Timeline

1909 - Billy was born June 11th.
1925 - Billy was sent to Preston School of Industry in Ione, the first of many incarcerations during the first part his life.
1928 - Folsom Prison: Billy was sent to Folsom Prison, May 19th, after getting into lots of trouble and escaping other places of detention.
1929 - Prison Escape: On August 27th Billy escaped from prison, after elaborate preparations.
1929 - Captured: On October 12th, 1929, Billy was captured and sent back to prison.
1930, 1931 - Escape Attempts: During both of these years Billy tried to escape Folsom Prison with another prisoner. Neither attempt was successful.
1937 - Released: Billy was released from prison, but was returned a few months later for robbery of a bus cash box.
1940 - Around 1940 is when the toothpick carnival building began, inside the prison. In 1942 there was a photo taken in the basement of the prison of a carnival built there.
1952 - Paroled: Brief was this parole as Billy was once again returned on August 17th for parole violation and auto theft.
1956 - PAROLED! This time for good. Billy met Irene Bliss, who would soon become his wife and the mother of his children. He brought his carnival to Newcastle, CA.
1957 - Married: Billy married Irene Bliss.
1958 - Son William James Burke (Billy) was born.
1960 - Billy and Irene brought the carnival to the Sacramento County Fair. That same year, son John David Burke (John) was born.
1961 - Son Ronald Bryan Burke (Ron) was born.
1966 - Daughter Margie Elizabeth Burke (Margie) was born.
1970’s - The Playland carnival was built.
1980 - 1990 - Billy and his second wife June managed apartment complexes, worked on carnivals and displayed carnivals at state fairs. One of his carnivals was shown at the World’s fair in Knoxville, TN in 1982.
1981 - Billy was interviewed for the evening news at the Solano County (CA) fairgrounds by Lynne Gormley of the Channel 10 News.
2001 - William Jennings-Bryan Burke died at age 92.

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