• In 1920, Juneau police recovered a 500-pound safe stolen the previous day by following the sled tracks to a cabin where two thieves were arrested and $200 recovered from an 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 Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner.
• In 1969, Anchorage Borough Planning Director Robert Pavitt predicted an Anchorage population of 250,000 by 1988.
• In 1975, ham omelets cooked in Anchorage were blamed for causing food poisoning for 140 passengers on a Japan Air Lines 747.
• 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 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 1938, the Thornton Wilder play "Our Town" opened on Broadway.
• In 1941, the United Service Organizations (USO) came into existence.
• In 1974, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, Calif., by the Symbionese Liberation Army.
• In 2003, President Bush visited the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he led a tribute to the lost crew of the shuttle Columbia and rededicated the nation to space travel.
• In 2007, the Indianapolis Colts won Super Bowl XLI, beating the Chicago Bears 29-17.
In the world
• In 1783, Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America.
• In 1945, President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a wartime conference at Yalta.
• In 1948, the island nation of Ceylon - now Sri Lanka - became an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth.
• In 1998, more than 2,300 people were killed when an earthquake hit northeast Afghanistan with a magnitude of 5.9, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
• In 2003, a rare television interview with Saddam Hussein aired in which the Iraqi leader charged that U.S. claims of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in his country were a pretext to seize Iraq's oil fields. Lawmakers formally dissolved Yugoslavia and replaced it with a loose union of its remaining two republics, Serbia and Montenegro.