2 March 1916–9 September 2003 (Age 87) Oklahoma, United States
The Life of Bennie Thomas
When Bennie Thomas Bowman was born on 2 March 1916, in Oklahoma, United States, his father, Willis Matthew Bowman, was 33 and his mother, Nancy Axley, was 28. He died on 9 September 2003, in Redding, Shasta, California, United States, at the age of 87.
A farmer’s revolt known as the Green Corn Rebellion resulted due to frustration toward landowners and local authorities. A small group of wealthy landowners obtained property by fraudulent means which forced many Oklahoma farmers into a tenancy in 1917. Many farmers joined the Working Class Union who became hostile toward county officials. Hundreds of men gathered on the farm of John Spears in Sasakwa where they planned to march to Washington to repeal the draft act and end the war. Their plan included eating green corn and beef along the way, which gave the rebellion its name. An informer alerted authorities and their effort was halted as several groups collided with the rebels, firing shots into the air. The men scattered, three were killed, over 400 were arrested, and 150 were convicted and received federal prison sentences.
1934 · Alcatraz Island Becomes Federal Penitentiary
Alcatraz Island officially became Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on August 11, 1934. The island is situated in the middle of frigid water and strong currents of the San Francisco Bay, which deemed it virtually inescapable. Alcatraz became known as the toughest prison in America and was seen as a “last resort prison.” Therefore, Alcatraz housed some of America’s most notorious prisoners such as Al Capone and Robert Franklin Stroud. Due to the exorbitant cost of running the prison, and the deterioration of the buildings due to salt spray, Alcatraz Island closed as a penitentiary on March 21, 1963.
1941 · Comanche Code Talkers
Many Native Americans from Oklahoma were once again employed as code talkers during WWII to create a code impenetrable by enemies. Rather than Choctaw, a Comanche-language code was developed. Several of these men were sent to invade Normandy to send messages. None of the men were killed and the Comanche code was never broken.
1 English and Scottish: occupational name for an archer, Middle English bow(e)man, bouman (from Old English boga ‘bow’ + mann ‘man’). This word was distinguished from Bowyer , which denoted a maker or seller of the articles. It is possible that in some cases the surname referred originally to someone who untangled wool with a bow. This process, which originated in Italy, became quite common in England in the 13th century. The vibrating string of a bow was worked into a pile of tangled wool, where its rapid vibrations separated the fibers, while still leaving them sufficiently entwined to produce a fine, soft yarn when spun.2 Americanized form of German Baumann ( see Bauer ) or the Dutch cognate Bouman .