This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1889, the first, and perhaps only, Alaska post of the Grand Army of the Republic was organized in Juneau.

• In 1929, a representative of the Aero-Arctic Society was enroute from Germany to make final arrangements for the Zeppelin base in Fairbanks. Arctic zeppelin flights appeared a certainty.

• In 1945, a Bering Sea storm did at least a million dollars damage in Nome.

• In 1964, two oil tankers, Union Oil's Santa Maria and Shell Oil's Sirrah, collided in the Anchorage waterfront, setting the Santa Maria ablaze. The Santa Maria carried 110,000 barrels of aviation fuel and stove oil.

In the nation

• In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress, meeting in New York, drew up a declaration of rights and liberties.

• In 1781, British troops under Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Va., as the American Revolution neared its end.

• In 1864, Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early attacked Union forces at Cedar Creek, Va.; the Union troops were able to rally and defeat the Confederates.

• In 1936, H.R. Ekins of the New York World-Telegram beat out Dorothy Kilgallen of the New York Journal and Leo Kieran of The New York Times in a round-the-world race on commercial flights that lasted 18 1/2 days.

• In 1944, the Navy announced that black women would be allowed into Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (the WAVES).

• In 1953, singer Julius LaRosa, a regular on the CBS television program "Arthur Godfrey Time," was fired on the air by Godfrey, who accused him of lacking humility.

• In 1960, President Eisenhower imposed an embargo on exports to Cuba covering all commodities except medical supplies and certain food products.

• In 1987, the stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value.

• In 1996, President Clinton said in his radio address that states would lose a percentage of federal highway aid if they did not bar young people from drinking and driving. In the Republican radio address, Bob Dole claimed credit for putting Democrats on the defensive over their acceptance of foreign political contributions.

• In 2005, the Houston Astros clinched their first World Series berth with a 5-1 win over St. Louis in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.

In the world

• In 1812, French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte began their retreat from Moscow.

• In 1950, during the Korean Conflict, United Nations forces entered the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

• In 1977, the body of West German industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer, who had been kidnapped by left-wing extremists, was found in Mulhouse, France.

• In 2001, U.S. special forces began operations on the ground in Afghanistan, opening a significant new phase of the assault against the Taliban and al-Qaida. Some 374 people died when their ferry sank off Indonesia while en route to Australia; most of the victims were believed to be asylum-seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq.

• In 2005, a defiant Saddam Hussein pleaded innocent to charges of premeditated murder and torture as his trial opened under heavy security in the former headquarters of his Baath Party in Baghdad.

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