December 27

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. They would leave the nation in 1989. The war was fought primarily by Soviet-led Afghan forces against the Mujahideen, who were backed by weapons and money from the United States, The U.K., and Saudi Arabia. Over a million people were killed during this time and many Afghans fled to Pakistan as refugees. The Soviets began removing troops from Afghanistan in 1988 and the war has been described as the “Soviet Union’s Vietnam War” because of its unpopularity in Russia.

 

In 1983, two years after Pope John Paul II survived an assassination attempt by Mehmet Ali Ağca in 1981, the Pope visited Ağca in prison and forgave him. The Pope also communicated with his family and met his mother and brother. Ağca was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy for the assassination attempt. After serving 20 years in prison, the Italian president granted him a pardon and Ağca was deported to Turkey. After spending more time in prison in Turkey for other offenses, he was released on parole in 2006. Ağca returned to prison after Turkish officials said a mistake had been made, but was released again in 2010.

 

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 2007. She was campaigning for the elections to be held in January 2008 and after a political rally shots and a suicide bomb exploded that killed her and 24 others. Bhutto actually died from striking her skull against the rooftop of her vehicle due to the force of the explosion. In October 2007 she survived the first attempt on her life en route to a rally in Karachi. At least 139 were killed in that incident. Bhutto had been the Prime Minister from 1988-1990 and from 1993-1996.

 

 

Birthdays Today

 

1901Marlene Dietrich, German-American actress and singer (d. 1992)

1906Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer, and actor (d. 1972) 1962 – Mark Few, American basketball player and coach

1943Cokie Roberts, American journalist and author

1962Mark Few, American basketball player and coach

1962Bill Self, American basketball player and coach

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.