This Day in History

Posted: Monday, July 24, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1909, the U.S. Wireless Station in Juneau began providing round-the-clock information on the positions of Alaska vessels.

• In 1912, the bill providing for a territorial government for the District of Alaska passed the U.S. Senate.

• In 1959, the U.S. Air Force honored famed bush pilot Don Sheldon by awarding him its highest civilian award - the Exceptional Service Award - for his work in numerous search and rescue missions. Another group of 35 Detroit families called The Homesteaders Club announced plans to move to Alaska in the spring to set up a farming community.

• In 1969, Atlantic Richfield, BP Oil Corp. and Humble Pipeline Co. announced plans to investigate the feasibility of constructing a large-diameter, 2,600 mile pipeline to carry Alaskan oil from Puget Sound to the eastern seaboard. An Anchorage man left $2,745 at the Anchorage International Airport. The entire amount was later found and returned.

In the nation

• In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.

• In 1929, President Hoover proclaimed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which renounced war as an instrument of foreign policy.

• In 1937, the state of Alabama dropped charges against five black men accused of raping two white women in the "Scottsboro Case."

• In 1974, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.

• In 2002, nine coal miners were trapped in a flooded mine in western Pennsylvania; the story ended happily three days later with the rescue of all nine.

In the world

• In 1783, Latin American revolutionary Simon Bolivar was born in Caracas, Venezuela.

• In 1959, during a visit to the Soviet Union, Vice President Richard M. Nixon engaged in a "Kitchen Debate" with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at a U.S. exhibition.

• In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts - two of whom had been the first men to set foot on the moon - splashed down safely in the Pacific.

• In 1975, an Apollo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific, completing a mission which included the first-ever docking with a Soyuz capsule from the Soviet Union.

• In 1996, two bombs blamed on Tamil separatists ripped through a commuter train near Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 64 civilians and wounding more than 400.

• In 2001, a Chinese court sentenced two U.S. residents to 10 years in prison on charges of spying for Taiwan. (China released Gao Zhan and Qin Guangguang two days later.)

• In 2005, Lance Armstrong closed out his cycling career with a seventh consecutive Tour de France victory.

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