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Willis Harbeson (1908 - 1972)

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Willis Harbeson
1908 - 1972
Born
July 15, 1908
Death
July 1972
Last Known Residence
Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina 29407
Summary
Willis Harbeson was born on July 15, 1908. He died in July 1972 at 63 years of age. We know that Willis Harbeson had been residing in Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina 29407.
Updated: November 1, 2011
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Willis Harbeson
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Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina 29407
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Willis Harbeson passed away in July 1972 at 63 years of age. He was born on July 15, 1908. We have no information about Willis' family or relationships. We know that Willis Harbeson had been residing in Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina 29407.
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1908 - 1972 World Events

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In 1908, in the year that Willis Harbeson 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 1925, he was 17 years old when in July, the Scopes Trial - often called the Scopes Monkey Trial - took place, prosecuting a substitute teacher for teaching evolution in school. Tennessee had enacted a law that said it was "unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school". William Jennings Bryan headed the prosecution and Clarence Darrow headed the defense. The teacher was found guilty and fined $100. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee upheld the law but overturned the guilty verdict.

In 1930, Willis was 22 years old when as head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, William Hays established a code of decency that outlined what was acceptable in films. The public - and government - had felt that films in the '20's had become increasingly risque and that the behavior of its stars was becoming scandalous. Laws were being passed. In response, the heads of the movie studios adopted a voluntary "code", hoping to head off legislation. The first part of the code prohibited "lowering the moral standards of those who see it", called for depictions of the "correct standards of life", and forbade a picture from showing any sort of ridicule towards a law or "creating sympathy for its violation". The second part dealt with particular behavior in film such as homosexuality, the use of specific curse words, and miscegenation.

In 1955, Willis was 47 years old when 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 1972, in the year of Willis Harbeson's passing, on November 7th, Richard Nixon won re-election, amidst the dawning knowledge of the Watergate scandal, by 60.7% to anti-war candidate George McGovern's 37.5%.

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