This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, October 04, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1880, Joe Juneau and Richard Harris staked Juneau's first mining claims in Silver Bow Basin.

• In 1943, the Alaska Glacier Seafood Co. plant at Petersburg was destroyed by fire.

• In 1969, work stopped at Juneau's $50 million Snettisham Power Project after the Army Corps of Engineers ran out of money to allow additional contracts.

• In 1980, some 520 people were forced to abandon the cruise ship Prisendam in the Gulf of Alaska after the Dutch luxury liner caught fire; no deaths or serious injury resulted.

In the nation

• In 1777, George Washington's troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Pa., resulting in heavy American casualties.

• In 1931, the comic strip "Dick Tracy," created by Chester Gould, made its debut.

• In 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin, 27, was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room.

• In 1976, agriculture secretary Earl Butz resigned in the wake of a controversy over a joke he'd made about blacks.

• In 1996, a judge in Philadelphia issued an injunction preventing Major League baseball umpires from striking for the remainder of the postseason over an incident in which Roberto Alomar of the Baltimore Orioles spat on umpire John Hirschbeck.

• In 2001, Barry Bonds hit his 70th home run to tie Mark McGwire's 1998 record in a 10-2 victory over Houston. Rickey Henderson homered to pass Ty Cobb and become baseball's career leader in runs scored with 2,246 during San Diego's 6-3 win over Los Angeles.

• In 2005, President Bush defended his Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers, from suggestions by some skeptical Republicans that she was not conservative enough, and insisted Miers shared his strict-constructionist views. (Miers ended up withdrawing.) Hurricane Stan slammed into Mexico's Gulf coast.

In the world

• In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini conferred at Brenner Pass in the Alps, where the Nazi leader sought Italy's help in fighting the British.

• In 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, into orbit.

• In 1965, Pope Paul VI became the first reigning pontiff to visit the Western Hemisphere as he addressed the U.N. General Assembly.

• In 1966, the kingdom of Lesotho gained its independence from Britain.

• In 1978, funeral services were held at the Vatican for Pope John Paul I.

• In 2001, a Russian airliner flying from Israel to Siberia was accidentally shot down by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile over the Black Sea, killing all 78 people on board.

• In 2005, Americans John L. Hall and Roy J. Glauber and German Theodor W. Haensch won the 2005 Nobel Prize in physics.

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