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In 1868, the Alaska Commercial Company was incorporated in San Francisco, California.
In 1873, Thomas Riggs, Governor of the Territory of Alaska from 1918 to 1921, was born.
In 1934, fire swept through Nome, virtually destroying the town.
In 1964, a $6 million contract was signed to reconstruct the Alaska Railroad facilities in Seward that were damaged by the Good Friday earthquake. It was the largest single earthquake reconstruction contract.
In the nation
In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the constitutional convention in Philadelphia.
In 1862, Union forces hurled back a Confederate invasion of Maryland in the Civil War's Battle of Antietam.
In 1920, the American Professional Football Association - a precursor of the National Football League - was formed in Canton, Ohio.
In 1966, "Mission: Impossible" premiered on CBS.
In 1976, NASA publicly unveiled the space shuttle Enterprise at ceremonies in Palmdale, Calif.
In 1978, after meeting at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a framework for a peace treaty.
In 1986, the Senate confirmed the nomination of William H. Rehnquist to become the 16th chief justice of the United States.
In 1996, a nonpartisan commission recommended that Ross Perot be denied a spot in presidential debates, saying he had no realistic chance of winning the White House; Perot vowed to sue.
In 2001, six days after 9/11, stock prices nose-dived but stopped short of collapse in an emotional, flag-waving reopening of Wall Street; the Dow Jones industrial average ended the day down 684.81 at 8,920.70. President Bush said the United States wanted terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden "dead or alive."
In 2005, two passengers were killed, more than 80 people injured when a Chicago commuter train derailed while changing tracks at high speed.
In the world
In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland, more than two weeks after Nazi Germany had launched its assault.
In 1944, during World War II, Allied paratroopers launched Operation Market Garden, landing behind German lines in the Netherlands. The Allies, however, encountered fierce German resistance.