This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, May 07, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1885, Alfred P. Swineford took office as the second governor of the District of Alaska, appointed by President Grover Cleveland.

In the nation

• In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President and Mrs. Washington.

• In 1847, the American Medical Association was founded in Philadelphia.

• In 1941, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded "Chattanooga Choo Choo" for RCA Victor.

• In 1975, President Ford formally declared an end to the "Vietnam era."

• In 1977, Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby, the first of its Triple Crown victories.

• In 1984, a $180 million out-of-court settlement was announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans who charged they'd suffered injury from exposure to the defoliant.

• In 2001, California grid operators ordered statewide rolling blackouts.

• In 2005, Giacomo, a 50-1 long shot, won the Kentucky Derby.

In the world

• In 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British liner Lusitania off the Irish coast.

• In 1939, Germany and Italy announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.

• In 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France.

• In 1954, the 55-day Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam ended with Vietnamese insurgents overrunning French forces.

• In 1975, in Ho Chi Minh City - formerly Saigon - the Viet Cong celebrated its takeover.

• In 1996, the first international war crimes proceeding since Nuremberg opened at The Hague, with a Serbian police officer, Dusan Tadic, facing trial on murder-torture charges. (A year later on this date, Tadic was convicted of brutalizing prisoners, but was acquitted of more serious crimes, including murder.)

• In 2001, "Great Train Robber" Ronnie Biggs, who had eluded capture for decades following his prison escape in 1965, returned to Britain, where he was arrested and jailed to complete the 28 remaining years of his sentence.

• In 2005, during a visit to Riga, Latvia, President Bush said the United States played a role in Europe's painful division after World War II - a decision that Bush said helped cause "one of the greatest wrongs of history" when the Soviet Union imposed its harsh rule across Central and Eastern Europe.

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