March 17

Singer and musician Nat King Cole was born in 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama. He first came to popularity as a jazz pianist and then for his singing abilities. He was one of the first African Americans to host a television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show. He was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. Among his more famous songs are Unforgettable and Mona Lisa. Nat King Cole was a heavy smoker and he died of lung cancer in 1965 at the age of 45.

Dancer Rudolf Nureyev was born in 1938 on a train near Irkutsk, Siberia. He is one of the most celebrated dancers of ballet and modern music in the 29th century. His skill changed the role of the male ballet dancer. In 1961, Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union to France. He was not permitted to visit his mother until 1987 and returned again to the Soviet Union to dance in Leningrad. Nureyev worked with Margot Fonteyn form many years as his partner. He died in 1993 from cardiac complications.

In 1966, off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the DSV Alvin submarine found a missing American hydrogen bomb. A B-52G bomber of the United States dropped four hydrogen bombs after a refueling accident. Three of the bombs fell onto land and were recovered, while the fourth fell in the Atlantic and was finally recovered after a ten-week search. The bomb was eventually recovered from 2,500 feet below the surface.

In 1969, Golda Meir became the first female prime minister of Israel after serving as the Minister of Labor and Foreign Minister. She was known as the “Iron Lady” of Israel before Margaret Thatcher inherited the title. Meir had been born in the Ukraine and eventually lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and moved to Palestine in 1921. She died of cancer in 1978.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy was taken in 1973, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family. Photographer Sal Veder took the photo at Travis Ari Force Base in California and the photo has come to symbolize the end of the Vietnam War. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Stim was reunited with his family after being held as prisoner of war for five years.

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.