This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1947, Juneau's first Salmon Derby was postponed due to weather.

• In 1948, Fish Lake, now called Big Lake, near Anchorage, was opened by the Bureau of Land Management for small tract land claims.

• In 1954, oil lease applications for 276,000 acres of land in the Kateel River area, 300 miles north of Fairbanks, included those of actor Jimmie Stewart.

• In 1966, the U.S. House of Representatives completed congressional action on a bill providing $70 million for Alaska highways, for the first time authorizing funds for maintenance as well as for construction.

• In 1979, a fire destroyed the $2 million tug MV Yukon near Manly Hot Springs.

In the nation

• In 1886, an earthquake rocked Charleston, S.C., killing 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

• In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an act prohibiting the export of U.S. arms to belligerents.

• In 1941, the radio program "The Great Gildersleeve" debuted on NBC.

• In 1954, Hurricane Carol hit the northeastern Atlantic states. Connecticut, Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts bore the brunt of the storm, which resulted in nearly 70 deaths.

• In 1986, 82 people were killed when an Aeromexico jetliner and a small private plane collided over Cerritos, Calif.

• In 1988, 14 people were killed when a Delta Boeing 727 crashed during takeoff from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

• In 1998, President Clinton left for a summit in Russia, which was in a state of political chaos over lawmakers' rejection of Boris Yeltsin's candidate for prime minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin. The New York Stock Exchange plunged amid news of the Russian crisis as well as North Korea's apparent firing of a missile over part of Japan.

• In 2007, President Bush met privately at the Pentagon with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who conveyed their concern about a growing strain on troops and their families from long and repeated combat tours in Iraq. President Bush announced a set of modest proposals to deal with an alarming rise in mortgage defaults. Mike Nifong, the disgraced former district attorney of Durham County, N.C., was sentenced to a day in jail after being held in criminal contempt of court for lying to a judge when pursuing rape charges against three falsely accused Duke University lacrosse players.

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