This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2004

In Alaska

• 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 1994, President Clinton notified Congress he was prepared to order bombing by U.S. warplanes in Bosnia.

• 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 2003, an arson attack on two South Korean subway trains in the city of Daegu claimed 198 lives. The arsonist was sentenced to life in prison.

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