This Day in History

Posted: Friday, February 03, 2006

In Alaska

• In 1939, the "cocktail" or "saloon bill," permitting beer, wine, and hard liquor to be sold by the drink, passed the Alaska Senate by a vote of 5-3.

• In 1948, Charles H. Wilson, newspaper editor, law officer, and legislator, died in Valdez.

• In 1961, Juneau's first commercial jet transport, a Pan American Boeing 707 Clipper, arrived at Juneau International Airport.

• In 1985, Republicans condemned Gov. Bill Sheffield's appointment of a socialist, Bill Ross, to head the state's Department of Environmental Conservation.

In the nation

• In 1809, the territory of Illinois was created.

• In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.

• In 1930, the chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft, resigned for health reasons.

• In 1959, a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, claimed the lives of rock 'n' roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.

• In 1995, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off with a woman, Air Force Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins, in the pilot's seat for the first time in NASA history.

• In 2001, Terry McAuliffe was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The XFL, a football league founded by the World Wrestling Federation and jointly owned by NBC, held its first two games, in which the Las Vegas Outlaws beat the New York/New Jersey Hitmen 19-0, and the Orlando Rage beat the Chicago Enforcers 33-29. (The XFL folded after just one season.)

• In 2005, Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation as attorney general.

In the world

• In 1783, Spain recognized U.S. independence.

• In 1916, Canada's original Parliament Buildings, in Ottawa, burned down.

• In 1917, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, which had announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.



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