Zeala Fritts (1895 - 1974)



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Zeala Fritts Biography & Family History

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Last Known Residence

Cambridge Springs, Crawford County, Pennsylvania

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1895 - In the year that Zeala Fritts was born, on May 18th, Italy's first motor race was held. The race was 58 miles long - from Turin to Asti and back. Five cars started but only three completed the race. It was won by Simone Federman who drove a Daimler Omnibus - his average speed was 9.6 mph.

1900 - By the time this person was just 5 years old, when Floradora opened on Broadway. A huge success in London - opening in 1899 and running for 455 performances - the musical was even more successful in New York - running for 552 performances. The "Floradora girls" were the hit of the show - a "sextette of tall, gorgeous damsels, clad in pink walking costumes, black picture hats and carrying frilly parasols who swished onto the stage and captivated New York for no other reason than they were utterly stunning" ("tall and gorgeous" translated to 5'4"). A sensation, each Floradora girl was said to have married a millionaire.

1916 - At the age of 21 years old, Zeala was alive when visiting nurse Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. at 46 Amboy St. in Brooklyn New York. Ten days after the clinic opened, Sanger was arrested for "violating laws against giving out birth control information" which was defined as obscenity. The clinic was not handing out birth control - just information about sex and birth control methods. (The Comstock law categorized information about abortion, family planning, and contraception as “obscene”.) The clinics and organizations that Sanger established later evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

1945 - When this person was 50 years old, on March 12th, a riot erupted at a Japanese internment camp in Santa Fe New Mexico. Two days earlier, white shirts with the Rising Sun on the back had been confiscated and the prisoners objected. Three leaders of the protest were removed and sent to another camp. Guards at the Santa Fe camp were armed with submachine guns, shotguns, and gun masks. On the morning of the 12th, prisoners began throwing rocks at the guards. When the "rioters" wouldn't disperse, the guards were ordered to use tear gas and batons. Four men were badly injured as a result.

1974 - In the year of Zeala Fritts's passing, on February 5th, Patty Hearst, age 19 - granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst and daughter of publisher of the San Francisco Examiner Randolph Hearst - was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a left wing terrorist group. She was found, alive, 19 months later.

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Zeala Fritts died in September 1974 at 79 years of age. No cause of death has been entered. Zeala was born on March 31, 1895. We have no information about Zeala's surviving family. We know that Zeala Fritts had been residing in Cambridge Springs, Crawford County, Pennsylvania.


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