Author Ian Fleming was born in London in 1908. He is best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family and worked for British Naval Intelligence during World War II. His first Bond novel was Casino Royale in 1952. Eleven Bond novels were written between 1953 and 1966. Over 100 million Bond books have been sold worldwide. Most of the Bond novels have been the basis for many films including From Russia, with Love (1957), Goldfinger (1959), and The Spy Who Loved Me (1962). Fleming was a heavy smoker and drinker and he died in 1964 at the age of 56 from a heart attack.
Basketball great Jerry West was born in 1938 in Chelyan, West Virginia. Known as “Mr. Clutch”, he led the West Virginia Mountaineers to the NCAA championship game in 1959. In the NBA, he played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 14 years. West was an NBA All-Star 14 times, led the league in scoring in 1970, and won a championship in 1972. His #44 has been retired by the Lakers and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979.
Gladys Knight (“Empress of Soul”) was born in 1944 in Oglethorpe, Georgia. She is a seven-time Grammy Award winner for songs she recorded in the 60s and 70s for the Motown and Buddah labels. She gained success with Gladys Knight and the Pips with singles such as I Heard It Through the Grapevine (1966), If I Were Your Woman (1970), and I Don’t Want To Do Wrong (1971). Gladys Knight and the Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Knight was married four times and has three children.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964. Its purpose is to create an independent state of Palestine and is recognized by over 100 nations. The United States and Israel has been considered the PLO to be a terrorist organization. The current leader is Mahmoud Abbas and its headquarters are in Ramallah, West Bank. Yassar Arafat was its leader from 1964-2004.
In 1987, Mathias Rust illegally landed his small plane near Red Square in Moscow. He flew from Finland to Moscow and was tracked by Soviet air defense. Soviet fighter planes never received permission to shoot him down and he landed on Vasilevsky Descent next to Red Square. Rust said that he want to create an imaginary bridge to the East and that his flight was intended to reduce tensions between East and West. Rust was sentenced to four years in a labor camp, but was imprisoned in Moscow instead. He was released in August of 1988 as a goodwill gesture to the West.
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.