This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1867, Secretary of State William Seward and Baron Stoecki of Russia signed a treaty for the sale of Alaska to the United States.

• In 1916, on the 49th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase Treaty, Delegate James Wickersham introduced the first Alaska statehood bill in the U.S. Congress.

• In 1917, Governor John F. A. Strong signed a bill adding Lincoln's Birthday (February 12) and Seward's Day (March 30) to the nine existing Territorial holidays.

• In 1969, Governor Jay Hammond prepared legislation to ban future offshore oil drilling permits in Alaska unless the Legislature and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game were assured proper environmental safeguards would be used.

In the nation

• In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.

• In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Ga., first used ether as an anesthetic during a minor operation.

• In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, a deal roundly ridiculed as "Seward's Folly."

• In 1870, the 15th amendment to the Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, was declared in effect.

• In 1870, Texas was readmitted to the Union.

• In 1964, John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall.

• In 1970, the musical "Applause," based on the movie "All About Eve," opened on Broadway.

• In 1973, Ellsworth Bunker resigned as U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam, and was succeeded by Graham A. Martin.

• In 1981, President Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr. Also wounded were White House press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent and a District of Columbia police officer.

• In 1986, actor James Cagney died at his farm in Stanfordville, N.Y., at age 86.

• In 2002, the United States joined other U.N. Security Council members in adopting a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw its troops from Palestinian cities, including Ramallah, where Yasser Arafat's headquarters was under siege.

In the world

• In 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Austria during World War II.

• In 1993, Israeli authorities barred West Bank Palestinians from entering Israel after two traffic police officers were shot to death.

• In 1998, Rolls-Royce was purchased by German automaker BMW in a $570 million deal.

• In 2002, the Queen Mother, Elizabeth, of England died in her sleep at Royal Lodge, Windsor, outside London; she was 101 years old.

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