This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1918, Wrangell's Wilson & Sylvester Sawmill, 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 first 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 Inc. 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 1994, the space shuttle Columbia returned from a two-week mission. Published reports said first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton had made nearly $100,000 from the commodities market in the late 1970s on an initial investment of $1,000.

• In 2003, a jury in Corpus Christi, Texas, cleared Bayer Corp. of liability in a $560 million lawsuit that accused the pharmaceutical giant of ignoring research linking the cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol to dozens of deaths. In Salt Lake City, Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee were charged with aggravated kidnapping, sexual assault and burglary in the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, who was found with them six days earlier. Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes won the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete.

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• In 1766, Britain repealed the Stamp Act.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."

• In 1994, Muslim and Croat leaders signed agreements to create a Bosnian federation. The U.N. Security Council unanimously condemned the Hebron mosque massacre.

• In 1999, the Kosovar Albanian delegation signed a U.S.-sponsored peace accord following talks in Paris. The Clinton administration warned NATO would act against Serb targets if Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic rejected the agreement.

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