This Day in History

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1877, general orders were issued by the Army, withdrawing all troops from Alaska.

• In 1902, underwater prospector W.A. Boyce was trapped in a 2,000 pound diving bell for half an hour. While being lowered, the derrick toppled over and the bell's air valve snapped. Boyce was rescued due to heroic efforts and vowed to try again.

In the nation

• In 1788, South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

• In 1934, bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were shot to death in a police ambush in Bienville Parish, La.

• In 1940, Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, the Pied Pipers and featured soloist Frank Sinatra recorded "I'll Never Smile Again" in New York for RCA.

• In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of former Nixon White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman and former Attorney General John N. Mitchell in connection with their Watergate convictions.

• In 1993, a jury in Baton Rouge, La., acquitted Rodney Peairs of manslaughter in the shooting death of Yoshi Hattori, a Japanese exchange student he'd mistaken for an intruder. (Peairs was later found liable in a civil suit brought by Hattori's parents.)

• In 2003, by the narrowest of margins, Congress sent President Bush the third tax cut of his presidency - a $330 billion package of rebates and lower rates for families and new breaks for businesses and investors. Annika Sorenstam ended her historic appearance on the PGA tour in the Colonial with a 15-foot par putt, missing the cut by four strokes.

• In 2007, President Bush, speaking at the U.S. Coast Guard commencement, portrayed the Iraq war as a battle between the U.S. and al-Qaida and contended that Osama bin Laden was setting up a terrorist cell in Iraq to strike targets in America. Jordin Sparks was crowned the latest "American Idol" on the Fox reality show.

In the world

• In 1430, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English.

• In 1533, the marriage of England's King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.

• In 1701, Capt. William Kidd was hanged in London after he was convicted of piracy and murder.

• In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces bogged down in Anzio, Italy, began a major breakout offensive.

• In 1945, Nazi official Heinrich Himmler committed suicide while imprisoned in Luneburg, Germany.

• In 1960, Israel announced it had captured former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. (Eichmann was tried in Israel, found guilty of crimes against humanity, and hanged in 1962.)

• In 1998, official returns showed two convincing "yes" votes for the Northern Ireland peace accord: a surprisingly strong 71.1 percent in British-linked Northern Ireland, and 94.4 percent in the Republic of Ireland.

• In 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed to submit the U.S.-backed "road map" for peace to the Israeli Cabinet.

• In 2007, Iraqi police dragged from the Euphrates River a body identified as that of Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr., who had disappeared during a May 12 ambush.

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