This Day in History

Posted: Monday, August 23, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1901, telegraph service began at Juneau via a submarine cable to Skagway and the Canadian land line.

• In 1939, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes approved plans for a Bureau of Fisheries Experimental Laboratory in Ketchikan. Construction of the Naknek Cold Storage Plant was completed. Dr. W.W. Council, Territorial Health Commissioner, disclosed that tuberculosis was responsible for 22 percent of Alaska's deaths.

• In 1966, Alaska Airlines filed an application to provide jet service between Sitka and Seattle and Sitka and Anchorage. Walter J. Hickel and William Egan won the primary election, to square off for the office of governor. Walter Hickel was elected in November.

• In 1974, a late-season fire raging out of control on the Kenai Peninsula resulted in the closure of the area south of Portage to all camping and hunting.

In the nation

• In 1926, silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31.

• In 1927, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery. Sacco and Vanzetti were vindicated in 1977 by Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis.

• In 1960, Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein II died in Doylestown, Pa.

• In 1972, the Republican national convention, meeting in Miami Beach, Fla., nominated Vice President Spiro T. Agnew for a second term.

• In 1979, Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected while the Bolshoi Ballet was on tour in New York.

• In 1989, in a case that inflamed racial tensions in New York City, Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year-old black youth, was shot dead after he and his friends were confronted by white youths in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.

• In 1994, Republican senators threatened to thwart a $30 billion anti-crime bill unless Democrats accepted changes in the House-passed measure; President Clinton appealed for bipartisan cooperation.

• In 1999, the Dow Jones industrial average soared 199.15 to a record of 11,209.84.

• In 2003, former priest John Geoghan, the convicted child molester whose prosecution sparked the sex abuse scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church nationwide, died after another inmate attacked him in a Massachusetts prison. All-Star baseball player Bobby Bonds, slugger Barry Bonds' father, died at age 57.

In the world

• In 1754, 250 years ago, France's King Louis XVI was born at Versailles.

• In 1914, Japan declared war against Germany in World War I.

• In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty.

• In 1944, Romanian prime minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael, paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies.

• In 1982, Lebanon's parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. He was assassinated some three weeks later.

• In 1999, 50 years after the German government moved to the capital of Bonn, Berlin reclaimed its role as a center of power in Germany with the arrival of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

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