Watus Coker (1910 - 1967)



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Watus Coker Biography & Family History

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Last Known Residence

Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida

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1910 - In the year that Watus Coker was born, Halley's comet, which returns past the earth every 75 - 76 years was observed photographically for the first time. Two fortuitous events occurred - photography had been invented since the last time the comet had passed and the comet was relatively close. There was panic because one astronomer claimed that the gas from its tail "would impregnate the atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet." People bought gas masks, "anti-comet pills" and "anti-comet umbrellas".

1925 - At the age of just 15 years old, Watus was alive when in July, the Scopes Trial - often called the Scopes Monkey Trial - took place, prosecuting a substitute teacher for teaching evolution in school. Tennessee had enacted a law that said it was "unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school". William Jennings Bryan headed the prosecution and Clarence Darrow headed the defense. The teacher was found guilty and fined $100. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee upheld the law but overturned the guilty verdict.

1951 - When this person was 41 years old, on April 5th, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (husband and wife) were sentenced to death for treason. They were executed on June 19th. American citizens, they were convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. Their two young sons were adopted by a high school teacher and his wife.

1955 - Watus was 45 years old when on September 30th, movie star James Dean, 24, died in a car accident. He was headed in his new Porsche 550 to a race in Salinas California when, traveling at 85 mph, he collided with a 1950 Ford Tudor, also speeding, driven by a 23 year old college student. Dean died, his passenger and the other driver survived.

1967 - In the year of Watus Coker's passing, on November 7th, President Johnson signed legislation passed by Congress that created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which would later become PBS and NPR. The legislation required CPB to operate with a "strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature".

Watus Coker Family Tree

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This obit of Watus Coker is updated by the community. Edit this biography to contribute to their obituary. Include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Watus Coker died in May 1967 at 56 years of age. There is no known cause of death for Watus. Watus was born on November 12, 1910. We are unaware of information about Watus's family or relationships. We know that Watus Coker had been residing in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida.


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