February 25

Actor Jim Backus was born in 1913. His most notable roles included the voice of Mr. Magoo and Thurston Howell III in Gilligan’s Island. Backus got his start in radio before moving on to Hollywood. He had roles in A Dangerous Profession (1949) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955).

In 1964, Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) defeated Sonny Liston to win the heavyweight boxing title. Liston had become the champion after defeating Floyd Patterson in 1962. Clay had won a gold medal as a light heavyweight at the Rome Olympics in 1960. Liston failed to come out for the seventh round and Clay began yelling, “I am the greatest!” Liston later claimed he quit the fight because of a shoulder injury.

The 23rd version of the Grammys occurred in 1981. Winners that year included:

Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist – Sailing by Christopher Cross
Best Pop Vocal – The Rose by Bette Midler
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal – Guilty by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibbs

The last Lawrence Welk Show aired in 1982. ABC television picked up the show in 1955 after it first ran in Los Angeles. The show was famous for its “Champagne Music” and generally appealed to an older audience. Dick Dale and the Lennon Sisters were featured performers. Sponsors included Dodge, Geritol, Sominex (sic), and Aqua Velva. Lawrence Welk passed away in 1992.

The sports world was stunned in 1989 when the Dallas Cowboys fired head coach Tom Landry (The news broke the next day). His teams had won two Super Bowls, five NFC titles, and 13 divisional titles in his 29 years with the Cowboys. Landry is credited with inventing the 4-3 defense. He was named Coach of the Year in 1966 and helped get the Cowboys to be called “America’s Team.” Landry died in 2000 after his fight with leukemia.


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.