In 1887, Ernest Gruening, the 13th governor of Alaska appointed by the U.S. president 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 magnitude 5.8 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 1992, 16 people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Ind.
In 1996, Patrick Buchanan won the Louisiana Republican caucus, upsetting Phil Gramm.
In 1998, President Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
In 2005, the New England Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21.
In the world
In 1778, the United States won official recognition from France with the signing of treaties in Paris.
In 1996, a Turkish-owned Boeing 757 jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from the Dominican Republic, killing 189 people, mostly German tourists.
In 2001, Ariel Sharon was elected Israeli prime minister in a landslide win over Ehud Barak.
In 2005, fans of the late reggae singer Bob Marley celebrated his 60th birthday in his birthplace of Jamaica as well as the Rastafarian holy land of Ethiopia. Eighteen people were found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in a mountain hostel in eastern Spain.