This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1927, the Sunny Point Cannery at Ketchikan was destroyed by fire.

• In 1952, a fire that started late the previous evening destroyed much of downtown Wrangell.

• In 1979, avalanches closed the road to Seward.

In the nation

• In 1638, religious dissident Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

• In 1882, Congress outlawed polygamy.

• In 1933, during Prohibition, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a measure to make wine and beer containing up to 3.2 percent alcohol legal.

• In 1941, the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state went into operation.

• In 1972, Congress sent the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to the states for ratification. (It fell three states short of the 38 needed for approval.)

• In 1995, shouting erupted in the U.S. House of Representatives as Democrats bitterly accused majority Republicans of trying to ram through a mean-spirited welfare overhaul bill. Convicted Long Island Rail Road gunman Colin Ferguson was sentenced to life in prison for killing six people.

• In 2000, some 1,100 women denied jobs with the now-defunct U.S. Information Agency and its broadcast branch, the Voice of America, won $508 million from the government in the largest-ever settlement of a federal sex discrimination case.

• In 2004, Terry Nichols went on trial for his life in the Oklahoma City bombing. (Nichols, already serving a life sentence for his conviction on federal charges, was found guilty of 161 state murder charges, but was again spared the death penalty when the jury couldn't agree on his sentence.)

In the world

• In 1765, Britain enacted the Stamp Act to raise money from the American colonies. (The Act was repealed the following year.)

• In 1895, Auguste and Louis Lumiere showed their first movie to an invited audience in Paris.

• In 1945, the Arab League was formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt.

• In 1946, the British mandate in Transjordan came to an end.

• In 1978, Karl Wallenda, the 73-year-old patriarch of "The Flying Wallendas" high-wire act, fell to his death while attempting to walk a cable strung between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

• In 2000, journeying to the cradle of Christianity, Pope John Paul II knelt and prayed in Bethlehem at the traditional spot of Jesus' birth.

• In 2004, Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, enraging Palestinians.

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