May 5

Actor Tyrone Power was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1914. He appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s as a swashbuckler or romantic lead. His better-known films include The Mark of Zorro (1940), Blood and Sand (1941), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and Captain from Castile (1947). Power’s handprints and footprints were put in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1937 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Power was my mother’s favorite actor. He died in 1958 from a heart attack at age 44.

Tammy Wynette (born Virginia Wynette Pugh) was born in Bounds, Mississippi in 1942. She was a country music singer and songwriter and a country music icon. Wynette was called “The First Lady of Country Music” and here best-known song was Stand by Your Man (1968). In the late 60s and early 70s she produced 23 number one country songs. Other famous hits include He Loves Me All the Way (1970), ‘Til I Get It Right (1972) and You and Me (1976). Wynette was married five times, including one with George Jones (1969 – 1975). She died in 1998 from a blood clot in her lungs.

Alan Shepard became the first American to travel to space in 1961. I remember watching the flight on a black and white television in elementary school. Ten years later, he would travel to the moon to become the fifth person to set foot on the moon in the Apollo 14 mission. This was when he hit two golf balls on the moon. Shepard’s flight status had been interrupted for five years due to an inner ear disease. Shepard had been a naval pilot before becoming one of the seven Mercury astronauts. He died from leukemia in 1998 at age 74.

Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby in 1973 with a record time of 1:59.4 seconds, a record that still stands today. He is considered to be one of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time. Secretariat was a large chestnut colt, trained by Lucien Laurin, and mainly ridden by jockey Ton Turcotte. The horse earned over 1.3 million dollars for owner Penny Chenery. After the Belmont Stakes that year, Secretariat became the 9th Triple Crown winner, the first one in 25 years. Secretariat was euthanized in 1989 because of an incurable hoof infection.

In 1994, American teenager Michael P. Fay was caned in Singapore for theft and vandalism, a punishment that many in the United States deemed to be excessive for a teenager committing a non-violent crime. However, significant numbers of Americans were also in favor of it. Fay was 18 years old at the time. His number of cane strokes was reduced from six to four after American official pleaded for leniency.

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.