This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2006

In Alaska

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• 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, S.C., harbor during the Civil War.

• In 1915, a mob in Cobb County, Ga., lynched Jewish businessman Leo Frank, whose death sentence for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan had been commuted to life imprisonment.

• 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 1985, more than 1,400 meatpackers walked off the job at the Geo. A. Hormel and Company's main plant in Austin, Minn., in a bitter strike that lasted just over a year.

• In 1996, a military cargo plane carrying gear for President Clinton crashed and exploded shortly after takeoff from Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming; eight crew members and a Secret Service employee were killed. The Reform Party announced Ross Perot had won its nomination to be its first-ever presidential candidate.

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 1978, the first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ended as Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their Double Eagle II outside Paris.

• In 1987, Rudolf Hess, the last member of Adolf Hitler's inner circle, died at a Berlin hospital near Spandau Prison at age 93, having apparently committed suicide.

• In 2001, millionaire balloonist Steve Fossett's fifth attempt to fly solo around the world ended in Brazil after running into bad weather.

• In 2005, Israeli security forces poured into four Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip, beginning the forcible removal of protesters who'd refused orders to leave the area ahead of a deadline. Three car bombs exploded in Baghdad, killing up to 43 people. Hundreds of anti-war vigils were held nationwide, part of an effort spurred by Cindy Sheehan's protest near President Bush's Texas ranch in memory of her son Casey, who was killed in Iraq.

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