William Balzer (1886 - 1971)

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Summary

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William Balzer Biography & Family History

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Birth

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Last Known Residence

Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

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Gender

Male

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Timeline

1886 - In the year that William Balzer was born, on May 4th, a general strike began in Chicago. Workers were striking for an 8 hour workday and in protest of the killing - by police - of several workers the day before. When an unknown person threw a dynamite bomb, the strike became violent. Seven policemen were killed as well as 4 civilians. It became known as the Haymarket Riot and eventually resulted in an 8 hourwork day as well as commemorations on May 1st for worker's rights.

1902 - William was 16 years old when the Aswan Low Dam (the old Aswan Dam) began construction in Egypt in 1899 and was completed in 1902 - making it the largest masonry dam in the world at the time. The dam was built on the Nile River in order to conserve water and regulate flooding, allowing for population increase along the Nile.

1942 - William was 56 years old when due to World War II, automobile production in the United States was stopped on February 1st. A tire rationing program had begun the month before. Detroit - the main hub of car manufacturing - was ordered to free up assembly lines for military production. The president of the Automobile Manufacturers Association said “The automotive industry is in this war all the way". Some dealerships had to close and others expanded their repair shops. The used car market boomed (as did a black market in used cars).

1960 - At the age of 74 years old, William was alive when on May 1st, an American CIA U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the Soviet Union. Powers ejected and survived but was captured. The U.S. claimed that the U-2 was a "weather plane" but Powers was convicted in the Soviet Union of espionage. He was released in 1962 after 1 year, 9 months and 10 days in prison.

1971 - In the year of William Balzer's passing, in March, Congress passed the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which lowered the voting age to 18 (from 21). It was a response to the criticism that men could fight at 18, but not vote for the policies and politicians who sent them to war. The states quickly ratified the Amendment and it was signed into law on July 1st by President Richard Nixon.

William Balzer Family Tree

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Obituary

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William Balzer passed away in June 1971 at 85 years old. There is no known cause of death for William. He was born on January 13, 1886. We are unaware of information about William's immediate family. We know that William Balzer had been residing in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

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