This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1901, the first regularly constituted common council of the town of Nome was organized in the courthouse.

• In 1944, the Odd Fellows Hall, a Nome landmark, was destroyed by fire.

• In 1959, 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. The Alaska House of Representatives decided not to name John Haines the poet laureate after members were unable to come up with any information about him.

In the nation

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

• In 1943, President 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 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 1996, President Clinton used his weekly radio address to call on Congress to pass an anti-terrorism bill that had languished for a year despite a promise of quick action after the Oklahoma City bombing.

• In 2001, with the crew of a U.S. spy plane safely back in the United States, American officials gave their detailed version of what happened when the plane collided with a Chinese fighter on April 1; the U.S. said its plane was struck by the jet. (China maintained that the U.S. plane rammed the fighter.)

• In 2005, Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to carrying out the deadly bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and three other attacks in back-to-back court appearances in Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta. Gymnast Paul Hamm received the 75th Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete.

In the world

• In 1598, King Henry IV of France endorsed the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to the Protestant Huguenots. (The edict was abrogated in 1685 by King Louis XIV, who declared France entirely Catholic again.)

• In 1742, Handel's "Messiah" was first performed publicly, in Dublin, Ireland.

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

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