This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2004


• In 1901, Professor Leonard, the aeronaut, performed acrobatic feats on a horizontal bar suspended from a large balloon over the Bering Sea near Nome.

• In 1925, the Southeast Alaska Fair opened in the Arctic Brotherhood Hall in Juneau.

• In 1947, bidding was opened by the U.S. Forest Service on 1.5 billion cubic feet of timber in the Ketchikan area. This was part of a plan to establish five or six large paper mills in Alaska.

• In 1974, the U.S. Army provided Kodiak with three emergency generators to give the Kodiak Electric Association a chance to repair broken equipment.

In the nation

• In 1893, hundreds of thousands of settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the "Cherokee Strip."

• In 1919, the American Legion was incorporated by an act of Congress.

• In 1940, President Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft in U.S. history. Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

• In 1953, "The Robe," the first movie presented in the widescreen process CinemaScope, had its world premiere at the Roxy Theater in New York.

• In 1966, the Metropolitan Opera opened its new opera house at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

• In 1974, President Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam war deserters and draft-evaders.

• In 1994, a federal jury ordered Exxon to pay $5 billion in punitive damages to commercial fishermen, Alaska natives, property owners and others harmed in the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. Two astronauts from the space shuttle Discovery went on the first untethered spacewalk in 10 years.

• In 1999, Hurricane Floyd hit the Carolinas and began making its way up the East Coast, damaging 12,000 homes and claiming more than 50 lives, even after it weakened to a tropical storm.

• In 2003, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards formally launched his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Actor-singer Sheb Wooley died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 82.

In the world

• In 1638, France's King Louis IV was born.

• In 1810, Mexico began its revolt against Spanish rule.

• In 1977, Maria Callas, the American-born prima donna famed for her lyric soprano and fiery temperament, died in Paris at age 53.

• In 1982, the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children by Lebanese Christian militiamen began in west Beirut's Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps.

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