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This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2005

In Alaska

In 1929, Alaska Washington Airways initiated fly-in fishing service by taking a group to Hasselborg Lake on Admiralty Island.

In 1939, a fire consumed the Haines Power Plant, the Post Office and a theater. The Chilkoot Barracks provided emergency electric power to Haines.

In the nation

In 1861, the Congress of the Confederate States began holding sessions in Richmond, Va.

In 1881, Sioux Indian leader Sitting Bull, a fugitive since the Battle of the Little Big Horn, surrendered to federal troops.

In 1942, the first detachment of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps - later known as WACs - began basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.

In 1944, President Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented fourth term of office at the Democratic convention in Chicago.

In 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon as they stepped out of their lunar module.

In 1976, America's Viking One robot spacecraft made a successful, first-ever landing on Mars.

In 1977, a flash flood hit Johnstown, Pa., killing 80 people and causing $350 million worth of damage.

In 1995, leaders of the University of California voted to drop affirmative action policies on admissions and hiring. Baseball Hall-of-Famers Duke Snider and Willie McCovey pleaded guilty in New York to tax evasion.

In 1999, after 38 years at the bottom of the Atlantic, astronaut Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 Mercury capsule was lifted to the surface.

In 2004, former national security adviser Sandy Berger quit as an informal adviser to Democrat John Kerry's presidential campaign after disclosure of a criminal investigation into whether he'd mishandled classified terrorism documents.

In the world

In 1810, Colombia declared independence from Spain.

In 1871, British Columbia entered Confederation as a Canadian province.

In 1944, an attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a bomb failed as the explosion at Hitler's Rastenburg headquarters only wounded the Nazi leader.

In 2000, the Mideast summit, resurrected only hours after its reported demise, moved forward with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stepping in for President Clinton, who had left for an economic summit in Japan.



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