This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1880, Richard Harris and Joe Juneau left Sitka by canoe to search for gold. They were led to it near the present-day capital.

• In 1881, the Reverend and Mrs. E.S. Willard arrived at the Portage on Lynn Canal to establish Haines Mission.

• In 1898, Castle Hill in Sitka, now a state park, was reserved for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

• In 1936, a one-hour limit on downtown parking was announced by Juneau Police Chief Roy Hoffman.

• In 1959, a storm in Cook Inlet destroyed 25 percent of the set-net fishing gear near Kenai and sank one drift boat. A record kill of 101 trophy brown bears was reported for the Kodiak Island area hunting season.

• In 1968, the Atlantic Richfield Company announced its recent oil discoveries at Prudhoe Bay and Sag River appeared to be the largest in North America.

• In 1969, a Petroleum Job Training program for Alaskans was approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

In the nation

• In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway.

• In 1940, the Democratic National Convention in Chicago nominated President Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term in office.

• In 1947, President Truman signed the Presidential Succession Act, which placed the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore next in the line of succession after the vice president.

• In 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., plunged off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha's Vineyard; passenger Mary Jo Kopechne died.

• In 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald's fast food restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people before being shot dead by police. Walter F. Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination in San Francisco.

• In 1996, recovery efforts continued off Long Island, N.Y., for the bodies of the 230 people who died in the fiery crash of TWA Flight 800; President Clinton, meanwhile, urged Americans not to immediately assume the crash was the work of terrorists.

• In 2005, an unrepentant Eric Rudolph was sentenced in Birmingham, Ala., to life in prison for an abortion clinic bombing that killed an off-duty police officer and maimed a nurse.

In the world

• In A.D. 64, the Great Fire of Rome began.

• In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began.

• In 1986, the world got its first look at the remains of the Titanic as videotapes of the British luxury liner, which sank in 1912, were released by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

• In 2001, President Bush, en route to an economic summit in Italy, stopped over in Britain as he began his second trip to Europe in a month.

• In 2005, Hurricane Emily roared across Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, ripping roofs off luxury hotels, stranding thousands of tourists and leaving hundreds of local residents homeless.

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