This Day in History

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1929, air passenger service between Seattle and Alaska was inaugurated by International Airways of Seattle.

• In 1959, Anchorage attorney Victor Fischer was named to the national committee of the American Civil Liberties Union.

• Plans were announced for a second group of Detroit residents to travel to Alaska to create a "Little Michigan" in Alaska. According to their leader, they had plans to "move the mountains and spill the glaciers."

• In 1969, British Petroleum hit oil at its Put River drilling site on the North Slope. Interior Secretary Walter Hickel asked the Senate Interior Committee for clearance of the first step toward construction of a huge oil pipeline from the North Slope to the Gulf of Alaska.

• Several sunken railroad cars were found in Resurrection Bay waters off Seward, apparently swept there by the 1964 earthquake's tidal aftermath. Each was reportedly filled with 10,000 gallons of aviation fuel.

• Four men on four snowmachines left Barrow for Fairbanks, attempting the first overland snowmobile journey. They succeeded, but two other groups who attempted it at the same time failed.

In the nation

• In 1743, the first recorded town meeting in America was held, at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

• In 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America's cotton industry.

• In 1900, Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.

• In 1923, President Harding became the first chief executive to file an income tax report.

• In 1943, Aaron Copland's orchestral work "Fanfare for the Common Man" premiered in New York, with George Szell conducting.

• In 1964, a jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, the previous November.

• In 1967, the body of President Kennedy was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery.

• In 2002, The government charged the Arthur Andersen accounting firm with obstruction of justice, securing its first indictment in the collapse of Enron.

In the world

• In 1939, the republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for occupation.

• In 1951, during the Korean War, United Nations forces recaptured Seoul.

• In 1965, Israel's cabinet formally approved establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany.

• In 1991, a British court reversed the convictions of the "Birmingham Six," who had spent 16 years in prison for an Irish Republican Army bombing, and ordered them released.

• In 1993, An independent U.N.-sponsored commission released a report blaming the bulk of atrocities committed during El Salvador's civil war on the country's military.

• In 1998, India's Congress party picked Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of assassinated prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, as its new president. An earthquake killed at least five people and left some 10,000 homeless in southeastern Iran.

• In 2002, Serbia and Montenegro signed a historic accord to radically restructure their federation, dropping the name Yugoslavia and granting greater autonomy to prevent the country's final breakup.

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