This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1939, "A Guide to Alaska," a 500-page tour book by the Federal Writers' Project, was published by the MacMillan Company.

• In 1949, after a weeklong search, a missing Wien Alaska plane was found 50 miles north of Fort Yukon. Seventy-year old Dr. Melville Cooke, his wife and pilot Bill Currington were alive and well.

• In 1959, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary injunction preventing the state from halting operation of 11 fish traps by Angoon, Kake and Metlakatla.

• In 1969, the ferry E.L. Bartlett made its maiden voyage to Valdez and Whittier. It was named after Alaska's first senator. The first load of sea otters were relocated from Amchitka Island in the Aleutians to the Porcupine Islands in Southeast Alaska in anticipation of nuclear bomb tests at Amchitka.

In the nation

• In 1798, the U.S. Marine Corps was formally re-established by a congressional act that also created the U.S. Marine Band.

• In 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton during a pistol duel in Weehawken, N.J.

• In 1864, Confederate forces led by Gen. Jubal Early began an abortive invasion of Washington, D.C., turning back the next day.

• In 1977, the Medal of Freedom was awarded posthumously to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

• In 1996, an Air Force F-16 jet trying to make an emergency landing slammed into a house in Pensacola, Fla., setting the home on fire, killing a 4-year-old boy and badly burning his mother. (The pilot ejected safely.)

• In 2001, the Democratic-led Senate voted to bar coal mining and oil and gas drilling on pristine federally protected land in the West, dealing a fresh blow to President Bush's energy production plans.

In the world

• In 1533, Pope Clement VII excommunicated England's King Henry VIII.

• In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt became the first chief executive to travel through the Panama Canal.

• In 1979, the abandoned U.S. space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.

• In 1980, American hostage Richard I. Queen, freed by Iran after eight months of captivity because of poor health, left Tehran for Switzerland.

• In 1995, the United States normalized relations with Vietnam.

• In 2005, a top al-Qaida lieutenant and three other terror suspects escaped from a U.S. military jail in Afghanistan. (The identity of Omar al-Farouq isn't acknowledged until November 2005.)

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