This Day in History

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1898, the townsite of Council on the Seward Peninsula was staked and a mining district formed.

• In 1949, Dr. James Ryan, the territorial commissioner of education, told a Senate committee that Alaska children were of superior intelligence because of the "high-grade" of the territorial pioneers.

• In 1959, U.S. Sen. Ernest Gruening revealed plans to authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to construct a hydroelectric dam at Rampart Canyon on the Yukon River.

• In 1975, 15 Alaska volunteers left on the first leg of a privately funded airlift to bring Vietnamese orphans to the United States.

In the nation

• In 1758, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, was born in Westmoreland County, Va.

• In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

• In 1988, a flight attendant was killed and 61 persons injured when part of the roof of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 peeled back during a flight from Hilo to Honolulu.

• In 1992, the Agriculture Department unveiled its pyramid-shaped recommended-diet chart that cost nearly $1 million to develop.

• In 1993, the first "Take Our Daughters to Work Day," promoted by the New York-based Ms. Foundation, was held in an attempt to boost the self-esteem of girls by having them visit a parent's place of work.

• In 1998, in a breakthrough for the government's tobacco investigation, cigarette maker Liggett and Myers agreed to tell prosecutors whether the industry had hidden evidence of health damage from smoking. The Senate opened a new round of hearings on alleged abuse and mismanagement at the Internal Revenue Service.

• In 2002, severe weather, including tornadoes in Missouri and Maryland, killed at least six people.

In the world

• In 1789, there was a mutiny on HMS Bounty as the crew of the British ship set Capt. William Bligh and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South Pacific.

• In 1937, Saddam Hussein was born in the Iraqi village of al-Oja near the desert town of Tikrit.

• In 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.

• In 1947, a six-man expedition sailed from Peru aboard a balsa wood raft named the Kon-Tiki on a 101-day journey to Polynesia.

• In 1952, war with Japan officially ended as a treaty that had been signed by the United States and 47 other nations took effect.

• In 1958, Vice President Nixon and his wife, Pat, began a goodwill tour of Latin America that was marred by hostile mobs in Lima, Peru, and Caracas, Venezuela.

• In 1986, the Soviet Union informed the world of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.

• In 2002, Alexander Lebed, the gruff former general who'd helped defeat the 1991 hard-line Soviet coup, was killed in a helicopter crash near the Russian town of Abakan; he was 52.

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