March 7

Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for the invention of the telephone in 1876. Bell, born in Scotland, was a scientist, inventor, innovator, and had worked with elocution and speech. He was one of the founders of the National Geographic Society. Bell was competing with Elisha Grey for the first practical telephone. Bell’s most successful trial had occurred on March 10, 1876 when he transmitted the word, “Mr. Watson – Come here – I need to see you.” Later in life Bell work on inventions in the areas of metal detectors, hydrofoils, and aeronautics.

It is hard to forget the tears of Tammy Faye (Baker) Messner. She was born in 1942. She was a Christian singer, evangelist, entrepreneur, talk show host, and a televangelist, and eventually a convicted felon. She was married to Jim Baker from 1961-1992. Together, they hosted the PTL (Praise the Lord) Club, which aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Their empire collapsed when it was discovered that donation money had been used to silence Jessica Hahn who claimed a sexual relationship with Jim Baker. Baker was eventually sentenced to 45 years in prison for 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy. She passed away in 2007.

The 18th Academy Awards took place in 1946 at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and hosted by Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart. Major winners that year included Joan Crawford as Best Actress (Mildred Pierce), Ray Milland for Best Actor (The Lost Weekend), and The Lost Weekend as the Best Motion Picture.

Football player Franco Harris was born in 1950. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks. He was the 13th overall draft pick in 1972. Harris was the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1972, was a 9 time Pro Bowl selection, and his number 32 has been retired by the Steelers. Harris was a key player in the famous “Immaculate Reception” in 1972 when deflected pass fell into his hands and he scored a touchdown to win the game. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

About 65 million viewers saw the television version of Peter Pan starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard in 1955, a record at that time. The Broadway production had occurred in 1954 in the Winter Garden Theater in NYC. The television version, produced by NBC, was done as a live broadcast. Another live version was shown in 1960 with a slightly different cast because the child actors had gotten older.  A recorded version of the 1960 version was rebroadcast in 1963, 1966, and 1973 and was sent to the Disney Channel for many more rebroadcasts.

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.