TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Born in 1916, Hazel Bankston turned 105 years old on April 27 and celebrated with family and friends and people within the community.
Mayor Don Warren attended Bankston’s party and declared her birthday as “Hazel Bankston Day” for the city of Tyler.
In addition to Mayor Warren, the UT Tyler spirit squad came to show support and perform for Bankston.
The 105th birthday celebration was filled with food, slot machines, and cheers.
Staff at the Hamptons, decided to go with a Casino theme because of Bankston’s love for Showboat and other casinos in Louisiana.
“We have a little nip–that keeps you going,” said Bankston. “I just play the slots, and I have a favorite spot. I’ve got to go back to it.”
Bankston said that she loves to participate in Bingo with her friends and will be traveling to Shreveport to go to the Horseshoe casino in a few weeks with her friends.
At the start of the year in January, Bankston moved from her condo in Dallas to her new residence at the Hamptons Assisted Living Facility in Tyler. Since moving, Bankston has met many new friends and loves visiting and telling stories to her caregivers.
Although Bankston never married and had no children, she lived a full life. When Bankston was a baby her mother died from child birth and her father died soon after when she was 2-years-old. Bankston was raised by her grandparents in Pleasant Hill, Louisiana.
After graduating high school, Bankston joined other family members who moved to Longview.
Bankston worked for the federal government and after she took and passed the civil service exam, she headed to Washington D.C. as a typist. Bankston worked in the building where Abraham Lincoln hitched his horse. She later moved to FDIC in Chicago and then moved to Dallas to work for the Agriculture Department and retired from the appellate division of the IRS where she served as chief of records.
Prior to Bankston’s birth in 1916, the zipper and the bra were invented. From 1913 to 1914, the Spanish Flue killed 30 million people worldwide. Two years earlier in 1914, the first commercial airline flight took place along with the opening of the Panama Canal.
Some of the most notable inventions Bankston witnessed were:
- 1919 – Pop-up toaster
- 1920 – Band-Aids
- 1922 – Insulin
- 1923 – Q-Tips
- 1924 – Frozen Foods
- 1925 – Televisions
- 1930 – Scotch tape
- 1933 – Stereo Sound
- 1935 – Nylon
- 1938 – Copy Machine
- 1940 – Antibiotics
- 1941 – Modern day deodorant
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