This Day in History

Posted: Friday, April 06, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1939, Fred Kubon was elected Mayor of Nome. A total of 137 votes were cast.

• In 1940, the sawmill of the Columbia Lumber Co. at Sitka was destroyed by fire.

In the nation

• In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, N.Y.

• In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Shiloh began in Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., as Confederate forces launched a surprise attack against Union troops, who were able to beat back the Confederates the next day.

• In 1917, Congress approved a declaration of war against Germany.

• In 1954, four weeks after being criticized by Edward R. Murrow on CBS' "See It Now," Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (R-Wis.) delivered a filmed response in which he charged that Murrow had, in the past, "engaged in propaganda for Communist causes."

• In 1965, the U.S. launched the Intelsat 1, also known as the "Early Bird" communications satellite.

• In 1983, saying rock-and-roll bands attracted "the wrong element," Interior Secretary James Watt declined to invite the Beach Boys to perform at a Washington Fourth of July celebration - a stand he later reversed.

• In 1987, Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis said on ABC's "Nightline" that blacks "may not have some of the necessities" to hold managerial jobs in major league baseball (Campanis ended up being fired over his remarks).

• In 1997, NASA officials announced they were cutting short the 16-day mission of space shuttle Columbia by 12 days because of a deteriorating and potentially explosive power generator on board the spacecraft. A blizzard shut down much of the northern Plains.

• In 2002, President Bush repeated his call for Israel to "withdraw without delay" from West Bank towns it had occupied since launching an offensive after a string of suicide attacks. Bush also demanded the Palestinians call "an immediate and effective cease-fire."

• In 2006, at the death penalty trial of al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani described his own harrowing experience in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) apologized for an altercation in which she'd entered a Capitol building unrecognized, refused to stop when asked by a police officer and then hit him.

In the world

• In 1909, explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson became the first men to reach the North Pole. (The claim, disputed by skeptics, was upheld in 1989 by the Navigation Foundation.)

• In 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.

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