This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1888, Marie Drake, author of the lyrics to Alaska's Flag, the state song, was born.

• In 1939, a "bone-dry" bill was introduced in the Alaska Territorial House, prohibiting the manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquor in Alaska.

• In 1959, acting Governor Hugh Wade reluctantly signed the pay bill, giving legislators an annual salary of $3,000, plus $40 a day during session for expenses.

• In 1975, for the second time in six years, Anchorage voters approved unification of the city and borough governments.

In the nation

• In 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed a redistricting law favoring his party - giving rise to the term "gerrymandering."

• In 1847, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio.

• In 1861, President-elect Lincoln departed Springfield, Ill., for Washington.

• In 1937, a sit-down strike against General Motors ended, with the company agreeing to recognize the United Automobile Workers Union.

• In 1972, McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. and Life magazine canceled plans to publish what had turned out to be a fake autobiography of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes.

• In 1989, the Rev. Barbara C. Harris became the first woman consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church, in a ceremony held in Boston.

• In 1994, President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, meeting at the White House, failed to resolve key differences on trade. The space shuttle Discovery returned from an eight-day mission. A judge in Fort Worth, Texas, ordered Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison acquitted of ethics charges after prosecutors refused to present their case. Actor William Conrad died in Los Angeles at age 73.

In the world

• In 1929, the Lateran Treaty was signed, with Italy recognizing the independence and sovereignty of Vatican City.

• In 1945, President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement during World War II.

• In 1979, 25 years ago, followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power in Iran.

• In 1986, Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky was released by the Soviet Union after nine years of captivity as part of an East-West prisoner exchange.

• In 1990, South African black activist Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in captivity.

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