This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1959, the installation of Nike Hercules missiles activated the fourth Missile Battalion in Anchorage.

• In 1963, the former Revenue Cutter Bear, famous for her Alaska service, sank in the Atlantic.

• In 1975, the state House of Representatives passed an anti-smoking bill.

In the nation

• In 1917, the Supreme Court upheld the eight-hour work day for railroads.

• In 1918, Congress approved daylight-saving time.

• In 1931, Nevada legalized gambling.

• In 1953, the Academy Awards ceremony was televised for the first time; "The Greatest Show on Earth" was named best picture of 1952.

• In 1979, the U.S. House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business.

• In 1996, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination with solid primary victories in four Midwestern states. President Clinton rolled out a $1.64 trillion election-year budget, promising it would invigorate the economy, erase federal deficits and cut taxes.

• In 2001, California officials declared a power alert, ordering the first of two days of rolling blackouts.

• In 2003, President Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20 in Iraq.)

• In 2005, police in Citrus County, Fla., found the body of 9-year-old Jessica Marie Lunsford, more than three weeks after she disappeared from her bedroom. (A suspect, John Couey, has pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in Jessica's death.)

In the world

• In 1859, the opera "Faust" by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris.

• In 1945, during World War II, 724 people were killed when a Japanese dive bomber attacked the U.S. carrier Franklin off Japan; the ship, however, was saved. Adolf Hitler issued his so-called "Nero Decree," ordering the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands.

• In 1951, Herman Wouk's World War II novel "The Caine Mutiny" was first published.

• In 1976, Buckingham Palace announced the separation of Princess Margaret and her husband, the Earl of Snowdon, after 16 years of marriage.

• In 2005, Irina Slutskaya won the gold medal for the second time at the World Figure Skating Championships, held in Moscow; Sasha Cohen of the United States won the silver medal for the second straight year.

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