This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1912, President William Taft signed into law a bill creating the territory of Alaska and the Alaska Territorial Legislature.

• In 1959, a California realtor announced plans for a $6 million tourist resort to be built on 47 acres at Salmon Creek, three miles north of Juneau.

• In 1963, the Standard Oil Co. Refinery at Kenai was dedicated.

In the nation

• In 1814, British forces invaded Washington D.C., setting fire to the Capitol and the White House.

• In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly nonstop across the United States, traveling from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., in just over 19 hours.

• In 1954, 50 years ago, the Communist Control Act went into effect, virtually outlawing the Communist Party in the United States.

• In 1970, a bomb planted by anti-war extremists exploded at the University of Wisconsin's Army Math Research Center in Madison, killing 33-year-old researcher Robert Fassnacht.

• In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for slaying rock star John Lennon.

• In 1989, Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti banned Pete Rose from the game for gambling.

• In 1999, the Federal Reserve raised borrowing costs for millions of Americans, increasing its target for the federal funds rate by a quarter point to 5.25 percent, and hiking the discount rate a quarter point to 4.75.

• In 2003, the Justice Department reported the U.S. crime rate in 2002 was the lowest since studies began in 1973. Hurricane Ignacio sideswiped the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Former U.S. House Minority Leader John J. Rhodes Jr. died in Mesa, Ariz., at age 86.

In the world

• In A.D. 79, long-dormant Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash. An estimated 20,000 people died.

• In 1572, the slaughter of French Protestants at the hands of Catholics began in Paris.

• In 1968, France became the world's fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.

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