This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1929, a Lockheed Vega plane piloted by Anscel Eckmann arrived at Juneau on the first nonstop flight from Seattle to Alaska. Nunivak Island National Wildlife Refuge was established.

• In 1939, the Stevens Village School was closed all week due to an influenza epidemic which affected nearly 100 percent of the villagers.

• In 1959, Gov. William Egan resumed his duties in the aftermath of emergency gallbladder surgery.

• In 1971, a bill authorizing the sale of the state ferry Wickersham was sent to Gov. William Egan.

• In 1979, Steve Cowper acknowledged he was leaning towards running for the House because, "I would enjoy that kind of job instead of one where I would be constantly in the public eye - where you're forced to keep a high public profile all the time." He became governor in 1986.

In the nation

• In 1850, the city of San Francisco was incorporated.

• In 1861, three days after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln declared a state of insurrection and called out Union troops.

• In 1865, President Lincoln died, several hours after being shot at Ford's Theater in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. Andrew Johnson became the nation's 17th president.

• In 1959, Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrived in Washington to begin a goodwill tour of the United States.

• In 1990, actress Greta Garbo died in New York at age 84.

• In 1999, a gunman opened fire at the Mormon Family History Library in Salt Lake City, killing two people and wounding four others before being shot to death by police.

• In 2003, umpire Laz Diaz was attacked by a fan during a game between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox. The fan, Eric Dybas, was later sentenced to six months in jail and 30 months probation.

In the world

• In 1912, the British luxury liner Titanic sank in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland, less than three hours after striking an iceberg. About 1,500 people died.

• In 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.

• In 1989, 95 people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests following the death of former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang.

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