1916 - In the year that Thomas Backus was born, in June, the U.S. Congress authorized a plan to expand the armed forces over the next five years. Called the National Defense Act of 1916, the national law expanded the National Guard and Army (the Army added an aviation unit), created the Reserves, and gave the President expanded authority to federalize the National Guard. It also allowed the government to stockpile, in advance, materiel to be used in wartime.

1920 - When he was only 4 years old, the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, passed both Houses of Congress and was sent to the States to ratify. In August, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the Amendment and it became law eight days later. Mississippi ratified it in 1984.

1949 - Thomas was 33 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."

1950 - When he was 34 years old, in February, Joe McCarthy gave a speech alleging that he had a list of "members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring" who worked in the State Department. He went on to chair a committee that investigated not only the State Department but also the administration of President Harry S. Truman, the Voice of America, and the U.S. Army for communist spies - until he was condemned by the U.S. Senate in 1954.

1960 - In the year of Thomas Backus's passing, 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.

Thomas Backus Family Tree

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Obituary

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Thomas Backus passed away in January 1960 at age 43. There is no known cause of death for Thomas. He was born on July 3, 1916. We have no information about Thomas's family.

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