This Day in History

Posted: Friday, July 15, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1741, Alexei Chirikof, with the Vitus Bering expedition, sighted land and Alaska was "discovered" for the non-Native world.

• In 1915, an auction was held to sell 50-foot-by-140-foot lots on the original 347-acre town site for Anchorage.

• In 1923, President Warren G. Harding drove the golden spike at Nenana, marking completion of the Alaska Railroad.

• In 1924, the first nonstop airplane flight from Anchorage to Fairbanks was made by Noel Wien.

• In 1959, a California aircraft engineer proposed building a hole in Mount McKinley to make a "gun barrel for launching space vehicles."

• In 1983, the three billionth barrel of oil left the pump station at Prudhoe Bay.

In the nation

• In 1870, Georgia became the last Confederate state readmitted to the Union.

• In 1916, Boeing Co., originally known as Pacific Aero Products, was founded in Seattle.

• In 1948, President Truman was nominated for another term of office by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

• In 1964, Sen. Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona was nominated for president by the Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

• In 1965, U.S. scientists displayed close-up photographs of the planet Mars taken by Mariner 4.

• In 1975, three American astronauts blasted off aboard an Apollo spaceship hours after two Soviet cosmonauts were launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft for a mission that included a linkup of the two ships in orbit.

• In 1976, a 36-hour kidnap ordeal began for 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver as they were abducted near Chowchilla, Calif., by three gunmen and imprisoned in an underground cell. (The captives escaped unharmed.)

• In 1979, President Carter delivered his "malaise" speech in which he lamented what he called a "crisis of confidence" in America.

• In 1985, a gaunt-looking Rock Hudson appeared at a news conference with actress Doris Day. It was later revealed Hudson was suffering from AIDS.

• In 2004, President Bush signed into law a measure imposing mandatory prison terms for criminals who use identity theft in committing terrorist acts and other offenses. The Senate approved a plan to pay tobacco farmers $12 billion to give up federal quotas propping up their prices.

In the world

• In 1606, Dutch painter Rembrandt was born in Leiden, Netherlands.

• In 1971, in a surprise announcement, President Nixon said he would visit the People's Republic of China.

• In 1995, a 19-year-old sales clerk was rescued after being buried in the rubble of a collapsed shopping mall in Seoul, South Korea, for 16 days.

• In 2000, the United Nations launched a successful military operation to help 222 Indian peacekeepers and 11 military observers break out of a rebel stronghold in Sierra Leone. Lennox Lewis stopped Francois Botha at 2:39 of the second round to retain his WBC and IBF heavyweight titles in London.

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