Oct. 18: Alaska Day; U.S. Possession of Puerto Rico; Suicide Bombing in Pakistan

Oct 18, 2011 3:36pm

Alaska Day:  On Oct. 18, 1867, Russia formally handed over control of the Alaskan territory to the United States.  Led by William Henry Seward, the U.S. purchased the land for $7.2 million, less than 2 cents an acre.  Many Americans called the acquisition of Alaska “Seward’s Folly” because they deemed the land too remote and devoid of resources.  This view changed greatly in 1896 when gold was discovered in Alaska.  In 1959, Alaska officially became the 49th state.  An Alaska Day festival is held annually in Sitka, Alaska, the site of the 1867 transfer of power.

 

1898 U.S. Possession of Puerto Rico

The United States officially took control of the Puerto Rican islands.  At the conclusion of the Spanish-American War, the Treaty of Paris granted possession of Puerto Rico to the United States.  Puerto Rico became a U.S. commonwealth in 1952.

 

1931 Thomas Edison Dies

U.S. inventor Thomas Edison died at age 84.  His experiments led to 1,093 patents. Edison’s inventions include the phonograph, the electric light bulb, alkaline battery and an early version of the movie camera.

 

1998: Chilean Dictator Pinochet Arrested

 

Augusto Pinochet is arrested under a Spanish provisional warrant for murder charges.

 

2001: Anthrax Scare at CBS

 

CBS announces an anthrax incident and Ted Koppel speaks to Sen. Tom Daschle.

 

2007: Suicide Bombings in Pakistan Mar Return of Benazir Bhutto

 

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the first female elected to lead a Muslim state, returned to Pakistan after eight months of self-imposed exile. Suicide bombers attacked her motorcade ceremony in Karachi, killing 139 and wounding more. Bhutto was unharmed during this attack, but just a couple months later on Dec. 27, 2007, she was assassinated while standing in her vehicle to wave at a crowd.

 

Famous Birthdays

1926 Chuck Berry

1929 Violeta Chamorro

1935 Peter Boyle

1939 Mike Ditka

1939 Lee Harvey Oswald

1952 Chuck Lorre

1984 Freida Pinto

1987 Zac Efron

1990 Bristol Palin

 

Jump back to Oct. 17: Day in History.

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