December 12

Kenya gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1963. The early 1960s was an active time for the independence of many African nations. The Republic of Kenya came into existence in 1984 with Jomo Kenyatta as its first president. Today, Kenya has a population of 45 million and a per capita GDP of $1,269. The government consists of a two-part legislature and a president. The capital city is Nairobi (6.5 million) and the second largest is Mombasa (3.375 million. The “Big Five” game animals can be found in Kenya; lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephant.

 

 

Chris Evert defeated Martina Navratilova at the Australian Open in women’s singles in 1982. The Australian Open is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments in both men’s and women’s tennis. Wimbledon, The U.S. Open, and the French Open are the other three. At that time, the Australian Open was played at Kooyong Park in a suburb of Melbourne. The tournament moved to Melbourne Park in 1988. Navratilova was the first seed and Evert was seeded second. Evert won this tournament again in 1984 while Navratilova was victorious in 1981, 1983, and 1985.

 

The infamous “Snowplow Game” was played in 1982 between the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. The game was played at Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts in snowy conditions. With 4:45 left in the scoreless game, snowplow operator, Mark Henderson, brought a small John Deere plow onto the field to clear an area for New England’s place kicker John Smith. His field goal was good and the Patriots won the game 3-0. The following year, the NFL banned snowplows being operated during a game. Today the plow hangs from the ceiling on display at Gillette Stadium.

 

Birthdays Today

 

1915 – Frank Sinatra, American singer, actor, and producer (d. 1998)

1923 – Bob Barker, American game show host and producer

1924 – Ed Koch, American lawyer, judge, and politician, 105th Mayor of New York City (d. 2013)

1932 – Bob Pettit, American basketball player and coach

1938 – Connie Francis, American singer and actress

1940 – Dionne Warwick, American singer and actress

1949 – Bill Nighy, English actor and singer

1952 – Cathy Rigby, American gymnast and actress

1962 – Tracy Austin, American tennis player and sportscaster

19?? – Cheryl Putnam, American educator, wife of Lawrence Moskal

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.