This Day in History

Posted: Friday, July 08, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1898, Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, gambler and character of ill-repute, was shot. He died in Skagway.

• In 1923, President Warren G. Harding arrived in Ketchikan on his Alaska tour.

• In 1937, radio telephone service between Juneau and the Lower 48 was inaugurated by the Alaska Communications System.

• In 1949, the Federal Communications Commission granted a "license to broadcast" to the Alaska Broadcasting Company to operate radio station KIFW-AM in Sitka at 1,230 KHz.

• In 1949, photographer Ansel Adams passed through Juneau following a photographic expedition to Glacier Bay.

• In 1963, groundbreaking ceremonies were held at the site of the Federal Building in Juneau.

In the nation

• In 1776, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, in Philadelphia.

• In 1663, King Charles II of England granted a charter to Rhode Island.

• In 1889, the Wall Street Journal was first published.

• In 1919, President Wilson received a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles Peace Conference in France.

• In 1947, demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.

• In 1975, President Ford announced he would seek the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1976.

• In 1993, a jury in Boise, Idaho, acquitted white separatist Randy Weaver and a co-defendant of slaying a federal marshal in a shoot-out at a remote mountain cabin.

• In 1995, Chinese-American human rights activist Harry Wu was arrested in China and charged with obtaining state secrets (he was later convicted of espionage and deported). A deadly heat wave began in the nation's midsection; it claimed more than 800 lives, more than half of them in Illinois.

• In 2000, Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-6 (3) for her first Grand Slam title, becoming the first black women's champion at Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1957-58. The Pentagon's missile defense project suffered its latest setback when a rocket that had taken off from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific failed to intercept a target missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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