This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, April 24, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1827, James Sheakley, the fourth Governor of the District of Alaska, was born in Pennsylvania.

• In 1912, the Second Alaska Organic Act passed the U. S. House.

• 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 weeklong occupation of several campus buildings.

• 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 1990, the final bomb linked to the Unabomber exploded inside the Sacramento, Calif., offices of a lobbying group for the wood products industry, killing chief lobbyist Gilbert B. Murray. (Theodore Kaczynski was later sentenced to four lifetimes in prison for a series of bombings that killed three men and injured 29 others.)

• In 2000, concerned about the disappearance of a laptop computer with highly sensitive documents, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced a five-point plan to help guard against such lapses in the future. A teen gunman opened fire at Washington's National Zoo, wounding seven children.

In the world

• In 1792, the national anthem of France, "La Marseillaise," was composed by Capt. Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

• 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 2004, suicide boat bombers attacked Iraqi oil facilities in the Persian Gulf, killing three Americans and disabling Iraq's biggest terminal for more than 24 hours. A U.N. plan to reunify the war-divided island of Cyprus collapsed when Greek Cypriots rejected the proposal in one referendum and Turkish Cypriots endorsed it in another.

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