This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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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 a whiskey shipment were empty cases.

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

• In 1964, Jack Anderson Jr., his wife 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 Alaska village by the U.S. Revenue Cutter Corwin in October 1882.

In the nation

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

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

• In 1907, the Panic of 1907 began with a run on the Knickerbocker Trust Co. of New York.

• In 1959, the Solomon R. 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 New York.

• In 1967, tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters began two days of demonstrations in Washington, D.C.

• In 1997, reversing months of strong opposition, the administration of Bill Clinton endorsed a revised Republican bill to restructure the Internal Revenue Service and shift the burden of proof from the taxpayer to the government in court-contested cases. The Florida Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians, 14-11, in Game 3 of the World Series.

• In 2002, President Bush said he would try diplomacy "one more time," but did not think Saddam Hussein would disarm - even if doing so would allow the Iraqi president to remain in power.

• In 2006, Al-Jazeera televison aired an interview with State Department official Alberto Fernandez, who offered an unusually blunt assessment of the Iraq war, saying the U.S. had shown "arrogance" and "stupidity" in Iraq. Fernandez issued an apology the next day. The St. Louis Cardinals cruised past the Detroit Tigers 7-2 win in Game 1 of the World Series.

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 1917, members of the 1st Division of the U.S. Army training in Luneville, France, became the first Americans to see action on the front lines of World War I.

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

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

• In 1967, the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat was sunk by Egyptian missile boats near Port Said; 47 Israeli crew members were lost.

• In 2002, a car packed with explosives pulled up to a bus in northern Israel during rush hour, igniting a massive fireball that killed 14 people along with two suicide attackers.

• In 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, visiting Moscow, delivered a symbolic rebuke to Russia over shrinking press freedoms, even as she courted President Vladimir Putin for help punishing Iran over its nuclear program.

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