This Day in History

Posted: Monday, April 24, 2006

In Alaska

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• 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 1968, leftist students at Columbia University in New York began a weeklong occupation of several campus buildings.

• In 1996, negotiators for Congress and the White House agreed on a permanent budget for fiscal year 1996.

• In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that police can arrest and handcuff people for minor traffic offenses.

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 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 1996, the main assembly of the Palestine Liberation Organization voted to revoke clauses in its charter that called for an armed struggle to destroy Israel.

• In 2001, a New Zealand air force plane rescued four ailing Americans at an Antarctic research station. Reformer Junichiro Koizumi was chosen president of Japan's ruling party, guaranteeing his election as the country's next prime minister.

• In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI formally began his stewardship of the Roman Catholic Church; the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said in his installation homily that as pontiff he would listen to the will of God in governing the world's 1.1 billion Catholics.

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