This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1921, The Douglas Island News moved to Juneau and changed its name to Stroller's Weekly.

• In 1953, Mount Spurr erupted, covering Anchorage 70 miles to the east with ash, and halting air traffic.

• In 1958, an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale hit Southeast Alaska, altering the ocean bottom and creating a wave 10 Niagaras tall that washed through Lituya Bay.

In the nation

• In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to Gen. George Washington's troops in New York.

• In 1896, William Jennings Bryan delivered his famous "cross of gold" speech at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

• In 1918, 101 people were killed in a train collision in Nashville, Tenn. The Distinguished Service Cross was established by an Act of Congress.

• In 1982, a Pan Am Boeing 727 crashed in Kenner, La., killing all 145 people aboard and eight people on the ground.

• In 1998, former high school sweethearts Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson were sentenced in Wilmington, Del., to prison for killing their newborn son at a motel. Grossberg received 2½ years; Peterson, who'd cooperated with prosecutors, received two years. (Grossberg ended up serving nearly two years; Peterson, 1½ years.)

In the world

• In 1540, England's King Henry VIII had his 6-month-old marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, annulled.

• In 1816, Argentina declared independence from Spain.

• In 1944, during World War II, American forces secured Saipan as the last Japanese defenses fell.

• In 1947, the engagement of Britain's Princess Elizabeth to Lt. Philip Mountbatten was announced.

• In 2003, President Bush, continuing his Africa tour, defended his use of prewar intelligence on Iraq, saying he was "absolutely confident" in his actions despite the discovery that one claim he'd made about Saddam Hussein's weapons pursuits was based on false information.

• In 2007, a London jury convicted four Muslim militants of plotting to bomb London's public transport system.

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