This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, April 09, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1867, The U.S. Senate approved the Treaty of Cession, another step in the acquisition of Alaska.

• In 1957, The Alaska Railroad Hotel at Curry burned and three lives were lost.

• In 1959, An injured sailor from a Russian fishing vessel was airlifted to Anchorage for emergency surgery.

• In 1969, Ted Kennedy arrived in Anchorage International Airport for a three-day tour.

• In 1979, Sean McQuire finished his 10-month, 7,000-mile walk from the Yukon River to Key West Florida, in support of Alaska wilderness.

In the nation

• In 1682, French explorer Robert La Salle reached the Mississippi River.

• In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

• In 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after she was denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

• In 1947, a series of tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas claimed 169 lives.

• In 1959, NASA announced the selection of America's first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton.

• In 1963, British statesman Winston Churchill was made an honorary U.S. citizen.

• In 1965, the newly built Houston Astrodome featured its first baseball game, an exhibition between the Astros and the New York Yankees. (The Astros won, 2-1.)

• In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

• In 1996, in a dramatic shift of purse-string power, President Clinton signed a line-item veto bill into law. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the veto as unconstitutional in 1998.)

• In 1998, The National Prisoner of War Museum opened in Andersonville, Ga., the site of the infamous Civil War prison camp.

• In 2002, Former Arthur Andersen auditor David B. Duncan pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston to ordering the shredding of Enron documents, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Edward Lutes Jr., a Seaside Heights, N.J., police officer, shot and killed five neighbors, wounded his chief, then took his own life. Figure skater Michelle Kwan won the 2001 Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete.

In the world

• In 1940, during World War II, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.

• In 1942, American and Philippine defenders on Bataan capitulated to Japanese forces; the surrender was followed by the notorious "Bataan Death March" which claimed nearly 10,000 lives.

• In 1993, Four U.S. warplanes fired at artillery in northern Iraq; the Baghdad government denied afterward that the artillery had provoked the attack by firing at the planes.

• In 1998, More than 150 Muslims died in a stampede which occurred on the last day of the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

• In 2002, Palestinian militants killed 13 Israeli soldiers during intense fighting in a refugee camp in Jenin, West Bank. Britain said goodbye to the Queen Mother Elizabeth with a funeral at Westminster Abbey.

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