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Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016

A special birthday for my great-grandma

Posted Thursday, June 10, 2010, at 7:38 AM

Sunday is definitely a day for my family to celebrate as my great-grandma, Beulah Fougerousse, will turn 95 years old. Happy Birthday, Grandma!

At 95, she still lives on her own and gets around amazing well ... and she can still make the best noodles I've ever had. Nothing beats Grandma's noodles ... or her dressing ... or pumpkin pie ... or just about anything she cooks! She may be 95, but that woman can cook!

Throughout her lifetime, Grandma has lived through so many historical events:

*1917 -- U.S. Virgin Island purchased from Denmark.

*1918 -- World War I ends

*1919 -- 19th Amendment is ratified granting women the right to vote

*1927 -- Charles Lindberg makes first solo non-stop transatlantic flight in his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis

*1929 -- Great Depression beings

*1931 -- Empire State Building opens, The Star Spangled Banner is adopted as national anthem

*1932 -- Amelia Earhart becomes first female to complete a solo, non-stop transatlantic flight

*1938 -- Fair Labor Standards Act passed setting first minimum wage at 25 cents an hour

*1939 -- Nazi Germany invades Poland, World War II begins

*1941 -- Attack on Pearl Harbor, United States enters WW II

*1944 -- D-Day

*1945 -- Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

*1947 -- Jackie Robinson breaks baseball's color barrier

*1949 -- Germany divided into East and West

*1959 -- Alaska and Hawaii become states

*1961 -- Vietnam War officially begins

*1962 -- John Glenn becomes first American to orbit Earth

*1963 -- President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Martin Luther King Jr. delivers "I Have A Dream" speech

*1968 -- Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles.

*1971 -- 26th Amendment is ratified, lowering voting age from 21 to 18.

*1974 -- President Richard Nixon resigns over Watergate

*1981 -- Sandra Day O'Connor becomes first women to serve on United States Supreme Court

*1986 -- Space shuttle Challenger explodes after liftoff, killing all seven crew members

*1989 -- Berlin Wall falls

*1990 -- Oklahoma City bombing kills 168 people

*1999 -- President Bill Clinton is acquitted in an impeachment trial

*2001 -- September 11 attacks kills more than 3,000 people

*2001 -- Invasion of Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom

*2003 -- Invasion of Iraq Operation Iraqi Freedom, space shuttle Columbia explodes upon re-entry to Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven aboard

*2008 -- Barack Obama becomes first African American to be elected as President of the United States of America

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with Grandma Beulah and Grandpa Harry (the late Harry Fougerousse). Summers were spent in the garden with Grandpa picking green beans, strawberries, tomatoes, and other fresh fruits and veggies and in the kitchen with Grandma watching her cook and helping every chance I could. Grandma would fix Grandpa and me bacon and eggs for breakfast nearly every day -- sometimes Grandpa and I would have Grapenuts or he'd fix pancakes (never using a spatula to turn them, but always flipping the flap jack in the air and catching it in the pan).

Grandma is always telling stories of her childhood. For example, when she went to school they didn't have buses. Her dad contacted the trustee about it and a man with a covered wagon offered to take the kids to and from school. So, Grandma rode to school in the back of a covered wagon with a kerosene heater to keep them warm.

When Grandma was 12, her mom had twin daughters. Back then, Grandma said people didn't talk about pregnancies like they do now. Grandma said she never realized her mom was expecting. One day at school, a classmate told Grandma that her mom (Grandma's mom) was going to have a baby. Grandma, thinking the little girl was disrespecting her mom, smacked her in the face. When Grandma got home from school that day, she had twin sisters waiting on her.

As a child, Grandma was the first one in her neighborhood to get a bicycle. She saved her money to purchase one. Grandma talks about being mad at the neighborhood kids, because everyone wanted to ride her bike and she was so excited to have it and didn't want to share.

Recently, Grandma was talking about her 16th birthday. Her dad presented her with her driver's license for her birthday present. Grandma didn't have to take a test or even be present to apply for the license herself.

I could sit for hours listening to Grandma's stories. They're so interesting and definitely tell of a time so different from that we live in now.

I'm so blessed to have spent 28 years getting to know Grandma. She's truly one of greatest people I've ever met. I'm even more blessed that my children are getting the opportunity to get know their great-great grandma.

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

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Halea Franklin
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