March 18

Actor Peter Graves was born in 1926 as Paul Aurness in Minneapolis. His older brother is actor James Arness. His best-known role was probably as the star of Mission Impossible on television. I also remember him from the Saturday morning television show, Fury.  Graves also played Palmer Kirby in the miniseries, Winds of War. Later in his career he appeared in the Airplane! movies. He died in 2010 from a heart attack.

Author John Updike was born in 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He has published more than a dozen novels, of which, the Rabbit series is probably his best-known work. Many of his works have appeared in The New Yorker and he wrote regularly for the New York Review of Books. Updike, along with Tarkington and Faulkner, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once. Updike died in 2009 at the  age of 76.

Singer, actress, model, and producer, Vanessa Williams, was born in 1963. She was the first African American to be crowned Miss America in 1983, but she relinquished her title after nude photos of her were published. Her film career included roles in Eraser and Dance With Me. On television, she had a role in Ugly Betty, for which she received an Emmy nomination. Williams has 11 Grammy nominations to her credit. Colors of the Wind and Save the Best for Last were gold records. A DNA test revealed that her ancestry is 23% from Ghana, 17% from the British Isles, 15% from Cameroon, 12% Finnish, 11% Southern European, 7% Togo, 6% Benin, 5% Senegal and 4% Portuguese.

In 1965, Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, became the first person to walk in space.  Edward H. White, II from the second manned Gemini flight, Gemini 4, performed the first American spacewalk on June 3, 1965, for 21 minutes, on a 25-foot (7.6 m) tether.

White South Africans voted to end apartheid in 1992. A referendum, organized by F.W. de Klerk was held in March of 1992 and 68% who participated voted to end apartheid. In 1994, the African National Congress took over as the majority party in the government of South Africa.


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.