This Day in History

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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., resulting in a Confederate victory.

• 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 on a technicality.)

• In 1930, President Hoover signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration.

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

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

• 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 2003, President Bush said he was working to persuade more nations to help in Iraq. Carlton Dotson Jr., the roommate of missing Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy, was arrested and charged with Dennehy's murder. (Dotson later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.)

• In 2007, doctors removed five small growths from President Bush's colon after he temporarily transferred the powers of his office to Vice President Dick Cheney under the rarely invoked 25th Amendment. David Beckham made his debut with the Los Angeles Galaxy in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000. (Beckham got into the exhibition game in the 78th minute of Chelsea's 1-0 victory.) "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final volume of the wizard series by J.K. Rowling, went on sale.

In the world

• In 1831, Leopold I was proclaimed King of the Belgians.

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

• In 1954, the Geneva Conference concluded with accords dividing Vietnam into northern and southern entities.

• In 1955, during a summit in Geneva, President Eisenhower presented his "open skies" proposal under which the U.S. and the Soviet Union would trade information on each other's military facilities and allow aerial reconnaissance.

• 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 2007, Ruediger Diedrich, one of two Germans kidnapped in southern Afghanistan on July 18, was found dead.

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