December 9

The John Birch Society was founded in Indianapolis in 1958 by a group of 12 led by Robert W. Welch, Jr. The organization is named after John Birch who was an American Baptist missionary and U.S. military intelligence officer who had been shot by communist forces in China in 1945. The John Birch Society is fervently anti-communist and supports limited government. The headquarters is located in Appleton, Wisconsin and has chapters in all 50 states. It publishes a biweekly magazine, The New American.


The World Health Organization certified the eradication of the smallpox virus in 1979. Smallpox was a disease carried by a virus and was originally called “pox" or “red plague” in England. The last case of smallpox was diagnosed in October 1977. The disease killed an estimated 400,000 people in the 18th century, and during the 20th century smallpox caused between 300-500 million deaths. Vaccination campaigns helped to eradicate the disease.


A Charlie Brown Christmas made its debut in 1965 on CBS. It is a musical animated television special based on Peanuts by Charles Schulz. The story reminds viewers of the over-commercialization of Christmas and the true meaning of the season. The show earned an Emmy and a Peabody and has become an annual broadcast in the United States. ABC currently holds the rights to the show.


Birthdays Today


1898Emmett Kelly, American clown (d. 1979)

1902Margaret Hamilton, American actress, singer, and educator (d. 1985)

1909Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., American captain, actor, and producer (d. 2000)

1911Lee J. Cobb, American actor (d. 1976)

1911Broderick Crawford, American actor and singer (d. 1986)

1912Tip O'Neill, American politician, 55th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (d. 1994)

1916Kirk Douglas, American actor, singer, and producer

1922Redd Foxx, American actor and singer (d. 1991)

1934Judi Dench, English actress and singer

1941Beau Bridges, American actor, director, and producer

1942Dick Butkus, American football player, sportscaster, and actor

1957Donny Osmond, American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actor (The Osmonds)

1953John Malkovich, American actor 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.