This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1929, a Lockheed Vega plane piloted by Anscel Eckmann arrived in 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.

• 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 Governor William Egan.

In the nation

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

• In 1861, three days after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, S.C., President Abraham 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 1947, Jackie Robinson, baseball's first black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.)

• In 1997, the Justice Department inspector general reported that FBI crime lab agents produced flawed scientific work or inaccurate testimony in major cases such as the Oklahoma City bombing.

• In 2002, Rodgers Rop led a Kenyan sweep of the Boston Marathon, winning in 2:09:02; Margaret Okayo, also of Kenya, won the women's race in 2:20:43.

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. Some 1,500 people died.

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

• In 1986, the United States launched an air raid against Libya in response to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin on April 5; Libya says 37 people, mostly civilians, were killed.

• In 1989, 96 people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England.

• In 1997, in Saudi Arabia, fire destroyed a tent city outside Mecca, killing at least 343 Muslim pilgrims. Jackie Robinson's number 42 was retired 50 years after he became the first black player in major league baseball.

• In 2002, four U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan when rockets they were trying to destroy accidentally blew up. The Vatican announced that Pope John Paul II was summoning American cardinals to Rome for talks about sex abuse scandals in the U.S. church. A Chinese jetliner crashed in South Korea, killing 122 people.

• In 2006, a U.S. airstrike aimed at militants holed up in eastern Kunar province in Afghanistan mistakenly killed seven civilians.

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