December 2

In 1954, the United States Senate voted 65-22 to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy for conduct that “tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.” All Democrats voted in favor of the censure and the Republicans split evenly. McCarthy was a Senator from Wisconsin and was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Soviet spies and Communists inside the federal government and in society. “McCarthyism” is a term that refers to a using reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, and public attacks on a person’s character or patriotism. McCarthy finished the remaining two and a half years of his term and died in 1957 of acute hepatitis.

 

Pablo Escobar was shot and killed in Medellin, Colombia in 1993. He was an infamous and wealthy drug lord and cocaine trafficker, known as “The King of Cocaine.” He is said to have had a net worth of $30 billion. At its peak, the Medellin drug cartel was smuggling 15 tons of cocaine per day into the United States worth about half a billion dollars. The Colombian government finally cornered him using electronic surveillance and Escobar was shot and killed by the Colombian National Police.  

 

The Enron Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001. At the time, it was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history and resulted in 4,000 lost jobs. About 62% of Enron employees had their savings plans and retirement funds in Enron stock. Enron was estimated to have $23 billion in liabilities due to outstanding debt and guaranteed loans, much of it in dealings with Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase. Shares of Enron stock had been at $90.75 at its peak and plummeted to under $1 by the end of November 2001. Several executives of the company were indicted for a variety of charges and their auditor was found guilty of destroying documents. Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling went to trial on a 53-count indictment. Skilling was sentenced to over 24 years in prison and Lay was sentenced to a total of 45 years. Lay died in 2005 and Skilling is scheduled for release in 2019.

 

Birthdays Today

 

1923Maria Callas, American-Greek soprano (d. 1977)

1924Alexander Haig, American general and politician, 59th United States Secretary of State (d. 2010)

1925Julie Harris, American actress and singer (d. 2013)

1939Harry Reid, American lawyer and politician, 25th Lieutenant Governor of Nevada

1946Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer, founded Versace (d. 1997)

1963Ann Patchett, American author

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.