Walter Smith (1888 - 1967)

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Summary

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Walter Smith Biography & Family History

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Birth

Death

Cause of death

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Last Known Residence

Seattle, King County, Washington

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Gender

Male

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Timeline

1888 - In the year that Walter Smith was born, on July 25th, a court stenographer from Salt Lake City - Frank Edward McGurrin - decisively beat the competition in a typing contest in Ohio. He was supposedly the only person who used touch typing and is believed to have invented the method. Touch typing is ubiquitous now - but Frank's win is what convinced everyone that the method was good!

1893 - He was just 5 years old when a songbook, called Song Stories for the Kindergarten, was published by sisters Patty and Mildred Hill. One of the songs included in the book was "Good Morning to All" - later the lyrics were changed and it became "Happy Birthday to You".

1905 - Walter was 17 years old when the Niagara Falls conference was held in Fort Erie, Ontario. Led by W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter, a group of African-American men met in opposition to racial segregation and disenfranchisement. Booker T. Washington had been calling for policies of accommodation and conciliation and these two men, along with the others who attended the conference, felt that this was accomplishing nothing. The group was the precursor to the NAACP.

1923 - Walter was 35 years old when Harlem's Cotton Club opened in New York City. Owned by a bootlegger and gangster, it was a 700 seat speakeasy that catered to a "white only" clientele. But most of the entertainers were African-American and featured some of the best entertainers of the time such as Lena Horne, the Nicholas Brothers, Ethel Waters, and Cab Calloway.

1967 - In the year of Walter Smith's passing, on October 2nd, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first black US Supreme Court justice. Marshall was the great-grandson of a slave and graduated first in his class at Howard University Law School. His nomination to the Supreme Court was approved by the Senate, 69 to 11.

Walter Smith Family Tree

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Obituary

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Walter Smith passed away in May 1967 at 78 years of age. No cause of death has been listed. He was born on May 26, 1888. There is no information about Walter's family. We know that Walter Smith had been residing in Seattle, King County, Washington.

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