This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

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

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

• 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, turning back the next day.

• In 1952, the Republican National Convention, meeting in Chicago, nominated Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Richard M. Nixon for vice president.

• In 1955, the U.S. Air Force Academy swore in its first class of cadets at its temporary quarters, Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado.

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

• In 2002, lawmakers balked at moving the Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency into a new Homeland Security Department despite pleas from senior Cabinet officials to stick to President George W. Bush's blueprint. (Both agencies did end up being included in the new department.)

• In 2006, in Chicago, a Blue Line train derailed and started a fire during the evening rush hour, filling a subway tunnel with smoke and forcing dozens of soot-covered commuters to evacuate. The American League edged the National League 3-2 in the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh.

In the world

• In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first incumbent 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 1997, President Bill Clinton was cheered by tens of thousands of people in Bucharest, Romania, where he raised hopes for NATO membership. Ninety-one tourists were killed when fire broke out at the Royal Jomtien Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand.

• In 2006, eight bombs hit the commuter rail network during evening rush hour in Mumbai, India, killing more than 200 people.

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