This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1938, the steamer Tongass, of the Alaska Transportation Company, arrived in Juneau on its first Alaska voyage.

• In 1959, U.S. Sen. E.L. "Bob" Bartlett, D-Alaska, called for a full-scale investigation of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission's plans to take more than 1,600 acres of land for a nuclear experiment.

• In 1969, the Alaska State Senate passed an amendment to the State Constitution allowing 18-year-olds to vote. A team of scientists from the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute began their investigation of auroral radio noises, under contract with the U.S. Army.

In the nation

• In 1775, the first American society for the abolition of slavery was formed in Philadelphia.

• In 1828, the first edition of Noah Webster's "American Dictionary of the English Language" was published.

• In 1865, President Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington. (Lincoln died the following morning.)

• In 1890, the First International Conference of American States met in Washington, where delegates agreed to form the International Union of American Republics, a forerunner of the Organization of American States.

• In 1902, James Cash Penney opened his first store, called The Golden Rule, in Kemmerer, Wyo.

• In 1939, the John Steinbeck novel "The Grapes of Wrath" was first published.

• In 1968, the gay-themed play "The Boys in the Band," by Matt Crowley, opened in New York.

• In 1981, the first test flight of America's first operational space shuttle, the Columbia, ended successfully with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

• In 1986, Americans got first word of a U.S. air raid on Libya.


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