This Day in History

Posted: Monday, August 02, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1869, William H. Seward, former Secretary of State, arrived in Sitka on his Alaska visit.

• In 1939, the Anchorage Women's Club announced that high-heeled shoes would be banned from the City Lawn and the Strawberry Festival.

In the nation

• In 1776, members of the Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

• In 1876, frontiersman "Wild Bill" Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory.

• In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco.

• In 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program.

• In 1969, the first sea otter, moved from Amchitka Island in the Aleutians, arrived at its new home on the Washington coast. The otters were being moved because of pending nuclear tests.

• In 1985, 137 people were killed when a Delta Air Lines jetliner crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

In the world

• In 1921, opera singer Enrico Caruso died in Naples, Italy.

• In 1943, during World War II, a Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri off the Solomon Islands. The future president was credited with saving members of the crew. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism, and also received the Purple Heart for injuries he'd suffered.

• In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler's complete takeover.

• In 1964, the Pentagon reported the first of two attacks on U.S. destroyers by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.

• In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.

• In 1994, Serbia threatened to cut all aid to the Bosnian Serbs if they didn't approve an international peace plan.

• In 1999, launching another salvo in a war of nerves with rival Taiwan, China announced it had test-fired a new long-range missile. A train collision in India claimed 286 lives.

• In 2003, Saddam Hussein's two elder sons and a grandson were buried as martyrs near the deposed Iraqi leader's hometown of Tikrit, where insurgents afterward attacked U.S. troops with three remote-controlled bombs. Liberian President Charles Taylor agreed to cede power.

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