This Day in History

Posted: Friday, May 25, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1949, Bernard Hubbard, "The Glacier Priest," received the First Annual Globetrotter Award from the World Geographical Society for his film, "Trailer Tour of Alaska."

In the nation

• In 1787, the Constitutional Convention was convened in Philadelphia after enough delegates had shown up for a quorum.

• In 1935, Babe Ruth hit the 714th and final home run of his career, for the Boston Braves, in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

• In 1961, President Kennedy, addressing Congress, called on the nation to work toward putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

• In 1968, the Gateway Arch, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, was dedicated.

• In 1976, Rep. Wayne L. Hays of Ohio admitted to a "personal relationship" with Elizabeth Ray, a staff member who claimed she'd received her secretarial job in order to be Hays' mistress.

• In 1979, 273 people died when an American Airlines DC-10 crashed on takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare airport.

• In 1986, an estimated 7 million Americans participated in "Hands Across America," forming a line across the country to raise money for the nation's hungry and homeless.

• In 1992, Jay Leno made his debut as permanent host of NBC's "Tonight Show," succeeding Johnny Carson.

• In 1997, Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina became the longest-serving senator in U.S. history, marking 41 years and 10 months of service.

• In 2006, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair held a White House news conference in which they acknowledged making costly mistakes in Iraq, but vowed to keep troops there until the fragile new government took hold. Former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted in Houston of conspiracy and fraud for the company's downfall. (Lay died in July from heart disease and his convictions were vacated; Skilling was sentenced to 24 years in prison.)

In the world

• In 1810, Argentina began its revolt against Spanish rule.

• In 1895, playwright Oscar Wilde was convicted of a morals charge in London; he was sentenced to two years in prison.

• In 1946, Transjordan (now Jordan) became a kingdom as it proclaimed its new monarch, Abdullah the First.

• In 1997, in the first round of parliamentary elections, French voters gave the leftist opposition the biggest share of votes in a surprising setback for President Jacques Chirac's conservatives.

• In 2002, President Bush, during a visit to St. Petersburg, joined Russian President Vladimir Putin in pressuring Pakistan's president to curb cross-border violence in Kashmir and ease tensions with neighboring India. A China Airlines jumbo jet flying to Hong Kong crashed in the Taiwan Strait, killing all 225 people on board. A passenger train and a freight train collided in southern Mozambique, killing 195 people.

• In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI began a four-day pilgrimage to Poland, the homeland of his immediate predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

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