This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1880, Joe Juneau and Richard Harris staked the first mining claims in Silverbow Basin in Juneau.

• 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.

• In 1980, about 520 people were forced to abandon the cruise ship Prinsendam 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 1957, Jimmy Hoffa was elected president of the Teamsters Union. The situation comedy "Leave It to Beaver" premiered on CBS-TV.

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

• In 1997, hundreds of thousands of men attended a Promise Keepers rally on the mall in Washington, D.C.

• In 2002, John Walker Lindh, the so-called "American Taliban," received a 20-year sentence after a sobbing, halting plea for forgiveness before a federal judge in Alexandria, Va. In a federal court in Boston, Richard Reid pleaded guilty with a laugh to trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight with explosives hidden in his shoes as he declared his hatred for America and his loyalty to Osama bin Laden.

• In 2006, ousted Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, a company officer and three investigators were charged with violating California privacy laws in a corporate spying scandal. (The charges were later dropped, with a judge calling their conduct a "betrayal of trust and honor" that nonetheless did not rise to the level of criminal activity.)

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 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit.

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

• In 1978, a funeral mass was held at the Vatican for Pope John Paul I.

• In 2006, American Roger D. Kornberg won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

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