This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1918, the ship Princess Sophia wrecked early in the morning on Vanderbilt Reef, north of Juneau. It sank with all on board the following night.

• In 1919, Joe Green established the weekly Hyder Alaska Miner.

• In 1929, Alaska Airlines announced a contract with Swansen Fur Trading Co. to bring 15 passengers and six tons of freight from Siberia to Fairbanks.

• In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court's one-year ban on bowhead whale hunting by Alaska natives.

• In 1979, the film "Spirit of the Wind" premiered in Fairbanks. The movie was based on the life of Alaskan dog musher George Attla.

In the nation

• In 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph message was sent as Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to President Lincoln.

• In 1901, widow Anna Edson Taylor became the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

• In 1931, the George Washington Bridge, connecting New York and New Jersey, opened to traffic.

• In 1939, nylon stockings were sold publicly for the first time, in Wilmington, Del.

• In 1940, the 40-hour work week went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

• In 1952, Republican presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower declared, "I shall go to Korea" as he promised to end the conflict. (He made the visit over a month later.)

• In 1996, rioting erupted in St. Petersburg, Fla., after a white police officer fatally shot a black man during a traffic stop. The New York Yankees took the lead in the World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves 1-0 in Game 5.

• In 2001, the House passed a $100 billion on economic stimulus package. O.J. Simpson was acquitted in Miami of grabbing another driver's glasses and scratching the man's face in a road-rage argument.

• In 2005, Hurricane Wilma knifed through Florida with winds up to 125 mph. President Bush nominated economic adviser Ben Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve chairman.

In the world

• In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War and effectively destroyed the Holy Roman Empire.

• In 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect.

• In 1962, the U.S. blockade of Cuba during the missile crisis officially began under a proclamation signed by President Kennedy.

• In 2001, two trucks crashed head-on in a main tunnel through the Alps, igniting a fire and killing 11 people.

• In 2005, three bombs exploded near the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, where journalists worked, killing at least a half-dozen passers-by.

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