May 11

Salvador Dali (born Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali I Domenech) was born in 1904 in Figueres, Spain. He was a prominent surrealist painter whose works became know worldwide. His most famous work, The Persistence of Memory was completed in 1931. His media included film, sculpture, and photography. Dali claimed that he descended from the Moors. His eccentric manner and his public personae often time attracted more attention that his works of art. The largest collection of his work is found at the Dali Theatre and Museum in Figueres and the second largest collection in in St. Petersburg, Florida. Dali died in 1989 at the age of 87. After the death of his wife, Gala, in 1982, Dali seemingly lost the will to live, and died from hear failure.

Comedian and actor, Mort Sahl was born in Montreal, Canada in 1927. He was among the first stand-up comedians who dressed casually and used current events in his humor. Sahl became obsessed with the Kennedy assassination and joined Jim Garrison’s team that investigated the murder. When his comedy turned to the Warren Commission, his popularity declined and many of his bookings were canceled. Sahl is listed at #40 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 greatest comedians of all time.

Formerly, the leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan Muhammad, Sr. (born Louis Eugene Wolcott) was born in New York City in 1933. He was appointed by leader Elijah Muhammad to be the National Representative of the Nation of Islam. In 1981, Farrakhan revived The Nation reopening over 130 mosques around the world. In October of 1995, he organized and led the Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

The song, Puff, the Magic Dragon rose to number two on music charts in 1963. Peter, Paul, and Mary sang this version. Leonard Lipton, a college student at Cornell, wrote the poem that became the basis for the song in 1959. Speculation was that the song contained references to smoking marijuana, but that allegation was firmly denied by Paul Yarrow of the singing trio. He maintains that the song simply relates to the loss of innocence in children.

In 1997, an updated version of IBMs chess computer, Deep Blue, defeated grandmaster Garry Kasparov in a six game match by a score of 3 ½ to 2 ½. The match was even after five games, but Deep Blue won a quick 6th game. It marked the first time that a computer defeated a world champion in match play. Kasparov claimed foul because he said that he did not have access to the computer’s recent matches, while the computer had studied hundreds of Kasparov’s previous matches.

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.