|Thursday, 23 October 2008 15:34|
Born: May 13, 1931 Crete, Indiana
Died: November 18, 1978 Jonestown, Guyana
Cause of death: Gunshot wound to the head.
Notable because: Early religious fanaticism helped him achieve notoriety for the deaths of over 900 followers.
Jim Jones was the American founder of the Peoples Temple, which is best known for the November 18, 1978 death of over 900 Temple members in Jonestown, along with the death of nine other people at a nearby airstrip and in Georgetown.
Jones was born in Indiana and started the Temple in that state in the 1950s. Jones and the Temple later moved to California, and both gained notoriety with the move of the Temple's headquarters to San Francisco in the mid-1970s.
To the extent the actions in Jonestown were viewed as a mass suicide, it is one of the largest such mass suicides in history, and the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the incidents of September 11, 2001. One of those dying at the nearby airstrip was Leo Ryan, who became the first and only Congressman murdered in the line of duty in the history of the United States.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 15:24|