Willis Petty (1908 - 1989)

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Summary

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Willis Petty Biography & Family History

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Birth

Death

Cause of death

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Obituary

Last Known Residence

Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas

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Education

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Gender

Male

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Timeline

1908 - In the year that Willis Petty 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.

1927 - When he was 19 years old, the first "talkie" (a movie with music, songs, and talking), The Jazz Singer, was released. Al Jolson starred as a cantor's son who instead of following in his father's footsteps as expected, becomes a singer of popular songs. Banished by his father, they reconcile on his father's deathbed. It was a tear-jerker and audiences went wild - especially when they heard the songs. Thus begun the demise of silent films and the rise of "talkies".

1957 - Willis was 49 years old when on October 4th, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first man made earth-orbiting satellite - and triggered the Space Race. Sputnik I was only 23 inches in diameter and had no tracking equipment, only 4 antennas, but it had a big impact.

1981 - By the time he was 73 years old, on August 1st, MTV debuted. It was the first music video TV channel. The first music video played was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" - the second was Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

1989 - In the year of Willis Petty's passing, on January 20th, George Herbert Walker Bush became the 41st President of the United States. Previously Ronald Regan's Vice President, he ran against Michael Dukakis and won the popular vote by 53.4% to 45.6%.

Willis Petty Family Tree

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Obituary

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Willis Petty died on December 22, 1989 at 81 years old. No cause of death has been entered. He was born on June 28, 1908. We are unaware of information about Willis's immediate family. We know that Willis Petty had been residing in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas.

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