Willella Oneal (1897 - 1981)



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Willella Oneal Biography & Family History

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Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

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1897 - In the year that Willella Oneal was born, on September 21st, editor and publisher Francis P. Church responded to a letter to the editor from Virginia O'Hanlon, 8 years old. Virginia's father had told her that "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." So she wrote to the Sun, asking if there was a Santa Claus. Church responded with the now famous editorial "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus".

1904 - By the time this person was merely 7 years old, the World's Fair, officially known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, was held in St. Louis, Missouri. Attended by nearly 19.7 million people (and later the subject of a Judy Garland film), the Fair was funded by federal, state and local sources to the tune of $15 million. As the name suggests, the Fair was suggested as a way to celebrate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In the past, World's Fairs were a way of bringing new technology to the attention of the masses and this fair was no exception - the use of electricity (the public feared it at the time), personal cars, airplanes, and the electric streetcar were all highlighted.

1950 - When this person was 53 years old, in February, Joe McCarthy gave a speech alleging that he had a list of "members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring" who worked in the State Department. He went on to chair a committee that investigated not only the State Department but also the administration of President Harry S. Truman, the Voice of America, and the U.S. Army for communist spies - until he was condemned by the U.S. Senate in 1954.

1973 - This person was 76 years old when on January 28th, the Paris Peace Accord was signed - supposedly ending the Vietnam War. Hostilities continued between North and South Vietnam and the U.S. continued to bomb. But by August 15, 1973, 95% of American troops had left Vietnam. The war ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon.

1981 - In the year of Willella Oneal's passing, on August 1st, MTV debuted. It was the first music video TV channel. The first music video played was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" - the second was Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

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Willella Oneal passed away in August 1981 at 84 years of age. There is no known cause of death. Willella was born on February 2, 1897. There is no information about Willella's family. We know that Willella Oneal had been residing in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.


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