This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1834, Sheldon Jackson, Alaska 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 at Ketchikan.

In the nation

• In 1896, the Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, endorsed "separate but equal" racial segregation, a concept that was renounced 58 years later with Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

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

• In 1927, a schoolhouse in Bath, Mich., was blown up with explosives planted by local farmer Andrew Kehoe, who then set off a dynamite-laden automobile; the attacks killed 38 children and six adults, including Kehoe, who'd earlier killed his wife.

• In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.

• In 1953, 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 1967, Tennessee Gov. Buford Ellington signed a measure repealing the law against teaching evolution that was used to prosecute John T. Scopes in 1925.

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

• In 1991, Helen Sharman became the first British citizen to rocket into space as she flew aboard a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft with two cosmonauts on an eight-day mission.

In the world

• In 1642, the Canadian city of Montreal was founded by French colonists.

• In 1804, the French Senate proclaimed Napoleon Bonaparte emperor.

• In 1920, Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland.

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