This Day in History

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1900, the Petersburg post office was established with Christian H. Buschmann as postmaster.

• In 1921, Alaska's first pulp mill commenced operation at Speel River, Port Snettisham, south of Juneau.

• In 1963, the Alaska Marine Highway's ferry Malaspina arrived in Juneau on her maiden voyage.

• In 1969, Keith Miller was sworn in as third governor of the state of Alaska.

• In 1979, capital city entrepreneur Chuck Keen threatened to go to court over his proposed tramway to the top of Mount Juneau, wanting local officials to lower wind design requirements from 210 to 175 mph for his proposed $10 million tram and convention center.

In the nation

• In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of '49.

• In 1942, a special court of inquiry into America's lack of preparedness for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor placed much of the blame on Rear Adm. Husband E. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, the Navy and Army commanders.

• In 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was put to death in Florida's electric chair.

• In 2002, a House committee opened hearings into the collapse of energy giant Enron Corp. Officials of Enron's accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, claimed fired auditor David Duncan was solely responsible for the massive destruction of Enron documents; Duncan refused to answer questions, invoking the Fifth Amendment. John Walker Lindh, the so-called "American Taliban," made his first court appearance in suburban Washington D.C.

In the world

• In 1908, the first Boy Scout troop was organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell.

• In 1924, the Russian city of St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader (it has since been renamed St. Petersburg).

• In 1943, President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

• In 1965, Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.

• In 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.

• In 1987, gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner and Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh (all were later released).

• In 1992, a judge in El Salvador sentenced an army colonel and a lieutenant to 30 years in prison for their part in the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter.

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