This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1929, water from Eklutna Canyon began supplying Anchorage with hydroelectric power.

• In 1933, George Alexander became the seventh U.S. District Judge for the First Division with its headquarters in Juneau.

• In 1979, an escaped buffalo was found northeast of Seward by the crew from the Coast Guard cutter Cape Jellison, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Seward Fire Department.

In the nation

• In 1848, the New York Herald reported the discovery of gold in California.

• In 1929, the comedy program "Amos and Andy," starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, made its network radio debut on NBC.

• In 1955, severe flooding in the Northeast claimed some 200 lives.

• In 1976, President Ford won the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Kansas City.

• In 1977, comedian Groucho Marx died in Los Angeles at age 86.

• In 1994, President Clinton abruptly halted the nation's three-decade open-door policy for Cuban refugees.

• In 1999, confronting questions about possible past drug use, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush told reporters he had not used illegal drugs in 25 years, and added that if voters insisted on knowing more, "they can go find somebody else to vote for."

In the world

• In 1934, a plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler.

• In 1942, about 6,000 Canadian and British soldiers launched a disastrous raid against the Germans at Dieppe, France, suffering about 50 percent casualties.

• In 1960, a tribunal in Moscow convicted American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers of espionage.

• In 1974, U.S. Ambassador Rodger P. Davies was fatally wounded by a bullet that penetrated the American embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, during a protest by Greek Cypriots.

• In 1991, Soviet hard-liners announced to a shocked world that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev had been removed from power. The coup collapsed two days later.

• In 2003, a suicide truck bomb struck U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, killing 22, including the top U.N. envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello. A suicide bombing of a bus in Jerusalem killed 22 people.

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