This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1906, the Alaska Delegate Act passed Congress which allowed an Alaskan to sit within the House of Representatives (a non-voting seat until statehood in 1959).

• In 1916, Wrangell's first bank, The Bank of Alaska, opened its doors.

• In 1939, Pacific Alaska Airways announced that 20,000 pounds of mail was flown between Juneau, Whitehorse and Fairbanks in the first year of air mail service for these cities.

• In 1941, the Army activated Fort Meares at Dutch Harbor with eight officers and 142 enlisted men.

• In 1969, the Borough of Anchorage called for a 30-day pet quarantine after nine residents of Southcentral Alaska required rabies vaccinations. A rifle slug was found in the engine of an Alaska Airlines jet. The slug was so flattened that the caliber could not be determined.

In the nation

• In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River.

• In 1846, the first major battle of the Mexican-American War was fought at Palo Alto, Texas, with no clear victory for either side.

• In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton invented the flavor syrup for Coca-Cola.

• In 1945, President Truman announced in a radio address that World War II had ended in Europe.

• In 1962, the musical comedy "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" opened on Broadway.

• In 1970, anti-war protests took place across the United States and around the world; in New York, construction workers broke up a demonstration on Wall Street.

• In 1973, militant American Indians who had held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrendered.

• In 1987, Gary Hart, dogged by questions about his personal life, including his relationship with Miami model Donna Rice, withdrew from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

• In 1997, President Clinton assured Central American leaders during a summit in Costa Rica that they need not fear mass deportations of immigrants who'd sought refuge in the United States during U.S.-backed conflicts. After months of railing against Democrats for taking foreign money, the Republican Party announced it had returned $122,400 in contributions from a Hong Kong company.

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