This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1880, Joe Juneau and Richard Harris camped in the present site of Juneau and found gold prospects 29 days after leaving Sitka.

• In 1896, George Carmack and companions made a gold discovery that touched off the Klondike Gold Rush.

• In 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower vetoed a bill that would have doubled the number of oil and gas lease acres that an individual or corporation could hold.

In the nation

• In 1807, Robert Fulton's North River Steam Boat began heading up New York's Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany.

• In 1863, Federal batteries and ships bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War.

• In 1969, 248 people were killed as Hurricane "Camille" slammed into the Gulf Coast. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair concluded near Bethel, N.Y.

• In 1993, a prosecutor in Wayne County, Mich. charged Dr. Jack Kevorkian under Michigan's 6-month-old law against assisted suicide for aiding in the death of Thomas Hyde, who was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. A jury later acquitted Kevorkian.

• In 1998, President Clinton gave grand jury testimony via closed-circuit television from the White House concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky; he then delivered a TV address in which he denied previously committing perjury, admitted his relationship with Lewinsky was "wrong," and criticized Kenneth Starr's investigation. The Federal Reserve Board approved the merger of NationsBank and BankAmerica.

In the world

• In 1942, during World War II, U.S. 8th Air Force bombers attacked Rouen, France.

• In 1943, the Allied conquest of Sicily was completed as U.S. and British forces entered Messina.

• In 1962, East German border guards shot and mortally wounded 18-year-old Peter Fechter, who had attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into the western sector.

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