This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1887, the American flag was raised at Metlakatla, Alaska by migrants from Metlakatla, British Columbia.

• In 1897, William 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 2006, oil prices jumped after BP said it had discovered corrosion so severe, it would have to replace 16 miles of pipeline at the huge Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska.

In the nation

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

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

• In 1882, the famous feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky erupted into full-scale violence as one member of the Hatfield clan was killed by three McCoy brothers, who ended up being slain in turn.

• In 1959, the United States launched Explorer VI, which sent back a picture of the Earth.

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

• In 1974, French stuntman Philippe Petit repeatedly walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center.

• In 2002, former ImClone Systems chief executive Samuel Waksal was indicted in New York on charges of obstruction of justice and bank fraud in addition to previous securities fraud and perjury charges. (Waksal later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison.)

In the world

• In 1927, the Peace Bridge between the United States and Canada was dedicated during ceremonies attended by Prince Edward of Wales, Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and U.S. Vice President Charles Dawes.

• In 1942, U.S. and allied forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II.

• In 1947, the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, which had carried a six-man crew 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean, crashed into a reef in a Polynesian archipelago.

• In 1987, the presidents of five Central American nations, meeting in Guatemala City, signed an 11-point agreement designed to bring peace to their region.

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