This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1778, Capt. James Cook discovered Turnagain Arm while looking for the Northwest Passage.

• In 1899, the Harriman Scientific Expedition left Seattle for Alaska.

• In 1979, U.S. Rep. Don Young, speaking in Fairbanks, suggested a way of showing the state's displeasure in the House-passed "D-2" bill: "How long could the IRS and other federal buildings last at 60 degrees below zero if no water, lights, or power were supplied by the municipality?"

In the nation

• In 1854, the territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.

• In 1883, 12 people were trampled to death when a rumor that the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge was in imminent danger of collapsing triggered a stampede.

• In 1911, Indianapolis saw its first long-distance auto race; Ray Harroun was the winner.

• In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington by Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

• In 1943, American forces secured the Aleutian island of Attu from the Japanese during World War II.

• In 1958, unidentified soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean War were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

• In 1971, the American space probe Mariner 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on a journey to Mars.

• In 1986, 21 elderly passengers were killed when a tour bus went out of control on a mountain road and plunged into the Walker River near the California-Nevada border.

• In 1996, the House called off a contempt-of-Congress vote after President Clinton's aides turned over 1,000 pages of papers and a long-sought list of documents in the travel office firings. Britain's Prince Andrew and the former Sarah Ferguson were granted an uncontested decree ending their 10-year marriage.

• In 2001, standing among trees in Sequoia National Park in California, President Bush pledged to protect "these works of God" and other natural treasures from mankind. Moses Malone and college coaches Mike Krzyzewski and John Chaney entered the Basketball Hall of Fame.

• In 2005, quoting letters of the fallen from the war in Iraq, President Bush vowed to a Memorial Day audience at Arlington National Cemetery that America would honor its dead by striving for peace and democracy, no matter the cost.

In the world

• In 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.

• In 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto landed in Florida.

• In 1981, the president of Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated in a failed military coup.

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