This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, January 04, 2007

In Alaska

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

• In 1959, an Alaska Airlines DC-6C set a record for flying from Fairbanks to Seattle - 1,545 miles in 4 hours, 7 minutes.

• In 1969, color photos appeared for the first time on Alaska drivers' licenses.

• In 1979, Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland asked that 5.6 million acres of Alaska national forest be designated as wilderness. Eskimo leaders in Barrow blamed the bowhead quota for the shortage of whale meat.

In the nation

• In 1896, Utah was admitted as the 45th state.

• 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 Lyndon 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 locomotives that had crossed into its path from a side track in Chase, Md.

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

• In 1997, President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, took credit for policies reducing teenage pregnancy, and said he would work for even greater reductions over the next four years.

• In 2002, Florida coach Steve Spurrier resigned to pursue an NFL job, two days after leading the Gators to victory over Maryland in the Orange Bowl.

• In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that Jose Padilla, held for 3 1/2 years as an "enemy combatant," could be transferred to civilian authorities in Miami. In a triple-overtime game that began Jan. 3 and finished after midnight, No. 3 Penn State beat No. 22 Florida State 26-23 in the Orange Bowl. Texas won college football's championship, beating Southern California 41-38 in the Rose Bowl.

In the world

• In 1948, Burma became independent of British rule.

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

• In 2002, Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, was killed by small-arms fire during an ambush in eastern Afghanistan; he was the first American military death from enemy fire in the war against terrorism.

• In 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a significant stroke; his official powers were transferred to his deputy, Ehud Olmert.

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