This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1969, Dr. Richard Warner, a Canadian professor of Environmental Biology, warned that an oil spill in the Arctic could produce disastrous pollution which could persist for decades, perhaps centuries.

In the nation

• In 1642, Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., held its first commencement.

• In 1780, British spy John Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold's plot to surrender West Point to the British.

• In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis from the Pacific Northwest.

• In 1952, Republican vice-presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon went on television to deliver what came to be known as the "Checkers" speech, as he refuted allegations of improper campaign financing.

• In 1957, nine black students who had entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside.

• In 1998, Sammy Sosa hit his 64th and 65th home runs, tying Mark McGwire for the single-season record.

In the world

• In 1846, the planet Neptune was discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.

• In 1939, Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, died in London.

• In 1993, Sydney, Australia, was selected to host the 2000 Summer Olympics, beating out Beijing. The Israeli parliament ratified the Israel PLO accord. The South African parliament voted to allow blacks a role in governing.

• In 1998, the U.N. Security Council demanded a cease-fire in Kosovo, and threatened further action if fighting continued.

• In 2002, a defiant Yasser Arafat dug in at his besieged West Bank compound, rejecting Israel's demand to hand over the names of all those holed up inside.

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