July 4

In 1946, the Philippines attained full independence from the United States. It is the 12th largest nation in the world in population with over 99 million citizens. The Philippines had been ruled by Spain, Japan, and the United States after it was “discovered” by Magellan in 1521. The capital, Manila, has a metropolitan population of over 11 million. Filipino and English are the official languages and Spanish is often spoken.

Physicist and inventor, William Shockley announced the development of the transistor in 1951. Along with John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956. His efforts led to the growth of Silicon Valley in California. The transistor replaced vacuum tubes and revolutionized electronics. I fondly remember my first transistor radio back in the 1950s. It gave me portability in listening to music and baseball games.

Although Hawaii was admitted to the United States in 1959, the 50 star flag made its first appearance in 1960. In 1959, the 49 star flag made its appearance on July 4, 1959 after Alaska joined the Union. The 50 star design was proposed by a 17-year old student, Robert Heft as a school project. I always thought that 49 star flags were rare and valuable until I researched them on Ebay!

Birthdays Today

1924Eva Marie Saint, American actress
1927Neil Simon, American playwright and screenwriter
1930George Steinbrenner, American businessman (d. 2010)
1943Geraldo Rivera, American lawyer, journalist, and author
1962Pam Shriver, American 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.