This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1951, the old herring reduction plant at Killisnoo was destroyed by fire.

• In 1956, the proposed Constitution of the State of Alaska was ratified by the voters in a Primary election.

• In 1969, a University of California engineer advised that building a 50-mile bridge from Alaska to Siberia across the Bering Strait was entirely feasible.

In the nation

• In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.

• In 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North's post-Civil War rule in the South.

• In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, Calif., and Westford, Mass.

• In 1968, leftist students at Columbia University in New York began a week-long occupation of several campus buildings.

• In 2002, Michael McDermott, a software engineer who'd claimed he was insane when he shot to death seven co-workers, was convicted of murder by a jury in Cambridge, Mass.

In the world

• In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States after rejecting America's ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.

• In 1915, the Ottoman Turkish Empire began the brutal mass deportation of Armenians during World War I.

• In 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces several days later.)

• In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

• In 1970, the People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, "The East is Red."

• In 1980, the United States launched an abortive attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.

• In 1993, The Irish Republican Army exploded a truck bomb in the City of London financial district, killing one man and causing millions of dollars' worth of damage.

• In 1998, After a month of confrontation, Russian lawmakers caved in to President Boris Yeltsin, approving acting prime minister Sergei Kiriyenko, 35, as premier. (Kiriyenko was fired just four months later.)

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