Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Friday, November 16, 2012
11/16/12 at 2:38 AM
1907 - Oklahoma is a state
The date for the "wedding" of Mr. Oklahoma and Miss Indian Territory had arrived and President Theodore Roosevelt signed the proclamation that made Oklahoma and Indian territories one state at 9 a.m. and a big inauguration event was held at Guthrie, the capital of the new 46th state, but Territorial Gov. Frank Frantz didn't want to have any part in the event; he especially didn't want to ride in a carriage with Charles N. Haskell, who would become the new state's first governor. Roosevelt signed the proclamation with a large quill pen from an eagle killed in Oklahoma.
2000 - Clinton visits Vietnam
Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War and the first ever to visit Hanoi, the capital where he was welcomed by a military band and honor guard. Clinton had arrived the night before but a welcoming ceremony had been put off until morning. At a red-carpet welcoming ceremony, Clinton said he was "looking forward to building toward the future" with Vietnam.
2001 - Aviation security bill passed
Ten weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington by passengers who seized control of airplanes, Congress passed an aviation security bill requiring that airport screeners be federal employees. The bill was signed a few days later by President George W. Bush who said "for our airways there is one supreme priority, security." The measure also required airports to expand inspections of checked baggage; and directed explosive detection systems to be in place by the end of 2002.
2010 - Medal of Honor presented
Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta was presented the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama, making him the first living service member from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to receive the nation's highest military award. Giunta, 27, of Clinton, Iowa, had braved enemy gunfire to pull two wounded soldiers to safety, including one who was being dragged away by the Taliban before Giunta killed one and wounded the other. Both injured soldiers died. After the award ceremony, Sgt. Giunta said "I would give this back in a second to have my friends with me right now."
A parade in Guthrie celebrates Oklahoma statehood and the inauguration of Gov. Charles N. Haskell. Oklahoma Historical Society/Courtesy