This Day in History

Posted: Monday, April 26, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1965, a Bureau of Commercial Fisheries vessel began a 2-month voyage to explore potential bottom-fishing grounds along the Continental Shelf.

• In 1967, the Civil Aeronautics Board gave Alaska Airlines temporary permission to serve Sitka.

In the nation

• In 1607, an expedition of English colonists, including Captain John Smith, went ashore at Cape Henry, Va., to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere.

• In 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Bowling Green, Va., and killed.

• In 1968, the United States exploded a one-megaton nuclear device called "Boxcar" beneath the Nevada desert

• In 1970, the Broadway musical "Company" opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York.

• In 1989, actress-comedian Lucille Ball died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 77.

• In 1994, Rachelle "Shelley" Shannon, who admitted shooting and wounding an abortion provider outside his clinic, was sentenced in Wichita, Kan., to nearly 11 years in prison.

• In 2003, Charlton Heston, diagnosed with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, made his last appearance as president of the National Rifle Association during a convention in Orlando, Fla.. He briefly thanked the membership.

In the world

• In 1785, American naturalist and artist John James Audubon was born in Haiti.

• In 1937, planes from Nazi Germany raided the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

• In 1945, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, the head of France's Vichy government during World War II, was arrested.

• In 1964, the African nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.

• In 1986, the world's worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire killed at least 31 people and sent radioactivity into the atmosphere.

• In 1994, voting began in South Africa's first all-race elections. A Taiwanese jetliner crashed in Nagoya, Japan, killing 264 people.

• In 1999, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Cornelio Sommaruga, met with three U.S. soldiers held captive by Yugoslavia. BBC anchorwoman Jill Dando, the host of a crime-fighting program, was fatally shot on the steps of her London home. Barry George was convicted in July 2001 of killing Dando.

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