This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, February 06, 2007

In Alaska

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• 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, signed up in Bellingham, Wash.

• In 1969, fallout shelters were available for all 13,000 Juneau residents.

• In 1985, scientists reported that the long-expected retreat of the Columbia Glacier had begun.

• In 1988, an earthquake measuring a magnitude 5.8 struck the Kenai Peninsula, with its epicenter 70 miles northwest of Homer.

In the nation

• In 1778, the U.S. won official recognition from France with the signing of treaties in Paris.

• 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 proclaimed in effect by Secretary of State Henry Stimson.

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

• In 1992, 16 people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Ind.

• In 1997, President Clinton sent Congress a $1.69 trillion budget for fiscal 1998, saying it would erase deficits by 2002 and for 20 years beyond.

• In 2002, a federal judge ordered John Walker Lindh, the so-called "American Taliban," held without bail pending trial.

• In 2006, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended the Bush administration's eavesdropping program before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Terrorist conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui disrupted the opening of his sentencing trial in Alexandria, Va., and was tossed out of court. President Bush submitted a $2.77 trillion budget blueprint for fiscal 2007.

In the world

• In 1987, Wall Street Journal reporter Gerald Seib was released after being detained six days by Iran, accused of being a spy for Israel; Iran said the detention was a result of misunderstandings.

• 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 2002, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II reached a bittersweet milestone, somberly marking 50 years as monarch on the anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI.

• In 2006, hundreds of protesters hurled stones and fire bombs at the Danish Embassy in Tehran to denounce published caricatures of the prophet Muhammad. Stephen Harper was sworn in as Canada's 22nd prime minister. Isabelle Dinoire, the Frenchwoman who'd received the world's first partial face transplant, showed off her new features at a news conference.

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