Wally Lafreniere (1921 - 2001)



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Wally Lafreniere Biography & Family History

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San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County, California

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1921 - In the year that Wally Lafreniere was born, the silent film The Sheik, directed by George Melford and starring Rudolph Valentino and Agnes Ayres (also featuring Adolphe Menjou) debuted on October 21st. Critics weren't enthusiastic but the public loved it - in the first few weeks 125,000 people had seen the movie - and it eventually exceeded $1 million in ticket sales. And Rudolph Valentino, an Italian American, became the heartthrob of a female generation.

1935 - By the time he was just 14 years old, on August 14, the Social Security Act was signed into law. The purpose was to "provide federal assistance to those unable to work". The law established the Social Security Administration whose primary focus was to "provide aid for the elderly, the unemployed, and children". The Act survived many Supreme Court challenges and the Administration continues until today.

1938 - Wally was 17 years old 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.

1959 - He was 38 years old when on January 3rd, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States and the first state not a part of the contiguous United States. The flag was changed to display 49 stars.

1986 - Wally was 65 years old when on January 28th, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch. All seven crew members died. The cause of the explosion was later found to be a failed O-ring. The O-ring failure was due to the unusually cold conditions at Cape Canaveral.

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Wally Lafreniere passed away on October 10, 2001 at 79 years of age. There is no listed cause of death. He was born on December 1, 1921. We have no information about Wally's immediate family. We know that Wally Lafreniere had been residing in San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County, California.


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