This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, August 09, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1940, the first personnel arrived at Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage aboard a B-10 bomber.

• In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried, unsuccessfully, to catch salmon off Aaron Island in Southeast Alaska as he stopped off secretly on his way back from an inspection of the Aleutian Islands.

• In 1958, Mike Stepovich, the last governor of the territory of Alaska, resigned to run for the U.S. Senate. He lost to Ernest Gruening.

• In 1969, the world's second natural gas liquification plant was dedicated in Kenai. The plant was a joint venture between Phillips Petroleum and Marathon Oil Co.

• In 1971, abundant rainfall flooded Little Susitna River, weakening the roadbed and causing the derailment of 16 railroad cars.

In the nation

• In 1848, the Free-Soil Party convened in Buffalo, N.Y., where it nominated Martin Van Buren for president.

• In 1854, Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," which described his experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, was first published.

• In 1930, a forerunner of the cartoon character Betty Boop made her debut in Max Fleischer's animated short "Dizzy Dishes."

• In 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four other people were found brutally murdered in Tate's Los Angeles home; cult leader Charles Manson and a group of his followers were later convicted of the crime.

• In 1974, President Richard Nixon's resignation took effect. Vice President Gerald R. Ford became the nation's 38th chief executive.

• In 1982, a federal judge in Washington ordered John W. Hinckley Jr., who had been acquitted of shooting President Ronald Reagan and three others by reason of insanity, committed to a mental hospital.

• In 1997, Haitian immigrant Abner Louima was arrested in a street brawl in Brooklyn, N.Y.; he was brutalized in a stationhouse bathroom by Officer Justin Volpe, who sodomized him with a broken broomstick. (Volpe later pleaded guilty to federal charges and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.) An Amtrak train with more than 300 people aboard derailed on a bridge near Kingman, Ariz.; 183 people were injured.

• In 2002, Oscar-winning actor and National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston, 78, revealed that doctors had told him he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease. Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 600th homer, becoming the fourth major leaguer to reach the mark.

• In 2006, the White House said neither Israel nor Hezbollah should escalate their month-old war, as Israel decided to widen its ground invasion in southern Lebanon.

In the world

• In 1842, the United States and Canada resolved a border dispute by signing the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

• In 1902, Edward VII was crowned king of England following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.

• In 1936, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the U.S. took first place in the 400-meter relay.

• In 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, the United States exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.

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