This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• 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 General 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 18½ days.

• In 1944, the play "I Remember Mama," by John van Druten, opened at the Music Box Theater on Broadway.

• In 1951, President Truman signed an act formally ending the state of war with Germany.

• In 1977, the supersonic Concorde made its first landing in New York City.

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

• In 1998, government lawyers opened their antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. In Miami, the first class-action lawsuit brought by smokers against the tobacco industry went to trial. (Jurors later found the nation's largest cigarette makers and industry groups had produced a defective and deadly product.) Mike Tyson got his boxing license back after pleading with the Nevada Athletic Commission not to "torture" him anymore for biting Evander Holyfield's ears in the ring 15 months earlier.

• In 2003, the New York Yankees defeated the Florida Marlins 6-1 to even the World Series at one game apiece.

In the world

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

• In 1967, the U.S. space probe Mariner 5 flew past Venus.

• In 2003, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa during a ceremony in Rome's St. Peter's Square. New York magician David Blaine emerged from 44 days of isolation in a clear plastic box suspended over London.

• In 2007, a three-year global manhunt for a Canadian schoolteacher suspected of sexually abusing Asian boys ended when police in northeastern Thailand arrested Christopher Paul Neil. (Neil later pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy and was sentenced to three years and three months in jail; he faces other charges involving the victim's younger brother.)

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