This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2003

In Alaska:

• In 1834, Sheldon Jackson, Alaskan educator, was born.

• In 1901, the Nome Nugget, the state's oldest continuously published newspaper, was established as a semi-weekly.

• In 1916, the Bank of Alaska opened its doors at Anchorage, later to become the National Bank of Alaska.

• In 1949, the first radio beam air navigation system was put into operation in Ketchikan.

In the nation:

• In 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.

• In 1896, the Supreme Court endorsed separate-but-equal racial segregation with its Plessy v. Ferguson decision, a ruling that was overturned 58 years later.

• In 1897, a public reading of Bram Stoker's new novel, "Dracula, or, The Un-dead," was staged in London.

• In 1926, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, Calif.; she reappeared a month later, claiming to have been kidnapped.

• In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority was created.

• In 1951, the United Nations moved out of its temporary headquarters in Lake Success, N.Y., for its permanent home in Manhattan.

• In 1953, 50 years ago, Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a North American F-86 Canadair over Rogers Dry Lake, Calif.

• In 1969, astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Thomas P. Stafford and John W. Young blasted off aboard Apollo Ten.

• In 1998, the government filed a sweeping antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. The Supreme Court, in a sweeping endorsement of broadcasters' free-speech rights and journalistic discretion, ruled that even public stations owned and run by states need not invite marginal candidates to political debates they sponsor.

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