This Day in History

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1889, Lyman E. Knapp took office as the third governor of the District of Alaska, appointed by President Benjamin Harrison.

• In 1935, the steamer North Sea, Northland Transportation Co., arrived in Juneau on her first Alaska voyage.

In the nation

• In 1836, Congress voted to establish the Wisconsin Territory.

• In 1971, the Supreme Court, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, unanimously upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools.

• In 1977, the Supreme Court, in Wooley v. Maynard, said car owners could refuse to display state mottoes on license plates, such as New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die."

• In 1980, the first Cubans sailing to the United States as part of the massive Mariel boatlift reached Florida.

• In 1999, the Columbine High School massacre took place in Littleton, Colo., as two students shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives.

• In 2002, Representatives of the Group of Seven countries, meeting in Washington, agreed to intensify efforts to combat terrorist financing and also adopted a plan to better deal with international debt crises.

• In 2006, President Bush welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House; the ceremony was interrupted by a protester who shouted to Bush to stop the Chinese leader from "persecuting the Falun Gong." Scott Crossfield, the hotshot test pilot who in 1953 became the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound, was killed in the crash of his small plane in Georgia.

In the world

• In 1945, during World War II, allied forces took control of the German cities of Nuremberg and Stuttgart.

• In 1968, Pierre Elliott Trudeau was sworn in as prime minister of Canada.

• In 1972, the manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon.

• In 1978, a Korean Air Lines Boeing 707 crash-landed in northwestern Russia after being fired on by a Soviet interceptor after entering Soviet airspace. Two passengers were killed.

• In 1997, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu escaped indictment in an influence-peddling scandal, with prosecutors saying they lacked evidence. Hwang Jang Yop, a high-ranking North Korean defector, arrived in South Korea, ending a 67-day odyssey that began in China.

• In 2006, bowing to intense pressure, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari agreed to abandon his claim to another term.

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