This Day in History

Posted: Monday, May 07, 2007

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. George Washington.

• 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 Ho Chi Minh City - formerly Saigon - the Viet Cong celebrated its takeover.

• In 1977, Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby, the first of his 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 1997, the Army accused its top enlisted man, Sgt. Major of the Army Gene McKinney, of sexual misconduct. (At his court-martial, McKinney was acquitted of sexual misconduct, but found guilty of obstruction of justice.) Chrysler Corp. and United Auto Workers agreed to a new contract, ending a damaging 28-day engine-plant strike.

• In 2002, authorities arrested 21-year-old college student Luke J. Helder in a series of rural mailbox bombings that left six people wounded in Illinois and Iowa. (Helder has since been found incompetent to stand trial.)

In the world

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

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

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