September 17

In 1976, NASA unveiled the first space shuttle, the Enterprise. It was built to perform test flights in the atmosphere and did not have an engine or heat shields and could not operate in space. North American Rockwell built Enterprise. Originally, it was supposed to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day (September 17), but a letter writing campaign prompted President Ford to rename it the Enterprise. Gene Rodenberry and most of the cast of Star Trek were on hand at the dedication ceremony. The maiden “flight” of the Enterprise took place on February 18, 1977 after being taken aloft by a Boeing 747.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords in 1978. Thirteen days of secret negotiations had taken place at Camp David, Maryland, a presidential summer retreat. The accords were a framework for peace between Egypt and Israel and were conducted and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter. Begin and Sadat shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.

Vanessa Williams was crowned the first African American Miss America in 1983. She had been a graduate of Syracuse University. A scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published nude photographs of Williams. She gave up her crown and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles. Williams went on to have a successful career as a singer and actress.

Birthdays Today

1907Warren E. Burger, American judge, 15th Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1995)
1923Hank Williams, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Drifting Cowboys) (d. 1953)
1927George Blanda, American football player (d. 2010)
1934Maureen Connolly, American tennis player (d. 1969)
1935Ken Kesey, American author (d. 2001)
1937Orlando Cepeda, Puerto Rican baseball player
1945Phil Jackson, American basketball player and coach
1948John Ritter, American actor and producer (d. 2003)

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.