This Day in History

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

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

• In 1929, the Japanese freighter Meyio Maru was wrecked on Ugamak Island in the Aleutians.

• In 1939, a "Bone-Dry" bill was introduced in the Alaska Territorial House, prohibiting the manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquor in Alaska. The first annual President's Birthday Ball in McGrath reported to President Franklin D. Roosevelt that $23 was raised in the fight against infantile paralysis.

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

• In 1937, a six-week-old sit-down strike against General Motors Corps. 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 turned out to be a fake autobiography of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes.

• In 1998, Attorney General Janet Reno asked for an independent prosecutor to investigate whether Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt had misled Congress in connection with an Indian casino controversy. (The counsel, Carol Elder Bruce, found no wrongdoing on Babbitt's part.)

• In 2003, addressing a historic rift within NATO, Secretary of State Colin Powell told a congressional hearing the future of the military alliance was at risk if it failed to confront the crisis with Iraq.

• In 2007, the Dixie Chicks won five Grammys in a defiant comeback after being shunned over their anti-President Bush comments about the Iraq war. Harvard University named historian Drew Gilpin Faust its first female president.

In the world

• In 1979, 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.

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