This Day in History

Posted: Friday, January 19, 2007

In Alaska

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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 just under six hours earlier.

• In 1907, the powerhouse of the Citizens Light and Power Company of Ketchikan was destroyed by fire.

• In 1959, Gov. Egan left the state for a Seattle hospital stay in wake of recent gall bladder surgery. A million dollar budget for Alaskan parks and monuments was recommended to President Eisenhower.

In the nation

• In 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union.

• In 1937, millionaire Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., in seven hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.

• 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 1997, "The English Patient" won best picture and "Evita" won in the category of best movie musical or comedy at the Golden Globes.

• In 2006, Vice President Cheney defended the administration's domestic surveillance program, calling it an essential tool in monitoring al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations. An unmanned NASA spacecraft blasted off on a 3 billion-mile journey to Pluto. A fire at a Massey Energy Co. mine in West Virginia killed two workers.

In the world

• In 1853, Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Il Trovatore" premiered in Rome.

• In 1966, Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India.

• 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 1997, Yasser Arafat returned to Hebron for the first time in more than 30 years, joining 60,000 Palestinians in celebrating the handover of the last West Bank city from Israeli control. In Albania, riot police beat demonstrators demanding restitution for money lost in pyramid schemes.

• In 2002, Israeli troops set off a powerful explosion that gutted the official Palestinian broadcasting building, dealing another retaliatory blow to Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.

• In 2006, Osama bin Laden, in an audiotape that was his first in more than a year, said al-Qaida was preparing for attacks in the United States; at the same time, he offered a "long-term truce" without specifying the conditions.

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