William Johnston (1921 - 1983)

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Summary

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William Johnston Biography & Family History

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Timeline

1921 - In the year that William Johnston was born, hugely popular Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, silent film star, was arrested for rape and manslaughter after an actress died following a party at his house. He was acquitted after three trials and the jury wrote a formal letter apologizing for the charges, but his career never recovered. His films were at first banned - the ban was lifted after a year - and he was mostly ostracized by the community. He died at 46..

1923 - He was just 2 years old when Harlem's Cotton Club opened in New York City. Owned by a bootlegger and gangster, it was a 700 seat speakeasy that catered to a "white only" clientele. But most of the entertainers were African-American and featured some of the best entertainers of the time such as Lena Horne, the Nicholas Brothers, Ethel Waters, and Cab Calloway.

1938 - He was 17 years old when 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.

1978 - He was 57 years old when on July 25th, Louise Brown, the first "test-tube baby", was born at Oldham Hospital in London. Louise was conceived through IVF (in vitro fertilization), a controversial and experimental procedure at the time.

1983 - In the year of William Johnston's passing, on August 30th, the Soviet Union claimed that a South Korean Boeing 747 jetliner (Flight 007), bound for Seoul from New York City, had strayed into Soviet airspace. Saying that they believed it to be a U.S. spy plane, the passenger jet was shot down by a Soviet SU-15 fighter - after it had tracked the airliner for two hours. All 269 passengers (including a U.S. Representative from Georgia) and crew were killed.

William Johnston Family Tree

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Obituary

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William Johnston died in April 1983 at age 61. There is no listed cause of death for William. He was born on October 18, 1921. We have no information about William's surviving family.

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