This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1949, Ketchikan radio station, KTKN-AM, was knocked off the air for an hour after lightening from a rare thunderstorm struck the station's tower. Juneau voters approved increasing the mayor's term in office from one to two years.

• In 1966, two earthquakes, each measuring over 5.5 on the Richter scale, rocked Anchorage. There was no reported damage.

In the nation

• In 1861, Union Gen. John C. Fremont instituted martial law in Missouri and declared slaves there to be free. (However, Fremont's order was countermanded days later by President Lincoln).

• In 1862, Union forces were defeated by the Confederates at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Va.

• In 1905, Ty Cobb made his major-league debut as a player for the Detroit Tigers, hitting a double in his first at-bat in a game against the New York Highlanders. (The Tigers won 5-3.)

• In 1967, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Thurgood Marshall as the first black justice on the Supreme Court.

• In 1996, President Clinton and Vice President Gore, fresh from their renominations at the just-concluded Democratic national convention in Chicago, set out with their wives on a bus caravan through America's heartland. A commercial expedition to raise part of the sunken British luxury liner Titanic ended in failure as nylon lines being used to lift a 21-ton section of the hull snapped, sending the section back to the bottom of the North Atlantic.

• In 2001, Nikolay Soltys was captured hiding under a desk in his mother's back yard in Citrus Heights, Calif., after a 10-day nationwide manhunt for the Ukrainian immigrant accused of butchering six relatives. (Soltys ended up committing suicide in his jail cell.)

• In 2005, a day after Hurricane Katrina hit, floods were covering 80 percent of New Orleans, looting continued to spread and rescuers in helicopters and boats picked up hundreds of stranded people.

In the world

• In 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Japan to set up Allied occupation headquarters.

• In 1963, the "Hot Line" communications link between Washington and Moscow went into operation.

• In 1983, Guion S. Bluford Jr. became the first black American astronaut to travel in space, blasting off aboard the Challenger.

• In 1986, Soviet authorities arrested Nicholas Daniloff, the Moscow correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, and accused him of espionage. (He was later released.)

• In 1991, Azerbaijan declared its independence, joining the stampede of republics seeking to secede from the Soviet Union.

• In 1997, Americans learned of the car crash in Paris that claimed the lives of Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul. (Because of the time difference, it was Aug. 31 when the crash actually occurred.)

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