This Day in History

Posted: Monday, May 21, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1778, Capt. James Cook sighted and named Cape Elizabeth at the entrance to Cook Inlet.

• In 1913, John F.A. Strong took office in Juneau as the second governor of the territory of Alaska.

• In 1971, the state ferry Malaspina, responding to a mayday signal, saved the lives of 70 people from seven nations aboard the Norwegian motor vessel Meteor.

In the nation

• In 1832, the first Democratic National Convention got under way in Baltimore.

• In 1861, the Confederate Congress, meeting in Montgomery, Ala., voted to move the capital of the Confederacy from Montgomery to Richmond, Va.

• In 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

• In 1924, 14-year-old Bobby Franks was murdered in a "thrill killing" committed by Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb, two students at the University of Chicago.

• In 1979, former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the slayings of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

• In 1982, during the Falklands War, British amphibious forces landed on the beach at San Carlos Bay.

• In 1997, prosecutors at the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Timothy McVeigh rested their case.

• In 2002, President Bush warned that al-Qaida terrorists still "want to hurt us," while his Pentagon chief, Donald Rumsfeld, said terrorists inevitably will acquire weapons of mass destruction from countries like Iraq, Iran or North Korea.

• In 2006, Anthony Bell of Baton Rouge, La., was arrested after allegedly shooting to death four in-laws at a church and his wife in another location.

In the world

• In 1542, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto died while searching for gold along the Mississippi River.

• In 1840, New Zealand was declared a British colony.

• In 1892, the opera "Pagliacci," by Ruggero Leoncavallo, was first performed, in Milan, Italy.

• In 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh landed his Spirit of St. Louis near Paris, completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

• In 1956, the U.S. exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

• In 1997, the space shuttle Atlantis undocked from the Russian Mir space station.

• In 2006, Iraq's new prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, promised to use "maximum force" if necessary to end the brutal insurgent and sectarian violence racking his country.

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