This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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 discovered gold in Canada's Yukon territory, a finding 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 began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round-trip between New York and Albany.

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

In the world

• 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 Georgia in 1986.)

• 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 1948, former State Department official Alger Hiss faced his chief accuser, Whittaker Chambers, during a closed-door meeting in New York of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and repeated his denial that he'd ever been a Communist agent.

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

• In 1988, Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel were killed in a mysterious plane crash.

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