This Day in History

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2008

In Alaska

• In 1925, the Juneau purchased its first combination grader and snow plow at a cost of $1,600.

• In 1969, the John Birch Society planned to hire a full-time coordinator in Anchorage.

In the nation

• In 1878, the first daily college newspaper, Yale News (now Yale Daily News), began publication in New Haven, Conn.

• In 1909, the United States ended direct control over Cuba.

• In 1915, the United States Coast Guard was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed into law a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service.

• In 1916, Louis D. Brandeis was nominated by President Woodrow Wilson to the Supreme Court; Brandeis became the court's first Jewish member.

• In 1978, fire swept through the historic downtown Coates House hotel in Kansas City, Mo., killing 20 people.

• In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center, killing all seven of its crew members: flight commander Francis R. "Dick" Scobee; pilot Michael Smith; Ronald McNair; Ellison Onizuka; Judith Resnik; Gregory Jarvis; and schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

• In 1988, a 13-day standoff in Marion, Utah, between police and a polygamist clan ended in gunfire that killed a state corrections officer and seriously wounded the group's leader, Addam Swapp.

• In 1998, the day after his State of the Union address, President Bill Clinton barnstormed in the nation's heartland, where he was warmly received; accompanying him was Vice President Al Gore, who urged Americans to "join me in supporting him and standing by his side."

• In 2003, President Bush, girding the nation for war, said in his State of the Union address that Saddam Hussein had shown "utter contempt" for the world community and had to be held to account. Bush also pledged to help the ailing economy with lower taxes and a stronger health care system.

• In 2007, Britain's Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, met with New York schoolchildren as they visited Harlem during their whirlwind American weekend.

In the world

• In 1945, during World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road.

• In 1973, a cease-fire officially went into effect in the Vietnam War.

• In 2003, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud party and other hawkish parties won a resounding victory in Israel's parliamentary elections.

• In 2007, U.S.-backed Iraqi troops attacked insurgents allegedly plotting to kill pilgrims at a major Shiite Muslim religious festival; Iraqi officials estimated some 300 militants died in the day-long battle near Najaf. (A U.S. helicopter crashed during the fight, killing two American soldiers.) Roger Federer captured his 10th Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open, beating Fernando Gonzalez 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4.

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