This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1874, the post office of Unalaska was established, and later discontinued the following September, reestablished as Ounalaska in 1888, and became Unalaska in 1898.

• In 1959, Sen. E. L. (Bob) Bartlett won a coin-toss with Sen. Ernest Gruening to claim the distinction of being Alaska's "senior" senator. First shipment of new Alaska 7 cent airmail stamps sold out in Anchorage. Gov. Willaim A. Egan had surgery for removal of a gall stone.

• In 1961, Mount Trident - in the Katmai National Monument in the Alaska Peninsula - erupted, sending a column of smoke and ash nearly 20,000 feet into the air.

• In 1979, four crab fishermen were plucked from a life raft 45 miles south of Yakutat four days after their 80-foot crab boat sank in the Gulf Of Alaska. That they survived the sinking of their boat, and that they were found and rescued, was dubbed a 'double miracle' by the Coast Guard.

In the nation

• In 1759, George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis were married.

• In 1838, Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail gave the first successful public demonstration of their telegraph, in Morristown, N.J.

• In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state.

• In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, outlined a goal of "Four Freedoms" for the world: Freedom of speech and expression; the freedom of people to worship God in their own way; freedom from want; freedom from fear.

• In 1942, the Pan American Airways Pacific Clipper arrived in New York more than a month after leaving California and following a westward route.

• In 1945, George Herbert Walker Bush married Barbara Pierce in Rye, N.Y.

• In 1982, truck driver William G. Bonin was convicted in Los Angeles of 10 of the "Freeway Killer" slayings of young men and boys. (Bonin was later convicted of four other killings; he was executed in 1996.)

• In 1987, the U.S. Senate voted 88-4 to establish an 11-member panel to hold public hearings on the Iran-Contra affair.

• In 1998, in a new bid to expand health insurance, President Clinton unveiled a proposal to offer Medicare coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Americans between the ages of 55 to 64.

• In 2003, thousands of Marines, sailors and soldiers headed for the Persian Gulf region, shipping out from California, Georgia and Maryland as the buildup for a war with Iraq accelerated sharply.

• In 2007, at a Baptist church in Fort Worth, Texas, the Denver Broncos filed past the open casket of Darrent Williams, the promising cornerback who had been gunned down in a drive-by shooting on New Year's Day. A large avalanche pushed two cars off the heavily traveled road at Berthoud Pass in Colorado, but no deaths resulted.

In the world

• In 1540, England's King Henry VIII married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. (The marriage lasted about six months.)

• In 1967, U.S. Marines and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation Deckhouse Five, an offensive in the Mekong River delta.

• In 2003, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein accused U.N. inspectors of engaging in "intelligence work" instead of searching for suspected nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in his country.

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