November 13

The Bhola Cyclone struck East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and India’s West Bengal in 1970. This event is regarded as the worst natural disaster of the 20th century as it resulted in the deaths of over 500,000 people. Most people were killed as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the Ganges Delta, as the storm was the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane. The Pakistani government was criticized for its delayed handling of the relief following the storm. George Harrison and Ravi Shankar organized a benefit Concert for Bangladesh in 1971.

 

The dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial took place in Washington in 1982. It honors the servicemen who died during the Vietnam War as well as those considered missing in action. The Veterans Memorial Wall is the best-known part of the memorial complex that includes the Three Soldiers statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. The memorial receives about 3 million visitors each year and was designed by American architect Maya Lin. The wall contains the names of 58,272 service members who lost their lives in the war.

 

The volcano Nevado del Ruiz erupted in 1985 sending molten lava to a glacier causing a lahar (volcanic mudslide) that buried the town of Armero, Colombia. An estimated 25,000 died as a result of being buried in the mudslide during the night. Relief efforts were hampered by the quantities of mud. This event was the second-deadliest volcanic disaster of the 20th century, surpassed only by the 1902 eruption of Mt. Pelée that killed 30,000. I happened to be living in Colombia at the time and remember watching the horrific scenes of the rescue attempts on television. Food and clothing drives were held across Colombia to assist the survivors.

 

Birthdays Today

 

1938Jean Seberg, American actress (d. 1979)

1947Joe Mantegna, American actor, director, and producer

1950Gilbert Perreault, Buffalo Sabres ice hockey player and coach

1954Chris Noth, American actor and producer

1955Whoopi Goldberg, American actress, singer, and talk show host

1963Vinny Testaverde, American football player

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.