This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, August 04, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1921, the road to the Mendenhall Glacier was completed, making it the most accessible glacier in Alaska.

• In 1959, a group of dancers from Point Hope visited Anchorage for the first time and danced at the Alaska Crippled Childrens' Association "Gilded Cage" benefit.

• In 1969, the tapping of Long Lake for the Snettisham Power Project near Juneau was completed. A dam to raise the level of the lake remained to be built.

• In 1972, the Ketchikan International Airport was officially dedicated. Including a 7,500 -foot runway, the costs topped $12 million.

In the nation

• In 1735, a jury acquitted John Peter Zenger of the New York Weekly Journal of seditious libel.

• In 1790, the Coast Guard had its beginnings as the Revenue Cutter Service.

• In 1830, plans for the city of Chicago were laid out.

• In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were axed to death in their home in Fall River, Mass. Lizzie Borden, Andrew Borden's daughter from a previous marriage, was accused of the killings, but acquitted at trial.

• In 1916, the United States purchased the Danish Virgin Islands for $25 million.

• In 1964, the bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi.

• In 1977, President Carter signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy.

• In 1985, a pair of milestones were achieved in major league baseball as Tom Seaver of the Chicago White Sox gained his 300th victory and Rod Carew of the California Angels got his 3,000th hit.

• In 2000, fresh from the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush and running mate Dick Cheney began an air and rail tour of four swing states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. For his part, Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore mocked the Republican gathering as a special-interests-sponsored sham.

• In 2004, Richard Smith, a Staten Island ferry pilot, pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in a crash that killed 11 commuters the previous October, acknowledging that he'd passed out at the helm after arriving at work with medication in his system. Former teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, convicted of having sex with a sixth-grade pupil, was released from a Washington state prison.

In the world

• In 1792, English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in Field Place, England.

• In 1914, Britain declared war on Germany while the United States proclaimed its neutrality.

• In 1944, Nazi police raided the secret annex of a building in Amsterdam and arrested eight people, including 15-year-old Anne Frank, whose diary became a famous Holocaust-era account. She died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

• In 1995, Croat forces launched a massive attack on breakaway Serbs in their self-proclaimed capital of Knin.

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