This Day in History

Posted: Monday, March 26, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1958, the "White Alice" communications system began operation in northern Alaska.

In the nation

• In 1804, the Louisiana Purchase was divided into the Territory of Orleans and the District of Louisiana.

• In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first U.S. team to win the Stanley Cup as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens.

• In 1937, a 6-foot-tall concrete statue of the cartoon character Popeye was unveiled during the Second Annual Spinach Festival in Crystal City, Texas.

• In 1958, the U.S. Army launched America's third successful satellite, Explorer 3.

• In 1964, the musical play "Funny Girl," starring Barbra Streisand, opened on Broadway.

• In 1979, a peace treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the White House.

• In 1982, groundbreaking ceremonies took place in Washington for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

• In 1997, the bodies of 39 members of the Heaven's Gate techno-religious cult who had committed suicide were found inside a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Former drug counselor John G. Bennett Jr. pleaded no contest in Philadelphia to charges stemming from a $100 million charity fraud. (Bennett was sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud, tax violations and money laundering.)

• In 2002, Arthur Andersen chief executive Joseph Berardino resigned, bowing to mounting pressure as a result of the accounting firm's role in the Enron scandal. President Bush nominated Dr. Richard Carmona to be surgeon general.

• In 2006, Paul Dana, 30, died when he slammed into a stopped car during a warmup session of the Toyota Indy 300 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In the world

• In 1971, East Pakistan proclaimed its independence, taking the name Bangladesh.

• In 2002, Yasser Arafat decided not to attend a key Arab summit in Beirut, Lebanon; his Cabinet accused Israel of trying to "blackmail" the Palestinian leader with tough conditions for allowing him to go.

• In 2006, an Afghan court dismissed the case against Abdul Rahman, who was facing possible execution for converting from Islam to Christianity.

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