This Day in History

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1885, Barton Atkins was appointed U.S. marshal for Alaska, the second man to hold the office.

• In 1959, the name of Knife Peak in the Katmai National Monument was changed to Mount Griggs in honor of the leader of six National Geographic Society expeditions to the area beginning in 1915.

• In 1969, Gov. Keith Miller declared "Lunar Landing Day in Alaska" and gave state workers the day off in celebration of Apollo 11's successful landing on the moon.

In the nation

• In 1861, the first Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Va.; the rebels won.

• In 1925, the so-called Monkey Trial ended in Dayton, Tenn., with John T. Scopes convicted of violating state law for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution. The conviction was later overturned.

• In 1949, the U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

• In 1961, Capt. Virgil "Gus" Grissom became the second American to rocket into a suborbital pattern around the Earth, flying aboard the Liberty Bell 7.

• In 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin blasted off from the moon aboard the lunar module.

• In 1980, draft registration began in the United States for 19- and 20-year-old men.

• In 1993, more rain set back cleanup and recovery efforts in parts of the Midwest; Transportation Secretary Federico Pena examined flood damage along the Mississippi in Keokuk, Iowa.

• In 1998, President Clinton announced a crackdown on nursing homes that were lax about quality and on states that were doing a poor job of regulating them. The Pentagon said it found no evidence to support allegations in a CNN report that U.S. troops had used nerve gas during a 1970 operation in Laos designed to hunt down American defectors.

• In 2002, telecommunications giant WorldCom Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, about a month after disclosing it had inflated profits by nearly $4 billion through deceptive accounting.

In the world

• In 1831, Belgium became independent as Leopold I was proclaimed king.

• In 1944, American forces landed on Guam during World War II.

• In 1954, France surrendered North Vietnam to the communists.

• In 2002, Ernie Els won the British Open in the first sudden-death finish in the 142-year history of the tournament.

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