This Day in History

Posted: Monday, August 21, 2006

In Alaska

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

• In 1970, Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel continued his visit of potential trouble spots along the route of the planned Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

• In 1989, in the Yukon Territory, today is known as Discovery Day.

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 1944, the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and China opened talks at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington that helped pave the way for establishment of the United Nations.

• 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, five months after he'd signed the Hawaiian statehood bill.

• In 1996, President Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, aimed at making health insurance easier to obtain and keep.

• In 2001, Robert Tools, the first person to receive a self-contained artificial heart, was introduced to the public at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., through a video link from his doctor's office. Federal authorities working with McDonald's announced they'd broken up a criminal ring that allegedly rigged the popular "Monopoly" and "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" games played by millions of the fast-food chain's customers over the previous six years.

In the world

• In 1911, Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" was stolen from the Louvre Museum. (The painting turned up two years later, in Italy.)

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

• In 1983, 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 1986, more than 1,700 people died when toxic gas erupted from a volcanic lake in the West African nation of Cameroon.

• 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 2005, Pope Benedict XVI triumphantly ended his four-day trip to his native Germany, celebrating an open-air Mass for a million people in Cologne.

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