This Day in History

Posted: Monday, April 03, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1898, a snowslide at Sheep Camp on the Chilkoot Trail left 43 men dead.

• In 1924, a 5-masted sailing vessel loaded with lumber from Juneau arrived in Australia after a 72-day voyage.

• In 1959, the Atomic Energy Commission reported that Russian atomic tests were causing the fallout level in Alaska to rise.

• In 1966, the village of Grayling was officially dedicated.

• In 1969, Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Howard Pollack threw their support behind President Nixon's proposed anti-ballistic missile system installment in Alaska.

• In 1973, the First Annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race ended with 22 mushers completing the run from Anchorage to Nome, with Dick Willmarth finishing first.

In the nation

• In 1860, the legendary Pony Express began service between St. Joseph, Mo., and Sacramento, Calif.

• In 1865, Union forces occupied the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va.

• In 1882, outlaw Jesse James was shot to death in St. Joseph, Mo., by Robert Ford, a member of James' gang.

• In 1936, Bruno Hauptmann was electrocuted in Trenton, N.J., for the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh child.

• In 1948, President Truman signed the Marshall Plan, which allocated more than $5 billion in aid for 16 European countries.

• In 1968, the day before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "mountaintop" speech to a rally of striking sanitation workers.

• In 1974, deadly tornadoes struck wide parts of the South and Midwest before jumping across the border into Canada; more than 300 fatalities resulted.

• In 1979, Jane M. Byrne was elected mayor of Chicago, defeating Republican Wallace D. Johnson.

• In 2005, a day after the death of Pope John Paul II, the body of the pontiff lay in state. Millions prayed and wept at services across the globe, as the Vatican prepared for the ritual-filled funeral and conclave that would choose a successor.

In the world

• In 1946, Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma, the Japanese commander responsible for the Bataan Death March, was executed outside Manila, Philippines.

• In 1968, North Vietnam agreed to meet with U.S. representatives to set up preliminary peace talks.

• In 1996, an Air Force jetliner carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and American business executives crashed in Croatia, killing all 35 people aboard. Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski was arrested.

• In 2001, President Bush warned China it risked damaging relations with the United States unless it quickly released the American crew of a damaged Navy spy plane. (The plane had made an emergency landing in China after colliding with a Chinese fighter.)

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