This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to appropriate $1 million to give Eskimos and Indians of Alaska exclusive control of the reindeer industry in Alaska.

• In 1959, Kit MacInnes won the All-Alaska Womens' Dog Sled Race in Anchorage.

• In 1959, The Atomic Energy Commission decided to look outside of northwestern Alaska to create a harbor with nuclear devices.

• In 1968, ARCO and Humble Oil hit oil at Prudhoe Bay.

• In 1969, A sizable asbestos deposit was discovered in the remote mountainous region near Eagle.

In the nation

• In 1861, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Ala.

• In 1885, Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was published in the United States for the first time.

• In 1930, the ninth planet of our solar system, Pluto, was discovered.

• In 1960, the Eighth Winter Olympic Games were formally opened in Squaw Valley, Calif., by Vice President Nixon.

• In 1970, the "Chicago Seven" defendants were found innocent of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention.

• In 1972, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty.

• In 1977, the space shuttle "Enterprise," sitting atop a Boeing 747, went on its maiden "flight" above the Mojave Desert.

• In 1988, Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as the 104th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

• In 1993, President Clinton hosted a campaign-style rally at St. Louis' Union Station to enlist citizen support for his economic plan.

• In 1998, President Clinton's foreign policy team encountered jeers during a town meeting at Ohio State University while trying to defend the administration's threat to bomb Iraq into compliance with U.N. weapons edicts. Sportscaster Harry Caray died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at age 83.

• In 2001, auto racing star Dale Earnhardt Sr. died from injuries suffered in a crash at the Daytona 500; he was 49.

In the world

• In 1546, Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany, died.

• In 1564, artist Michelangelo died in Rome.

• In 2002, Addressing Japan's national legislature, President Bush said the country's recession-ravaged economy was "on the path to reform," and he urged the Diet to help curb the spread of terrorism in the region.

France's Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat narrowly won the Olympic ice dancing gold medal.

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