This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1935, 135 Michigan and Wisconsin families, comprising 638 men, women and children, arrived in Seward. They were the second and last big group of colonists sent to the Matanuska Valley.

• In 1979, after four years of research, Juneau whale biologist Chuck Juraz proved that humpback whales migrate between Alaska and Hawaii, using Alaska for feeding grounds and Hawaii for calving.

In the nation

• In 1868, a major train robbery took place near Marshfield, Ind., as seven members of the Reno gang made off with $96,000.

• In 1947, the Truman Doctrine was enacted as Congress appropriated military and economic aid for Greece and Turkey.

• In 1992, after a reign lasting nearly 30 years, Johnny Carson hosted NBC's "Tonight Show" for the last time.

• In 1997, in a case that drew national attention, Kelly Flinn, the Air Force's first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepted a general discharge, thereby avoiding court-martial on charges of adultery, lying and disobeying an order. The defense began presenting its case in the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Timothy McVeigh.

• In 2002, a jury in Birmingham, Ala., convicted former Ku Klux Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry of murder in a 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls. The remains of Chandra Levy, the federal intern who had disappeared more than a year earlier, were found in a Washington park.

• In 2006, the Department of Veterans Affairs said personal data, including Social Security numbers of 26.5 million U.S. veterans, was stolen from a VA employee after he took the information home without authorization. Seven-year-old Braxton Bilbrey, of Arizona, swam from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco in 47 minutes.

In the world

• In 1939, the foreign ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Galeazzo Ciano, signed a "Pact of Steel" committing the two countries to a military alliance.

• In 1968, the nuclear-powered U.S. submarine Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in the Atlantic Ocean. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)

• In 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 10 flew to within nine miles of the moon's surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.

• In 1972, President Nixon began a visit to the Soviet Union, during which he and Kremlin leaders signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The island nation of Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka.

• In 1979, Canadians voted in parliamentary elections that put the Progressive Conservatives in power, ending the 11-year tenure of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

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