December 20

In 1974, Paramount Pictures released the film, The Godfather Part II to movie theaters across the nation. The film was co-written by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino co-starred in the sequel to The Godfather. The story picked up with Michael Corleone taking over the family business. Many critics felt that this film was better than The Godfather. The Godfather Part II was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won nine and was the first sequel to win a Best Picture Award. The American Film Institute ranked it the 32nd greatest film in history.

 

The Zodiac Killer committed two of his murders in 1968 in northern California. The killer’s identity remains unknown. The term Zodiac is used because of a series of letters the killer sent to local Bay Area newspapers  included four cryptograms, only one of which has been solved. The dates of the murders possibly occurred between June 4, 1966 and October 11, 1969.  The Zodiac Killer claimed to have taken 37 lives, but investigators agree on seven confirmed victims, two of whom survived.

 

The United States invasion of Panama began in 1989 and was called Operation Just Cause. George H.W. Bush was president at the time and the major result of the invasion was the ouster of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. Noriega had been a CIA informant as well as a recipient of funds from illegal drug dealers. After the May 1989 elections in Panama, Noriega took over the government by force. Justification for the U.S. invasion included safeguarding the lives of U.S. citizens in Panama, defending democracy in Panama, combating drug trafficking and protecting the integrity of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties over the neutrality of the Panama Canal. The invasion cost the lives of 23 American servicemen and approximately 500 Panamanians. Noriega surrendered on January 3 and was taken to the United States to await trial on drug and other charges.

 

Birthdays Today

 

1898Irene Dunne, American actress and singer (d. 1990)

1927Charlie Callas, American actor (d. 2011)

1946Uri Geller, Israeli-English psychic

1946Dick Wolf, American director, producer, and screenwriter

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.