April 16

Composer, conductor, and arranger, Henry Mancini was born in 1924 in Cleveland. He won 20 Grammy Awards as well as receiving a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. Mancini also won four Academy Awards and a Golden Globe. Some of his best-remembered songs include Moon River (1961), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Pink Panther Theme (1964), and Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet (1969). Mancini died in 1994 of pancreatic cancer at age 70.

Bobby Vinton was born in Canonsburg, PA in 1935. Known as “The Polish Prince” and had a number one hit with Blue Velvet (1963). Other hit songs include Roses Are Red (1962), Mr. Lonely (1964), and There, I’ve Said It Again (1963). Vinton has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been married to his wife, Dolly, since 1962.

Basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born as Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. in NYC in 1947. He played 20 seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 – 1989. Abdul-Jabbar was named the MVP of the NBA a record six times. He was a member of six NBA championship teams. Abdul-Jabbar played for UCLA where he played on three national championship teams under John Wooden. He also played a role in the movie Airplane! (1980).

In 1962, Walter Cronkite took over as the news anchor of the CBS Evening News. He held that post for 19 years and earned the nickname “The Most Trusted Man in America.” Some of the biggest stories in history occurred during his tenure, including the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the moon landing, Watergate, and the Iranian hostage crisis. Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards while Dan Rather followed in the CBS anchor spot. “And that’s the way it is on April 16, 1962.”

The Virginia Tech massacre took place in Blacksburg, Virginia in 2007. A senior at the school, Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others before he committed suicide. The massacre was the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history. It sparked intense debate over gun laws and gun violence in society.

Larry Moskal began his career as a Social Studies teacher in 1971. He graduated from the University of Buffalo with degrees in history and education. Larry taught Social Studies for the Ken-Ton School system, a suburban school system north of Buffalo, New York until 2005, and then taught and was the Dean of Students at San Miguel High School in Tucson. At Ken-Ton, he pioneered several online courses for high school students. In the 1980s, he spent three years teaching in Colombia, South America and spent four years at Lewiston-Porter High School. He currently is the PowerSchool Administrator for San Miguel accomplishing his work over the Internet.