This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1916, the final blast was fired in the tunnel to tap Annex Lake for the Alaska Gastineau Power Plant.

• In 1928, the Lions Club of Juneau was organized.

• In 1931, the federal and territorial building, now the state Capitol, was dedicated in Juneau.

In the nation

• In 1779, Capt. James Cook was killed in Hawaii.

• In 1859, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.

• In 1903, the Department of Commerce and Labor was established. (It was divided into separate departments of Commerce and Labor in 1913.)

• In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the Union.

• In 1920, the League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago; its first president was Maud Wood Park.

• In 1929, the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone's gang were gunned down.

• In 1962, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducted a televised tour of the White House.

• In 1997, American Airlines and its pilots union continued contract talks as the clock ticked down to a midnight strike deadline. (The pilots did strike, but President Clinton immediately intervened, ordering a 60-day "cooling off" period.)

• In 2002, Enron executive Sherron Watkins told a House subcommittee it was common knowledge at the company that partnerships were used improperly to hide debt and inflate profits. The House voted to ban unregulated contributions to national political parties.

• In 2006, Attorney Harry Whittington, the man accidentally shot by Vice President Dick Cheney, suffered a mild heart attack when a shotgun pellet traveled to his heart, but he later recovered.

In the world

• In 1778, the American ship Ranger carried the recently adopted Star and Stripes to a foreign port for the first time as it arrived in France.

• In 1895, Oscar Wilde's final play, "The Importance of Being Earnest," opened at the St. James' Theatre in London.

• In 1979, Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists and killed in a shootout between his abductors and police.

• In 1989, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini called on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses," a novel condemned as blasphemous.

• In 2002, launching his defense against war crimes charges, former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic justified his actions as a "struggle against terrorism" and said he was a victim of twisted facts and "terrible fabrication."

• In 2006, Iran said it had resumed uranium enrichment; Russia and France immediately called on Iran to halt its work. At Turin, American Ted Ligety won Olympic gold in men's combined skiing, while Bode Miller was disqualified for straddling a gate.

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