This Day in History

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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

In the nation

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

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

• In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which included the Fair Housing Act, a week after the assassination of the Rev. 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 1988, "The Last Emperor" won best picture and best director (Bernardo Bertolucci) at the 60th annual Academy Awards ceremony; Cher won best actress for "Moonstruck," Michael Douglas best actor for "Wall Street."

• In 2007, North Carolina's top prosecutor dropped all charges against three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper at a party, saying the athletes were innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse." MSNBC announced it was dropping its simulcast of the "Imus in the Morning" radio program, responding to growing outrage about host Don Imus' racial slur against the Rutgers women's basketball team. (CBS Radio followed suit the next day.)

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

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

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

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