This Day in History

Posted: Friday, May 04, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1911, Cordova residents shoveled Canadian coal into the harbor to protest federal reservations of Alaska coal lands. The event became known as the Cordova Coal Party.

• In 1939, Lt. Col. Gregory Holsington was ordered transferred to Chilkoot Barracks in Haines as its new commander.

• In 1949, Aaska's general fund was $450,000 short of being able to pay its bills.

• In 1952, an Alaska Air Command C-47 was the first aircraft to land at the geographic center of the North Pole.

• In 1972, wilderness areas were established in Alaska's state parks.

In the nation

• In 1626, Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on present-day Manhattan Island.

• In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an eight-hour work day turned into a riot when a bomb exploded.

• In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)

• In 1946, a two-day riot at Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay ended, the violence having claimed five lives.

• In 1961, a group of "Freedom Riders" left Washington for New Orleans to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals.

• In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on anti-war protesters at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

• In 1997, IBM's Deep Blue computer defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov, evening their six-game series at one game apiece. Cerefino Jimenez Malla became the first Gypsy beatified in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

• In 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley, wife of actor Robert Blake, was shot to death as she sat in a car in Los Angeles. (Blake, accused of the killing, was acquitted in a criminal trial but was found liable by a civil jury and ordered to pay damages.)

• In 2002, War Emblem, a 20-to-1 shot, scored a wire-to-wire, four-length victory over Proud Citizen in the Kentucky Derby.

• In 2006, a federal judge sentenced Zacarias Moussaoui to life in prison for his role in the 9/11 attacks; the convicted terrorist declared: "God save Osama bin Laden - you will never get him." The U.S. military released video footage of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in which the al-Qaida leader was seen wearing American tennis shoes and unable to operate his automatic rifle.

In the world

• In 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal.

• In 1916, responding to a demand from President Wilson, Germany agreed to limit its submarine warfare, thereby averting a diplomatic break with Washington. (However, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare the following year.)

• In 1945, during World War II, German forces in the Netherlands, Denmark and northwest Germany agreed to surrender.

• In 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labour government in parliamentary elections.

• In 2002, a Nigerian airliner crashed in the northern city of Kano just after takeoff, killing a total of 154 people on the plane and the ground.

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