Zemberiah Butler (1905 - 1970)



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1905 - In the year that Zemberiah Butler was born, the first movie theater opened in the United States in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the first theater to show nothing but movies - silent films. Two men, John P. Harris and his brother-in-law Harry Davis, opened the Nickelodeon on Smithfield Street - charging 5 cents for admission. The first day, 450 people watched movies at the new theater - on the second day, more than 1500 people stood in line to get in.

1931 - By the time this person was 26 years old, on May 1st, the Empire State Building opened in New York City. At 1,454 feet (including the roof and antenna), it was the tallest building in the world until the World Trade Center's North Tower was built in 1970. (It is now the 34th tallest.) Opening at the beginning of the Great Depression, most of the offices in the Empire State Building remained unoccupied for years and the observation deck was an equal source of revenue and kept the building profitable.

1933 - When this person was 28 years old, Frances Perkins became the first woman to hold a cabinet-level position, appointed by President Roosevelt to serve as Secretary of Labor. She told him that her priorities would be a 40-hour work week, a minimum wage, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, abolition of child labor, direct federal aid to the states for unemployment relief, Social Security, a revitalized federal employment service, and universal health insurance. President Roosevelt approved of all of them and most them were implemented during his terms as President. She served until his death in 1945.

1965 - By the time this person was 60 years old, from August 11 to 16, riots broke out in Watts, a Black section of Los Angeles. An allegedly drunk African-American driver was stopped by LA police and, after a fight, police brutality was alleged - and the riots began. 34 people died in the rioting and over $40 million in property damage occurred. The National Guard was called in to help the LA police quell rioting.

1970 - In the year of Zemberiah Butler's passing, on May 4th, four students at Kent State University in Ohio were shot and killed by National Guardsmen. The students were at a peaceful demonstration protesting the invasion of Cambodia by US forces. There had been precedent for the killing of American college students. The previous year, on May 15th, Alameda County Sheriffs used shotguns against U.C. Berkeley students at a protest for People's Park. One student died, one was blinded, 128 were injured.

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Zemberiah Butler died in April 1970 at 64 years of age. No cause of death has been listed. Zemberiah was born on September 1, 1905. There is no information about Zemberiah's family.


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