This Day in History

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1880, Joe Juneau and Richard Harris camped in the present site of Juneau and found gold 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 Steamboat (popularly, if erroneously, known to this day as the Clermont) began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round-trip between New York and Albany.

• In 1863, federal batteries and ships began bombarding Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War, but the Confederates managed to hold on despite several days of pounding.

• 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. (Frank, who'd maintained his innocence, was pardoned by the state of Georgia in 1986.)

• In 1969, 256 people were killed as Hurricane Camille slammed into the Gulf Coast.

• 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, the Reform Party announced Ross Perot had won its nomination to be its first-ever presidential candidate.

• In 1997, President Clinton urged both sides in the United Parcel Service strike to "redouble their efforts" to reach a deal, but hours later, negotiators recessed their intensive talks.

• In 2006, a federal judge in Detroit ruled that President Bush's warrantless surveillance program violated the rights to free speech and privacy, as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.


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