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.