Willett Smith (1938 - 2006)



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Willett Smith Biography & Family History

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Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi

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1938 - In the year that Willett Smith was born, 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.

1952 - At the age of merely 14 years old, Willett was alive when on July 2, Dr. Jonas E. Salk tested the first dead-virus polio vaccine on 43 children. The worst epidemic of polio had broken out that year - in the U.S. there were 58,000 cases reported. Of these, 3,145 people had died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis.

1962 - At the age of 24 years old, Willett was alive when lasting from October 16th - 28th, the Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest that the United States and the Soviet Union came to nuclear war. The Soviet Union had been installing a nuclear missile base in Cuba. The United States established a blockade to stop the base from being completed. Through secret negotiations, war was averted: the Soviet Union agreed to dismantle their weapons in Cuba and the United States agreed to never invade Cuba and to dismantle weapons in Turkey and Italy.

1963 - When this person was 25 years old, the British Secretary of War, 46 year old John Profumo ,was forced to resign when he lied about an affair with 19 year old Christine Keeler. Keeler was also involved with the Soviet naval attaché and charges of espionage were feared. No proof of spying was ever found.

1995 - When this person was 57 years old, on May 19th, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil - before 9/11 - took place in Oklahoma City. A truck bomb went off outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown - killing 68 people, injuring more than 680 others, and destroying one-third of the building. The most disturbing images were of children - a daycare center was hit by the bomb. The deadliest incident of domestic terrorism ever, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and Michael Fortier were convicted of the bombing.

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This obit of Willett Smith 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.

Willett Smith died on November 3, 2006 at 68 years of age. No cause of death has been entered. Willett was born on March 20, 1938. We have no information about Willett's family. We know that Willett Smith had been residing in Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi.


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