May 26

Jay Silverheels (born Harold J. Smith) was born on the Six Nations Indian Reserve in Ontario, Canada in 1912. He was well known for his role as Tonto on The Lone Ranger television series. He had been a lacrosse player before getting into acting and had roles in films such as Captain from Castile, Key Largo (1948), Broken Arrow (1950). In The Lone Ranger, with Clayton Moore, Silverheels starred as Tonto in much of the series that ran from 1949-1957. He died in 1980 from complications from a stroke at age 67.

Singer Peggy Lee (born Norma Deloris Egstrom) was born in Jamestown, North Dakota in 1920. Her career spanned six decades as a singer, songwriter, composer and actress. She joined the Benny Goodman for two years in 1941. Her first big hit was Somebody Else is Taking My Place (1942) and followed it with Why Don’t You Do Right? (1943). Other major hits include Manaña (1948), Fever (1958) and Is That All There Is? (1969). Lee won three Grammy Awards and is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She died in 2002 from diabetes and a heart attack.

Actor James Arness was born in Minneapolis in 1923. He is best known for his role at Marshall Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke over a twenty-year period. He is the older brother of actor Peter Graves. His acting career came after his army service during World War II. His film debut came in The Farmer’s Daughter (1947). He was The Thing in The Thing from Another World (1951). From 1977-1979, Arness appeared in the television series How The West Was Won. He died in 2011 from natural causes at the age of 88.

Physicist and astronaut Sally Ride was born in Los Angeles in 1951. At the age of 32 in 1978, she became the first American woman in space. Ride flew twice on the Challenger in 1983 and 1984. She is also the youngest American astronaut to travel into space. After leaving NASA in 1987, she went to work at Stanford and then became a professor of physics at University of California, San Diego. Ride wrote or co-wrote seven children’s books aimed at encouraging them to study science. Ride died of pancreatic cancer in 2012 at the age of 61.

In 1977, George Willig (aka The Human Fly) climbed the South Tower of the World Trade Center. At that time, the 2WTC was the third tallest building in the world behind 1WTC and the Willis Tower. It took him 3.5 hours to scale the tower and NYC Mayor Abraham Beame fined him $1.10, one cent for each of the floors in the building. Willig then made appearances on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and The Merv Griffin Show.

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.