This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

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

• In 1954, loggers in the Tongass National Forest were required to take measures to reduce forest fire hazard, due to minimal rainfall (2.62 inches of rain during the previous three months). Fishermen in Nushagak were in revolt over U.S. Fish & Wildlife restrictions and threatened to ignore the shortening of upcoming fishing openings.

• In 1971, Juneau's Bartlett Memorial Hospital 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 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 Long Island, N.Y., shortly after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people aboard.

• In 1997, Woolworth Corp. announced it was closing its 400 remaining five-and-dime stores across the country, ending 117 years in business. President Bill Clinton nominated Army Gen. Henry Shelton to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In the world

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

• In 1918, Russia's Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.

• In 1945, President Harry Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill began meeting at Potsdam, Germany, 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 linkup of its kind.

• In 1997, the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven returned to Earth after a near-flawless 16-day science mission.

• In 2002, a double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv killed two foreign workers and one Israeli. In Britain, a one-day strike by 750,000 municipal employees closed schools, libraries and recreation centers in their first national walkout in more than two decades.

• In 2006, the shuttle Discovery and its crew of six returned home safely. A powerful earthquake sent a tsunami crashing into a beach resort on Indonesia's Java island, killing at least 600 people.

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