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William Reitz (1908 - 1971)

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William Reitz
1908 - 1971
Born
February 28, 1908
Death
October 1971
Summary
William Reitz was born on February 28, 1908. He died in October 1971 at 63 years old.
Updated: November 12, 2011
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William Reitz died in October 1971 at age 63. He was born on February 28, 1908. We are unaware of information about William's surviving family.
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1908 - 1971 World Events

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In 1908, in the year that William Reitz was born, a 7.1 earthquake and the resulting tsunami killed 70,000 to 100,000 people in southern Italy and Sicily. The earthquake, lasting 30 to 40 seconds, occurred in the Strait of Messina which was between the region of Calabria (at the "toe" of Italy) and the island of Sicily and destruction from it occurred in a 186 mile radius. It was the most destructive earthquake ever to hit Europe.

In 1938, when he was 30 years old, 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.

In 1946, by the time he was 38 years old, on July 4th, the Philippines gained independence from the United States. In 1964, Independence Day in the Philippines was moved from July 4th to June 12th at the insistence of nationalists and historians.

In 1959, he was 51 years old when on January 3rd, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States and the first state not a part of the contiguous United States. The flag was changed to display 49 stars.

In 1971, in the year of William Reitz's passing, on May 3rd, 10,000 federal troops, 5,100 officers of the D.C. Metropolitan Police, 2,000 members of the D.C. National Guard, and federal agents assembled in Washington DC to prevent an estimated 10,000 Vietnam War protesters from marching. President Nixon (who was in California) refused to give federal employees the day off and they had to navigate the police and protesters, adding to the confusion. By the end of a few days of protest, 12,614 people had been arrested - making it the largest mass arrest in US history.

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