This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1869, the Yukon, the first steamboat to go up the Yukon River, reached Fort Yukon.

• In 1938, mining operations ceased at the Kennecott Mine, where thousands of dollars worth of copper had been produced since 1911.

• In 1969, the Commissioner of Public Safety, responding to complaints about the influx of "hippies" into Alaska, urged residents to be more tolerant of young people.

In the nation

• In 1777, the Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, was made a major-general in the American Continental Army.

• In 1948, President Harry Truman helped dedicate New York International Airport (later John F. Kennedy International Airport) at Idlewild Field.

• In 1957, the Distant Early Warning Line, a system of radar stations designed to detect Soviet bombers approaching North America, went into operation.

• In 1972, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.

• In 1997, in Brooklyn, N.Y., police seized five bombs believed bound for terrorist attacks on New York City subways.

In the world

• In 1919, Germany's Weimar Constitution was adopted by the republic's National Assembly.

• In 1945, Pierre Laval, premier of the pro-Nazi Vichy government, surrendered to U.S. authorities in Austria; he was turned over to France, which later tried and executed him.

• In 1964, the American space probe Ranger VII transmitted pictures of the moon's surface.

• In 1987, Iranian pilgrims and riot police clashed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, resulting in some 400 deaths, according to the Saudi government, which blamed the Iranians for the violence.

• In 1991, President George Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.

• In 2002, a bomb exploded inside a cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, killing nine people, including five Americans. Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego, the first Indian saint in the Americas, in a Mexico City ceremony.

• In 2006, Cuban President Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his brother, Raul, after gastrointestinal surgery.

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