This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In Alaska

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• 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 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 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order designed to prevent Japanese laborers from immigrating to the United States as part of a "gentlemen's agreement" with Japan.

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

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

• 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 1997, surgeons at Bethesda Naval Medical Center repaired a painful torn knee tendon in President Clinton's right leg; the injury had been caused by a freak middle-of-the-night stumble at the Florida home of golfer Greg Norman.

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

• In 2006, a reservoir dam in Hawaii burst, releasing a torrent of water that killed seven people.

In the world

• In 1939, the republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation of Czech areas and the separation of Slovakia.

• 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 1980, a Polish airliner crashed while making an emergency landing near Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.

• 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 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.

• In 2006, Iraqi authorities reported discovering at least 87 corpses - those of men shot to death execution-style - as Iraq edged closer to open civil warfare. Israel raided a jail in the West Bank town of Jericho, seizing six militants, after the new Hamas-led Palestinian government said it would release the men.

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