This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1867, the U.S. Senate approved the Alaska purchase.

• In 1899, the post office of Kotzebue was established with Robert Samms as postmaster.

• In 1933, John W. Troy took office as governor of the territory of Alaska, appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

• In 1979, a majority of the State House sponsored a resolution to convene the Legislature in Willow in 1981, the site selected in 1976 as Alaska's new capital. (Voters rejected appropriating money for the capital move in 1982.)

In the nation

• In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.

• In 1933, the United States went off the gold standard.

• In 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President Truman, bid farewell to Congress, quoting a line from a ballad: "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."

• In 1989, 47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa.

• In 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; dozens of people, including David Koresh, were killed.

• In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds.

In the world

• In 1782, the Netherlands recognized American independence.

• In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews living in the Warsaw ghetto began a valiant but futile battle against Nazi forces.

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