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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
This Week in History

The Attack of Fort Stevens, the St. Lawrence Seaway Opens, and A Shoe for Supper

-- On June 21, 1942: A Japanese submarine known as I-25 attacked Fort Stevens in Oregon by firing 17 shells. Fortunately, the damage was limited to power lines, telephone lines and a baseball field. The fort did not return fire in order to avoid giving away the location of its guns. An American bomber attacked the submarine, but the submarine was able to escape undamaged. There were no casualties, but the attack exposed a weakness that caused authorities to increase security along the West Coast.

-- On June 26, 1959: Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially opened the St. Lawrence Seaway by traveling the seaway aboard Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia. The opening of the 370-mile-long St. Lawrence Seaway, which connects existing waterways from Port Colborne, Ontario, to Montreal, Quebec, allowed vessels to travel ultimately from the Atlantic Ocean to the western side of Lake Superior in the Great Lakes. The project was a joint venture between Canada and the United States, although Canada paid more than $336 million of the $470 million project. The St. Lawrence Seaway has played an important role in the shipping of cargo and trade between the two countries.

-- On June 26, 1925: The silent comedy film The Gold Rush starring Charlie Chaplin as "The Lone Prospector" premiered at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Chaplin's character, another gold prospector named Big Jim McKay, and a wanted criminal named Black Larsen end up stuck together in a cabin during a blizzard in Alaska. The trapped trio soon run out of food and are forced to cut cards to decide who must leave the cabin to seek food during the terrible storm. The criminal, Larsen loses and leaves the cabin. Meanwhile, the two remaining gold prospectors resort to cooking and eating an unappetizing shoe. In one of the film's most famous scenes, Jim imagines Chaplin as a very tasty-looking chicken. Luckily for the pair, a bear wanders into the cabin, providing them with food during the blizzard. The film is often cited as one of Chaplin's best films and was rereleased in 1942 with a musical score and some film edits.

-- Compiled by M. Moeller

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