This Day in History

Posted: Monday, October 18, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1867, the United States formally took possession of the Territory of Alaska with the raising of the flag at New Archangel, now Sitka.

• In 1880, the 160-acre townsite of Harrisburgh was staked out by founders Richard Harris and Joe Juneau. The town's name was changed to Juneau in December of 1881.

• In 1898, the Cape Nome Mining District was organized at Anvil Creek.

• In 1946, the first mass air movement of Naval dependents to Alaska, nicknamed the "Baby Special," took 11 Navy wives and ten children to their families in Dutch Harbor and Adak.

• In 1949, the Prospector Memorial statue in front of the Sitka Pioneer Home was unveiled and dedicated. It was sculpted by Victor Alonzo Lewis. The model was "Skagway Bill" Fonda.

• In 1964, two Sitka landmarks, St. Michael's Cathedral and the Russian Mission Building, were officially recognized as National Historic Landmarks.

In the nation

• In 1767, the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Mason-Dixon line, was agreed upon.

• In 1867, the United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.

• In 1892, the first long-distance telephone line between Chicago and New York was formally opened.

• In 1898, the American flag was raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished control of the island to the U.S.

• In 1931, inventor Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, N.J., at age 84.

• In 1969, the federal government banned artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.

• In 1982, former first lady Bess Truman died at her home in Independence, Mo., at age 97.

• In 1999, career prosecutor Robert Ray was sworn in to replace Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and wrap up the wide-ranging investigation of President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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