This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1911, the North Pacific Fur Seal Convention was signed.

• In 1936, the 10-line cannery of the Bristol Bay Packing Co. at Naknek was destroyed by fire.

• In 1949, four men escaped from the Fairbanks jail by sawing through the bars.

• In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Bill into law.

In the nation

• In 1865, four people were hanged in Washington, D.C., for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Lincoln.

• In 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.

• In 1896, the Democratic National Convention opened in Chicago.

• In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.

• In 1930, construction began on Boulder Dam (later Hoover Dam).

• In 1946, Italian-born Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini was canonized as the first American saint.

• In 1954, Elvis Presley made his radio debut as Memphis, Tenn., station WHBQ played his first recording for Sun Records, "That's All Right (Mama)."

• In 1958, President Eisenhower signed the Alaska statehood bill.

• In 1981, President Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

• In 1995, the space shuttle "Atlantis" landed at Cape Canaveral, Fla., bringing back American astronaut Norman Thagard, who'd spent 3 1/2 months aboard the Russian space station Mir.

• In 2000, President Clinton postponed the first federal execution since 1963 so that death row inmate Juan Raul Garza could ask for clemency under guidelines being updated by the government. (Garza was later executed.)

• In 2004, former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay was indicted on criminal charges related to the energy company's collapse.

In the world

• In 1969, Canada's House of Commons gave final approval to a measure making the French language equal to English throughout the national government.

• In 1983, 11-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, left for a visit to the Soviet Union at the personal invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov.

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