This Day in History

Posted: Friday, February 08, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1939, the Goldstein Building in downtown Juneau was gutted by fire, destroying radio station KINY-AM and the Juneau Medical Center.

• In 1939, Alfred Rosenberg, supervisor of the spiritual and philosophical development of Nazidom, said that Alaska offered too harsh a climate for relocation of Jews.

• In 1975, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced plans to kill up to 80 percent of the wolves in the Tanana Flats during its planned extermination program. Anchorage Rep. Susan Sullivan suggested that the proposed new Alaska capital be called Gruening.

In the nation

• In 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

• In 1837, the Senate selected the vice president of the United States, choosing Richard Mentor Johnson after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.

• In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

• In 1915, D.W. Griffith's groundbreaking as well as controversial silent movie epic about the Civil War, "The Birth of a Nation," premiered in Los Angeles.

• In 1924, the first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City as Gee Jon, a Chinese immigrant convicted of murder, was put to death.

• In 1968, three college students were killed in a confrontation with highway patrolmen in Orangeburg, S.C., during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley.

• In 1978, the deliberations of the Senate were broadcast on radio for the first time as members opened debate on the Panama Canal treaties.

• In 2007, a federal judge in Fargo, N.D., sentenced Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. to death for the slaying of college student Dru Sjodin.

In the world

• In 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.

• In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War, a conflict over control of Manchuria and Korea, began as Japanese forces attacked Port Arthur.

• In 1974, the last three-man crew of the Skylab space station returned to Earth after spending 84 days in space.

• In 1989, 144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.

• In 1998, Olga Danilova of Russia won the first gold medal of the Nagano Winter Games in 15-kilometer classical cross-country skiing.

• In 2003, the chief U.N. arms inspectors arrived in Baghdad for a new round of crucial talks with Iraqi officials. In a jab at major U.S. allies, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told a security conference in Munich that countries such as France and Germany that favored giving Iraq another chance to disarm were undermining what slim chance existed to avoid war. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched in support of 9,000 oil workers fired for leading a two-month strike against President Hugo Chavez.

• In 2007, rival Palestinian leaders signed an agreement on a power-sharing government at Saudi-brokered talks in Mecca.

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