This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2006

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 swath 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 and coming 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 school children.

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 1905, the U.S. Forest Service was established.

• 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 1996, both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly to rewrite the 61-year-old Communications Act, freeing the television, telephone and home computer industries to jump into each other's fields.

• In 2001, John Ashcroft won confirmation as attorney general on a 58-42 Senate vote, completing President Bush's Cabinet over strong Democratic opposition.

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, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members.

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