This Day in History

Posted: Monday, October 30, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1904, both the Catholic church and the Presbyterian church opened their doors for the first time in Fairbanks.

• In 1938, the cornerstone was laid for the Shrine of St. Therese Chapel, about 15 miles north of Juneau.

• In 1939, compensation for all jurors in Alaskan Judicial districts was raised from $4 to $5 per day.

• In 1974, President Gerald Ford vetoed a bill designed to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other wildlife preserves from pipeline construction and other industrial uses.

In the nation

• In 1938, the radio play "The War of the Worlds," starring Orson Welles, aired on CBS. (The live drama, which employed fake news reports, panicked some listeners who thought its portrayal of a Martian invasion was real.)

• In 1944, the Martha Graham ballet "Appalachian Spring," with music by Aaron Copland, premiered at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., with Graham in a leading role.

• In 1945, the U.S. government announced the end of shoe rationing.

• In 1975, the New York Daily News ran the headline "Ford to City: Drop Dead" a day after President Ford said he would veto any proposed federal bailout of New York City.

• In 1979, President Carter announced his choice of federal appeals judge Shirley Hufstedler to head the newly created Department of Education.

• In 1985, the launch of the space shuttle Challenger was witnessed by schoolteacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe, who died when the spacecraft exploded after liftoff in January 1986.

• In 2001, Ford Motor Co. chairman William Clay Ford Jr. took over as chief executive after the ouster of Jacques Nasser. The New York Yankees won Game 3 of the World Series 2-1 cutting the Arizona Diamondbacks' lead to 2-1.

• In 2005, the body of Rosa Parks arrived at the U.S. Capitol, where the civil rights pioneer became the first woman to lie in honor in the Rotunda; President Bush and congressional leaders paused to lay wreaths by her casket.

In the world

• In 1953, Gen. George C. Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Albert Schweitzer received the Peace Prize for 1952.

• In 1961, the Soviet Union tested a hydrogen bomb, the "Tsar Bomba," with a force estimated at about 50 megatons. The Soviet Party Congress unanimously approved a resolution ordering the removal of Josef Stalin's body from Lenin's tomb.

• In 1995, by a razor-thin vote of 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent, Federalists prevailed over separatists in Quebec in a secession referendum.

• In 1996, after a four-hour trial, a Chinese court sentenced pro-democracy activist Wang Dan to 11 years in prison for "conspiring to subvert the Chinese government." (Wang was freed in April 1998 and sent into exile in the United States.)

• In 2001, NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey snapped its first picture of Mars, one week after the spacecraft safely arrived in orbit around the Red Planet. Ukraine destroyed its last nuclear missile silo, fulfilling a pledge to give up the vast nuclear arsenal it had inherited after the breakup of the former Soviet Union.

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