Woodie Smith (1898 - 1981)



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Woodie Smith Biography & Family History

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Brookhaven, Lincoln County, Mississippi

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1898 - In the year that Woodie Smith was born, on February 15th, the USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana harbor. The reason for the explosion has never been found, but it killed 266 men. "Remember the Maine" became a rallying cry and precipitated the United States' declaration of war on Spain two months later - the beginning of the Spanish-American War. On December 10th, the war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The Treaty gave the U.S. Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam - for $20 million - and, temporarily, Cuba.

1906 - This person was only 8 years old when author Upton Sinclair exposed the public-health threat of the meat-packing industry in his book The Jungle. While his intent was to show the lives of exploited lives of immigrants in Chicago and other industrialized cities, most people were horrified by how the meat that ended up on their tables was handled. There was such an outcry that legislation was passed to regulate meat packing. Sinclair said " "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach."

1930 - When this person was 32 years old, on August 6th, N.Y. Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater went through papers in his office, destroyed some of them, withdrew all his money from the bank - $5,150, sold his stock, met friends at a restaurant for dinner and disappeared after getting into a taxi (or walking down the street - his friends' testimony later changed). His disappearance was reported to the police on September 3rd - almost a month later. His wife didn't know what happened, his fellow Justices had no idea, and his mistresses (he had several) said that they didn't know. While his disappearance was front page news, his fate was never discovered and after 40 years the case was closed, still without knowing if Crater was dead or alive.

1978 - By the time this person was 80 years old, 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.

1981 - In the year of Woodie Smith's passing, 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".

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Woodie Smith passed away in September 1981 at age 83. No cause of death has been listed. Woodie was born on August 18, 1898. We have no information about Woodie's surviving family. We know that Woodie Smith had been residing in Brookhaven, Lincoln County, Mississippi.


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