This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, April 11, 2006

In Alaska

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• 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 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 1981, President Reagan returned to the White House from the hospital, 12 days after he was wounded in an assassination attempt.

• In 1996, 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff, who had hoped to become the youngest person to fly cross-country, was killed along with her father and flight instructor when her plane crashed after takeoff from Cheyenne, Wyo.

• In 2005, during a meeting at his Texas ranch, President Bush told Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon he could not allow further West Bank settlement growth and said Israeli and Palestinian doubts about each other were hampering peace prospects. Miss North Carolina Chelsea Cooley was crowned Miss USA.

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 1951, President Truman relieved Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his commands in the Far East.

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

• In 2001, ending a tense 11-day standoff, China agreed to free the 24 crew members of an American spy plane after President Bush said he was "very sorry" for the death of a Chinese fighter pilot whose plane had collided with the American aircraft. A stampede at a packed soccer stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, killed 43 people.

• In 2005, Jeffrey Ake, a 47-year-old contract worker from LaPorte, Ind., was abducted in Iraq.

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