This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1741, Russian Alexei Chirikof, with the Vitus Bering expedition, sighted land in Alaska.

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

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

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

• In 1949, Navy airlift operations finished supplying the Juneau Icefield Research Project's seven sites with six tons of equipment. The research was scheduled to continue until October.

• 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 3-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 1948, President Truman was nominated for another term of office by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

• In 1958, President Eisenhower ordered U.S. Marines to Lebanon, at the request of that country's president, Camille Chamoun, in the face of a perceived threat by Muslim rebels.

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

• In 1971, President Nixon startled the country by announcing he would visit the People's Republic of China.

• 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 1997, fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot dead outside his Miami home; suspected gunman Andrew Phillip Cunanan was found dead eight days later.

• In 1998, the Congressional Budget Office estimated federal surpluses of $1.55 trillion over the next decade.

• In 2003, the Bush administration dramatically raised its budget deficit projections to $455 billion for the current fiscal year and $475 billion for the next, record levels fed by the limp economy, tax cuts and the battle against terrorism. Scott McClellan assumed his duties as White House press secretary. Philadelphia's archbishop, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, retired. The American League beat the National League in the All-Star baseball game 7-6.

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