This Day in History

Posted: Monday, March 21, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1913, Governor Walter E. Clark signed the first law of the first Alaska Legislature, providing for women's suffrage .

• In 1969, the city of Fairbanks was named an All-American City by editors of Look Magazine and the National Municipal League.

In the nation

• In 1790, Thomas Jefferson reported to President Washington in New York as the new secretary of state.

• In 1963, the Alcatraz federal prison island in San Francisco Bay was emptied of its last inmates at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

• In 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

• In 2000, a divided Supreme Court ruled the government lacked authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug, throwing out the Clinton administration's main anti-smoking initiative.

• In 2004, the White House disputed assertions by President Bush's former counterterrorism coordinator, Richard A. Clarke, that the administration had failed to recognize the risk of an attack by al-Qaida in the months leading up to Sept. 11. Clarke's assertions were contained in a new book, "Against All Enemies," that went on sale the next day.

In the world

• In 1804, the French civil code, or the "Code Napoleon" as it was later called, was adopted.

• In 1871, journalist Henry M. Stanley began his famous expedition to Africa to locate the missing Scottish missionary David Livingstone.

• In 1945, during World War II, Allied bombers began four days of raids over Germany.

• In 1960, some 70 people were killed in Sharpeville, South Africa, when police fired on demonstrators.

• In 1979, the Egyptian Parliament unanimously approved a peace treaty with Israel.

• In 1985, police in Langa, South Africa, opened fire on blacks marching to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sharpeville shootings, killing at least 21 demonstrators.

• In 1995, thousands of Japanese police raided the offices of a secretive religious group, Aum Shinri Kyo, in connection with nerve-gas attacks on Tokyo subways that killed 12 people and sickened thousands.

• In 2000, Pope John Paul II began the first official visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to Israel.

• In 2004, Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid won the prestigious 2004 Pritzker Architecture Prize, becoming the first woman to receive the profession's highest honor.

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