This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, October 08, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1914, the first governor of the state of Alaska, William Egan, was born in Valdez.

• In 1942, the War Production Board ordered the closure of most Alaska mines as an effort to conserve manpower, but excluded the Alaska-Juneau Mine.

• In 1954, the Alaska Air Command revealed that radar had detected unidentified aircraft flying over Alaska. Rumors identified them as Russian planes looking for A-Bomb targets, Scandinavian jetliners or Bush planes.

In the nation

• In 1869, the 14th president of the United States, Franklin Pierce, died in Concord, N.H.

• In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire erupted while another deadly blaze broke out in Peshtigo, Wis.

• In 1890, American aviation hero Eddie Rickenbacker was born in Columbus, Ohio.

• In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was indicted for murder in the death of the infant son of Charles A. Lindbergh.

• In 1945, President Truman announced that the secret of the atomic bomb would be shared only with Britain and Canada.

• In 1956, Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in a World Series to date as the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 2-0.

• In 1993, the government issued a report absolving the FBI of wrongdoing in its final assault in Texas on the Branch Davidian compound, which went up in flames, killing as many as 85 people.

• In 1998, the House triggered an open-ended impeachment inquiry against President Clinton in a momentous 258-176 vote; 31 Democrats joined majority Republicans in opening the way for nationally televised impeachment hearings.

• In 2002, a federal judge approved President Bush's request to reopen West Coast ports, ending a caustic 10-day labor lockout that was costing the U.S. economy an estimated $1 billion to $2 billion a day.

In the world

• In 1918, Sgt. Alvin C. York almost single-handedly killed 25 German soldiers and captured 132 in the Argonne Forest in France.

• In 1970, Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was named winner of the Nobel Prize for literature.

• In 1982, all labor organizations in Poland, including Solidarity, were banned.

• In 1985, the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro killed American passenger Leon Klinghoffer.

• In 1992, former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt died in Unkel, Germany, at age 78.

• In 2002, two Kuwaiti gunmen attacked U.S. forces during war games on a Gulf island, killing one Marine and wounding another before they were shot to death.

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