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In 1900, the Military Department of Alaska was established by the Secretary of War.
In 1905, a new record for telegraphic service to Nome was established, when a local businessman received a message from New York that had been sent less than six hours earlier.
In 1907, the power house of the Citizens Light and Power Company of Ketchikan was destroyed by fire.
In 1979, a Fairbanks woman who was injured when her waterbed rolled, pinning her to the floor for 11 hours, received $150,000 from the manufacturer.
In the nation
In 1807, Robert E. Lee, the commander-in-chief of the Confederate armies, was born in Stratford, Va.
In 1809, author Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston.
In 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union.
In 1944, the federal government relinquished control of the nation's railroads following settlement of a wage dispute.
In 1955, a presidential news conference was filmed for television for the first time, with the permission of President Eisenhower.
In 1970, President Nixon nominated G. Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court; however, the nomination was defeated because of controversy over Carswell's past racial views.
In 1977, in one of his last acts of office, President Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D'Aquino, an American who'd made wartime broadcasts for Japan.
In 2000, Michael Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy, was charged with bludgeoning to death 15-year-old Martha Moxley in Greenwich, Conn., in 1975, when he also was 15. (Skakel was later convicted, and is currently appealing.) A dormitory fire at Seton Hall University in New Jersey killed three people and injured 62. Actress Hedy Lamarr was found dead in her Orlando, Fla., home; she was 86.
In 2004, John Kerry won Iowa's Democratic caucuses, while John Edwards placed second; Howard Dean, who finished third, delivered a fist-pumping, bellowing concession speech that was viewed as politically damaging.
In the world
In 1736, James Watt, inventor of the steam engine, was born in Scotland.
In 1853, Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Il Trovatore" premiered in Rome.