Willie Eldon O'Ree

(born 1935)

A photo of Willie Eldon O'Ree
Willie Eldon O'Ree
1935 - living
Born
October 15, 1935
Fredericton, NB Canada
Summary
Willie Eldon O'Ree was born on October 15, 1935 in Fredericton, NB Canada.
Updated: February 23, 2021
1 Follower
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A Canadian professional ice hockey player, Willie was the first black player in the NHL. He is often referred to as the "Jackie Robinson of ice hockey" since he broke the color barrier for the sport. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November of 2018.

He is quoted as saying that ""racist remarks were much worse in the U.S. cities than in Toronto and Montreal," the two Canadian cities hosting NHL teams at the time, and that "Fans would yell, 'Go back to the South' and 'How come you're not picking cotton?' Things like that. It didn't bother me. I just wanted to be a hockey player, and if they couldn't accept that fact, that was their problem, not mine."
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Biography
Willie Eldon O'Ree
Most commonly known name
Willie Eldon O'Ree
Full name
Nickname(s) or aliases
Male
Gender
Willie O'Ree was born on in Fredericton, NB Canada
Birth
Willie O'Ree was born on in Fredericton, NB Canada
Birth
Heritage

Ethnicity & Lineage

Black

Nationality & Locations

Canadian
Childhood
Adulthood

Professions

Professional hockey - Boston Bruins
WHL - Los Angeles Blades and San Diego Gulls

Average Age

Life Expectancy

Willie's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the O'Ree family tree.

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Willie Eldon O'Ree
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In 1935, in the year that Willie Eldon O'Ree was born, on September 8th, Louisiana Senator Huey Long was shot by Dr. Carl Weiss. Weiss was shot and killed immediately by Long's bodyguards - Long died two days later from his injuries. Long had received many death threats previously, as well as threats against his family. He was a powerful and controversial figure in Louisiana politics (and probably gained power through multiple criminal acts). His opponents became frustrated with their attempts to oust him and Dr. Weiss was the son-in-law of one of those opponents. His funeral was attended by 200,000 mourners.

In 1940, on November 5th, President Franklin Roosevelt was elected to a third term, defeating Wendell Willkie of Indiana (a corporate lawyer). Roosevelt running for a third term was controversial. But the U.S. was emerging from the Great Recession and he promised that he would not involve the country in any foreign war (which of course changed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor). Roosevelt defeated Willkie in the popular vote by 54.7 to 44.8% and in the Electoral College 449 to 82.

In 1955, on September 30th, movie star James Dean, 24, died in a car accident. He was headed in his new Porsche 550 to a race in Salinas California when, traveling at 85 mph, he collided with a 1950 Ford Tudor, also speeding, driven by a 23 year old college student. Dean died, his passenger and the other driver survived.

In 1961, on August 13th, East Germany began erection of what would become the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin. In one day, they installed barbed wire entanglements and fences (called Barbed Wire Sunday in Germany). On August 17th, the first concrete elements and large blocks were put in place.

In 1983, 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.

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Created on Jun 04, 2020 by Daniel Pinna
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