This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1910, the "Million Dollar" Miles Glacier bridge was completed on the Copper River and Northwestern Railway.

• In 1949, Bert Griffin, a University of Alaska Geology professor, was rescued by the U.S. Air Force from Innoko River in the first night-glider rescue.

• In 1979, the 140 villagers of Anaktuvuk Pass tested for higher levels of radiation from fallout because of their exclusive reliance on caribou. Caribou eat lichen, which retain radiation for years.

In the nation

• In 1866, Congress authorized minting of the 5-cent piece.

• In 1868, the Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on one of 11 articles of impeachment against him.

• In 1929, the first Academy Awards were presented during a banquet at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The movie "Wings" won "best production," while Emil Jannings and Janet Gaynor were named best actor and best actress.

• In 1946, the Irving Berlin musical "Annie Get Your Gun," starring Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley, opened on Broadway.

• In 1977, five people were killed when a New York Airways helicopter, idling atop the Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan, toppled over, sending a huge rotor blade flying.

• In 1996, Adm. Jeremy "Mike" Boorda, the nation's top Navy officer, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after some of his military awards were called into question.

• In 2001, former FBI agent Robert Hanssen was indicted on charges of spying for Moscow. (Hanssen later pleaded guilty to 15 counts of espionage and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.) Nathaniel Brazill, a 14-year-old boy who shot his English teacher to death on the last day of the school year, was convicted of second-degree murder in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Brazill was later sentenced to 28 years in prison.)

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