This Day in History

Posted: Friday, April 08, 2005


Due to a reporter's error, the Empire incorrectly identified the attorney who climbed atop the prosecutor's table during closing arguments of the arson trial against Rickey Gottardi. Defense attorney Steven Wells did so to demonstrate how difficult it would be to cut fuel lines underneath the DeHart's Marina dock and set them ablaze with a torch.

In AlaskaP>

• In 1881, the Harrisburgh post office was established. It was renamed "Juneau" the following January.

• In 1911, the first train load of copper ore arrived in Cordova from Bonanza. This was later celebrated as Copper Day.

• In 1944, the Alaska Juneau Mine closed down at midnight, virtually ending lode mining in the area. It was closed because of a government order mandating a wage increase.

• In 1957, Mike Stepovich took office as the ninth and last governor of the territory of Alaska, appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower.

• In 1958, Ripple Rock in Seymour Narrows was destroyed by the then-largest manmade nonatomic explosion in history. Two and a half years in preparation, $3 million, and nearly three million pounds of explosive removed the worst menace to navigation in the 850-mile Inside Passage.

• In 1969, a Port Chilkoot totem carver was contracted to turn a 150-foot spruce log into a 138-foot totem, to be the largest in the world, as part of the Alaska display in Japan's Expo '70.

In the nation

• In 1935, the Works Progress Administration was approved by Congress.

• In 1952, President Truman seized the steel industry to avert a nationwide strike.

• In 1970, the Senate rejected President Nixon's nomination of G. Harold Carswell to the U.S. Supreme Court.

• In 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth's record. The round-tripper was off pitcher Al Downing.

• In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.

• In 1995, former secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara, in an interview with AP Network News and Newsweek magazine to promote his memoirs, called America's Vietnam War policy "terribly wrong."

• In 2004, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice told the Sept. 11 commission "there was no silver bullet" that could have prevented the 2001 terrorist attacks.

In the world

• In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain.

• In 1946, the League of Nations assembled in Geneva for the last time.

• In 2000, the Central Intelligence Agency confirmed that personnel action had been taken following the mistaken bombing of the Chinese embassy during the NATO war against Yugoslavia; one employee was reportedly fired.

• In 2004, Iraqi insurgents released a videotape of three Japanese captives, threatening to burn them alive if Japan did not withdraw its troops from Iraq.

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