July 19

The 1952 Summer Olympics opened in Helsinki, Finland. Officially known as the Games of the XV Olympiad, Helsinki had been chosen as the site for the 1940 Olympics, which were canceled because of World War II. The Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China (Communist China), and Israel competed for the first time in these games. The Republic of China(Taiwan) withdrew in protest to the admission of Communist China. The United States won the most medals with 76 followed by the Soviet Union with 71, Hungary finished third with 42 medals. American Bob Mathias defended his decathlon title from the 1948 games. Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia won three gold medals in track.

Geraldine Ferraro was chosen by the Democratic Party in 1984 to be the vice presidential candidate to run alongside Walter Mondale. She was a member of the House of Representatives and became the first female vice presidential candidate to represent a major political party. Ferraro had grown up in NYC, became a teacher and a lawyer before being elected to Congress in 1978. She was also the first Italian-American to be nominated by a major party. She and Mondale lost the election to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the November election. She died in 2011 from multiple myeloma at the age of 75.

Atlanta was the site of the Games of the XXVI Olympiad that opened in 1996. A total of 197 nations attended the Centennial Olympics (The modern Olympics had begun in Athens in 1896.) bringing together 10,318 athletes. This was the first time that the Summer and Winter Olympics were held in different years. Athens, Toronto, and Melbourne had all bid for the games and Atlanta was selected as the first choice. The United States led the medal count with 101 medals, followed by Germany with 65, and Russia with 63. Twenty-four nations competed for the first time and 11 of the ex-Soviet countries competed together as the Unified Team. The games were marred by a pipe bomb that killed one spectator and wounded 111 others. Highlights included the performances of gymnasts Kerri Strug and Shannon Miller, Donovan Bailey of Canada, and Carl Lewis of the United States.

Birthdays Today

1922George McGovern, American lieutenant and politician (d. 2012)
1924Pat Hingle, American actor (d. 2009)
1941Vikki Carr, American singer and actress
1946Ilie Năstase, Romanian tennis player

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.