This Day in History

Posted: Monday, October 09, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1914, a speed-limit law with a top speed of 8 mph was put into effect in Juneau.

• In 1919, Robert J. Sommers was appointed surveyor general and ex-officio secretary of Alaska.

• In 1959, Gov. William Egan publicly opposed Alaska House Majority Leader Peter Kalamarides' suggestion that the capital be moved from Juneau. Egan officially proclaimed Oct. 18, 1959, as Alaska Day, observing the 92nd anniversary of the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States.

• In 1979, a mudslide in Wrangell triggered by heavy rains narrowly missed hitting an apartment building and a trailer court.

In the nation

• In 1635, religious dissident Roger Williams was ordered banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

• In 1701, the Collegiate School of Connecticut - later Yale University - was chartered.

• In 1776, a group of Spanish missionaries settled in present-day San Francisco.

• In 1888, the public was first admitted to the Washington Monument.

• In 1930, Laura Ingalls became the first woman to fly across the United States as she completed a nine-stop journey from Roosevelt Field, N.Y., to Glendale, Calif.

• In 1936, the first generator at Boulder (later Hoover) Dam began transmitting electricity to Los Angeles.

• In 1946, the Eugene O'Neill drama "The Iceman Cometh" opened at the Martin Beck Theater in New York.

• In 1996, Vice President Al Gore and Jack Kemp debated in St. Petersburg, Fla. Two Americans, Robert F. Curl Jr. and Richard E. Smalley, and a Briton, Harold W. Kroto, shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry while three Americans, David M. Lee, Robert C. Richardson and Douglas C. Osheroff, won the physics prize. In the opening game of the American League Championship series, 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier turned a probable fly out into a game-tying home run by reaching over the right-field wall at Yankee Stadium and sweeping the ball into the stands with his baseball glove (the Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-4, in 11 innings).

• In 2001, in the first daylight raids since the start of U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan, jets bombed the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. Letters postmarked in Trenton, N.J., were sent to Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy; the letters later tested positive for anthrax. Americans Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman, and German-born U.S. resident Wolfgang Ketterle won the Nobel Prize in physics.

• In 2005, a driverless Volkswagen won a $2 million race across the rugged Nevada desert, beating four other robot-guided vehicles that completed a Pentagon-sponsored contest aimed at making warfare safer for humans.

In the world

• In 1967, Latin American guerrilla leader Che Guevara was executed while attempting to incite revolution in Bolivia.

• In 1975, Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

• In 1985, the hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise liner surrendered after the ship arrived in Port Said, Egypt.

• In 2005, dozens of foreign tourists fled devastated lakeside Mayan towns as Guatemalan officials said they would abandon communities buried by landslides and declare them mass graveyards.

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