This Day in History

Posted: Friday, July 29, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1900, the last rail for the White Pass & Yukon Railroad was laid, connecting Skagway and Whitehorse.

• In 1948, two Argentinian brothers piled their bikes into a jeep purchased for $550 and headed out of Fairbanks. It had taken them two years to bicycle from Buenos Aires.

• In 1959, Buell Nesbett of Anchorage was named chief justice of the newly formed Alaska Supreme Court. Walter J. Hodge of Nome and John Dimond of Juneau were named sssociate justices of the three-person court.

In the nation

• In 1914, transcontinental telephone service began with the first phone conversation between New York and San Francisco.

• In 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created NASA.

• In 1985, the space shuttle Challenger began an eight-day mission that got off to a shaky start - the spacecraft achieved a safe orbit even though one of its main engines shut down prematurely after lift-off.

• In 1995, President Clinton and Republicans marked the 30th anniversary of Medicare by accusing one another of putting the program's future at risk.

• In 2004, Sen. John Kerry accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in Boston with a military salute and the declaration: "I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty."

In the world

• In 1588, the English soundly defeated the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines.

• In 1890, artist Vincent van Gogh died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers, France.

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