This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1936, members of the Matanuska Valley Farmers Cooperative Association formed the largest distributor of locally grown produce in Alaska, Matanuska Maid.

• In 1949, amidst growing skepticism over the validity of the Fishwheel Gold Strike, 160 miles north of Fairbanks on the Yukon River, a University of Alaska geologist revealed one of the nuggets he examined from the strike was brass and two others were pocket worn.

• In 1971, a pipeline break at Galena Air Force Base that spilled 13,500 gallons of diesel fuel into the Yukon River was uncovered and reported by the Broadcast News Center of Fairbanks. The spill occurred on Sept. 16, 1971, and was never reported by the military.

• In 1988, two stranded gray whales left Barrow following an international rescue effort.

In the nation

• In 1636, Harvard College was founded in Massachusetts.

• In 1793, Eli Whitney applied for a patent for his cotton gin (the patent was granted the following March).

• In 1886, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Cleveland.

• In 1919, Congress enacted the Volstead Act, which provided for enforcement of Prohibition, over President Wilson's veto.

• In 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt rededicated the Statue of Liberty on its 50th anniversary.

• In 1980, President Carter and Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan faced off in a nationally broadcast, 90-minute debate in Cleveland.

• In 2002, a student flunking out of the University of Arizona nursing school shot three of his professors to death, then killed himself.

In the world

• In 1922, fascism came to Italy as Benito Mussolini took control of the government.

• In 1940, Italy invaded Greece during World War II.

• In 1958, the Roman Catholic patriarch of Venice, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, was elected pope; he took the name John XXIII.

• In 1962, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev informed the United States that he had ordered the dismantling of Soviet missile bases in Cuba.

• In 1965, Pope Paul VI issued a decree absolving Jews of collective guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

• In 1993, ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, speaking at the United Nations, called for a blockade of all air and sea trade to Haiti to force out its military leaders.

• In 1998, in London, the High Court ruled that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was immune from prosecution in British courts (However, the House of Lords later overturned the decision, saying Pinochet's arrest could stand. Pinochet was eventually allowed to return to Chile, where a court later held that he could not face charges because of his deteriorating health and mental condition).

• In 2002, American diplomat Laurence Foley was assassinated in front of his house in Amman, Jordan, in the first such attack on a U.S. diplomat in decades. Russian President Vladimir Putin led a national day of mourning as relatives and friends grieved for the more than 100 captives who died in the siege at a Moscow theater.

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