This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1918, The Wilson & Sylvester Sawmill at Wrangell, the largest in Alaska, was destroyed by fire.

• In 1945, A fire destroyed the Shepard Point Packing Company cannery near Cordova.

• In 1959, 56 lobbyists were registered in Juneau for the 1st State Legislative session. A "long session" of 70 days was predicted.

• In 1960, John Rader announced his resignation as the first Attorney General of the State of Alaska.

In the nation

• In 1837, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, was born in Caldwell, N.J.

• In 1931, Schick Incorporated marketed the first electric razor.

• In 1937, more than 400 people, mostly children, were killed in a gas explosion at a school in New London, Texas.

• In 1959, President Eisenhower signed the Hawaii statehood bill.

• In 1993, On Capitol Hill, the House approved President Clinton's deficit-reduction blueprint on a virtual party-line 243-183 vote.

• In 1998, Julie Hiatt Steele, a former friend of Kathleen Willey's, released a sworn affidavit undercutting Willey's claim that President Clinton had made an unwanted sexual advance toward her in 1993. (Steele said Willey had instructed her to tell Newsweek that Willey had confided the alleged episode to her immediately after it happened.)

• In 2002, Thirteen-year-old Brittanie Cecil, two days short of her 14th birthday, died two days after being hit in the head by a puck at a game between the host Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames; it was apparently the first such fan fatality in NHL history.

In the world

• In 1766, Britain repealed the Stamp Act.

• In 1922, Mohandas K. Gandhi was sentenced in India to six years' imprisonment for civil disobedience. (He was released after serving two years.)

• In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, where the Italian dictator agreed to join Germany's war against France and Britain.

• In 1962, France and Algerian rebels agreed to a truce.

• In 1965, the first spacewalk took place as Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov left his Voskhod II capsule, secured by a tether.

• In 1974, most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their embargo against the United States.

• In 1979, Iranian authorities detained American feminist Kate Millett, a day before deporting her and a companion for what were termed "provocations."

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