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On this day: October 18

Published On: Oct 17 2012 12:34:44 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 18 2013 01:00:00 AM CDT

Herman Melville's masterpiece is printed, the U.S. takes possession of Alaska and Puerto Rico, "West Side Story" premieres, and Reggie Jackson goes deep three times in the World Series, all on this day.

OTD October 18 - Alaska
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Public domain

1867: The United States takes possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million. The transfer was officially marked with a flag-raising ceremony at Fort Sitka and is now celebrated annually in the state as Alaska Day.

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