This Day in History

Posted: Monday, January 07, 2008

In Alaska

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• In 1905, the Alaska Road Commission was created by an Act of Congress.

• In 1959, Ernest Gruening and E. L. (Bob) Bartlett were sworn in as U.S. senators, and Ralph Rivers was sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives. Winds up to 90 miles per hour froze two Antarctic penguins in Anchorage's Arctic Health Research Center. Earlier plans to mate these penguins were abandoned since it was discovered both were females.

• In 1976, the new Alaska court and office building was dedicated in Juneau.

• In 1979, a Lockheed airliner crashed and burned on landing at a remote North Slope airstrip. All 15 passengers survived with no serious injuries.

In the nation

• In 1608, an accidental fire devastated the Jamestown settlement in the Virginia Colony.

• In 1789, the first U.S. presidential election was held. Americans voted for electors who, a month later, chose George Washington to be the nation's first president.

• In 1953, President Truman announced in his State of the Union message to Congress that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.

• In 1972, Lewis F. Powell Jr. and William H. Rehnquist were sworn in as the 99th and 100th members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

• In 1998, convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty when a jury deadlocked over his punishment.

• In 2003, President George W. Bush unveiled his $674 billion economic expansion plan.

• In 2007, newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, interviewed on CBS' "Face the Nation," said Democrats running Congress would not give President Bush a blank check to wage war in Iraq.

In the world

• In 1610, astronomer Galileo Galilei began observing three of Jupiter's moons.

• In 1904, the Marconi International Marine Communication Co. of London announced that the telegraphed letters "CQD" would serve as a maritime distress call (it was later replaced by "SOS").

• In 1927, commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.

• In 1942, the Japanese siege of Bataan began during World War II.

• In 1998, the government of Canada apologized for past acts of oppression against the country's Native peoples.

• In 2003, police in London announced they had found traces of the deadly poison ricin in a north London apartment and arrested six men in connection with the virulent toxin that had been linked to al-Qaida terrorists and Iraq.

• In 2006, Jill Carroll, a freelance journalist for The Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped and her interpreter shot dead in one of Baghdad's most dangerous Sunni Arab neighborhoods. (Carroll was freed almost three months later.)

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