This Day in History

Posted: Monday, April 23, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1949, President Harry Truman signed an Alaskan Housing Bill to set up a revolving fund for the Alaska Housing Authority.

• In 1959, the National Education Association announced that Alaska was second in the nation in per pupil expenditures for public schools at $520 behind New York's $535.

• In 1965, a top Alaska fisheries official stated that Alaska could lose two decades of conservation work if Japan did not stop depleting the Bristol Bay salmon run.

• In 1969, reports that the Walter Hickel Highway, otherwise known as the "Ice Road to the North Slope," was under "some 5-feet of water" prompted a resolution in the Alaska Senate that the road should become part of the Alaska Marine Highway System.

In the nation

• In 1896, the Vitascope system for projecting movies onto a screen was publicly demonstrated in New York City.

• In 1940, about 200 people died in the Rhythm Night Club fire in Natchez, Miss.

• In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his record 755 major-league home runs, in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-5.)

• In 1968, the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to form the United Methodist Church.

• In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.)

• In 1985, Coca-Cola Co. announced it was changing the secret flavor formula for Coke (negative public reaction forced the company to resume selling the original version).

• In 1987, 28 construction workers were killed when an apartment complex being built in Bridgeport, Conn., suddenly collapsed.

• In 1997, Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, again apologizing for racial comments about Masters winner Tiger Woods, withdrew from the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic. The military confirmed that two pieces of wreckage found on a snowy Rocky Mountain peak were from an Air Force plane that had vanished on a training mission over Arizona.

• In 2002, American cardinals opened an extraordinary meeting with top Vatican officials to discuss a sex abuse scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. President Bush's top White House aide, Karen Hughes, resigned to go home to Texas with her family.

In the world

• In 2006, Osama bin Laden issued new threats in an audiotape broadcast on Arab television and accused the United States and Europe of supporting a "Zionist" war on Islam by cutting off funds to the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

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