This Day in History

Posted: Monday, July 14, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• 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 cut-off.

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 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry relayed to Japanese officials a letter from President Fillmore, requesting trade relations. (Fillmore's term of office had already expired by the time the letter was delivered.)

• 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 1908, the short film "The Adventures of Dollie," the first movie directed by D.W. Griffith, opened in New York.

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

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

• In 2003, President Bush, facing questions about his credibility, said the United States was working overtime to prove Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded Iraq.

• In 2007, former presidents, fellow first ladies and about 1,800 other people attended a private funeral in Austin, Texas, for Lady Bird Johnson, the widow of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In the world

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

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

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

• In 1998, Northern Ireland said a tear-filled farewell to Richard, Mark and Jason Quinn, three young brothers burned to death in a sectarian attack in Ballymoney that came as they slept.

• In 2003, Iraq's new governing council, in its first full day on the job, voted to send a delegation to the U.N. Security Council and assert its right to represent Baghdad on the world stage.

• In 2007, North Korea told the United States it had shut down its nuclear reactor, hours after a ship cruised into port loaded with oil promised in return for the country's pledge to disarm.

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