This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2007

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. Senator 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 Representative Mike Bierne, the measure would have transferred up to 30 million acres of state land into private ownership.

In the nation

• 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 Lyndon 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 1997, the Air Force announced that despite an intensive nine-day search, it couldn't find a bomb-laden A-10 warplane that had disappeared with its pilot during a training mission over Arizona. (The plane's wreckage was later found on a Colorado mountainside.)

• In 2002, U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, was convicted of taking bribes and kickbacks from businessmen and his own staff. (Traficant was later expelled from Congress and sentenced to eight years in prison.) The House responded to the Enron collapse by voting to add more worker protections to pension laws.

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 the French and was banished to the island of Elba.

• In 1898, as tensions with Spain rose, President McKinley asked Congress to authorize military intervention in Cuba.

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

• In 1951, President Harry 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.

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