This Day in History

Posted: Monday, September 15, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1885, Alfred P. Swineford took office as the second governor of the District of Alaska.

• In 1913, Cordova residents formed the Alaska Good Roads Club with the goal of promoting a road from Fairbanks to Chitna.

• In 1959, the Bureau of Land Management paid Alaska nearly $4.4 million as the state's share of oil and gas lease revenue on public lands in Alaska.

• In 1986, the five billionth barrel of oil to travel down the trans-Alaska pipeline arrived in Valdez.

In the nation

• In 1776, British forces occupied New York City during the American Revolution.

• In 1789, the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs was renamed the Department of State.

• In 1857, William Howard Taft - who served as president of the United States and as U.S. chief justice - was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

• In 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev arrived in the U.S. to begin a 13-day visit.

• In 1963, four black girls were killed when a bomb went off during Sunday services at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. (Three Ku Klux Klansmen were eventually convicted for their roles in the blast.)

• In 1993, former 1960's radical Katherine Ann Power, who'd spent 23 years in hiding, surrendered to authorities to face charges stemming from a 1970 bank robbery in which Boston police officer Walter Schroeder Sr. was killed. (Power received a five-year federal term, to run concurrently with an eight- to 12-year state sentence. She was released in 1999.)

• In 1998, nine states and the District of Columbia held primaries. In New York, liberal congressman Charles Schumer won the Democratic nod to challenge Republican Sen. Alfonse D'Amato. (Schumer won.) In Washington state, conservative congresswoman Linda Smith won the right to challenge Democratic Sen. Patty Murray (Murray won re-election). Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals hit his 63rd home run of the season.

In the world

• In 1821, independence was proclaimed for Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

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