This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1868, Hiram Ketchum Jr. became the first Collector of Customs for Alaska.

• In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Alexander Archipelago Forest Reserve.

• In 1938, the first scheduled Pan American air express flight from Seattle to Juneau landed at Auke Bay.

• In 1959, Governor William Egan accepted a new Lincoln sedan as the Governor's official car. The midnight blue car replaced a 1953 Lincoln used by the last two Governors of the Territory. The Lincoln was transferred to Guam by the Federal Government. Also this year, the first commercial jet flight landed in Anchorage as a Pan American Airways Boeing 707 on the way to Tokyo stopped for fuel.

In the nation

• In 1866, President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, months after the fighting had stopped.

• In 1918, Britain opened its offensive on the Western front during World War I.

• In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed a nearly $1 billion anti-poverty measure.

• In 1977, the U.S. launched Voyager II, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.

• In 1979, swimmer Diana Nyad succeeded in her third attempt at swimming from the Bahamas to Florida.

• In 1993, conjoined twins Angela and Amy Lakeberg were separated at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in an operation that sacrificed Amy, since the sisters shared a common heart and liver tissue. Although the separation appeared to be successful, Angela died in June 1994.

• In 1998, Monica Lewinsky went before a grand jury for a second round of explicit testimony about her White House trysts with President Clinton.

In the world

• In 1914, German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I.

• In 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force, saying, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

• In 1953, the Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

• In 1955, hundreds of people were killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.

• In 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" liberalization drive of Alexander Dubcek's regime.

• In 1998, retaliating 13 days after the deadly embassy bombings in East Africa, U.S. forces launched cruise missile strikes against alleged terrorist camps in Afghanistan and what was described as a chemical plant in Sudan.

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