May 16

Pianist and vocalist Wladziu Valentino Liberace was born in West Allis, Wisconsin in 1919. His career spanned four decades (1936-1986) and at the height of his fame, he was the highest paid entertainer in the world. Liberace performed 21 sold out shows at Radio City Music Show. Liberace embraced a lavish lifestyle and was given the nickname “Mr. Showmanship.” While denying his homosexuality while alive, an autopsy determined that he died from an AIDS-related illness in 1987.

Gymnast Olga Korbut was born in Byelorussia in 1955. She represented the Soviet Union in the 1972 Olympics in Munich and the 1976 games in Montreal. Korbut won four gold and two silver medals in gymnastics. In Munich, she won gold on the balance beam, floor exercise, and team competition. The “Korbut Flip” is still a very popular move. Korbut was named ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year in 1973. Her popularity caused many young girls to become interested in gymnastics.

The 13th Emmy Awards were held in 1961 and were hosted by Dick Powell. Winners in the major categories include:

  • Humor – The Jack Benny Show
  • Drama – Hallmark Hall of Fame: Macbeth (also won Program of the Year)
  • Variety – Astaire Time
  • Male Actor in a Series: Raymond Burr in Perry Mason
  • Female Actor in a Series: Barbara Stanwyck in the Barbara Stanwyck Show

The 1964 Preakness Stakes was the 89th running of The Preakness. It was televised in the United States by CBS. The winning horse was Northern Dancer and ridden by jockey Bill Hartack. Northern Dancer won by 2 and ¼ lengths over The Scoundrel and the horse won $124,000 for owner Windfields Farm.

In 1965, Campbell Soup Company introduced its Franco-American SpaghettiOs. Campbell’s had been searching for a pasta that would not make much of a mess. Other shapes that were tried included cowboys, Indians, spacemen, stars, and various sports shapes. SpaghettiOs were advertises as “The neat, round spaghetti that you can eat with a spoon.” In 2013, SpaghettOs sent out a tweet encouraging people to remember Pearl Harbor Day and that caused a big social media flap.

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.