Viola Thomas (1884 - 1968)

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Summary

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Viola Thomas Biography & Family History

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Birth

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Last Known Residence

Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida

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Education

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Gender

Female

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Timeline

1884 - In the year that Viola Thomas was born, on May 1st, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions - a US association - first resolved that "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labour from and after May 1, 1886, and that we recommend to labour organisations throughout this jurisdiction that they so direct their laws as to conform to this resolution by the time named." Previously, workdays would consist of 10 to 16 hours a day - 6 days a week. It would take years before the 8 hour workday became common practice - and longer before it became a law.

1902 - Viola was 18 years old when 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!

1907 - When she was 23 years old, in October, over a 3 week period, the New York stock exchange fell almost 50% from the previous year's high mark. Public panic ensued and there were runs on banks since the U.S. was in the middle of a recession. J.P. Morgan offered his own fortune to back the banks and he was followed by other financiers. This temporarily shored up the banking system, stopping the immediate panic. All of this led to the creation of the Federal Reserve.

1938 - At the age of 54 years old, Viola was alive when on October 30th, a Sunday, The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast Orson Welles' special Halloween show The War of the World's. A clever take on H.G. Wells' novel, the show began with simulated "breaking news" of an invasion by Martians. Because of the realistic nature of the "news," there was a public outcry the next day, calling for regulation by the FCC. Although the current story is that many were fooled and panicked, in reality very few people were fooled. But the show made Orson Welles' career.

1968 - In the year of Viola Thomas's passing, on January 31st, the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War. 70,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces swarmed into South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese and US troops held off the offensive but it was such fierce fighting that the U.S. public began to turn against the war.

Viola Thomas Family Tree

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Obituary

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Viola Thomas passed away on March 15, 1968 at 83 years old. No cause of death has been listed for Viola. She was born on July 4, 1884. We are unaware of information about Viola's immediate family. We know that Viola Thomas had been residing in Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida.

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