This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

In Alaska

• In 1834, Russian forces thwarted plans of the Hudson's Bay Company to go up the Stikine River.

• In 1893, James Sheakley took office as the fourth Governor of the District of Alaska, appointed by President Grover Cleveland.

• In 1896, Waino E. Hendrickson, who became secretary of Alaska and acting governor, was born.

• In 1949, a test bore in the Navy's Reserve Number Four produced a honey-colored oil, but no oil in commercial quantities was found.

• In 1951, daily passenger service on the Alaska Railroad began from Fairbanks to Anchorage.

• In 1959, Ernest Williams, a Kake village leader, was the first person arrested in the state's attempt to enforce its new anti-fishtrap law.

• In 1969, Alaska Airlines began construction of its terminal in Wrangell.

In the nation

• In 1778, American forces entered Philadelphia as the British withdrew during the Revolutionary War.

• In 1812, the United States declared war against Britain.

• In 1858, the United States and China signed a treaty promoting "peace, amity and commerce."

• In 1908, William Howard Taft was nominated for president by the Republican national convention in Chicago.

• In 1958, President Eisenhower expressed support for his chief of staff, Sherman Adams, who was accused of improperly accepting gifts from a businessman. (Adams resigned in September 1958.)

• In 1998, three people were killed when a Chicago-bound commuter train rammed a tractor-trailer in Portage, Ind.

• In 2007, nine firefighters died in a fire at a furniture store and warehouse in Charleston, S.C. Yahoo Inc. Chairman Terry Semel ended his six-year tenure as chief executive officer, handing over the reins to co-founder Jerry Yang.

In the world

• In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte met his Waterloo as British and Prussian troops defeated the French in Belgium.

• In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as she completed a journey with pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon from Newfoundland to Wales in about 21 hours.

• In 1940, during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill urged his countrymen to conduct themselves in a manner that would prompt future generations to say, "This was their finest hour."

• In 1948, a United Nations commission finished drafting what would become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

• In 1979, President Carter and Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev signed the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty in Vienna.

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