This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1900, 1,000 people on a Nome beach witnessed the rescue of two miners after their skiff exploded. Water had leaked into the bottom of the boat, which was carrying 15 pounds of sodium.

• In 1913, the main tunnel of the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine was completed.

• In 1930, Matt Nieminen was the first pilot to fly over the summit of Mount McKinley.

• In 1949, the U.S. Post Office announced plans for the first rural free-delivery route in Ketchikan. (There was neither city nor rural mail delivery in the territory then.)

• In 1959, a U.S. district judge issued a temporary restraining order aimed at ending a union work stoppage in Skagway that was halting Canadian freight traffic through the port.

• In 1965, Albert Rothfus of the Alaska National Guard saved 3-year-old Emily Guthrie from drowning in Ketchikan Creek. He was later awarded the first Alaska Medal of Heroism.

• In 1979, a fire of unknown origin destroyed three buildings in Chitna, including the town's only store.

In the nation

• In 1846, the American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.

• In 1889, William Gray of Hartford, Conn., received a patent for a coin-operated telephone.

• In 1934, the satirical comic strip "Li'l Abner," created by Al Capp, made its debut.

• In 1981, in a ceremony at his California ranch, President Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions.

• In 1998, President Clinton led the nation in mourning 12 Americans killed in a pair of U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. Standing before black hearses carrying 10 of the bodies, the president pledged to seek justice "for these evil acts."

• In 2007, President Bush's political strategist, Karl Rove, announced his resignation.

In the world

• In 1521, Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured Tenochtitlan, present-day Mexico City, from the Aztecs.

• In 1624, French King Louis XIII named Cardinal Richelieu his first minister.

• In 1704, the Battle of Blenheim was fought during the War of the Spanish Succession, resulting in a victory for English-led forces over French and Bavarian soldiers.

• In 1932, Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice-chancellor of Germany, saying he was prepared to hold out "for all or nothing."

• In 1960, the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1.

• In 1961, Berlin was divided as East Germany sealed off the border between the city's eastern and western sectors and began building a wall in order to halt the flight of refugees.

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