April 30

Willie Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas in 1933. He is a country music singer and songwriter, author, poet, actor, and activist. In the 1950s he wrote songs that would become country standards such as Hello Walls, Pretty Paper, and Crazy. In 1964 he joined the Grand Ole Opry. With Columbia Records he recorded the album Red Headed Stranger. He recorded major hits with On the Road Again (1980), Always On My Mind (1982), and Mama, and Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys (1978 with Waylon Jennings). Nelson lives in Hawaii in a self-sustaining community.

Basketball player and coach Isiah Thomas was born in Chicago in 1961. He played college basketball at Indiana and played in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons. Thomas is a 12-time All-Star and was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and is a member of the Hall of Fame. He led the Pistons to two championships in 1989 and 1990. Thomas went on to coach the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks. After two seasons as coach of Florida International University, he has joined the basketball media.

The Fall of Saigon culminated in 1975 with the capture of Saigon by forces of North Vietnam. It marked the end of the Vietnam War and the start of a transition period to reunite the two parts of Vietnam. The last two U.S. servicemen killed in the Vietnam War were killed during the battle. After the Vietnamese flag was raised over the palace, the South Vietnamese government surrendered. Eventually Saigon would be renamed Hoc Chi Minh City.

In 1993, tennis professional Monica Seles was stabbed in the back by a man during a match in Hamburg, Germany. Her mentally disturbed attacker was arrested and never jailed as he was ruled psychologically abnormal and received two year’s probation and treatment. Seles did not return to tennis for two years. Seles became a U.S. citizen in 1994, won a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, and retired in 2008. In her career, Seles won the Australian Open four times, the French Open three times, and the U.S. Open twice. She was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009.

The media released disturbing photos from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004. The photos showed that U.S. personnel had physically abused, sexually abused, and tortured prisoners in their custody. The photos caused outraged around the world and led to major changes in U.S. policies in Iraq.

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.