December 28

The 1958 National Football League Championship has been called by many “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” It was played at Yankee Stadium between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants with Baltimore winning 23-17. It was the first NFL playoff game to go into overtime and was broadcast nationally. The game propelled professional football into its eventual rise to the top in the American sports world. Seventeen players who played in that game are now in the Hall of Fame including Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, and Roosevelt Brown of the Giants. Future Hall of Famers for the Colts included Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore, and Johnny Unitas.

 

President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law in 1973. It was designed to protect imperiled species from extinction. A team made up of scientists and lawyers wrote the law. Animal species that have benefitted from the act include the bald eagle, whooping crane, peregrine falcon, gray wolf, gray whale, and the grizzly bear. Today the United States Fish and Wildlife Service lists about 1,200 animals as endangered or threatened in North America.

 

In 2000, Montgomery Ward announced that they would be going out of business. Both a mail order and a department store chain, Montgomery Ward was founded by Aaron Montgomery Ward in 1872 in Chicago. Ward’s originally catered to rural residents who had difficulty in buying “city goods.” In 1875, the company offered a ”satisfaction guarantee or your money back” policy. The catalog became known as “The Wish Book” and serious competition came along in 1896 with the founding of Sears, Roebuck, and Company. In 1926, Montgomery Ward opened its first retail store in Plymouth, Indiana and by 1929 they had 531 stores in operation. After World War II, Sears surpassed Montgomery Ward in sales, and the company was often called “Monkey Ward” by its detractors and admirers. Its downfall began in the 1950s as Ward failed to follow the move to the suburbs. Mobil Oil acquired the company in 1976, but profits continued to dwindle. In 1985, Montgomery Ward closed its mail order operations and began to expand into electronics. Montgomery Ward continued to lose out to Kmart, Wal-mart, and Target and filed for bankruptcy in 1997. The company was finally liquidated in May 2001.

 

Birthdays Today

 

1922Stan Lee, American publisher, producer, and actor

1929Terry Sawchuk, Canadian-American ice hockey player (d. 1970)

1934Maggie Smith, English actress

1954Denzel Washington, American actor, director, 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.