This Day in History

Posted: Monday, January 31, 2005

In Alaska

•In 1898, the Juneau Court House and Jail, on the site of the present State Office Building, burned to the ground.

•In 1900, the steamer Walcott, a former Revenue Cutter, was wrecked in Shelikof Strait (north of Kodiak).

•In 1959, Japan Air Lines made its test Tokyo-Seattle run, stopping over - for refueling only - in Anchorage.

•In 1969, a Fairbanks group formed by oil and gas leasebrokers claimed their clients were unfairly deprived of a chance to get rich quick when Natural Resources Commissioner Thomas Kelly classified 3 million acres of North Slope land for competitive lease sale.

•In 1979, clean-up efforts began on a 25,000 gallon oil spill at the Louisiana-Pacific pulp mill at Ward Cove, Ketchikan .

In the nation

•In 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee was named General-in-Chief of all the Confederate armies.

•In 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer 1.

•In 1934, President Roosevelt devalued the dollar in relation to gold.

•In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began invading Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.

•In 1950, President Truman announced he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.

•In 1971, astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.

•In 1995, President Clinton scrapped a $40 billion rescue plan for Mexico, announcing instead that he would act unilaterally to provide Mexico with $20 billion from a fund normally used to defend the U.S. dollar.

•In 2000, an Alaska Airlines jet plummeted into the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 people aboard. Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker was suspended by baseball commissioner Bud Selig for disparaging foreigners, homosexuals and minorities in a Sports Illustrated interview. Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis was charged with murder in the deaths of two people outside an Atlanta nightclub hours after the Super Bowl. (Lewis ended his trial early by pleading guilty to obstruction of justice; two co-defendants were acquitted.)

In the world

•In 1606, Guy Fawkes, convicted for his part in the "Gunpowder Plot" against the English Parliament and King James I, was executed.

•In 1917, Germany served notice it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.

•In 2004, six U.S.-bound flights from England, Scotland and France were canceled because of security concerns.

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