This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, November 16, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1904, the first winter mail from Fairbanks arrived at Valdez over the trail.

• In 1928, the Juneau High School building was dedicated. It later became Capital Elementary School.

• In 1973, construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline was authorized by President Richard Nixon.

• In 1979, the first auction of barley harvested at Delta Junction (part of the "Barley Project") lasted 15 minutes with 140 tons going for $20,800. Anchorage developers with European financing announced plans to build a 400-room hotel, a 120,000 square-foot office building, and 129 condominiums on the site of the former Alaska-Juneau Gold Mill.

In the nation

• In 1776, British troops captured Fort Washington during the American Revolution.

• In 1864, Union Gen. William T. Sherman and his troops began their "March to the Sea" during the Civil War.

• In 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state of the union.

• In 1933, the United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations.

• In 1959, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The Sound of Music" opened on Broadway.

• In 1961, House Speaker Samuel T. Rayburn died in Bonham, Texas, having served as speaker since 1940 except for two terms.

• In 1973, Skylab III, carrying a crew of three astronauts, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on an 84-day mission.

• In 1981, actor William Holden was found dead in his apartment in Santa Monica, Calif.; he was 63.

• In 1982, an agreement was announced in the 57th day of a strike by National Football League players.

• In 1993, The Senate, on a 69-30 vote, approved a measure designed to protect people who provide or seek abortions from physical attacks or intimidation by abortion opponents.

• In 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that union members can file discrimination lawsuits against employers even when labor contracts require arbitration. House Democrats re-elected Dick Gephardt as their leader.

In the world

• In 1885, Canadian rebel Louis Riel was executed for high treason.

• In 2002, in an open letter to the Iraqi Parliament, President Saddam Hussein said he had no choice but to accept a tough new U.N. weapons inspection resolution because the United States and Israel had shown their "claws and teeth" and declared unilateral war on the Iraqi people.

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