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This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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. 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, 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. The ice-breaking tanker, the U.S.S. Manhattan, began its return voyage from Alaska to the East Coast of the U.S. with one barrel of North Slope crude oil.

In the nation

• In 1908, one of baseball's most famous blunders occurred in a game between the New York Giants and the visiting Chicago Cubs. With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth and two runners out, the Giants batted in what should have been the winning run. However, Fred Merkle, who was on first base, began to leave the field apparently without bothering to tag second; the Cubs then claimed to have forced Merkle out. Merkle was eventually ruled out, negating the winning run and leaving the game tied. (The Cubs won a rematch game on Oct. 8 and with it, the National League pennant; Chicago then went on to win the World Series.)

• In 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the American warship Bon Homme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated the HMS Serapis in battle.

• 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 more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.

• In 1938, a time capsule, to be opened in the year 6939, was buried on the grounds of the World's Fair in New York City.

• 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 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 2001, 13 coal miners were killed in explosions at the Blue Creek Mine No. 5 in Brookwood, Ala.

• In 2003, a federal appeals court unanimously put California's recall election back on the calendar for Oct. 7.

In the world

• In 1846, Neptune was identified as a planet by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.

• In 1973, former Argentine president Juan Peron won a landslide election victory that returned him to power; his wife, Isabel, was elected vice president.

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

• In 2003, speaking at the United Nations, President Bush rejected calls from France and Germany to hasten the transfer of power in Iraq, insisting the shift to self-government could be "neither hurried nor delayed."

• In 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left Tehran for New York to address the United Nations; state media quoted him as saying the American people were eager for different opinions about the world, and that he was looking forward to providing them with "correct and clear information." Cuba published a photo of a standing, smiling Fidel Castro looking heavier but still gaunt as he met with Angola's president.



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