This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1938, Steve Cowper, the seventh Governor of the State of Alaska, was born in Petersburg, Va.

• In 1954, the Lost River Mine near Seward unloaded 183 tons of tin in Seattle, the largest shipment ever taken from a U.S. tin mine.

In the nation

• In 1831, former slave Nat Turner led a violent insurrection in Virginia. He was later executed.

• In 1858, the famous debates between senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas began.

• In 1878, the American Bar Association was founded in Saratoga, N.Y.

• In 1940, exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in Mexico City from wounds inflicted by an assassin.

• In 1945, President Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped some $50 billion in aid to America's allies during World War II.

• In 1959, President Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.

• In 1983, the musical play "La Cage Aux Folles" opened on Broadway.

• In 1993, in a serious setback for NASA, engineers lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft as it was about to reach the Red Planet on a $980 million mission.

• In 1998, Samuel Bowers, a 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted in Hattiesburg, Miss., of ordering a 1966 firebombing that killed civil rights activist Vernon Dahmer.

In the world

• In 1963, martial law was declared in South Vietnam as police and army troops began a crackdown on Buddhist anti-government protesters.

• In 1982, a group of Palestinian guerrillas left Lebanon by ship under an evacuation plan mediated by the United States.

• In 1983, 20 years ago, Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., ending a self-imposed exile in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport.

• In 1991, the hard-line coup against Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev collapsed in the face of a popular uprising led by Russian federation President Boris N. Yeltsin.

• In 2002, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced he would not seek a fourth straight term and would step down in 2004.

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