This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, April 11, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1917, the Marconi Wireless Station in Juneau was taken over by the Navy as a war measure.

• In 1969, the Alaska Senate Policy Committee asked U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens to deplore Sen. Edward Kennedy's recent Anchorage trip as a publicity stunt.

• In 1975, Joann Osterud was hired as Alaska Airlines' first female pilot.

• In 1979, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled the Bierne Homestead Initiative unconstitutional. Authored by Anchorage Rep. Mike Bierne, the measure would have transferred up to 30 million acres of state land into private ownership.

In the nation

• In 1898, President McKinley asked Congress for a declaration of war against Spain.

• In 1899, the treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.

• In 1921, Iowa became the first state to impose a cigarette tax.

• In 1951, President Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of his commands in the Far East.

• In 1953, Oveta Culp Hobby became the first secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

• In 1968, President Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

• In 1970, Apollo 13 blasted off on its ill-fated mission to the moon. (The astronauts managed to return safely).

• In 1979, Idi Amin was deposed as president of Uganda as rebels and exiles backed by Tanzanian forces seized control.

• In 1994, the White House disclosed that President and Mrs. Clinton had failed to report $6,498 in income that the first lady made in commodities trading in 1980; the couple wrote checks totaling $14,615 in back taxes and interest.

• In 1999, the Justice Department reported that more than a third of the women in state prisons and jails said they were physically or sexually abused as children. Jose Maria Olazabal won the Masters by two shots over Davis Love III.

In the world

• In 1689, William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain.

• In 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as emperor of France and was banished to the island of Elba.

• In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the notorious Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.

• In 2003, 10 of the main suspects in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole escaped from prison in Yemen. American troops took the northern Iraqi city of Mosul without a fight. In Cuba, three men convicted of hijacking a passenger ferry the previous week were executed by firing squad, a swift response by Fidel Castro's government to a recent string of hijackings to the United States.

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