This Day in History

Posted: Monday, August 07, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1877, the American flag was raised at Metlakatla by migrants from Metlakatla, British Columbia.

• In 1897, William L. Distin was appointed the first surveyor general of Alaska.

• In 1938, the first test flight of the Pan American amphibian from Seattle to Ketchikan and Juneau landed on the Mendenhall Flats in the capital city. The flight lasted 8 hours and 20 minutes.

• In 1959, Alaska inaugurated its first state court system as Buell Nesbett and John Dimond took office as justices of the Alaska Supreme Court. Later that year, Walter Hodges also took office.

• In 1969, nearly half of the 29 Alaskan sea otters transplanted to the Washington coast from pending nuclear testing areas on Amchitka Island died after less than a week in their new home.

• In 1989, in the Northwest Territories, today is celebrated as Civic Day.

In the nation

• In 1782, George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.

• In 1789, the U.S. War Department was established by Congress.

• In 1927, the Peace Bridge between the United States and Canada was dedicated during ceremonies attended by the Prince of Wales and Vice President Charles Dawes.

• In 1934, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling striking down the government's attempt to ban the controversial James Joyce novel "Ulysses."

• In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces.

• In 1976, scientists in Pasadena, Calif., announced that the Viking 1 spacecraft had found the strongest indications to date of possible life on Mars.

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