August 12

In 1981, the IBM Personal Computer was released, which set the standards for a computing platform for personal computers. At that time, International Business Machines dominated the computer industry, but was behind in the field of minicomputers. Major players included Commodore, Apple, Texas Instruments, and Tandy. The price for an IBM Personal Computer started at $1,565 for a computer that had 16K of RAM and a color graphics adaptor. Ads for the computer featured Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp character. Its success was immediate and by 1984, IBM’s PC revenue was more than twice that of Apple. Other manufacturers began to make and sell “IBM Compatibles.”

Canada, Mexico, and the United States announced that they had completed a trade agreement called NAFTA in 1992. The North American Free Trade Agreement would go into effect on January 1, 1994. The trade bloc of these three nations is the largest in the world. The goal of NAFTA is to eliminate barriers to trade and investment among the three nations. It eliminated many tariffs between the United States and Mexico. Most trade between the United States and Canada was already tariff-free. The agreement proved to be controversial with proponents and opponents.

The 1994 World Series was canceled for that year because of a player’s strike that began on August 12. The Montreal Expos and the New York Yankees had the best records in their respective leagues at the time of the stoppage. The Toronto Blue Jays had won the 1992 and 1993 World Series and Canadians were hoping that another Canadian team would win in 1994. Because the World Series was not played in 1994, the Blue Jays held on to the official World Series trophy for another year.

Birthdays Today

1910Jane Wyatt, American actress and singer (d. 2006)
1925Norris McWhirter, Scottish publisher and activist co-founded the Guinness World Records (d. 2004)
1925Ross McWhirter, Scottish publisher and activist, co-founded the Guinness World Records (d. 1975)
1929Buck Owens, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Buckaroos) (d. 2006)
1939George Hamilton, American actor and producer

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.