This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1910, the schooner Lizzie S. Sorrenson, engaged in whaling in Southeast Alaska, was struck and sunk by a whale.

• In 1957, Mike Stepovich of Fairbanks was nominated by President Dwight Eisenhower to be the 15th governor of Alaska. He was the last territorial governor before statehood, taking office on April 8.

In the nation

• In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, N.Y.

• In 1865, Union forces captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Ga.

• In 1869, a golden spike was driven at Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

• In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was given the job of FBI director.

• In 1994, the state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy for the murders of 33 young men and boys.

• In 2002, NBA owners approved the Hornets' move to New Orleans, ending the team's 14-year era in Charlotte.

• In 2006, Daniel Biechele, a former rock-band manager whose pyrotechnics caused a 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people, was sentenced to four years in prison.

In the world

• In 1774, Louis XVI ascended the throne of France.

• In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.

• In 1940, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.

• In 1968, preliminary Vietnam peace talks began in Paris.

• In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office to become South Africa's first black president.

• In 1997, President Clinton signed modest drug-fighting and trade agreements with Caribbean leaders in Barbados. Lebanese of all faiths welcomed Pope John Paul II on his first visit to their country. A powerful earthquake in northeastern Iran claimed at least 2,400 lives.

• In 2002, a tense 39-day-old standoff between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ended with 13 suspected militants flown into European exile and 26 released into the Gaza Strip. Cuban activists delivered more than 11,000 signatures to the National Assembly demanding a referendum on broad changes in the socialist system, an unprecedented challenge to Fidel Castro's 43-year rule.

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