This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1910, Alaska was created as a separate Lighthouse District, with Ketchikan as its headquarters.

• In 1964, outhouses were outlawed in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, as all residences were required to connect to city water and sewer lines.

• In 1956, the cornerstone was laid for the new $2 million Juneau-Douglas High School.

• In 1968, several hundred reindeer stopped all airplane traffic at the Nome airport. Herders had to drive the caribou the full length of the runway to get them back in the tundra.

• In 1969, the Anchorage department store chain that began as Caribou Pete's in 1951 officially became part of the Montgomery Ward chain.

• In 1977, the first tanker load of Alaskan oil from the Prudhoe Bay oil fields left the Port of Valdez aboard the ARCO Juneau.

• In 1979, the Alaska Department of Transportation completed an $800,000 study on the feasibility of connecting the Alaska Railroad with the Lower 48. Although it never did, the Alaska Railroad remains the northernmost railroad in North America.

In the nation

• In 1876, Colorado was admitted as the 38th state.

• In 1907, the U.S. Air Force had its beginnings as the U.S. Army Signal Corps established an aeronautical division in charge of "all matters pertaining to military ballooning, air machines and all kindred subjects."

• In 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the Fulbright Program into law, establishing the scholarships named for Sen. William J. Fulbright.

• In 1946, America's Atomic Energy Commission was established.

• In 1966, 25-year-old Charles Joseph Whitman went on a shooting rampage at the University of Texas in Austin, killing 14 people. Whitman, who had also murdered his wife and mother hours earlier, was gunned down by police.

• In 1997, the National Cancer Institute reported that fallout from 1950s nuclear bomb tests had exposed millions of children across the country to radioactive iodine. President Bill Clinton lifted a 20-year-old ban on the sale of high-performance aircraft to Latin America.

• In 2002, two former WorldCom executives were arrested on charges of falsifying the books at the now-bankrupt long-distance company. Two teenage girls were abducted from their dates at a lovers' lane outside Lancaster, Calif.; they were rescued 100 miles away after their kidnapper crashed his getaway car and was shot to death by sheriff's deputies.

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