This Day in History

Posted: Friday, September 23, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1959, an Anchorage Daily Times editorial argued that Juneau was too remote from the rest of Alaska to be considered a good state capital.

• In 1959, Alaska's Labor commissioner, Lewis Dischner, reported that the Teamsters Union and an AFL-CIO affiliate were beginning separate efforts to organize state employees.

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

• In 1969, the ice-breaking tanker the USS Manhattan began its return voyage from Alaska to the East Coast of the United States with one barrel of North Slope crude oil.

In the nation

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

• In 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the American warship Bon Homme Richard defeated the HMS Serapis after the American commander, John Paul Jones, is said to have declared: "I have not yet begun to fight!"

• 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 disputed 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 1962, New York's Philharmonic Hall (since renamed Avery Fisher Hall) formally opened as the first unit of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

• In 1995, in a wide-ranging interview aboard Air Force One, President Clinton admitted he had tended in the past to get hung up on details, and pledged to do a better job in providing reassuring leadership to Americans confused by tumultuous times.

• In 2004, President Bush denied painting too rosy a picture about Iraq, and said he would consider sending more troops if asked; Iraq's interim leader, Ayad Allawi, standing with Bush in the White House Rose Garden, said additional troops weren't needed. Congress extended three middle-class tax cuts in a $146 billion package.

In the world

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

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

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