This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, February 07, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1893, a fire in Metlakatla destroyed 24 homes.

• In 1911, the steamer Victoria crashed on rocks at Hinchinbrook Island but was later salvaged.

• In 1931, the Coast Guard Cutter Tallapoosa arrived in Juneau from Baltimore to take permanent station.

• In 1969, Sen. Mike Gravel called for the United States to pay half the cost of the Alaska-Canadian Highway.

In the nation

• In 1861, the general council of the Choctaw Indian nation adopted a resolution declaring allegiance with the South "in the event a permanent dissolution of the American Union takes place."

• In 1904, a fire began in Baltimore that raged for about 30 hours and destroyed more than 1,500 buildings.

• In 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt authorized a flag for the office of the vice president.

• In 1943, the government announced the start of shoe rationing, limiting consumers to buying three pairs per person for the remainder of the year.

• In 1964, the Beatles began their first American tour as they arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

• In 1997, the Air Force suspended all its flights in restricted training areas on the East Coast after a pair of close calls between National Guard jets and civilian airliners. Mindful of Russian President Boris Yeltsin's ailments, President Clinton agreed to shift their March summit meeting from the United States to Helsinki, Finland.

• In 2002, former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling insisted to skeptical lawmakers that he knew of nothing improper about the complex web of partnerships that brought down the company. Authorities in Oklahoma captured the last of four escaped prison inmates from Texas who'd been on the run for more than a week.

• In 2006, 10,000 mourners, including four U.S. presidents, said goodbye to Coretta Scott King during a service in Lithonia, Ga. Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet was charged with financing a nationwide gambling ring based out of New Jersey.

In the world

• In 1974, the island nation of Grenada won independence from Britain.

• In 1984, space shuttle astronauts Bruce McCandless the Second and Robert L. Stewart went on the first untethered space walk.

• In 1986, the Philippines held a presidential election marred by charges of fraud against the incumbent, Ferdinand E. Marcos.

• In 2006, Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical Muslim cleric linked to 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui, was sentenced in London to seven years in prison for inciting followers to kill non-Muslims.

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