This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006

In Alaska

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• 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 took delivery of 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, but which was transferred to Guam by the Federal Government. The first commercial jet flight landed in Anchorage as a Pan American Airways Boeing 707 enroute to Tokyo stopped for fuel.

In the nation

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

• In 1920, pioneering American radio station 8MK in Detroit (later WWJ) began daily broadcasting.

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

• In 1977, the U.S. launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.

• In 1986, postal employee Patrick Henry Sherrill went on a deadly rampage at a post office in Edmond, Okla., shooting 14 fellow workers to death before killing himself.

• In 1996, President Clinton approved the first minimum-wage increase in five years, raising the hourly minimum by 90 cents to $5.15 per hour over 13 months. Susan McDougal was sentenced in Little Rock, Ark., to two years in prison in a Whitewater fraud case. (She served three months of that sentence, but also 18 months for contempt for refusing to answer questions about President Clinton.)

• In 2001, Nikolay Soltys, a 27-year-old Ukrainian immigrant in Sacramento, Calif., fled after killing his wife and five other relatives. (Soltys was later captured, but ended up committing suicide in his jail cell.)

• In 2005, Northwest Airlines mechanics went on strike rather than accept pay cuts and layoffs; Northwest hired replacement workers. With a deafening boom, the ashes of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson were blown into the sky above Woody Creek, Colo.

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.

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