October 18

Texas Instruments announced the development of the first transistor radio in 1954. It was a small portable radio that used transistor-based circuitry and billions of them were produced in the 1960s and 1970s. The radio instigated a trend, allowing people to take their music with them. Devices such as portable CD players and boom boxes eventually replaced them with better audio quality. Ball Laboratories had invented the transistor in 1947 and they replaced the vacuum tube making the device using them lighter and more portable.

The New York World’s Fair closed down after completing its first season in 1964. The World’s Fair would reopen again on April 21, 1965. This was the first world’s fair to be held in New York City and its theme was “Peace Through Understanding.” The Unisphere was the signature building of the fair. More that 51 million visitors attended the fair, but that number was far less than expected. American manufacturers of consumer goods dominated the fair and visitors were given a taste of the future of computers.

In 1968, track and field athlete, Bob Beamon broke the long lump record by almost two feet. The feat was accomplished during the Summer Olympics at Mexico City. His jump was 29 feet, 2 ½ inches and he had broken the previous record by 21 inches, ¾ inches. Beamon’s record would stand for the next 23 years until Mike Powell broke it in 1991. Of course, many claimed the high altitude of Mexico City as a major reason for the record jump.

Birthdays Today

1919Pierre Trudeau, Canadian lawyer, academic, and politician, 15th Prime Minister of Canada (d. 2000)
1921Jesse Helms, American soldier, journalist, and politician (d. 2008)
1926Chuck Berry, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1927George C. Scott, American actor and director (d. 1999)
1935Peter Boyle, American actor (d. 2006) 1939 – Mike Ditka, American football player, coach, and sportscaster
1939Lee Harvey Oswald, American assassin of John F. Kennedy (d. 1963)
1951Pam Dawber, American actress
1960Jean-Claude Van Damme, Belgian martial artist, actor, and producer, and screenwriter

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.