This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• 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 1858, the second debate between senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas took place in Freeport, Ill.

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

• In 1998, two suspects in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya were brought to the United States to face charges.

• In 2003, a granite monument of the Ten Commandments that became a lightning rod in a legal storm over church and state was wheeled from the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building as protesters knelt, prayed and chanted, "Put it back!" In Chicago, a man who had been fired from an auto parts warehouse six months earlier came back with a gun and killed six employees before being shot dead by police.

• In 2006, a Comair CRJ-100 crashed after trying to take off from the wrong runway in Lexington, Ky., killing 49 people and leaving the co-pilot the sole survivor.

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 1979, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten and three other people, including his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas, were killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion claimed by the Irish Republican Army.

• In 1998, Mohamed Rashed Daoud al-'Owhali and Mohammed Saddiq Odeh were convicted in 2001 of conspiring to carry out a bombing; both were sentenced to life in prison.

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