This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1948, an extra charge of $10 at the house of Mayme Crystal in Anchorage caused a gun fray. One man was hospitalized and two women were charged with operating a bawdy house.

• In 1971, Juneau's Bartlett Memorial Hospital was officially opened.

• In 1973, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Act was passed by Congress on a 49-48 vote. The act prohibited any further judicial review and called for an immediate issuance of a pipeline construction permit. A move for reconsideration was defeated by the tie-breaking vote of Vice-President Spiro Agnew.

In the nation

• In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the United States.

• In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, Spanish troops in Santiago, Cuba, surrendered to U.S. forces.

• In 1944, 322 people were killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded in Port Chicago, Calif.

• In 1955, Disneyland debuted in Anaheim, Calif.

• In 1979, Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza resigned and fled into exile in Miami.

• In 1981, 114 people were killed when a pair of walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a "tea dance."

• In 1996, TWA Flight 800, a Paris-bound Boeing 747, exploded and crashed off New York's Long Island shortly after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people aboard.

In the world

• In 1917, the British royal family adopted the name "Windsor."

• In 1945, President Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II.

• In 1975, an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.

• In 1998, Nicholas II, last of the Romanov czars, was buried in Russia 80 years after he and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks. In Rome, delegates from more than 100 countries overwhelmingly approved a historic treaty creating the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal - ignoring strenuous U.S. objections over certain provisions.

• In 2002, a double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv killed two foreign workers and one Israeli.

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