This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, February 04, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1920, Juneau police recovered a 500-pound safe stolen the previous day by following sled tracks to a cabin. Two theives were arrested and $200 was recovered from the unopened safe.

• In 1939, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ickles demanded imposition of an 8 percent tax on Alaskan gold production.

• In 1941, the Alaska Defense Command was established under General Simon Bolivar Buckner.

• In 1985, the Attu battlegrounds and airfields were designated as national historic landmarks.

In the Nation

• In 1789, electors chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States (however, the results of the balloting were not counted in the U.S. Senate until two months later).

• In 1801, John Marshall was sworn in as chief justice of the United States.

• In 1861, delegates from six southern states met in Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate States of America.

• In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid.

• In 1974, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, Calif., by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

• In 1977, 11 people were killed when two Chicago Transit Authority trains collided on an elevated track.

• In 1997, a civil jury in Santa Monica, Calif., found O.J. Simpson liable for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, awarding $8.5 million in compensatory damages to Goldman's parents. Seventy-three Israeli soldiers were killed in the collision of two helicopters.

• In 2002, President Bush proposed a $2.13 trillion budget, including billions for fighting terrorism. The World Economic Forum concluded five days of meetings in New York. Former Enron chairman and chief executive Kenneth Lay resigned from the board, cutting his last tie to the company beyond stock ownership.

• In 2004, the Massachusetts high court declared that homosexuals were entitled to nothing less than marriage and that Vermont-style civil unions would not suffice.

• In 2006, thousands of mourners poured into the Georgia Capitol rotunda to pay tribute to civil rights activist Coretta Scott King. Troy Aikman, Reggie White, Warren Moon, Harry Carson, John Madden and Rayfield Wright were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In the world

• In 1783, Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America.

• In 1945, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a wartime conference at Yalta.

• In 2006, thousands of Syrians enraged by caricatures of Islam's revered prophet torched the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus. In Gaza, Palestinians marched through the streets, storming European buildings and burning German and Danish flags.

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