This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1937, the first-ever extraordinary session of the Alaska Territorial Legislature convened to consider Social Security Legislation and to create the Department of Public Welfare.

• In 1959, acting Gov. Hugh Wade signed into law the bill creating the Alaska Supreme Court and the Superior Court system. The Detroit '59'ers, on their way to homestead the Kenai Peninsula, were delayed in Canada as the frame to their moving van cracked, and other assorted vehicles were stranded along 500 miles of Canadian highways.

• In 1985, Libby Riddles won the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

• In 1979, public television station KAKM in Anchorage topped its fund goal with a Spring Festival tagged "Television To Stay Home For!" An oil pipeline from Skagway into Canada began to draw controversy.

In the nation

• In 1976, kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery for her part in a San Francisco bank holdup.

• In 1987, the Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of AZT, a drug shown to prolong the lives of some AIDS patients.

• In 1998, President Clinton's lawyer, appearing before a federal court in Little Rock, Ark., declared that Paula Jones' evidence of sexual harassment was "garbage" unworthy of a trial. A tornado in rural northeast Georgia killed at least 13 people and injured 100.

• In 2002, Congress approved the most far-reaching changes to the nation's campaign finance system since the Watergate era. Arthur Andersen pleaded innocent to charges it had shredded documents and deleted computer files related to Enron.

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