February 20

Comedian, actor, and musician Jackie Gleason was born in 1916. Probably most famous for playing Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners, he had his own television show which ran in the 50s and 60s. There were only 39 episodes of The Honeymooners produced in 1955 and 1956. He starred in Minnesota Fats (1961), The Hustler (1961), and the Smokey and the Bandit series.

Sidney Poitier was born in 1924 in the Bahamas.  He was the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Lilies of the Field (1963). His other successful movies included To Sir, With Love, In the Heat of the Night, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. The American Film Institute named him on of the greatest male stars of all time. Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Poitier is currently the Bahamian ambassador to Japan.

Astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962 in Friendship 7.  Glenn served as a U.S. Senator from Ohio from 1974 – 1999. In 1998, Glenn returned to space at age 77. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. John Glenn is the only remaining member of the original Mercury astronauts.

Hockey player Gordie Howe came out of retirement at age 46 to play for the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association in 1974. At age 51, Howe played in all 80 games for the Hartford Whalers. In 1997, he played on one final game for a professional hockey team making him the only player to play in six different decades (1940s- 1990s). Gordie Howe made the NHL All-Star team 23 times, won four Stanley Cups, won the Art Ross Trophy (six times) and the Hart Memorial Trophy (six times). He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972. He is often referred to as “Mr. Hockey.”

In 1998, at the age of 15, Tara Lipinski won the Olympic gold medal for ladies’ figure skating in Nagano, Japan.  The year before, she became the youngest ever World Champion in figure skating at the age of 14. Lipinski turned professional in 1998. Currently she is working with NBC Sports at the Sochi Olympics.

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.