This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, February 01, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1898, The Daily Alaskan began publishing at Skagway and continued for 26 years.

• In 1914, the Alaska Sunday Morning Post was established in Juneau.

• In 1922, John C. McBride of Juneau took office as Collector of Customs for Alaska.

• In 1939, a sailors' strike threatened operations of Alaska-bound ships.

• In 1959, the House passed a pay bill for legislators, giving each $3,000 a year, plus $40 a day during session for expenses.

• In 1969, an unattended riderless tractor cut a wide swatch of destruction, running over a 10-man tent in Fort Wainwright, crashing into a home, ripping off the entire side of two bedrooms where inhabitants were sleeping, to come to rest on a road bank. "Project Chariot," a plan to blast out a new harbor in Alaska north of the Arctic Circle using nuclear explosives was deemed too expensive.

• In 1975, the U.S. State Department denied the charge by Rep. Don Young that it had sacrificed Alaska's interests in the new fishing treaty with Japan.

• In 1985, Alaska led the nation in making computers available to public school students. The state Department of Education reported that there was one computer for every 22 schoolchildren.

In the nation:

• In 1861, Texas voted to secede from the Union.

• In 1893, inventor Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world's first motion picture studio, his "Black Maria," in West Orange, N.J.

• In 1943, one of America's most highly decorated military units of World War II, the 442d Regimental Combat Team, made up almost entirely of Japanese Americans, was authorized.

• In 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where they'd been refused service.

• In 1979, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, whose prison sentence for bank robbery had been commuted by President Carter, left a federal prison near San Francisco.

• In 1991, 35 people were killed when a US Air jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

• In 1994, Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, pleaded guilty in Portland, Ore., to taking part in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Gillooly struck a plea bargain under which he confessed to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony implicating Harding.

• In 1999, with the promise of huge federal surpluses, President Clinton proposed a $1.7 trillion budget for fiscal 2000. Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky gave a deposition that was videotaped for senators weighing impeachment charges against Clinton.

• In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven crew members: Cmdr. Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; payload Cmdr. Michael Anderson; Indian-born engineer Kalpana Chawla; David Brown; Laurel Clark; and Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli in space.

In the world

• In 1920, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police came into existence.

• In 1946, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary general of the United Nations.

• In 1968, during the Vietnam War, Saigon's police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head in a scene captured in a famous news photograph.

• In 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.

• In 2003, at least 50 people were killed in a Zimbabwe train collision.

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