This Day in History

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1899, a two-day storm wrought havoc along Nome's waterfront, scattering wreckage along miles of shore. Lumber for the hospital was recovered, but the only remains of the whiskey shipment were empty cases.

• In 1904, the Dillingham Post Office was established, with Russell Bates as postmaster.

• In 1964, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Anderson Jr. and their son, Andy, were given "Soldier of Courage" certificates by the Salvation Army for their part in rescuing 38 crewmen from the burning tanker Santa Maria. They maneuvered their two tugboats next to the tanker so the crew could jump aboard.

• In 1954, the Federal Communications Commission granted permission to AT&T to build twin underwater communications cables between Port Angeles, Washington and Ketchikan at a cost of about $13 million.

• In 1973, Angoon residents approved the acceptance of $90,000 in U.S. reparations for the bombardment of the Southeast Alaskan village by the U.S. Revenue Cutter Corwin in October of 1882.

In the nation

• In 1797, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, also known as "Old Ironsides," was launched in Boston's harbor.

• In 1879, Thomas Edison invented a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J.

• In 1959, the Guggenheim Museum in New York opened to the public.

• In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon clashed in their fourth and final presidential debate.

• In 1967, tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters marched in Washington, D.C.

• In 1971, President Nixon nominated Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court.

• In 1985, former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White - who served five years in prison for killing Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights advocate - was found dead in a garage, a suicide.

• In 1995, rioting inmates surrendered control of a prison dormitory in Greenville, Ill., ending a one-day uprising that began after the government ordered federal prisons locked down nationwide.

• In 2004, an Associated Press poll found President Bush and Sen. John Kerry locked in a tie for the popular vote. After the Boston Red Sox won the American League championship, college student Victoria Snelgrove was fatally injured when she was shot in the eye by a pepper-spray pellet fired by police trying to control a raucous crowd outside Fenway Park.

In the world

• In 1805, a British fleet commanded by Adm. Horatio Nelson defeated a French-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar; Nelson, however, was killed.

• In 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen.

• In 1945, women in France were allowed to vote for the first time.

• In 1966, more than 140 people, mostly children, were killed when a coal waste landslide engulfed a school and several houses in south Wales.

• In 2000, fifteen Arab leaders convened in Cairo, Egypt, for their first summit in four years; the Libyan delegation walked out, angry over signs the summit would stop short of calling for breaking ties with Israel.

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