Published February 1, 2016
Can you help us out? We have found the oldest person alive in the US. Her name is Susannah Mushatt Jones of New York and she celebrated her 116th birthday on July 6, 2015. She was born in 1899 Lowndes County, Alabama and she’s officially recognized by Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person living.
The oldest person ever recorded was Jeanne Calment of France who died at the age of 122 back in 1997. The Q at Fairmount is searching for the oldest person alive today in Denver. We would LOVE to celebrate them by offering them a complimentary birthday party in our new facility. Can you help us out? Likely this person is 100 or older which means they have experienced the following things over the last century…
1900’s: It seemed this decade was about transportation as the Wright Brothers took to flight, Henry Ford created the Model T, Rudolf Diesel showed off his engine at the World’s Fair, and the NYC subway opened. The first radios, typewriters and cameras (the Brownie by the new Eastman Kodak company) came on the scene this decade as well. Although, someone born in this decade likely didn’t even know about these quite yet…
1910’s: In the decade of 1910’s the oldest person living in Denver may have been amazed to learn of the first explorer, Roald Amundsen, to reach the South Pole. They may have been heartbroken when they heard the Titanic sank, the flu epidemic killed 20 million people globally and World War One began. Closer to home in the US, Prohibition was enacted, but again, that probably didn’t effect them like…
1920’s: Probably in her early 20’s, the oldest living Denverite would have been amazed at Lindbergh’s first flight from New York to Paris. She may have read Robert Frost, who won a Pulitzer (one of four in his time). She would have seen Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs, and she would see that record remain intact for 3 more decades.
1930’s: In the 30’s, The Star Spangled Banner became the official national anthem. Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic (and later in the decade disappears mysteriously), and Al Capone, the notorious Chicago Gangster was sentenced to prison and ironically, Prohibition is repealed. Pluto is discovered and named a planet (later to be reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006). WWII begins and Hitler takes the stage as German fuhrer. The radio broadcast of Orson Welle’s “War of the Worlds” is broadcast, striking even more fear into Americans.
1940’s: Dairy Queen, and their signature curl begin. Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers. President Truman ends the military’s racial segregation. NBC brings the first official broadcast to television.
1950’s: Alaska and Hawaii become states. The oldest living person in Denver would begin watching color television where she likely heard about the development of the hydrogen bomb and the Korean and Vietnam wars. It was likely a lively conversation when Rosa Park refused to move to the back of the bus in the segregated south, spurring the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
1960’s: In the 1960’s, the oldest living person in Denver likely heard Martin Luther King deliver his famous, “I have a dream” speech. MLK would be assassinated that same decade, in 1968, as was President Kennedy in 1963 in Dallas. During this decade, the first artificial heart was implanted into a human, and Americans took man’s first walk on the moon. On TV, the Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and Sesame Street made its debut.
1970’s: The oldest living person in Denver saw Nixon become the first president to resign office following the Watergate scandal. They likely had conversation about Roe v. Wade and the mass suicide at the hands of Jim Jones in Guyana.
1980’s: Smallpox was eradicated during the 80’s and AIDS was identified. The first woman was appointed to the Supreme Court by the name of Sandra Day O’Connor, and Sally K. Ride became the first American woman astronaut. The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize while John Lennon of the Beatles, who sang of a world of peace, was killed in New York. Halley’s comet reappeared again for the first time since 1910, meaning the oldest living person in Denver could have potentially seen it twice. AOL began and started the modern internet experience.
1990’s: Rioting in Los Angeles begins after the officers in the Rodney King beating were acquitted on criminal charges (2 were later found guilty in civil trials). The Hubble Space Telescope was launched to continue our discovery and understanding of outer space. Dr. Kevorkian was convicted of second-degree murder in connection with assisted-suicides, while we watched the drama of the OJ Simpson Trial unfold. The Hale-Bopp comet sent cult members to their suicide, and the Columbine High School shooting shocked the nation. Tobacco companies finally came clean about the known harm caused by smoking and Toni Morrison won the Nobel prize for literature.
2000’s: President Bush signed an executive order in the fight against terrorist attacks, the first of its kind since WWII. First Lady, Hillary Clinton won the New York Senate seat. The World Trade Center was attacked by planes, causing them to crumble and killing approximately 3,000 people. The collapse of the mortgage industry sends the US into an economic crisis. America elects its first black President, Barack Obama. Google becomes a household name.
Overall, the oldest living person in Denver has likely lived through 19 Presidents, both World Wars and technology developments that span from the first car to organ transplants to the digital age. Truly, this journey must be remarkable, and deserves recognition. Imagine a birthday party themed after a specific decade or special event in the last 100 years! Let’s do this!