This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, February 06, 2005

In Alaska

In 1887, Ernest Gruening , who became the 13th governor of Alaska in 1939, was born in New York.

In 1919, a fire destroyed a large part of the Fairbanks business district.

In 1959, the first man from the state of Alaska to enlist in the U.S. Navy, William Sparks of Haines, enlisted in Bellingham, Wash.

In 1969, fallout shelters were available for all Juneau residents. (At this time, there were 13,000 people in the borough.)

In 1985, scientists reported that the long-expected retreat of the Columbia Glacier had begun. The 40-mile-long glacier should retreat 20 to 25 miles over the next several decades.

In 1988, an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale struck the Kenai Peninsula, with its epicenter 70 miles northwest of Homer.

In the nation

In 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1899, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the U.S. Senate.

In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the so-called "lame duck" amendment, was declared in effect.

In 1959, the United States successfully test-fired for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

In 1995, President Clinton unveiled his $1.61 trillion budget for 1996, mixing mild tax relief and spending reductions.

In 1995, Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, the alleged mastermind of a campaign of violence, pleaded guilty in New York to plotting urban terrorism.

In 1995, the space shuttle Discovery flew to within 37 feet of the Russian space station Mir in the first rendezvous of its kind in two decades.

In 1998, President Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

In 2000, First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton launched her successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

In 2004, President Bush appointed a bipartisan commission to examine intelligence on Iraq's weapons. Mechanic Joseph P. Smith was charged with murder after authorities in Sarasota, Fla., found the body of 11-year-old girl Carlie Brucia, whose kidnapping had been captured by a carwash surveillance camera.

In the world

In 1778, the United States won official recognition from France with the signing of treaties in Paris.

In 2000, an Ariana Airlines Boeing 727 was hijacked after leaving Kabul, Afghanistan, making stops in Central Asia and Russia before arriving at Stansted airport outside London the next day. Nine people were killed when a train derailed south of Cologne, Germany. Social Democrat Tarja Halonen edged out her rival in a run-off to become Finland's first female president.

In 2004, An explosion ripped through a Moscow subway car during rush hour, killing 41 people.

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