Vadna Beal Smith (1919 - 2006)



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Vadna Beal Smith Biography & Family History

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Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina

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1919 - In the year that Vadna Beal Smith was born, in the summer and early autumn, race riots erupted in 26 U.S. cities, resulting in hundreds of deaths and even more people being badly hurt. In most cases, African-Americans were the victims. It was called the "Red Summer". Men who were returning from World War I needed jobs and there was competition for those jobs among the races. Tension was heightened by the use by many companies of blacks as strikebreakers.

1920 - This person was just 1 year old when on November 2, radio station KDKA began broadcasting in Pittsburgh, PA. This was the first commercial radio broadcast in the United States. Westinghouse, a leading manufacturer of radios and the backer of the station, chose the date because of the Presidential election. People liked it because they could hear about the results of the election between Harding and Cox before the morning papers arrived. Four years later, there were 600 commercial stations broadcasting in the U.S.

1926 - By the time this person was just 7 years old, on November 15th, NBC was founded. It was the U.S.'s first major broadcast network. Ownership of the network was split between RCA (a majority partner at 50%), its founding corporate parent General Electric (which owned 30%), and Westinghouse (which owned the remaining 20%).

1978 - Vadna was 59 years old when 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.

1988 - This person was 69 years old when on December 16th, 1988 the popular film Rain Man was released. Featuring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. this film brought attention to autistic savants and was based on the "megasavant" Laurence Kim Peek. The film would later go to win four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role.

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Vadna Beal Smith died on October 4, 2006 at 86 years of age. There is no listed cause of death for Vadna. Vadna was born on December 5, 1919. We have no information about Vadna's family or relationships. We know that Vadna Beal Smith had been residing in Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina.


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