This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, August 08, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill authorizing the U.S. Department of the Interior to sell timber and mineral products from Alaska land reserved for educational purposes.

• In 1947, President Harry Truman signed the Tongass Timber Bill.

• In 1949, the U.S. Department of the Interior ruled that the Federal Government had control of Alaska's tidelands as long as Alaska remained a territory.

• In 1959, two U.S. Air Force F-100 jet planes landed at Eielson Air Force Base, after flying 5,400 miles nonstop from England, in the first flight by jets over the North Pole. Just prior to landing, a moose had to be shoved off the runway.

• In 1962, the Diocese of Fairbanks was established.

• In 1979, the Alaska Legislature adjourned its special session after approving pay raises for state employees.

In the nation

• In 1876, Thomas Edison received a patent for his mimeograph.

• In 1942, six convicted Nazi saboteurs who had landed in the U.S. were executed in Washington; two others' lives were spared.

• In 1945, President Harry Truman signed the United Nations Charter.

• In 1968, Richard M. Nixon was nominated for president at the Republican national convention in Miami Beach, Fla.

• In 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew branded as "damned lies" reports he had taken kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland, and vowed not to resign - which he ended up doing.

• In 1974, President Richard M. Nixon announced he would resign following damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal.

• In 1978, the U.S. launched Pioneer Venus II, which carried scientific probes to study the atmosphere of Venus.

• In 1997, the Teamsters and United Parcel Service completed a second day of federally mediated talks, with neither side reporting progress toward ending a strike.

• In 2006, Sen. Joe Lieberman lost the Connecticut Democratic primary to political newcomer Ned Lamont. (However, Lieberman ended up winning re-election to the Senate by running as an independent). The Federal Reserve left a benchmark interest rate unchanged after 17 consecutive rate hikes over more than two years. Roger Goodell was chosen as the NFL's next commissioner.

In the world

• In 1945, the Soviet Union declared war against Japan during World War II.

• In 1963, Britain's "Great Train Robbery" took place as thieves made off with 2.6 million pounds in banknotes.

• In 1994, Israel and Jordan opened the first road link between the two once-warring countries.

• In 2002, Saddam Hussein organized a big military parade and then warned "the forces of evil" not to attack Iraq as he sought once more to shift the debate away from world demands that he live up to agreements that ended the Gulf War. Bankrupt telecommunications firm WorldCom said it had uncovered another $3.3 billion in bogus accounting, adding to the $3.85 billion fraud it had revealed in June.

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