This Day in History

Posted: Monday, January 09, 2006

In Alaska

• In 1901, Fred Welty and Ernest Johns of Marys Igloo reached Nome after being caught without provisions in a three-day blizzard. They reported that horses had eaten their tent.

• In 1939, a diphtheria epidemic closed Juneau schools, and children were not allowed to leave their homes or yards.

• In 1959, the Legislative Council recommended an annual salary of $3,000 for Alaska lawmakers, plus $40 per day for expenses during session.

• In 1979, a fire swept through a Fairbanks mobile home after the owner tried to thaw the pipes with a weed burner.

• In 1979, the U.S. Department of Commerce decided to return management of seven marine mammals to the state of Alaska.

In the nation

• In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

• In 1861, Mississippi seceded from the Union.

• In 1861, the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, S.C., retreated after being fired on by a battery in the harbor.

• In 1968, the Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.

• In 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported biography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake.

• In 1995, President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders broke off budget talks. President Clinton vetoed a Republican welfare overhaul bill.

• In 1997, a Comair commuter plane crashed 18 miles short of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 on board.

• In 2000, Linda Chavez withdrew her bid to be secretary of labor because of controversy over an illegal immigrant who had once lived with her.

In the world

• In 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew between Philadelphia and Woodbury, N.J.

• In 1945, during World War II, American forces began landing at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines.

• In 1957, Anthony Eden resigned as British prime minister.

• In 1964, anti-U.S. rioting broke out in the Panama Canal Zone, resulting in the deaths of 21 Panamanians and three U.S. soldiers.

• In 1995, Chechen rebels seized a hospital in the southern Russian city of Kizlyar and took up to 3,000 hostages. The rebels released all but about 160 hostages the next day, using the remaining captives as a shield against Russian troops.

• In 2004, Mahmoud Abbas, the No. 2 man in the Palestinian hierarchy during Yasser Arafat's rule, was elected Palestinian Authority president by a landslide.

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