July 11

In 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird was published in the United States. The novel, written by Harper Lee has become a classic in American literature and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961. It was adapted for the screen and starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. The novel is based loosely on Lee’s family and neighbors when she was ten years old. The book is widely taught in high schools across the nation as it deals with rape and racism.

The World Chess Championship began in 1972 and pitted challenger Bobby Fischer from the United States against the defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union. The match took place in Reykjavik, Iceland and was often called “The Match of the Century.” Fischer would win the match and become the first American born in the United States to win the title and ended 24 years of Soviet dominance. The last game was played on August 31 and Spassky resigned the next day and Fischer became the 11th World Champion.

Skylab fell to Earth in 1979. It was a space station launched and operated by NASA and had been launched into space in 1973. It was launched unmanned and had three manned missions that visited Skylab. It was damaged during launch and the first mission repaired some of that damage. Numerous scientific experiments were conducted during its life in space and thousands of photographs were taken. Skylab’s re-entry caused a big media event as people wondered where it would come down when it crashed. The San Francisco Examiner offered $10,000 for the first piece of Skylab delivered to its headquarters. NASA calculated that the odds of a person being hit were 1 in 600 billion. Skylab came to Earth southeast of Perth, Australia. No one was injured.

Birthdays Today

1920Yul Brynner, Russian-American actor and director (d. 1985)
1931Tab Hunter, American actor and singer
1934Giorgio Armani, Italian fashion designer, founded the Armani Company
1953Leon Spinks, American boxer



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.