This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, May 11, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1912, work began on the Governor's Mansion in Juneau.

• In 1929, the first legal boxing event in the territory of Alaska was held in Juneau. Previously, such boxing was illegal.

• In 1943, during World War II, U.S. forces landed on Attu Island, beginning a fierce battle to recapture the island from the Japanese. The Americans took the island 19 days later.

• In 1972, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Rogers Morton decided to grant a right-of-way permit for construction of the 798-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline, pending litigation by environmental groups.

In the nation

• In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.

• In 1910, Glacier National Park in Montana was established.

• In 1973, charges against Daniel Ellsberg for his role in the "Pentagon Papers" case were dismissed by Judge William M. Byrne, who cited government misconduct.

• In 1996, an Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.

• In 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft de-layed Timothy McVeigh's execution from May 16 to June 11 because of FBI mishandling of documents. A jury in Pittsburgh sentenced Rich-ard Baumhammers to death for killing five people in a racially motivated shooting rampage.

• In 2005, Actor Macaulay Culkin took the stand at Michael Jackson's trial to denounce the molestation allegations against the pop star as "absolutely ridiculous."

In the world

• In 1944, Allied forces launched a major offensive against German lines in Italy.

• In 1946, the first CARE packages arrived in Europe, at Le Havre, France.

• In 1949, Israel was admitted to the United Nations as the world body's 59th member.

• In 1985, 55 people died when a flash fire swept a jam-packed soccer stadium in Bradford, England.

• In 2005, shouting "Death to America!" more than 1,000 demonstrators rioted and threw stones at a U.S. military convoy in Afghanistan, as protests spread over a Newsweek report that interrogators had desecrated Islam's holy book at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. (Newsweek later apologized for what it termed errors in the article.)

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