This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1865, the Confederate raider Shenandoah fired the last shot of the Civil War in the Bering Sea off the coast of Siberia.

• In 1939, Regional Forester B. Frank Heintzlemann suggested developing Alaskan peat to displace European peat in gardens and nurseries.

• In 1939, the U.S. Forest Service announced that 25 homesites and other tracts of land in the Chugach National Forest would be opened for public entry under the Public Land laws.

• In 1948, the town of Yakutat on the edge of the Gulf of Alaska was formally incorporated as a city.

• In 1949, favorable comments concerning Juneau's new parking meters were reported by Police Chief Bernie Hulk.

• In 1949, U.S. and Alaska health officials set up equipment at Taku Lodge near Juneau and began conducting experiments on adult mosquito control.

In the nation

• In 1870, Congress created the Department of Justice.

• In 1938, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round of their rematch at Yankee Stadium.

• In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the "GI Bill of Rights."

• In 1970, President Nixon signed a measure lowering the voting age to 18.

• In 1995, House and Senate Republicans announced agreement on a compromise seven-year budget-balancing plan that would cut taxes by $245 billion and slow spending for Medicare, Medicaid and dozens of other programs.

• In 2000, the state of Texas executed Gary Graham for the 1981 killing of a man in a holdup outside a Houston supermarket; Graham insisted to the end that he was innocent. Independent Counsel Robert Ray ended his investigation of the 1993 firings in the White House travel office, issuing no indictments but saying he'd found "substantial evidence" that first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton played a role in the dismissals.

• In 2004, a federal judge approved a class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit representing 1.6 million female workers against Wal-Mart. Former President Clinton's memoir, "My Life," was officially released.

In the world

• In 1611, English explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several other people were set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers.

• In 1911, Britain's King George V was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

• In 1940, during World War II, Adolf Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris.

• In 1945, the World War II battle for Okinawa officially ended; 12,520 Americans and 110,000 Japanese were killed in the 81-day campaign.

• In 1995, riot police stormed a hijacked jumbo jet in Hakodate, Japan, freeing all 364 people on board and capturing a lone hijacker.

• In 2004, Islamic militants beheaded Kim Sun-il, a South Korean hostage who'd pleaded for his life in a heart-wrenching videotape; he was the third foreign hostage decapitated in the Middle East in little over a month. Mexican newspaper editor Francisco Ortiz Franco was shot to death in Tijuana.

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