This Day in History

Posted: Monday, March 06, 2006

In Alaska

• In 1903, Homer Bird was hanged at Sitka for a murder committed on the Yukon.

• In 1910, the weekly newspaper The Alaska Citizen was established in Fairbanks.

• In 1913, Congress reduced the appropriation for the First Territorial Legislature to $46,260. Half the money was for legislators salaries.

• In 1973, voters went to the polls in a special election to choose between Emil Notti and Don Young to replace U.S. Rep. Nick Begich, who was killed in a plane crash.

• In 1988, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale was reported in the Gulf of Alaska.

In the nation

• In 1836, the Alamo in San Antonio fell to Mexican forces after a 13-day siege.

• In 1857, in its "Dred Scott" decision, the Supreme Court held that Scott, a slave, could not sue for his freedom in federal court.

• In 1933, a nationwide bank holiday declared by President Roosevelt went into effect.

• In 1981, Walter Cronkite signed off for the last time as principal anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."

• In 1996, a federal appeals court struck down Washington state's ban on doctor-assisted suicide. Lamar Alexander and Dick Lugar announced they were dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

• In 2001, calling it the "most accurate census in history," the Bush administration refused to adjust the 2000 head count. Bill Mazeroski was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, along with former Negro League player Hilton Smith.

In the world

• In 1834, the city of York in Upper Canada was incorporated as Toronto.

• In 1853, Verdi's opera "La Traviata" premiered in Venice, Italy.

• In 1944, U.S. heavy bombers staged the first American raid on Berlin during World War II.

• In 1957, the former British African colonies of the Gold Coast and Togoland became the independent state of Ghana.

• In 2001, 42 people, mostly students, were killed in a schoolhouse explosion in southern China. The government blamed a bomber, but parents said the students had been forced to make fireworks by school officials.

• In 2005, Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena claimed American soldiers gave no warning before they opened fire on the car carrying her to the Baghdad airport, killing an Italian agent who'd just won her freedom after a month in captivity. The White House called the shooting a "horrific accident" and restated its promise to investigate fully.

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