This Day in History

Posted: Friday, February 13, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1902, the weekly newspaper, The Alaska Prospector, was established in Valdez.

In the nation

• In 1795, the University of North Carolina became the first U.S. state university to admit students with the arrival of Hinton James, who was the lone student on campus for two weeks.

• In 1935, a jury in Flemington, N.J., found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnap-death of the son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Hauptmann was later executed.

• In 1999, in his weekly radio address, President Clinton said as many as 4,000 American troops would go to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping force if warring Serbs and ethnic Albanians reached a political settlement. A federal judge held American Airlines' pilots union and two top board members in contempt and promised sizable fines against them.

• In 2003, an investigative panel found that superheated air almost certainly seeped through a breach in space shuttle Columbia's left wing and possibly its wheel compartment during the craft's fiery descent, resulting in the deaths of all seven astronauts.

In the world

• In 1542, the fifth wife of England's King Henry VIII, Catherine Howard, was executed for adultery.

• In 1920, the League of Nations recognized the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.

• In 1945, during World War II, the Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary, from the Germans. Allied planes began bombing the German city of Dresden.

• In 1960, France exploded its first atomic bomb.

• In 1984, 20 years ago, Konstantin Chernenko was chosen to be general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding the late Yuri Andropov.

• In 1988, the 15th winter Olympics opened in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

• In 1994, at the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, American Tommy Moe won the men's downhill, defeating local hero Kjetil Andre Aamodt by four-hundredths of a second.

• In 2003, a U.S. government plane carrying four Americans and a Colombian went down in rebel territory in southern Colombia. The executed bodies of an American and the Colombian were found in the wreckage.

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