This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In Alaska

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• 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 Supreme Court and the Superior Court System.

• In 1985, Libby Riddles of Teller became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

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

In the nation

• In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's influential novel about slavery, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," was first published.

• In 1956, union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corp.

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

• In 1997, Liggett Group, the maker of Chesterfield cigarettes, settled 22 state lawsuits by agreeing to warn on every pack that smoking is addictive and admitting the industry markets cigarettes to teenagers.

• In 2002, Congress approved the most far-reaching changes to the nation's campaign finance system since the Watergate era. Accounting firm Arthur Andersen pleaded not guilty to charges it had shredded documents and deleted computer files related to Enron. (Andersen was later found guilty of obstruction of justice; it received probation and was fined $500,000.)

• In 2006, beginning the fourth year of an unpopular war, President Bush defended his Iraq record against skeptical questioning at the City Club in Cleveland. Anti-war activists marked the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq with a "Bring 'Em Home Now!" concert to benefit groups campaigning against the war. Paul Tagliabue announced he would step down as NFL commissioner after 16 years. Japan beat Cuba 10-6 in the title game of the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

In the world

• In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte returned to Paris after escaping his exile on Elba, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule.

• In 1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.

• In 1977, voters in Paris chose former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac to be the French capital's first mayor in more than a century.

• In 1995, in Tokyo, 12 people were killed and more than 5,500 others sickened when packages containing the poisonous gas sarin were leaked on five separate subway trains by Aum Shinrikyo cult members.

• In 1997, President Clinton and Boris Yeltsin opened talks in Helsinki, Finland, on the issue of NATO expansion.

• In 2002, three days ahead of a visit by President Bush, a car bomb exploded outside the U.S. Embassy in Lima, killing 10 people. Seven Israelis died when an Islamic militant blew himself up in a packed bus.

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