This Day in History

Posted: Monday, May 15, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1926, the dirigible Norge, carrying famed explorer Roald Amundsen, arrived in Teller at 2 a.m. after a flight over the North Pole.

• In 1941, the contract was approved for construction of the $42,000 Juneau International Airport.

• In 1959, a new state minimum wage of $1.50 per hour took effect, a 25 increase.

• In 1961, retired Rear Adm. Bafford E. Lewellen assumed his duties as the director and general manager of the newly formed Alaska ferry system.

In the nation

• In 1911, the Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of Standard Oil Company, ruling it was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

• In 1918, U.S. airmail began service between Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

• In 1930, Ellen Church, the first airline stewardess, went on duty aboard a United Airlines flight between San Francisco and Cheyenne, Wyo.

• In 1940, nylon stockings went on general sale for the first time in the United States.

• In 1942, wartime gasoline rationing went into effect in 17 states, limiting sales to three gallons a week for non-essential vehicles.

• In 1963, astronaut L. Gordon Cooper blasted off aboard Faith 7 on the final mission of the Project Mercury space program.

• In 1970, Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State University in Mississippi, were killed when police opened fire during student protests.

• In 1972, George C. Wallace was shot by Arthur Bremer and left paralyzed while campaigning in Laurel, Md., for the Democratic presidential nomination.

• In 1986, searchers on Oregon's Mount Hood found two teenage survivors of a hiking expedition that became trapped in a whiteout blizzard. Nine other climbers died.

• In 1996, Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole announced he was leaving the Senate after 27 years to challenge President Clinton full-time.

• In 2001, a runaway freight train rolled about 70 miles through Ohio with no one aboard before a railroad employee jumped onto the locomotive and brought it to a stop.

In the world

• In 2001, tens of thousands of Palestinians packed town squares in the West Bank town of Ramallah as they marked what they called the day of "catastrophe" in 1948, when they were uprooted and the state of Israel created. A celebratory mood took hold of Japan after the palace formally announced that Crown Princess Masako was pregnant.

• In 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a surprise visit to Iraq to express support for its new government. The Czech Republic denied Canada its third straight title and won the world ice hockey championship 3-0 in Vienna, Austria.

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