This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1721, John Douglas, for whom Douglas Island near Juneau was named, was born in Scotland.

• In 1868, the U.S. House approved funds to buy Alaska by a vote of 113 to 43.

• In 1954, dedication ceremonies were held at the Ketchikan Pulp Mill, the first large pulp mill in Alaska. A 40,000-acre fire near Healy was reported out of control. Severe flooding damaged a 100-mile section of the Alaska Highway near the Haines cutoff.

In the nation

• In 1798, Congress passed the Sedition Act, making it a federal crime to publish false, scandalous or malicious writing about the United States government.

• In 1881, outlaw William H. Bonney Jr., alias Billy the Kid, was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, N.M.

• In 1965, the American space probe Mariner 4 flew by Mars, sending back photographs of the planet.

• In 1966, eight student nurses were murdered by Richard Speck in a Chicago dormitory.

• In 1976, Jimmy Carter won the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in New York.

• In 1995, under pressure from Congress, FBI Director Louis Freeh removed his friend Larry Potts as the bureau's deputy director because of controversy over Potts' role in a deadly 1992 FBI siege in Idaho.

• In 2000, a Florida jury ordered five major tobacco companies to pay smokers a record $145 billion in punitive damages. (However, in 2003, a state appeals court reversed not only the award but also the class action unifying hundreds of thousands of sick Florida smokers under a single lawsuit; the Florida Supreme Court agreed in May 2004 to review that decision.)

• In 2004, the Senate scuttled a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (48 senators voted to advance the measure - 12 short of the 60 needed - and 50 voted to block it).

In the world

• In 1789, during the French Revolution, citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison and released the seven prisoners inside.

• In 1933, all German political parties, except the Nazi Party, were outlawed.

• In 1958, the army of Iraq overthrew the monarchy.

• In 1965, U.S. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. died in London at age 65.

• In 1978, Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky was convicted of treasonous espionage and anti-Soviet agitation, and sentenced to 13 years of hard labor. (Sharansky was released in 1986.)

• In 2004, In Iraq, a suicide attacker detonated a massive car bomb at a checkpoint near the British Embassy and the interim government's headquarters in Baghdad, killing 11 people; the governor of Mosul was killed in attack on his convoy.

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