This Day in History

Posted: Monday, January 26, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1917, the Canadian steamer Prince John was wrecked in Wrangell Narrows, but was later salvaged.

• In 1959, the first Alaska State Legislature convened in Juneau.

• In 1974, KTOO-FM, Alaska's first non-commercial, listener-supported radio station, signed on the air.

In the nation

• In 1784, in a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the choice of the eagle as the symbol of America and expressed his preference: the turkey.

• In 1802, Congress passed an act calling for a library to be established within the U.S. Capitol.

• In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state.

• In 1861, Louisiana seceded from the Union.

• In 1870, Virginia rejoined the Union.

• In 1962, the United States launched Ranger III to land scientific instruments on the moon - but the probe missed its target by some 22,000 miles.

• In 1979, 25 years ago, former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died in New York at age 70.

• In 1999, President Clinton welcomed a frail Pope John Paul II as the pontiff began his seventh pilgrimage to the United States in St. Louis.

• In 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell, citing Iraq's lack of cooperation with U.N. inspectors, said he'd lost faith in the inspectors' ability to conduct a definitive search for banned weapons programs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their first NFL championship, routing the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.

In the world

• In 1788, the first European settlers in Australia, led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney.

• In 1911, the Richard Strauss opera "Der Rosenkavalier" premiered in Dresden, Germany.

• In 1942, the first American expeditionary force to go to Europe during World War II went ashore in Northern Ireland.

• In 1950, India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.

• In 1994, Russian President Boris Yeltsin accepted the resignation of Finance Minister Boris Fyodorov, who warned of economic collapse and social unrest. A scare occurred during a visit to Sydney, Australia, by Britain's Prince Charles, as a young man lunged at the prince, firing two blank shots from a starter's pistol.

• In 1999, Jordan's King Hussein turned over the temporary operation of his country to his eldest son and flew back to the United States for urgent medical care.

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