This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1959, the Detroit '59'ers canceled plans to settle on homesteads on the Kenai Peninsula and traveled to sites in Susitna and Fairbanks instead. Their trip began March 5, from Detroit, Mich., with 15 vehicles and more than 50 people. Gov. Bill Egan arrived back in Juneau after emergency gallbladder surgery in Seattle. He had been hospitalized within hours of his inauguration.

• In 1969, a planned avalanche bowled over the ski lift shack at Mount Alyeska.

In the nation

• In 1743, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was born.

• In 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in New York.

• In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.

• In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award, for "Lilies of the Field."

• In 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. The astronauts managed to return safely.

• In 1981, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke received a Pulitzer Prize for her feature about an 8-year-old heroin addict named "Jimmy." Cooke relinquished the prize two days later, admitting she'd fabricated the story.

• In 1992, the Great Chicago Flood took place as the city's century-old tunnel system and adjacent basements filled with water from the Chicago River.

• In 1999, right-to-die advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, Mich., to 10 to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder in the lethal injection of a Lou Gehrig's disease patient.

• In 2003, Mike Weir became the first Canadian to win the Masters after the first sudden-death playoff in 13 years.

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