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This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1925, the city of Juneau purchased its first combination grader and snow plow, costing $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 1915, the United States Coast Guard was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service.

• In 1969, a major oil spill off Santa Barbara, Calif., occurred as a Union Oil well blew out, sending oil and natural gas into the Santa Barbara Channel.

• 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 Cape Canaveral, Fla., 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 1999, Ford Motor Co. announced it was buying the Volvo car division in a $6.45 billion deal. Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan honored a personal request for mercy from Pope John Paul II, sparing triple murderer Darrell Mease from being executed.

• In 2008, President George W. Bush, in his last State of the Union address, urged passage of an economic stimulus package and asked Americans to remain patient with the long, grinding war in Iraq. Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama for the White House.

In the world

• In 1909, the United States withdrew its forces from Cuba as Jose Miguel Gomez became president.

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

• 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 2004, British Prime Minister Tony Blair won vindication when a judge said the BBC was wrong to report the government had "sexed up" intelligence to justify war in Iraq.

• In 2008, in a daring ambush, Iraqi insurgents blasted a U.S. patrol with a roadside bomb and showered survivors with gunfire from a mosque in Mosul; five American soldiers were killed in the explosion. A U.S. missile attack in Pakistan killed veteran al-Qaida leader Abu Laith al-Libi.



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