This Day in History

Posted: Friday, October 28, 2005

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, amid 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 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 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 1995, the Senate approved a GOP package of spending slashes and tax reductions, 52-47.

• In 2004, Boston Red Sox fans turned out by the tens of thousands near historic Fenway Park to celebrate their World Series champion team, the city's first since 1918.

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 2000, the party of moderate Ibrahim Rugova won Kosovo's municipal elections. David Trimble, leader of Northern Ireland's biggest Protestant party, narrowly won a crucial party battle, keeping alive the province's power-sharing government.

• In 2004, insurgents executed 11 Iraqi soldiers and declared on an Islamic militant Web site that Iraqi fighters would avenge "the blood" of women and children killed in U.S. strikes on the guerrilla stronghold of Fallujah.

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