This Day in History

Posted: Monday, August 15, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed near Point Barrow.

• 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 1972, U.S. District Judge George Hart, Jr. dissolved an injunction prohibiting work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The dissolution was a ruling against environmental groups attempting to stop construction of the pipeline.

In the nation

• 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 1995, the Justice Department agreed to pay $3.1 million to white separatist Randy Weaver and his family to settle their claims over the killing of Weaver's wife and son during a 1992 siege by federal agents at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Pioneering TV journalist and Timex watch pitchman John Cameron Swayze died in Sarasota, Fla., at age 89.

• In 2000, Democrats stirred memories of President John F. Kennedy at their national convention in Los Angeles, with his daughter Caroline beckoning delegates to turn the New Frontier into a "timeless call" that would send Al Gore to the White House.

• In 2004, residents left homeless by Hurricane Charley dug through their ravaged homes, rescuing what they could as President Bush promised rapid delivery of disaster aid. Vijay Singh won the PGA Championship in Haven, Wis.

In the world

• In 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the island of Corsica.

• In 1914, the Panama Canal opened to traffic.

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

• In 1945, the day 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 1994, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the terrorist better known as "Carlos the Jackal," was jailed in France after being captured in Sudan.

• In 1998, 29 people were killed by a car bomb in Omagh, Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

• In 2000, British Airways joined Air France in grounding its Concorde supersonic jets in the wake of the July 25 crash near Paris that claimed 113 lives. A group of 100 separated family members from North Korea arrived in South Korea for temporary reunions with relatives they had not seen for half a century; a group of 100 South Koreans visited the North.

• In 2004, in Athens, the U.S. men's basketball team lost 92-73 to Puerto Rico, only the third Olympic defeat ever for the Americans and first since adding pros.

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