July 6

Althea Gibson won the women’s singles championship at Wimbledon in 1957. She had won the French Open the year before and in 1957, she won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Championship. Gibson was the Associated Female Athlete of the Year in both 1957 and 1958. She was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971. Gibson had been born in South Carolina to parents who were sharecroppers and in 1930, the family moved to Harlem where she took up paddle tennis and then onto tennis. Gibson was the first African American player to win a Grand Slam event.

In 1964, the British colony of Malawi declared its independence from the United Kingdom. It was called Nyasaland when it was a British colony and is a landlocked nation in southeastern Africa. The capital city is Lilongwe and it is often called “The Warm Heart of Africa.” Its population is more than 16 million. Malawi is among the world’s least developed nations with its economy based on agriculture.

The Nigerian Civil War began in 1967 and would last until 1970. It was caused by ethnic and political conflicts with the people living in Biafra, a southeastern province of Nigeria. The Igbos of Biafra proclaimed their independence from the Hausas in the north and over three million people died from the fighting and famine that resulted. I remember showing my students, in the early 1970s, photographs of the starving children of Biafra and the ads on television asking for money for food to send to Biafra.

Birthdays Today

1921Nancy Reagan, American actress, 47th First Lady of the United States
1925Merv Griffin, American actor, singer, and producer, created Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (d. 2007)
1925Bill Haley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Bill Haley & His Comets) (d. 1981)
1927Janet Leigh, American actress and singer (d. 2004)
1935 – 14th Dalai Lama
1946George W. Bush, American lieutenant and politician, 43rd President of the United States
1946Sylvester Stallone, American actor, director, and screenwriter

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.