William Geriak (1919 - 1961)

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Summary

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William Geriak Biography & Family History

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Timeline

1919 - In the year that William Geriak was born, in the summer and early autumn, race riots erupted in 26 U.S. cities, resulting in hundreds of deaths and even more people being badly hurt. In most cases, African-Americans were the victims. It was called the "Red Summer". Men who were returning from World War I needed jobs and there was competition for those jobs among the races. Tension was heightened by the use by many companies of blacks as strikebreakers.

1926 - When he was just 7 years old, on October 31st, Harry Houdini died in Michigan. Houdini was the most famed magician of his time and perhaps of all time, especially for his acts involving escapes - from handcuffs, straitjackets, chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, and more. He was president of the Society of American Magicians and stringently upheld professional ethics. He died of complications from a ruptured appendix. Although he had received a blow to the area a couple of days previously, the connection between the blow and his appendicitis is disputed.

1935 - He was 16 years old when the BOI's name (the Bureau of Investigation) was changed to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and it officially became a separate agency with the Department of Justice. J. Edgar Hoover, the Chief of the BOI, continued in his office and became the first Director of the FBI. The FBI's responsibility is to "detect and prosecute crimes against the United States".

1945 - At the age of 26 years old, William was alive when on February 19th, US Marines landed on the island of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Iwo Jima began. Lasting 5 weeks, it was some of the bloodiest and fiercest fighting in the Pacific theater during World War II. The occupying Japanese forces were heavily armed and there were 21,000 Japanese soldiers on the island at the beginning of the battle. Only 216 Japanese soldiers were captured afterwards - the rest had been killed in action or committed suicide. 6,800 American soldiers died but the Americans took control of the island.

1961 - In the year of William Geriak's passing, on May 5th, Navy Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., made the first manned Project Mercury flight, MR-3, in a spacecraft he named Freedom 7. He was the second man to go into space, the first was Yuri Gagarin - a Soviet cosmonaut.

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Obituary

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William Geriak passed away in January 1961 at 41 years of age. No cause of death has been listed. He was born on February 11, 1919. There is no information about William's family or relationships.

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