This Day in History

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1868, the Alaska Commercial Company was incorporated in San Francisco.

• 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, in the bloodiest battle day in U.S. history, Union forces hurled back a Confederate invasion in the Civil War Battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg, Md.

• In 1920, the American Professional Football Association - a precursor of the National Football League - was formed in Canton, Ohio.

• In 1947, James V. Forrestal was sworn in as the first U.S. Secretary of Defense.

• 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 1987, the city of Philadelphia, birthplace of the U.S. Constitution, threw a big party to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic document.

• In 1997, President Clinton rejected a ban on land mines endorsed by 89 countries.

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. (After initial success, the Allies were beaten back by the Germans.)

• In 1948, the United Nations mediator for Palestine, Count Folke Bernadotte, was assassinated in Jerusalem by Jewish extremists.

• In 1997, a U.N. helicopter slammed into a fog-shrouded mountain in central Bosnia and burst into flames, killing German diplomat Gerd Wagner, five Americans and six others.

• In 2002, after years of denials by his country, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il admitted that North Korean spies had abducted about a dozen Japanese citizens decades earlier, and that at least four of the Japanese were still alive. NBA star Patrick Ewing announced his retirement.

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