This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008

In Alaska

• In 1898, the steamer Clara Nevada blew up near Eldred Rock in Lynn Canal. All aboard were lost.

• In 1930, a post office was established at Port Agassiz near Petersburg. In 1942, it was discontinued.

• In 1956, the Alaska Constitutional Convention adjourned in Fairbanks.

• In 1959, the Talkeetna Mountains were being considered as the site of a rocket range for U.S. guided missiles from White Sands, N.M.

In the nation

• In 1631, the co-founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and his wife, Mary, arrived in Boston from England.

• In 1897, the Indiana House of Representatives passed, 67-0, a measure redefining the method for determining the area of a circle, which included altering the value of pi. (The bill died in the Indiana Senate.)

• In 1917, Congress passed, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto, an immigration act severely curtailing the influx of Asians.

• In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed increasing the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court; critics accused Roosevelt of attempting to "pack" the high court.

• In 1973, services were held at Arlington National Cemetery for Army Lt. Col. William B. Nolde, the last official American combat casualty before the Vietnam cease-fire.

• In 1988, the Arizona House impeached Gov. Evan Mecham, setting the stage for his trial in the state Senate, where he was convicted of obstructing justice and misusing funds.

• In 1998, Democratic fund-raiser Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie pleaded not guilty in Washington, D.C., to charges he had raised illegal donations to buy influence in high places. (Trie pleaded guilty in May 1999 to a felony count and a misdemeanor and was sentenced later that year to four months of home detention and three years probation.)

• In 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell urged the U.N. Security Council to move against Saddam Hussein, saying Iraq had failed to disarm, was harboring terrorists and was hiding behind a "web of lies."

• In 2007, President Bush unveiled a $2.9 trillion budget, which proposed a big spending increase for the Pentagon while pinching domestic programs. NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak was arrested in Orlando, Fla., accused of trying to kidnap a perceived rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot.

In the world

• In 1783, Sweden recognized the independence of the United States.

• In 1811, George, Prince of Wales, was named the Prince Regent due to the insanity of his father, Britain's King George III.

• In 1887, Verdi's opera "Otello" premiered at La Scala.

• In 1917, Mexico's constitution was adopted.

• In 1983, former Nazi Gestapo official Klaus Barbie, expelled from Bolivia, was brought to Lyon, France, to stand trial. (He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison - he died in 1991.)

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