November 18

The first push-button telephone went into service in 1963. The Bell system introduced its Touch-Tone service and over the next few decades, it replaced rotary phones. The first Touch-Tone service was offered to customers in the Pittsburgh area towns of Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania. These original push-button phones had only 10 buttons and in 1968 the asterisk and pound signs were added. At first, mostly businesses made the switch to push-button phones, and it wasn’t until the 1980s that the majority of households switched.

 

Sandy Koufax announced his retirement from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966. He had six remarkable seasons from 1961 through 1966, but was forced to retire at age 30 because of arthritis in his left elbow. Koufax was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1963 and won the Cy Young Award in 1963, 1965, and 1966. Until 1967, the Cy Young Award was given to the best pitcher in both leagues. The Dodgers retired his #32 and Koufax was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972 as the youngest player ever to get into the Hall of Fame.

 

In 1978, Jim Jones led his followers of the Peoples Temple to commit suicide. Jonestown was the name given to the religious settlement in the South American nation of Guyana. The killings and suicides totaled 918 people including 270 children. Almost all the deaths were a result cyanide poisoning by injection and oral doses. A day earlier, Congressman Leo Ryan of California was killed after he flew to Jonestown to investigate the situation. The event was the largest single loss of American civilians until the events of September 11, 2001.

 

Birthdays Today

 

1899Eugene Ormandy, Hungarian-American violinist and conductor (d. 1985)

1901George Gallup, American statistician and academic (d. 1984)

1908Imogene Coca, American actress and singer (d. 2001)

1923Alan Shepard, American admiral, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1998)

1939Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet, author, and critic

1956Warren Moon, American football player and sportscaster

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.