This Day in History

Posted: Friday, August 18, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1775, Capt. Hecata found Bucareli Bay near Craig.

• In 1826, Sir John Franklin "discovered" Prudhoe Bay.

• In 1844, the USS Pinta arrived in Sitka where she was to be stationed for the next 13 years.

• In 1919, Walter Hickel, Alaska's governor from 1966 to 1969, was born.

• In 1959, the North Star Creamery Plant in Anchorage began operation.

• In 1979, Joe Reddington Sr., Susan Butcher and their pilot Vern Lawton were found safe after their plane went down two days before, 90 miles west of McGrath. The Dempster Highway, from Dawson, in Canada's Yukon Territory, to Inuvik, in Canada's Northwest Territory, was officially opened for public traffic.

In the nation

• In 1587, Virginia Dare became the first child of English parents to be born on American soil, on what is now Roanoke Island, N.C. (However, the colony Virginia was born into ended up mysteriously disappearing.)

• In 1846, U.S. forces led by General Stephen W. Kearny captured Santa Fe, N.M.

• In 1894, Congress established the Bureau of Immigration.

• In 1914, President Wilson issued his "Proclamation of Neutrality," aimed at keeping the United States out of World War I.

• In 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right of all U.S. women to vote.

• In 1938, President Roosevelt dedicated the Thousand Islands Bridge connecting the United States and Canada.

• In 1963, James Meredith became the first black to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

• In 1982, for the first time, volume on the New York Stock exchange topped the 100 million level as 132.69 million shares were traded.

• In 1983, Hurricane Alicia slammed into the Texas coast, leaving 22 dead and causing more than $1 billion in damage.

• In 1996, on the eve of his 50th birthday, President Clinton was guest of honor at a trio of events in New York that combined celebrating with fundraising. Ross Perot, the presidential nominee of the Reform Party, launched his campaign with a speech in which he criticized the Republican and Democratic parties as captives of "special interests."

• In 2005, Cindy Sheehan, who'd started an anti-war demonstration near President Bush's Texas ranch nearly two weeks earlier, left the camp after learning her mother had suffered a stroke, but told supporters the protest would go on. A judge in Wichita, Kan., sentenced BTK serial killer Dennis Rader to 10 consecutive life terms, the maximum the law would allow.

In the world

• In 1976, two U.S. Army officers were killed in Korea's demilitarized zone as a group of North Korean soldiers wielding axes and metal pikes attacked U.S. and South Korean soldiers.

• In 2001, fire broke out at a budget hotel outside Manila, Philippines, killing 75 people.

• In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI began his first foreign trip as pontiff in low-key style, returning to his "beloved" German homeland.

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