This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, March 14, 2004

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. Alaska crime was reported up 39 percent in one year (1967-68). 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, Warren G. Harding became the first president 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.

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

• In 1994, Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell, a longtime friend of President and Mrs. Clinton, resigned because of controversy over billings he'd charged while in private law practice. Secretary of State Warren Christopher wrapped up three days of meetings with Chinese leaders, who rejected attempts to link their human rights record with preferred trade status.

• In 1999, the Clinton administration conceded the Chinese had gained from technology allegedly stolen from a federal nuclear weapons lab but insisted the government responded decisively; Republicans disagreed and pressed for a comprehensive review of U.S. policy toward China.

• In 2003, actor Robert Blake was released from jail on $1.5 million bail, 11 months after he was arrested on charges of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Christopher Boyce, whose Cold War spying was immortalized on film in "The Falcon and the Snowman," was released from a halfway house in San Francisco after about a quarter-century in prison.

In the world

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

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

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