This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1934, the Uptown Theatre, a new movie house, opened at Third and Seward streets in Juneau.

• In 1935, the Juneau-Douglas Bridge opened to the public. The bridge cost $225,000 to build. The opening ended 48 years of ferry service between the two towns.

• In 1940, the new Gross 20th Century Theater opened in Juneau.

• In 1969, Sen. Jay Kerttula, D-Palmer, and Reps. Mike Bradner, D-Fairbanks, and Don Young, R-Fort Yukon, called attention to the possibility of "the only serious environmental problem" of the proposed trans-Alaska pipeline: the possible pollution of Prince William Sound as tankers go in and out of Valdez.

In the nation

• In 1864, Nevada became the 36th state.

• In 1968, President Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.

• In 1994, a Chicago-bound American Eagle ATR-72 crashed in northern Indiana, killing all 68 people aboard.

• In 1996, in Pontiac, Mich., Dr. Jack Kevorkian was charged with assisting three suicides since June 1996 (he was later acquitted). Also in Pontiac, Jenny Jones testified at the trial of one of her talk show guests, Jonathan Schmitz, who was accused of killing another guest, Scott Amedure.

• In 2001, New York hospital worker Kathy T. Nguyen died of inhalation anthrax, the fourth person to perish in a spreading wave of bioterrorism. Former Symbionese Liberation Army fugitive Sara Jane Olson pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to the attempted murder of police officers (she's currently serving a 13-year prison sentence). Microsoft and the Justice Department reached a tentative agreement to settle the historic antitrust case against the software giant. The New York Yankees played the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 4 of the World Series; the game ended a few minutes after midnight with the Yankees winning 4-3 and tying the Series at two games each.

• In 2005, President Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was honored during a memorial service in Washington, D.C.

In the world

• In 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace church, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.

• In 1941, the U.S. Navy destroyer Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Iceland with the loss of some 100 lives, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II.

• In 1956, Navy Rear Adm. George J. Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole.

• In 1980, Reza Pahlavi, eldest son of the late shah, proclaimed himself the rightful successor to the Peacock Throne.

• In 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh security guards.

• In 1996, a Brazilian Fokker-100 jetliner crashed in Sao Paulo, killing all 96 people on board and three on the ground.

• In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990, bound from New York to Cairo, crashed off the Massachusetts coast, killing all 217 people aboard.

• In 2005, the U.N. Security Council demanded Syria's full cooperation with a U.N. investigation into the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri; Syria angrily rejected the resolution.

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