As July 4, 1959 rolled westward from the international dateline, U.S. outposts, embassies and ships at sea broke out the nation's new 49-star flag, signaling Alaska's entrance into the Union. On Guam the 809 Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army, claimed the honor of raising the first 49-star flag in the world—a claim sure to be hotly contested. At 12:01 a.m. E.D.T., the first 49-star flags in the domestic U.S. were unfurled from the U.S. Capitol, and at Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. At the Capitol arm-weary policemen raised and lowered 1,072 new flags on four flagpoles so that Congressmen...

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