This Day in History

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1938, the town of Port Alexander at the south end of Baranof Island was incorporated. The Baranof Hotel formally opened in Juneau with a gala celebration.

• In 1939, home and office long-distance service was inaugurated in Juneau. It was no longer necessary to place calls from the Federal Building.

• In 1959, the Alaska House approved a salary of $25,000 for the governor of Alaska.

• In 1964, Mount Pogrommi, on Unimak Island, erupted, sending flaming chunks of rock 5,000 feet into the air.

In the nation

• In 1848, the Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war with Mexico.

• In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union armies in the Civil War.

• In 1876, the first successful voice transmission over Alexander Graham Bell's telephone took place in Boston as his assistant heard Bell say, "Mr. Watson, come here. I want you."

• In 1880, the Salvation Army arrived in the United States from England.

• In 1949, Nazi wartime broadcaster Mildred E. Gillars, also known as "Axis Sally," was convicted in Washington, D.C., of treason. (She served 12 years in prison.)

• In 1965, Neil Simon's play "The Odd Couple," starring Walter Matthau and Art Carney, opened on Broadway.

• In 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in Memphis, Tenn., to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (Ray later repudiated that plea, maintaining his innocence until his death.)

• In 1980, "Scarsdale Diet" author Dr. Herman Tarnower was shot to death in Purchase, N.Y. (Jean Harris, convicted of murder, served nearly 12 years in prison before being released in January 1993.)

• In 1996, Secretary of State Warren Christopher, accusing China of "reckless" provocations against Taiwan, said on NBC that U.S. warships would move closer to Taiwan.

• In 2001, President Bush told Americans in his Saturday radio address that he thought support for tax relief was building, while opening the door to considering a different sort of cut than what he had proposed and Democrats deplored.

• In 2005, former President Clinton underwent surgery in New York to remove scar tissue and fluid from his chest. Michael Jackson, clad in pajamas and walking gingerly, arrived one hour late to trial after the judge threatened to have him arrested him for tardiness; a back injury was blamed.

In the world

• In 1629, England's King Charles I dissolved Parliament; he did not call it back for 11 years.

• In 1785, Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin.

• In 1996, Hezbollah guerrillas launched a wave of bomb and rocket attacks on Israeli troops in south Lebanon.

• In 2005, Lebanon's president reappointed staunchly pro-Syrian politician Omar Karami as prime minister. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral in Mosul, Iraq, killing at least 47 people.

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