This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, August 27, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1891, Doris Barnes, who would serve in both the House and Senate of the Territorial Legislature, was born in Portland, Oregon.

• In 1969, the world's largest authentic totem pole, a 132-foot shaft of Alaska red cedar, was dedicated at Port Chilkoot, near Haines.

• In 1970, bankruptcy proceedings threatened to put the city of Kenai in fear of a winter breakdown of its electrical facilities.

• In 1974, Alaskans voted to move the state capital from Juneau to an as-yet-to-be-selected location. The site eventually selected was Willow, north of Anchorage. The vote to fund moving the capital failed in 1982.

In the nation

• In 1859, Col. Edwin L. Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the United States, near Titusville, Pa.

• In 1892, fire seriously damaged New York's original Metropolitan Opera House.

• In 1894, Congress passed the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, which contained a provision for a graduated income tax that was later struck down by the Supreme Court.

• In 1962, the United States launched the Mariner 2 space probe, which flew past Venus in December 1962.

• In 1996, First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the Democratic convention in Chicago, forcefully making her husband's case for re-election while rebutting her Republican critics. California Gov. Pete Wilson signed an executive order aimed at halting state benefits to illegal immigrants.

In the world

• In 1883, the island volcano Krakatoa blew up; the resulting tidal waves in Indonesia's Sunda Strait claimed some 36,000 lives in Java and Sumatra.

• In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in Paris, outlawing war and providing for the peaceful settlement of disputes.

• In 1967, Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, was found dead in his London flat from an overdose of sleeping pills.

• In 1979, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion claimed by the Irish Republican Army.

• In 2001, Israeli helicopters fired a pair of rockets through office windows and killed senior PLO leader Mustafa Zibri. Peru's Congress voted to lift the constitutional immunity of former President Alberto Fujimori, so that prosecutors could charge him with crimes against humanity.

• In 2005, coastal residents jammed freeways and gas stations as they rushed to get out of the way of Hurricane Katrina, which was headed toward New Orleans. President Bush asked Americans in his weekly radio address to be patient with the U.S. military mission in Iraq as thousands of pro-Bush and anti-war demonstrators competed for attention in his tiny hometown of Crawford, Texas.

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