This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1938, Alaskindia post office was established. It was discontinued in 1945.

• In 1947, Anchorage voters approved an independent school district for their area.

• In 1962, the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center opened.

In the nation

• In 1607, English colonists arrived by ship at the site of what became the Jamestown settlement in Virginia (the colonists went ashore the next day).

• In 1846, the United States declared that a state of war already existed against Mexico.

• In 1918, the first U.S. airmail stamps, featuring a picture of a Curtiss JN4 biplane, were introduced with a face value of 24 cents. (On some of the stamps, the biplane was printed upside-down; the "inverted Jenny," as it came to be called, instantly became a collector's item.)

• In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Act. The musical "The Pajama Game" opened on Broadway.

• In 1985, a confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped an explosive onto the group's headquarters; 11 people died in the resulting fire.

• In 1997, at the Oklahoma City bombing trial, prosecutors showed jurors the key to the Ryder truck used to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, alleging Timothy McVeigh left it behind in the same alley he'd picked to stash his getaway car.

• In 2002, President George Bush announced that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would sign a treaty to shrink their countries' nuclear arsenals by two-thirds. President Bush signed a $190 billion farm bill guaranteeing higher subsidies to growers in Midwestern and Southern states. In Baltimore, Dontee Stokes shot and wounded the Rev. Maurice Blackwell, a Roman Catholic priest. (Stokes, who accused Blackwell of sexually abusing him as a boy, was later acquitted of attempted murder, but was convicted of gun charges and sentenced to house arrest.)

• In 2006, former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton helped Tulane University celebrate its "miracle" commencement, nine months after Hurricane Katrina put two-thirds of the campus under water and scattered students to more than 600 schools nationwide.

In the world

• In 1917, three peasant children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.

• In 1940, in his first speech as prime minister of Britain, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

• In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon's limousine was battered by rocks thrown by anti-U.S. demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela.

• In 1968, a one-day general strike took place in France in support of student protesters.

• In 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter's Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.

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