This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1947, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced plans for a new Alaska Railroad terminal to be built at Fire Island in Anchorage, making it possible to dismantle the Seward-Anchorage line.

• In 1952, ALCOA announced plans for a $400 million aluminum project in Skagway.

• In 1954, the U.S. Department of the Interior seized control of the government-owned McKinley Park Hotel due to the unsatisfactory operation record of the concessionaire.

• In 1964, the coastal steamer Northland Princess failed in her attempt at a two-way pass through the Northwest Passage in one season.

• In 1966, Cook Inlet was the site of a 30-day hovercraft demonstration, to test the feasibility of using them for cargo transportation.

• In 1970, former Gov. William Egan and incumbent Gov. Keith Miller swept to primary election victories. William Egan was elected governor in November.

In the nation

• In 1916, the National Park Service was established within the Department of the Interior.

• In 1921, the United States signed a peace treaty with Germany.

• In 1950, President Truman ordered the Army to seize control of the nation's railroads to avert a strike.

• In 1980, the Broadway musical "42nd Street" opened. Producer David Merrick stunned the cast and audience during the curtain call by announcing that the show's director, Gower Champion, had died earlier that day.

• In 2000, a bogus Internet news release picked up by financial news agencies sent the stock of high-tech firm Emulex Corp. plunging more than 60 percent, but the shares recovered after the company refuted the reports. Mark Jakob, the author of the phony press release, was later sentenced to nearly four years in prison for wire and securities fraud.

• In 2004, an Army investigation found that 27 people attached to an intelligence unit at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad either approved or participated in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. David Hicks, an Australian cowboy who had converted to Islam and allegedly fought for the Taliban in Afghanistan, pleaded innocent to war crimes charges before a U.S. military commission.

In the world

• In 1825, Uruguay declared independence from Brazil.

• In 1875, Capt. Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel, getting from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in 22 hours.

• In 1943, U.S. forces overran New Georgia in the Solomon Islands during World War II.

• In 1944, Romania declared war on Germany.

• In 1944, during World War II, Paris was liberated by Allied forces after four years of Nazi occupation.

• In 1995, Chinese-American human rights activist Harry Wu, safely back on U.S. soil after two months in Chinese detention, said the spying case against him was "all lies," and vowed to seek compensation from China.

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