This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1945, Anthony J. Dimond took the oath of U.S. district judge at Anchorage.

• In 1959, Alaska Airlines plane (DC-6C) set record for Fairbanks-Seattle run - 1,545 miles in 4 hours 7 minutes.

• In 1969, for the first time, colored photos appeared on Alaska driver's licenses.

• In 1979, Chinese oilmen visited Prudhoe Bay. Eight oil officials from Taching, China, toured the Atlantic Richfield plant. Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland asked that 5.6 million acres of Alaska national forest be designated wilderness. Eskimo leaders in Barrow blamed the bowhead quota for the shortage of whale meat. Barrow Mayor Eben Hobson reported that chicken was served at holiday meals for the first time in his memory.

In the nation

• In 1904, the Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Ricans were not aliens and could enter the United States freely; however, the court stopped short of declaring them U.S. citizens.

• In 1965, President Johnson outlined the goals of his "Great Society" in his State of the Union address.

• In 1974, President Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

• In 1987, 16 people were killed when an Amtrak train bound from Washington to Boston collided with Conrail engines approaching from a side track in Chase, Md.

• In 1994, Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen announced a plan to drive most gun dealers out of business by proposing sharp increases in the licensing fee and stricter controls on people who buy and sell weapons.

• In 1995, the 104th Congress convened, the first entirely under Republican control since the Eisenhower era.

• In 1999, former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura took the oath of office as Minnesota's 37th governor.

• In 2003, as President Bush put the finishing touches on an economic growth package costing $674 billion over 10 years, Democrats who wanted his job pledged to scuttle what they characterized as a plan that would help the wealthy without reviving the economy.

In the world

• In 1948, Britain granted independence to Burma.

• In 1951, during the Korean conflict, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul.

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