This Day in History

Posted: Friday, October 08, 2004

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. According to rumors, they were either 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 1944, "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" made its debut on CBS Radio.

• 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 1994, President Clinton, responding to the massing of Iraqi troops near the Kuwaiti border, warned Saddam Hussein not to misjudge "American will or American power" as he ordered additional U.S. forces to the region.

• In 1999, a damage award to State Farm auto insurance customers swelled to nearly $1.2 billion after a judge in Illinois ruled that the nation's largest auto insurer committed fraud by using generic auto-body repair parts. The $730 million award of actual and punitive damages came on top of a jury's $456 million verdict in the same class-action lawsuit. Laila Ali, the 21-year-old daughter of Muhammad Ali, made her professional boxing debut by knocking out opponent April Fowler 31 seconds after the opening bell in Verona, N.Y.

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 2003, Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames was tabbed to become the first black captain in NHL history.

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