April 5

Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan was born in 1908 in Salzburg, Austria-Hungary. For 35 years, he was the main conductor for the Berlin Philharmonic and is regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century. He made a tremendous amount of recordings of classical music during his lifetime and estimates put him over 200 million recordings sold.

Born in 1916, Actor Gregory Peck was one of the most popular film starts from the forties to the sixties. He is best known for his role as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), which earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor. Peck had numerous Oscar nominations including for films such as The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), and Twelve O’clock High (1949). He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969. Peck died in 2003.

Actress and singer Gale Storm was born in 1922. I remember watching her television shows as a young child. She had a film career before turning to television. My Little Margie ran from 1952 to 1955 and The Gale Storm Show (Oh! Susanna) ran from 1956 to 1960.  Gale Storm has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She passed away in 2009.

American statesman and four-star general, Colin Powell was born in 1937 in New York City. He was the first African American to become the Secretary of State in 2001. Powell served in the Vietnam War and eventually held high-level government positions including National Security Advisor, Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I had told my students that I thought he might eventually become the fist African American U.S. President, but that, of course, did not happen. Watch Colin Powell give a TED Talk.

In 1951, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were sentenced to death for spying for the Soviet Union. The couple was accused of transmitting atomic bomb information to the Soviets. They were the only two people executed for espionage activity during the Cold War era. Their conviction provided more fuel for Senator McCarthy’s communist witch-hunt.

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.