This Day in History

Posted: Friday, August 15, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1935, Will Rogers and Wiley Post died in a plane crash enroute to Barrow from Fairbanks.

• In 1943, Kiska Island in the Aleutians was retaken by American forces after the Japanese fled.

• In 1959, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management warned squatters that they faced eviction and prosecution if they failed to relinquish their claims on federal land that was to be transferred to Alaska as part of statehood.

• In 1967, the Chena River flooded Fairbanks.

In the nation

• In 1939, the MGM musical "The Wizard of Oz" premiered at the Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

• In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York.

• In 1971, President Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.

• In 2002, some 600 family members of Sept. 11 victims filed a trillion-dollar federal lawsuit against Saudi officials, banks and charities, charging they'd financed Osama bin Laden's network and the attacks on New York and Washington.

In the world

• In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces landed in southern France.

• In 1945, was proclaimed "V-J Day" by the Allies, a day after Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally.

• In 1947, India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.

• In 1948, the Republic of Korea was proclaimed.

• In 1961, East German workers began building the Berlin Wall.

• In 1994, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, a terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal," was jailed in France after being captured in Sudan.

• In 1993, an Egyptian surrendered peacefully after hijacking a Dutch jet to Germany to demand the United States release Muslim cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman.

• In 1998, twenty-nine people were killed by a car bomb that tore apart the center of Omagh, Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

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