February 8

Birthdays for today:

James Dean (1931) His most famous film was Rebel Without a Cause (1955), but I especially liked East of Eden (1955). Dean was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and remains the only actor to have had two posthumous acting nominations.

Nick Nolte (1934) He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, twice for Best Actor and once for Best Supporting Actor. Nolte’s most notable films were North Dallas Forty (1979) and The Prince of Tides (1991)

Ted Koppel (1940) Ted is most famous for his ABC news show Nightline. He was born in England and came to the U.S. in 1953. Ted made the switch from radio to television during the Vietnam War.

Robert Klein (1942) Well-known to Boomers, Klein ‘s first major appearance was on a television show called Comedy Tonight. He has done stand-up comedy and appeared in films and television. My favorite comedy album of his is called Child of the Fifties (1972).

John Grisham (1955) Grisham is most noted for his legal thrillers. I believe that I have read every one of them. He had also served in the House of Representatives from Mississippi from 1984 – 1990. His novels include A Time To Kill (1984) and its sequel Sycamore Row (2013). The Firm (1991) has sold more than seven million copies.

Several Winter Olympic Games happened on today’s date:

 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (1984)
The Soviet Union has the most total medals with 25 and East Germany had the most gold medals with nine. The U.S. finished in fifth place with eight total medals. Phil Mahre (skiing) and Scott Hamilton (figure skating) may be names you remember for winning gold.

Albertville, France (1992)
They were the last Winter Olympics to be held the same year as the Summer Olympics, and the first where the Winter Paralympics were held at the same site. The United States finished fifth with five gold and 11 total medals.  Kristi Yamaguchi and Bonnie Blair won gold that year.

Salt Lake City, Utah (2002)
This was the fourth time that the United States hosted the Winter Games. If you count only gold medals, then Norway was the winner with 13 while the U.S. had 10. The total medal count went to Germany with 36 followed by the United States with 34. Apolo Ohno (speed skating) and Sarah Hughes (figure skating) won gold medals.

In 1986, 5 foot 7 inch Spud Webb of the Atlanta Hawks captured the NBA slam dunk contest.

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.