Vince Lombardi, football player, coach, and executive, was born in 1913 in Brooklyn, New York. He is best know for coaching the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s when he led them to five NFL championships in seven years. The Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor. Lombardi was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 1971. Lombardi was the coach of the Packers from 1959-1967 and coached the Washing Redskins in 1969. He had a 73.8% winning percentage as a head coach in regular season play. He was the league’s Coach of the Year in 1959 and 1961. Lombardi died on 1970 from cancer at age 57.
Born Jerome Silberman, actor Gene Wilder was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1933. He began his career on stage and was first on television in 1962. His first major role was in the 1968 film, The Producers. Wilder wrote and starred in Young Frankenstein (1974), directed by Mel Brooks. Other major films include Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), Silver Streak (1976), and The Woman in Red (1984). His third wife was Gilda Radner.
Quarterback Joe Montana was born in New Eagle, Pennsylvania in 1956. Known as “Joe Cool,” and “The Comeback Kid,” he played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. He helped Notre Dame win a college championship before become a professional. With San Francisco, Montana won four Super Bowls and earned the Super Bowl MVP three times. In 1989 and 1990, he was the league MVP and in 1990, Sports Illustrated named him “Sportsman of the Year.” He was elected to eight Pro Bowls and was famous for his come from behind victories. In 19812, he threw a touchdown pass to receiver Dwight Clark that is still known as “The Catch” that gave the 49ers the win in the Super Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys. His #16 has been retired by the 49ers and the Sporting News has ranked him #3 on their list of the 100 greatest football players.
In 1963, Alabama Governor George Wallace stood in the doorway at the University of Alabama to block the admittance of two black students, Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood. Wallace was keeping his vow of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.” Federal marshals and Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach told Wallace to step aside, and Wallace did so after making a speech about states’ rights. The two students then registered at the college. At age 12, I remember watching this incident on television.
Also in 1963, Buddhist monk Trich Quang Duc burned himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection. He was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem. Photos of the self-immolation spread around the world and brought attention to the policies of the Diem government. Photographer Malcolm Browne’s photograph of the incident won a Pulitzer Prize. Shortly after, Diem announced some reforms in his government which were never implemented.
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.