July 10

In 1962, Telstar, the first telecommunications satellite, was launched at Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was capable of relaying television images, telephone calls, and fax images. Telstar was owned by AT&T and was designed to send signals across the Atlantic. Telstar had been built at Bell Laboratories and was about 35 inches in length and weighed about 170 pounds. The outer surface was covered by solar cells that produced about 14 watts of electrical power. Telstar orbited the Earth every two hours and 17 minutes.

John Paul Getty III was the grandson of oil tycoon John Paul Getty. In 1973, he was kidnapped in Rome and a ransom note for $17 million was received for his return. The family at first thought it was a joke and the second ransom note was delayed by an Italian postal strike. In November of 1973, an envelope containing human hair and an ear were delivered to the family and further mutilation was promised unless $3.2 million was sent. A deal was negotiated and $2.9 million was paid and Getty was returned. Nine of the kidnappers were caught and two were convicted and sent to prison. In 1977, Getty underwent surgery to reconstruct his ear.

Boris Yeltsin was sworn in as the first president of Russia in 1991. At that time Russia was one of the 15 republics that constituted the Soviet Union. When Gorbachev resigned at the end of 1991, Yeltsin became the President of the Russian Federation and held that office until 1999. Yeltsin took the federation into a period of free market economy. During this period of privatization, much of the nation’s wealth fell into the hands of a few oligarchs. When Yeltsin resigned in 1999, Vladimir Putin was his chosen successor. Yeltsin died in 2007 at the age of 76.

Birthdays Today

1917Don Herbert, “Mr. Wizard,” American television host and producer (d. 2007)
1920David Brinkley, American journalist (d. 2003)
1926Fred Gwynne, American actor (d. 1993)
1947Arlo Guthrie, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1964Urban Meyer, American football player and coach

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.